File photo. (Stephen Frye / MediaNews Group)
Thanksgiving is the time of year when families gather for food, football and, of course, conversation. Some discussions may become spirited, especially if the topic is politics.
I also view Thanksgiving as the unofficial start of the 2024 election season. This time next year we’ll be thankful that the election is over.
In the coming months, politicians will spend fortunes in their efforts to win an election. As someone that talks to a lot of people from various political viewpoints, however, I’m doubtful that many will change their opinions between now and next year’s elections. People are pretty much dug in with their political opinions.
Although it’s a topic I prefer to avoid, politics often come up when I’m meeting with clients. I much prefer for clients and readers not to view me as red or blue, but rather as an advisor that works to keep them in the green.
Most political campaigns are far too negative in their narrative and often stray from the truth. If a regulated financial advisor bent the truth the way many politicians do, he or she would likely be in hot water with regulators. With so much negativity, it’s understandable why the general public is so pessimistic and skeptical.
It’s no surprise that investors like economic stability. Looking at the history of the stock market during election years, it’s safe to say that markets are anything but stable during election year cycles.
My feeling is that most people’s opinions are set and that politicians will have a difficult time changing a voter’s tendency. And come next year, political campaigns will once again be negative and tempers will flare.
But let’s take a look at our upcoming election cycle and how it might affect your investments. I have a few suggestions that might help you make it through the months ahead.
First of all, please do not let the election rhetoric change your long-term financial plans. The emotions of politics should not dictate how you invest.
In other words, don’t do anything rash, and by all means, don’t attempt to time the markets. Nervously sitting on the sidelines and waiting for election results is simply not a very prudent investment strategy. It’s not like a bell is going to ring after the election signaling that it’s suddenly time to invest.
If you’re among those in the workforce that contribute to a retirement program every pay period, don’t even think about suspending your contributions. The idea of consistent and regular investing is one of the key ingredients for building wealth to help you achieve financial success. Regardless of what you read in the headlines.
As for your existing investment portfolio, don’t make a withdrawal from fully invested positions and reposition into cash thinking it will just be for a short period of time. Review your financial goals and remind yourself why you initially made the investments. I seriously doubt election results will radically change your investment narrative.
Brace yourself for all the negative campaign ads but look beyond the noise and stay focused on your investments.
I encourage you to enjoy this Thanksgiving by avoiding certain discussions. You’ll get enough of the negative political campaigns again next year. So, keep yourself upbeat and don’t let politics knock you off your investment goals.
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The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation. Comments concerning the past performance are not intended to be forward looking and should not be viewed as an indication of future results.