For the last several presidential elections there seems to have always been an “October Surprise”. They don’t come any bigger that the one we received late Thursday night early Friday morning. With the news that President Trump had tested positive with the Coronavirus topped any October surprise we’ve ever had.

The equity markets responded with a lot of volatility and ended down for the day. All of the 3 major indexes were down with the S&P 500 off about 1%, the Dow about ½% and the NASDAQ minus about 2.2%. It seems that no amount of study-of economic commentary and market forecasting-ever prepares us for really dramatic events, which always seem to come at us out of deep left field.

Going forward, I believe that no matter who gets elected, nor what his policies, superior companies will continue to thrive by acting in their shareholders’ best interest. Companies in the S&P 500 are not there by accident. They will adapt. I also believe that no matter who becomes president in January, and no matter what policies he implements, the electorate-you and I- get another go at him in 23 months. Unless things change dramatically, we still have a divided government.

America’s most admired, least imitated investor, Warren Buffett pointed out that for about half his career as an epically successful investor, the president has been the guy he voted against.

History tells us that, after each major financial crisis, the United States has recovered and grown. Let me quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Early Success,” 1937

“The uncertainties of 1919 were over-there seemed little doubt what was going to happen-America was going on the greatest, gaudiest spree in history…”

So, Jean & I hope and pray that the president recovers, and we have a fair and honest election. And I’m going to try and make this week a great week. I hope you have a great one as well. As always, should you have any questions or wish to speak with me, please email or call.

Doug Alden

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