British Departure

On behalf of the Altium Investment Committee;

The British citizens voted last night to leave the European Union. After hours of commentary leading into this morning it appears that uncertainty is the only thing people can agree on. Maybe the "why" has a consensus, that the British people voting to leave want to firm up their borders and get out of the free movement rules within the EU. The U.K. is the second largest economy in the EU behind Germany and this decision has sent a shockwave through the markets.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, has said that he will resign. But what happens next is unknown. A few of the concerns include; Who else might leave the EU; Will this divide the U.K.; What happens to global currencies; Does this fuel terrorism; How will this impact trade; How will this impact political elections throughout Europe; Does this signal more quantitative easing globally; Does the Fed take rate hikes off the table or do they take us in the other direction. All of these unanswered questions will loom over the markets for some time as the U.K. withdrawal process is expected to take up to 2 years. However, we should keep in mind that a lot will change between today and the official exit from the EU. This vote is not legally binding (although it’s hard to imagine the British Parliament not respecting the vote) and there will be many negotiations between the EU and London where the official terms of the divorce and new relationship will be formed.

Already volatile, the markets clearly do not like this. World stocks are in the red and the British pound is falling in value. European markets are down broadly; The S&P Euro 350 is down roughly 6.5%, the German DAX index is down 6.7%, and the London FTSE index is down roughly 3.5%. In Asia the Japanese Nikkei 225 index closed down nearly 8%. The British Pound is down more than 8% versus the US Dollar. As of today’s close the S&P 500 finished down roughly 3.2%, which is a slight improvement from the day’s lows. To the upside are safety assets such as top rated government debt in Germany (yields now pushed negative) and the United States (10 year treasury yields is roughly 1.6%) and Gold (GLD up 4%).

While this reaction to the news is severe, the decision out of the UK was not completely unexpected. As the markets digest this news and experts speculate about its impact, we should keep in mind that this is more of a symptom than a new disease. We will continue to monitor the situation, but please reach out to us if you have any specific questions.

Gregory Slater, CFA, CFP®

Chief Investment Officer

This article is provided solely for informational purposes and may not include a complete discussion of the topics discussed. The contents of this document should not be construed as the making of any personal investment recommendation or the rendering of any personalized investment, legal, accounting or tax advice. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of the contents of this document without first seeking professional advice. Nothing contained in this document should be interpreted to state or imply that past performance is indicative of future results. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed in this article will come to pass. Investing in the stock market involves various risks, including the loss of some or all amounts invested. Certain information contained in this document may be obtained from third party sources that we believe to be reliable, but we do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information. U.S. stock market. Index returns are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent actual fund performance. Index performance returns do not reflect any management fees, transaction costs or expenses. Indexes are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

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