We use cookies to support features like login and allow trusted media partners to analyse aggregated site usage.
To dismiss this message and allow cookies to be used, please click "Continue".



Twitter board

Follow us
  • My week on Twitter 🎉: 4 New Followers. See yours with https://t.co/mCw3VcMQGw https://t.co/odYllgQghg21 hours ago
  • Friday View: Border to Coast launches UK equity tender - Rentokil Trustee faces fine - Gleeson directors banned - P… https://t.co/wx2SJ0bGfG3 days ago
  • Shareholder engagement: It’s good to talk For responsible investors talk isn’t cheap. Not only does research sugges… https://t.co/imwrezJuKJ3 days ago
  • Friday View: PA's DB scheme signs buy-out deal - PIC invests in Midlands housing association - Newton Video on Emer… https://t.co/GbWDdyENlN10 days ago
  • RT @minerva_ESG: Hey, all #ESG and#corpgov tweeps, lend a hand to @portfolio_inst important opportunity to support investors' understanding…10 days ago
  • We want to know your appetite and understanding for ESG! Please click the link to take our 5 minute survey to tell… https://t.co/SsVgQzEKIc11 days ago
  • RT @AonRetirementUK: Great event, thanks for hosting @portfolio_inst. Inspired location too! https://t.co/we7Ou46ns311 days ago
  • Full house at our Portfolio Prepared event, Oliver Hamilton Illiquids specialist @AonRetirementUK discusses conside… https://t.co/F0qPFPjUSP11 days ago
  • West Midlland Pension Fund’s Jill Davys: “I am reluctant to overpay for assets” Assistant director of investments a… https://t.co/YHtEIU5BSN14 days ago
  • Friday View: DWP plans £1m fine for "reckless" sponsors - Veolia appoints actuary - TPR fines Smart Pensions - UK s… https://t.co/9kUsw6mric17 days ago
  • RT @NewtonIM: Take 5 minutes to complete the @portfolio_inst ESG survey, which is part of its 'Raising Standards in ESG' initiative, and sh…17 days ago
  • This months cover story: Carillion: Lessons for trustees ''The collapse of the construction giant raises questions… https://t.co/L48HDqT0lB18 days ago
  • RT @PensionsSion: Portfolio Prepared? Join us and @portfolio_inst on 4th July 2018 to hear presentations from leading professional #trustee…18 days ago
  • Breaking: DWP proposes £1m fine for "reckless" DB sponsors https://t.co/7rsDaGgS5v #DWP #DBWhitepaper #TPR https://t.co/YQqy9Qr7tN20 days ago
  • Our latest Roundtable: Factor Investing ''Pursuing value, momentum, quality or low volatility strategies in bond an… https://t.co/qugefevAN420 days ago
  • My week on Twitter 🎉: 2 Mentions, 3.3K Mention Reach, 5 Likes, 6 Retweets, 7.76K Retweet Reach. See yours with… https://t.co/IZfviidt4H21 days ago
  • Friday View: Trustees feel the heat over climate change - bankers' pensions back in black - TPR suspends trustee -… https://t.co/kUKa8QUF9w24 days ago
  • Increased regulatory oversight will be risk-based, TPR keyperson will meet schemes deemed riskier several times a y… https://t.co/wUiKPGESaU26 days ago
  • Lesley Titcomb, TPR chief executive says change is on its way, the regulator will increase oversight between valuat… https://t.co/Wu8Pv6TfqS26 days ago
  • Join us and @AonRetirementUK on the 4th of July at the luxurious Victorian Bath House featuring educational presen… https://t.co/r1abr8Qls027 days ago

Friday View: 24 June 2016: Brexit special

Keep calm & carry on

Keep calm & carry on

Andrew Craig
Friday 24th June 2016

Like many people, I have been up since about four o’clock this morning watching in fascination as this whole Brexit situation unfolds. Quite a few folks have been in touch since then asking what to do, so I thought I would get a message out as soon as possible: DO NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRADE THIS IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM.

Today, arguably more than any day in recent history, it is imperative that we all ignore the breathless, caffeinated / under slept talking heads and the febrile, nervy atmosphere – at least as far as our investments are concerned.  The worst thing you can do today is panic and sell out of your investments.

Furthermore, unless you are an extremely knowledgeable and experienced investor or trader, you should absolutely not attempt to trade what has happened and monetise today or any of the next few days. That is the immediate, short term stance which I think will serve you best in the medium and long term.

Now let’s have an early think about what all of this actually means for you.

Well.  Today – whatever savings or assets you have that are in sterling are nominally worth about 10% less than they were yesterday.  As ever, however, this is in THEORY.  Unless you actually sell any of those assets or convert any of your pounds into a foreign currency today, you won’t have actually crystallised this theoretical loss into a ‘real’ one.  And the point here is that even the best currency traders will be disagreeing today about whether sterling will bounce back in the days and weeks ahead or fall even further.

A good buddy of mine who has a very senior role at a major investment bank in Asia reckons sterling and the UK stock market is a ‘massive buy’ today.  Another friend of mine who is similarly senior at another leading investment bank in the US thinks the precise opposite.  No one knows.

Of course, those of you who have implemented any kind of ‘own the world’ approach to investment need spend a great deal less time worrying about their finances today than people who have all their assets in pounds and / or in the UK stock market or gilts.    Your gold holdings alone will be doing a great deal to support any fall off in those financial assets you have which might be affected by today’s news.  Again – it bears repetition – investing in all main asset classes in all main geographical regions works through the economic cycle and days like this point up why this is such a good approach.

Allied to this – another key component of a ‘set and forget’ approach to investment that has a multi-decade track record of success is automated monthly investment into such assets.  What happens in the next few weeks and months will no doubt bear this stance out too.  For people with no big picture, top down, approach to investment – today’s news could potentially frighten them out of investments they may have made with likely disastrous consequences for their long term financial health.

For those of you who have got comfortable with investing regularly in all assets in all geographies:  First, you will see less destruction in your wealth today than people who do not take this approach.  Secondly, and possibly even more important, the fact that you will continue to make regular investments in those markets which see heavy falls in the short term, will very likely have a significant positive impact on your medium and long run returns.

There is a great deal more I would like to write about all of this and no doubt I will in the near future but – in the interests of broadcasting the above message as quickly as possible given I believe it is a very important one – I will sign off for now.

Whatever you do today and however you feel about Brexit, when it comes to your investments, please, please, please – DO NOTHING!

Andrew Craig is founder of Plain English Finance


Leave your comment

View our comments policy

Please login or register with us to leave a comment. It's completely free!

Friday View

Friday View

Shareholder engagement: