Having a long-term financial plan is vital in order to “weather inevitable storms” like Brexit, according to a leading chartered financial planner.

Alan Mellor, Managing Director of Cheshire-based Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services, says the question he gets asked more than any other at the moment is: How will Brexit affect me?

Alan said:

“While there is every chance there will be an economic downturn at some stage over the coming months, the key to good financial planning is to ensure that you are not overly exposed.

“And, as with every significant moment in history, the financial position is far from straightforward. There are always winners and losers.

“For example, a fall in the value of the pound increases the opportunities for businesses which export. Similarly, non-UK investments will typically go up in value as the pound is worth less.

“On the flip side, the cost of goods and other items such as foreign holidays goes up.

“What we don’t know yet, which is causing continued uncertainty for private investors and business owners across the UK, is how the current Brexit negotiations will play out.”

Alan added:

“The best case scenario is clearly as smooth a transition as possible. The worst case scenario would see Britain crash out of the European Union in an unplanned and disjointed way. Having said that, even a more chaotic departure from the EU may work out for the better in the longer term.

“When the UK took the shock decision to leave the EU, the pound and the markets went into freefall. It looked like seismic change was on the horizon. The reality over the ensuing 12 to 18 months was somewhat different as investors were on the receiving end of some of the best returns since the 1980s.

“I met a client the other day who first became a client a few months prior to the 2008 crash. When the crash hit and values started to tumble, I was a little nervous. Surprisingly, the client was a lot more relaxed and told me everything would be alright because we had put a long term financial plan in place. When we met up again the other day, he reminded me of our conversation of 10 years ago and, as it turned out, he was right!”

Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services is one of only a handful of Chartered Partnerships in the North West – combining the knowledge and expertise of our chartered accountants and chartered financial planners.

Alan added:

“For us, it is less about the money and more about ensuring that our clients have a considered, long-term plan in place that is fit for purpose and capable of weathering the inevitable storms that will come along during the lifetime of the plan.

“It is only through long-term planning that clients can have the best possible opportunity to be in control of their destiny rather than finding themselves dictated to by events outside of their control.

“The political and economic consequences of landmark events like Brexit focus the mind on the importance of having a broad and diversified portfolio of investments.”