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Securities Brokering

Securities Brokering

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Executive summary

The Securities Brokering industry primarily serves as an intermediary between investors and investment securities such as stocks, bonds and derivatives. Brokerage firms match a client's buy order with a third party's sell order or fulfill the client's order with their own investment products. Over the five years to 2022, the industry has endured financial market volatility. Prior to 2020, the industry has undergone a series of large mergers and acquisitions in an effort to better compete with internal and external competition. Additionally, throughout the current period the industry has also largely shifted to zero commission trades in response to new disruptive mobile trading platforms entering the market. Moreover, the emergence of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in 2020 has had countervailing effects on industry revenue and profit over the five years to 2022. Overall, IBISWorld estimates industry revenue to increase marginally at an annualized rate of 0.5% to $ 151.0 billion over the five years to 2022, including a forecast decrease of 5.3% in 2022 alone due to a drastically decreasing S&P 500 and personal savings rate.
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Each report includes:

industry revenue;

industry profit;

industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

forecast of industry Key statistics for the next 5 years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $ 0.333 of capital to $ 1 of labor; medium is $ 0.125 to $ 0.333 of capital to $ 1 of labor; low is less than $ 0.125 of capital for every $ 1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

Colloquial Terminology

Nonexchange trading venues that are approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and enable alternative means of accessing liquidity.

Pension plan under which an employee receives a set monthly amount upon retirement, guaranteed for their life or the joint lives of the member and their spouse.

Retirement savings program under which an employer promises certain contributions to a participant's account during employment, but with no guaranteed retirement benefit.

An electronic system that automatically and directly matches buy and sell orders at specified prices.

This registration means a person is regulated by the SEC. In general, an RIA with more than $25.0 million under management must register with the SEC.


The average industry profit margin has been constrained over the past five years due to intense competition from online trading platforms that eliminate the need for financial intermediaries. Operators have responded to this trend by increasing their financial services offerings and transitioning to an asset-based fee structure characteristic of the Financial Planning and Advice industry (IBISWorld report 52393). Consequently, securities brokering remains lucrative, with profit, defined as earnings before interest and taxes, comprising an estimated 12.6% of industry revenue in 2022.

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