How To Become A Stockbroker

How To Earn A Stock Broker License

What Is A "Stockbroker", And What Do They Do?

TV shows and movies portray stockbrokers as bazillionaires who own fancy cars, several homes, and jet around the world. In reality, this is far from the truth as most stockbrokers are regular, hard-working people who enjoy working with stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Stockbrokers provide advice and recommendations to clients regarding the best times to buy or sell a stock, bond, mutual fund, ETF, and other financial instruments. While individuals can certainly purchase or sell these things themselves online - and often at a cheaper price - stockbrokers are considered specialists in the investing area and often have better information which can often be the difference between a profit or a loss on any trade.

How To Become A Stock Broker

To become a stockbroker, you must first earn a Series 7 license. Known as the General Securities Registered Representative license, this license allows you to sell a broad range of securities, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, variable annuities, options, direct participation program partnerships, and packaged securities.

Those who get this license are officially listed as registered representatives by FINRA, but are more commonly referred to as stockbrokers. This page offers an overview on how to earn your Series 7 license and become a stock broker. It includes a brief overview of the Series 7 licensing process as well as information on your Series 7 exam.

Steps to earn your Series 7 Registered Representative Stock Broker license:
  • Select a pre-licensing course format - seminar, webinar, online, or self-study - that best fits your needs
  • Review your Series 7 study guide materials and other test prep materials prior to taking your securities pre-licensing course exam
  • Since we include hundreds of Series 7 practice exams with our securities pre-licensing courses, take as many practice tests as you can
  • Schedule, then sit for your Series 7 license stock broker exam
Please note that in order to earn your Series 7 license, you'll also need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials examination (aka the “SIE exam”) and take a FINRA Series 7 "Top-Off" exam. FINRA says that the exams are "corequisites," but that does not mean you have to take both at the same time. Instead, they mean that you can't earn your license without taking both, and you can take them in any order.

You won't need a sponsorship to take the SIE exam but to take the Series 7 exam, you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm or a self-regulatory organization (SRO). Firms apply for candidates to take the exam by filing a Uniform Application for Security Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4). There is also an exam fee that is commonly covered by the sponsoring firm.

Select A Securities Pre-Licensing Course Format That Best Fits Your Learning Style

Series 7 pre-licensing exam courses and our Series 7 study guides are available in several formats, including seminar, webinar, online, or self-study. The plusses and minuses of each are listed below.
  • Seminar
    The Seminar format generally means that you attend a classroom training at a specific date, time, and location
  • Live Webinar / OnDemand
    The Webinar / OnDemand format generally means that you attend the training at a specific date and time, but do so from your home or office computer and not at a specific location like a hotel
  • Self-Study Online
    The Online format generally means that you do your self-study training at your computer and at your own pace
Note: Regardless of the training format you choose, all provide numerous Series 7 test prep materials, including an extensive study guide and numerous sample questions, especially on the Series 7 options questions.

How To Study For Your Series 7 Stock Broker License Exam

Studying for your Series 7 Registered Rep securities licensing examination - aka earning your Stock Broker License - is easy with one of our pre-licensing training courses, because each, in addition to the great subject matter training, also includes numerous sample exams.

Here is the recommended way to study for your FINRA Series 7 Licensing Exam to become a Stock Broker:
  • Select your preferred training format
  • Read the subject matter content prior to attending or starting the training
  • While doing so, make notes of any areas where you are unsure or need assistance
  • Take the training. If via an Instructor-led format, be sure to get your Instructor to help you with any are of which you are unsure or need assistance (yes, options and mutual funds are difficult to understand, so don't feel shy about asking for help!)
  • Schedule your licensing exam for about four weeks after you complete your pre-licensing class
  • Study your butt off, not just on the training materials, but review as many of the sample exam questions as possible, especially the Series 7 options questions
  • Use the four weeks prior to taking your stockbroker exam to review the materials and sample questions, but most of all take as many of the practice exam questions s as you can to get a feel for both the type and amount of questions you'll see
What Are The Series 7 Stock Broker Exam Requirements?

What Is The Number Of Questions On My Series 7 Exam: 125

What Is The Series 7 Exam Format: Computer-based exam taken at a specified Testing Center

What Is The Allowed Time to Complete My Series 7 Exam: 225 minutes

What Is The Series 7 Exam Content:
  • Seeks business for the broker-dealer from customers and potential customers (7%)
  • Opens accounts after obtaining and evaluating customers' financial profile and investment objectives (9%)
  • Provides customers with information about investments, makes suitable recommendations, transfers assets, and maintains appropriate records (73%)
  • Obtains and verifies customers' purchase and sales instructions; processes, completes, and confirms transactions (11%)
What Are The Series 7 Exam Requirements: You must be sponsored to take a Series 7 exam. Passing score of 72 is required.
What Are The Best Series 7 Study Tips: The best way study for your Series 7 test is to take a Series 7 class and make sure your review the Series 7 sample questions.

Note: The pass rate for the Series 7 exam 65%, so if you really want to be a Stockbroker, make sure you fully understand the Series 7 exam requirements and study accordingly, especially on the Series 7 options questions because whether you plan to sell options or not, they are complicated and are on the exam.

Included In Your Series 7 Study Package

All of our Series 7 pre-licensing courses come with several study materials designed to help you pass your FINRA exams and become a stockbroker. The study materials for each package includes not only great training, but your study guide, multiple sample test questions, and videos to help you prepare for your stockbroker exam.

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Tips For Earning Your Stockbroker License

Earning your stockbroker license means passing the both the FINRA SIE exam and the FINRA Series 7 Top-Off exam.

With a national passing rate of just 70%, it is important to make sure you give yourself the best chance to pass your exams on the first try. Earning your stockbroker's license is no easy feat, but AB TrainingCenter is here to help!

Here are some tips to help you earn your Series 7 stock broker license:
  • Take Your SIE Exam First
    As introductory-level exam, the SIE gives you a good knowledge base to work from.
  • Select The Training Format That Best Suits Your Learning Style
    Some people prefer classroom interaction while others prefer the freedom to study at their own pace
  • If You Are Taking A Live Class, Plan To Study For 3-4 Weeks Beforehand
    Knowing where you're weakest will allow you to ask specific questions during the live portion
  • Review As Many Of The Sample Exam Questions As Possible
    This will help you can to get a feel for both the type and amount of questions you'll see
For more information on our available training formats please go to

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