Market Overview

The Mitt Romney ETF Portfolio


In case you didn't get the memo, Republican voters head to the polls in South Carolina on Saturday for the third nominating showdown of the 2012 race for the GOP nomination. The latest polls show former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ahead by substantial margins in the Palmetto State, but former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has narrowed the gap in recent days.

Should Romney win in South Carolina, adding to his victory New Hampshire, it could be the swan song for several of his GOP rivals. Still, nothing should be taken for granted. As MSNBC reported, over a third of likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina said they could change their minds before heading to the polls.

Or one could just assume Romney wins and becomes the presumptive nominee for the privilege of challenging President Obama.

There's an ETF for that, and by "that" we mean a Romney nomination. Actually, there are several ETFs for Romney nomination, so here is the Mitt Romney ETF Portfolio.

PowerShares Global Listed Private Equity ETF (NYSE: PSP) It's not a stretch to say that if folks know one thing about Romney's life outside of politics, it's either that he's Mormon or that he made his fortune in the private equity business with Bain Capital. With the latter factoid in mind, we present the PowerShares Global Listed Private Equity ETF.

Hey, this niche fund might be the definitive Mitt Romney ETF. PSP, which has almost $245 million in assets under management and a yield of almost 8%, lives up to its global billing. Eight countries besides the U.S. are represented in this ETF.

Health Care Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLV) The political issue that Romney is arguably most associated with is health care. That alone makes XLV a good pick for this mock portfolio. Of course, it should be noted that back in August 2011, it was reported that Romney owns shares in an XLV constituent, that being Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT). That stock accounts for 5.25% of XLV's as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

iShares MSCI USA ESG Select Index Fund (NYSE: KLD) As we said earlier, much has been made of the fact that Romney is Mormon. In this day and age, that really shouldn't matter, but everyone who isn't Mormon seems to know that members of the faith do not drink alcohol, caffeine or smoke. That means an ETF focused on socially responsible investing like the iShares MSCI USA ESG Select Index Fund deserves a spot in this portfolio. Even though Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) is KLD's second-largest holding, there are no alcohol and tobacco stocks in this ETF.

iShares Dow Jones US Broker-Dealers ETF (NYSE: IAI) The Wall Street crowd often makes its presence felt in electoral politics through contributions to both parties. It's pretty safe to say that by the time November rolls around, IAI constituents will have given millions of dollars to President Obama and his challenger.

Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLE) Interesting: Since 1990, individuals and political action committees affiliated with oil and gas companies have donated $238.7 million to candidates and parties, according to OpenSecrets.Org. Not breaking news: 75% of that total has gone to Republicans.

Among the top energy industry contributors to political campaigns in the 2011-2012 election cycle, five are top-10 holdings in XLE. Those stocks are Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL).

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