Would someone with experience please describe exactly how a trade works with a discount broker, compared to a full service broker? I mean do they call back with fills, etc.
You asked how discount differs from *full-service*.
The order execution part of the business is done the same way. Neither is there a difference in getting better or worse fills.
Some people point out that a discount broker wont tell you what to buy or sell. And that, of course, is NOT what full-service brokerage is all about. A good full-service broker wont tell you what he thinks is a good buy or sell, unless you ask him.
The main difference between discount and full-service is the team work aspects.
When you place an order with a discount desk, the person on the other end is a clerk. He/she doesnt know your current position. They wouldnt know if you placed an order incorrectly, and they wouldnt care.
A good full service broker, on the other hand, will be intimately familiar with your open positions and your trading style. It is his job to place your orders correctly.
The most important reason for a newcomer to work with a full service broker is the education that comes along with it. Books and courses only present the basic knowledge and tools. There is a lot more to be learned than that.
While the commission savings associated with discount have great appeal, a new trader should never start out with a discount arrangement. The few dollars saved on commissions pale compare to the money lost on avoidable silly mistakes.