As we move closer to Nov. 3, election madness is going from high to off the charts. But as of today, Biden is clearly in the lead, according to pollsters. The former vice president has offered a well-articulated vision of the changes he wants to make if he's elected, including everything from racial equality to bankruptcy and immigration reform.
So how can investors profit from a Democratic leader in the White House? We asked three successful investors and Motley Fool contributors to share their own visions and choose three of their favorite stocks to own if the country turns blue in January 2021.
Significant change means significant opportunity
Barbara Eisner Bayer: While Joe Biden hopes to implement huge changes for our country, the most significant areas where I believe he'll create a difference is in infrastructure, the environment, and healthcare.
Biden has repeatedly stated that he wants to fix the country's crumbling infrastructure. He plans to "Create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure -- from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband." And one company that stands to benefit greatly is Caterpillar (CAT 1.21%).
One of the largest global-equipment manufacturers, CAT has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. It reported horrible second-quarter 2020 results at the end of July and refrained from providing guidance for the full year. But once a Biden administration begins its infrastructure program, Caterpillar's construction industries should definitely be impacted -- in a good way. And investors who can wait for this earth-moving Dividend Aristocrat to turn around can enjoy a dividend yield of 3%.
The Democratic nominee is also boldly proclaiming that there'll be a "clean energy revolution." According to his website, "Biden will lead the world to address the climate emergency and lead through the power of example by ensuring the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050." One company that will benefit from this initiative is NextEra Energy (NEE -1.48%), a developer of wind and solar energy farms, as well as a regulated electric utility.
While the company is the largest utility in Florida, its renewable energy business stands to benefit the most. Even though it already has wind and solar assets that are spread throughout the country and a backlog of renewable energy projects, NextEra is pursuing smart and sustainable growth. It recently was thwarted in its attempts to buy Duke Energy but will keep on the lookout for acquisitions that make sense for the company and its shareholders.
My final choice is in the healthcare arena. I believe Teladoc (TDOC 2.42%) will be a winner, especially if the Democrats take control. The coronavirus pandemic has led to increased use of telehealth throughout the country. It's less expensive than visiting your doctor onsite for the patient, the provider, and insurers. The company is already the worldwide leader in telehealth and covers more than 450 medical specialties. And Teladoc will help Biden reach his goal of providing healthcare to rural communities, as telehealth can reach anyone who has an internet connection.
A Biden administration will bring a true green revolution
Rich Smith: I begin to suspect a theme here -- but I think it's the right one. If Joe Biden wins the presidency, I expect his administration to lean significantly more to the left than the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Even if a Biden presidency doesn't guarantee passage of a full-blown Green New Deal, I still believe that renewable energy stocks are going to be in favor.
Which renewable energy stocks, in particular? I can think of two that have performed pretty well over the past year -- SolarEdge (SEDG -1.56%) and Enphase (ENPH -2.83%), up 140% and 230%, respectively.
On the one hand, you could say these companies are competitors. Both make "inverters" that convert direct current electricity from solar panels into alternating current that can recharge your iPhone -- or your electric car. But competing in the same industry hasn't slowed either stock down over the past year, and I don't think either one will slow down in a green-friendly administration. To the contrary, I think the industry will grow, allowing more room for more than one "winner."
Now, before you decide to follow my hunch and invest in these companies -- beware. Neither SolarEdge nor Enphase is a "cheap" stock. The former costs 35 times forward earnings, and the latter more than 38 times. Then again, if the solar industry gets a big boost from policies supported by a Biden administration, faster profits growth could both lower those price-earnings (P/E) ratios and accelerate future growth rates.
For my third pick, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest taking a look at Workhorse Group (WKHS). More than "just another green energy" play, electric-truck maker Workhorse is competing with a couple of companies offering gas-powered trucks to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as it mulls a $6 billion revamp of its entire delivery fleet.
Call me crazy, but under President Biden, I think a contractor offering to equip the USPS with an all-electric fleet of trucks will have a decided edge over anyone offering just another fleet of gas guzzlers. And if winning this contract catapults Workhorse from its present level of just $0.2 million in annual revenues to hundreds of millions of dollars a year, well, look out...above!
Playing it safe, either way
David Butler: My take on the election might be a bit risk-averse. Rather than looking into stocks that I think a Joe Biden administration can specifically affect, I find it more prudent to look for stocks that will do just fine either way.
If Biden wins the presidency, but the balance within Congress remains even remotely balanced, I think a jump on healthcare stocks could be the ultimate contrarian play. Let's not forget what happened after the 2016 election. The Republicans stumbled in attempting to pass a bill that would revoke the Affordable Care Act.
When it comes to creating substantially meaningful legislation that would increase the government budget to expand Obamacare, it's a lot more difficult than Joe Biden simply being all for it. If Biden wins, but Congress doesn't tumble to the left, I'm going to look at United Health Group (UNH -0.80%). If it takes a hit in November, I plan on buying. I simply don't see either side of Congress being able to find enough consensus to drive home further healthcare overhauls.