To become a professional investor, a person must obtain the necessary accreditation from either the SEC or FINRA, notes Forbes. This accreditation ranges from brokerage licenses to professional certification.
Professional investors establish credibility either through their own practice or as an employee of a larger financial institution. As a self-employed individual, a person needs to register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, notes Chron. As a professional investor employed by a financial institution, it is critical that the institution be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Regardless of the career path chosen, a person can also obtain various licenses, notes Chron. Each license relates to a different aspect of investing, whether it is managing packaged funds, buying and selling securities, or providing financial guidance.
After obtaining these licenses and practicing financial expertise, a person becomes designated as a registered principal, notes FINRA. In addition to obtaining a license, a person can also receive credibility as a professional investor by becoming either a certified financial planner or chartered financial analyst. A certified financial planner considers general concepts, including retirement planning, tax implications, insurance and estates, notes the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, a chartered financial analyst focuses specifically on investment topics such as stocks, bonds, hedging strategies and company financial statements.