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We're nearing the end of what has been the longest presidential campaign in history. And no matter which candidate you're voting for, the opposition looks like a dangerous choice.
The truth is, as far as the market is concerned, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both dangerous, for different reasons.
Fortunately, no matter who you're supporting, whether you're a Republican, or a Democrat, or something in between, there are a few smart bets you can make now – and rake in good profits on the election outcome.
Here are the real dangers we're facing this election…
Don't Make Any Long-Term Moves
First of all, right now, the smart bets are all short-term moves.
That's because there's no way of knowing who's going to win the election and which long-term bets are going to pay off, since both candidates have completely different political and economic agendas.
That said, the only long-term play to make right now is to do nothing… if you're sitting on a diversified portfolio of great companies (not great stocks, mind you, but great companies).
In the long term, whoever wins the election – meaning which party runs the executive branch of government – doesn't make much difference to the stock market.
Profit Opportunity: How to Make a Killing… When Everyone Else Is Panicking
According to Russ Koesterich, CFA and head of BlackRock's global asset allocation team, "Historically, whether a Republican or Democrat occupies the White House has had no statistically significant impact on U.S. equity markets."
And research going back to 1853 shows that returns under Republican and Democrat administrations are virtually identical. That's according to Dr. Jonathan Lemco of mutual fund giant Vanguard.
In the long term, which for me is five years out, stocks have nowhere to go but up.
If either candidate wins by a landslide, which is unlikely, there would be smart long-term plays to make, for sure. But we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.
In the short term, however, until the dust settles sometime after this election, staying on the sidelines with big money makes sense.
It also makes sense to put on smart short-term positions to profit from likely outcome turmoil.
My position on the outcome is that no matter who wins, unless it's a landslide, the vote is going to be contested, lawsuits are likely to fly, we could face a constitutional crisis, and there could be civil unrest.
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.