Trading For Dummies, 4th Edition
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If you decide you want to trade for others as well as for yourself, you need to become a registered representative. The most comprehensive test you can take is the FINRA’s Series 7 exam. To qualify for the test, you’ll need a sponsoring broker.

When you sign up for the required coursework for this exam, either through self-study courses online or a nearby training school, the school can help you locate a sponsoring broker if you don’t have one.

Why you need credentials

The license you'll earn allows you to buy and sell all securities products, including corporate securities, municipal securities, municipal-fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment-company products, and variable contracts. There are other exams for people who want to sell only a specific type of security rather than the broader options that a Series 7 certification enables you to market.

Professional certifications are not required to sell securities. Most pros who seek these certifications do so to show their clients that they have attained a level of proficiency and met or exceeded the standards within their specialties.

Many schools that train people for professional designations provide ways for you to take the coursework, even if you don’t plan to get the license or certification. You can study for many of these courses at home online.

Schools for aspiring securities and financial advisors

Selling securities is a highly regulated field that requires considerable training before you can sell even your first share of stock. Although some people trade for others without a license, they risk the possibility of an investigation by the FINRA or their state regulators.

Be sure that the trading activities you do for others fit within the law, or you can end up in a legal mess facing significant fines.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Lita Epstein, MBA, is the author of more than 35 books, including Bookkeeping For Dummies and Reading Financial Reports For Dummies. Grayson D. Roze has worked in the financial services industry for StockCharts.com since 2012. He now serves as a business manager at the company. He is the author of Tensile Trading: The 10 Essential Stages of Stock Market Mastery.

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