In this how-to guide you will find detailed information on how to become a stockbroker (broker-dealer agent) in New Hampshire. Licensing requirements set forth in the New Hampshire Securities Act are enforced by the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation and are fully detailed in the steps that follow.
Step 1. Get Your Degree
A bachelor’s degree is the industry standard for broker-dealer agents. A list of widely accepted degrees is shown here:
- BS-Business Administration, especially with a specialty in Finance
- BS-Business or Finance
- BA-Consumer and Family Financial Services
In addition to sales skills, you will be required to have an advanced understanding of securities and financial markets. The best way to gain this advanced level of understanding without prior industry experience is to design your degree program around the courses listed here:
- Quantitative applications in business
- Accounting, courses such as financial and managerial accounting will be helpful
- Business law
- Business communications
- Behavior of organizations, persons and groups
- Business ethics
Step 2: Take the Required Exams
Broker-dealer firms require all prospective broker-dealer agents to complete the Series 7 Exam or another more limited securities agent exam. In New Hampshire, the Series 63 or Series 66 is also required.
- Complete the appropriate exam and New Hampshire Securities Division registration application.The Form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Registration or Transfer will function as both your exam application and your application for registration with the New Hampshire Securities Division.
Fingerprints are required for a federal background check and can be obtained for a nominal fee at a local police station or sheriff’s office. Some firms may be able to take your fingerprints free of charge.
Your application will be submitted through the Central Registration Depository (CRD) on your behalf along with payment of the following fees:
- Initial $100 registration fee for New Hampshire plus $30 non-refundable application fee
- $30.25 to process the fingerprint card
- FINRA’s $85 registration fee
- Test fees of $245 for the Series 7 and $147 for the Series 63 ($177 for the Series 66)
- When the application has been approved a letter of acceptance will be sent to the firm and you’re free to schedule the Series 7, General Securities Representative Examination and one of the state law exams; either the Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination or the Series 66, Uniform Combined State Law Examination.
- Choose a testing location that will be the most convenient for you. Schedule your exam within 120 days of registration at a testing center nearest you.
- The state licensing process will be complete once you’ve been notified of a passing score. These scores are released immediately upon completion.
Step 3: Get Your On-The-Job Training
Take advantage of any and all opportunities to learn and gain experience in the first months with your new firm. This experience will provide you with an opportunity to excel in your field and become proficient in selling securities. Compulsory on-the-job training will help you identify your client’s financial goals and align them with the investments best suited to achieving these goals.
Pay close attention to the following topics that expand on your Series 7 product knowledge:
- Government securities
- Corporate, municipal and treasury bonds
- Mutual funds
- Direct participation programs like non-publicly traded real estate investment trusts or oil and gas leases
- Options on stocks
- Variable contracts
- Open-end and closed-end investment company shares
- Corporate equity and debt securities
Step 4: Ongoing Requirements for License Renewal and Continuing Education
Your license through the New Hampshire Securities Division will renew automatically each year on the anniversary date of your initial registration. Your firm’s Central Registration Depository account will be charged a $37 FINRA administrative fee as well as New Hampshire’s annual renewal fee of $100.
Continuing Education Requirements
Thoroughly review the Securities Industry Continuing Education Program website. It is here that you will find the continuing education requirements for all stockbrokers. This training is categorized in two elements:
- The Regulatory Element
There are time restrictions on the Regulatory Element Training. The first course has to be successfully completed before you begin your third year of employment. It is mandatory that a Regulatory Element continuing education course be completed once every three years thereafter for the remainder of your career.The Series 7 license requires completion of the S101 General Program. This mandatory training is provided in the following four segments:
- Client/Product Suitability
- Public Communication
- New and Secondary Offering & Corporate Finance
- Controlling Customer Accounts/Settlement and Trade practices
- The Firm Element
Participate in your employer’s annual evaluations. These evaluations will ensure that your professional opinion is heard and training can be structured around the needs of the firm’s employees. Common areas of focus in the Firm Element component of continuing education include, but are not limited to:
- Investment features
- Regulatory requirements related to products, services, and strategies
- Sales practices
- Suitability standards
- Associated risk factors
Updating your Form U-4
You must keep Form U-4 current at all times. Make updates in the event of the occurrence of any of the following:
- Financial judgments filed against you
- Pending or completed disciplinary actions
- Customer complaints
- Address updates
- Criminal background disclosure
- Civil judgments filed against you
Review FINRA’s BrokerCheck often to be sure information contained on Form U-4 is accurately reflected there.