The outlook for US equities
Having been the poster child of global stock markets for the past decade, the US stock market has...
An initial sell-off was always going to happen, but the falls are reversing much quicker than expected. The tone of Trump’s acceptance speech seems to have helped.
There are clear worries, of course. Internally, the candidates divided men and women, older and younger, white and non-white Americans. There is a clear split in America and one that the new president will need to address. Trump will need to reach out to those he alienated in the campaign and undo the damage done. Abroad, there will be concerns over foreign policy and an untried and unpredictable politician.
However, already the Trump camp is talking about renegotiating trade deals, not tearing them up. The grandiose rhetoric is being dampened early-on and there are two more months until he is inaugurated – two more months to get a clearer picture of the actual detail and what he may do, rather than what he has said in the campaign.
There are a number of sectors of the US market that should benefit from a Trump win: his planned spending on infrastructure is huge and likely to be funded through debt, not business. This is key: he plans to cut corporation tax, which would make companies across the marketplace more profitable.
He also wants US companies to repatriate cash held abroad, which could boost reinvestment. He is against some environmental regulations, which is bad for renewables but good for carbon energy, and he wants to spend more on defence.
The US market is full of good quality companies that won’t simply go bad overnight. And remember, volatility can be a friend of investors. US equities have looked expensive for some time now, so if dips over the coming days and weeks provide buying opportunities, all the better.
Many investors are holding much higher levels of cash in their portfolios than usual, and if some of that can be put to work, all the better.
The lead manager on Brown Advisory US Flexible Equity is an industry veteran with 30+ years of experience in steering investors through market ups and downs, which may prove invaluable over the coming months. AXA Framlington American Growth is run by another highly experienced manager, who focuses on finding companies with a unique competitive advantage, regardless of macro conditions.
For something a bit different, Hermes US SMID Equity invests in a concentrated number of smaller and medium-sized companies. This may make it more volatile than larger cap US funds, but as we saw in the UK post-Brexit vote, smaller companies can sometimes surprise.
If you’re going the safe haven route, gold, as always, remains a core asset. The BlackRock Gold and General fund offers exposure via a global portfolio of gold mining equities. If you prefer defensive, multi-asset funds, both Church House Tenax Absolute Return Strategies and Premier Defensive Growth have a track record of protecting investors’ capital in falling markets.