Our “Off The Wall” Blog
is now Monument #Unfiltered

Subscribe below to receive our unique, straight-forward, unfiltered wealth advice delivered straight to your inbox.

A Short Week


I did not know until Monday that Tuesday the 3rd was a half day in the market – so it was a nice surprise.  Hope everyone enjoyed the heat, lack of power and the fireworks.  I did.

The good vibes from the European Union summit that helped June end up with a substantial rally is being replaced by caution on Wall Street – again. Fears about the global economic outlook prompted the normally conservative European Central Bank (ECB) to cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%.  I read over the weekend that this is a record low.

Here’s how the market ended up for the week. NOTE: we will have a 2nd Quarter review in our newsletter that will be published separately.

Picture 7-9-12

On Friday, the U.S. government reported June’s employment numbers. Everyone from investors to job seekers was disappointed.  The nonfarm payrolls rose by 80,000.  The nonfarm payroll number is meant to represent the number of jobs added or lost in the economy over the last month (not including jobs relating to the farming industry).  This was less than the consensus forecast of 90,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 8.2%. Most economists say that we need to see an average of about 150,000-175,000 jobs created per month to absorb population growth AND bring down the unemployment rate.

Simply put, the problem is there just isn’t much interest in hiring new employees amid an uncertain economic climate.

Additionally, everyone is speculating that this could be the start of a new recession.  Here are some observations:

1. In both 2010 and 2011, the world economy was in the middle of a global interest rate tightening cycle.  That’s not the case today (according to Ed Hyman at ISI) as there have been 203 stimulative policy initiatives announced over the past 10 months…and more are likely to come.

2. There have been some key statements by powerful people.  Ben Bernanke (Fed Chairman), stated that “we are prepared to do what’s necessary.”  Mario Draghi (ECB President), said “we are not running short of policy options.”

3. In both 2010 and 2011, U.S. housing was still close to the bottom. Now, mortgage rates are at a record low of 3.62% last week versus around 4.60% on average in mid-2010/2011.  Also, homebuilder shares have surged +120% over the past 9 months.

4. The global Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerated from 0% in 2009 to +2% in 2010, and then to +4% in 2011.  The global CPI in 2012 has already slowed back down to +2%.

Finally, second quarter earnings season unofficially begins after tonight’s close. Profit forecasts have been coming down along with the backdrop of slowing U.S. and global growth.  Companies that have pre-announced (offered guidance) have mostly been cutting estimates.

As the season progresses, watch for comments from the multinationals about developing headwinds from Europe and emerging markets. Reports from the major industrials start to trickle in on the week beginning July 16th but will pour in the following week. Financials are in the spotlight early on.

We’ll be watching.

Please call or email with questions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to industry regulations, comments are not permitted on this blog. If you would like to contact the author, please email us at info@monumentwm.com.

Securities and Financial Planning offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is comprised of 30 stocks that are major factors in their industries, and widely held by individuals and institutional investors. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500) is an unmanaged capitalization weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all domestic and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. The market value, the last sale price multiplied by total shares outstanding, is calculated throughout the trading day, and is related to the total value of the Index. The Russell 2000 Small Stock Index is an unmanaged index generally representative of the 2000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index. The Russell 2000 is an unmanaged index generally comprised of companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values.  The 2, 10 and 30 year Treasury is simply the yield at the close of the day.

David B. photo

David B. Armstrong, CFA

President & Co-Founder

Dave got into the industry when he discovered his passion for finance in his mid-20’s. He’s a combat veteran and served as an officer in the United States Marines Corps on both active duty and in the reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving on active duty, Dave was unable to spend money on deployments, so he became a self-taught investor. Along with a few bucks cash as a bouncer, his investing performance grew to be good....

Learn more ...


Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Capital Management, LLC [“Monument”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Monument. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. No amount of prior experience or success should be construed that a certain level of results or satisfaction will be achieved if Monument is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Monument is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.

A copy of Monument’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.monumentwealthmanagement.com/disclosures. Please Note: Monument does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Monument’s website or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Historical performance results for investment indices, benchmarks, and/or categories have been provided for general informational/comparison purposes only, and generally do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results.  It should not be assumed that your Monument account holdings correspond directly to any comparative indices or categories. Please Also Note: (1) performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes; (2) comparative benchmarks/indices may be more or less volatile than your Monument accounts; and, (3) a description of each comparative benchmark/index is available upon request.

Please Remember: If you are a Monument client, please contact Monument, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.  Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.

Get Monument #Unfiltered: Our Free Private Wealth Newsletter

Our no B.S. wealth advice delivered 2x per month, max. Tuned specifically for busy, high-net-worth business professionals and investors who want straightforward advice without the fluff.