Investors fear Corbyn Government

Laura Suter
18 December 2018

A Labour Government coming to power is one of the biggest concerns investors have for stock markets in 2019, according to a new survey of over 700 investors carried out by AJ Bell*.

Predictably, Brexit is the biggest worry with a third of investors putting that at the top of their list of biggest stock market concerns in 2019, followed closely by a Labour Government coming to power which just over a quarter (28%) of people have as their biggest concern.

Reflecting these concerns, half of investors have been stockpiling cash in their portfolio in preparation for a market dip.

Two in five investors (39%) think there will be a stock market correction around the 29 March Brexit date, although just over a quarter (28%) think there will be a stock market rally around that time.  Either way, it is clear that retail investors are building a war chest of cash ready to invest when they feel market conditions are improving. 

Almost a third (30%) of investors have decreased their exposure to companies that earn revenue in the UK during 2018, although almost a quarter (23%) are seeing buying opportunities and have increased their exposure to firms that are exposed to the UK economy.

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, comments:

“Politics is clearly at the top of the worry list for investors with Brexit, a change in Government and Trump fuelled trade wars being the three biggest concerns for next year.  Financial factors such as interest rate rises, currency movements and a tech-stock slowdown are in a distant second place.

“It makes a lot of sense that investors are shying away from new investments and reinvesting dividends given the political uncertainty. Building up cash reserves to take advantage of buying opportunities may prove to be a smart move, although timing the markets is notoriously difficult. What it does suggest though is that once the political fog clears the UK stock market may receive a boost from investors looking to snap up bargains.” 

*Research conducted online with 702 AJ Bell Youinvest customers during November and December 2018.  Full results below:

What is your biggest concern for stock markets in 2019?

Brexit

33.6%

Labour Government coming to power in the UK

28.1%

Trade wars

19.2%

Rising interest rates

5.6%

FAANG (technology stocks) slowdown

5.3%

Currency movements

2.0%

Conservative Government remaining in power in the UK

1.3%

Have you been increasing the level of cash in your portfolio in preparation for a market dip?

Yes

50.3%

No

49.7%

Do you think there will be a stock market correction or a stock market rally next year around the 29 March 2019 Brexit date?

Stock market correction

39.1%

Neither

32.8%

Stock market rally

28.2%

Have you reduced or increased your exposure to companies (either directly or via funds) that earn revenue in the UK in 2018?

Reduced

29.6%

Increased

23.3%

No change

47.1%

Laura Suter
Personal Finance Analyst
Laura Suter is personal finance analyst at AJ Bell. She is a multi-award winning former financial journalist, having specialised in investments. Laura joined AJ Bell from the Daily Telegraph, where she was investment editor. She has previously worked for adviser publications Money Marketing and Money Management, and has worked for an investment publication in New York. She has a degree in Journalism Studies from University of Sheffield.
Follow us: