Thursday, February 26, 2009

Investing in the Obama Factor

“Hope, solidarity, better health care, and a new place for America in the world. These are some of the aspirations America has for the Obama presidency, but if you turn to the personal finance gurus, you'll find another aspiration -- making a quick buck. From the latest green start-up to a major infrastructure play, stock soothsayers from all realms of personal finance have been compiling "Obama portfolios," since before the election result was even known. These are collections of companies from sectors that will benefit from the administration's policies, these analysts say -- often because there might be a direct government subsidy dangled in front of the sector. Builders, agriculture companies, health-care providers and solar energy panel manufacturers all made the cut. In other words: Which companies will bask in the reflected glory of the Obama cultural zeitgeist? After all, the Obamas represent more than a mere shift in government; they represent a cultural and generational shift. Who's to say, for example, that BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion won't benefit from Obama's iconic use of the device as much as Caterpillar will benefit from building shovel-ready infrastructure projects? In anticipation of consumers picking up gear to play basketball just like Barack, we've added Nike (NKE), in whose sweats the president has been photographed. There's also Town Sports International (CLUB), known under the brand name Washington Sports Clubs, as well as similar outlets in Boston, Philadelphia and New York. Obama has been known to frequent this company's gyms, and his focus on physical fitness could inspire other Americans with looser schedules.”

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