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Rathbones on the biggest risk facing British investors

Rathbones on the biggest risk facing British investors

The biggest risk for British investors in 2019 is, perversely, a strong rise in the pound, according to Bryn Jones, fixed income director at Rathbones Unit Trust Management. 

Mr Jones said after a pretty grim run of half-baked rallies and further dips, sterling is now very beaten up indeed.

He said: "It seems like almost any sort of deal, a soft Brexit in the old parlance, could entice foreigners to return to our fair isle.

"A significant run-up in sterling could mean stiff underperformance for investors with their cash sitting in assets denominated in other currencies.

"So as dull and mind numbing as the back and forth of negotiations can be, we are stapling our eyes open to ensure we are as prepared as we can be."

The value of sterling would likely rise in the event of the UK reaching a Brexit deal, rather than the no deal outcome many feel is presently reflected in the value of sterling. 

He said that the "skittish" nature of markets means he is avoiding taking very large risks, or positions in the market that will only make money for his clients if major events happen, and instead he has focused on taking profits quickly from investments that pay off. 

david.thorpe@ft.com