Presidential Elections And Market Corrections

Presidential elections and market corrections have a long history of companionship. Given the rampant rhetoric between the right and left, such is not surprising. Such is particularly the case over the last two Presidential elections, where polarizing candidates trumped policies.

From a portfolio management perspective, we must understand what happens during election years concerning the stock market and investor returns.

Since 1833, the S&P 500 index has gained an average of 10.03% in the year of a presidential election. By contrast, the first and second years following a Presidential election see average gains of 6.15% and 6.94%, respectively. There are notable exceptions to positive election-year returns, such as in 2008, when the S&P 500 sank nearly 37%. (Returns are based on price only and exclude dividends.) However, overall, the win rate of Presidential election years is a very high 76.6%

Since President Roosevelt’s victory in 1944, there have only been two losses during presidential election years: 2000 and 2008. Those two years corresponded with the “ Crash” and the “Financial Crisis.” On average, the second-best performance years for the S&P 500 are in Presidential election years.

presidential election