Unlock the Benefits of Gold IRA Investing: A Comprehensive Guide

three people discussing gold

If you’re looking to diversify your investment portfolio and safeguard your assets from inflation, a Gold IRA might just be the ticket for you. This guide has got everything you need to know – from the perks of investing in a Gold IRA, to setting one up, the different types of Gold IRAs out there, the risks you might face, and how to pick the perfect Gold IRA company. Whether you’re a newbie in the investing game or a seasoned pro, this article is here to give you the lowdown on making smart choices.

Why Invest in a Gold IRA?

If you’re looking to shake things up in your retirement portfolio and shield your wealth from the rollercoaster of the market, investing in a Gold IRA might just be the ticket.

When you move some of your retirement savings into precious metals like gold, you’re taking a step towards reducing the risks that come with traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Gold has a reputation for being a safe bet in uncertain times, acting as a shield against inflation and the devaluation of currency. With a Gold IRA, your investment can grow tax-free, giving you some nice financial perks down the road. This tax-friendly setup can really help boost your returns over time, giving you a more solid and secure retirement game plan.

1. Diversification of Portfolio

Martin Smitherton, Chief Allocation Officer at Teranga Gold says, “Regarding diversifying your portfolio with a Gold IRA, you’re looking at putting some of your retirement savings into physical gold assets or other precious metals.”

Having gold in your investment mix is like spreading out a buffet – you’re playing it smart by not putting all your eggs in one basket. This diversification is key for balancing out the rollercoaster ride of financial markets. Gold has a reputation for being a safe bet, offering stability when things get rocky in the economy or markets. This mix helps protect your wealth from any wild swings in stock markets or currency values. A Gold IRA acts like a superhero cape against inflation, as gold tends to hold onto its value over time. It’s a solid piece in your long-term financial game plan and retirement strategy.

2. Protection Against Inflation

A Gold IRA can be your trusty sidekick when inflation starts knocking on your retirement savings, helping you maintain your purchasing power and ride out economic storms.

When inflation is on the rise, your usual suspects like stocks and bonds may not hold up so well. That’s when gold shines as a solid choice for protecting your wealth. Looking back at the history books, gold prices have a habit of surging when the economic forecast gets cloudy and inflation starts creeping up. It’s like a safe haven for your money.

Worried about inflation? Many savvy investors add precious metals like gold to their portfolios to keep things balanced and shield their wealth from the erosion caused by inflation. By bringing gold into the mix with a Gold IRA, you could shield your savings from the negative impact of inflation and set yourself up for a financially stable future.

3. Safe Haven Asset

You might have heard that gold is like a security blanket for investors, offering stability and peace of mind when the market gets rocky and the economy goes haywire.

People appreciate gold as a way to fight inflation and add variety to their investment mix. A Gold IRA, in particular, is a smart move to protect your assets and secure your financial future. When you stash some gold in your retirement fund, you’re lowering your risk and opening up opportunities for your money to grow. This fresh way of investing can help you build wealth and protect yourself from the ups and downs of the usual financial scene.

How to Set Up a Gold IRA?

Regarding setting up a Gold IRA, you’ve got some key steps ahead of you. First off, you’ll need to pick a trustworthy custodian who knows their stuff when it comes to precious metals and plays by the IRS rules.

Once you’ve found your custodian, it’s time to put some funds into your account. This can be as simple as transferring money directly or rolling over funds from another retirement account.

And when it comes to choosing which gold products to include in your IRA, think about things like purity, how easy it is to turn them into cash (liquidity), and where they’ll be stored. These decisions will help you build a well-rounded and secure portfolio for your retirement savings.

1. Choose a Custodian

When you’re setting up a Gold IRA, it’s essential to choose a trustworthy custodian to make sure you’re following IRA rules and keeping your gold bullion safe and sound.

One big reason you want a reliable custodian is to stick to the strict regulations laid out by the IRS. By putting your gold bullion in the hands of a reputable custodian, you can feel confident that your retirement savings are being handled according to the rules, keeping your assets safe for the long haul. Plus, the secure storage facilities provided by a dependable custodian are key in shielding your physical gold from risks like theft or damage. This just goes to show how crucial it is to make a smart choice when picking a custodian for your Gold IRA.

2. Fund the Account

You can fund your Gold IRA in a few different ways. One option is to do a rollover from your existing retirement accounts. This means transferring funds from a 401(k) or another retirement account directly into your Gold IRA. It’s a great way to keep your retirement savings safe while also adding some diversity with precious metals.

Another way to fund your Gold IRA is through contributions. This involves making regular deposits into your Gold IRA from your personal savings. It’s a steady way to build up your investment over time.

If you’re looking to switch things up, you can also transfer funds from a traditional IRA to a Gold IRA. This means moving assets from a tax-deferred account into a self-directed IRA that’s backed by physical gold. It can open up new growth opportunities and provide some extra protection for your portfolio.

3. Select the Gold Products

Regarding choosing the right gold products for your Gold IRA, you need to think about factors like purity, liquidity, and storage requirements that align with your wealth preservation and investment goals.

For purity, go for gold products with a higher gold content, such as 24 karat gold coins or bars, to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your investment.

Don’t forget about liquidity – it’s important to pick popular gold coins like American Gold Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs that are easily recognizable and tradable.

To spread out the risk, consider including a mix of gold coins and bars in your Gold IRA for diversification benefits. This strategy can help boost the resilience of your investment portfolio.

What Are the Different Types of Gold IRAs?

