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  • Writer's pictureShirley Stamelman

Whither thee, O England

The rapid depreciation of the pound is deeply worrying and upsetting for the people of the United Kingdom. This is especially so for Jews worried about the dwindling value of their wealth and looking to invest in Israel.

I can remember the heady days in the mid-2000s when I got 8.8 NIS for £1, but those days are long gone, with the steady decline of sterling. In the space of the last two months alone, the GBP has fallen from 4.6 NIS to 4.2 NIS. Unfortunately, the outlook, especially in the short term is bleak.

Britain is standing on the edge of a political and economic precipice, wobbling precariously on that edge, Italian Job style.

Uncertainty from Brexit, especially a no deal Brexit, as well a fragile government that could fall any minute and lead to the premiership of Jeremy Corbyn, is putting sterling under pressure. There is even the possibility that the union with Scotland and Northern Ireland might unravel. The future of the United Kingdom is firmly in the balance, tottering on that cliff edge.

So how should we react to this turn of events?

Firstly, things might turn out ok, and I really hope they do. The problem is, ok is really the best Britain can hope for, at least in the medium term. Sterling will not make a huge recovery against the shekel, if things turn out ok, but it still has a long way to fall if things don’t turn out ok.

It’s therefore silly to take risks when the best you can hope for, is that things will be ok.

I know you could have gotten a better NIS-GBP exchange rate a year ago, even six months ago and even two months ago. But it’s silly to look backwards and to kick yourself saying “what if”, especially if it leads you to inaction. Even if the pound does make a good recovery, Israeli house prices are rising so quickly that your spending power wouldn’t necessarily increase.

Therefore, be positive, act now, cut your sterling losses and invest in Israel. I would even go so far as to convert your GBP into NIS as soon as you can. At a minimum you will know how many shekels you have to invest and will not have to worry about changing exchange rates during your search for a good investment.

One disclaimer: Despite all I wrote above, at the end of the day I do not know the future. We don’t know how the Italian Job ends. Things can change in an instant. Israel is having a general election in September. That may result in a change of government and economic policy. The government may also work to actively weaken the Shekel. Finally, Israel is in the Middle East with difficult neighbours and war can break out here overnight. So, we cannot give any guarantees about anything.

But, our future is with Israel and I’m yet to meet the person who thinks that buying a property in Israel was a bad mistake.

Call or WhatsApp me if you want to know more.



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