Below are the words on one of the cards we got a few years ago, we hope you will enjoy them, too!  Thanks for being in our lives this past year and for your cards, letters, e-mails, phone calls, and ‘visits’.

The older I get… the closer I feel to old friends as I write my Christmas cards and letters…

The more I cherish the ‘oldest’ ornaments on the tree… the more fondly I remember Christmases past…

The longer I hold on to a holiday ‘hug’, the more I realize Christmas is a matter of the heart and the tighter my throat gets when I sing “Silent Night”…

The more I enjoy ‘giving’ than receiving… the more I try to see Christmas through the eyes of a child…  

The longer I sit at night in the ‘glow’ of the Christmas tree… the more wondrously beautiful the Christmas story is and the deeper my awe at ‘God’s’ infinite love…

The More I Love Christmas!

All of us at Denk Strategic Wealth Partners wish you and your families a Joyous Christmas and a Terrific New Year!!!

Market Minute – Historical Market Tendencies in December

You certainly wouldn’t see these numbers in the headlines, but December is historically the best calendar month of the year for both the S&P500* and the Russell 2000*.  On the NASDAQ*, December ranks behind only January as its best calendar month of the year.  Here are December’s annualized historical returns for each index: 

S&P500 (since 1950):  +19.5%

NASDAQ (since 1971):  +23.4%

Russell 2000 (since 1987):  +34.1

However, just as one can drown in a creek that on average is only 5 inches deep, the averages hide some really ugly years.  And by way of the accumulation of events, some largely unanticipated, it appears that there is a distinct possibility that 2018 may be added to that inauspicious list of non-performers. Of course, the jury’s still out but it’s not too early to acknowledge that such a result would be unwelcome.  

This year is not yet over, and we can hope for the traditional ‘Santa Claus Rally’, but at the moment this year may look something like 1972. For you trivia buffs, 1972 was the last year that not even one of the major indexes gained at least 5% for the year. Let’s not however get ahead of ourselves. There is no guarantee that 2018 is the new 1972.  

One way to look at our current set of conditions is its resemblance to Goldilocks and the two bears.

This week the Fed made some people happy by suggesting that they would be taking a more dovish stance on interest rate hikes in 2019. Some other people were distraught that there would continue to be any at all. The latter group saw a selling signal while the former said ‘See, the fundamental underlying elements of the real economy – especially in the US – are so strong as to still need a curbing effort by the Fed’.

So, which is it — Too hot or too cold? Oddly, and unfortunately, the third bear of ‘just right’ seems to have not made the meeting. So, all considered, here’s the plan: Keep the powder dry and pass the ammunition. How do we do it? Here’s how: we have been moving more and more toward a conservative risk-off posture. This has worked somewhat well, and will likely provide some cash as we anticipate potential bargains in the market over the next several months.  But for now, fingers are crossed – Go Santa Rally!!


Ronald P. Denk, CFP®
Investment Advisor
Denk Strategic Wealth Partners
10000 N. 31st Avenue, Suite C-262
Phoenix, AZ 85051
Phone (602) 252-8700
Fax (602) 252-8701
Toll-Free (877) The-Denk

This weekly article reflects news, commentary, opinions, viewpoints, analyses and other information developed by Denk Strategic Wealth Partners and/or select but unaffiliated third parties. DSWP provides Market Information for illustrative and informational purposes only. If you wish to receive this weekly commentary by email please contact us at 602-252-8700 or by e-mail at lindaw[@] If you are receiving this commentary via email and would prefer not to please let us know either by email or phone.

Ronald Denk is an Advisory Representative offering services through Denk Strategic Wealth Partners, A Registered Investment Advisor. He is also a Registered Representative, offering investments through Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation, Member FINRA/SIPC.

Denk Strategic Wealth Partners is not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation. Information in this commentary is the sole opinion of Denk Strategic Wealth Partners. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. All market related investments involve various types of risk, which include but are not restricted to, credit risk, interest rate risk, volatility, going concern risk, and market risk.

The Update provides information of a general nature regarding legislative or other developments. None of the information contained herein is intended as legal advice or opinions relative to specific matters, facts, situations or issues. Additional facts, information or future developments may affect the subjects addressed in this document. You should consult with an attorney, accountant or DSWP planner about your particular circumstances before acting on any of this information because it may not be applicable to your situation.

Lincoln Financial Securities and Denk Strategic Wealth Partners and their representatives do not offer tax advice. Please see your tax professional regarding your individual needs.

*The indices are representative of domestic markets and include the average performance of groups of widely held common stocks. Individuals cannot invest directly in any index and unlike investments, indices do not incur management fees, charges, or expenses, therefore specific index returns will be higher. Past performance is not indicative of future results.