Will the Election Impact Markets and Investments?

What drives the stock market? Quite often, it is fundamental factors such as the strength of the economy and its impact on corporate profits. At other times it is affected, at least in the short term, by external factors that can upend investor expectations and drive markets in a positive or negative direction.

One of the most obvious external factors that might come into play for markets this year is the upcoming presidential election. This is the kind of election year that has some built-in market uncertainty. It marks the end of the second term for President Barack Obama, which means that a new occupant will sit in the Oval Office in January 2017. Regardless of who wins, the leadership transition will likely result in some policy changes in the near future.

Dealing with uncertainty

This election season has been marked by unusual twists. In the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, a longtime party stalwart faced a surprisingly difficult challenge before earning the nomination for the chance to become the country’s first woman president. On the Republican side, Donald Trump, a celebrity newcomer to the party captured the nomination, overcoming a number of more experienced politicians.

Even without these twists, it isn’t uncommon for the stock market to exhibit a degree of volatility in the run-up to an election, at least until the likely outcome is clearer. One of the key issues that could affect markets is the possibility that control of the White House could change to a different party. According to an analysis by the Ameriprise Investment Research Group, the potential for such a change tends to increase stock market volatility. This can be particularly true in the final weeks leading up to the election. Investors should be prepared for circumstances where the “noise” generated by the campaign contributes to market fluctuations.

Is history a guide?

Other data may provide clues as to what to expect in the markets. According to Standard & Poor’s, since 1900, U.S. stocks have declined by an average of 1.2 percent in the eighth year of a presidential term. There are two points of caution with this statistic:

1. There are a limited number of times when this circumstance has occurred.

2. The last time it happened, in 2008, we were in the midst of the Great Recession. The markets were down 41 percent that year, which dramatically changed the average return for this specific measurement.

What may be a more important consideration for investors than who is the new president is whether we enter the election and post-election season with a great deal of uncertainty about policy direction.

The impact on specific market sectors

Although it’s speculative to try and predict the outcome of the election and all of the policy implications each party would impose, the result of the election is likely to influence key industries. Among the sectors of the market that could be affected in different ways are:

• Healthcare – what is the future of the Affordable Care Act and the general direction of health insurance coverage in the U.S.?

• Energy – will production of fossil fuels continue to be encouraged or will greater emphasis be put on alternative energy sources?

• Security – how will the defense budget be affected given the increased focus on global security?

It’s about more than the president

It’s true that our president has tremendous influence in the direction our country takes. However, it’s important to remember that there are many others who play a role in making policy that can affect the investment environment. These include members of Congress (many who are also up for election this year), local and state legislators, Federal regulators and other officials. For example, the Federal Reserve controls monetary policy, which includes monitoring inflation and the Federal interest rates. Politicians have limited to no influence over policy decisions made by the Fed.

Also keep in mind that the presidential election doesn’t have the same impact over U.S. markets as it once did. External events, many of which are overseas, increasingly affect the markets, and are often out of the control of elected officials. These events include natural disasters, terrorist attacks, financial crises and the financial results of publicly held companies.

What this means for your finances

While it’s natural to think about the impact of the election on your investments, it’s only one factor. Stay attuned to the bigger picture of your long-term goals. Review your portfolio diversification and risk tolerance with a financial advisor for an objective perspective on your financial situation.

Affiliate Marketing Without A Website

Having your own website to promote your affiliate products is a good option. But it is not necessary. There are many methods available that can be used to do your affiliate marketing business. The list is long, but the most important methods are email marketing, writing articles to e-groups, joining online discussions etc. Let us discuss some important methods that can be used to promote your affiliate products without having your own website.

Email Marketing

In this method you can promote your affiliate links and you don’t need your own website. People can click on your affiliate links present in your emails and can go directly to the merchant website to purchase the products.

Your email should contain the introduction about the product you are promoting and your affiliate links. Try to make your emails interesting and brief.

Try to expand your contact list. Use as many methods as you can to grab the email addresses of new people. Use online forums, chat forums etc to make new friends. Your email list must contain a few hundred contacts, at least. But don’t spam. Don’t send emails to the people who don’t know about you or who don’t want to receive your emails. Otherwise they will just block your emails and you will lose your contacts. As I said, your emails should be interesting to get the reader’s attention.

Offline Promotion

You can use the offline methods of promotion, like the classified ads, flyers etc. The best choice is the classified ads because its exposure is largest.

Writing free e-books

It is similar to email marketing. But in this method you will write the informative and interesting e-books and will send to the people via their email address. These e-books should be easy to read and helpful for their readers. The topics should be related to your affiliate products so that you can recommend the products in the body of e-books. Alternatively you can add a brief note about your affiliate products and affiliate links for promotion. If the readers like your e-book, they may visit the merchant website and make a purchase.

