How Much Impact Does the President Have on Stocks?

Updated: Oct 29

The anticipation building up to elections often brings with it questions about how financial markets will respond. But the outcome of an election is only one of many inputs to the market. Our exhibit examines market and economic data for nearly 100 years of US presidential terms and shows a consistent upward march for US equities regardless of the administration in place. This is an important lesson on the benefits of a long-term investment approach.

NOTES AND DATA SOURCES

  • This material is in relation to the US market and contains analysis specific to the US.

  • In US dollars. Stock returns represented by Fama/French Total US Market Research Index, provided by Ken French and available at http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/pages/faculty/ken.french/data_library.html. This value-weighed US market index is constructed every month, using all issues listed on the NYSE, AMEX, or Nasdaq with available outstanding shares and valid prices for that month and the month before. Exclusions: American depositary receipts. Sources: CRSP for value-weighted US market return. Rebalancing: Monthly. Dividends: Reinvested in the paying company until the portfolio is rebalanced.

  • Growth of wealth shows the growth of a hypothetical investment of $100 in the securities in the Fama/French US Total Market Research Index. Growth of wealth for the full sample from March 4, 1929, through June 30, 2020. Growth of wealth for each presidential term starts on the election day of each president up to but not including the election day of a successor. For presidents who are not initially elected, the growth of wealth period starts from the day of inauguration up to but not including the successor’s election day.

  • Federal surplus or deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment data from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED). GDP Growth is annual real GDP Growth, using constant 2012 dollars, as provided by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Unemployment data not reported prior to April 1929. Federal surplus or deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product data is cumulative.

  • US Government Presidential and Congressional data obtained from the History, Art & Archives of the United States House of Representatives. US Senate data is from the Art & History records of the United States Senate.

  • For Herbert Hoover, the federal budget is calculated from 1929 to 1932. Annual real GDP growth is calculated from 1930 to 1932; GDP data not available prior to 1930.

DISCLOSURES Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing risks include loss of principal and fluctuating value. There is no guarantee an investment strategy will be successful.

Indices are not available for direct investment. Their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio.

Data presented in the Growth of Wealth chart is hypothetical and assumes reinvestment of income and no transaction costs or taxes. The chart is for illustrative purposes only and is not indicative of any investment. The information in this document is provided in good faith without any warranty and is intended for the recipient’s background information only. It does not constitute investment advice, recommendation, or an offer of any services or products for sale and is not intended to provide a sufficient basis on which to make an investment decision. It is the responsibility of any persons wishing to make a purchase to inform themselves of and observe all applicable laws and regulations. Unauthorized copying, reproducing, duplicating, or transmitting of this document are strictly prohibited. Dimensional accepts no responsibility for loss arising from the use of the information contained herein. Eugene Fama and Ken French are members of the Board of Directors of the general partner of, and provide consulting services to, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. “Dimensional” refers to the Dimensional separate but affiliated entities generally, rather than to one particular entity. These entities are Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Dimensional Fund Advisors Ltd., Dimensional Ireland Limited, DFA Australia Limited, Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada ULC, Dimensional Fund Advisors Pte. Ltd, Dimensional Japan Ltd., and Dimensional Hong Kong Limited. Dimensional Hong Kong Limited is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission to conduct Type 1 (dealing in securities) regulated activities only and does not provide asset management services.

UNITED STATES: Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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online fee-only fiduciary financial advisor blog robert schmansky
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