A financial adviser's most frightening competitor these days is not the bank across the street or the credit union downtown. It is the Internet, which has spawned E-Trade, Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab's Mutual Fund OneSource. Bank brokerages need to scramble to get on track.

With Forrester Research predicting that 21 million households will be using on-line financial services by 2003-600% more than in 1998-it is clear that bank brokerages must merge their proven guidance and expertise with technical innovations. Yet questions persist as to how such systems should be put in place.

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