Acknowledging that he has "no conviction" in the prediction, analyst Chip Roame is sticking with President Donald Trump getting a second term over challenger Joe Biden.
But if Biden does emerge victorious, "all bets are off" when it comes to regulation of product sales, he added.
"Certainly if Biden gets elected, and the Senate gets taken by the Democrats, you're going to see a fiduciary standard come back," said Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors.
Roame and Tiburon last offered its political and regulatory analysis of the 2020 election in February. During that call, Roame was far more confident in Trump winning another term, with the Congress remaining divided.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, much has changed. According to the election website 538, Biden has a 73% chance of defeating Trump, while the Senate also leans Blue.
'They're Out There'
Roame is not convinced. He points to Gallup surveys showing that 27% of Americans claim to be Republican and the same number identify as Democrats. That leaves 46% who say they are independent.
"This is the reason I'm guessing right now that Trump wins -- because I think there's a lot of Trump supporters who just don't admit it," Roame explained. "I think they're out there and they're gonna come out for the election."
During the February call, however, Roame cited the booming economy as the No. 1 reason Trump would win again. Since then, tens of thousands of businesses have been interrupted for weeks or closed their doors and unemployment remains stubbornly in double digits.
While Trump continues to cite a strong stock market, which rebounded quickly, Roame noted that the data reveals no correlation between which party controls the White House and stock market performance.
"The argument that a Democratic president will tank the market or Republican will tank the market, there's just not a lot of evidence for those theories that get said quite often by pundits," Roame said.
Regulation In The Balance
As far as financial services in concerned, regulation is a major area of potential sea change depending on how the election turns out. For insurance agents, the outcome is clear: Biden is expected to resume the Obama administration goal of a uniform fiduciary standard, while a second Trump term will continue momentum toward a best-interest standard across agencies such as the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Looking a bit longer term, the fiduciary standard bearers might win anyway, Roame said. Whether the Democrat wins in November or in 2024, the likelihood is strong that a fiduciary standard for taxable accounts becomes a reality. Seventy-four percent of attendees at the most recent Tiburon CEO Summit in March believe the fiduciary standard will be in place within five years.
"If I were a betting man, I would say we do have a fiduciary standard for taxable accounts within five years of today," Roame agreed. "That would mean either in the next administration or in the
first year of the one after that."
The regulation outlook is hazy in other areas, Roame said. One of Tiburon's prediction is some initial regulatory structure for financial technology companies -- regardless of who is the next president.
"I think we're on cusp with finally seeing some initial regulation of financial technology companies," Roame said. "So you're going to see a little bit of that. Certainly under a Biden administration, you'll see more of that. But I think even under four more years of Trump, you will see some beginning of tech companies and regulation."
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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