Financial Sales Agent

Female financial sales agent sitting at a table actively conversing with a client about money and finances for the future
Career Clusters: Finance

What you need to know

Overview

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents connect buyers and sellers in financial markets. They sell securities to individuals, advise companies in search of investors, and conduct trades.

What does a financial sales agent do?

Most securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents work many hours under stressful conditions. The pace of work is fast, and managers are usually demanding of their workers, because both commissions and advancements are tied to sales.

Some of the things securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents might do:

  • Contact prospective clients to present information and explain available services
  • Offer advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities
  • Buy and sell securities, such as stocks and bonds
  • Buy and sell commodities, such as corn, oil, and gold
  • Monitor financial markets and the performance of individual securities
  • Analyze company finances to provide recommendations for public offerings, mergers, and acquisitions
  • Evaluate cost and revenue of agreements
What skills are needed?
  • Analytical skills. To judge the profitability of potential deals, securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents must have strong analytical skills. This includes computer programming skills which they use to analyze financial products.
  • Customer-service skills. Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents must be persuasive and make clients feel comfortable with the agent’s recommendations.
  • Decision-making skills. Investment banking traders must make split-second decisions, with large sums of money at stake.
  • Detail oriented. Investment bankers must pay close attention to the details of initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions because small changes can have large consequences.
  • Initiative. Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents must create their own client base by making “cold” sales calls to people to whom they have not been referred and to people not expecting the call.
  • Math skills. Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents need to be familiar with mathematical tools, including investment formulas.
What is the pay?

The average pay for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents in the United States ranges from $37,970 to more than $205,440as of May 2021.

The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.

What is the career outlook?

Employment of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents is projected to grow 4 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.

Because it is easier to make simple stock purchases online without a broker, financial firms will focus on hiring sales agents with specialized areas of expertise and strong customer-service skills.

Services that investment bankers provide, such as helping with initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions, will continue to be in demand as the economy grows.

What education is required to become a financial sales agent?

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents generally must have a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level job. Courses in business, finance, accounting, or economics are important, especially for larger firms. Many firms hire summer interns before their last year of college, and those who are most successful are offered full-time jobs after they graduate.

Numerous agents eventually get a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), which is often a requirement for high-level positions in the securities industry. Because the MBA exposes students to real-world business practices, it can be a major asset for jobseekers. Employers often reward MBA holders with higher level positions, better compensation, and large signing bonuses.

Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Accounting, Economics, Finance, or Management and Leadership.