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A stockbroker acts as a middleman, buying and selling shares on behalf of his client. He makes his money by taking a commission from any buying and selling that he carries out. This commission comes from the client (that's you!)

There are a range of different stock-broking services offered. One of the most popular services is known as execution-only dealing. With this type of service, the stockbroker simply buys or sells shares as instructed by you. He will simply carry out the transactions that you require, without offering any advice or judgement on your instructions. The main advantage of this type of service to you is that it is relatively inexpensive.

There are a range of online stockbrokers that offer this type of service - as a starting point, try Barclays Stockbrokers.

Another service offered by stockbrokers is known as an advisory service. Here, you get a more complete service from the stockbroker, who offers advice and guidance on which shares to buy or sell. As you would expect, you would also expect to pay more for this service. Galleon Assets Management is an example of a stockbroker that offers this service - remember to shop around for the best deal for you, depending on your own investment plans.

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