Who’s better for stocks: Obama or Romney?

From “Fortune” Magazine

FORTUNE — One of the questions I get asked these days is whether a win by Mitt Romney or by Barack Obama would be better for the stock market. To which the only honest answer is “I have no earthly idea.”
Case in point: George W. Bush. He was a Republican, a free-market guy, right? Stocks, according to the conventional wisdom, should have boomed during his reign. After all, he dropped taxes on investment income to their lowest point in modern history in the name of helping investors and the economy. Well … oops! Rather than being a golden age for stock investors, his tenure was a disaster. The U.S. market lost 25.1% during his two terms, according to statistics assembled for me by Wilshire Associates. Had historical averages held, the market’s total return — capital gains plus reinvested dividends — would have more than doubled investors’ money during the eight years that Bush was in office. Instead, investors ended up with a quarter less than they started with.

MORE: Obama – president ready for a showdown
And guess what? The best first-term presidential market (at least so far) has come during the administration of … Barack Obama, who has been reviled on Wall Street for allegedly crippling corporate America with insults and regulation, and who has pushed through higher taxes on investment income of upper-echelon households. Yet stocks produced a whopping 95.9% total return from Obama’s Inauguration through Fortune’s mid-September presstime.

About This Author

Allan Sloan
Senior Editor at Large, Fortune

Allan Sloan, who has been writing about business for more than 40 years, joined Fortune in July of 2007. Before that, he was the Wall Street editor for Newsweek for 12 years. His work also appears in The Washington Post. Allan is a seven-time winner of the Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor, receiving awards in four different categories for five different employers. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College and has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He and his wife live in New Jersey. They have three grown children.


About aboomersvoice

First and foremost, I'm a baby boomer and damn proud of it. The ones reading this post survived. Some didn't..We are the generation that crashed through barriers, broke through the norm and made our own rules. We paved the way for others to follow their bliss. One of the largest breakthroughs was probably equal rights and opportunities for women. Thank you Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. We burned our bras, well, most of us did. We marched against politics we didn't believe in, staged protests not knowing we could easily be silenced by a bullet, experimented with drugs, meditation and guru's. We traveled with backpacks across the country and throughout the world..We had a voice. We had a choice. We had a mission. We had freedom and we were united. I am a writer, traveler, explorer, observer and participant in life. I am part of the expansion of baby boomers who still believe in the original message of peace and love. Take this journey.with me. Who knows where it will take us next ?
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