Winning Funds for Romney or Obama

10/19/2012 11:00 am EST

Focus: FUNDS

Jim Lowell

Senior Partner & Chief Investment Strategist, Adviser Investments

Someone will win in November, and whether it's the guy you supported or not, you still need to know where to put your money so it's growing. So here are 6 funds (3 for each candidate) that will make the choice easier, says Jim Lowell of Fidelity Investor.

The following article has not been approved by either Barack Hussein Obama II or Willard Mitt Romney.In it, we’ll look at several sectors from the perspective of our looming elections, something we did ahead of the November 2008 elections.

Back then, we noted that an Obama win would likely be a boon to biotechnology, infrastructure plays, and greener energy ways. How well those picks fared, and how other sectors may fare, are meant to remind you that staying focused on economic and market cycles is far more significant than focusing on political ones.

These picks are at best a reasoned guess at what may or may not take place based on who wins in November. We already know that the market (over the long term) could basically care less.

But over the next six weeks, you’ll be hard-pressed not to think that our political system is in such a mess that gains we have managed to make will be lost, and that once lost they might never come back. I think the opposite is the case; there is always opportunity in adversity.

Obama Wins!
If President Obama wins his bid for reelection, one would expect themes of infrastructure, energy innovation, biotechnology funding, and middle-class consumer protections (from trying to stimulate more blue-collar job creation, lowering taxation, and ensuring greater access to more lending) wouldn’t just continue, but would in fact strengthen.

What we know from his current administration is that sectors that have benefited from his policies are the ones whose Select fund counterparts I spotlight here.

Biotechnology (FBIOX)—President Obama knows the power of innovation and knows the need to fund innovators who can drive down the rising costs of health care on scales large enough to make a dent in the toll that such costs take on our GDP.

Manager Rajiv Kaul invests in companies involved in the many aspects of biotechnology products and services. This fund has innovation in its DNA. Foreign investments are a scant 2.6%; the US is the clear source of innovation, and think of the scale of being able to export what we innovate. The top ten holdings include Gilead Sciences and Amgen.

Construction & Housing (FSHOX)—Easing interests and low interest rates create a springboard for a full-blown housing recovery. Any attempt to thwart such easing in the very near term could diminish the tentative momentum that is building in the housing space.

Manager Holger Boerner owns companies that design and construct much residential and industrial real estate. He may also invest in real estate development and home construction companies. Foreign investments reflect the US-centric focus: 1.6%. The top three sectors are consumer discretionary (46.7%), financials (25.3%), and industrials (21.1%). The top ten holdings include Home Depot and Lowes.

Consumer Staples (FDFAX)—Lack of confidence and spending typically don’t curb the appetite for staples. Higher commodity prices, however, could dent their profits.

With fear still high, I suspect an Obama win would only lend some wind to the back of the kinds of companies this fund holds. Manager Robert Lee invests in food and drug retailers as well as companies that produce or distribute food, beverages, tobacco, non-durable household goods, and personal products.

Foreign investments make up 32.9% of the holdings. The top sectors are consumer staples (92.9%) and health care (2.4%). The top ten holdings include Proctor & Gamble and British American Tobacco.

Romney Wins!
We know more about how President Obama has governed, so I’d argue we know more about how he will govern than we do about how President Romney might govern. As mentioned in my Monitor, I think a Romney win could increase the odds of going over a fiscal cliff, counterintuitive as that may sound.

But we do know that all energy, not just grandstanding on the moral supremacy of alternative energy, would likely benefit from a Romney win. So would, one would think, defense and aerospace funding.

Transportation writ large, and chemicals and materials (the building blocks of manufacturing) sound to my ear like they’d be boosted more by a Romney win, but you can’t really build a road or reap the toll benefits of increased commerce on such roads without the infrastructure beneath them.

Chemicals (FSCHX): Manager Mahmoud Sharaf focuses on companies involved in chemical processes industries, such as diversified and specialty chemicals, agricultural chemicals, and industrial gases.

Foreign investments make up 9.2% of the holdings. The top three sectors are materials (90.2%), energy (1.5%), and industrials (1.2%). The top ten holdings include Praxair and DuPont de Nemours.

Defense & Aerospace (FSDAX): I can’t wait for the day when we don’t have to talk about guns or religion in a political manner. Manager Douglas Scott invests in companies involved in the research, production, or sale of products and services in the defense, military, and aerospace industries.

Foreign investments make up 5.3% of the holdings. The top three sectors are industrials (92%), materials (2.1%), and information technology (0.8%). The top ten holdings include Boeing and Precision Castparts.

Energy (FSENX): With everything on the table, and “drill, baby drill” giving some wildcatters a potential thrill, I like this fund’s prospects under a Romney win. Manager John Dowd owns the gamut: conventional energy such as oil, gas, electricity, and coal, as well as those involved in newer forms such as nuclear, geothermal, oil shale, and solar power.

Foreign investments make up 16.2% of the holdings. The top three sectors are energy (97%), materials (0.6%), and industrials (0.4%). The top ten holdings include Chevron and Occidental Petroleum.

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