Perhaps the most common question that’s being asked by retirees all across America these past few months is ‘How can I protect the value of my life savings from inflation and the fall of the dollar?’ Millions of retirees have worked all their lives assuming that the good times would simply continue as they busily squirreled away their hard earned money into traditional forms of investments like stocks and bonds. Then in 2008 their world was rocked by the previously unimaginable events that eventually became known as the GFC. Almost overnight, millions of Americans watched helplessly as the value of their life savings, built up over years of hard work, simply vanished evaporated. Many lost most if not everything they has set aside for their retirement. It is little wonder then, that the more traditional safe haven investments like gold and other precious metals have enjoyed renewed interest over these past few years. Investors have flocked to these investment classes as an alternative to their dismally performing paper-based ones as a form of protection from further losses. On initial inspection, it doesn’t seem to make sense that a precious metal like gold should be such a good investment. Unlike a large proportion of asset types like stocks and shares, gold doesn’t actually generate any form of profits or pay our regular dividends. Supply and demand of the metal is controlled by the various mines around the world extracting it from the ground. And unlike some of the more well-known resources like steel or petroleum, gold is only used in relatively small quantities by a select few niche industries – jewellers and electronic manufacturers being the main users. So what makes gold so special and why is it considered a good investment? Unlike most other forms of traditional investments, gold has an intrinsic value. Due to its continual high demand, it can be used as an alternative form of currency all over the world. It is relatively soft and pliable but is extremely difficult to extract from the ground and refine into it’s pure form. It is extremely inert and is immune from rust, oxidation or other types of degradation and is available in very small quantities when compared to more common metals like iron. And it is these characteristics that have made gold a highly sought after commodity for thousands of years and has made it such a stable form of investment. In modern times, gold is used as safe haven investment. Whilst it may not enjoy the massive spikes in value that some stocks and shares can provide, it also doesn’t suffer from the overnight wipeouts either. Typically, the price of gold works in opposite direction to the general movements of the stock market – so when stock prices go down, gold normally rises. In short, it is an extremely effective way provide stability to an existing investment portfolio. Typically, an investor should have about 15-25% of their portfolio held in the form of gold. Gold can be held physical form like bullion or gold coins, can be traded as an ETF (exchange traded fund) or can be bought and sold in the form of gold mining shares. There has been a massive upswing in interest in gold investing by investors who are nearing retirement and are looking for ways to increase their holdings in gold in a tax effective way. The IRS allows investors to rollover funds held in existing Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) into physical precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium without incurring any tax liabilities. However there are some strict deadlines and caveats to this process which if not carried correctly, can incur financial penalties. But the process of transferring existing funds out of a traditional IRA and into an IRA specifically setup to hold gold and other precious metals can be easy and hassle-free if carried out by a precious metals IRA specialist. There are many companies on the internet offering this service, and it can be a very overwhelming task trawling through all the fees and charges trying to find the best company to work with whilst at the same time, avoiding the very real possibility of being ripped off by a less-than-reputable gold dealer. Thankfully, there are a number of websites that specialize in reviewing the best of the best precious metals IRA companies and have done the hard work for you, sifting through all the customer testimonials, fees and charges to find the small number of gold investment companies worth dealing with. One of these websites can be found at http://thegoldirareviewer.com. Run by an experienced precious metals investor Reeves Jameson, it focusses on providing up-to-date gold ira company reviews of the top 10 companies based on the findings of organizations like BBB and TrustLink and others. The website also provides information and advice on the entire gold IRA rollover process and other general precious metal investing questions. So there is now no reason why investors should continue to expose their investment portfolios to inflation and a continually devaluing dollar.
In recent years, increasing numbers of small business owners have cottoned on to the simple fact that marketing to customers in the old traditional ways are rapidly changing. Long gone are the days when a new small business just paid a few dollars to place an ad in the local paper or depended on some advertising in the yellow pages.
The world has gone online and if you’re not there along with all your customers, you may as well shut up shop and stay home.
Nowadays, if don’t have an internet presence for your business in front of your customers when they are surfing the ‘net on their browsers, you are missing out on what is in many cases the vast majority of your client base.
Of course, some things never change, especially when it comes to advertising costs. Paying for the top spots in the search engines can cost thousands, particularly if you’re in a competitive market and everyone is outbidding each other for those coveted top 3 spots in the search engine results.
Many businesses simply accept these sometimes outrageously expensive marketing costs as a necessary evil for doing business online. What makes matters worse however, is that they know that as soon as they stop paying for advertisting in the top spot, their ads will drop off instantly and they’ll lose their customer’s attention.
Thankfully, there is a way to not only get your business up in the top spot in the search engine, and keep it there, it’s also possible to do it for a fraction of the cost of an adwords campaign.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, is a very cost-effective way to achieve the same level of results as pay-per-click (PPC) but without the sudden death disappearance of your ads when you run out of advertisting budget for your Google Adwords campaign.
With SEO, small businesses can promote their products and/or services to their customers by laser-targeting the actual keywords those very same customers are typing into the search engines. By configuring their websites in the correct way, it’s possible to have their websites rank on the first page, and even in the first few search engine results, whenever a customer types in a specific keyword search.
So who can a small business owner talk to to get this SEO work done?
Setting up a website and fine-tuning it for the search engines can be a bit of a black art – particularly if you’re trying to rank a site in a very competitive niche. SEO experts have a deep understanding in how the search engines work. Search companies like Google and Bing are constantly changing the algorithms used to determine how to rank websites based on the keywords being searched for. To get the results a small business needs to stay in the top positions of the search results, an SEO specialist must be constantly testing and tweaking various strategies and techniques to keep up with these changes.
Proper search engine optimisation requires more than just an SEO consultant. To get the best results, these consultants may also require the services of a social media expert, content writer, web designer and business analyst. Many SEO gurus do all the work themselves, however its sometimes necessary to get some help from time to time, particularly if the website in question is in a very competitive niche.
Brisbane is a large city with a thriving business community. Stiff competition means that for many small businesses, getting online and ranking in the top spots for their particular keywords can seem a daunting task. Thankfully, there are many very experienced SEO experts in Brisbane who are more than capable of getting a small business ranking in the top spots.
The easiest way to find these guys is to search for ‘SEO consultant Brisbane’ or something similar and see who is on the first page. They typically list their services and contact details so it isn’t hard to reach out to them and get a free quote.
For SEO Brisbane, one of the up-and-coming search engine optimisation businesses is SEO Expert Brisbane. They are a small but highly experienced outfit who can rank small businesses on the first page of the search results.
You can find these guys at http://seoexpertbrisbane.net where you can find out more information about what they do, and their fee structure. The best thing to do of course is to pick up the phone and ask them for a free quote. You may pleasantly surprised at the outcome.