What Did You Learn From Brexit?




My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at how investors behaved surrounding the Brexit vote.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

“So that was Brexit . . . How did your portfolio hold up during the tumult and news coverage and all of the other assorted nonsense that took place? Did you panic? Did you sell out after the vote? Lots of folks did. They bailed into the 5 to 10 percent sell-off immediately following Britain’s 51 percent vote to leave the European Union.

Here are the specific lessons I discuss culled from post-Brexit Investors behaviors:

Investing based on macro events is nearly impossible

You cannot time the market

Long-term investors pay attention to short-term distractions at their own risk

Diversification may be boring, but it works

You cannot control events, but you can control your behavior

Nobody knows anything

Not surprisingly, those who reacted to news events saw their portfolios suffer. And while investors were panicking over Brexit, since then the Standard and Poor’s 500-stock index and the Dow Jones industrial average have gone on to all-time highs . . .



Given the Brexit brouhaha, how did your investments hold up?
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, July 24, 2016