Expect sectors that improved during Barack Obama's first term "to keep on rolling" in his second, says Jon Markman at MarketWatch. Health care is No. 1 on that list. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, investors have boosted shares of drugmakers, insurance providers, and hospitals. Health-care mutual funds like SPDR Health Care offer "a good bet going forward, as most of the benefits still lie ahead." To get a piece of a finally resurgent housing market, iShares U.S. Home Construction provides "the purest exposure to the industry," and Nationstar looks promising in the "red-hot mortgage-servicing business." The first year of a president's second term tends to be rough on the stock market, so quick profits probably aren't in the offing. But in the longer term, we're in for a continued "market bromance with Obama."
Betting on the climate
Companies that deal with climate change are a smart buy, "whether you believe in man-made global warming or not," says John Wasik in Reuters. Consulting firm Mercer LLC predicts that the changing climate will have a $4 trillion impact on the global economy by 2030. Consider investing in alternative energy firms like First Solar or manufacturers like Roper Industries and ESCO Technologies, which are poised to replace our aging electrical infrastructure. But buying individual companies can be risky, so "I gravitate toward more broad-based approaches in exchange-traded funds," like the Market Vectors Alternative Energy ETF. Keep in mind that, like climate change itself, these investments "will evolve over long periods of time."
Financial advice that fits
To make the most of your first meeting with a potential financial adviser, "get organized," says Aparna Narayanan in The Wall Street Journal. Assemble your financial records — pay stubs, tax returns, investment records, pension statements — to show that you're serious. You should arrive with a clear sense of what you need: somebody to manage your investments, take a comprehensive look at your finances, or just clear up a few details? Whichever it is, "don't expect immediate answers." A good adviser will read through your documents and get to know you "before making a personalized recommendation." Consider meeting with two or three people "to compare their approaches and your comfort level with each of them."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How I lost all my money
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Pope Francis' American problem
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