Ah, for the good old days of the circuses of the political conventions.
“The honorable state of delirium, home of the best peach preserves and burial place of the former commissioner of cosmetics, places its vote for the nomination of our next President, Senator Alphonse Foghorn!”
Declared to be open conventions that theoretically allowed competitors for the nomination, they were often a recognized pretense, as the candidates had been chosen using the time-honored(?) political back room power brokers.
So, this year, no balloons–no raucous yelling and screaming and crackling applause. Instead, one could grab an adult drink and pick up the remote. The TV screen and computer monitor, which could be easily turned off when you saw enough, presented talking heads and heart-tugging scenes. Not quite the histrionics of the past.
But now that the conventions are over the parties (we may need to change that word, as it connotes fun, of which there is less and less of it during the campaigns) will commence the ‘he said–she said’ competition to malign their opponents, spin facts, refute spun facts, and end their speeches with, “…and God Bless America.”
We have a couple months until the elections, plenty of time for citizens to consider the merits of each candidate’s accomplishments, character, and platform. We intently wish that would be the goal of every eligible voter. There are two groups that have the potential to significantly impact the elections, both Presidential and down-ballot. They are those who simply do not vote, and in many cases haven’t exercised that right for years, and those who, without any critical thinking, vote as they do because, “That’s the way Mom or Dad always voted.”
All this means that the confusion, rancor, disappointment—you name it— that campaigns engender, combined with the stress of the Covid 19 pandemic, compete against slowly, but steadily, improving economic indicators to provide the ingredients for an erratic market that will remain paranoid.
The investment positive in all this? With the exception of a handful of tech issues being chased by the novice ‘Robin Hood’ traders, the technical traders, and the ‘fear of missing out’ traders, the general markets, have moved away from growth stock investing and into value investing. That is our forte, as you have heard us say ad nauseum, and having honed it over fifty years, are proudly sticking with it in managing your portfolio.