Brokerage (2024)

An intermediary who connects a seller and a buyer to facilitate a transaction

Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.

What is a Brokerage?

A brokerage provides intermediary services in various areas, e.g., investing, obtaining a loan, or purchasing real estate. A broker is an intermediary who connects a seller and a buyer to facilitate a transaction.

Brokerage (1)

Individuals or legal entities can act as brokers. The broker performs its actions according to the client’s instructions. The broker is then compensated, receiving either a flat fee or a certain percentage of the transaction amount.


  • A broker is a mediator between the buyer and the seller and who receives a payment in the form of a commission.
  • The main function of a broker is to solve a client’s problem for a fee. The secondary functions include lending to clients for margin transactions, provide information support about the situation on trading platforms, etc.
  • The three types of brokerage are online, discount, and full-service brokerages.

Functions of a Brokerage

The main function of a broker is to solve the client’s problems for a fee. However, there are other broker functions existing today. A brokerage can:

  • Execute trades on the financial markets at the expense of the customer and on his behalf.
  • Provide information support about the situation on trading platforms, sending notifications about quotes and trading mechanisms.
  • Provide information about other market participants, making the correct decision for the client to conduct the transaction.
  • Lending to clients for margin transactions.
  • Storage and protection of customer data.
  • Creating a technical base to make transactions on the exchange.

Certainly, broker companies carry out a broader activity besides mediation. Without a broker, the financial market itself would not exist.

Types of Brokers

Brokers can be one of three types:

1. Online brokers

A new form of digital investment that interacts with the customer on the internet. Online brokerages offer the main advantages speed, availability, and low commissions.

2. Discount brokers

A discount broker is a stockbroker who performs buy and sell orders at a reduced commission rate.

3. Full-service brokers

A full-service brokerage provides a wide range of professional services to customers, such as tax tips, investment advisory, equity researching, etc.

Different Brokerage Specializations

Let’s take a closer look at the main specializations of brokers and their respective features:

1. Stock brokerage

A stockbroker is a professional intermediary on stock or commodity markets who sells and buys assets in the interest of the client on the most favorable terms.

Operations on the exchange market are difficult for outsiders and require a certain number of special approvals and permissions to finalize transactions. It is useful to address professional participants on a stock exchange, such as to brokers.

2. Credit brokerage

Credit brokers are specialists with the necessary information and professional contacts with credit institutions. They provide individual assistance to clients in selecting optimal lending options. They also assist with obtaining the needed financing, its conversion, and repayment, etc.

3. Leasing brokerage

A leasing broker is a specialist who is similar to a credit broker but in the field of leasing equipment. A leasing brokerage’s main clients include legal entities and commercial organizations.

4. Forex brokerage

A forex broker is an intermediary who provides access to the forex currency market. Since the forex market is open only to a certain number of organizations, access to it for individuals is possible only through the mediation of forex brokers.

5. Real estate brokerage

A real estate broker searches for buyers and sellers of real estate, e.g., warehouses, offices, retail, as well as residential properties. A real estate broker receives a certain percentage commission of the real estate transaction.

6. Business brokerage

A business broker offers its services for buying and selling an existing business. They usually deal with a business valuation, take part in negotiations with potential buyers, and generally help in the sale of the business.

7. Insurance brokerage

The main goals of contacting an insurance broker are as follows:

  • Mediators draw up insurance policies at a discount.
  • It saves time required to fill out an insurance contract.
  • It allows searching for better offers from insurers.

Related Readings

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide on Brokerage. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:

Brokerage (2024)


What's a brokerage statement? ›

Your brokerage account statement is the official document for complete information pertaining to your account's value, holdings, and activity. It tells you everything that's going on in your account. This checklist provides a handy way for you to confirm, know and review important information about your statement.

How do you know if a broker is scamming you? ›

Verify their credentials and check for any negative reviews or scam reports. 2. Be wary of unrealistic promises: If a broker or trading platform promises guaranteed high returns with little to no risk, it's likely a scam. Remember that trading involves risk, and no legitimate broker can guarantee consistent profits.

How much money should I keep in one brokerage? ›

Determining how much money to put into a brokerage account largely depends on how much income you have available and what short-term and long-term goals you have. A good rule of thumb to follow is not to put any money in your brokerage account that you'll need within the next two to five years.

