Everyman's Tax Shelter

Expanding the I.R.A.s sets off a savings free-for-all

On Jan. 1, the opening bell rings for what promises to be one of the most competitive struggles in financial history. The tax bill that Congress passed this year made some 50 million more Americans eligible for tax-sheltered Individual Retirement Accounts. Sensing a bonanza, bankers, as well as brokers, mutual funds and insurance companies, have unleashed a barrage of full-page newspaper ads and direct-mail come-ons aimed at attracting new I.R.A. investors. Says Len Deininger, manager of the group pension department at Prudential Insurance Co.: "I have never seen anything like this before. The...

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