I recently attended the Barron’s Top Independent Advisors Summit and one of the most fascinating sessions was on “Everything Investors Need to Know – and Should Ignore – About the Upcoming Election.”* As citizens, voters or interested bystanders, most of us will approach November 2016 more or less enthusiastically, with firm beliefs about which candidate best suits our personal interests, beliefs and principles. This upcoming U.S. presidential election is arguably the world’s most important political event with implications for global peace, security and prosperity. As Investors, we will also be trying to evaluate how different electoral outcomes may affect different elements of our portfolios.
Before attending this meeting when someone asked me will the market perform any better depending on which party is in the White House I would have answered, “Probably the ‘Pro-Business’ Republicans.” I was wrong! The historical evidence doesn’t support this notion. The markets have done very well, and had bouts of difficulty during the terms of Presidents from both parties. Here is just one example; during Republican President Ronald Reagan’s term from 1/20/1981 to 1/20/1989 the cumulative return of the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 130%. During the current term of Democrat President Barack Obama from 1/23/2009 to 12/31/2015 the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 119%*.
Experience has taught us it’s probably best if we keep our voting and investing decisions separate. Investors who stay the course are likely to fare better than those who invest only when one of the two major political parties controls the White House. Well-positioned, well-led companies may create investment value regardless of who sits in the White House.
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Julia Carlson is a registered Principal with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.
Sources: *OppenheimerFunds 1/24/2016
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.