A broker is an intermediary who performs orders on behalf of a client, and takes a fee for doing so (regardless of whether the trade is profitable or not). Brokers usually have fixed trade commissions.

There are individual stock-broking companies who perform the relevant services on behalf of anybody, and these typically offer lower commissions than their counterparts within investment banks or trading houses, but also offer less direct access to the markets and offer less varied products and services.

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