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A Time to Remember

The thoughts and prayers from everyone at Monument Wealth Management go out to the families of those whose lives were taken a decade ago and those who have lost loved ones in combat operations overseas.  Our thanks continue to go out to those who are still defending America today, here and abroad.

The equity markets we follow were all down last week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost -2.21% to finish at 10,992, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) lost -1.68% to finish at 1,154 and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost -0.50% to finish at 2,468. The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks the performance of small capitalization stocks, lost -1.38% to finish at 674.

Overseas developments, specifically Greece, accounted for most of the decline last week.  According to Ed Hyman at ISI Group (one of our favorite economists) a number of developments have combined to suggest even weaker growth next year including increased Eurozone turmoil, continued declines in bank stocks around the world, weaker US employment, and continued lack of strong political leadership around the world. He shaved his 2012 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast from 2.5% down to 2.0%.

He says that with just 2.0% real GDP, employment gains are likely to be just 75k per month and the unemployment rate is likely to drift up toward 9.5%. However, he still put the odds of US recession at 40%.

Obama’s call for targeted tax cuts and job-oriented stimulus Thursday night did little to help sentiment, continuing the unfortunate trend of the market protesting policy action / inaction.

The big question about Greece’s default is whether it can be orderly.  It is a complex situation. The primary fear is that the default (or restructuring) of Greece’s debt will prompt other financial institution defaults and a financial crisis throughout Europe and beyond. While we don’t think that this will be the case, no one knows for sure.

For right now we STILL think: Slowing growth yes, recession no. Unless an investor’s need for short-term liquidity has changed, we do not think anyone should be reacting to this news by selling.  The amount of selling that has taken place by individuals (measured by ‘fund flows’) over the past three months EQUALS the selling that took place around the 2008 crisis, about $80 billion.

We think that is excessive and panicky behavior – it is indicative of people that do not have a plan.

Call us for help or if you have any 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


**Standard Compliance Disclosures
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. 

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....

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