Historically, uncertainty has led to increased market volatility. Even though the Brexit vote is now behind us, the uncertainty surrounding the exit process is likely to continue to contribute to market volatility. If that’s not enough, remember, the US has a presidential election coming this November that may prove to be one of the most controversial in recent memory. More uncertainty.
Investors might be best served by being patient. It is going to take quite a long time for all of the moving parts to finally come together.
Probably the first step will be a resolution of the British political uncertainty with the selection of a new Prime Minister to succeed David Cameron, who will step down in October. The new Prime Minister will have to navigate the EU withdrawal process, that will take a minimum of two years, and probably longer.
The next significant event is the US presidential election in November, which should begin to determine the likely US role in the discussions between Britain and the EU.
Throughout this period, we can expect all kinds of posturing and outrageous public statements by some or all of the various parties in the UK, the US and the EU.
Think back on all of the major traumatic events that have occurred over the last 100 years. Throughout this period, the markets have been subject to significant buffeting and weathered numerous significant short term movements. However, over the long run, the stock market has gone up and patience has been rewarded.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter Kirchberger, CFA®