What is Discount Broker?
A discount broker is an entity in the business that helps investors buy and sell of securities on the stock exchange by charging significantly lower fees on as compared to a traditional brokerage firm, however, it does not provide financial advice and support.
In the securities market, a broker helps clients buy and sell securities in the proper exchange. Before the advent and advancement of discount brokers, only the people who are affluent were able to afford a broker so as to access the stock market because of high brokerage charges. But with the introduction of discount brokers and them charging only a fraction of fee as compared to the full-service brokers and other counterparts, there is wider access to the markets allowing the modest investors equally as the wealthy investors
This was possible because of the development of the internet and online services like electronic trading.
But the investor needs to be vigilant about the investment strategy while opting for a broker to carry out the buy and sell orders because the discounter would not offer any planning, advisory, expert guidance, and research services.
The investors usually do not communicate with the broker because clients are provided separate accounts for order execution.
How Does a Discount Broker Make Money?
Since these brokers need not provide high-value advisory services for high net worth individuals, the cost of operations would be very less. They charge commissions and flat fee irrespective of the trade volume. The charge may seem to be very less when compared to the traditional brokerage values but due to high liquidity, many traders may invest without the proper perspective of the markers thus making money for discount brokers.
Difference between Discount Broker and Full-Service Broker
A full-service broker is a stockbroker who/that provides investment advisory services, portfolio construction, and the like services in addition to carrying on trade and facilitating the carry of transactions.
|Point of Difference||Discount Broker||Full-Service Broker|
|Broker||A flat fee charged irrespective of trade.||The percentage charged with respect to the trade carried over.|
|Main Service||Only trading services||Provide trading platform along with investment and advisory services.|
|Research||No research and no set aside research department.||Own research department set up for advisory related services.|
|Interaction||Online services with low or no client interaction.||Face to face customer services are provided|
|Suitable for||Self-aware investors who have knowledge in investing, have their own research.||Those who need advisory for their investment.|
|Additional services||Only trading and no other service.||Investment, portfolio advising, research reports, recommendations, Bonds, Insurance, Forex, mutual fund related services.|
|Dedicated Relationship Manager availability||There is no dedicated Relationship manager support available.||A relationship manager is dedicated to high net worth clients.|
List of Discount Brokers
- Fidelity Investments
- Charles Schwab
- R K S V
- SAS Online
- Wisdom Capital
- Angel Broking
- ICICI Direct
- Kotak Securities
- Lower cost is one of the greatest advantages of discount broking which is one of the major reasons why discount broking would be preferred.
- Investors with low capital previously did not have access to the markets. After the introduction of a discount broker, they could invest by paying low fees and brokerages.
- There is no fear of biased service as they do not offer any investment advice. They have no hidden agenda or interest vested. They just offer the service of buying and selling i.e., executing a trade.
- There would be no interference in investment decisions.
- The customer service is very minimal and there is very low or no interaction with the live broker.
- The commission is not the only way the brokers make money. There exists a concept called hidden costs.
- Discount brokers do not have the policy of providing margin money against fixed deposits mutual funds and shares.
- There is an absence of investment advisory, consulting and research service which makes it suitable only to investors who have done their own research.
In short, a discount broker is an entity or a person (in case of an individual) who offers trading services and execution of trade at low costs, sometimes even the smallest fraction of the original fee but is not involved with the provision of any advice, consulting or research-related services.
It may seem like this is the easiest way of creating wealth but it is not really so. There are many hidden risks involved that may not be evident at first.
In any investment, portfolio investment service is the major key that is not offered by a discount broker.
Whether to opt for a discount broker or not would be purely at one’s discretion depending upon one’s needs and preferences while taking the pros and cons into the picture.
This has been a guide to what is a discount broker. Here we discuss a list of discount brokers and how they make money in firms along with advantages and disadvantages. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –