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A dealer is an individual or entity that buys and sells a particular good, and holds an inventory in that good. In contrast to an agent, the dealer always acts as principal in a transaction, whereas the agent represents a client. The dealer has a natural niche in the trade in any high-priced good, particularly where specialized knowledge is an asset. The art dealer, diamond dealer, and antique dealer are prime examples. In the equity markets, a dealer is an entity that stands ready to buy or sell shares so that orders can be filled promptly. The equity dealer is known as a specialist if the stock is listed or as a market maker if the stock is traded over the counter. The broker/dealer is a firm that both trades for itself as a dealer and acts as a broker for its clients.

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