Historically speaking, most presidential elections have resulted in market downturns, especially when a lame duck congress is present. If you don’t believe that the market will feel the pain for a couple of months prior to the election in November, I suggest you take a second look. There are a couple of reasons why another recession lurks around the corner. First off, outside of the upcoming election, we are exceeding the 7 years historical average of market downturn/recessions. More importantly, this is one of the only times in history that the market has surged to its highest point (brought on by an overly-successful stimulus) with middle-class income levels at historic lows. Unfortunately, with the contrary logic that the stimulus has shown over the last 8 years, these facts are being written off as a pessimistic and shrugged off. For example, how many times did the market surge in 2009 and 2010 on rumors that the Federal Reserve was going to open the printing presses for another round of quantitative easing? Any other time in US history news of buying our way out of a recession would have sent panic throughout Wall Street, putting the market in a deep red. Our rules are set in opposition, something that we will have to contend with moving forward.
The question is, how hard will the market get hit? A better question, how long will it take for the market to rebound? When the market fell in September of 2008, the Dow Jones had just broken 14,000. It took 6 years to get back to that point. After the market recovered, and all the retirees exited the workforce in 2014, a mass hiring of college graduates (60% of the entire labor force!) replaced the seasoned workforce, driving middle-class salaries down to new lows. If history repeats, what do you think will happen to your projected retirement date? Will you be able to contribute more to your retirement or less than what you have been contributing? The good news is you can lock in your gains at one of the highest points, thanks to the artificial growth of the stimulus! Moving forward, instead of absorbing risk within securities, you can redirect your strategy to mirror index earnings like the S & P 500 or the Dow Jones, while protecting 100% of both principle and earnings. There are dozens of different indexes available to choose from, with some designed to capitalize during market downturns. In fact, if properly structured, some of these indexing strategies can be positioned to create non-taxable income sanctioned by the IRS (rules and procedures must comply with the IRS guidelines).
What do you think your portfolio would look like if you were able to bypass all the volatility from the 2008 recession, and capture all the upside? Some of these strategies, if implemented prior to the recession, would have allowed your portfolio to double in just a few years. I’d be willing to bet you’d be in a much better spot today if you had put this change into effect back then! I believe this opportunity is going to present itself again, starting in just a few months. It’s simple math. If you lock your gains in at the highest point, while removing all downside market exposure, you’ll likely position yourself for an early retirement. Otherwise, you risk waiting on the market (assuming it rebounds in a reasonable time) and delaying your retirement for several more years. It’s not only the volatility that sets you back it’s also the detour. Truth be told, this opportunity may not present itself for many more decades. It’s a statistical marvel that we happen to be approaching the same stage that was set in 2008, only now we have the right financial tools to benefit.
Making the right change can give you the cushion you need in moving forward. If the market takes a downturn and salary levels continue to drop, limiting expendable income, you can contribute less without disrupting your financial timeline. Using this plan with the right process is the key to success. These types of strategies are designed to protect your interests over several years, assuming the right process is in place. The ultimate goal is to move forward and free from funding disruptions. Without the risk of taking a step backward, forward momentum takes over, protecting your timeline from the unforeseen.
Once a decision is made for change, the right process has to be put into place. Making the change to mirror index returns and capitalize on long-term growth rarely works as a long-term strategy if the right process is absent. Life often happens unpredictably and without the right process to navigate you through critical financial events of your life, the odds can be stacked against you. Critical financial events can be as simple as retiring, purchasing a new home, or preparing for a loved one’s college education. They can also be unpredictable, such as the death of a spouse, a serious illness, or a career change. Failing to have a process to properly guide you through these events can be as detrimental as exposing yourself to volatility. Once again, the opportunity to make a positive change exists today. However, if this change is not accompanied by a refined process, you may be spinning your wheels. This is why it’s important to work with a professional who can implement the right process for your situation. If one thing remains certain in our future, it’s unpredictability. It’s how we approach this change that will determine how our financial future unfolds.
Whether or not, it’s Clinton vs. Trump or Sanders vs. Cruz (or any other combination), it is no secret that change is amongst us. I can’t recall any time in the past where the extreme viewpoints of each party have surfaced from frustration and distrust towards our leaders. As we get closer to the election, the tension brought on by the anxiety of change is likely to weigh the market down. How bad it gets crushed remains to be seen. We are truly at a time of the unknown and how we move forward will determine how our financial future/legacy shapes itself. With the market being at an all-time high within a struggling economy, this may be the best opportunity within our lifetime to make the necessary changes with the right process.