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Any person, other than a bank, engaged in the business of buying or selling securities on its own behalf or for others. See: Dealer.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


A person or, more often, a firm that acts as a broker for some transactions and a dealer for others. That is, as a broker, he/she conducts transactions on behalf of clients, and, as a dealer, he/she trades on his/her own account. In practice, most brokerages are in fact broker-dealer firms. Most broker-dealers must register with the SEC.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


A firm that functions both as a broker by bringing buyers and sellers together and as a dealer by taking positions of its own in selected securities. Many firms that are commonly called brokers or brokerage firms are actually broker-dealers.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


A broker-dealer (B/D) is a license granted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that entitles the licensee to buy and sell securities for its clients' accounts. The firm may also act as principal, or dealer, trading securities for its own inventory.

Some broker-dealers act in both capacities, depending on the circumstances of the trade or the type of security being traded. For example, your order to purchase a particular security might be filled from the firm's inventory.

That's perfectly legal, though you must be notified that it has occurred. B/Ds range in size from independent one-person offices to large brokerage firms.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He calls about once a year when some mishap with the broker dealer motivates him to explore broker dealer options that will resolve his ongoing issues.
Barring a stampede of advisor outflow, I doubt this advisor will ever leave the herd of his broker dealer.
For more about country club broker-dealers, see my article, "Is Your Broker Dealer a Screaming Eagle or a Box Wine."
For advisors choosing a country club type of broker dealer, it's a statement that their broker dealer is an extension of their BMW 328i and other things in their life that are high-end and exclusive.
He explained, "Jon, I really prefer the smaller broker dealer, but the larger firm has been recruiting numerous advisors while the smaller firm doesn't add that many."
(I discussed this earlier in "The The Decline of Insurance Owned Broker Dealers.")
The wirehouse channel is cutting back dramatically on upfront money offered to join their broker dealer. Also of note is the recent case of Merrill Lynch, which is trying to grow without offering traditional sign-on bonuses.
However, if you leave during the seven-year period, you will owe a portion of the bonus back to the broker dealer.
Stock and bond business with margin accounts or advisory held in brokerage accounts fall under the high-profit category, because the broker dealer makes markups on the ticket charges, margin spreads, markups on the advisory administration fees and often markups on third-party money manager management fees.
As we saw in the fourth quarter of 2015, of the 53 broker dealer closings, 37 of those firms had fewer than 10 reps.