A Post-Election Financial Markets Analysis

federal interest rates
Financial Market Analysis: The Federal Reserve’s Recent Announcement
September 22, 2016
20000 dow
Year-End Market Analysis: DOW Approaches 20,000
December 22, 2016
Show all
Financial Markets Analysis

Our post-election financial markets analysis shows that this week the Dow moved back to the upper range in which the stock market has been stuck for over 18 months. This result comes after trading down overnight Tuesday by as much as 800 points as each state tallied its votes for the Presidential candidates. In full disclosure, I did not watch much of the endless media coverage of this Presidential race. I personally try to be positive in my daily life, and it appears to me that most things in the news these days are negative. That being said, my family did exercise our rights and did vote. We did sit down to watch the election results Tuesday night, which we have done in previous elections.

Around 3AM Wednesday morning, after some of my family had long gone off to bed, I could not help but think that I am really living in a remarkable time in America’s history. In the past sixteen years I have personally been witness to our first African American President, our first woman to run for President, and an “outsider” (as news networks called Donald Trump) win the oval office.  Also as an avid baseball fan, I have seen the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs win the World Series after many years of being “cursed”. I have been witness to two (not one) historic stock market crashes (2000 and 2008). If this isn’t history, I don’t know what is!

So do the Presidential election results change the overall state of the US stock market? Overall, I really don’t think so, at least in the short term. The facts are still pretty clear if you look at stock markets:

  1. Stocks are still expensive (regardless of Tuesday’s result)
  2. The US gross domestic product (GDP) is still very low
  3. Interest rates are extremely low
  4. The US has experienced six quarters of declining earnings growth

This does NOT mean that we are going to “crash” as President-elect Trump has said in his campaigning. What this should mean to investors:

  1. Do not expect very high returns over the next few years in US stocks unless something economically changes. There are many things that could change to cause GDP to take off, but it is too early to assess if that will happen.
  2. Continue to education yourself on alternative investing opportunities, especially if you are high net worth.
  3. Diversification continues to be a key driver of accumulating wealth.
  4. Keep saving.
  5. Do not watch the day to day movements of the markets; emotional investing and trading decisions do not generally produce results with long term goals.
  6. If you are in your 40s or younger, you have a very high probability that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will be much higher when you retire than it is today.

In conclusion, I consider myself very fortunate to serve clients and have friends  who voted in a variety of ways in this year’s election. I do enjoy listening to different opinions, as I believe it helps me be a better financial advisor. With all the differences that we seem to have today, I am only certain of one thing: I am proud to call myself an American. Today, on Veteran’s Day, I reflect on the sacrifices many people have made for our freedom.  My father, grandfathers and brother-in-law have all served our country, and to them I am very grateful. As we move towards Thanksgiving, I hope that many others can be thankful, as well.