The third quarter allowed us all to breathe a sigh of relief. That said, until the virus is under control, challenges remain. Our friends and partners at Strategas summed it up this way: "The easy part may be over. Outside the theatre of war, few things have been as universally negative as the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the global economy. We avoided a depression thanks to a swift and aggressive policy response. It wasn’t surprising to see a rebound off such low lows as the economy reopened, and third-quarter GDP is expected to be up 25% from the previous quarter. But as our chief economist Don Rissmiller has suggested, the easy part of the recovery may be over. COVID-19 follows us into Q4. The pandemic persists as we approach the fourth quarter, and we think it’s fair to say that society as a whole is learning to live with the virus. But in the absence of additional income replacement provisions or durable drivers of organic growth, we should expect the slope of economic recovery to soften. And with the Fed’s recent acknowledgement that monetary policy is likely to remain easy for years to come, we are likely to see more disparity between the rise in stock prices and the rate of economic recovery.” It would be hard not to overlay the upcoming national elections as a further factor that could weigh on stocks. While the historical evidence suggests that the outcome of such elections has little correlation to the performance of the equity markets over any appreciable look back period, the ride may be rough in the short-term given this particular election and it being conducted during a pandemic. However, the volatility may present opportunity. It is against this backdrop that we continue to advise that clients stay at or near their long-term strategic allocations with an overweight to cash to meet near-term needs.