Focus on the “Known Knowns”

By Deron T. McCoy, CFA®, CFP®, CAIA®
Chief Investment Officer

After a historic week in a historic year marked by uncertainty, U.S. citizens started to gain a bit more clarity on what 2021 has in store. The obvious elephant donkey in the room was the delayed results of the presidential election with Joe Biden being announced as president-elect. To add to the clamor around the presidential election, news broke that Pfizer’s potential Covid vaccine had a higher efficacy than was hoped. While not finalized, as more testing needs to be done, it is great news and a substantial feather in the cap for an industry that normally takes years to develop an effective vaccine.

However, one could argue that the election still must deal with pending litigation and that the vaccine still has to make it through final testing. And one can even point to the uncertainty around the makeup of the U.S. Senate as we likely will not know which party will control the upper chamber until January run-offs in Georgia. These known unknowns (and possible ‘unknown unknowns’ to borrow a phrase from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) are all fluid and could change in a heartbeat—especially in a year like 2020. Even this article may be wildly outdated in just a few days’ time. But investors need not dwell on the unknowns. Instead, we can focus on what we do know. more

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