- Patient investors can do well in election years, but brace for market volatility.
- Will there be a recession in 2020? Not if a strong consumer sector holds up.
- It's not too late to prepare portfolios for rougher seas ahead.
"If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it," Mark Twain once quipped. All joking aside, as we head toward a pivotal U.S. presidential contest in November, investors may be worried that a contentious election season, or a certain outcome, could push the U.S. economy into recession and send markets into a tailspin.
But a look at history shows that presidential elections have made essentially no difference when it comes to long-term investment returns.
What has mattered is staying invested. Looking at election results back to 1932, U.S. stocks have trended up regardless of whether a Republican or a Democrat won the White House. Investors who held on for at least a year were rewarded for their patience, though they had to withstand heightened volatility during the primaries.