Will Brexit turn out to be a significant event for long-term investors?
No one can say, but in the sweep of stock market history – and the British stock market is one of the most studied of all world markets – it is hard to see that Brexit is comparable with the sorts of events that have resulted in prolonged lower returns from shares.
One of several regular publications that look in detail at past returns from shares and other investments is the Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns Yearbook.
The latest edition includes fascinating snapshots of world markets at the close of the 19th century, setting the stage for the book’s subsequent analysis of what’s happened to returns in various countries since.
The capitalisation of companies traded on British exchanges in 1899 was greater than anywhere else, representing one quarter of the world’s quoted wealth. America in 1899 was second to Britain...
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