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An individual or firm that charges a fee or commission for executing buy and sell orders submitted by an investor. A broker who also acts as a seller or as a buyer becomes a principal party to the deal.

In general a broker is an independent agent used extensively in some industries. A broker's prime responsibility is to bring sellers and buyers together and thus a broker is the third-person facilitator between a buyer and a seller. An example would be a real estate broker who facilitates the sale of a property.

Traditionally, only the wealthy could afford a broker and access the stock market. The internet triggered an explosion of discount brokers, which allow investors to trade at a lower cost, but don't provide personalized advice. Because of discount brokers, almost anybody can afford to invest in the market.

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