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What Is a Broker: Comprehensive Guide

When you enter financial markets, you learn a lot about their structure, explore new strategies, and seek different opportunities, but you often don't focus on one critical aspect – the broker. Everyone knows that a reliable broker is an essential part of your trading success, but barely anyone has a comprehensive understanding of this term. 

But still: what is a broker? Let's uncover all the different aspects of it.

Who Is a Broker: Full Definition

What does a broker mean? A broker isn't only a financial term. There are brokers in real estate, insurance, and mortgage. However, mostly we hear this term in relation to financial markets. That’s why, in this article, we will talk about financial brokers, specifically, about a Forex broker.

In common words, a broker is an organization or a person that connects a customer and a product (all the things you purchase).

A financial broker is a firm or a person who does operations with financial assets and executes financial transactions.

A financial broker is a firm or a person who does operations with financial assets and executes financial transactions. Such brokers may also provide you with ideas regarding the market conditions, researches, investment plans, and who also serves as an advisor on what assets to buy/sell if they are a full-service brokerage firm, not only an executor.


Just before the Internet was invented, a broker was associated with wealthy people who applied to giant firms or private managers to fulfill their stock operations. Such brokers operated using a phone. So, you could call a broker and require them to either buy or sell specific assets. A broker did that on behalf of the client for a fee.

Since the Internet was developed, the job of the broker has changed significantly. Currently, anyone can find a broker, open an account, deposit funds, and start to earn money in the financial markets. Previously, the term broker was associated with an individual who worked on behalf of a client, Now, a broker mostly relates to a brokerage firm with thousands of clients.

Since the Internet was developed, the process has changed significantly. Currently, anyone can find a broker, open an account, deposit some funds, and start earning money in the financial markets. Online brokers allow you to trade at low costs.

There are two significant differences among brokers in the past and current brokers. Online brokers allow you to trade at low costs, while previously, they took a huge commission. However, as online brokers operate for many clients, they don't provide private pieces of advice but now only make general recommendations.

Types of Brokers

Now that we know what a broker is, let’s define the types. There are two main types of brokers: these are full-service and discount.

  •  A discount broker is an organization or a person who only executes your trades but doesn't provide any recommendations or research. Such brokers will suit professional traders who can manage their portfolios without any help. Consequently, their commission is lower.
  • A full-service broker will help you manage your funds and will provide research, fund planning, and tax recommendations. If you are a newbie trader or don't have enough time to work on your trading plan, this type is perfect for you. Still, you will pay a higher commission as there is a broader range of services.

There is another classification of financial market brokers. These are stock and Forex brokers.

  • A stockbroker buys and sells shares on behalf of investors. It's unlikely you can purchase stocks directly from the issuer; that's why you need a manager. Also, if you need to sell shares, you should do that at a brokerage.
  • What is a Forex broker? A Forex broker is a firm that mostly operates on the money market. Yet, it can also provide commodity and stock CFD trading. This institution offers access to the Forex market and executes clients' buy and sell orders. The broker takes a commission called a spread (the difference between ask and bid prices).

What Does a Forex Broker Do?

It’s not enough to know what a broker is, you should fully understand what they do. Before we explain what a Forex broker does, let's consider the structure of the Forex market.

Forex is one of the largest financial markets where currencies are operated. Market participants use Forex for various aims: to make a profit, exchange money to buy goods or pay for services, or hedge their funds.

Forex includes lots of participants. It is represented by commercial banks, governments, traders, central banks, investment funds, and corporations. Commercial banks are the primary participants, as the interbank market determines currency rates.

In this article, we will pay attention to traders. Retail traders are individuals who speculate on the currency price and financial service firms that trade on behalf of investment banks or other customers.

Most of the traders enter the Forex market using a broker as it provides a convenient platform for order placement as well as requiring limited funds to start trading.

So, what does a broker do? However, most of the traders enter the Forex market using a broker. A Forex broker is a company that provides access to the trading platform for its clients and later executes trades the client has placed on the platform. Simply stated, by using a platform, you get access to the interbank market.

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