In an already stressful year, this election season has proved to be more than many can bear. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) 68% of all adults consider the 2020 Presidential election to be a significant stressor in their life. As of now we still don’t know who has won, but I am hopeful we will have answers soon.
Regardless of which side ends up being the big winner, I would suggest there is no reason for anyone to panic. There are many on both sides of the ideological spectrum that can’t imagine the nation continuing if the other side wins. However, I’ve got news for all those people…..it will.
Many on the left were convinced Donald Trump winning in 2016 was a sign of the apocalypse, others thought it was the election of Barack Obama with a super majority in 2008 that would bring our nation to its knees. In both cases the actual reality of what happened was far less disastrous than the party loyalists feared.
This can be said for the aftermath of virtually every modern Presidential election. Using the S&P as a measuring stick, America has actually thrived regardless of which party controls the White House. In fact, since 1933 when FDR was inaugurated, there has only been one time that the S&P closed lower when a party left the White House than when they entered it. That occurred between the years of 2001 and 2009 under Republican President George W. Bush. Every single other time the market has ended higher than it started.
Economist Brian Wesbury points out in a recent commentary that since 1949 if you had $10,000 but only invested it in the S&P 500 when Republicans were in power you would have $76,000 today. If you started with that same sum of money, but only invested when Democrats were in office you would now have $296,000. However, if you stayed invested regardless of which party was in control you would have roughly 2,200,000 dollars!
It is true that statistically the market has grown more when Democrats have controlled the White House than it has under Republican control, but the point is, you are better off when you bet on America, and not a particular political party.
That is not to say policies out of Washington have no impact, as I said in last week’s column I believe our fiscal policies, in particular, do play a major role in how much our economy grows. However, as fun as it is to cheer for your team and debate national issues, the reality is who wins your local city and county races often have far more of an impact on you and your pocketbook than who wins the White House.
So, to the over two-thirds of Americans stressing about who our next President will be, my advice to you is to relax, and take solace in the fact that America is bigger than any President, and bigger than any party. No matter whose hand is on that Bible on January 20th we will continue to be an exceptional nation continuing to do exceptional things.