With the Brexit transition period coming to an end we’ve been hearing more questions about what it means for you and your money. So, we decided to sit down with Tom Francis, one of our investment advisers, to address your most pressing questions.
Tom, let’s start with the big one, how does Brexit impact my investments?
First off, regardless of whether a trade deal is reached or not, there will be some changes once the transition period ends on 31st December. For example, you may see a change in the price of purchasing or selling European goods.
When it comes to your investments, the good news is that there are ways to reduce the potential risks that inevitably come with change. And if you invest with a provider like Wealthsimple, we’ve already taken care of it for you (more on this in the next question!).
Political decisions, events and elections will continue to have an impact on markets in the short term but the real risk is putting a pause on investing, or not investing at all. Why? Because whether there’s a trade deal or not, over the long run the returns you receive for staying invested are likely to far outweigh the returns from keeping your money sitting in cash.
You mentioned lowering risks when it comes to your investments. Can you explain how?
There are a couple of important ways mitigate the risk. One important tool is time. Over the long-term, markets behave much more predictably — and tend to go up. That's why we think long-term investing is so smart. The other really important way to mitigate risk is to put your eggs in lots of different baskets. If you invest in all kinds of companies in different countries, that do different things in different industries, you insulate yourself from the more heavy swings in the market.
At Wealthsimple we do this all for you by using technology and a smart team of humans to build you an internationally diversified portfolio made up of both stocks and bonds tailored to your financial goals. And, we rebalance your portfolio regularly to make sure diversification is always maintained.
I just want to hold onto my money until there is a final decision. Is that the right thing to do?
There is an important investment saying about how time in the market is more important than timing the market. What does this mean? It’s about how it’s more important to stay invested, and stay the course, instead of making knee jerk reactions (like selling your investments) because of short-term movement. Why? Because there are typically more good days than bad days in the markets and investors are rewarded for taking risks over the long run.
A great example of this is an anecdote about Bob, the world’s worst investor. He invested the day before every market crash but ended up with significantly more money than he originally put in the market because he stayed invested, despite market volatility.
Is Wealthsimple making any changes to portfolios to address Brexit concerns?
Our approach has remained the same. We design our portfolios to protect investors against a wide variety of outcomes by diversifying the risk and global exposure of your assets to find the combination that we believe will best maximise long-term returns, while also minimising overall risk. From time to time we’ll make small tweaks to our portfolios but rest assured, we’ll always communicate those changes to you.
And in the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, we’re always here to help. Book a call with an investment adviser here.
The Wealthsimple Team