Brexit and Corbyn: What should an investor from the UK do?

The most important issue to address is that either a hard Brexit or a Labour government could trigger a sharp fall in the value of sterling.

By ANDREW ALBUM
August 18, 2018 22:18
2 minute read.
Brexit and Corbyn: What should an investor from the UK do?

Britain's opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn. (photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)

 
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Winston Churchill once said of the British that they are a unique nation as “they are the only people who like to be told how bad things are.” The view of many experts these days is that it is difficult to accurately convey how much worse the financial situation could get for the UK in the coming years.

Firstly, after voting to leave the European Union in a referendum in 2016, the country could be heading for a “hard Brexit” – leaving the EU without a negotiated post-departure deal in place. Secondly, the next election may be won by the Labour Party and the country could plunge into a major economic crisis, which some have suggested could lead to the imposition of capital controls. For UK citizens living in Israel these developments clearly demand a review of existing financial plans.

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The most important issue to address is that either a hard Brexit or a Labour government could trigger a sharp fall in the value of sterling. For those who remember when the pound traded at above 8.5 to the shekel and have watched it slide to 4.8, this is a worrying possibility. Here are a few actions you may want to consider while planning ahead.

One of the basic principles of financial planning is the importance of matching assets to liabilities.

Evidently, fixed pensions in sterling cannot be protected, but it is important to review other existing and potential forms of income – such as pension or Drawdown plans – to see if it is possible to generate a shekel income that would not be affected by a plummeting pound.

Additionally, investments should be reviewed and perhaps be reallocated to stronger currencies such as the US dollar, be converted to shekel- based assets or a combination.

Similarly, if you are holding individual shares in British companies, perhaps this should be changed in favor of a more global approach.

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With it being evident that a Labour government would raise taxes to meet its considerable spending plans, it is also crucial to ensure you aren’t affected by this.

Finally, money left in UK bank accounts perhaps should also be moved outside of the UK to remain accessible in the event of capital controls.

It is possible that Britain will reach a deal with the EU that will lead to a smooth transition to a post-Brexit world. With a general election not necessary until 2022, a hard-left Labour government is also not assured. Notwithstanding this, it would definitely be a sensible strategy to review these potential risks and consider how to mitigate them so you don’t lose money.

The writer is a senior wealth manager at Pioneer Wealth Management and a qualified financial planner in the UK. Feel free to contact him at: andrewa@piowealth.com

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