Neither blue nor red, long-term investors look for green
After weeks of early voting, it's finally here: Election Day. And it feels like a quarterly earnings call, new product launch, Federal Reserve decision day and a jobs report Friday all wrapped into one. And uncertainty over the outcome has been, ...
After weeks of early voting, it's finally here: Election Day.
And it feels like a quarterly earnings call, new product launch, Federal Reserve decision day and a jobs report Friday all wrapped into one.
And uncertainty over the outcome has been, finally, reflected in financial markets.
Last week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index marked its longest losing streak in five years and fell to its lowest point since summer. Bond interest rates have risen, while bond prices have fallen. And a measure of stock market volatility registered its highest level since June.
Meantime, gold prices hit one-month highs.
Investment markets reflect our world, tying prices to our optimism or pessimism. It's not political ideology that makes markets move. It's the hope of profits and the fear of losses.
So while this political season has been unusual in so many ways, the uncertainty felt by long-term investors is normal. Heightened, perhaps, after months of being muted, but normal.
There will be an emotional reaction in the markets to the results on Tuesday - even if the effects of those results and their economic implications aren't immediately clear. Just recall the sharp recoil of stock prices in late June when British voters approved an exit from the European Union and the subsequent boomerang of global markets in the weeks that followed the vote.
The election of an American president always is full of uncertainty, especially when there is no incumbent on the ballot. The economic policies of the winner are largely untested, and specific strategies remain unclear. Economic confidence may wane, waiting for signs of stability and clarity. But risk - and long-term investor resiliency - remains.