We often hear that the United States of America is an exceptional country. Unsurprisingly, that phrase and its potential suggestions can seem braggadocios and self-serving. No wonder it annoys some people to hear it. Now, we are among the first to agree that most, if not all, countries are in some way exceptional. Everyone has a banner to wave. Everyone has a right to pride of heritage. But the exceptionalism of those things is not what America is about.

Former British Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher once pointed out that the main difference between Europe and America is that while Europe was created by history, America was created by an idea. She could have included in her comparison the countries of the rest of the world and her remark would have still been true. And, speaking of wise British people, this week I was struck by the words of a fellow who was born British but now lives in – and as a citizen of — ‘The States’. Writing in National Review, Charles Cook says that America is exceptional because it’s the only country that came with a set of instructions. Not only instructions either; it came with a declaration of purpose and intent. It even came with guarantees!

  • Our Declaration of Independence outlined our purpose, our intent, our mission and our goals. Some of these goals have yet to be reached but our spirit still guides us in the right direction.
  • The U.S. Constitution is the set of instructions and the ‘operator’s manual’ for how this country is supposed to work.
  • Our Bill of Rights sets out that the rights of citizens are not things granted by the government but the government must guarantee the sanctity of rights given to us by our creator.
  • And finally, if additional guidance is needed the Federalists Papers will serve as a glossary.

We wish you a great Fourth of July and hope that we will all pause to reflect on the reasons we celebrate it.

And now…on a lighter note:

Ron’s Market Minute – Some Nice Pockets!

Overall, the market is looking bullish for stocks, but some of the ‘pockets’ are less strong. For the first quarter of the year the small-cap stocks were the juice that drove the markets. But now the Russell 2000* Index (small-caps) remains below its peak from March. The S&P Midcaps* peaked about the end of April and has yet to regain that peak. The equal-weight S&P Index (which includes more weight on the less monstrous companies) has been stuck since mid-May. And that leaves the large-caps. Those large-cap stocks are leading with the S&P Index* and Nasdaq* Index hitting new highs in late June. Remember even a one-point ‘new high’ is still a new high. Markets are definitely not firing on all cylinders, but the BIG cylinders are firing and this is why large-caps are leading and we’re seeing new highs. I’d be happier to see broader strength, but thankful for what we have at this time. 

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


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*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.

Ron Denk is a Registered Representative, offering investments through Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation, Member FINRA/SIPC.

Mr. Denk is also an Advisory Representative offering services through Denk Strategic Wealth Partners, a Registered Investment Advisor. Denk Strategic Wealth Partners is not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation.

Please see Denk Strategic Wealth Partners’ Client Relationship Summary here http://denkinvest.com/?page_id=7099 for succinct information about the relationships and services DSWP offers to retail investors, related fees and costs, specified conflicts of interest, standards of conduct, and disciplinary history, among other matters.

LFS’ Regulation Best Interest Disclosure Document, which describes LFS’ broker-dealer services, and other client disclosure documents can be found here <https://www.lfg.com/public/lincolnfinancialsecurities/clientinformation/overview/disclosure>.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.