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Investors more worried about lower for longer interest rates than Brexit vote

A five pound note
People just don't know where to put their cash any more (Source: Getty)

Rock bottom interest rates appear to have given people more headaches about where to stash their cash than the Brexit vote.

Paul Abberley, chief executive at investment manager Charles Stanley, told City A.M. clients seemed generally more concerned about the "near zero interest rate" than they did about the Brexit vote, adding the lower for longer policy meant "you have to go and buy riskier assets than you would otherwise be comfortable with".

Abberley added this discomfort existed across all age brackets, although it was more noticeable in older generations because they tend to have more investable assets.

In contrast, Abberley said clients had generally been "very open-minded" about June's Leave decision and had been "much more pragmatic than dogmatic" as far as their investment choices were concerned.

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Abberley's view on investor concerns around interest rates are backed by a recent survey of more than 9,000 investors.

Asked by Interactive Investor (II), in the context of the FTSE 100 trading close to record highs, what they plan to do with their equity portfolio, nearly 80 per cent indicated they would either be buying more shares or staying invested.

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II's head of investment, Rebecca O'Keeffe, told City A.M.:

The number of people staying invested and the number of people who are buying equities because they can’t get yield elsewhere does support the theory that investors are struggling to find alternatives in the current low interest rate environment

Speaking at the Conservative party conference earlier this month, Prime Minister Theresa May said "some bad side effects" of tactics like low interest rates had to be acknowledged.

This summer, the Bank of England's monetary policy committee voted to slash interest rates to just 0.25 per cent, the lowest rate ever in the Bank's 322-year history.

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