If you’re considering Gold IRAs, you’ve got a range of investment options on the table. You can choose physical gold, gold ETFs, or gold mining stocks, depending on your risk tolerance and investment goals.

Maybe you’re into owning the real deal with physical gold. It’s a hit among investors looking for something they can touch, with the added bonus of having inherent value and acting as a shield against inflation.

But if you’re more about diversification, gold ETFs might be your jam. They give you a broader slice of the gold market, plus they’re liquid and super easy to trade.

Now, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, gold mining stocks could be your ticket. They might bring in higher returns, but remember, they also ride the rollercoaster of mining sector performance, so brace yourself for some ups and downs.

1. Physical Gold IRA

When you opt for a Physical Gold IRA, you’re actually holding real gold bars or coins in your retirement account. It gives you a direct link to physical precious metals, perfect for those who want a hands-on approach to owning assets.

Having that direct ownership of physical gold in your retirement account acts as a shield against inflation and the ups and downs of the economy. By spreading out your retirement savings with tangible assets like gold bullion and coins, you’re lowering your risk and safeguarding your hard-earned money from the unpredictable market swings. Gold maintains its value over the years, making it a trustworthy choice for your retirement savings.

Not only does a Physical Gold IRA offer diversification, but it also boosts the stability of your retirement portfolio, acting as a safe haven during rocky financial times.

2. Gold ETF IRA

With a Gold ETF IRA, you can dip your toes into the world of gold prices by investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) right from within your retirement account. This setup gives you the best of both worlds – exposure to gold’s potential gains and the tax perks of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

When you opt for a Gold ETF IRA, you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. It’s a smart move to diversify your retirement portfolio and shield yourself from the impact of inflation. Plus, ETFs make it super easy and cost-effective to invest in gold – no need to worry about physical ownership or storage. You can buy and sell these investments on stock exchanges at the drop of a hat, letting you seize opportunities and react swiftly to price changes. And holding gold within an IRA can even offer you some neat tax breaks to sweeten the deal for your retirement planning.

3. Gold Mining Stock IRA

Investing in a Gold Mining Stock IRA means you’re putting your money into shares of gold mining companies, giving you a piece of the action in the gold industry while keeping things tax-advantaged in your retirement account.

With these IRAs, you get a different flavor of diversification for your retirement savings, riding the waves of gold price changes. When you’re diving into gold mining stock IRAs, it’s on you to dig deep into the company’s history, financial stability, and growth potential.

Yeah, you can strike gold with these stocks during the good times, but they also dance to the tune of market ups and downs and global uncertainties. So, it’s all about finding that sweet spot between aiming for big returns and managing the risks, especially when you’re thinking about the long game in your retirement planning with gold mining stock IRAs.

What Are the Risks of Investing in a Gold IRA?

When you’re thinking about investing in a Gold IRA, you’ve got to look at the big picture. Sure, there are plenty of perks, but there are also some risks to keep in mind. Market ups and downs, storage fees, and the fact that gold isn’t as easy to cash out as stocks or bonds are all things you should consider before diving in.

Market rollercoasters can mess with your gold investments in an IRA, which can throw off your retirement savings plan. Then you’ve got storage costs eating away at your returns over time. And when you need to access your funds quickly, gold might not be as flexible as other assets.

To steer clear of these pitfalls, think about spreading your retirement nest egg across different types of investments. This way, you can cushion the blow of market twists, storage expenses, and any issues with getting your hands on your cash when you need it. It’s all about finding that sweet spot to protect your wealth from inflation and economic uncertainties.

1. Market Volatility

Market volatility can impact the value of your gold investments in a Gold IRA, affecting your retirement savings and overall portfolio performance during periods of market fluctuations.

During times of heightened market volatility, gold, known for its safe-haven status, tends to see price fluctuations that can either strengthen or weaken the value of your Gold IRA. If you’re looking to safeguard your retirement funds through gold, you’ll need to exercise patience and adopt a long-term perspective.

Diversification becomes crucial in such scenarios for you, as it can help spread risks across various asset classes within your investment portfolio, reducing the impact of sudden and drastic market movements. By keeping a balanced and diversified portfolio, you can navigate turbulent market conditions more effectively, thereby protecting your overall wealth.

2. Storage and Insurance Costs

When you’re handling a Gold IRA, you’ve got to keep an eye on those storage and insurance costs. They’re key players in protecting your assets and setting the stage for growth in your retirement savings.

Making sure you’ve got a handle on storage expenses is crucial for keeping your physical gold safe from any potential mishaps like theft or damage. And don’t forget about insurance coverage – it’s there to shield your investment from any unexpected curveballs that could throw off its value. By being savvy with cost-effective storage and insurance strategies, you can really amp up the performance of your Gold IRA. It’s all about preserving your wealth and ensuring your savings grow steadily in the long run.

3. Limited Liquidity

When you have gold investments in a Gold IRA, you might find that they’re not as easy to access compared to other assets. This can impact how quickly you can get your hands on funds for your retirement and could affect your overall retirement security.

If a big chunk of your retirement savings is tied up in assets like gold that aren’t easy to liquidate, you might run into some roadblocks when unexpected expenses pop up or when you need cash fast. It’s all about finding the right balance between the potential growth of your gold investments in the long run and having the immediate access to funds for your retirement income.

To tackle this challenge, think about mixing things up in your retirement portfolio. Alongside your gold holdings, consider adding in some more liquid assets like stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. This way, you can make sure you’re covered for both short-term financial needs and those long-term retirement dreams.

