This presidential election could very well be a flashback to the 2000 presidential election of Bush versus Gore. Does anybody remember the ‘hanging chads’? Bush was declared the early winner, but the Democrats contested the race, which was finally declared in Bush’s favor by the U.S. Supreme Court on December 12, 2000.
With an unprecedented 70 million-plus early votes casts and mailed, there is much speculation we might not know the results for days, or even weeks, after the election. The one thing markets hate is uncertainty. With this in mind, what should you do about your investments now?
It may be instructive to look back at what happened after the 2000 election. During the almost six weeks after the election, but before the Supreme Court decided, the stock market dropped 4%. Remember, this was at the early stages of the tech wreck. From December 12, 2000, the market dropped another 3.7% to the end of that year, followed by an 11.7% decline in 2001.
What seems obvious in hindsight is that investors were not driven so much by election uncertainty as they were by technology stocks beginning to fail or falter.
Will this time be different?
I would not be surprised to see increased volatility following this year’s election, but I plan to remain invested and use any significant dips as a buying opportunity. If you have an active 401-k plan, you are likely automatically investing with each paycheck, so sticking with stocks for the long term should prove to be a good strategy. If you have questions, seek guidance from a Certified Financial Planner who can help you plan and manage your investment strategy.
Follow The Welch Group every Tuesday morning on WBRC Fox 6 for the Money Tuesday segment.
FOX 6 TALKING POINTS
It’s November 3rd; who Wins?
- May not know election results for days/weeks
- 2000 contested election resulted in a 4% drop
- Avoid trying to ‘time’ market in an election cycle
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaire; and 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget.
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