The life of a currency broker can be very rewarding financially. Once you're established, the hours are good and the risks minimal if you trade with discipline. If you work for a major firm, you will have the benefit of training, support, advertising and name recognition.
Below are listed the most common steps to becoming a currency broker. There are many different ways to get into the field, but these are the most common. For the purposes of this article, the job of currency broker will be in the realm of exchange-traded currencies, licensed and regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Get a degree in Economics, Finance, or Business. While there is no requirement for a college degree to become a currency broker, a degree in these disciplines will provide you the necessary background in economic theory to ease your transition into professional currency brokerage.
Attend job fairs and recruiting events at your college. Most currency brokers don't begin their career as currency brokers. Right out of college, most go into investment banking of some kind. Attend your job fairs and interview with the investment banks, boutiques, and hedge funds that recruit at your school.
Go to work at a financial firm. You may start as an analyst or trading assistant. Learn everything you can. When the opportunities arise, advance into trading. Even if it isn't currency trading, it will provide you the necessary foundation.
Pass the Series 3 exam. This is a requirement to become a currency broker for exchange-traded currencies. The test is 120 questions and lasts two and a half hours. Study guides are plentiful on the Internet. Upon passing the exam, you will be licensed to trade all commodities futures and options contracts, including the currencies.
Begin trading currencies for customers. If you are a retail broker, you will be dealing with individual clients. You must become adept at explaining the intricacies of trading currencies in simple language. Trading for individual customers can be rewarding, but it requires patience and discipline. If you are an institutional broker, you will be dealing with major money managers such as pension plans. Theoretically, you shouldn't have to explain things in as much detail as you would with an individual investor, but be prepared to do so anyway.
Tips & Warnings
- Always put your customer's interest first. As a licensed professional, you have a fiduciary responsibility to protect your client's interests. The NFA and CFTC take customer complaints very seriously. Stay on top of current events. Many different things cause fluctuations in the international currency markets. By staying aware, you will protect your clients and make more money!