As the coronavirus soars across the country, charting a single-day record of 99,155 new cases on Friday and surpassing nine million cases nationwide, tracing the path of the pandemic in the United States is no longer simply challenging. It has become nearly impossible. The Trump administration has given up but keeps saying they are “rounding the corner” on the pandemic while they are actually going around in circles. Yet, there are people gathering en masse without masks.

The election on Nov 3 has, on the one side, a candidate who has a lifetime of public service and on the other side, a president who is a reality show in and of himself. Yet, voters are torn and are struggling to make the right decision.

And then, we have a stock market that has behaved cantankerously all year to the extent that none of the fundamental indicators matter anymore. The day traders with little knowledge of the markets have had their fair share of victories through the Robinhood platform but the insecurity of not knowing what will transpire in the next week prompted a broad based sell off, which has most long term investors scratching their heads.

Future Wealth’s View

A nation with a tradition of political competition bounded by banisters of good manners has deteriorated precipitously in the last four years with a President who has openly shared behavior that would be unacceptable in a kindergarten classroom. But, the institution of democracy is held to a higher standard and therein, lies the conundrum for the voters who are torn between voting for Biden or Trump. It’s the choices that make us who we are.

“There are,” Lenin supposedly said, “decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.” The pandemic has exposed us all to a once in a lifetime event that, hopefully, will never be repeated again. But, we are witness to throngs of people blissfully unaware of the risk they are subjecting themselves and to others around them, in stark contrast to another subset of the population who simply refuse to leave the confines of their house. Again, it’s the choices that make us who we are.

Which brings us to the state of the stock market. By all accounts, in an absolutely crazy year with high unemployment, people dying everyday, the markets would be expected to be well below current levels. But, much like those who feel impervious to the pandemic and are willing to endure another four years of Trump, the inevitable end for the risk takers in the stock market may not be salubrious. And for the last time, it’s the choices that make us who we are.