Page 3: Types of service
An investor must decide on the type of service he or she requires and how much he or she is prepared to spend on commission charges and advice. The most basic and cheapest stockbroking service is known as execution only. This means that an investor merely instructs the broker to buy or sell on his or her behalf, either a fixed number of shares or shares up to a certain value. Orders are normally taken over the telephone or by post and within a few days, the investor should receive a contract note confirming the deal. This service is particularly suitable for investors who have the time to make their own investment decisions and are comfortable about doing so.
If an investor prefers to consider advice from a stockbroker, the service known as dealing with advice may be more appropriate. In this instance, the broker uses his or her expertise and knowledge of the market to recommend which stocks and shares to buy and sell. However, the broker will emphasise that the final decision must lie with the investor. The most comprehensive facility is known as discretionary portfolio management. This allows the investor to delegate all investment decision making, transactions and paperwork entirely to the stockbroker, who will endeavour to construct a portfolio best suited to the investor’s requirements.
Barclays Stockbrokers is the UK’s largest retail execution-only broker, providing both certificated and nominee services. It also provides advisory and investment management services. Personal Equity Plans (PEPs) are also offered, enabling clients to shelter £9,000 of their portfolio, every year, from the effects of income and capital gains tax. Barclays Stockbrokers administers corporate share dealing services and a range of corporate PEPs on behalf of the shareholders and employees of many well-known ‘blue chip’ UK companies.