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Surgent's The Financial Effects of Presidential Elections

  • 02/23/2021
  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • EPE2-2021-01-WEBNR-54-01



This class will explore the historical performance and volatility the capital markets have experienced during presidential election years. Politics and investing have always been spoken about in the same breath. Market commentators, and even presidents themselves, have linked the performance of the stock market as a sort of “barometer” of the effectiveness of a president’s policies.

The data does not support this link, however, and investors would be wise to think critically before making an investment decision based on who’s occupying the White House. Counterintuitively, over the past 120 years the long-term performance of the stock market has shown almost no correlation with government policies.

Instead, the key drivers of stock market performance have been earnings and economic growth. Much of our collective memory about the performance of the economy under various past administrations stems from historical narratives, not hard data. Other factors, such as the decisions made by the U.S. Federal Reserve, have a much greater impact on market sentiment than any sound bite from politicians. This election season will be no different from the prior ones, and investors should brace themselves for vitriol on both sides of the political spectrum. This course will enable practitioners to understand and speak with authority on this surprising data and its potential financial implications.


  • Understand drivers of stock market performance in election years, based on historical data

    Topics Discussed:

    • Historical performance of markets during presidential election years
    • Key factors driving stock market performance in an election year, unrelated to politics

      Designed for: Anyone who invests in the stock market or has clients who do

      Level: Basic

      Instructor: T.J. Zak, CFP®, AIF®

      CPE Credits: 

      Area of Study: Economics (Technical) (2)

      Prerequisite: None

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