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Where do Clinton and Trump Stand on Investor Issues?

June 29, 2016

Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are unknowns on issues important to the financial advice industry, says one industry body that wants answers.

The Financial Services Roundtable suggests some questions to ask the presidential candidates about their stance on retirement policy.

Specifically, the advocacy group wants to know the candidates’ stance on the role of the government in incentivizing small businesses to offer retirement plans, and the steps necessary to do that as well as convince workers to participate.

In addition, FSR wants to know if the candidates would appoint government personnel to help businesses offer retirement savings vehicles through open multiple employer plans, and also whether they think the private sector is best for providing options for retirement savings.

FSR also asks questions about each candidate’s stance on tax policy to encourage saving for retirement, policy on supporting and encouraging employers who enroll employees in retirement plans automatically, tax penalties on early withdrawers, and solutions to the “crisis” in defined benefit pension plan shortages. It also asks a much broader question: what would the candidates do to ensure the long-term viability of Social Security?


As reported previously, the majority of American financial advisors have a neutral view on the impact of a Clinton presidency on investors, according to a recent survey by the Financial Times. But more advisors think both Clinton and her Republican opponent would impact investors negatively than those who think they would have a positive effect, according to the publication and research by Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the Financial Times.

Advisors who spoke to the FT think Hillary Clinton is a safer, more predictable choice, but it doesn’t mean they think she’ll be great for the economy.

Tom Bartholomew, a Massachusetts advisor, says that both candidates would probably raise the deficit, which in turn would push up interest rates: in Clinton’s case, it would be thanks to increased spending on healthcare and social security; in Trump’s, it would be the wall with Mexico the candidate has promised to build, he tells the Times. Nonetheless, Bartholomew prefers Clinton because she’s less likely to cause uncertainty in the markets.

“Mr. Trump is all over the board,” he tells the FT.

Clinton is also seen as continuing with the policies of the Obama administration — “an entity you know,” Debra Brede of DK Brede Investment Management, tells the publication. “Donald Trump is a bull in a china shop,” she says.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Financial Times article cited in this story, click here.