Our “Off The Wall” Blog
is now Monument #Unfiltered

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The End of the Blog, But Not Our #Unfiltered Advice

Dear Monument Wealth Management Community,

This is the final Off the Wall blog.

While we will keep the old blogs up to refer to, the blog portion of our website will be inactive after this last post.

Why? Here’s the story:

The genesis of Off the Wall was the expression of my frustration working at a large Wall Street firm and being unable to communicate effectively with clients who had entrusted me with their wealth management. I could pick up the phone and speak with each client individually, but I was not allowed to send out mass communications.

Dumb.

I felt like I had a duty to tell my clients what I was thinking when I was thinking it. They were paying me for my opinions and advice and expected to hear my thoughts. But when bureaucratic compliance rules made that endeavor next to impossible, and my forehead was bruised from all the facepalming, I knew I had to pursue a solution that would fix that.

In my imagination, Monument was born…and it wasn’t long after that when Dean and I made it real.

On Friday, May 23rd, 2008, at 5 p.m. Eastern time, Dean and I unlocked the door of Monument Wealth Management for the first time as a real company.

Our company.

We were on the hook for everything we did or failed to do.

But back to the blog.

Being able to write and communicate efficiently and effectively with clients and everyone else was thrilling and liberating. At first, it was just updating everybody on market information. As I matured and became, debatably, a better writer, I shifted away from talking about what I eventually determined to be irrelevant financial information. I started writing opinions and thoughts more honestly, with humor, and using raw language that I use in real life.

I eventually lost my fear of writing and embraced my unique voice. I simply started writing just as I speak to people in real life, aiming to write blogs that made people feel like they were sitting across from me having a beer (or more likely, an Old Fashion).

And if you are sitting with me chatting, I occasionally use some “grown-up words” just like everyone these days…terms like “bullshit” and sayings like “fuck that!” It’s just that they hit differently when you read them.

But that’s what I WANTED. I wanted my words to have an impact. So, I started occasionally using them in my blog when they were warranted. When I needed something to hit differently.

People loved it. “Authentic” was a word that most people used. But I knew that that level of authenticity could not have been adopted anywhere other than my own firm.

As I added up all the downloads, clicks, and forwards of the blog, it dawned on me that the words I have written have been consumed well over half a million times. If you have been with me for any period of time, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. I owe you a debt of gratitude.

Through this blog, we have championed the philosophy that time and discipline are the cornerstones of good financial decisions and long-term returns.

We’ve emphasized the importance of safeguarding cash reserves for 12 to 18 months of expenses, which ensures a buffer against the market’s uncertainties and selling securities when they are trading down.

We’ve focused on knowing the difference between possibilities and probabilities.

We’ve focused on the fact that while we can never tell which direction the next 20% move will be, we know which direction the next 100% move will be (because a future S&P 10,000 seems more plausible than an S&P 0).

But now it’s time for a new adventure in the digital medium.

The Transition to Monument #Unfiltered

We’re excited to announce that we’re transitioning the Off the Wall Blog to an e-mail newsletter format, which will allow us to deliver more targeted thoughts to the right audience.

By now, as a reader, you know that we find the status quo to be very, very boring. Repulsive even. We are sick of seeing the same old stuffy, vapid wealth advice repeated over and over again across cable news and standard-issue financial newsletters.

It’s all a bunch of blah, blah, blah and a big reason why nobody trusts financial advisors.

But we promise to keep delivering something DIFFERENT.

If you already get the blog delivered to your email box, fear not, you will be seamlessly migrated to the new email list.

If you are reading this final blog and considering signing up for Monument #Unfiltered you’re going to get wealth insights you won’t hear anywhere else. Raw, unfiltered opinions and straightforward advice, and plain talk about what’s important… and what’s bullshit. We aim to help you frame information in a meaningful way and make good decisions so you can be confident as a high-net-worth investor.

We pride ourselves on being authentic, but we know that we are not going to resonate with everybody, and that’s OK.

But – if this resonates with you and you’re sick and tired of the same old crappy canned advice, give us a try. You can unsubscribe anytime with the click of a button – and no hard feelings.

Why Are We Doing This

Someone asked me what I like most about our new podcast, and my response caught them off guard—it’s a tool people can use to determine if they think we are idiots without having to actually meet us.

It’s our free gift.

Here’s what I mean. If someone listens to the podcast and thinks, “Wow, that Armstrong is a total idiot,” that’s a huge win for me AND THEM. That person decided on their own that Monument’s opinions, advice, philosophy, style, whatever, are not something they value, want, like, or need.

That saves us ALL a lot of time.

Without the podcast, there could have been untold hours wasted by both sides to get to that determination. Not to mention the pain of dealing with bridge traffic, hot lane expenses, and parking.

And this part is REALLY important…like I said above, we are not trying to resonate with everyone.

Conversely, someone may listen to the podcast and say, “What they just said makes a lot of sense to me” and they keep listening.

That bridges a gap—it moves someone out of the pool of ‘Everyone’ and into the pool of ‘Fans.’

Sometimes fans just stay fans, but they also tell others about us.

But then sometimes, fans decide they want to learn even more about us. When that happens, they’ve already subscribed to our philosophy, and I don’t need to convince them of anything.

We want to do the same thing with Monument #Unfiltered.

We want to continue to bridge the gap between ‘Everyone’ and ‘Fans.’

The downside to the blog was that everyone could read it, but we had nothing more than anecdotal evidence that people liked it, or if they were fans, or just stealing our ideas (yes, that happens, I actually don’t care; it adds legitimacy to our efforts). Now we will know…because if you are subscribed, we believe you are a fan, and if you don’t subscribe or unsubscribe, we know that we didn’t live up to your expectations.

So… if you ARE a fan and want to be a part of the Monument #Unfiltered community, subscribe here or fill out the form at the very bottom of this page.

Keep looking forward,

 

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.

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.

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