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On eve of election, experts caution not to let politics sway investments

With investors trying to figure out how to position themselves for the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, two investment experts told CNBC politics shouldn't influence investment thinking.

Markets rallied Monday on the eve of the historic vote. Wall Street analysts are predicting an S&P 500 sell-off on a Donald Trump win and believe it will at least hold gains if Hillary Clinton is the victor.

However, the election is only one of several risk events that will play out before the end of the year, said Karin Kimbrough, head of macro and economic policy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management.

"We also have more on Brexit, more on the Fed decision, more on an Italian referendum and then all the way next year, we expect to see even more uncertainty in the political spectrum in Europe," she told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday.

"Think about the long run. Don't focus so much in trying to position around these events. It's too unpredictable," she said.

Gabriela Santos, global market strategist for JPMorgan Funds, believes it's a mistake to get in or out of the market based on an election in the U.S. Historically, the market has done well in the medium-term regardless of who is in the White House or what is the makeup of Congress, she said.

What the market wants is the least amount of uncertainty possible, and that will likely be true whether it is Trump or Clinton in the Oval Office.

"Both are leading with an establishment, Republican-led House. So it's difficult actually for either candidate to get a lot of what they've been proposing through Congress, and as a result we're likely to end up with a government of moderation despite the extreme nature of the election process," Santos told "Power Lunch."

There has already been chatter about possible investigations if Clinton wins, but Rich Bernstein, CEO of Richard Bernstein Advisors and a CNBC contributor, said investors have to remember that Washington, D.C., is a distraction.

"One of my very first bosses on Wall Street told me more than 35 years ago that you never take investment advice from Washington," he said. "What you focus on are the fundamentals."

To that end, there has been a gradual recovery in corporate profits, he told "Power Lunch."

"You have to have the recovery before you get the expansion, and the expansion before the boom," Bernstein said.

For Brian Belski, chief investment strategist with BMO Capital Markets, the focus needs to be on revenue growth and earnings growth once the election is over.

He thinks in the near-term the markets can go higher into the first half of 2017, but noted that the majority of returns in the bull market have been driven by multiple expansion.

"Where is growth going to come from in a scenario where we're still going to have a lot of regulation, and what's going to happen in terms of international growth?" he said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

"What's going to incentivize companies to hire, to bring back cash? We need to see what the platform looks like with respect to repatriation and infrastructure bills," he said.

— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng and Jennet Chin contributed to this report.