Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
You can make money from Brexit – as you can from most things – by looking at what the needs are and how changes to our currency, our status in the world and people’s altered circumstances create business opportunities for you.
Here are just a few of the ways you personally could cash in on the new world order that’s potentially facing the UK over the next few years.
If Sterling stays low, at least against non-Euro currencies (the Euro is likely to do particularly badly over the next year or so because of Brexit) then our goods and services will be cheaper for Americans and a number of other countries.
That should mean that our tourism industry gets a boost, at least so long as people in the Eurozone aren’t completely put off from coming here.
It could be that there will be a higher demand for accommodation, which means that you could make money by running your home as a B&B.
But, thanks to sites like Airbnb.com, you don’t have to run your home as a full-time B&B now. You can rent it out – or just rent out a room – on an occasional basis to visitors who would like a cheaper, and often friendlier, option than the local hotel.
With Airbnb you offer your room or your whole home on dates that suit you and the website charges you only when you have rented it out. They take a 3% cut from the money you make (they also add on a 6-12% charge to the person renting, so they’re doing quite well!).
It’s a flexible and cost-effective way of marketing your place to people all over the world. You don’t have to take the people that apply to stay in your home and if you’re not sure you can book a phone call or have an email conversation with them first. Everyone reviews each other so it’s in everyone’s interest to treat each other with respect and keep things nice.
Yup…just like that.
Well, all right it’s not the easiest thing to do, but lots of small businesses do it and the Government are doing their best to persuade more of us to get into it.
The reason exporting is worth considering even more now is that Sterling is down and likely to stay down for a while, particularly against the dollar, so that makes our exports more attractive to foreign buyers.
Currently as a nation we are net importers (i.e. we buy more foreign-made goods than we sell abroad) and that’s not great for the economy. Ideally we should be selling more than we buy (like the Germans) so the more people can set up export businesses the better. We really need to get better at this to sort our deficit situation out as you can see from this 2011 list.
The UKTI (Government trade department) has a lot of free information here about how to start exporting, where to go for help and where there is an exporting exhibition near you so use their information if you’re serious about it.
You could be exporting all sorts of things to various countries around the world, from tweed jackets to cupcakes to car parts to financial services.
If you have family or other useful contacts in one or more countries abroad then you already have a head-start there. You may know already what they would be interested in buying from Britain so the next steps are sourcing those items and finding a cost-effective way to ship them over and sell for a profit.
Use all the free help available from the Government including free training, insurance and travel grants to scope out new markets abroad. There’s potential free money there!
Again, the low pound should attract at least more American visitors to Britain, if not those from other countries too who suddenly find that the UK is a cheaper place to visit.
If you love your area, are personable and friendly, knowledgeable about history or other aspects of your home area, you could set up tours specially for American and other foreign visitors.
If you aim at the luxury market you can charge top dollar but you will have to offer a top notch service for it.
A background in hospitality would really help here, but anyone with a head for business and a heart for the land they live in could do well with this.
Former salesman Gerry McMullen now runs Carnegie Touring which takes, mainly American, visitors on tours around his hometown of Dunfirmline and the region of Fife.
He specifically targets Americans, linking Dunfirmline with their country because it was the birthplace of the famous American businessman Andrew Carnegie.
He says “we specialise in week long tours of Scotland as well as half day or full day excursions, and we organise itineraries to suit visitors’ interests. We take people if they’re touring during the day, want to take in a summer’s evening mystery tour, visit the theatre, attend a concert or take in a movie. We will organise it for them and take them there.”
As the FT reports here, some banks have already started to move operations to other city centres, including Paris, Dublin and Frankfurt. Most of their staff will have to wait several months to find out how many of them will have to move.
So while the loss of a lot of our financial operations is likely to put the country into economic hardship as foreign investment is diverted elsewhere, you could make some money by helping individuals move their homes, their families and their possessions to a new city in another country.
There’s a lot that can go into this sort of home-moving concierge service including:
…and possibly more such as organising and hiring childcare and sourcing good local schools.
If you have a background in estate agency, personal assistance, management or even project management then this is the kind of business you could set up and run.
However, be aware that it could involve a lot of work, teams of workers that you would need to hire in on a temporary basis and that there are already companies in existence that do this sort of work.
But if you have banking contacts and/or connections in the home-buying and removals businesses then you would have a head-start on the competition.
Hmm, now this one is the riskiest of all.
You know how risky it is to invest in the stock market?
Well multiply that by 50 and you have Forex (foreign currency) investing.
It’s tricky, very fast-moving and incredibly difficult to call unless you are George Soros.
It’s basically betting on whether certain currencies will go up or down. If you think that Sterling will go up in the next week, say, then you would buy in now and sell when they go up.
You can also bet on the pound going down too, like George Soros did to good effect (for him) in 1992. He made around $1 billion out of it.
You can find out the basics of forex trading in this Investopedia article which also has the top three massive trades in currency in the last few decades, including George Soros’s one.
Basically, because currencies, as well as stock markets, are likely to be extremely volatile over the next couple of years – or until things are finally agreed and settled down – there will be a lot of opportunities for the Pound, the Euro and the Dollar, among others, to go up and down like yo-yos, so there will be lots of ways you can win (and lose) every day.
…er, really quickly if you can.
As the Daily Telegraph reports here, the Government is going to have to look all over the world (literally) for enough experienced and knowledgeable trade negotiators to work out new trade deals with the EU over the next two years. Anyone chosen will probably be able to name their own price.
This is because we don’t have anything like the number of qualified people we need in the UK to make post-Brexit deals with the EU. It’s crazy…but then so is most of the Brexit situation.
Right now, apparently, we have about 40 trade negotiators, compared with the 550 employed by the EU.
So if you could just…you know…mug up a bit on, ooh, trade, negotiating, international law…that kind of thing, then you could be quids-in pdq (pretty damned quick).
So, get all that in the next couple of months and you’ll be rolling in it…that shouldn’t be so hard should it?
Just get a law/business/economics degree, lots of experience in negotiating international trade deals and an impressively fat contacts book full of useful Government, legal and business contacts…and you’re sorted.
If any of this is causing you to wonder if it really is a good idea to leave the EU you could always add your name to the 4 million + that are calling for a second referendum. You never know….it might work 🙂