Displaying items by tag: democrats
Advisors are a pretty conservative lot. So, while many might have heard of the DEMZ fund—the Democratic Large-cap Core Fund—they might not have given it serious thought. To start with, the fund is unlike other “political” funds (such as MAGA) because at its heart is world class fund construction and management. Merely stripping out stocks from an S&P 500 basket, like others do, will diminish returns almost by definition, so DEMZ accounts for this by creating strict parameters for weighting and caps that allow it to remain significantly diversified. And it achieves all this while remaining meaningfully cheaper than other funds in its category.
But the real reason advisors need to pay attention to DEMZ is that the future of their business might depend on it. DEMZ invests in companies that give 75% or more of their political donations to the Democratic party, and it just so happens that a lot of your big clients’ heirs have the same political leanings. Most advisors are aware that there is a high attrition rate when a head of family passes away and wealth is transferred to spouses (usually wives) and children. A big part of this is that the advisor does not seem like they can align with the inheritors’ goals and needs. In this way, DEMZ can help advisors signal to spouses and heirs that they understand their political affiliations and moral positions, and how those are fused with their investment goals. Therefore, even if you are card-carrying Republican, DEMZ is something that needs to be on your radar.
If you don’t take a look and understand DEMZ, do so at your own peril.
n.b. This content was composed and paid-for by Reflection Asset Management and is not FINSUM editorial.
The stock market is going to enter a new era as Joe Biden—in all likelihood—becomes president. As that happens, investors need to start thinking about how to align their portfolios. While all industries will likely be affected to some extent, there are a handful that might be impacted the most acutely, such as energy, autos, tech, manufacturing, agriculture, banking, pharma and healthcare. In autos, Biden’s push for more efficiency will likely benefit Tesla and GM, both of whom are looking to sell more electric vehicles. Tech looks like a real risk area as the chances for more data/anti-trust regulation look higher, though those could be somewhat mitigated by a red Senate. On the manufacturing front, Biden is expected to use government stimulus to boost domestic manufacturing, In banking, executives are bracing for more regulation, but changes are not expected at a fast pace, so nothing too shocking seems likely in the near-term. Pharma looks vulnerable as Biden is committed to bringing drug prices down; that said even Pharma companies don’t expect that Democratic policies will hurt their margins worse than Trump’s proposals. In insurance and healthcare, the picture is mixed. Insurers would almost certainly be challenged by increasing amounts of government coverage, but hospitals would likely benefit from providing care for millions of newly insured Americans.
FINSUM: Biden and the Democrats’ plans will reverberate through the market in the coming months, though not as much as they might if the Left grabs control of the Senate in January. Generally, we agree with that a divided government would be most beneficial to markets.
Markets and polls are favoring Joe Biden to win the presidency, and markets think there are increasing odds that a blue sweep could occur. So if Democrats take over, what does the regulatory environment look like in wealth management? According to legal and policy experts there are a number of key changes. One big high-level difference between Trump and Biden is that Trump has always favored a principals-based approach to regulation in an effort to lower the compliance burden on companies. Biden would adopt a more rules-based approach with stricter enforcement. Here are five key items that would likely change under a new administration: restarting the debate on Reg BI (i.e. trying to get rid of it or modify it), move towards a rules-based approach in many areas, revive the CFPB, create a public credit reporting agency within the CFPB, and replace SEC commissioner Jay Clayton.
FINSUM: All of this makes perfect sense with what Democrats are signaling. We have another key item to add to the list—killing the new DOL proposal and replacing it with a more robust fiduciary standard either through the SEC or DOL.
When you think of oil, you don’t normally think of an industry that would gain from a big win by Democrats in an election. But as it happens, oil could very well gain if Democrats sweep the presidency and congress. The reason why is slightly perverse, but that makes it no less relevant. The concept is that Democrats would be bring new regulation around fracking; specifically, regulations that limit new drilling but allow existing projects. What this would mean is a steady rise in prices as inventory becomes constrained as the recovery proceeds. For example, Morgan Stanley is forecasting almost a 100% gain in natural gas prices next year.
FINSUM: Oil and gas are a physical supply and demand market, and if regulations keep supply in the ground, then prices will rise.
Investors are increasingly betting on a blue wave. More interestingly, the market’s calculus for what that blue wave to could mean to stock prices and the economy is changing. For much of this election cycle, a sweep by the Democrats was seen as a negative for the economy versus the status quo. However, in recent weeks investors have been shifting the other way—seeing a blue wave as a win for the economy. The reason why has to do with infrastructure spending and bigger and longer-term stimulus packages. While the possibility for this has been hurting Treasury prices because of the likely increased debt load, it also means that both infrastructure stocks and small caps seem poised to gain as we approach the election and well after it.
FINSUM: Small caps have just recently started to outperform their large cap cousins, a sign of the shift in perspective. Infrastructure stocks seem a good bet because no matter who wins the election there will probably be some deal on that front.