It's 2009. For many people this could not come soon enough. While we should take away some lessons from 2008 (Don't miss " How to Evaluate Your Portfolio This Year"), 2009 will bring its own set of twists, turns and challenges. Here are a few things that I will be looking at closely in 2009.
Offsetting that will be domestic programs that will be designed to create jobs and rebuild decaying infrastructure. In addition power generation will be another focus for the federal government. Some stocks that could get a boost from such capital spending programs are Aecom Technology ( ACM), Fluor ( FLR), McDermott ( MDR), Foster Wheeler ( FWLT), Manitowoc ( MTW), Shaw Group ( SGR), Jacobs Engineering ( JEC), KBR ( KBR) and Chicago Bridge & Iron ( CBI). Healthcare providers and biotech pharmaceutical manufacturers will also benefit from Obama's desire to deliver more affordable healthcare to all citizens. The form of this government spending is still unknown. However, we can identify some potential beneficiaries, such as Universal Health Systems ( UHS), Amedisys ( AMED), Amgen ( AMGN), Gilead ( GILD), Celgene ( CELG) and Genzyme ( GENZ). There are also some interesting exchange-traded funds that might be investment-worthy based on these themes: PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome ( PBE), Biotech HOLDRs ( BBH) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers ( IHF). All that said, be careful. 2009 will be a post-presidential election year, which is historically the worst in the four-year election cycle. Of those bounce-back years I listed earlier, only 1921 and 1933 were post-presidential election years.
Select an index which is likely to emerge as a leader after having a significant down year. This could be the Dow, the S&P, technology, small-caps or perhaps a blend of two or more. Indentify "early cycle" stocks and sell "late cycle" stocks, such as defensive and consumer staples. Research ways to benefit from Obama's fiscal stimulus plans.