My election bet with Barry

My partner Barry Ritholtz and I have a small dollar figure wagered on the upcoming presidential election. He’s betting that Hillary Clinton will win and I’m betting that Donald Trump will win. Neither of us are particularly jazzed about either candidate but you can probably glean that we both agree Trump is a much bigger risk for America and the world, and we don’t embrace unnecessary risk, given our chosen profession.

We made the bet a month ago, before the Access Hollywood tape came out and before the Comey letter to Congress. We’ve taken turns looking like winners or losers from week to week, depending on the cycle.

Barry knows a lot more about electoral math than I do. But I think I know more about what’s going on with the people in this country, spiritually and mentally. I consider Social IQ to be my primary (only?) advantage in life. I think he’s going to win and shock the world.

By the way, my guess at who is going to win does not extend to my investing, personally or professionally. As my team and I have documented relentlessly, making long-term investments based on who is going to be the President is on a par with sports betting or astrology. There are way too many additional variables that carry more weight for market outcomes than who wins the White House in any given election.

I can live with a win for Trump because I know he’s not going to actually want to do the job. Fortunately, his son-in-law will step in and run the country behind the scenes. We have a great deal of evidence that Donald listens to Jared and Ivanka more than to anyone else in his life. This could be our (all of our) saving grace. They’re not going to encourage him to point missiles at Mexico.

Some deplorable elements of the electorate will not be thrilled to learn six months from now that they’ve just helped to elect the first Orthodox Jewish President, from Manhattan and the media business no less (he owns the Observer), but it will be fun to watch that realization dawn upon them, I guess.

All of my friends, with a handful of exceptions, seem to be rooting for Trump. My theory is he reminds them of their dads. Other than that and the nostalgia he’s selling, and the terribleness of Hillary Clinton, I can’t figure out the appeal. I’ve never felt more disconnected from my own friends and family as I do in this election cycle. It’s off-putting and I can’t wait for it to end.

I was a Romney supporter last time out and I never liked Obama or his policies (although I do greatly respect the man). This should have been Romney’s second term, but, like Hillary, he’s probably better at the job than he is at campaigning for it.

I’d rather we weren’t looking at a President Trump but I’m betting we will be. As Barry remarked to me, If I lose, I still win.

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