Flying back from Rwanda earlier this week gave me hours (33 to be exact) of time to reflect on many things. When I completed notes from my meetings in Kigali, I spent some time looking ahead to next year and what we as investors might expect. While I'm usually optimistic, the logical conclusion seems to be pointing considerably more negative than positive. Odds are for a slow-down, maybe even the 'R' word.

Our economy is not ready to stand on its own according to the Federal Reserve as of its latest meeting ended Wednesday of this week. In fact, they believe it is not expanding as fast as earlier hoped, as they downgraded their characterization of growth from "a modest pace" to "a moderate pace." Their focus remains on the labor market which we learned today failed to meet expectations.

The economy is growing fast enough to create jobs, but not so fast to cause significant inflationary pressures.  The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5% in June from 5.1% in May.  Cutbacks at auto factories kept the payroll growth of 146,000 new jobs, below the expected 200,000, but the last two months’ job growth numbers were revised significantly upward, improving the job growth picture.