Brett Weir Featured Article WORDPRESS 3.31.14

Get Brett Weir, I Said

David B. Armstrong, CFA Weekly Market Commentary

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The other day, I had to deal with the building Superintendent here at Monument and I asked him if he knew Brett Weir.  I got a blank look.  I must be getting old. The Jerky Boys still make me laugh…especially as I watch an opening day baseball game between the Pirates and the Cubs and I see Rizzo batting for the Cubs.  I thought Rizzo was a tile layer…the guy who had trouble with busted kitchen ceramic tile…it was a brown, a sandalwood…I digress.  We should really be talking about the 1st quarter of 2014 coming to an end with today’s closing bell.

Due to a technical difficulty, (Spencer is on vacation), I will not have the regular charts today. BUT, I can tell you that as of Friday, the Down Jones Industrial Average was flat last week and is down -1.5% for the year.  The S&P 500 was off about -0.5% for the week and is positive 0.5% year-to-date.  Finally, the NASDAQ was down -2.8% for the week and is now down -0.5% for the year.

It’s been an interesting quarter. We experienced a modest interruption in the bull market in late January when emerging market instabilities created the perfect excuse for some to book profits following 2013’s big rally.

March Madness Blog 3.31

In January, we saw a loss of more than 5% on the S&P 500.  Most people attribute this to profit taking and institutional rebalancing.  Remember, these big pensions, foundations and endowments have rules that tell them how much they need to have invested in each asset class.  When equities run up over 30% in a year, you can be sure that they all ended the year with more equity exposure than they are ‘allowed’ to have…so they sell to bring the allocations back into alignment with their rules.

February was a great month and we saw the S&P 500 come roaring back almost from the first day of trading to finish up a little north of a 4% return.

March has been pretty flat…leading us to where we are today: flat.

So my very in-depth analysis brings you this riveting recap — January was a loser probably based on profit taking, February regained it all, and March has been sideways.

It does not always go our way as investors.  So even though you may have a great defense…in fact a perfect defense like Michigan had in the final shot of yesterday’s game, it still may not be enough.

Of course the best way to look at it is to make sure you have people on your team like Aaron Harrison, who can drain a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game.

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About the Author
David B. Armstrong, CFA

David B. Armstrong, CFA

David B. Armstrong, CFA, is a President and Co-Founder of Monument Wealth Management. Along with his role as the firm’s chief investment strategist and portfolio manager, Armstrong is viewed as an industry leader in several areas including innovative practice management, discretionary asset management, digital marketing and social media. Dave is the writer of Monument Wealth Management's weekly "Off the Wall" Financial Blog and Market Commentary, and is frequently sought after by journalists and event coordinators. Visit his full biography here.

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