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While you can go into the retail side without a college degree, it is getting harder and harder to do. A degree in finance or economics will not hurt you, and you may be able to intern at a firm. Wall Street is no longer really a specific place, you can stay in So Cal and try for an internship at PIMCO or one of the other fund companies based on the West Coast, as well as the brokerage houses. A lot of people have been hired from internships.

You will need to decide what you want to do in the business. Do you want to be a researcher, an analyst or a fund manager? Do you want to work the retail side?

You may want to look at colleges that offer the CFP education component. You still can't get the CFP without at least three years in the business, but you will at least have the education part knocked out.

If you want to go more into the back office, look at a CFA designation.

You might try the Paine Webber and see if you can get a part time job working as a sales assistant.
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