I'm someone who has never purchased stocks/shares, and only has a fuzzy idea of how brokers work. But I'm looking to invest money in stocks/shares.

So this is a question about what about a brokerage firm will do for me; presumably a "full brokerage" firm. Since a discount brokerage will not do much of anything research wise.

I'm located in India, but my question is quite general, because I don't suppose that brokers vary so much internationally. However, if you have specific information about India, please do feel free to mention it.

Let's suppose that I am interested in finding out detailed information about a particular company. I'm talking primarily about raw data, not analysis (though analysis might be of interest too). Would a broker have such information, including historical information about the company? And suppose the broker didn't have this information, would they be willing to get it for me? I imagine collecting together information for a given company could be a lot of work on my own. And I imagine a broker might have detailed information about some companies that was of interest to them, but clearly not all companies.

Also, let's suppose I want access to information that the broker has. Could I just create an account with the broker to get that information, without actually engaging in any trades with that broker? Say, if I think the brokerage charges are too high, and I can do better elsewhere...

Or perhaps the most likely scenario is that the broker would be willing to help me out in proportion to how much money they are making for me?

  • 1
    "Since a discount brokerage will not do much of anything research wise." If you think a ful lservice broker provides research you can not find more easily and more reliably online you are criminally neglegient. Discount rules- the rest you can do through separate sources cheaper.
    – TomTom
    Aug 30, 2019 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


For the most part, discounters just execute trades and tend provide to varying amounts of research (sometimes none) and no investment advice. They're preferable for active traders because of low commissions.

A full-service broker (FSB) supposedly provides expertise in wealth management services, investment advice, volumes of investment research, tax assistance, retirement planning, and if necessary, hand holding.

I can't tell you what a FSB provides since it's 30+ years since I used one. I'd surmise that you could get a certain amount of research information by just opening an account but I'd guess that it would be limited. I'd also surmise that the amount of effort that the broker would make on your behalf as well as how much info he would provide to you would be based on a quid pro quo. If you don't fund an account and either trade or sign up for a managed account (% fee per year), you're not going to get the keys to the kingdom.

Again, not that I'm familiar with what they offer but a subscription at something like Zack's Research or similar might be more cost effective, assuming that you don't need the hand holding, etc. .

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