Forrester Research of Cambridge, Mass. expects the four million on-line brokerage accounts that exist today to surge to more than 20 million by 2003. Forrester made this prediction after studying the online financial habits of 10,000 consumers. Forrester's study was conducted in March.

Mutual fund companies and other financial services firms must prepare for this growing appetite to purchase and manage investments on-line, Forrester said.

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