While at this writing the outcome is not yet decided, there is nonetheless a collective sense of relief that November 3 is in the rearview mirror. As a nation, we exercised our voting rights in huge numbers, with a voter turnout not seen since 1908. The election process has been orderly and, although legal wrangling may well prolong the final counting, will finally lead to a clear Electoral College outcome. To say this has been a trying time for our country is a vast understatement, but the resiliency of our Democracy is once again prevailing in – warts and all – a transparent selection of our next President. We can all be grateful for the strength of the American spirit.
In spite of the bitter ideological differences that have been on display, financial markets have, other than the occasional bout of near-term volatility, steadfastly refused to be drawn into the political drama. Instead, as we have noted several times in this extraordinary year, markets have generally taken the long view, noting that the pandemic-induced recession will come to a halt, and that the historic vibrancy of the American economy will once again rise to the forefront. In short, financial markets have done what they always do…focus on the big picture and be only marginally influenced in the short run by current events.
This is not to say that elections and their results do not matter – they do. Our daily lives are impacted in a multitude of ways by our governmental policies, and there are serious and legitimate differences in opinion in how best to meet the nation’s needs. However, history has told us repeatedly that the U.S. economy (and indeed the global economy as well) is a juggernaut that, through innovation and perseverance, moves companies and countries ahead to improve standards of living. Again, while there are differing beliefs in seeking this goal, our collective world history tells us this is the great aim of the majority – to improve the world for ourselves, those less fortunate, and those who will come behind us.
As the dust settles, we will be watching closely for portfolio and economic implications of the next Presidential term, and we will adjust or redirect as appropriate in our clients’ financial plans and portfolios. We will stay in close touch as we do so.
On behalf of all of us at JFS, thank you for your continued confidence.