Call me pedantic if you must but I object when people say they are going to celebrate ‘Labor Day’. Worse is that a gazillion people think they are celebrating the End of Summer, or pool parties or parades and marching bands. That, my fellow Americans, misses the entire point. On Labor Day we celebrate Labor, as in America’s workers. To put an even finer point on it, we take the day to honor our workers by celebrating them — something we’ve been doing since 1894.

Another point of argument that you often hear is “Wait a minute! Labor Day skews its celebratory recognitions more to the workers who do physical labor. What about Mental labor? Don’t those people get any credit?” Well, of course they do, especially since America’s economy is something like 70% supported by service industries rather than manufacturing, farming, logging and rail-splitting. But still, it seems quite fitting to have this national holiday put its focus on the more traditional and more physical side of the working world.

In an article written a few years back the historian Victor Davis Hanson, (doing the nonphysical work of writing) noted that:

“Physical work has an intrinsic satisfaction in that it is real, in the primordial sense that nonphysical work is not. The head of the Federal Reserve Board may be more important to our general welfare than the city road crew patching asphalt roads, but there remains something wondrous in transforming material conditions through the hands, an act that can be seen and felt rather than just spoken or written about. Changing the physical landscape, either by building or destroying something previously constructed or altering it, lends a sense of confidence that the human body can still manifest one’s ideas by concrete action.”

Isn’t that a fine bit of thinking? Hanson continued with this:

“Man fights nature and there arise clear, easily observable choices. Critical to this fight is the use of muscle. The abstract becomes flesh only through the right arm or left leg. Bolts are tightened, tree limbs sawed, concrete patched, all through the hands and back. Every idea is matched with the flesh. For the farm, then, there is no conception that is not realized in the physical world, no idea that is not carried to its ultimate and often tragic conclusion. Such an easily identifiable struggle! Such a wondrous thing, when you, alone, with your muscle and mind in tandem, with or without sufficient courage and endurance, can at least once still, just once yourself succeed or fail!”

Fortunately, the ability today of those doing physical work to earn an excellent living is very much the new normal. Your neighbor the pipefitter may not have a BA or BS degree but odds are his 1040 is healthier than your average neighbor with a four-year sheepskin. I mention this because it’s our business to see that everyone with earnings, or the potential to earn, strongly consider having an investment plan. Indeed, it may be even more important for a physical-labor worker to get some kind of investment strategy going even sooner. Physical work can bring about wear and tear on a body. It can also be dangerous. The number of working years may be reduced accordingly.

Well, there you are: Fully prepared to celebrate America’s workers. Just two more things: Remember, don’t wear white after Labor Day and don’t put ketchup on a Chicago Dog.

Ron’s Market Minute – How Many Stocks are Enough?

It is not uncommon that we have a client that asks something like ‘I like the company Tesla (for example), can we add it to our portfolio?’ So, while I personally like the company and the stock, a funny thing happens when we add certain stocks to a matched portfolio of equities, and that is…. The risk parameters change. This is particularly true when the individual stock might be one of the ‘high-flyers’.

Have a quick look at the following chart.  It shows the trajectory of the S&P Index* in red, TSLA in green, and YETI in blue. Yeti is another one of those headline stocks that people ask about.


Chart courtesy of FastTrack

The time period is the spring of 2020, specifically Feb 1 through March 18. During this 6-week period when (as we all know) markets took a big step back, the Index dropped by 26%- and many of the more familiar stock names dropped a similar amount.  Some of the high-flyers, however, were more volatile. They tend to go up more on up weeks and down more on down weeks. 

In this case TSLA dropped by 53%, and YETI also dropped by 53%! Each stock fell twice as much as the index. There is a lot of discussion among advisors regarding how many individual stocks need to be added to a balanced portfolio to NOT upset the risk profile. I’ve seen numbers ranging from 3 to 25. In any case, there may be distortions of the risk profile when we add one (even one exceptional!) stock to a portfolio. There’s a fine balance between adding a ‘bit’ of risk, and adding a ‘lot’ of risk. 

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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 for use with advisory clients only 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 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.

Please see Denk Strategic Wealth Partners’ Client Relationship Summary here 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 <>.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.