Writing in Forums

Search for some forums, at least three, that are related to your product and have high page rank. Register on these forums and start some discussion in the forum where maximum people are involved. Just post your questions there or answer some questions of other members. But don’t add any promotion text in the body of your posts. You are allowed to put your signature at the end of your post. Here you can write you name and your affiliate links.

When you become an active member of this forum then you may get some traffic from these forums to your merchant website through your affiliate links. This will ultimately result in more sales of the products you are promoting.

Writing Articles

You can write articles and publish them in the free article directories. You can embed your affiliate links in the text of your articles. If your articles are well formatted, informative and the article directory has large traffic then you can expect some good traffic to your affiliate links. And you know that more traffic on your affiliate links will result in more sales through your affiliate links.

Conclusion

The use of a website to promote your affiliate products is a good idea but it is not necessary. You can use the alternate methods to promote your affiliate products and links. The most popular among these methods are email marketing, writing to forums, article writing and offline promotion like classified ads. The main idea is that instead of promoting your website you will directly promote your affiliate links and people will directly go to the merchant website by clicking your affiliate links to purchase the products. This way you do not have to pay extra for your website creation and maintenance.

Future Marketing Trends

These are just a few observations I’ve made from a lot of research, reading and taking an objective standpoint regarding issues that will directly affect marketing trends in the future.

Originality and creativity will provide the key to success:

- Digital marketing is becoming more prominent within the industry and is becoming more heavily relied on by marketers and web designers to achieve their online objectives and make their campaign strategies successful.

- Creating empathy using the creativity of design and the implementation of this creativity to emphasise with behavioural patterns of consumer will be vital to enable the five impulses that are associated with sales.

Keyword orientated marketing will continue to flourish:

- Providing a clear path to increase the return of investment for customers will be vital, illustrating exactly what you have achieved and the potential benefits to the customers business will be key to separating your services from another. As competition within the market continues to increase so will the demand for the keywords with the highest search volumes. Naturally this rise in demand will have an impact on the cost of each search lead therefore the need for providers to illustrate precisely which links the customers are coming from will be further emphasised.

- Juniper Research juniperresearch.com concludes that cost per click inflation will fluctuate to 20% across all markets for 2009. This figure will steadily remain constant throughout 2010 due to the shift in behavioural trends by business owners gradually accepting the need to focus their remaining spending power on online marketing resources.

- The fact that such qualified leads can now be pre determined before you pay for your ad by power advertisers such as Google and Facebook has created a competitive market for business to compete for certain demographics on Facebook and Key Phrases on Google. As long as it suits your product or target market I cannot emphasise enough the necessity to have a clear marketing strategy for both of the providers if you are seriously looking for the best return of investment online.

Optimising conversion figures will be the route to marketer’s success:

- For the online marketer these days the hard parts over. The business owners and clients are starting to knock on our doors as they seek see the massive growth potential from the implementation of strategic campaigns online. However the hard part is reaching an understanding with your provider as to what your actual goal is and setting reasonable objectives in respect to your investment. People are spending online and this is increasing at rapid rates for every industry year in year out and this is one trend that will inevitably continue for the foreseeable future. If you are paying for and receiving traffic from advertising and your figures are not resulting in the sales figures that you forecast, then something is wrong. It could be time for a review of your design, your content, Ease of site use or simply concentrating on strengthening your brand credentials. Point being there’s always numerous tactics you could be applying or applying more successfully if you take advice from a skilled online marketer.

- It is vital for you as a customer or even a provider to evaluate, analyse and measure all of your results and document them in way that is easily accessible to your cause. You must then illustrate the value to the consumer of the changes that have been made to solidify your position as a worthwhile spending output for the business in order to encourage repeat purchases or continued use of the services that you provide.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) will become more competitively negotiated:

-The biggest companies in the world are focusing in excess of 70% of their entire marketing budgets on CPA Media. This impressive increase has been supported by the constant influx of small businesses focusing their marketing efforts online. The shift in demand has forced the whole CPA model to become more widely negotiated, especially as there are plenty of alternative services to any particular solution chosen by a business online.

- Another aspect of this shift has been encouraged by the worldwide economic slump. This has forced an emphasis on the importance of direct response rather than the development of brand management. This is one of the principal reasons why more and more advertisers are focusing on this model.

Security and Privacy issues will continue to be of vital importance:

- In the UK particularly they have been a number of breaches of security issue recently and online fraud and deception remains a constant issue for marketers online. Therefore the need to focus on offering a secure platform to conduct business is vital. In addition to this maintaining all privacy of data will obviously be of paramount importance.

