Like it or not, Brexit is here to stay.
Whichever way you voted on 23rd June, the short-term consequences are starting to become clear – even if the long-term effects of leaving the EU have left opinions divided. How the situation will look in two, five and even ten years’ time is frankly anyone’s guess.
For millennials however, there are two immediate options. You can either sit back and watch it happen as uncertainty in the markets remains (and is likely to for a long while yet – from the period during the official ‘leave’ process to sometime after), or you can decide it’s time to take charge yourself, and use the tools and information available to you to make it work to your advantage.
UK banks and lending institutions are currently offering advice to consumers on the subject of Brexit, but it has tended to be speculative and limited – along the lines of ’watch and see’, given the dearth of certain information available.
This doesn’t help anyone, particularly financial novices. Individuals need to take it upon themselves to make their own decisions when it comes to their money. The problem for millennials is that many do not have a deep enough understanding to make an informed decision, so instead they choose not to make one at all. This is something we saw with the Referendum, where approximately 64% of registered voters aged 18-24 voted, compared to 90% of over-65s. Research we conducted at invstr also showed over 68% of millennials in the UK are worried about their financial future and don’t know what to do about it. Young people remain unaware how these circumstances will impact them personally, and this has to change.
If you are one of these young people, there are options available now that can allow you to make the most of the current situation (and the longer term picture, as it becomes clearer), if you can take that first step and allow yourself to learn to make smarter financial decisions and ensure you are financially set for the future.
The scene post-Brexit presents a number of opportunities to those with a basic understanding of financial information. Although potentially subject to some impact, the UK economy is in good shape, expanding by 0.6 per cent in the second quarter with employment reaching a record high in the three months to May. A number of markets are flourishing, with some offering a useful forecast for the months ahead. The property and construction market, for example – always a reliable barometer for the economic health of the country – is looking strong, with Barclays’ latest prosperity index showing that every region of the UK is better off than it was a year ago. This is a good indicator of long-term growth and prosperity, and should be watched carefully for signs of rising and falling confidence. Elsewhere, on the back of the Brexit vote sectors including Oil & Gas, Pharmaceuticals, bookmakers and Tobacco companies have all benefited from recent growth.
A quick look back at the markets that have weathered economic storms in the past can offer a strong indication of those likely to withstand any upheaval following the Referendum result. The medical and grocery retail sectors, for example, have proven to be solid investment areas even during the worst downturns, with consumers spending their money on these goods regardless of overall confidence levels. Likewise for the transportation and security sectors, and even payment platform providers (like credit and debit card brands), which are the processors of payments rather than lenders.
Investing in the post-June 23rd climate can be daunting – particularly for novices – but there are some excellent opportunities out there right now, with more to come. These are all well within reach for those who learn to take charge of their finances.