How do stockbrokers make so much money?

Stock Broker

Being a brokerage is something many people dream about and want to earn money from. Stockbrokers are portrayed as financial gurus who can help people make money while making for themselves at the same time. But, is it true, and how exactly do they achieve that? Becoming a stockbroker requires going through a particular process and having a drive for success. You also need to understand how the industry works. Are you interested in becoming a stockbroker? This blog gives detailed information about stockbrokers and how they earn their money.

Who is a  stockbroker?

A stockbroker is a professional who buys and sells shares on behalf of their clients. They are the middleman between traders and the financial markets that executes transactions. They help their clients who want to invest purchase stocks, securities, bonds, and other financial products.

Stockbrokers take in a buy or sell order from a client and find a matching order. These allow them to complete a trade at the best possible price for both the buyer and seller. They make stock and other securities trades proceed smoothly without buyers and sellers knowing each other.


Types of \stockbrokers 

Full-service stockbrokers 

Full-service stockbrokers are someone who offers a more extensive service than acting as a middleman for trades. They review your portfolio and provide financial advice, tax consulting, and portfolio management. They may also offer real-time price quotes, market news services, and research on short- and long-term market conditions. Full-service brokerage forms long-term relationships with their clients and charges an annual fee that may or may not include trading commissions.

Discount stockbroker

A discount stockbroker, on the other hand, provides transaction assistance. They reduce the number of services available to clients and often eliminate the personal nature of the advisor-investor relationship. Discount stock brokers execute trades for their clients at lower commissions. They are ideal for people who do not need any financial advice. Today, many full-service stockbrokers also offer discount brokerage to cater to a wider variety of investors.

How stockbrokers make money 


Commissions are a relatively small fraction of brokerages’ revenues. The fees on trades are at an all-time low, and the advent of commission-free brokerages put pressure on discount and full-service brokerages to further lower their fees. While some brokers don’t mark up the spread others choose to charge on a per-share basis. For example, they can offer a minimum order size of 10$ and an additional 1% share commission. Therefore,  buying ten shares will cost you $10, and selling them will also cost you $10.

Payment for order flow

Payment for order flow is the compensation paid to a brokerage after directing orders to different parties for trade execution. When you place a trade, the brokerage has multiple markets to choose from for executing the trade. These numerous markets have different prices. The stockbroker takes risks and determines the best market to place the trade-in. They also use internalizers as middlemen between brokerages and public markets. 

The internalizers offer brokerages the ability to execute trades for clients at slightly better than public market prices. They do this in exchange for arbitrage in prices between public markets. Internalizers offer commissions to brokers when they route their clients’ orders through them. This process is known as “payment for order flow’.

Deposit and withdrawal fee

Many stockbrokers often charge investors deposits and withdrawal fees. You can be charged a fee when adding money to your brokerage account through bank transfer, credit card, or other methods. Withdrawing money from your brokerage account may also cost you a small amount of money.

Inactivity and over-night fee

Stockbrokers make their customers invest by charging them an inactivity fee. Some also call it maintenance fees. The whole idea is to ensure their customers are trading regularly. Therefore,  always check the number of trades you must execute per month and the fee charged before using any stockbroker.

Spread up price 

Stock exchanges assist brokers in coordinating bid and ask prices. The buying price is the amount a buyer is willing to pay for a particular security, while the selling price is the amount a seller is willing to sell their security. The difference between the buy and sell prices is called the spread-up price. 

This difference is the profit made by the stockbroker handling the transaction. Most brokers often tell their customers to buy at higher prices than the actual price. They also advise them to sell at a cheaper price than the actual price. These provide a larger spread-up price for them. 

Final thoughts

Stockbrokers make money by earning interest on the money investors deposit in their brokerage accounts. But, they have to develop other skills to stay relevant. They must also be able to offer value, networking skills, and personalized service. These help them secure top-notch sales and retain ideal clients.

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