Investment brokers work on behalf of paying clients in executing stock trades, making recommendations and offering research data. Brokers often work as part of firms, which range in size from small specialists to large companies with extensive research staffs.
Brokers participate in the stock market as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. They usually work for a commission based on each trade. Brokers are typically required to obtain a license to buy or sell stock, and some of their services are regulated by a national commission and state securities regulators. Discount brokerage firms charge less but perform minimal investment services, while full-service firms often offer extensive recommendations, market research and portfolio services.