Buying Gold in a Self-Directed IRA: How to Take Control of Your Retirement Wealth With Gold

Economists, like Taoists, tend to believe in the interconnectivity of all things. This concept is never more true than when it comes to our global economy. As we’ve seen with the recent events in the Middle East and Ukraine, such things can have a direct effect on the economy at home and, even more importantly, on your investment portfolio. These events, together with a stock market riding at record highs, could bring a major correction in the market and soon. The challenge for the investor is to find a safety net that can protect their investments against such an inevitability.

Is there an investment that can provide that kind of protection?

There is: Gold.

The Best Time to Invest in Gold?

Actually, right now could be a great time for gold as many experts believe its price is undervalued. At present gold is experiencing interest in “safe haven” buying from investors who are concerned about losing value in a volatile stock market. When Wall Street finds itself becoming more risk averse, gold gets a boost. For this reason gold has been considered a reliable store of wealth and has for over five thousand years. Other recent events including the holding of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and seasonal demand have also had a positive effect on gold’s value. But even with these factors aside, gold has still proven itself to be one of the best performing commodities of 2014.

Aside from its recent valuations, the purchase of gold or silver in the form of coins is a surprisingly safe investment and one of the most tax efficient ways to finance a coin purchase is through a self-directed IRA.

The Value of Gold Over Paper

Owning gold with a self-directed IRA is not the same as owning mutual funds or ETFs. With a self-directed gold account, the investor can actually buy and hold physical gold inside their IRA. Owning physical metals such as gold or silver can be an important part of a well-diversified retirement portfolio.

A self-directed IRA enables the individual to invest in gold and much more on a tax-deferred or tax-free basis. This prospect is exciting for many investors because the investment involves a tangible and finite resource with real intrinsic value. Gold and silver are by far the most popular choices for Precious Metals IRAs. An IRA can purchase gold and silver coins such as American Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs, some coins from Australia and Austria, or physical bullion in the shape of bars or rounds. (The South African Krugerrand is not permitted to be included in an IRA as it is a 22 karat bullion coin.) Only gold coins with a purity of 24 karat (0.995+ fineness) are allowed in an IRA, with the exception of the 22 karat US Gold Eagle. Any metals owned inside of a precious metals IRA must meet certain fineness requirements and must be produced by an approved and accredited refiner.

Bullion vs. Coins

One of the big differences between bars and coins is that when you sell coins typically you’ll get a few dollars over melt value, or market value. With bars on the other hand, depending on the bar type, you get a straight spot price or melt value on a buyback. Because of their additional numismatic value, coins are generally seen as the more profitable choice. In many instances, if you were looking to liquidate with large bars you’ll not be able to liquidate part of the bar, you will have to liquidate the entire bar at once. That’s why when it comes to liquidation it also makes sense to have coins in your possession instead of bars.

How to Get Started

This article was written to answer basic questions about investing in a self-directed IRA. To learn much more about investing in gold and silver and how you can grow and diversify your wealth even in the most uncertain and volatile of economic times, a special mini-course was developed. It’s entitled “The Essential Guide to Successful Gold and Silver Investing” and it’s available for FREE download. This valuable course is filled with tips and expert advice to help you make the decisions that could save you thousands of dollars.

Have a Good Time With Your Own Direct Sales Business

Trying to find a new way to earn a little extra money? If you are, or even if you are out of work and you are ready to try something new, a direct sales business can become a huge success and earn you a good living. Stop worrying about the bills not being paid and stressing over financial issues day in and day out.

Go into business for yourself-become the boss and see what you have been missing out on. The internet brings the world to your door, literally and figuratively. Take advantage of the fact that people still need to buy things, no matter how poorly the economy has been performing. What is a direct sales business?

Direct sales businesses are those that are marketed and run outside of a retail or commercial location. For example, selling person to person, any product or service is direct selling. There are many perks to creating wealth in this manner. Lets look at the benefits of running a direct sales business.

First, you are the boss. You create your own timetable and you do not have to punch the clock for someone else anymore. You can work either full time or part time and still earn great money with this type of job. You make your own hours-you have complete flexibility to be with your family and friends whenever you want and work when you want.

Many times, these businesses are run in part through catalog sales-an independent distributor may send out catalogs or emails with the link to online catalogs for products in your line. You can have your customers call you or email you with their orders or you can also run your business through home parties.

