What is a Retail House?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 February 2020
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Retail houses are brokerages that focus on providing investment services to individuals, rather than servicing accounts for groups, companies, or other institutions. A retail house generally is a large operation that employs a number of brokers, with each broker assigned a specific listing of clients. It is not unusual for a retail house to have the resources to research and advise individual investors on a wide range of investment options, including commodities, bond issues, and stock options.

In order to provide broker services to a large number of individual investors, the typical retail house will feature a large research department. This department helps to support the efforts of brokers who are seeking to identify the best investment strategies and procedures for each client in their care. Researchers can access up to the minute information on market performance as well as monitor world events that are likely to influence future movements of those markets. Resources of this nature allow smaller individual investors to be actively competitive with corporations and other investors who normally have greater resources at their command.


Individuals can enjoy several benefits by working with a retail house. One of the more important is the fact that the client can enjoy individualized attention for his or her investment account. Brokers with retail brokerage houses are concerned about helping investors reach their goals, whether it be creating a revenue source to cover college tuition costs for the kids, establishing a personal nest egg for later years, or simply generating funds that can be used to build a home.

Another advantage of working with a retail house is that a great deal of expertise is found under one roof. Individual investors who wish to diversify a financial portfolio to include several different types of investments will find that the retail house is a great way to manage everything from stocks to commodities through a single broker. This can lead to the development of a solid working relationship that can last for years, while also allowing the investor to have a single point of contact when there is a question about any of the investments found in the portfolio.

When it comes to fees and charges, a retail house is usually competitive with other types of brokerages that service corporate accounts. Since payment methods for various transactions may vary, it is important to make sure that the investor knows not only the amount of the transaction fees, but also when and how they are applied to the investment account. This can prevent a great deal of frustration for both the client and the broker, since there are no surprises when the fees are processed.



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