So much for an Inauguration Day rally.
Of course, as I see it, if you were banking on a stock rally this week (or this month) on the back of Obama's ascension to the presidency, you're wasting your time. I'm not being a curmudgeon. I don't know whether or not the market will rally this week (and nobody else does, either, despite the numerous pronouncements on the subject). However, even if the market does rally, it's very unlikely to make a meaningful difference to your long-term returns.
Looking beyond the end of this week, however, it is worthwhile to think about the longer-term impact the new administration could have on different sectors of the economy.
The opportunity in a changing workforce
First, if Obama wants to tackle the looming problem of entitlement spending, raising the age of retirement would be a sensible measure. There is no reason to treat the age of retirement as a physical constant -- full retirement age has already been increased from 65 to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. So it's hardly absurd to adjust it further, especially given that average life expectancy has increased by more than 10 years since the Social Security Act was passed in 1935.
If the retirement age were increased -- or if baby boomers decide to postpone their retirement -- the resulting increase in the labor force could benefit business service companies such as Paychex
One alternative that's more equal than others
During the election campaign, there was much talk of developing alternative energy sources. If Obama is as pragmatic and fair-minded as they say, he'll surely recognize the enormous benefits of nuclear energy -- the most viable form of alternative energy on a national scale. When I sat down with super-investor Ralph Wanger back in 2006, he predicted the resurgence of nuclear power in this country.
As this master small-cap investor pointed out, however, there are few small firms that are involved in this business -- it tends to be the General Electrics
As you can see, it's not just about infrastructure. These are two areas that could be well worth pondering as the Presidency changes hands.
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Fool contributor Alex Dumortier, CFA has no beneficial interest in any of the other companies mentioned in this article. Paychex is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Paychex and Administaff are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.