Get ready for more competition from an onslaught of low-cost, web-based advisory firms. Fueled by what industry sources estimate is more than $200 million in venture capital and private equity funding in 2013 alone, a slew of companies are expected to either come out of a trial period or gain traction after earlier launches. These firms are poised to offer consumers a stark choice between the traditional advisory business model and an online experience.

A key question is how the new model will affect existing RIAs. To assess the impact, one industry expert points to the contrast between TurboTax - an online model that had a relatively benign impact on the accounting profession - and travel booking sites Expedia and Orbitz, which decimated the travel agency business.

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