3 Brexit Risks Posed To Your Portfolio & How To Mitigate Them

Whichever way one voted, it is hard not to be dismayed by the shambles that is Brexit, concocted by all sides. In the event that any deal agreed gets voted down in Parliament, or there is no deal, there is a material chance that the government could fall. One or both of these events would come with great uncertainty.

We set out three key investment risks relating to Brexit and how sensible portfolio structures can mitigate them.

  • Risk 1: Greater volatility in the UK and possibly other equity markets
    In the event of a poorly received deal or no deal, it is certainly possible that the UK equity market could suffer a market fall as it tries to come to terms with what this means for the UK economy and the impact on the wider global economy. A collapse of the Conservative government and a Labour victory would add further uncertainty.
  • Risk 2: A fall in Sterling against other currencies
    In 2016, after the referendum, Sterling fell against the major currencies including the US dollar and the Euro. There is certainly a risk that Sterling could fall further in the event of a poor/no deal.
  • Risk 3: A rise in UK bond yields (and thus a fall in bond prices)
    The economic impact of a poor/no deal and/or a high-spending socialist government could put pressure on the cost of borrowing, with investors in bonds issued by the UK Government (and UK corporations) demanding higher yields on these bonds in compensation for the greater perceived risks. Bond yield rises mean bond price falls, which will take time to recoup through the higher yields.
  • Mitigant 1: Global diversification of equity exposure
    Although it is the World’s sixth largest economy (depending on how you measure it), the UK produces only 3% to 4% of global GDP, and its equity market is around 6% of global market capitalisation. Well-structured portfolios hold diversified exposure to many markets and companies. Changing your mix between bonds and equities would be ill-advised. Timing when to get in and out of markets is notoriously difficult. Provided you do not need the money today, you should hold your nerve and stick with your strategy.
  • Mitigant 2: Owning non-Sterling currencies in the growth assets
    In the event that Sterling is hit hard, it is worth remembering that the overseas equities that you own come with the currency exposure linked to those assets. Remember too that a fall in Sterling has a positive effect on non-UK assets that are unhedged. The bond element of your portfolio should generally be hedged to avoid mixing the higher volatility of currency movements with the lower volatility of shorter-dated bonds.
  • Mitigant 3: Owning short-dated, high quality and globally diversified bonds
    Any bonds you own should be predominantly high quality to act as a strong defensive position against falls in equity markets. Avoiding over-exposure to lower quality (e.g. high yield, sub-investment grade) bonds makes sense as they tend to act more like equities at times of economic and equity market crisis.

Some thoughts to leave you with
Even if you cannot avoid watching, hearing or reading the news, it is important to keep things in perspective. The UK is a strong economy with a strong democracy. It will survive Brexit, whatever the short-term consequences that we will have to bear, and so will your portfolio. Keeping faith with both global capitalism and the structure of your portfolio and holding your nerve, accompanied by periodic rebalancing is key. Lean on your adviser if you need support.

‘This too shall pass’ as the investment legend Jack Bogle likes to say.

Dominic

About the Author

Dom is a qualified and experienced Chartered Financial Planner (CII) and Chartered Wealth Manager CFP (CISI) and a Registered Life Planner (Kinder Institute) with over 30 years experience. His work primarily focuses on retirement income planning, helping clients to maintain financial dignity and independence in retirement. Read more from Dominic...
This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any product for sale. This article contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results and no representation is made that the stated results will be replicated.
If you want great service from highly qualified, friendly Financial Advisers with a thorough investigative approach and measured, thoughtful advice - use EWM!!! J & ST (Abingdon)

Expert Opinion…

Mindfulness – An Evening with George Kinder Replay

Jonathan, September 21st, 2020

Jonathan and Dom met George Kinder over 10 years ago when they were becoming increasingly disparaged by the way Financial Planning was evolving in the UK. They felt there must be a better and more connected way to help people with their financial futures. After providing such insight, they have kept in close contact with George which has led to developing our fundamental ethos at Expert Wealth Management.

Read More
Join The Expert Wealth Family As A Paraplanner

Jonathan, September 10th, 2020

You will be working for an Independent Financial Adviser who hold corporate Chartered Financial Planner and CISI Accredited Firm status, as part of a small team looking after the financial planning needs of around 200 client families. As Paraplanner you will be providing high quality support and ensuring complete and accurate records […]

Read More
Cash dividends: don’t bank on them

Jonathan, August 24th, 2020

‘Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in.’ John D. Rockefeller To this day we can still relate to the words of American industrialist John D. Rockefeller, despite their utterance over a century ago. Be it a privately owned business or publicly listed […]

Read More
T: 01993 772467      E: advice@expertwealth.co.uk

Expert Wealth Management, West Wing, The Old Dairy, High Cogges Farm, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 6UN


Your Protection: In the unlikely event of your ever having a complaint which we have not been able to resolve amicably, you have recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). This is an independent body which will investigate complaints at no cost to you.  The FOS website is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.