Brexit, Stage Left

Brexit, Stage Left

June 28, 2016– Financial markets like predictability. So when voters in the United Kingdom decided to pull a Snagglepuss by telling the European Union they were going it alone, the financial markets reacted accordingly.

They went barking mad, as it were. PinkBlue

With the pound sinking to its lowest level against the dollar in more than three decades and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) losing 900 points in the first two days of trading, we’re surely a long way from predictability.

But like every calamity before this one since the beginning of time, calm will some day return leaving more than a few winners and losers in its wake.

Meanwhile, those whose fortunes rely on the direction of marketable securities better stock up (pun intended) on Pepto-Bismol. You’re going to need it even if the market eases up as it has a bit today.

Until then, some answers to questions that may be on your mind.

Are my structured settlements safe?

Yes. Safety and security are hallmarks of structured settlements. Benefits will be paid on time as scheduled. Nothing to worry about.

Won’t the stock market impact my structured settlement payments?

Unless your contract includes a future payments rider linked to a market index, such as Pacific Life’s Indexed-Linked Annuity Payment Adjustment Rider, your benefits will not change. If your contract does contain such a rider, Brexit will not cause your payments to drop.

What about the cash I set aside?

It depends on what you’re invested in. When settling an injury claim, many people hold back some cash in hopes they can “do better” than the structured settlement options they’re presented with. But the higher returns they seek aren’t possible without assuming a higher degree of risk.

If you invested in stocks, conventional wisdom says you’ll probably do OK if you don’t panic and have enough time to ride out the volatility. Meanwhile, ignore that grumbling in your stomach.

I’m an attorney and recently structured my fees. Should I worry?

Not because of Brexit, that’s for sure. In fact, you’ll probably win bragging rights around the bar association table since the effective rate of return for the structure you chose likely dwarfed anything the market could have done for you anyway. Minus the market risk!

Depending on assumptions about present and future tax brackets, some of our clients estimate they “earned” effective rates of return in excess of 10% because of the tax deferral. You made a very smart move.

Is it too late to get an annuity?

No. While structured settlement annuities must be chosen before the settlement concludes, a variety of others annuities are available for direct purchase. So if you’ve already taken some of your settlement in cash and are having second thoughts about investing on your own, an income annuity might be a good choice.

Cheerio!

So, mates, best of British to you ignoring those collywobbles until the markets are hunky-dory once again.

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