Immediately after Roth IRAs were introduced in the late 1990s, CPA John Azodi of Kansas City, Mo., told 100 of his tax planning clients that they should open one. Yet when he saw them at tax time a year later, just two of them had taken his advice.

"I thought, 'I wonder if I could have done this myself how many people would have opened one?'" he recalls. The question prompted Azodi to get his own licenses to sell securities and to begin offering his services as a planner.

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