However much you hanker for the good old days when Britain was an island walloping the French in the 100 years war or when the Anglo Saxons were being beaten up by the Vikings 500 years before that, it’s at moments like these when you should thank your lucky stars that you live in a Western democracy in the 21st century. Particularly if you are a politician.
Because, even as disbelief mounted at the incoming weight of votes in favour of leaving the European Union on Thursday night, we also saw the blaming and recriminations get under way. Who knows what treats we are in over the coming days as both the main political parties in England are in disarray.
You know the kind of thing, this leader was too soft on this, that campaigner was too hard on that, and the other was purely reckless.
But while the decision to leave the UK has taken uncertainty to levels not seen since the financial crisis, this will surely be a bloodless coup that’s not insignificant given what has just occurred.
What we have is a populist uprising, and this has confounded the global elites, who almost to a man, woman, business, trade organisation and international body urged Britons to vote Remain.
1000 years ago, there would be rioting in the streets and heads hanging from London Bridge as the winners became clear.
In 2016, we merely get the resignation of the Prime Minister ,unprecedented volatility in the value of the pound as it fell against the US dollar, major UK listed banks opening for trade 30% below the price they closed the afternoon before and arguably even more questions to be answered than before the vote began.
Most people did not see this coming.The polls were close but favoured Remain.The bookies were solidly for the status quo throughout.
And the wild movement in global stock markets and currencies is the ultimate signal that so many were wrong footed.
But the past is yesterday’s fish and chips wrapping for investors. No point crying over what we could or should have done.
Our financial futures depend on what happens in the days, months and years ahead and how we respond to the potentially terrifying swings in the value of our ISAs,our pensions and probably soon enough our house prices.
I do not have all the answers but there are 3 things I suggest you keep in mind.
1) Don’t panic.
I am not glibly saying it because I think there is nothing to worry about .On the contrary from an economic prospective the vote is a terrible short and long term outcome.
You may have a different view. Polling suggests older, richer citizens were more inclined to Brexit, so perhaps I am writing this to a large constituent of readers who got the result they wanted on Friday. I will not presume.
But wherever you stand politically, you will still see the frightening blanket coverage of turmoil in the finical markets and famous companies priced down 20% or more.
To say keep calm is not because nothing has changed, because make no mistake it has, but because rash responses are unlikely to be the best responses.
This turmoil may be a taste of worse to come or it may prove to be a buying opportunity. But what will be important to your wealth in 10 years time is not how you reacted in the week after the 24th June.
The political goals has changed but your investing goals haven’t.
2) Remember currencies
A Brexit is not necessarily bad news for the UK stock market. That is because UK companies earn around three quarters of their money from overseas.
To a large extent, this insulates their earnings from domestic troubles such as any Brexit provoked recession. Although Europe could be dragged down with us in that scenario.
It also has an immediately helpful consequence in currency terms, particularly against the dollar. Companies that earn their money in dollars are going to find these dollars worth a lot more following the devaluation of our currency.
This is one reason why the FTSE did not fall as much as other indices on Friday. Even if they earn less, the markets know those earnings will be worth more once brought back home.
3) Beware British Exposure
This is the flip side of the comfort of having overseas exposure.
A small British based company might still be a winner if it exports a lot of goods and services overseas. Indeed the Leave side has predicted a boom for those businesses as red tape is rolled back and new trade deals are struck.However, UK based companies tied directly to the UK consumer and the British economy will have no place to hide.
If the worst predictions are true then the falls we have seen will be the shape of things to come.
Again you do not want to panic.
Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world, and we’re a nation of diverse creative and productive people.
We pay our taxes and follow the rules of law.
The markets have seen worse and survived.
Things look turbulent now but one day we will be back worrying about maximising our ISA allowances and earning an extra 0.25% interest on our savings.
Even the Vikings stopped invading eventually. We even made our peace with France.
For now there’s nothing to do but take a deep breath, grin and bear it and to keep focused on your long term financial goals. As ever, as events unfold we will keep you up to date.