Why Election-Driven Stock-Picking Is Dangerous

While many investors and pundits are no doubt considering what the impact of the Presidential election will be on stocks, MarketWatch’s Mark Hulbert says not to get caught up in the speculation.

“In most cases, the evidence shows an individual company’s prospects over the next several years will be determined far more by what happens to the economy than by who wins the election,” Hulbert writes. He points to the coal industry — presumed to be an area of the market that would do better if Mitt Romney wins — as an example. While Romney’s probability of winning has slid in the past two weeks, by some measures, coal stocks have risen, Hulbert says. “My hunch,” he says, “is that, Romney’s election chances notwithstanding, stocks in the coal industry are responding to evidence of a gradually strengthening economy.”

Those who are set on betting on industries that offer “Romney stocks” or “Obama stocks” would be well served to at least focus on the firms in those industries that top-performing advisers are high on. Basing his analysis on advisers who have beaten the market over the past 15 years, Hulbert looks at top-adviser-recommended picks in the alternative energy, coal, defense, health care, and infrastructure/construction industries.