With the official result announced earlier this morning we now know the UK has voted to leave the European Union with 52% of the votes cast in favour of Brexit. This decision is clearly very important to many aspects of our life and will have far reaching implications for the economy, immigration and our place in the world.

If is often the financial markets that are first to react to such changes and as I write the FTSE 100 index of the UK’s leading shares has fallen by 4.8% to 6,030 and Sterling (£) has fallen sharply against other major currencies. It is likely that higher than normal levels of volatility will persist in financial markets at least for the short term until the economic future becomes clearer.

Many of our clients may be worried about the effects of the Brexit vote on their own investments and emotions can run high. This is understandable; however it is at times like these that hopefully our value as financial planners can be best demonstrated.

We would encourage all of our clients to focus more on the longer term lifestyle outcomes they desire rather than over reacting to the short term volatility in financial markets.

There are a number of studies suggesting that those people who remain invested during periods of uncertainty tend to achieve higher longer term investment returns than those who try to “time” investment markets.

It is our view that an appropriate cash reserve and a well-diversified investment portfolio will help our clients steer through increased market turbulence. No doubt the UK Government and the Bank of England, as well as other central banks around the world, will take the necessary steps to help stabilise financial markets.

As the implications of this important vote become clearer over the coming weeks and months we will consider any relevant action our clients may need to take to ensure their own financial plan is best placed to achieve their desired longer-term outcomes.