Brexit and the FTSE 100: Keep calm and carry on

So, finally, we have chosen the deep blue sea. If Churchill is watching us, from somewhere up above, he probably wouldn’t be surprised.

The country is in a state of shock, and the reaction in markets has been predictable. The FTSE 100 has crashed by 400 points, and the pound has slumped by 12 cents. The Prime Minister has resigned, and many investors will be in a quandary as to what to do.

The country is in a state of shock

This country, which had at last started to boom again, is now faced with a tortuous new journey. It needs to find a new leader, and it will have many new enemies to deal with.

I have always thought of the United Kingdom as the centre of the world. A crossroad that bridges the old world and the new, developed and emerging markets. And  is what it is by dint of its connections, its ties, and its alliances. What ever happens now, this country must remain connected with the world around us.

But let’s take some positives from this. This is a chance for the UK to reinvent itself. We are going to face a period of incredible disruption, but perhaps through such disruptive change, we can make this country better. We are no longer aiming to be Germany, but perhaps can we be Switzerland? Can we continue to trade with our European friends, but also reduce the massive influx of immigrants?

The UK’s largest trading partner is, and will continue to be, Europe. We must maintain this partnership. If we were to cancel it there would be uproar not just from British companies but from European ones too. Instead of getting rid of this partnership, we have to renew and remake it.

But there are contrarian opportunities

I have always been impressed by the resilience of the British people, and their ingenuity when encountering difficulties. That’s why, if you are an investor in the FTSE 100, I would advise you not to sell your shares. The worst thing you can do right now is panic-sell your investments. Instead, you should ride out this storm. In fact, bold contrarians will recognise a buying opportunity, as some leading shares have taken a huge tumble.

Just look at some of the stock market bargains that are appearing. House builder Barratt Developments has fallen by an astonishing 21% to 456p, leaving in on a 2016 P/E ratio of 10.78 and a dividend yield of 5.27%. Retail and investment bank Barclays has tumbled by 19% to 150p, putting it on a 2016 P/E ratio of 12.98 and a dividend yield of 1.61%. And mortgage provider and bank Lloyds Banking Group has slumped by 20% to just 57p, leaving it on a 2016 P/E ratio of 9.45 and a predicted annual income of 6.29%.

The UK is still a strong force in this world; it must show its resilience now, and other countries must rally round to see how best they can help this country through its current difficulties.

This is a dark day for this country, but I firmly believe that, for investors, companies and the general economy, there is still hope.

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Prabhat Sakya has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.