How to Prepare Your Portfolio for a Contested Election

Election Day is now less than a week away, and the polls are getting closer.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden is still in the lead nationally, and in the key swing states.

But in at least two crucial states, his home state of Pennsylvania as well as Florida, the polls show a tightening race.

Of course, the polls have been wrong before. Most significantly, as we all remember, when President Trump won against the odds four years ago.

In short, it’s looking like a close election. And not just on the presidential side, either.

Whether Democrats will gain a majority in the Senate is looking increasingly too close to call.

And with 60 million Americans already having voted early, in person or via mail, we have an unprecedented number of non-traditional votes to be counted. Add in these issues with vote by mail ballots: Illinois is still allowing up to 14 days after election day for vote by mail ballots to arrive; Iowa six days; Kansas three days; Mississippi five days; Nevada seven days; New Jersey two days; New York seven days; North Carolina three days; Ohio ten days; Texas one day; Virginia three days; and West Virginia five days, with the caveat is that all ballots needing to be post marked on Election Day.

The case regarding the key swing state of Pennsylvania is soon to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, with the exception of Pennsylvania, and possibly Nevada and North Carolina, few of those other states are likely to be close.

That means we may have another “contested” election like we had back in 2000, where who actually won got determined weeks later by the courts. In fact, President Trump has already said he’ll take the election to the Supreme Court if he loses. And on the other side of the aisle, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged candidate Biden not to concede.

One thing is clear – the wait and uncertainty will be worse for your portfolio than either side winning clearly.

Here’s how to protect yourself from this right now…

What to Expect from the Year’s Most Important Week of Earnings Reports

Even though the election is just over a week away, coronavirus concerns dominate the headlines. On Friday, the U.S. set a new record for most new coronavirus cases in a day. At 85,000, the new record is 10,000 cases higher than the one set on July 16, at the height of the virus’ second wave.

But while the coronavirus surge and news about the election and government stimulus may be dominating the headlines, the Reality Gap of the Week is that this week’s huge earnings reports may well end up overriding all these concerns. In fact, this is the biggest earnings week of the year, with many very important reports coming out in the most active earnings week of the quarter (more on those below).

But first, back to the virus – The UK, Spain, France, and Italy are all seeing spiking cases too, and are implementing new restrictions after loosening up over the summer. Even some Eastern European countries that avoided a surge of coronavirus cases back in spring, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, are now seeing huge spikes.