During the 1992 presidential elections, a wealthy individual ran a substantially self-funded presidential campaign as an independent, in competition with the established parties’ candidates, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The impact of Ross Perot’s run on the eventual outcome remains a subject for debate, with no clear consensus as to which of the other two candidates’ vote totals were affected the most.
Now we have the 2016 presidential elections, with the potential for another, primarily self-funded individual suggesting that he may launch a campaign as an independent if he doesn’t feel he is being treated fairly by the Republican Party. Thus, it is quite possible that the 2016 presidential race, like the one in in 1992, may include a wealthy independent, a Republican to be determined (but quite possibly another Bush) and another Clinton.
If anything, politics is probably even more unpredictable than the stock market. However, investors should consider that political rhetoric may approach new highs for irrelevance, discord and lack of clarity. This may be an excellent time to continue to focus on the long term and maintain an investment strategy that has served you well in the past.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA®