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Three reasons not to panic and funds to buy as Trump wins US election

Written by: Darius McDermott
The US election candidates divided Americans but as Trump reaches the White House, there are clear worries. But here are reasons why you shouldn’t panic, plus three funds to buy if your glass is half empty or half full.

US, UK and European stock markets are likely to follow Asia and Japan down today in an initial sell-off, which was always going to happen with a Trump win. But whether the fall is for one, two or three days, or manifests itself into something more worrying is another question. My best guess is we’ll see a short period of volatility before markets steady.

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.

Three reasons not to panic

1)      Policy rhetoric being dampened already

Already the Trump camp is talking about renegotiating trade deals, not tearing them up. The grandiose rhetoric is being dampened down 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.

2)      Corporate tax cuts could save the S&P

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.

3)      Will it soon be time to buy?

“There are some definite winners – and of course there will be losers. But good companies have not turned bad overnight. And remember, volatility can be a friend of investors. The US market has been rising steadily for a long time now and many companies’ valuations are very expensive. Any volatility could create opportunities to buy these companies at more reasonable prices. This could be a time to put cash to work.”

Three funds to buy if your glass is half full

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.

Three funds to buy if your glass is half empty

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.

Darius McDermott is managing director of FundCalibre

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