One of the UK’s most famous hedge fund managers, Neil Woodford, says that Brits need to look beyond the short-term fears hitting the markets following the country’s vote to leave the European Union, and focus on the long-term gains that can be made as a result of Brexit.
In a blog post published on Friday, Woodford describes Brexit as being “not as negative a development” as the markets think, and goes on to argue that in the long-term, Brexit will actually benefit the UK.
“Markets are clearly shocked by the decision but, in our view, it is not as negative a development as the market’s initial reaction appears to imply,” Woodford wrote.
“We have been clear in our thinking on the economic implications of Brexit for some time. The independent report that we commissioned on the subject concluded that Britain’s long-term economic future would be largely unaffected by a decision to leave the European Union. We stand by these conclusions.”
Markets crashed across the world on Friday as the uncertain future of the UK weighed on sentiment, and market participants reacted to a shock victory for the Leave campaign. As polling closed on Thursday night, the markets had priced a victory for the Remain campaign at more than a 90% probability.
Here’s more from Woodford:
“In the near-term it is likely that UK GDP will be lower over the next 18 months or so than if we had voted to remain. But, because inflation will (temporarily) be higher following the fall in the pound, nominal GDP could well be little changed. Growth in consumer cash flow will be marginally lower, principally because fuel prices will be higher but of course exporters will enjoy something of a windfall.”
“In the longer term, it is my view that the trajectory of the UK economy, and more importantly the world economy, will not be influenced significantly by today’s outcome.”
Woodford does however, agree that in the coming months, uncertainty will rack the markets, and that will likely be a big negative. “That is not to say there won’t be challenges in the near-term. There will. We now face a period of uncertainty as the exact terms of Britain’s exit from Europe are negotiated. Financial markets loathe uncertainty as amply demonstrated by this morning’s reaction across all asset classes.”
Woodford rose to prominence as one of Britain’s best-performing fund managers while in charge of the Invesco Perpetual Income fund, managing just over £10 billion ($15 billion). He left in 2014 year to set up his own firm, Woodford Investment Management.
Elsewhere in the British hedge fund industry, Crispin Odey, another of the UK’s most prominent money managers, reportedly made a huge sum on the outcome of the EU referendum after shorting European stocks in the expectation of a Brexit, according to Bloomberg. Odey hit headlines earlier this year when his $10.2 billion firm, Odey Asset Management, made millions betting on Sports Direct.
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