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Lifetime Milestones & The Power of Time

Sometimes we forget about the power of time.  Big historical moments are memories in our lives, but we tend to live in the present…or in the past few weeks.  We are bombarded by quarterly earnings, GDP, employment reports, market pull backs, and the never-ending news cycle.

The list of things grabbing our attention is long.

In fact, it’s infinite.

It is easy for us to forget exactly what was going on in the market during the dates of our lifetime memories.  When we assign dates to our memories and then overlay market data on them, it becomes clear that over the long-run, snapshots are just memories, and the emotions fade, but the facts remain.

Let me show you what I mean.

I remember significant days in my life and will list some of them below:

  • I was born in the middle part of 1967.
    • Dow Jones Industrial Average: roughly 880
  • I started first grade in August of 1973 (8/30/73).
    • Dow: 882
  • I remember seeing the armada of tall ships entering the harbor of NYC to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of our great country on July 4th, 1976 (7/4/76).
    • Dow: 999
  • I remember exactly where I was when I learned President Reagan was shot (3/30/81).
    • Dow: 992
  • I remember gathering in a school assembly to see the landing of the very first space shuttle mission (4/14/81).
    • Dow: 989
  • I remember exactly where I was for the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy (1/28/86).
    • Dow: 1,556
  • I remember my High School graduation in June of 1986 but can’t remember the exact date.
    • Dow: roughly 1,870
  • I remember the day I graduated from college and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps (5/11/90).
    • Dow: 2,801
  • I remember the first day I was ever on the wrong end of a gunfight in Mogadishu, Somalia (1/9/93).
    • Dow: 3,252
  • I remember the day I got off active duty from the Marine Corps (7/1/96).
    • Dow: 5,729
  • I remember my first day of my real first civilian job (8/2/99).
    • Dow: 10,645
  • I remember the day I got married (10/7/00).
    • Dow: 10,596
  • I remember 9/11…Like most people, I remember every detail of that entire day.
    • Dow: 9,605
  • I remember the day we started Monument Wealth Management (5/24/08).
    • Dow: 12,594
  • I remember the day Dean and I bought out a Partner – which we joyously celebrate every year (12/11/14).
    • Dow: 17,596
  • I remember the day I retired from the Marine Corps Reserves (12/1/18).
    • Dow: 25,314

Through all the noise, recessions, long wars, short wars, a Cold War, a terrorist attack, a bursting tech bubble, a Presidential Impeachment, the market crashes of 1987, 2001, 2008 and 2010, two Level Seven nuclear disasters along with a Level Five disaster and constant political rancor, the Dow currently (on the morning of 8/6/19) sits at  about 25,700.

You will always experience days like yesterday, and you will always be heading toward a future recession.  If you have equity portfolios, you are going to lose money. It’s just going to happen and there is no way around it…you will always participate in market corrections, drawdowns, and crashes.

The most efficient and cost-effective way to buffer your portfolios against market corrections is with cash. But cash levels need to correspond with a planned short-term future use—we do not subscribe to the philosophy of raising cash out of pure nervousness.

Don’t underestimate America and don’t forget the best overall returns tend to be doled out one teaspoon at a time over a long period.

Like the Dow going from 880 to 25,700.

Keep looking forward,


We remain at MONCON 5 – DO NOT CONFUSE WEAKENING GROWTH WITH RECESSION – Slow growth is still growth.  We continue to labor to find overpowering substantiation of recession in the short term, despite the Yield Curve showing some warning signs. It’s important to remember that lead times to recession from yield curve inversions are very long and widely dispersed, making this less than useful for timing purposes.


In case you missed it, here’s yesterday’s “Off the Wall” Vlog on Dividend and Treasury Yields.

Important Disclosure Information

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.

All indexes referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted. 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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