With this sort of event, you will send out invitations via standard mail or email and invite friends and family to come to your home for a party. If you want a really good turnout, make sure that everyone you invite brings another friend who was not on the original guest list. You can serve drinks and snacks or even a full course meal if you are so inclined. Many people look forward to these events as a chance to get out of the house and have some fun with their friends.

Once the attendees have gathered at your home, you can thank them for coming and then give them a presentation of the new product line that you are selling and distributing. Of course, it is wise to have several pieces from each collection so that everyone can see the high quality of your goods. At the end of your brief presentation, you can hand out pens and tell everyone that you will be happy to place their orders at the end of the party.

You can also have friends host parties and both you and your friend will get free products from the company that you distribute for. This is a great way to get the items that you really want but cannot splurge on at the moment. The more parties you have, the more you make.

Having your own direct sales business can be a fun and rewarding way to earn a living. You will make new friends and be providing the people you care about with high quality values on items they need for their homes or personal upkeep.

Common Mistakes in E-Commerce – Part 3 of 3 – Promotion & Marketing

The classic saying, “If you build it, they will come,” unfortunately does not apply to e-commerce sites. Millions of e-commerce sites are accessible on the internet, but unless you’ve directly contacted prospective customers and informed them of your site, they probably won’t ever know it exists. Therefore, e-commerce sites need well-developed marketing plans and carefully targeted investments that are aimed at increasing site traffic. A strong search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy to attract customers to your site is also a necessity. In this final part of our three-part series, we explore the common mistakes that new e-commerce sites make in creating and implementing their promotion and marketing plans.

Mistake #1: Inadequate Planning
How will customers know that your site exists? How will they know when it is functional? And unless you offer something truly unique, why will customers opt to visit your site versus that of your competitors? If your business does not have a plan in place to answer these questions, then your site may never have a chance at success.

All e-commerce sites should have a plan for attracting website visitors, whether that includes advertising, direct mail, promotions or marketing through industry associations. Identify complementary sites on which your companies advertisements would generate interest in your products. Evaluate whether a banner-ad, product placement, or pop-up ad would be most effective. Also, locate industry association sites where you can post press releases, make announcements, or place links to drive customers to your site. Also, consider conducting a promotion within your first few months of business that rewards buyers with a future discount if they refer friends and family members to your site.

Mistake #2: Little Focus on Market Targeting
Unless you have the capital to become the next Amazon.com, focus your time and energy on a particular market niche or segment. Your entire marketing plan, site design and investment should be directed toward this target audience. The product mix that your site offers should reflect the tastes and desires of this audience, and your promotional messaging and site design should be based created for this audience.

Without a specific target, your e-commerce site will be vague, unfocused, and ultimately unsuccessful.

Mistake #3: Low Marketing Investment
Without a doubt, the upfront investment needed to create and operate an e-commerce site is less than that needed to open a brick-and-mortar store. But don’t underestimate the initial investment required to develop a successful online business.

Most e-commerce sites allocate the majority of their funds to the technical side of the business and ignore other aspects of their company, like marketing and staffing. As we discussed in part two, it is critical to have an adequately sized customer service staff to respond to customer inquiries and orders. It is just as important to allocate funds to marketing, enhance link building, implement a thorough advertising plan and budget, and ensure that customers are driven to your site.

Mistake #4: Poor Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Strategy
Many new e-commerce sites decide that an SEO strategy isn’t important, or think that they can put it off for a while. However, a well-developed SEO strategy should be a large focus of your business plan. Failure to implement an SEO strategy means that customers will not find your site, will not browse your products, and will not purchase what you are selling.

Identify keywords that potential customers will search for when trying to find your product. Research and study the keywords and phrases that your target market is using to search for your items, and integrate them throughout your site. Do not assume that the words you use to describe your products are the same words that your potential customers are using. Your SEO strategy should be developed early on in the site-planning process, so that keywords can be incorporated accordingly into your website content.

In this three-part series, we have explored the common mistakes that e-commerce sites make, from poor planning to confusing navigation and inadequate order fulfilment. The internet gives customers millions of options for online shopping, but common mistakes such as these ultimately determine where customers spend their dollars and which online business will succeed. Develop a strong business plan, follow this guide, and you’ll be on your way to running a successful e-commerce site.