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5 Tips for Becoming a Trader on Wall Street

The economy may have taken a hit – a serious one at that – during the last five years, but now it is definitely on the rebound. If you are interested in becoming a trader on Wall Street, now is your chance to try your hand in one of the most exciting financial markets in the world. Whether you want to invest in derivatives or futures, there has never been a better time than now to make money in the stock market. Moreover, as the market is in a rebound phase you are perfectly positioned to buy low so that you can sell high and possibly make a lot of money. Here are 5 tips for becoming a trader on Wall Street.

  1. In order to get your trader’s licenses – yes there are two of them – and to be registered with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), it is recommended to get your beginner’s experience at a brokerage firm. You will be set up with the three-screen interface so that you buy, trade and sell stocks. It is important to know that this stage of trading is extremely cutthroat and many young or inexperienced traders decide during this phase that they don’t want to be traders on Wall Street.
  2. Next, you want to try and get a real seat on the New York Stock Exchange so that you can start trading professionally. You can purchase a seat from a brokerage firm that is registered with FINRA or the Self Regulatory Organization (SRO) and it can cost up to $26,000 a year. If you don’t want to pay this steep price you can also trade stocks online. You can learn how to trade stocks online very easily, in fact, and get all the equipment you need for a home trading set up. This is also a great option for those people who don’t live in New York.
  3. After you have gotten all your permits and certifications, you usually have to undergo a background check. Because you will be around lots of privileged financial information, you are required to give your fingerprints and divulge if you have a criminal record. While this might not immediately disqualify you from getting a seat, withholding this information can be a serious no-no.
  4. If you want to buy and sell directly on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange you are required to take a final test. The test will make sure that you know all of the codes of conduct to trade on the floor and that you are familiar with all the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On your first day of trading you are usually required to take this exam.
  5. Lastly, after you’ve gone through all the steps, you have to obtain your badge number. Your badge number will essentially make you a legally qualified trader to buy, sell and trade stocks openly on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the stock exchange is a fast paced environment, so you have to be on your toes to compete for your chances for success.

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