Brexit: impact on pensions and investments

Added 29th June 2016

Everyone is still struggling to get to grips with the UK voting to leave the European Union, and quite frankly it has been ‘brexhausting’. Moving past the politics, Fidelity International has provided some tips about what this could mean for pensions, investments, and markets.

Brexit: impact on pensions and investments

Pensions

“As with many of the consequences of Brexit, it’s too early to say how pensions will be affected in the long term,” says Richard Parkin, head of pensions.

“The key message for retirees is to stay calm and avoid taking any unnecessary risks. Consider whether you really need to take cash from your retirement investments now. We sometimes see people taking cash from their pension savings at retirement just because they can.

“Many don’t realise that most pensions allow you to leave the money invested until you need it. If you do need cash now, taking smaller withdrawals over a longer time period will often be less risky than taking a large withdrawal all at once.

“If you are looking to convert your savings to guaranteed income by buying an annuity then it’s more important than ever that you shop around for the best deal. Annuity rates are based on long term interest rates which are already low and could be adversely affected by market uncertainty,” Parkin says.

Investments

“Investors can’t be blamed for feeling unnerved at the moment. With Britain exiting the EU the only certainty for now is uncertainty,” says Maike Currie, investment director for personal investing.

“At times like this it sensible to take a deep breath and focus on your long-term investment goals."

“In uncertain times, wealth preservation is key. In an environment which is likely to continue to be punctuated by market and political uncertainty, your best defence is to diversify. An effective way to achieve this is via a multi-asset fund, which aims to smooth returns by combining a range of different assets.

“While the referendum clearly has global repercussions, its impact, like the ripples from a stone thrown into a pond, will be most intense closest to the action,” she says.

Markets

Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing, expects market uncertainty will remain for some time to come.

“At times like this it sensible to take a deep breath and focus on your long-term investment goals.

“Volatility is part and parcel of equity investing and shareholders are invariably rewarded over time for accepting the risks of stock market investing. Attempts to time the market are usually doomed to fail, which is why we caution against trying to finesse the ups and downs of the market.

“Remember that the best days in the stock market very often follow hot on the heels of the worst ones and missing these rallies can seriously compromise long-term investment returns. We calculate that missing just the 10 best days in the market over the past 30 years would have reduced the annualised return over that period from 8.8% to just 6.6%.

“That might not sound much but it has the effect of reducing the cumulative return from 1,168% to 572%, a massive difference,” Stevenson says.  

 

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About Author

Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

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