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Clinton or Trump? Nervous U.S. investors await answer

Election's impact on investors

There’s less than a month to decide the next President of the United States, and the uncertainty of a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump presidency has many investors worried about their retirement savings, according to a new study of the investing electorate by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.   

BlackRock’s US Investor Pulse Study 2016 finds that nearly two-thirds, or 63%, of American investors say the upcoming Presidential election has impacted their investment decisions over the past year, and about a third of those surveyed feel the election poses a threat to their financial future. As a result, many investors are holding on to their cash -- with 26% telling BlackRock they had increased their cash positions.

“It’s clear that many Americans view the election as a source of uncertainty, making them less comfortable about investing,” said Robert Kapito, president of BlackRock.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed believe that market volatility will continue to increase regardless of who wins the Presidential election  Nearly two in three agree that the election will have a “great deal of an impact” on the US economy, and nearly all (98%) believe it will have at least some impact.

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An overwhelming 73% of American investors acknowledge following the 2016 election more closely than they did in 2008. And huge majorities see the 2016 election as having a big impact on the country (84%), the economy (84%),and their personal financial situation (75%), according to the study.

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The presidential election ranks No. 5 on a list of concerns that Americans have about their financial futures, BlackRock reports. The top four concerns are the high cost of living, healthcare costs, changes to Social Security, and the health of the U.S.

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Kapito said sound investment decision-making hinges on recognizing that short-term events often do not dramatically alter the long-term trends that truly determine an investor’s ability to achieve long-term goals over many decades. “Regardless of how they choose to respond to election uncertainty,” he said, “investors are well advised to make sure that their portfolios remain aligned with all of the realities that will really shape their financial future no matter who occupies the White House.”

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