Dumb Money

Dumb Money Ain’t So Dumb

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

I don’t normally write blogs about articles that other folks write, but in this case I must. In Wednesday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, the venerable Jason Zweig published an article called, “Why Charities Do Good—but Not Well—With Your Money.” I’m a WSJ subscriber so I don’t know if this is behind a paywall, but I’ll highlight some of the …

The Unknown Nature of Investing

The Unknown Nature of Investing

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets – Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts may as well be titled “Dave, Read Me Now!” Not even 20 pages in, she starts comparing Chess and Poker. Duke states that “The quality of our lives is the sum of decision quality PLUS luck.”  Emphasis mine. Chess is not a game of …

Worried About a Recession

Worried About a Recession?

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

Let’s look at the facts:  The yield curve is not inverted.  The lag between inversion and recession is months not days, as you can read about in our April blog post.    Retail Sales were at an all-time high in November…ALL. TIME. HIGH.    New Home Sales hit a 10-year high in November.  They were not much lower when recorded in April.     Wage Growth is strong.  Unemployment Claims are at a 49-year low.   Personal Consumption is strong.  Durable Goods are strong.  Inflation is still at 2%…which is fine.  …

Decisions VS Outcomes

Decisions vs. Outcomes

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

Process. Process is important to us here at Monument and it should be important to you, too.  Processes are especially important in the financial advice world because decisions cannot be justified merely because they worked. Why? Because outcomes are not always a validation of good decisions.   Take speeding, for example.  Just because you sped from D.C. to Miami without …

Discipline Investing

Discipline

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

Howard Marks, the author of the very popular “Oaktree Memos” once wrote, “The rest of us know many possibilities exist today, and it’s not knowable which of them will occur. Further, things are subject to change, meaning there will be new possibilities tomorrow. This uncertainty as to which of the possibilities will occur is the source of risk in investing.” …

Markets in Turmoil

Ready Fire Aim

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

Breaking News – February 5th, 2018.  The S&P 500 is down 7%+ from its high and the streak of 578 days without a 5%+ pullback is over. Now what? However, it’s all about context.  Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1175 points…making it not even in the top 100 worst percentage drops in history. (H/T Josh Brown @reformedbroker) …

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Protecting Your Information After the Equifax Security Breech

The Monument Wealth Management Team Featured Articles

As you no doubt have heard, credit-reporting company Equifax announced last week that hackers accessed the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers of 143 million people in their database. Credit card numbers for 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal information for 182,000 people were also comprised. The high risk that you are subject to …

Still Waiting for a Market Pullback

Is the Market Too High to Buy?

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

Sounds like a good title for a stoner movie… Anyway – Here’s a quote from the weekend Bespoke report: The S&P 500 made its 24th all-time closing high on Monday, but after three straight down days through Thursday, stopped there. Overall, though, the trend higher continues. The bull market remains innocent until proven guilty, and until that changes it’s hard …