The Perils of Partisan Investing

They say shooting fish in a barrel is not fair.

I fully agree.

But what if there’s a fish in that barrel that is really, really, bad?

I mean, the type of fish that would use his stature in popular media to convince other fish to do terrible things – like divest all of their stock market holdings based upon partisan politics?

That fish would deserve to be shot – metaphorically speaking of course.

Today’s fish in question is Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald), contributing editor to Vanity Fair, MSNBC correspondent, and, as he never fails to mention, NY Times Bestselling author.

Basically, Kurt is a writer. But like the doctor who thinks his surgical skills will translate to dominance at the poker table, Kurt too believes that his literary credentials qualify him to dictate stock market advice.

The problem is, Kurt is a political partisan.

Merriam – Webster defines a partisan as;

“A firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially: one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance. Political partisans who see only one side of the problem.”

His partisanship runs so deep that he can see no scenario in which the stock market thrives when someone he is ideologically opposed to is president.

That’s a dangerous fish.

True, there have been studies that have tried to determine if the stock market does better under a Democratic or Republican Administration.

The verdict?

The stock market does what it wants to, in spite of which party the Commander-in-Chief belongs to.

Kurt doesn’t understand that. Because he is a partisan fish.

Case in point, this tweet from last September…

To say Kurt was wrong on that call would be like saying the Titanic had a fender-bender.

In an attempt to obfuscate his trainwreck of a call, Kurt has now changed his narrative to “The US stock market has underperformed international indexes since Trump was elected.”

This is known as “moving the goal posts.”

It’s particularly disingenuous because Kurt never said, “Trump will be bad for the stock market, sell US stocks and invest 100% internationally.”

And there was no reasonable person on the planet on November 9th, 2016 that would have recommended putting 100% of your investment capital in international stocks.

This ham-handed attempt to justify a generationally bad call is the worst type of after-the-fact curve-fitting.

This is what happens when you allow partisan politics to seep into your investing

And by the way, if international stocks had not outperformed, there would have been some other bullshit, non-real world metric he would have used to justify his man-boy advice.

See, the stock market doesn’t care who is in the oval office. It never has, and it never will.

Don’t try and @ me. I’ve written on this before, I know what I’m talking about.

Ultimately, what’s more important than the party in power is the economic and regulatory landscape at the time they are in power.

Bill Clinton presided over a massive rally in the stock market, but it had more to do with the emergence of the internet than anything he did as POTUS.

In fact, it could be argued that the best thing he did as POTUS was to do nothing, i.e. not regulate the burgeoning web and the internet companies that sprang from it.

Trump is a dipshit, that much is true, but those who claimed financial Armageddon was a fait accompli because of his election let their emotions and partisanship get in the way. Those types of people are dangerous.

Dangerous because they scare the public into doing things that are not in their best financial interests.

The fact that Kurt and the partisans in his camp can’t admit they were wrong and move forward tells you all you need to know about their Kool-Aid drinking ways.

Eichenwald doubled down on his disastrous call just this last Friday when in direct response to the preliminary passage of Trump’s tax bill he tweeted;

As I write this at 9:00 pm PST, the Dow futures are up a ridiculous-for-a-Sunday-night 230pts – or almost 1%.

Very rarely can you connect a market move to a specific event, but this futures rally is directly connected to the passage of the bill. As if the gods of irony said, “let’s make Kurt Eichenwald look like the wrongest person in the city of Wrongville.”

And even if the market were to crash tomorrow, it wouldn’t change the wrongness of Kurt Eichenfish’s partisan financial advice.

Anyway, I’m done.

The lesson for the day, keep politics away from the dinner table and from investing. You’ll have a much happier and financially rewarding life if you do.

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar