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.

Don’t Trade This Market – Keep Your Cool

If you trade this market, I will send this Marine to your house to tell you in his own special way that it’s a bad idea.

Why? Because the partial government shutdown that began last Tuesday has had little impact on stocks so far. Remember, the Dow Jones Industrials Average (DJIA) represents 30 large companies, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) represents (you guessed it) 500 large, medium and small companies. As you can see below, the DJIA fell -1.2% last week, but the S&P 500 fell a barely noticable -0.1% last week and the NASDAQ Composite was actually up, extending its winning streak to five weeks, finishing up 0.7%. Although it’s true that the S&P 500 has been down for nine of the past 12 weeks and down -2.0% off its September high, it’s still up over 18.5% YTD.

Weekly Market Returns 10-7-13


3rd Quarter – That’s a WRAP

Start your holiday shopping now, it’s the 4th quarter. Before you know it, it will be that weird time of year where it’s January of 2014, and you are still habitually writing 2013 on your checks. Although the 3rd quarter ended on a sour note with the shutdown, it actually performed well. Small- and mid-cap sectors outpaced large-cap sectors by almost double for the quarter. The best performing S&P 500 sectors were Materials, Industrials and Consumer Discretionary. We will have more details in our 3rd Quarter Review, coming out later this month.

Economic Data

Last week, there was an unexpected rise in the ISM Manufacturing Index, which improved from an index level of 55.7 in September to 56.2 in October. A reading of above 50 signals manufacturing expansion. Despite this nice increase, the ISM Services Index report showed slower growth. Again, a reading above 50 signals expansion. After hitting 58.6 in August, September’s reading came in weaker than expected – a 54.44 reading vs. expected 57.0

Pickup Trucks

Bespoke Investment Group tracks the sale of F150 pickup trucks. They are a non-traditional indicator of growth, but if you think about it, there are people who want a truck and people who actually need a truck for their work/job. Ford’s F-150 has been the top-selling pickup truck in the country for the past 36 years. So watching their sales is something worth…well…watching. Note the upward trending line from 2008 and the fact that 2013 has surpassed 2007’s sales numbers.  Bespoke’s chart is below.

Ford F-150 Sales

Washington DC Circus – Continued

From my blog last week, the below are some important points (I’ve modified them a little since last week) everyone should consider.

  • We’ve had 17 prior government shutdowns since 1976.
  • On average, market reaction has been modest – see this blog for a great graphic.
  • Social Security, Medicare, the mail, the National Weather service, air traffic controllers and the military will all be operating; it’s non-essential services that closed. Non-essential government services? Hummmm….
  • No one in government will be working on releasing economic data, and that probably includes nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, on Friday.
  • The equity markets are up a little less than 1% at the time of this writing (11am – CNBC).
  • Finally, the media has to write and report on stories EVERY DAY, meaning they always need something to fill airtime and newspapers. Take that into consideration here.

I have no more of an idea about what will happen than Speaker Boehner does…so I’ll leave it at this: Our conviction is to stay invested unless your need for short-term liquidity has changed.  The need for short-term liquidity should be the only reason an investor is selling right now. If you can’t sleep at night, your asset allocation does not accurately reflect your risk tolerance and you should call your advisor to update your long-term planning and allocations.

Stay convicted – there are plenty of fools out there trying to trade around the outcome of the potential shut down and the pending debt crisis. It’s like flipping a coin – some will be right and some will be wrong, but if you win one flip (sell and raise cash) you have to flip the coin again, guessing when to get back in to the market. Those are bad odds – even in Vegas.

Please call or email with questions.

Investment advice offered through Monument Advisory Group, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). Securities offered through LPL Financial.  Member FINRA/SIPC.  Monument Advisory Group and Monument Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

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.

(1)      West Texas Intermediate crude spot price is as of end of week.

(2)      London Bullion Market Association; gold fixing pricing at 3 p.m. London time.


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.