What difference does it make who the next President of the United States is?

(This was originally published in the July 2016 version of The Dividend Growth Newsletter. It is available here.)

Let me re-phrase: What if you knew how the stock market would behave over the next four to eight years – does that alter your plans?

The Dow Jones rose 85.74% during Bill Clinton’s first term and a further 70.01% during his second term. But, the Dow fell 7.65% during George W. Bush’s first term, and then another 15.2% during his second term.

If you planned on converting your portfolio to income from growth, or if you planned to make a large withdrawal to fund a purchase, Donald Trump could dramatically affect your lifestyle.

The analysis is much more than just Democrat vs. Republican, but the booming Eisenhower and Reagan (staunch right-wing Republicans) years indicate the stock market responds to spending, not ideology – the stock market loved road building and defense spending.

The real question should be: If Bill’s administration built the information highway, what will Hillary’s administration build? Or, perversely, if terrorists were afraid enough of Bush to bomb the World Trade Center, how afraid are they of Trump?