A full-service broker offers a wider range of features, tools, and other services than a discount broker.
At a full service broker, an investor usually works with an individual broker who knows your account, your investing style, goals, and your risk tolerance. He/she assists you in selecting investments. That personal attention, the need for highly trained personnel, and for office space in high rent locations makes a full service more costly. Some investors find the personal attention beneficial, but the investor must be prepared to pay for this service with higher commissions and with investments that pay loads or other fees.
Discount brokers are less expensive in part by using the internet or 800 telephone lines for most contacts with the customer. Service is more impersonal, and you are more on your own to make investment choices. In return, the discount broker passes on the savings with a lower fee structure.