The 2017 General Election

Let me see if I’ve got this right…

The Conservatives won, but also lost. Labour lost, but also won. The SNP likewise lost, but also won. The Conservatives in Scotland won, but also lost. UKIP lost, but due to Brexit are still claiming they won. And Theresa May is under pressure to resign because she lost, but won’t because she won.

Confusing isn’t it? No wonder you might be unsure what it means for your finances.

Events can move quickly and the Conservatives forging an alliance of sorts with the DUP might look like a ridiculous statement by Christmas. Or even September.

When thinking of your finances it should come as no surprise that I urge you not to panic.

The market reaction to a hung parliament has been muted so far given they were expecting the Conservatives to slightly increase their majority. Sterling fell slightly against the US dollar and Euro but nowhere near as much as after last year’s referendum.

Sterling’s slight fall has led to the FTSE100 slight rise due to most of its money being earned overseas, where a weaker pound means higher profits in Sterling terms.

More domestically focused companies, such as retailers and house builders, have been hit harder as the market now expects slower economic growth. The prospect of recession might now seem a bit more likely but, in contrast, a “softer” Brexit might help the economy.

Markets react to events and the future remains just as unpredictable as ever. It may seem like there is a lot going on right now and therefore a lot to be concerned about. But academic studies show we have short memories and overly focus on what’s happening now. The truth is, there has always been a lot going on! At every point in time, markets weigh up the pros and cons of what has happened and what it expects to happen in the future.

My best advice is to remain focused on your long term financial future and focus on what you can control: the degree of risk in your portfolio, the taxes and charges you incur, being as diversified as possible and not trying to time the market based on short-term noise that the media pump out at times like this.

Live long and prosper

Philip Challinor Director