The world of finance consists of many unique facets. There are plenty of jobs and industries that relate to how money exchanges hands and who gets to do the exchanging. From personal levels at your bank with tellers to larger exchanges with financial advisors to traders, all the way up to large multinational banks.
The securities industry deals with the handling of financial assets, such as investments. One such position is a financial advisor, but there are others too. This industry is very important, but many people are unaware of what they do, so here are seven must-know things about the securities industry.
1. Communication Skills Are Essential
Many people view financial advisors and those handling money as shrewd, cold, human calculators, but the point of handling money is to understand that communication is essential for making it happen successfully. Having strong interpersonal skills helps people in the securities industry work their magic and make good deals happen, as well as helping people through their questions and problems.
2. You Must Become Properly Qualified
There are steps it takes to get into the securities industry, and a big one is getting the proper qualifications. The SIE exam, which stands for the securities industry essentials exam, allows people to complete the first step in becoming properly qualified. The exam helps people become financial advisors or sell securities products like insurance. After that, there are the Series 6 and 7 exams, as well as other more specialized ones like the Series 63 or 64, which allow those working in the industry more involved with different types of securities and financial products.
3. Degrees Are Not Required
Another common misconception is that you need a degree. While many companies will hire people with a degree in finance, accounting, economics, etc., there are plenty of people who get involved and find jobs without higher education. This is changing, however, but the SIE exam and its equivalent specializations are the most important qualifications compared to other forms of education.
4. Not Every Position is Similar
As mentioned, there are plenty of specializations that require different exams to be completed for qualification to work in the securities industry. With that comes many different positions that go beyond selling just insurance or being a financial advisor. Completing the Series 7 would allow someone to deal with real estate investment trusts and mortgage-backed securities, while variable life insurance products can be sold after the right qualifications. Not every job is just about helping those make wise investment opportunities.
5. Self-Motivation Is Invaluable
Selling and advising on financial securities means that people working in this industry are self-motivated. The misconception that it is simply reciting a spiel by higher-ups in their company is incorrect because the advisors and brokers are the first line of communication for securities sales. Self-motivation allows these advisors to make the most of their time with a potential client and help them, but it all comes from a willingness to learn and apply it. Similarly, it also means understanding that success is not just about dollar figures.
6. Industry Built on Tradition
The securities industry dates back over 100 years, so it is long steeped in tradition. This goes back to the financial deals made between stockbrokers and shareholders of companies long before our time, but it also means the living traditions of those working in it currently. Tradition means that the average advisors are in their middle age because they have had to receive the proper qualifications and work their way up, so it is not about young hotshot financial grads.
7. Dedication to the Job Is Expected
The world of finance never sleeps, so serious dedication is required for people working in the securities industry. Futures, options, and a never-ending fluctuation of financial behavior requires people in this industry to work unusual hours. It is not uncommon for them to be working weekends, overtime, and committing to early mornings and late nights. Making sure that every aspect of people’s finances and ensuring their contracts are being handled with the utmost care makes it an industry that is not for the faint of heart or lazy.
Finances seem to be a hush-hush subject with people. They do not like to talk about their investments, their savings, or how much they make, but one striking issue is that people are unaware of these financial industries that are handling their money. The securities industry is responsible for billions and trillions of dollars on a daily basis, so knowing what it is and what it does is valuable information for anyone who cares about their money.