What the "Brexit" vote means in Western New York

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-25 10:50:30-04

After more than four decades in the European Union, citizens of the United Kingdom have voted to leave it.  The vote surprised many and sent global financial markets into a panic.  The DOW Jones industrial average had its largest drop in 10 months.

Anthony Ogorek is the founder and chief investment officer at Ogorek Wealth Management.  He says the financial fallout Friday from the "Brexit" vote is largely due to how surprising the result was.

"The markets completely missed this," Ogorek said.  "The markets had been increasing in value the prior few days with the expectation that they were going to stay in.  They were completely blindsided by this."

Some experts estimate a 401K will lose on average $2,700 because of the "Brexit" vote.  That could mean trouble for anybody planning to retire in the next few weeks.  But for others, Ogorek says 401K investments are designed for long-term growth and should be able to recover.

"If you're looking at a 20-30-40 year timeframe, what difference does it make? What happens in any given day, month or year," Ogorek said.

For Vicky Parker, owner of Parker's Proper Fish and Chips on South Park Avenue, the vote came as a surprise.  As a native from England, she expected her country to remain in the EU.

"It was a bit of a shock to wake up this morning and England had actually voted out of the EU," she said.  "I don't know what it's going to mean for the people of Britain, so I guess we'll have to wait and see."

There might be some silver linings to all the financial uncertainty surrounding this international shakeup. Ogorek expects mortgage rates to drop to their lowest rates in a "very long time."  He says homeowners might be able to save money if they decide to refinance their mortgage in the next few weeks.

Ogorek also points to the decreasing value of the British pound as an opportunity for Americans.  The pound is sitting at its lowest value in 30 years on Friday.  Since the US dollar value is stronger compared to the Euro and the pound, Ogorek says now is a good time to plan a vacation to those countries.

Vicky Parker is already planning to take advantage of the strong exchange rate.  She imports items from the United Kingdom for her business.

"I can buy things from England cheaper, which is a better deal for me.  I just need to make sure I do all my buying from the UK right now," she joked.