Cyprus Mail

Brexit and your savings: an expat’s view

Were it not for Brexit giving financial markets the heebie-jeebies, this would have to have been one of the shortest bear markets in living memory – unless, of course, you take note of doomsters like that blithering idiot of a so-called financial expert who writes, inter-alia no doubt, for the Motley Fool. Up to a few weeks ago this gentleman seemed to be gleefully endorsing the speculations of a very small handful of merchant bankers and fund managers, who should have known better, as to the possibility of $20 oil. Oil at that level would see the NYSE, FTSE et al. on their knees and brokers jumping out of windows.

A ‘Brexit’ was never designed to happen. But even the best plans can go awry! For instance it was never in Great Britain’s Prime Minister’s plans that his good mate and until recently London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, should jump ship. And Boris has the ear of the people, methinks, whereas Cameron is just another lying politician to most of them and Corbyn is your bog-standard, anti-royalist scruff bag. The only surprise to me is that he who cannot bring himself to even mime the National Anthem and can only summon the most cursory of nods at the Cenotaph is actually endorsing his cohorts not to take the plunge!

You wouldn’t have thought it, but it’s becoming a close run thing. Forget the polls – they were so wrong about the General election – but look at where the money is: the bookmakers!  Their odds still favour the ‘stay’ camp, but until very recently the exit odds were shortening.  And news of a possible Swedish decamp won’t help them either.

When push comes to shove, as it will on polling day, just three weeks or so away, will there be enough incentive for those who will have been terrorised into the prospect of their pension pot being hammered to get off their collective backsides and actually vote? And that’s what is going to decide the day. Those wishing to leave Europe are more fervent. They will vote. Those wishing to stay are more lackadaisical. Will they bother to vote?

You won’t get worthwhile odds at the bookies but for casual investments in any stock market that old chestnut ‘sell in May and stay away …’ might just be good advice this year, as Europe without Britain would be a shaky house of cards indeed.

James Franklin, Lania Village

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