Should you have more than $500 000 dollars at one brokerage? ›

Is it safe to keep more than $500,000 in a brokerage account? It is safe in the sense that there are measures in place to help investors recoup their investments before the SIPC steps in. And, indeed, the SIPC will not get involved until the liquidation process starts.

What is a brokerage example? ›

Examples of a full-service broker might include offerings from a company such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, or even Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The larger brokerage firms tend to carry an inventory of shares available to their customers for sale.

What is a brokerage with example? ›

What is a Brokerage? A brokerage provides intermediary services in various areas, e.g., investing, obtaining a loan, or purchasing real estate. A broker is an intermediary who connects a seller and a buyer to facilitate a transaction.

Can you trust a broker? ›

There are several ways to check and see if your broker is legit. Always do your homework beforehand. Check the background of the firm and broker or planner for any disciplinary problems in the past, beware of cold calls, and check your statements for funny business.

Why do brokers trade against you? ›

Whether that's a broker or so-called liquidity provider, someone must 'take the other side of your trade. ' For every buyer, there needs to be a seller, and vice versa. Placing a buy order means the broker has to somehow find a seller on their platform (or become the seller) to sell to you; the opposite is true.

What happens to your money if a broker goes bust? ›

Overview. Typically, when a brokerage firm fails, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) arranges the transfer of the failed brokerage's accounts to a different securities brokerage firm. If the SIPC is unable to arrange the accounts' transfer, the failed firm is liquidated.

What brokerage do most millionaires use? ›

Best Brokers for High Net Worth Individuals
  • Charles Schwab - Best for high net worth investors.
  • Merrill Edge - Best rewards program.
  • Fidelity - Best overall online broker.
  • Interactive Brokers - Great overall, best for professionals.
  • E*TRADE - Best web-based platform.
Mar 28, 2024

Is it safe to keep all your money in one brokerage? ›

When investors have multiple brokerages it can help diversify and manage risk. While some investors appreciate the simplicity of keeping all their investment funds under one account, there are many reasons to branch out to different brokerages.

How safe is your money in a brokerage account? ›

Cash and securities in a brokerage account are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The insurance provided by SIPC covers only the custodial function of a brokerage: It replaces or refunds a customer's cash and assets if a brokerage firm goes bankrupt.

Is it safe to keep millions in a brokerage account? ›

The reality is, unlike other kinds of financial accounts, you can't really go wrong with a bigger brokerage account balance. However, while you want to put as much money into a brokerage account so you can invest in the market, you don't want to end up with more risk than you should take on.

What happens to my money if Charles Schwab goes out of business? ›

And the SIPC protections are activated in the rare event that a broker-dealer fails and client assets are missing. In that situation, SIPC provides up to $500,000 worth of protection against any of those missing assets, including $250,000 in cash against uninvested cash balances.

Does FDIC cover brokerage accounts? ›

FDIC insurance protects your assets in a bank account (checking or savings) at an insured bank. SIPC insurance, on the other hand, protects your assets in a brokerage account.

How do I get a broker statement? ›

You just have to log on to the website of a central depository or your broker and use your credentials to access your Demat account statement.

What is a 1099 brokerage statement? ›

Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax form used by brokerages and barter exchanges to record customers' gains and losses during a tax year. Individual taxpayers receive the form from their brokers or barter exchange already filled out.

What is a brokerage document? ›

The brokerage agreement is a formal agreement between the buyer/seller and the broker. If any dispute should arise between these two parties, this agreement will be the source to understand which duty each party had in the agreement.

Do I need to keep monthly brokerage statements? ›

A good rule of thumb is to keep your monthly investment and retirement account statements until you receive your year-end statement.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dan Stracke

Last Updated:

Views: 6087

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dan Stracke

Birthday: 1992-08-25

Address: 2253 Brown Springs, East Alla, OH 38634-0309

Phone: +398735162064

Job: Investor Government Associate

Hobby: Shopping, LARPing, Scrapbooking, Surfing, Slacklining, Dance, Glassblowing

Introduction: My name is Dan Stracke, I am a homely, gleaming, glamorous, inquisitive, homely, gorgeous, light person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.