How to Choose the Right Gold IRA Company?

When selecting the right Gold IRA company, like Turner Investments, you need to pay attention to a few key factors to make sure your retirement planning goes smoothly. Reputation, fees, storage options, and customer support are all crucial aspects to consider.

As you assess potential companies, be sure to look for ones with a solid reputation in the industry. A Gold IRA custodian with a good reputation can give you that peace of mind and trust you’re looking for.

Don’t forget to factor in the cost structure. Check for any fees related to account setup, annual maintenance, or transaction charges. And when it comes to storage options, make sure the company offers secure vault storage to keep your precious metals safe.

Lastly, top-notch customer service is a must. You want a company that can address any questions or concerns you have promptly.

1. Reputation and Experience

When evaluating Gold IRA companies, you should focus on those that have a solid reputation and years of experience in the industry. This will ensure you receive reliable service and gain access to valuable benefits of gold as an investment.

These well-established providers have a ton of knowledge and expertise when it comes to Gold IRAs, giving you the peace of mind that your investments are in good hands. By working with experienced professionals, you can get personalized advice that fits your financial goals, helping you make smart decisions and diversify your portfolio effectively. Reputable Gold IRA companies also have strong networks and resources that make transactions smoother and open up a wider range of investment opportunities, increasing your chance of getting higher returns.

2. Fees and Expenses

To effectively plan for retirement, you need to understand the fees and expenses that come with a Gold IRA company. It’s crucial to carefully consider these costs and maybe even use some retirement planning tools to weigh the pros and cons.

Retirement planning calculators are your best friend here. They help you figure out your future expenses and income sources so you can make smart decisions about your retirement savings.

If you want to play it safe and aim for those long-term retirement goals, diversifying your investment portfolio is key. This strategy helps you spread out the risk and potentially boost your returns.

By taking the time to evaluate fees and expenses, you not only ensure transparency but also make it easier to pick a Gold IRA company that fits your financial goals and risk tolerance. It’s all about setting yourself up for a comfortable retirement down the line.

3. Storage and Insurance Options

Regarding safeguarding your retirement assets and supporting long-term growth, you need to consider Gold IRA companies that offer secure storage and insurance options. By selecting a reputable Gold IRA company that provides these services, you can protect your precious metals investments from potential risks and uncertainties.

With storage and insurance in place, your assets will be safe and sound, giving you peace of mind as you build towards a stable financial future. Incorporating storage and insurance into your retirement planning is a smart move that can help minimize risks and maximize the growth potential of your portfolio.

It’s all about creating a well-rounded approach to wealth accumulation and protection for your golden years.

4. Customer Service and Support

When choosing Gold IRA companies, make sure to prioritize those with exceptional customer service and robust support mechanisms. This will ensure you have a seamless experience managing your portfolio, planning for retirement, and effectively rebalancing your investments for long-term financial success.

By selecting a Gold IRA company that values customer service, you can take advantage of proactive portfolio rebalancing strategies that help you maintain a diversified and risk-appropriate investment mix. The personalized retirement planning solutions offered by top-notch customer support teams can play a crucial role in maximizing your returns and safeguarding your wealth over time.

Having superior support not only simplifies the investment process but also gives you expert advice on adjusting your portfolios based on market conditions. This ultimately leads to a more secure and successful financial future for you.

Basic Rules for Investing In Precious Metals

man staking coins

Why do people like to invest in precious metals? One reason is that the owner is in charge of it 100%. It can be owned in the physical form, like gold bars and coins, it can be owned digitally, and it can be owned via an exchange-traded platform. In these situations, the investor owns the gold outright.

Compare that with gold futures and certificates. These contracts on paper are not secured by physical gold. The owners of these contracts have no title to the actual precious metal, so they cannot trade it for the tangible precious metal. If the issuer of these contracts defaults, the holders of these contracts are considered unsecured creditors.

So, the lesson here is to invest in precious metals in a way that will grant you the direct title of ownership of the physical metal, or in exchange-traded offerings that are secured by the physical metal which allow you to redeem for the real precious metal.

What Does It Mean When A Precious Metal is Allocated or Unallocated?

Related Reading: Unlock the Benefits of Gold IRA Investing: A Comprehensive Guide

It is important to understand how allocated metals differ from unallocated metals. Owners of an allocated precious metal own a certain amount of the metal outright. The metal belongs to the owner and is free of debt. A third party cannot borrow or lease it. From an investment standpoint, it offers the highest level of safety for precious metal investors. On the other hand, unallocated metals present some risks. The investor’s holdings do not give him the title of owning a certain amount of the actual metal. Sometimes these issuers will issue more than the actual amount of the physical metal backing it because no portion of the physical metal is allocated to any investor. If the issuer even becomes insolvent ( https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-insolvency-5190931)or files for bankruptcy, these investors will be considered unsecured creditors.

Therefore, only invest in allocated precious metal because the physical metal does not have any liability against it, and each owner owns an actual portion of the physical metal that only the owner can claim. The value of the total number of claims will never be greater than the total value of the actual metal.

The best most tax efficient way to invest is to open a precious metals IRA, this way your money gets to grow without the onerous weight of paying taxes on it.

Mark-Ups To Spot Prices

When buying gold in the form of bars or coins, the buyer usually pays a premium over the current spot price. The mark-up is usually two to eight percent. For instance, the spot price for gold at the year-end of 2020 was a couple of dollars below $1,900 an ounce. The market price of a one-ounce gold coin sovereign was about five to ten percent above the spot price. The premium was determined by the dealer’s inventory, quantity in the market, and the purity and rarity of the coin.

ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, for precious metals are usually traded near the metal’s spot price. However, you have to factor in the yearly management fee that is tacked on. The fee covers expenses incurred for the metal’s storage, insurance, trading, and other administrative duties required to manage the holdings. This contributes to the fund manager’s profits. An investment similar to ETFs is closed-end funds. These can be traded at a price lower than the metal’s spot price unless there’s an option for the owners to redeem their shares for the actual metal.

If you plan to contact a dealer to purchase coins and bars, contact several dealers and compare how much premium they charge and how much they mark down if you sell it back. If you do not plan to hold on to the physical metal for long, find out what the management fee is if you were to purchase an ETF or a closed-end fund instead. Then, compare the cost between these two investment approaches. For instance, buying an American Buffalo and selling it back will cost you about 13 percent of your investment. If you were to invest in a similar ETF, the cost you pay to the dealer will equal about 20 years of ETF management fees.

Where Do They Store My Precious Metal?

People like to own precious metals because it is a safety net in times of volatility. So, the physical metal needs to be kept by a reputable storage company. These providers usually offer insurance. ETFs for precious metals store the metal at bullion banks like JP Morgan or HSBC. However, even the most well-known banks can be subject to volatile markets, as seen in the financial crises in 2008. In addition, some bullion institutions are allowed to subcontract the storage to a third party, which adds a layer of risk.

To reduce these risks, always make sure your precious metal is stored at facilities with the best reputation. If investing in ETFs and closed-end metal funds, stay away from storage custodians that are part of a financial institution that is highly leveraged.

Am I Allowed to Take Possession of My Precious Metal?

You can take possession of your bars and coins, but there are things to consider. You have to take into account the mark-ups, you have to go to the dealer to get it, and you have to decide where you will store your precious metal after you have it in your possession, like a safety deposit box. A lot of the bigger bullion ETFs only permit certain investors to take delivery of their precious metal. These special investors are called Authorized Participants, and they are usually bullion banks that the ETF chose to help them create new units. They often do not offer this permission to the average investor. However, there are closed-end funds that do let the average investor retrieve their precious metal.

When deciding on which bullion investment to purchase, consider whether or not you want the option to take delivery of the physical precious metal. Then make the appropriate choice.

What Are Some Of The Recurring Costs?

The expenses associated with owning physical coins and bars include the cost to store and to insure them. For ETFs and closed-end funds, the cost is charged every year in the management fee, which is where the management company makes its profits.

You should factor in all of these costs when you are deciding whether you want to invest in ETFs, closed-end funds, bars, or coins. Look at the features offered by each type of ETF and closed-end funds, evaluate the risks, compare the fees, and choose the one that gives you the best value for your investment.

What Does Liquidity Look Like?

A lot of people invest in precious metals because they are in them for the long haul. However, sometimes unexpected events in a person’s life necessitate liquidation of the metal earlier. It is not that simple to sell bars and coins quickly, but ETFs and closed-end funds offer more flexibility. These are traded on the stock exchange daily, so it is easy to buy and sell when the markets are open.

It is convenient to sell your investment in your ETF or closed-end fund. After you execute your order to sell, you will get your cash proceeds (your settlement) in three business days.

What Taxes Are Paid On Precious Metals?

In the U.S., the Internal Revenues Service includes precious metals in the classification of collectibles like fine wine, rare books, and art. If you held on to your precious metal for more than one year and sell it for a gain, the long-term collectibles tax rate on your capital gains will be 28%. This is higher than the long-term capital gains tax rate of 15% to 20% for other types of investments. The exact rate will depend on your filing status and your adjusted gross income. If you held on to your precious metal for less than a year and sell it for a profit, this will be taxed as ordinary income. Precious metal ETFs are taxed the same way as owning bars and coins.

The IRS defines certain closed-end funds as PFICs or Passive Foreign Investment Corporations. These are subject to special federal income tax laws. A non-corporate shareholder of PFICs in the U.S. can file IRS form 8621 when filing the federal income tax return and treat the PFIC like a qualified electing fund, or QEF. The strategy behind this is to avoid the higher tax rate of owning bars, coins, or ETFs. The capital gains tax rate for this is 15% to 20%, based on the tax filer’s filing status and AGI.

For individual investors in the U.S., owning precious metals via closed-end funds that are considered PFICs will reduce their tax liability when compared to holding precious metals in physical form or through ETFs.

Local strategy

A week is or so ago in May 2020, Google released the met core algorithm update.

This has been one of the wildest and most erratic updates in a very long time.

The quality of the search results has gone down and spam has gotten a boost with this update.

For example, on a competitive search result in the relationship niche, there are four of the top 10 search results that reader that are hacked websites that redirect to adult websites. Not good that is not what you want.

That is not what Google wants. That really doesn’t help the searcher.

Another odd side effect of this make or update is that major brands, some of the biggest brands in the world like Apple, or Samsung, Target etc, have lost large percentages of traffic to their websites. These are large websites with tons of great content.

These are sites that should rank well in the search results. To see these big brands lose so much traffic with this update goes to show you this was not a quality update.

So what does this mean?

Well, it looks like Google missed the mark on this one.

Especially with the big Major brands losing so much traffic. What will probably happen is that the core update will be adjusted. Heck, they might even roll the whole thing back.

