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.

My Nomination for an Emmy – The Upcoming VP Debate.


More on that below, but to start, I’ll address the employment numbers from last week.  They were good, but not great and they were not cooked.  Don’t fall for it – I don’t care who says what, I don’t believe that the job numbers were “cooked” in any way.

People who do believe that the numbers are cooked are probably the same people that think a U.S. submarine can fire off a Tomahawk missile and then keep the whole crew quiet.  If you need some good drama and conspiracy in your life, the new season of Homeland on Showtime just began, I highly recommend it.

First, in my predictions from last week, I said the non-farm payroll numbers would come in below the 113k expected.

I was wrong. 114k.

HOWEVER, I was correct about my football prediction as the mighty University of South Carolina Gamecocks decisively beat the #5 Georgia Bulldogs under the lights with a record setting crowd jumping in unison to the new $8m audio/video system pumping out some Sandstorm.  Too bad the new scoreboard broke in the middle of the game.

Oh well.

Here’s how markets finished the week.

weekly stock market review 10.9.12 resized 600


This is not the venue for politics outside of the impact on the markets, but I will say that the upcoming Vice Presidential Debate could end up winning an Emmy for the Best Reality TV Show of 2012.  I expect this debate to be much more entertaining than an episode of Two Broke Girls, which probably seems more like a reality show to a lot of people these days than it does a comedy show.

Employment Reports on Friday

The unexpected drop in the jobless rate from 8.1% in August to 7.8% in September seems like good news on the surface for job seekers, many of whom have faced a steep uphill climb.  It’s certainly the headline grabbing number from data released on Friday.

Here’s where things get a little confusing.  There are actually two surveys that come out, the Household Survey and the Establishment Survey.

The Household Survey, which is the source of the data for the unemployment rate, measured an astounding 873,000 rise in employment and this is where a lot of the skepticism is coming from – ahem Jack Welch.  Of the 873k, 582k were classified as part-time.

The Establishment Survey recorded 114,000 new jobs of which 104,000 came from the private sector (that’s not a great number, by the way).  Digging beneath the surface of the data we see that of the 873,000 gain in employment, 582,000 were classified as part-time positions.  See below chart.

Nonfarm Payrolls 10.9.12 resized 600

The people that think there is a conspiracy are having trouble reconciling the two reports.

The problem is that we need A LOT more jobs to keep up with the general population growth and there are a lot of people out there that certainly don’t feel very good even though 873,000 new jobs created.

As I’ve written about before, confidence has a lot to do with how much money people start spending.  That drop seen in the last 3 blue bars on the very far right of the above chart is not inspiring anyone. That blue line you see that is trending up is a function of the July number.  It’s going to start hitching down soon (look at the blue bars) and that’s not good.

I said last week to not hold your breath for the report to come in as expected – turns out I was wrong.

But here’s the problem as it relates to the market – the numbers were better but they still stink.  Anyone celebrating an unemployment rate of 7.8% is either dropping acid or running a campaign.  Weak hiring is a function of the amount of economic uncertainty we are currently experiencing.  Add to that an economy that is barely growing as well as a sharp drop in durable goods orders in August that underscores troubles among manufacturers and I just don’t see the U.S printing a whole lot of new jobs until there is a good economic plan put into place that stimulates growth – regardless of party.

Oh  – and if you made it this far, I predict that the Gamecocks beat LSU this Saturday even though we are 4 point underdogs playing at night in Death Valley.

Please call or email with 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

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.