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What History Tells Us About Elections and the Market

Investors often wonder whether the market will rise or fall based on who is elected president. The data show that capturing the long-term returns of the capital markets does not depend on which party controls the White House. In a recent webcast, Dimensional’s Mark Gochnour and Jake DeKinder offered lessons from history.

Hindsight Is 20/20. Foresight Isn’t.

The year 2019 served up many examples of the unpredictability of markets. Interest rates that US policy makers expected to rise fell instead. American consumers’ confidence weakened as the year began,1 and news headlines broadcast fears of an economic slowdown. But investors who moved onto the sidelines may have missed the gains in the US stock market. As of the end of October, the S&P 500 was up more than 20% for the year on a total-return basis. That puts it
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