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An Act of Heroism

Corporal Carpenter 6.24.14

First, I want to mention Corporal Kyle Carpenter, Fox Company, 2nd Bn, 9th Marines for his heroism.  2/9 – A Marine Corps infantry battalion known also as “Hell in a Helmet,” was led by a close personal friend of mine during the day of Corporal Carpenter’s act of heroism.  I visited with this friend over the weekend and heard the whole story from his perspective.  The guts it takes to jump on a grenade to save a fellow Marine is unbelievable…along with the whole rest of the story.  Corporal Carpenter was presented the Medal of Honor last week at a ceremony at the White House.  Semper Fi, Corporal Carpenter.

The Fed

Janet Yellen was out doing her thing last week at the Fed meeting and the accompanying press conference.  What she confirmed was that the Fed leadership is in no mood to change direction, despite a recent “uptick” in inflationary pressures. But look, let’s be real about two things for a quick moment… First, it was (and is) highly unlikely the Federal Reserve would threaten the long, slow, fragile recovery by tightening the monetary screws or even HINTING at such a move.  Second – and I write this with no political slant or fire on my tongue – she’s a democrat and she was installed by the sitting President who is unpopular in the polls right now.  His party is staring at mid-term elections that have the potential to unseat the power in the Senate and make him a lame duck even before he should be a lame duck.

So there’s that.

S&P 500 Last six months 6.24.14Can anyone really be surprised that in response to a question at the press conference about rising inflation, Janet Yellen conceded the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been “a bit on the high side,” but added that “the data we’re seeing is noisy,” and the price level is “roughly in line” with what the Fed expects?

I think that there is VERY LITTLE chance we see any sort of change in the Fed’s position on rates in the near future regardless of any more noisy data on inflation.Her willingness to keep rates low, coupled with her dovish stance on interest rates and her comment about equity valuations (she stated that they are not outside of norms) helped push both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index to new highs by the end of last week.  (Chart thanks to Bespoke). The NASDAQ has rallied about +10% off of its April, 2014 low.  Just wait…in a few weeks all you will be reading about is how the NASDAQ is close to passing through its previous high set back in 2000.  Although I doubt there are any “patient tech investors” who have sat through the past 14 years waiting for that moment.

Sweet.  Here’s how all the indices faired last week.  All ten sectors of the S&P 500 were up last week led by energy and utilities.

 

Weekly Market Returns

 

Weekly Sector Returns 6-20-14

Inflation

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in May, which is the fastest pace in over a year. See first chart below.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…It’s only one month.

BUT STILL – price hikes have modestly accelerated and that has the inflation hawks buzzing. Some but not all can be blamed on rising food and energy prices, two volatile subcomponents of the CPI, but the cost related to housing and living expenses are also rising.  See second chart below.

 

Consumer Price Index  6.24.14

 

Key CPI Components  6.24.14

Finally, here’s the unit insignia for 2/9.

2D Battalion 9th Marines  6.24.14

 

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Please remember that past performance may not be indicative 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 Wealth Management), 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 Wealth Management.  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. Monument Wealth Management 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 Wealth Management’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

 

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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IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

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.

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