- Many overlook these issues and simply lose customers who eliminate you from their buying possibilities solely on the payment processor that you use or the method of conducting business that you have chose. Getting this correct in respect to your market is key. Those who get this wrong can witness a negativity aspect on your brand and there are other consequences for those that get this wrong.

There will be more emphasis on Qualative Analytics:

- Having the knowledge of understanding what users are doing on your site is a luxury but actually understanding and analysing the behavioural patterns of your traffic will become crucial to moving the business forward, thus helping ensure better decision making based on the findings of your results. Have a look at Facebooks analytic tools and another great example is Google analytics google.com/analytics which offers a number of options to help you understand the basics to the nature of this theory. Once you’re familiar with those give me a shout if you want to really take this to the next level.

- A few more basic platforms to provide you with some initial respect with this concept will be including:

..User surveys, email questionnaire, internal search analysis, user compatibility, customers service forums, FAQ’s, feedback options. A to B multivariate testing, eye tracking and click density analysis.

- All this and more will become essential tasks however seemingly menial as they will establish the information needed to understand your qualative data that will optimise your ROI. It’s all about reviewing your strategy and making informed decisions based on your analytical findings; this is what will ensure you maintain consistent growth in results.

Mobile Advertising will flourish:

- Mobile companies have been concentrating greatly on their efforts to create a more sustainable advertising platform from their handheld devices as a way to extract more cash from their customers. As mobile technology continues to improve the advertising capabilities will get better and their place in the advertising world will become clearer and more apparent to business owners and consumers.

- We will also see a rise in the phenomenon that is Bluetooth marketing and again we will have to see what direction the mobile companies choose to orientate themselves towards regarding this. However early signs are indicating great potential for this services especially for small business with low spending power.

- Google and Facebook and other browsers are working hard to ensure they are fully compatible for this in the future. If the fact that they are taking the venture so seriously doesn’t convict you to start taking this into consideration for the future of your company, then I don’t know what will.

Localised search services importance will explode:

- The main reason why this will happen is due to the fact that search engine and browsers will need this conceptual process to improve. This is due to three main reasons: 1) Improves the relevance of results 2) Advertising can be more accurately targeted 3) It allows search engines to focus on local businesses as well as maintaining their stranglehold on national businesses.

- Browsers like Mozilla, Yahoo and Google are continuing to offer searches based on demographic analytics and searches focusing on IP locators. This is simply to offer searches to help gear advertising in terms of the specifics of the consumer demand.

- RSS newsfeeds will continue to gain importance through the mainstream:

- Really Simple Syndication or better known as the acronym RSS is simply good for communications involved with online marketing. It provides marketers with 100% deliverability and ensures a qualified audience from the results. All RSS capabilities will compatible for the changes that will emerge from the launch of the Internet Explorer 8 browser so it’s interest and growth is likely to continue.

- Advantages of RSS: 1) Users will only receive contact from those that they personally subscribe to, so it decreases the prospect of receiving any spam, if spam does occur then simply relieve your subscription. 2) Users can develop specific segmentations of newsfeeds so that you will only obtain information on the topics chosen that relate to your objectives. 3) There are many platforms you can obtain newsfeeds from: mobile, email, your browsers, desktop. This puts the user into pole position so the user is in control and therefore a more qualified prospect than email.

The Google Algorithm will continue to apply user behaviour metrics:

- Search results are affected directly by click through rates and bounce rates are also relevant. In the process of time websites that perform badly in respect to Google’s algorithm will be downgraded in the search results whilst well performing websites will be pushed up in the results. With a billion search results everyday coming from Google, there is no comparison in terms for importance for everyone. However niches can be found for certain markets in relevantly targeted markets

Notebooks will impact Net Design:

- The fact is that notebooks are increasing in sales and prominence within the laptop market. In 2009 they are looking to account for over 10% of the laptop market. This trend looks set to continue throughout 2010/11, so designers will be compelled to accommodate for the capacity of the screens. A more accomplished designed will de demanded and the ‘screen estate’ must be used more economically in order to alleviate this issue.

User Generated Content is vital for future consideration:

Studies imply that people are more likely to trust recommendations in comparison to trusting a website or an advertisement. That is why trustatrader.com and ratedpeople.com and other similar alternatives are gaining more momentum in terms of marketing for businesses. It is suggested that up to 80% trust recommendations rather than adverts so it’s time to seriously consider getting some testimonials and feedback forums implemented into your site. What’s more, don’t just put them there, you need to promote them and encourage people to generate their own user content, with incentives and other ventures.