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How to Become a Stockbroker in Australia

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Fancy a career that will give you money as huge as the risks? Try becoming a stockbroker. You get to work in a fast-paced business environment providing advice and buying and selling listed securities in the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and facilitating transactions between retail and institutional investors who have money and issuers of securities who seek money. Stockbroking thrives on action and depending on your skills and expertise you can either make or lose a lot of money.

Take courses in math, economics and business in high school. With an entry score of 85 or better, attain a diploma in accounting or an undergraduate degree in business or commerce.

Choose between the two major education pathways into the financial services industry—university study for three years or vocational education and training (VET) for two years.

Undergraduate courses in accounting are available at Macquarie University, University of NSW, Sydney University, University of Technology Sydney, Australian National University, Monash University, University of Melbourne and Queensland University.

Upon completion of university you can earn a graduate diploma in applied finance and investment offered by the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA).

Alternately you can take up the different financial services certificate- and diploma-level VET courses offered by private colleges and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) public programs.

Complete the diploma of financial markets from FINSIA in lieu of a university degree.

Join an investment club and do comparative study on investment opportunities, analyze results and invest its funds.

Make use of the on-the-job training offered by most brokerage firms. You’ll need a license from Australian Financial Services to provide financial product services. Before applying, read the AFS licensing kit, review your application many times and prepare your core supporting documents.

Apply online using the eLicensing system. If you cannot do so contact Infoline on 300-300-630 and ask for or download a pre-application form (FS05), fill it out and send it to the ASIC.

Go for the (ASIC) Regulatory Guide or RG 146 training course for individuals who provide retail financial product advice.

Tip

Ultimately it is the sales that matter in the brokerage business. Some experience in sales or real estate or insurance can really help. Visit online the brokerage firms or mutual funds to get a feel of the products you'd be brokering. Attend job fairs where securities firms participate. Develop a high level of numeracy and stay updated with the economic and other factors that influence the market. Talk to active stockbrokers. Develop relationship skills as it is important to liaise with the clients. Highlight in your resume your studies and hands-on experience in finance, economics or business.

Warning

Stockbroking is a tough business. You need to be thick-skinned to withstand the pressure, long hours and rejections.

Work environment will be competitive and grueling particularly during the initial months. Brokerage firms make it that way to wash out weaker performers.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Muhammad Cheema has been writing technology-related articles since 2003. His work has appeared in EE Times, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers publications and several technology Web sites. Cheema holds a Doctor of Philosophy in electronics engineering from Université Paris-Sud in Paris, France.

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