You may not have noticed but on Monday of this week it was Citizenship and Constitution Day. The reason that it is observed on September 17th is to honor that date in 1787 that the Constitution was originally signed.

The act that created the current version of the law – and designated the official day — mandates that on that day all publicly funded educational institutions, and all federal agencies, provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution. In May 2005, the United States Department of Education announced the enactment of this law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind. We think that is a very good idea because it seems – at least from our point of view – that, absent this mandated observance, many young Americans would go through school and not learn very much at all about the country’s founding, its purpose and its most fundamental beliefs.

Not very many years ago the Iron Lady of Britain, Margaret Thatcher, was asked if she thought there was any such thing as American Exceptionalism. Her reply was quick, spontaneous and precise. Essentially her answer was that most of the world’s countries — and certainly those of Europe — were created by History, but ‘America’, The United States, was created by a set of ideas; in short, a philosophy. We knew as a people and as a society what we did not want to be and more importantly what we should become or at least strive to become. The idea was not to instantly be a perfect union but to become ‘a more perfect union’.

Inventing stuff is not always easy and inventing The United States is something that we are still working on. Although we aren’t there yet we do have the goals in sight. But still, warts and all, these United States provide opportunities for personal liberty far beyond what can be expected in most other parts of the world. If you would like to see some evidence of that, attend a Naturalization Ceremony. These are held in official places like courthouses all over the country but also in a few more ‘weighty’ settings such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Battleship New Jersey, George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Independence National Historic Park.

In today’s politically divided times we may find ourselves questioning what it really means to be an American. Should you find yourself feeling that way, I bet you would get a good answer from any of the freshly minted Americans on Citizenship Day.


Market Minute – The Big GICS Change – How it Affects You!

GICS – the Global Industry Classification Standard is a standardized classification system for equities developed by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and Standard & Poors. It is the system that tells brokers and investors what category of investments their stocks fall into.  Some things are obvious. John Deere** is not a biotech stock. On the other hand, some things are not so obvious. Is AMAZON** a tech stock or a retailer? 

Today (Friday the 21st) the definitions of where stocks fall will be changed – in some cases creating a significant change in the risk characteristics of a portfolio. This happened to a lesser degree in 2016 when real estate companies were removed from the ‘financial’ sector and given their own sector. Apparently, some people had not noticed that a real estate company is different from a bank. 

Today’s changes are quite a bit more sweeping. Technology stocks will reduce from about 26% to 20% of the S&P 500*, and communications services (known as Telecommunications) will increase from 2% to 10%. Someone holding the telecom sector for its relatively tame volatility will find that the newly named ‘communications’ sector has some pretty volatile, high-growth stocks. Perhaps that’s not what they want. And the ‘technology’ sector is losing some of those high-growth names; perhaps that’s not what the tech investors want. For example, the so-called FANG stocks (Facebook Inc.,, Netflix Inc. and Alphabet**) will be moving to the telecom sector. But Apple stays in the technology sector.

Our expectation is that this may cause some volatility in the early part of next week while investors attempt to rebalance their risk characteristics of their portfolios. By the end of the week, things likely will be back to normal. However, investors may be holding slightly different investments to maintain their portfolios at the proper risk level. 

(**Disclaimer: Our clients have indirect exposure to the asterisked stocks through holdings that mimic the Nasdaq Index, and other hi-tech indexes, no client portfolios have any direct exposure to the indicated stocks.)


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(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.