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What a local financial planner advises short and long-term investors before Election Day

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 11:19 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Election Day is just days away, and now, some are closely watching their investments.

Stephan Hess, a financial planner with Hess Financial in Harrisonburg, said he gets the same questions every four years during a presidential election cycle, especially when it comes to keeping money safe.

“Things do change after an election," Hess said. "There are certain industries that tend to do better under Republican administrations, and there are industries that do better under Democratic administrations, so you’ll see kind of an adjustment take place in some of those companies.”

Hess said short-term investors should look into which industries thrive and which do not before making changes, but long-term investors should not be too worried because he said the market takes hits every few years. He said significant past events include Y2K, 9/11, wars, the COVID-19 pandemic, and sometimes elections.

Historically, Hess said a change of administration has a larger impact, but within a few months, he said things usually return to normal.

“Some investors say ‘I’ve got to take my money out of the market,’ some investors say ‘This is great. I want to put more money into the market,’ so you get a lot of pushing and pulling that happens right after the election, but then that clears up,” he said.

Hess said he does not advise making big changes before an election unless someone is planning to make a large purchase within the next 6 to 12 months. For example, buying a home, making a college tuition payment, or starting a home renovation.

“My recommendation would be, pull that money out, set it aside in anticipation of that. Don’t take the risk of what’s going to happen," Hess said. "Of course, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but the market at any given moment can go up or pull back 5 to 10 percent.”

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