If you want to read a whole detailed history of Google updates this is a really good article on the topic: https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change

It’s hard to tell, but in the past when the big brands have lost a lot of traffic from a Google update, the update usually gets adjusted backwards and the big brands get their traffic levels back to normal.

How to execute a Local SEO strategy.

If you are a local business, how should you handle these Google updates? What should you do? Should you hire an SEO company in Baltimore, MD?

If the big brands get negatively impacted by these updates how can a small business survive amid this chaos?

The answer is you should build a local SEO strategy that builds to HTML, or the language of the internet, not to the latest Google algorithm.

Search engine optimization means placing information on your website where a machine, in this case a bot specifically Google, can find that information. SEO is about building web pages on the internet that are easy to read authoritative and relevant.

Building quality webpages hasn’t changed in many years and it doesn’t really matter about the latest Google update because when you build to the quality of the language of the internet, that is bigger than just Google.

And Google’s algorithm changes all the time so you wouldn’t want to build specifically for the latest most current algorithm because it will likely change in a matter of days if not weeks or months.

Start at the beginning and work on your website.

The first thing you need to work on is your URL’s. These are your pages “address” on the internet. You want clean URL’s that are easy to understand and hopefully have a keyword in it.

For example, if you have a pressure washing company in Baltimore and the name of your business and website is HighPressure.com, you’d want to have a URL on your website that is Highpressure.com/baltimore-pressure-washing/. And on this page you’ll fill it with content that is about your pressure washing services in Baltimore, Maryland.

Do you see how important a URL is? Imagine if you only had Highpressure.com/baltimore or Highpressure.com/service, do you see how those two examples don’t give you, or a machine, a bot, nearly as much information as Highpressure.com/baltimore-pressure-washing?

URL’s are one of the most important places to put info about your webpage. Treat your URL’s carefully.
Next up is Page Titles. Page Titles are the next most important place to put information for a machine to understand what a page is about.

If you’re interested, you can go here to learn more about URL’s: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn/Common_questions/What_is_a_URL

Let’s stick with the pressure washing example.

search result in Baltimore

A good relevant Page Title for the page mentioned above might be: Baltimore Pressure Washing Services | High Pressure

Do you see how we want to get keywords that make this page relevant in the Page Title? We have the location, Baltimore, and the niche which is Pressure Washing and then it’s nice to have some branding so we added High Pressure, to show the searcher the name of the company.

It’s kind of like saying the same thing that we say in the URL, but do it in a different way, to make it unique, for the Page Title. Also notice how we are staying consistent, this makes sense to a machine and the machine begins to trust that it understands the information on the page better.

After you have great clean URL’s and Page Titles, you’ll want to add relevant text on the page about your pressure washing services.

If you feel like using sub-heads, which a great idea to break up text, because people usually just skim a webpage, you can also add relevant keywords in to the Heading text or H-tags. This is also another place that a bot goes to look for information to understand the webpage.

An example of a useful H1 or H2 tag might be: Call us for all your Commercial Pressure Washing Needs.

The reason why this stuff is important to a local business SEO strategy is because this is the language of the internet.

This layout doesn’t change. The nature of a web page does not change just because Google does some wacky core update. And because of this, Google has to come back to evaluating the importance of this information at some point, even if it does deviate from an update or two.

The language of the internet is bigger than just Google. Google needs SEO to understand webpages, it’s a simple as that.

So make sure that you build for the long term, not some short term algo update.

Common Errors Your Company Missed

By simply avoiding the big screwups, you can make a great website. By focusing on what not to do, you can create something beautiful and easy to use, that will make your clients so happy that they refer their friends to you.

So here we’ll go over some basics mistakes you want to avoid.

1. Picking A Cheap Content Management System

Don’t build you client’s website on a weak foundation. This is so important. You don’t want to use any of the weaker CMS’s out there. This means do not build any sites on Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. Don’t use any of this garbage.

These are Do It Yourself CMS, they are not for professional web designers. If you are a pro, then you need to be building on better platforms. Now, if you do offer websites on these platforms, just offer simple templates that don’t require much effort.

But, if you really care about your work, do not build or sell anything on these terrible systems.

2. Avoid Poor Readability

Don’t over think this one. You do not want to use fancy fonts or fancy colors. Keep it simple.

In general, the vast majority of websites are focused on written content, so you want to follow some basic guidelines.

Use text that is easy to read. Don’t use too many images and videos that distract or overwhelm the message that is contained in the text.

And remember, shorter is better. Whether you get most of your web traffic from mobile or desktop, it remains the same (basically build like you are getting most of your traffic from mobile devices), no more than three sentences to a paragraph.

Actually that is not true. No more than three lines to a paragraph. Keep paragraphs short and keep never go over three lines. If you do go over three lines just assume that none of that text is going to be read by the visitor.

If you are a veteran in this industry like Still Web Designer, you should know this.

3. Confusing Navigation

Have you ever been on a page and you can’t figure out how to get around a website? Believe or not, there are still websites out there that have floating pages. They might even be indexed in Google, so they can be found, but they are very useful to the visitor.

You want to keep all your pages in your navigation and you want to keep them as close to the homepage as possible.

Don’t bury them in a bunch of child pages https://www.jezweb.info/child-pages/.

Also, a simple technique to make your site easy to navigate is to have your Mom use your site before you publish it. If Mom can find her way around with ease, then you have done a good job. If Mom is struggling to find basic information on your site, then you know that you have work to do.

