Corporate bond dealers work for a particular kind of investment company called a "broker/dealer." These broker/dealer firms operate under the joint regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority -- formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers. Bond dealers are in sales, and must comply with strict licensing requirements.
Build Your Rolodex
As a corporate bond dealer, your job is to help companies borrow money by marketing their bonds to the investment community. To do so, you will need an extensive list of people to call on who have money, need to generate income or wish to speculate on bond price movements, and who are willing to take your call and listen favorably to your ideas.
Do The Math
Develop a firm grasp of probability and risk analytics as well as financial mathematics. A degree in finance, or at least taking a number of related courses in college, may help, although the mathematics is not so complex you cannot study it on your own. This understanding of mathematics, finance and portfolio theory will help you evaluate candidates for your clients' portfolios, and explain to prospects why a given bond issue is a sound investment for their own portfolios.
Take the Test
Pass the Series 7 Exam. To solicit and sell individual bonds, you must obtain a Series 7 license, making you a registered representative with the Securities Exchange Commission and FINRA. The Series 7 exam is a challenging written test, administered in two parts of three hours each. It measures your knowledge of investments, investment regulation, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, client suitability factors and related items. Visit the FINRA website for specific information about a Series 7 testing center and test dates near you.
Get A Job
To get a job selling securities, you will need to convince a hiring or branch manager that you have the drive and natural prospects to warrant the firm's investment in your training and development. The better the job you have done developing your list of personal contacts, the easier this will be. Be prepared to discuss not only your technical grasp of the subject, but specifically how you may be able to leverage your personal list of people to call into income for yourself and the firm.
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