Financial Services Agents
Financial services agents offer a wide array of accounting, banking, tax preparation, insurance, securities and other related services. Securities sales agents arrange securities trades in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other types of financial instruments. They arrange securities trades for individuals and large institutions. The duties for financial sales agents vary greatly by occupational specialty.
Some sample job titles are financial specialist, relationship manager, financial consultant, private banker, financial services representative and investment officer.
Stock brokers sell securities to retail investors and receive a fee for their service. The most vital element of the job is acquiring clients and establishing a customer base. New securities and commodity sales agents spend a lot of time looking for new clients. Some new agents are given clients of sales agents that have retired.
Investment bankers are sales agents which provide underwriting services. Their services involve connecting companies seeking money to finance their operations with investors that are willing to provide the funding in exchange for debt instruments or equity.
Investment bankers sell their services to companies desiring to issue new stock or bonds and they also sell the securities they issue to investors. Investment banking sales agents and traders are involved with selling stocks and bonds to investors for a commission.
- Contact potential customers
- Make presentations regarding financial services to groups
- Learn about customer's banking and financial needs
- Ask businesses to participate in consumer credit card programs
- Prepare agreements or forms to complete sales
- Analyze business trends in order to advise clients about fluctuations
- Evaluate revenue and costs of agreements in order to determine continued profitability
Financial services sales agents usually work 40 hours per week. They spend a lot of time outside of their office having meetings with clients and prospective clients. Financial services representatives also attend civic functions in order to find new clients. A number of financial services agents work exclusively inside banks.
Stress can sometimes be part of the job for securities sales agents. They typically have demanding managers and the pace of the work is often fast. Stock brokers and investment advisors usually work more than 40 hours per week and it's often necessary for them to work in the evenings and during the weekends since many of their clients work during the day.
A large number of securities salespersons that work for discount or online brokerage companies work in call-center settings. They spend a lot of time on the telephone with customers taking orders and providing information and advice on securities.
Financial services salespersons and securities sales agents should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They also should have a desire to succeed an be able to work independently. The ability to analyze numbers is important for financial services and securities sales agents. They also need to be able to handle rejection.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth of 25% from 2006 to 2016 for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents which is much faster than average for all occupations. Employment opportunities in the securities industry is highly influenced by market conditions and the state of the economy and is very volatile during recessions.
The median annual earnings was $68,500 in 2006. The highest 10 percent earned over $145,600. Many sales agents receive commissions.
An increase in the amount of clients they have and the size of the accounts they handle is the primary form of advancement for financial service sales agents, investment advisors and brokers. Those with experience and success may have opportunities to handle large institutional accounts including those of pension funds and banks. Some sales agents advance into office manager positions.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Employers of securities and commodities sales agents often seek candidates that have a college degree in finance, economics, business or accounting. A lot of securities firms hire summer interns before their last year of college. The interns that are the most successful are typically offered full-time jobs upon graduation.
Some sales agents earn master's degrees in business administration (MBA), after working for a few years. Many high level jobs in the securities industry require a master's degree. MBA's are very beneficial for job seekers.
New employees are typically provided with on-the-job training by their employer. Securities sales agents regularly attend training seminars and conferences to stay current with new products and services.
Investment advisors and brokers are required to register as representatives of their company with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In order to qualify as registered representatives, those new to the occupation have to be an employee of a registered company for at least four months and pass the General Securities Registered Representative Examination. Most states also require a second examination called the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination.
There are numerous licenses available and each license allows the sales agent to sell different product and services. Financial services sales agents might also be required to be licensed, particularly those that sell securities or insurance. Registered representatives are required to attend periodic continuing education classes in order to maintain their licenses.
- American Academy of Financial Management
- Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
- Security Traders Association
The top job providing industries are financial investment services, security and commodity brokerage firms, investment banking firms, commercial banks, credit unions and savings institutions.
Schools for Securities And Financial Services Sales Agents are listed in the Browse Schools Section.