How to Identify the Effects of Politics on Stock Investments
Before and after election time, investors must keep a watchful eye on the proceedings. For stock investors, politics manifests itself as a major factor in investment-making decisions in many ways.
|Possible Legislation||Effect on Investing|
|Taxes||Will a new tax affect a particular stock (industry, sector, or
economy)? Generally, more or higher taxes ultimately have a
negative impact on stock investing. Income taxes and capital gains
taxes are good examples.
|Laws||Will Congress (or, in some instances, state legislatures) pass
a law that will have a negative impact on a stock, the industry,
the sector, or the economy? Price controls — laws that set
the price of a product, service, or commodity — are examples
of negative laws.
|Regulations||Will a new (or existing) regulation have a negative (or
positive) effect on the stock of your choice? Generally, more or
tougher regulations have a negative impact on stocks.
|Government spending and debt||If government agencies spend too much or misallocate resources,
they may create greater burdens on society, which in turn will be
bearish for the economy and the stock market.
|Money supply||The U.S. money supply — the dollars you use — is
controlled by the Federal Reserve. It’s basically a
governmental agency that serves as America’s central bank.
How can it affect stocks? Increasing or decreasing the money supply
results in either an inflationary or a deflationary environment,
which can help or hurt the economy, specific sectors and
industries, and your stock picks.
|Interest rates||The Federal Reserve has crucial influence here. It can raise or
lower key interest rates that in turn can have an effect on the
entire economy and the stock market. When interest rates go up, it
makes credit more expensive for companies. When interest rates go
down, companies can get cheaper credit, which can be better for
|Government bailouts||A bailout is when the government intervenes directly in the
marketplace and uses either tax money or borrowed money to bail out
a troubled enterprise. This is generally a negative because funds
are diverted by force from the healthier private economy to an
When many of the factors work in tandem, they can have a magnified effect that can have tremendous consequences for your stock portfolio. Alert investors keep a constant vigil when the legislature is open for business, and they adjust their portfolios accordingly.