Sex, lies and accusations of corruption - no election year is complete without them. And while the 2020 election has proven to be one of the most contentious in recent history, contention is nothing new in the world of politics. From the political match-up of Jefferson v. Adams to this year’s Biden v. Trump, mud has always been slung, accusations have always been made and many Americans have found themselves uncertain of a future under new leadership.
While Adams and Jefferson didn’t shy away from printed ads and public debates, there’s something vastly different about today’s political climate - 24/7 access to constituents. Social media, email blasts, phone calls, television ads, radio announcements - today’s candidates and their associated parties have the ability to inundate Americans with their messaging.
Pair this with the fact that 2020 has been anything but ordinary (which, of course, no one needs to be reminded of), and you have an election year truly like no other.
A Reminder About Emotionally Driven Investing
Whether you’ve been guilty of it yourself or you’ve seen others take part, social media channels like Twitter and Facebook make it all too easy to share damaging, misguided or opinionated messaging. This is true in any instance, but it can be especially effective when these posts are about political candidates.
The problem is, being inundated day in and day out with information about our country’s political future (especially information that’s alarming or scary) can take its toll on anyone watching or listening. Before Biden won the presidency, you surely heard the predictions - “If Biden wins, the stock market is sure to tank.” Or, “If Trump wins, the stock market is sure to tank.” People everywhere (whether they’re journalists or your Aunt Sally) made an argument for it either way.
As an investor, it’s important to make a conscious effort to drown out the noise, think about your personal financial goals and keep in regular contact with your investment advisor.
Historical Stock Market Performance During Election Years
Of course, past performance is no guarantee or indicator of future performance. But as an investor, it may interest you to see how the stock market has performed historically during and after presidential election years. Below we’ve charted out the S&P 500 returns since the 2000 election:1
|Election Year||Presidential Candidates||Performance During Election Year||Performance For Following Year|
|2000||Bush v. Gore||-9.10%||-11.89%|
|2004||Bush v. Kerry||+10.88%||+4.91%|
Obama v. McCain
|2012||Obama v. Romney||+16.0%||+15.06%|
|2016||Trump v. Clinton||+11.96%||+21.83%|
Stocks have typically trended upwards after an election and rewarded patient investors no matter who is in office. Additionally, the chart below shows the S&P 500’s percentage of return during a president’s full term.2
If you are looking for more election related performance see our blog how-will-the-stock-market-react-to-the-presidential-election.3 Historically speaking, there have been a number of outside factors that determine the stock market’s performance - more so than simply which party is in power. These other factors could include whether or not we’re in a bull or bear market, the business cycle, civil unrest (at home and overseas), trade wars, interest rates, tax policy changes and more.
If the upcoming inauguration has you worried about the future of your portfolio, take some time now to speak with your investment advisor or financial planner. They may be able to provide important insights into whether or not your asset allocation should be readjusted and review any contingency plans you may have already put in place.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.