Today is the day.
It’s inauguration day for Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
For half of you – it is the beginning of an economic resurgence last seen during the Reagan administration. It is the “best of times.”
For the other half – it is the beginning of the “dark ages.”
So goes politics. But politics and investing are poor bedfellows.
As investors, it is in our best interest that Trump is successful in his plans to “Make America Great Again.” After all, if you have been enjoying the rally that began in November, that lift has come specifically based on expectations of lower taxes, fewer regulations and increased infrastructure spending.
But this is also the day “it gets real.”
While the markets have lifted on “expectations,” the market will now start to focus on actual “actions.” Of course, what was talked about during “campaign mode” and what actually comes to fruition are always two very different things. This is not only because proposals and promises will be met by stiff opposition from the opposite side of the aisle, but push-back will come from Trump’s own party as well.
Increases in the national debt, the deficit and reforms to health care, taxes, immigration and social welfare programs are not going to be easy negotiations. In many cases, the promises made will never come to fruition, and in others, the end result could be very different than currently envisioned.
Then there are simply the headwinds that currently face the economy from demographics to structural issues as well as the age of the current economic cycle. Economics and political policies don’t exist in a vacuum. While Trump has many ideas to promote growth in the economy, the debt, tighter monetary policies, and budget constraints will provide some offsets.
While there are many hopes from Wall Street, economists and analysts the current bull market is only in the midst of a long-term run higher, there are many conditions which currently suggest caution; particularly if you are close to retirement.
I can only surmise how this eventually turns out.
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