4. Weak Call To Action

The whole reason for creating a website is to have a visitor read the page and then take action. You can have your call to action as Heading Text, or a button, or even simple plain text. But no matter what you do, make it clear what you want the reader to do.

There is a reason that buttons say “Click Here Now” instead of “Click Here”. Another good example is Sign Up Today.

When do you want the visitor to click the button to sign up? Today. Be clear, it will help with conversions.

Also, you will need to put these CTA’s in multiple places, not just at the end of an article. Consider placing a CTA just after the title of an article, in the middle of the article, and at the end.

You might also want to test placing the CTA at the top right of the screen, once the reader has started to scroll down the article.

Hubspot made a good article about CTA’s that you should read.

5. Inconsistent Design

You have to keep the look consistent. Think about it from a branding point of view. What if Coke started using different colors and different fonts. Would that work? Of course not. Everyone knows the Coke logo is in cursive with a red background and white letters.

Think like Coke.

This means that you want to create a unique look for your site. And you want to stick with it. Think about Facebook’s login page. They’ve had the same look for over a decade. The homepage is even in a bunch of Casey Neistat videos because he has a picture of it in his office.

Consistency equals branding.

6. Misuse of Video and Images

Most of the time, you don’t want to use video or animations on your site. Well, most designers want to, but it’s not the right thing to do. It’s cluttered and it distracts the visitor. And, most of the time the animations are terrible and they actually give the website visitor a headache.

Stop it with the animations.

Not only this, but animations usually bog down the speed of the webpage. Just avoid animations. All you need to do is link to a video or YouTube or Vimeo or link to a gif or something. Just don’t put it on your webpage.

And with images, remember, you don’t need a super high quality image. Again this will bog down a webpage. If you have ever built a website for a photographer you know what I’m talking about. They want to use their beautiful images on their website.

The problem is, those images are designed to look great printed out on a glossy piece of paper. They just contain way to much data in their files.

So, compress images. You can usually minimize an image quite a bit, before it starts to lose any resolutions on the screen.

These are just some of the common mistakes that designers make. You can get far in life and in design, by sticking to what works and avoiding the commonly known errors

Fun Boat Tours on Seattle Waterfront in Washington State

While it might rain like no tomorrow in Seattle, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on the water. The waters that surround Seattle offer a variety of activities that can really be a fun addition to any vacation. If you are looking to take see the best of Seattle, Washington, there are plenty to choose from. Below, we will be going over some of the different types of options that you could consider taking and how to score the best deal on them.


Different Type of Trips That To Choose For Seattle Water Tours:

1. Day Cruise

If you are looking to enjoy the day and go sightseeing, you could always take a day trip cruise which can be an educational and fun trip for your entire family. There are cruises that you can take which will take you through the Ship Canal and that will showcase Seattle’s gorgeous city skyline.

2. Cocktail Cruise

If you are looking to have yourself a good time with your friends or you are looking to be social and meet new people, you could always sign up to go on a cocktail cruise. On this type of cruise, you will be able to kick back and enjoy some sightseeing as you enjoy a few of your favorite beverages.

3. Whale Watching

If you are someone that is more into sea life, you might be interested in doing some whale watching. Seattle offers some of the best whale watching experiences that you will find anywhere. On this kind of tour, you will be able to look out for various whales including but not limited to humpback whales, orca whales, and even minke whales.

4. Fishing Charters

If you are someone that would like to spend some time on the water fishing, you will be able to take a fishing charter in the Seattle area. You can learn from professionals or just enjoy yourself on the water for your very first time.

In order to get the most out of your experience, you will want to find the right tour to go on and save as much money as possible on it. Below, we will talk about some of the tips and tricks to find the right tour and to get it for the best price.

Some Key Tips For Finding The Right Seattle Boat Tour:

1. Budget

The first thing that you want to do when you are looking to identify which boat tour to select for your trip would be to figure out the budget that you have to work with. You want to try to identify how much you are willing and able to spend on the tour in order to narrow down the options that you have to choose from. Figuring out a budget is going to leave you with the ability to narrow down options based on pricing alone.

If you have a family this can be difficult due to the extra cost of children. A good reasonably priced option to check out is to take a trip on Seattle Duck Boat tours. These tours are typically shorter and are not expensive at only $38 for an adult ticket.

2. Reviews

You want to identify the tours that have the best reviews on the various review websites. By looking at the different tours that you are considering and seeing which ones have a lot of positive feedback, you should be able to minimize your chances of choosing a tour that disappoints. Ideally, you want to sort by review score to see which tours are the highest-rated and then go from there.

3. Duration

Finding the tour that meets your specific criteria for the duration is another key thing to consider. You want to find a tour that is going to offer the right duration because you don’t want to choose one that is too long for your trip nor do you want to choose one that is going to leave you feeling like you didn’t get appropriate value out of.

4. Activity

You want to factor in the activity that you are going to be doing when you are trying to figure out which adventure to select. Finding the tour with the right activity is key. If you are traveling with your family, you want to find something that is going to keep your kids busy and that is going to be suitable for your entire family. Whereas, if you are traveling alone and you are looking for adult activities, you might not be interested in family-friendly boat tours.

5. Comparison Shopping

Whenever you are shopping for something like vacation activities, you want to be sure that you are doing a lot of comparison shopping. By doing a sufficient amount of comparison shopping, you should be able to maximize your savings. You want to identify the tours that offer similar experiences and that have similar reviews and go from there. By doing this, you should be able to identify which tour is offering the best deal and the best value for the money.

