Jan

28

Stocks & Presidential Elections

What does history tell us – and should we value it?

As an investor, you know that past performance is no guarantee of future success. Expanding that truth, history has no bearing on the future of Wall Street.

That said, stock market historians have repeatedly analyzed market behavior in presidential election years, and what stocks do when different parties hold the reins of power in Washington. They have noticed some interesting patterns through the years, which may or may not prove true for 2020 or for any other election year down the line.

Do stocks really go through an “election cycle” every four years? The numbers really do not point to any kind of pattern. If you examine the S&P index going back the last 21 election cycles, all the way back to 1928, there were only three years with an overall negative return. That may sound great, but you also have to consider that not every pattern we find necessarily demonstrates that one factor (e.g. a Presidential election) directly affects another (such as market returns).1

For instance, it is also a fact that every year of the twentieth century ending with the number “5” (1905, 1915, 1925, and so on) turned a profit. That might be true, but it is not useful information when making financial decisions.1

It is also worthwhile to keep in mind that as consequential as presidential politics may be, there may be other, larger factors looming. The S&P 500 returns dipped 37% in 2008. While that was a presidential election year, that was also in the wake of a major financial crisis. It can be important to keep that bigger picture in mind.

What about midterm elections? Do the congressional elections, which come at roughly the midway point in a president’s four-year term, have any relevance? As with presidential election years, it can depend on the year.

Over the last five midterms, the S&P dropped an average of 18%. The year 2002, however, saw a much larger drop of 34.5%. This past year has also seen some declining numbers, in the form of two periods where the S&P 500 dropped more than 11%.1

Investing with a long-term view in mind. These numbers are interesting and may give you a great deal to think about in the short term. That said, if you are taking a longer view with your investment, you may see the markets rise and fall a number of times, for any number of reasons. History can be informative and give you an idea of what might be possible, but it cannot tell you with any certainty what is coming next.

How much weight does history ultimately hold? Not as much as you may expect. It is intriguing, and some analysts would instruct you to pay more attention to it rather than less. Historical “norms” are easily upended, however. Working with a financial advisor may offer perspective on major events and allow you to think less in terms of the next few years and more toward your ultimate future.

 

Citations.
1 – thebalance.com/presidential-elections-and-stock-market-returns-2388526 [8/24/18]
2 – marketwatch.com/story/stocks-historically-have-rallied-37-after-midterm-elections-will-it-happen-again-2018-11-08 [11/9/18]

This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., for Mark Lund, Mark is known as a Wealth Advisor, The 401k Advisor, Investor Coach, The Financial Advisor, The Financial Planner and author of The Effective Investor. Mark offers investment advisory services through Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc. a fiduciary, independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm providing investment and retirement planning for individuals and 401k consulting for small businesses. Cities served include but not limited to are: Salt Lake County, Park City, Salt Lake City, Murray City, West Jordan City, Sandy City, Draper City, South Jordan City, Provo City, Orem City, Lehi City, Highland City, Alpine City, American Fork City, and Utah County in Utah.

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About the Author ()

Mark K. Lund is the firm's founder, CEO and author of The Effective Investor, a #1 Best Seller. He has written articles for or been quoted in: The Wall Street Journal, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Enterprise Newspaper, The Utah Business Connect Magazine, US News & World Report, and Newsmax.com, just to name a few.  Mark publishes two newsletters called, “The Mark Lund Growth Report” and “Mark Lund on Money.”  Mark provides CPE (continuing professional education) courses for CPAs.  You may also have seen him on KUTV Channel 2, or as a guest speaker at a local association or business. Mark provides investment and retirement planning services for individuals and 401(k) consulting for small businesses. In his book, The Effective Investor, Mark exposes the false narrative magazines, media, big Wall Street firms, and most advisors want you to believe. The good news is that Mark will show you that you don’t need their speculative ways of investing in order to be successful. Get a free copy when you schedule your initial consultation.

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