Soon, voting in the 2020 presidential election will conclude. It has been a long, contentious, and most unusual election season marred by the difficulties of the pandemic and incidences of social unrest and violence around the country. We know the many uncertainties and anxieties surrounding any presidential election year can be challenging and worrisome for investors. This year, these feelings are amplified for many.
Accordingly, we would like to take a moment to reassure you and encourage you to take a longer-term view on the current situation. Keep in mind you are an investor with a time horizon that extends beyond the next couple of weeks or months – and, frankly, beyond the next presidential term! While we could be in for some heightened market volatility this month depending on how things play out, this too shall eventually pass just as it has with any number of serious socio-economic events like the initial pandemic panic in March and even the hotly disputed election between Gore and Bush exactly 20 years ago.
Do you remember the Bush/Gore presidential election in November 2000? That election occurred on November 7, 2000 but a winner was not officially declared for weeks. Votes in Florida ended up being closely scrutinized (the “hanging chad” situation) and recounted and the U.S. Supreme Court even had to weigh in, ultimately deciding that a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution had occurred. There were also numerous allegations of voter fraud and suppression and complaints that the Supreme Court was dabbling in politics with its ruling. Eventually, Florida’s electoral college votes were awarded to Bush and he was declared the winner of the presidential election.
While it is quite possible we will once again not know the final election results for several days or weeks after election day, we want to remind you the U.S. has a long history of peacefully transitioning power from one administration to the next at all levels of government, no matter how heated the elections have been. We also want to remind you that U.S. equity markets have a long history of trending upwards and generating positive performance over the long haul no matter who occupies the White House.
If you are concerned about the election or would like to learn more about how we view current events, please do not hesitate to reach out to your BLBB financial advisor. You can also listen to our recent economic commentary presented by Robb Parlanti, CFA.