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5 ways advisors and 'robos' differ

Online wealth management services offer a lower-cost, automated approach to personal investing that's challenging and transforming the existing financial advisory paradigm.

In fact, this shift is so seismic that four leaders among these "robo-advisors" have placed in this year's third annual CNBC Disruptor 50 list of companies shaking up their space: Personal Capital (No. 14) Motif (No. 23), Wealthfront (No. 34) and Betterment (No. 36).

Paladin Research & Registry has compiled a list of five ways these new, so-called robo-advisors differ from traditional brick-and-mortar financial advisory firms staffed by ... humans.

Robo-advisor definition: An online service provider that provides automated investment management with limited human contact.

Financial advisor definition: Located on Main Street in your city. Provides personal advice and services with an emphasis on human contact.

By CNBC's Kenneth Kiesnoski
Updated 15 May 2015; originally posted 21 April 2015

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