There are so many different Seattle boat tours that you could consider. It comes down to figuring out what you want out of the experience. If you are interested in a specific activity, you should try to narrow down your options based on that criteria. However, if you are open to a lot of different tours and experiences, you might have a much greater variety to choose from. In the end, it comes down to choosing the tour that you feel is going to offer the best experience and the most value for the money. You should have no trouble finding countless things to do in Seattle that you can potentially choose from.

Cheap Things To Do in Seattle – Some Great Attractions

Seattle is by no means a cheap destination – it has a reputation for a hugely expensive cost of living. There’s a very good (and simple) reason for this. Seattle has become a high tech Mecca – and with those enormous inflows of investment comes the inevitable higher cost of goods, services and property. Just think about the following statistic. Since 2010 the population of Seattle has increased by an enormous 18.75 percent. This is the highest growth rate of any city in the United States. Bring in that much interest (and that much money) and there is bound to be an increase in prices. When Amazon steps up to the plate as a Seattle anchor tenant you can sure that prices are going to go through the roof.

But Seattle is not all about high prices and the pure of the almighty tech-driven dollar – is also an incredibly vibrant city. It is a destination that brings tourists flocking – in part due to the wonderful free attractions that are on offer.

Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend

Here are some of the best attractions that those visiting the ‘Emerald City‘ can enjoy. free unless you are tempted to partake in the goods and services on offer. But even if you do not want to spend a cent – pay a visit to one of these Seattle destinations and you will not be disappointed.

Places To Eat In Seattle

The first of these has got to be the Pike Place Market. This is a market that is loved by visitors to the city. You’ll find plenty of tourist momentoes – but you’ll also find some of the best fresh produce in the city. Fish, flowers and fresh cheeses – there’s something for everyone.

For those who just want to sit back and enjoy the solitude that can be found in pockets throughout the city Waterfall Garden Park is simply perfect. It is a pocket-sized antidote for the stresses of modern life. Take in the green spaces and marvel at the waterfall – it’s a balm for souls who must simply cope with the 21st century.

Dip your feet in the cultural pond at the Frye Art Museum. Here the works of 19th and 20th-century artists from the U.S. and Europe are on show. You can choose to wander (and wonder) on your own or take a guided tour. It’s entirely up to you. The exhibitions are ever-changing – so you will never be certain what new wonder awaits. This is a destination well worth the effort for those in love with things cultural.

Some Boat Tours In Seattle

If you have had your fill of culture and want to see another type of wonder take a trip to the Ballard Locks. Here ships that are traveling between Puget Sound and the Union and Washington lakes sedately make their way to their next port of call. But there is also the opportunity to view the incredible sea life that makes use of the fish ladders that are such an intrinsic part of the lock experience.

These are only a few of the free experiences that Seattle has to offer. Put the city on your bucket list when you are contemplating exploring the U.S.- you will not be disappointed.

You’ve Got To Visit Southern Idaho


Southeastern Idaho is a Gem of a Place

If you like the outdoors and just beautiful stuff in general, you need to get to Southeastern Idaho. If you like fly fishing, then this is your mecca.

The great thing about this area is the views, the land, and the options.

The Grand Tetons branch of the Rocky Mountains frames the land to the east. You can see the Grand Teton and accompanying part of the Tetons from basically anywhere you look from. The Tetons dominate the skyline for miles around. The clouds and the light and the sunsets that come from interacting with the mountain range are simply incredible.

During the summer months the options are endless in terms of stuff to do. Hiking and fishing are super popular. With fishing being the official past time of Southeastern Idaho.

The reason why fishing is so popular is because of the undisturbed nature of the place and because of water. There are a few rivers that converge in Southeaster Idaho. Actually there are two “forks” of the same river. A river fork is when a river divides in to two separate stream or distributaries which continue downstream.

This is what happens to the Snake river in southern Idaho. The two forks are called the Henry’s Fork and the South Fork of the Snake River.

Flyfishing on a Boat


Flyfishing from a boat is called “floating the river” and it’s extremely popular. You can hire guides all through the area that can take you on a float. There are tons of options.

If you go to the area called Island Park you will basically be visiting fly fishing heaven. In this one area you can experience Henry’s Lake, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake river, and even the Targhee National Forest. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Now, if you do not want to get a boat to float a river or you find it’s too expensive, do not worry. You can still walk the river and have a great time. The Henry’s Fork has plenty of prime fishing spots just from walking the river.

But, you need to remember, you are in the wilderness and it is not a joke. You are surrounded by nature and nature does not care about you.

You need to have bear spray AND know how to use it. There are both brown bears, also known as Grizzly Bears, and black bears. And if they want, they can both mess you up and possible kill you. There are also wolves. That’s right, they are wolves. Now, most of the time they stick to the Yellowstone area to the east, and if wolves are found in this part of Idaho, they are generally killed to protect livestock, but not all are found a shot. There are still wandering around looking for food. And a wolf is stronger and more powerful than you are.

There are also moose. Moose are huge temperamental creatures. They will jack you. Do not mess around with a moose. Give them plenty of space.

While there are plenty of other wildlife, these are the ones that can harm you, so stay away from them.

Remember to have fun and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors of Southeastern Idaho, just remember where you are. Be smart. Take necessary precautions.

If you do this you will have a legendary time, probably catch some beautiful fish, and you’ll be aching to get back.

Take a Sightseeing Tour in Lake Tahoe


Have you been to Lake Tahoe?

It sits on the border of Nevada and California in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is a high altitude lake. The elevation of the lake is 6,229 ft above sea level. Even in the summer time swimming in the lake is cool.

