It doesn’t really make much difference who is in Number 10
With a new Prime Minister and still no idea what is actually going to happen with Brexit, I thought I would repost this article to complete the feeling of deja vu.
Over the long run, the market has provided substantial returns regardless of who lives at Number 10. While unanticipated future events (genuine surprises) may trigger price changes in the future, the nature of these events cannot be known by investors today. As a result, it is difficult, if not impossible, to systematically benefit from trying to forecast what is going to happen next. Trying to ‘gain an edge’ by predicting what will happen to the stock market after a general election and whether the incumbent government will be good or bad for stock market returns is pure folly.
Exhibit 1 shows the growth of £1 invested in the UK market over more than 60 years and 12 prime ministers (from Anthony Eden to Theresa May).
This exhibit does not suggest an obvious pattern of long-term stock market performance based upon which party has the majority in the Commons. What it shows is that over the long run, the market has provided substantial returns regardless of who lives at Number 10, and that investing should be viewed as a long-term endeavour. This philosophy is unlikely to change with Boris in charge of the keys. Or, whoever follows him – however quickly!
Trying to make investment decisions based upon the outcome of elections is unlikely to serve you well (other than through random luck). At worst, such a strategy can lead to costly mistakes and missing out on the positive returns one can expect from simply staying the course in a well-diversified, low-cost portfolio.