Politics Don’t Matter Much for Investors

Political news is sure to dominate the headlines in 2024. More than half of the world’s population is heading to the polls, from Taiwan to South Africa. And with debates raging over immigration, international policy and social issues, the U.S. presidential election is set to be particularly contentious.

Election uncertainty will likely trigger higher market volatility, particularly during the primary season. The good news: Volatility can often generate opportunities for patient investors.

“High-quality companies frequently get caught in political crosshairs, which can create a buying opportunity,” says equity portfolio manager Rob Lovelace. “But I typically try to look beyond the election cycle and aim for an average holding period in my portfolios of around eight years — essentially two presidential terms.”

Investors may have strong convictions about which candidate or political party will steer the country in the right direction, but historically the party that prevails has had little impact on long-term market returns. Since 1936, the 10-year annualized return of U.S. stocks (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) made at the start of an election year was 11.2% when a Democrat won and 10.5% in years a Republican prevailed.

Elections come and go, but results last a lifetime. Need that second opinion on your long-term investments? We are here to help.

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