Election season always brings out investment professionals offering advice on how to best invest for both a Republican and Democratic outcome.
SPDR University, the ETF information arm of State Street Global Advisors, released a report on Wednesday entitled Election 2012: A Time of Polarizing Politics & Heightened Uncertainty, which outlined the best ETFs to hold depending on who you think will win. Written by David Mazza, State Street's head of ETF investment strategy, it's no surprise that all the recommended funds comes from SPDR.
In this low interest rate environment, high yielding equities have been a favorite among investors. Under a Mitt Romney win, Mazza expects favorable tax treatment for dividends to continue, thus companies that pay dividends would be big beneficiaries. Certain sectors and industries would also benefit under a Romney administration. Increased domestic production would help the energy sector, while less regulation would boost the metals and mining sector. A less restrictive tax environment would help the transportation industry and an increase, or at least few cuts, in defense spending would help the aerospace and defense sector.
The ETFs SPDR suggests for a Romney win:
- SPDR S&P® Dividend ETF (SDY)
- Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU)
- SPDR S&P Telecom ETF (XTL)
- Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE)
- SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP)
- SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME)
- SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN)
- SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR)
Under another four years of President Obama, taxes are likely to rise. Mazza suggests municipal bonds to investors in higher tax brackets. If taxes rise on dividends, REITs would offer a better choice for investors seeking income. However, increased government spending could spark a rally in the infrastructure sector. The healthcare industry should also "react favorably" to the president's reelection.
The ETFs SPDR suggests for an Obama win:
- SPDR Nuveen Barclays Capital Short Term Municipal Bond ETF (SHM)
- SPDR Nuveen Barclays Capital Municipal Bond ETF (TFI)
- SPDR Nuveen S&P High Yield Municipal Bond ETF (HYMB)
- SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (RWR)
- SPDR FTSE/Macquarie Global Infrastructure 100 ETF (GII)
- Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV)
- SPDR S&P Health Care Services ETF (XHS)
- SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI)
Should the political paralysis that has gripped Washington over the past two years continue in the future, preventing major changes, Mazza suggests non-dollar denominated assets and those with low to no correlation to dollar-denominated assets. This could lead to a broad move away from U.S. assets to those in high growth emerging markets. For those looking to invest in local currencies, he suggests non-US fixed income. Gold would continue to rise if countries continue to devalue their currencies to boost exports or the U.S faces another debt crisis. And with increased government spending leading to a long-term inflationary environment, assets with a real return should rally.
The ETFs SPDR suggests for a political paralysis:
- SPDR Barclays Capital Emerging Markets Local Bond ETF (EBND)
- SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)
- SPDR SSgA Multi-Asset Real Return ETF (RLY)
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.