Although, in the summer, you can swim in the shallow waters closer to the shore and the water isn’t too cold. But if you go out in to the middle of the lake or if you swim more than 10 feet down, the water gets very cold.

Also, in the winter, the lake doesn’t freeze over. Even in the coldest months. Now, the edges of the lake will freeze when it gets very cold for a sustained period of time, but the whole lake will not freeze over. There is just too much volume of water for the entire surface of the lake to freeze over.

Lake Tahoe is crazy deep. I think it’s the second deepest lake in the USA. It goes down to 1,600 feet deep. That is nuts. The deepest lake in the USA is up in Oregon. That’s Crate Lake and I think it goes down to something like 1,800 feet deep. It’s just hard to image lakes being that deep, but… nature.

If you tour Lake Tahoe, I recommend sticking to the outdoor activites. Lake Tahoe is famous for gambling. There are many casinos on the Nevada side of the lake. But, you can gamble anywhere. Why waste your time with that? You’re in Tahoe, take advantage of it!

If you are there in the winter, then I recommend you go snow skiing. The skiing in Tahoe is epic. There are so many different world class ski resorts to choose from. Just pick one. You can’t go wrong. The only thing you might have to worry about is the crowds. The skiing is very popular.

No matter what time of year you find yourself sightseeing in Lake Tahoe, you need to go to Emerald Bay. Emerald Bay is located on the west, southwest shore on the California side of Lake Tahoe. Emerald Bay is surrounded by huge mountains that tower over the water of 2,000 feet and contains the only island on Lake Tahoe.

Emerald Bay is also one of the most photographed places in the world, so bring your camera. The Bay is one of those places you have to experience. Don’t be one of those people that go to Tahoe and don’t go to Emerald Bay. It’s just that gorgeous. Emerald Bay is one of those places that lives up to the hype, like Hawaii.

Yes Emerald Bay get’s overrun with tourists and crowds, but you need to experience it’s beauty, at least once. You’ll be glad you did!

This Will Keep Getting Built Out

BaltimoreCode.org provides the Big City Code and City Charter on one friendly website. No copyright restrictions, a modern API and all of the niceties of modern website design. It’s like the expensive software roofers use, but free and wonderful.

This is a public beta test of BaltimoreCode.org, which is to say that everything is under development. Things may be funny looking, broken, and generally under development right now.

Thank you for your patientce.

Where Just Building Out Content Now.


1-1. Auction Advisory Board – created.§ 1-2. Auction Advisory Board – duties.§ 1-3. Auctioneers to be appointed and licensed.§ 1-4. Maximum appointees; applications.§ 1-5. Qualifications for appointment.§ 1-6. Designation of associates.§ 1-7. License and surety bond required.§ 1-8. Surety bond.§ 1-9. License.§ 1-10. Commissions.§ 1-11. License suspension or revocation.§ 1-12. Civil violations – City enforcement.§ 1-13. Civil violations – private action.§ 1-14. Criminal violations.§ 1-15. {Reserved}§ 1-16. {Reserved}§ 1-17. Auction sales of jewelry – restrictions.§ 1-18. Auction sales of jewelry – merchant’s stock.§ 1-19. Auction sales of jewelry – penalties



10-1. Definitions.§ 10-2. License required for retail dealers.§ 10-3. Motor fuel service station facilities.§ 10-4. Signs.§ 10-5. Brand names.§ 10-6. Sales to senior citizen drivers.§ 10-7. Injunctions.§ 10-8. Penalties.


11-1. Definitions.§ 11-2. Licenses.§ 11-3. License required.§ 11-4. Surety bonds.§ 11-5. Transactions with minors prohibited.§ 11-6. Daily reports required.§ 11-7. Filing with police.§ 11-8. Holding requirements.§ 11-9. Release of stolen property.§ 11-10. Labels.§ 11-11. Retention of records.§ 11-12. Inspection of records and items.§ 11-13. Authorized transactions.§ 11-14. Redemption; sale.§ 11-15. Interest and charges; records.§ 11-16. Operational restrictions.§ 11-17. Suspension or revocation of license.§ 11-18. Action for default.§ 11-19. Penalties.SUBTITLE 12


§ 12-1. Definitions.§ 12-2. Exemptions from subtitle.§ 12-3. License required.§ 12-4. Master license for cooperatives.§ 12-5. Transactions with minors prohibited.§ 12-6. Transferor to provide true name, etc.§ 12-7. Daily reports required.§ 12-8. Filing with police.§ 12-9. Holding requirements.§ 12-10. Release of stolen property.§ 12-11. Labels.§ 12-12. Retention of records.§ 12-13. Inspection of records and items.§ 12-14. Exemptions from reporting, holding requirements.§ 12-15. Rules and regulations.§ 12-16. Penalties.


Part 1. Definitions§ 12A-1. Definitions.§§ 12A-2 to 12A 4. {Reserved}Part 2. Prohibited Use; Exceptions§ 12A-5. General prohibition.§ 12A-6. Exception for recycling materials.§§ 12A-7 to 12A 9. {Reserved}Part 3. Seizure and Forfeiture§ 12A-10. In general.§ 12A-11. Seizure by police.§ 12A-12. Referral to Solicitor.§ 12A-13. Forfeiture petition; Notice§ 12A-14. Answer to petition.§ 12A-15. Order of forfeiture.§ 12A-16. Order of release.§§ 12A-17 to 12A 19. {Reserved}