Stockbrokers, otherwise known as registered representatives, serve as sales agents for the broker-dealer firms that employ them. Registered representatives who intend on soliciting clients in Oklahoma must register with the Oklahoma Securities Department.
Before you can be licensed through the Oklahoma Securities Department, a broker-dealer firm must sponsor you. After you become sponsored, your broker-dealer firm will help you to register through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Central Registration Depository (CRD). Once your self-regulating organization (SRO) registration is accepted, you will be registered in Oklahoma to advise clients on securities that meet suitability requirements. Follow the steps below to become a stockbroker in Oklahoma.
Step 1. Get Your Education
- While the Oklahoma Securities Department does not enforce educational requirements for registered representatives, most broker-dealer firms will require a four-year degree as a requirement for employment. A bachelor’s degree is also commonly required if you care to pursue professional designations.
Degrees in the following areas would be beneficial to stockbrokers:
- Consumer and Family Financial Services
- Business Administration
- Business law
- Business communications
- Behavior of organizations, persons and groups
- Accounting, in particular courses in financial accounting and managerial accounting
- Business ethics
- Quantitative applications in business
Step 2: Take the Required Exams
- A broker-dealer registered in Oklahoma must sponsor you before you are allowed to take the required securities exams. Find open positions by researching local job boards, getting connected with your personal and professional network, or applying directly to a firm that you’d like to work for.
- Fill out the applications for the required tests. This is done through the Form U-4, Uniform Application for Securities Registration or Transfer. Your sponsoring broker-dealer will help you complete the Form U-4 and submit it through the Central Registration Depository (CRD).
- The application covers your personal information, including educational, residential, and criminal background history.
- Your sponsoring firm will most likely cover the $85 registration fee required by FINRA.
- Registered representatives in Oklahoma must pass the Series 7, and the Series 63 or 66 exams (explained below). The exam fees are $265 for the Series 7, $96 for the Series 63, and $128 for the Series 66.
- You will be required to provide your fingerprints, either through your broker-dealer free of charge or for a small fee at a local police station or sheriff’s office. FINRA charges $30.25 for processing your fingerprint card.
- An initial registration fee of $50 is required by the Oklahoma Securities Department. Generally your employing firm will pay this fee for you. Fees for registration can be paid to the Oklahoma Securities Department through the through the CRD.
- Oklahoma has several Pearson and Prometric Professional testing centers.
- You cannot take the Series 7 and the Series 63. Plan accordingly so you are able to fit in both tests within the allowed time period.
Step 3: Get Your On-The-Job Training
Your first few weeks as a registered representative will most likely be spent attending in-house training sessions that teach you the basics of securities sales. This will also give you an insider perspective on how your broker-dealer conducts business. Job shadowing a colleague may be incorporated into your on-the-job sales and product knowledge training.
The training you receive while working will allow you to effectively engage clients and match their needs with suitable securities. The financial products you are likely to learn more about during your on the job training include:
- Mutual funds
- Variable contracts
- Corporate, municipal and treasury bonds
- Government securities
- Options on stocks
- Corporate equity and debt securities
- Open-end and closed-end investment company shares
- Direct participation programs like non-publicly traded real estate investment trusts or oil and gas leases
Step 4: Ongoing Requirements for License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Annual License Renewal and Fees
Your Oklahoma securities licenses are automatically renewed annually. Oklahoma charges a $50 renewal fee, which is generally paid by your broker-dealer on your behalf. Renewal fees are submitted to the Oklahoma Securities Department through the Web-CRD (Central Registration Depository).
- Continuing Education Requirements
The Securities Industry Continuing Education Program is in place to make sure all registered representatives participate in mandatory continuing education elements. The continuing education requirements are made up of two components:
- The Regulatory Element
At the beginning of your third year as a registered representative, you are responsible for completing the Regulatory Element training program within 120 days of your second annual registration. Your broker-dealer should inform you of when your Regulatory Requirement is due. One Regulatory Element will be due once every three years throughout your career. In order to keep stockbrokers abreast of current trends and compliance issues within the financial industry, the Regulatory Element is frequently updated.
The Regulatory Element that applies to Series 7 licensed registered representatives is the S101 General Program. The S101 addresses the issues of ethical sales-practices as well as regulatory and compliance standards. The S101 is made up of four areas:
- New and Secondary Offering & Corporate Finance
- Handling Customer Accounts/Trade and Settlement Practices
- Client/Product Suitability
- Communicating with the Public
- The Firm Element
You are required to complete Firm Element training each year. Your broker-dealer implements its own Firm Element program based on requirements from FINRA and the available topics your broker-dealer deems appropriate. Each year, FINRA asses the relevant topics which usually address the following:
- Investment features and associated risk factors
- Sales practices and suitability standards
- Regulatory requirements related to products, services, and strategies
- The Regulatory Element
- Updating your Form U-4
If something occurs that would affect your Form U-4, you are responsible for alerting your broker-dealer’s compliance department. Applicable changes that would trigger an update include:
- Criminal disclosure
- Address updates
- Customer complaints
- Pending or completed disciplinary actions
- Financial judgments against you
- Civil judgments against you
- Changes to name or marital status
Since you will be publicly registered, clients and regulatory officials are able to view your registration details through FINRA’s BrokerCheck.