It's official--Donald Trump is now our 45th president. That may make you feel ecstatic or depressed, depending on your political views. But how will it affect your business?

It's easy to predict which industries and companies are likely to be losers under President Trump: Health care (because repealing Obamacare will leave tens of millions with no health insurance), alternative energy, and any company that depends on an immigrant work force or does its manufacturing in China.

But who will the winners be? Here are some predictions:

1. Finance

The financial industry is set to do well under our new president, which is one reason Goldman Sachs stock rose more than 30 percent in the aftermath of the election. Trump has vowed to "dismantle" Dodd-Frank, the regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, and though he's also suggested he might reinstate Glass-Steagall, a law repealed under Clinton that excluded banks from the investment industry, most observers believe there will be fewer regulations for the industry to deal with under the new president.

2. Fossil Fuels

The coal, oil, and gas industries are likely to benefit a lot from President Trump, who has repeatedly talked about throwing support to these industries and shutting down government subsidies for renewable energy.

3. Nuclear Energy

The industry has suffered from worries about risk after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, and more recently has been battered by competition from less expensive natural gas, solar, and wind power. As a result, five nuclear plants have closed around the country in the past five years. Trump to the rescue! His transition team has been asking the Department of Energy what it can do to keep any more plants from shutting down and how to give this controversial industry a lifesaving boost.

4. Construction

Trump's pledge to "make America great again" extends to our crumbling infrastructure, so look for the federal government to put some money into improving things. He's focused on creating jobs and rebuilding roads, bridges, and government facilities is a great way to do that. Wall Street also seems to think he may make good on his promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Stocks in the companies that might bid on that project saw a post-election surge.

5. Domestic Manufacturing

Trump displayed his commitment to "Made in the USA" manufacturing with his much-publicized deal to keep a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana from sending hundreds of jobs to Mexico. Although the contract for that deal appears to remain unsigned and there is wide debate about its actual effect (the company appears to be planning to replace some jobs with automation instead), the principle is clear: Trump wants to keep manufacturing here at home as much as possible. Other U.S. manufacturers are likely to see incentives to keep jobs at home.

6. Defense

Under President Obama, a deficit reduction rule called sequestration limited increases in defense spending. With Trump in the White House and Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, some observers expect sequestration to go away, at least as far as defense spending is concerned. That could pave the way for a spending increase of $25 billion.

7. Pharmaceuticals and Biotech

While health care may suffer, at least temporarily, under the uncertainty created by a planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries could benefit. Why? Because Trump, the enemy of regulation, along with a Republican-led Congress, is less likely to impose price regulations on this sector. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton (if elected) would have pushed for tighter pricing restrictions in the wake of the EpiPen pricing scandal and other such events.

Of course, the whole point of President Trump is that he is an unknown quantity as an elected leader. He's very much a government outsider, which is what many voters seem to want these days. Which means no one really knows what will happen for the next four years. And though these are all reasonably solid predictions, it's also possible that not one of them will come true.

Published on: Jan 19, 2017
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