The presidential election is closer than anyone imagined it would be -- even compared to just a few weeks ago. A Clinton victory still seems most likely, but it's not a sure thing. And markets are volatile because of the uncertainty.
Until the results come in on Tuesday evening, investors can look at each candidate's broad policies towards different sectors to see where to invest ... and where to avoid investing.
1. If Hillary Clinton Wins
These sectors could benefit if Clinton becomes president:
- Renewable energy: Clinton supports the Paris climate agreement and the Clean Power Plan, which both aim to reduce the U.S.'s greenhouse gas emissions. More U.S. involvement in the global renewable energy industry would only benefit the sector. One way to invest in the global renewable energy market is to use the VanEck Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX) .
- Health care: Clinton promises to extend the reach of the Affordable Care Act. This would enable more Americans to afford health insurance, and her plan would expand insurance coverage. You can invest in health care stocks found in the S&P 500 by owning the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund(XLV) - Get Report . It's the biggest and most traded U.S. health care ETF.
- Mexico: Mexico's economy has been struggling. And the Mexican peso has been one of the worst-performing major currencies this year. This is in no small part due to the prospect of a President Trump following through on his pledge to renegotiate North American Free Trade Agreement. But if Clinton wins, this should change. The iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF(EWW) - Get Report is a good way to play the Mexican equity market.
But financials could struggle under a Clinton presidency. She has said that a "risk fee" would be imposed on the largest financial institutions if she becomes president. She has also promised to appoint officials to carry out "unwavering oversight" of Wall Street.
2. If Trump Wins the Election
A President Donald Trump could be good for:
- Financials: Simply because Clinton's proposed financial reforms wouldn't happen if Trump wins. So, there could be a less-stringent regulatory environment, and this would benefit banks. Holding the Vanguard Financials ETF(VFH) - Get Report would make sense under this scenario. It holds all the big, publicly traded U.S. financial institutions.
- Natural gas: Trump's comments about the sector indicate that he would cut back on oil and gas industry regulations. This could result in a world hungry for natural gas importing more from the U.S. You can invest in the natural gas industry using the First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index ETF(FCG) - Get Report . This ETF focuses on companies that get most of their revenue from natural gas production and exploration.
But if Trump wins, it would be bad for:
- Health care stocks: Trump has promised to end the Affordable Care Act and bring in something better. That could result in the entire U.S. health care industry being thrown into turmoil. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund(XLV) - Get Report , mentioned above, would feel the brunt of it.
- Asia: If Trump follows through on everything he says he'll do, especially his protectionist threats, it will hurt Asia. For an in-depth discussion of Trump's effect on Asia, and what to do about it, download our free report here.
3. If Either Trump or Clinton Wins
These sectors will benefit regardless of who becomes the next president:
- Infrastructure: Both Trump and Clinton have promised to spend more on infrastructure. As America works at filling its "infrastructure gap," companies that build, repair and design roads, bridges, waterworks and other infrastructure will benefit. You can invest in the U.S. engineering and construction industry via the PowerShares Dynamic Building & Construction Portfolio ETF(PKB) - Get Report .
- Defense industry: Both candidates plan on building a stronger U.S. military. This will likely mean more money being spent on weapons, planes and ships. That means more contracts and profits for the companies that build and design military hardware. The iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF(ITA) - Get Report is one way to get exposure to the aerospace and defense industry.
- Gold: It's a great idea to own some gold as portfolio insurance right now. Download our special report on gold, and the best ways to invest in it, by clicking here.
Kim Iskyan is the founder of Truewealth Publishing, an independent investment research company based in Singapore. Click here to sign up to receive the Truewealth Asian Investment Daily in your inbox every day, for free.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.