What a year this week has been.
What a year this month has been.
It's been a wild ride this last week, month and year!
How are you handling the ride? Will you hit "reply" and let me know?
Many of us have become addicted to constantly checking for updates, headlines, and reactions.
It's time to put down the phone, unplug for a bit, and take a break from the doomscrolling.
Now that the election’s been called, everything will get back to normal, right?
Well, maybe not. We're still in a pandemic after all.
It seems that our next president will be Joe Biden. But votes are still being tallied, court challenges are being issued, and recounts have been triggered. Control over the Senate hasn’t been decided yet, even as it appears that the Republicans will likely retain control.
While nothing is completely settled yet, the markets seem upbeat, likely hoping that:
1) Stimulus talks will begin again.
2) The government will get back to fighting the pandemic now that the election's over.
3) That a vaccine may be coming soon.
So, is it true that markets perform better when the government's divided?
It's not so cut and dried as that. Check it out:
In some cases, a split government correlated with stronger market performance on average.1 In others, a sweep of both branches turned out better. But let's remember three important things:
1) Correlation is not causation; there's a lot more at play than who controls the federal government.
2) Past performance doesn't predict the future.
3) Since our sample sizes are small, we can't draw strong conclusions.
Can we take a moment to pause and be thankful?
Thankful that we can determine the next leaders of our country through democratic means with a certain regularity.
Thankful that even with all the divisive politicking we can expect a peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another, notwithstanding some of the rhetoric we are hearing.
Thankful that we can disagree, while continuing to work as hard as we can to have our voices heard on the issues that we care about.
It doesn't matter what your politics are. Half the country is celebrating in glee while the other half is distressed and disappointed.
However, I hope we can each do our part to contribute to civil discourse and approach those who don’t share our beliefs with humility and open hearts.
The process of American democracy creates a lot of dirty laundry. Furthermore, we hang it out to dry for everyone to see. It's not always a pretty picture, is it?
Winston Churchill's quote on democracy is as meaningful now as when he said it:
"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest."
Wishing you peace, love, and good health --
Daniel Ruben, MD, MPH, MBA
Life Strategies Advisors
P.S. Are you upset about the election? Do you need to talk it out? I'm here if you do.