The Rocky movie series is a well-known rags to riches story. But what many people don’t know is the struggle that Sylvester Stallone, the movie’s star, went through to get it produced and the perseverance he demonstrated along the way. Stallone’s goal had always been to become a popular actor, but his career just wasn’t cooperating. After a string of insignificant and uncredited roles, he had hit rock bottom with no car and just $106 in the bank. Stallone had to keep his eyes set on his end goal to get him through the lean, challenging years.
Like Stallone, we have to find ways to overcome obstacles that get in the way of our financial goals. As we approach a polarizing presidential election amidst a global pandemic, there are plenty of uncertainties that are sure to make progress hard to see.
The Markets hate uncertainty, as we have witnessed with their response to this very challenging year. The major U.S. stock indices each finished at record highs in mid-February, but as the Coronavirus emerged and the U.S. economy locked down, each index fell over 30%, bottoming out on March 23rd.
Following the economic downturn, unemployment spiked dramatically, consumer spending plummeted, and interest rates fell to near zero. The U.S. is averaging around 40,000 new Covid-19 cases daily; the death toll has surpassed 200,000. Leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has been widely quoted as saying, “it’s unlikely we’ll have a definitive answer” on a vaccine by the November 3rd election.
The bipartisan gap in President Trump’s approval ratings (81%) is wider than any other U.S. president in the modern era of polling dating back to President Eisenhower. All of these factors have played a role in what has been a highly volatile year in the market.
The question on the minds of many who are concerned about their financial future is do we stick to the plan or do we pivot?
Our response at Mosaic Family Wealth: stay the course.
Over the next few weeks leading up to the election, you will see numerous headlines and articles discussing economic scenarios based on the various potential outcomes of the presidential and senate elections. Historically speaking, those outcomes just don’t matter. Ignore them.
There is no discernible pattern in market performance based on the political party that is in the White House or that controls Congress. Since 1929, the average return of the S&P 500 during a presidential term is 10.3%, and the average return in the year following an election is only slightly lower.
Stallone wrote Rocky as a starring vehicle for himself. And although the script was a hit, generating an impressive $306,000 offer, the producers didn’t want him to star. But Stallone had the determination and fought for his end-goal. He turned down the offer and was able to convince producers to give him his shot. Rocky went on to receive nine Oscar nominations and get three wins, including Best Picture, and grossed over $200 million. The Rocky series and its spinoff Creed have grossed over $1.6 billion combined and have cemented Stallone as one of the most bankable movie stars of his generation with an estimated net worth of 400 million dollars.
It’s tempting for investors to pivot away from their plan in times of uncertainty. What history teaches us is that Markets reward long-term investors for staying disciplined through market cycles and punish emotional, reactionary investment decisions. Missing just a handful of days with strong market performance creates a significant drag on portfolio returns.
The seasoned and experienced team at Mosaic Family wealth are in this fight with you for the long-haul. We are long-term investors with a well thought out financial plan based around your unique goals. When we worked with you to create your plan, we knew that markets wouldn’t go up forever, we knew there would be times of uncertainty. We accounted for your risk tolerance and time horizon to help you reach your goals. We have been ready all along to help you hang in there. More volatility may be coming, and that’s okay.
Stick to your plan.
Please note that nothing in this content should be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any security or separate account. Nothing in this content is intended to be, and you should not consider anything in this content to be, investment, accounting, tax, or legal advice. If you would like investment, accounting, tax, or legal advice, you should consult with your own accountants or attorneys regarding your individual circumstances and needs.
Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.