As many people around the world are trying to wrap their minds around Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union, you may also be wondering “What does Brexit mean for my money?”
If you are worried about your 401(k) retirement plan, take heart. Most experts say you shouldn’t rush to sell stocks, and some even say it’s an opportunity to buy. And, bonus for those looking to borrow: Interest rates may fall.
Yes, things are going to be bumpy, but this is a time to “Keep calm and carry on,” as the Brits said in World War II.
- Stocks and retirement: Investors with heavy investments in the United Kingdom and Europe may have gone through heavy volatility. On June 24 alone, the first trading day that the vote result was known, U.S. stocks fell more than 3 percent, but some European indexes fell more than 12 percent.
Market experts say the initial market reaction was largely emotional. Many have noted that Britain’s separation from the EU could take several years to play out and urged investors not to sell out of fear. And some said investors may even want to buy.
“For the typical U.S. investor, this is not really going to change anything,” said Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro for Fidelity Investments. “It’s not going to affect the U.S. economy, it’s not going to tip us into recession.”
Whether it’s the downturn in the stock market or the increase in global uncertainty, these events are a reminder of the need for a thoughtful financial plan, said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate.com. That means setting aside adequate savings and having a diversified portfolio.
If you don’t have a financial adviser, look for information on the right investment choices for you with your retirement plan company.
“You need to have a plan that makes sense for you, and you need to stick to that plan — and that includes not freaking out when something like this happens,” Timmer said.
- Interest rates: The Federal Reserve has been slow to raise interest rates due to concerns over global economic instability, and the U.K. vote makes it even less likely the Fed will act soon.
That’s bad news for savers but great news for borrowers, particularly those looking to get a new mortgage or refinance.
Brexit could also indirectly benefit other borrowers if the Fed holds off on raising the central bank’s key benchmark interest rate. When that rate goes up, it can raise short-term borrowing costs for banks, and that can ultimately lead to higher rates on things such as credit cards, home equity loans and credit lines.
3 THINGS TO KNOW
- The shock and uncertainty of Brexit makes clear the need for a thoughtful financial plan, including setting aside adequate savings and having a diversified portfolio.
- Britain’s separation from the European Union could take several years to play out. Many analysts say it won’t push the U.S. into a recession, and they urge investors not to sell out of fear. Some even said investors may even want to buy.
- The United Kingdom’s vote makes it less likely the Federal Reserve will act soon to raise interest rates. That’s bad news for savers but great news for borrowers, particularly those looking to get a new mortgage or refinance.