Brexit talks have since dragged, but the FTSE AllShare is up 30 per cent and three quarters of private investors say the vote has either had a positive impact on their investments or made no difference.
While 86 per cent expected a negative impact before the referendum, only 25 per cent feel negative now, according to research from stockbroker The Share Centre.
CEO Richard Stone said investors are seizing opportunities with 56 per cent of stock trades being ‘buys’: “Many are targeting smaller, higher risk stocks including Sirius Minerals and UK Oil & Gas Investments, as well as income-paying blue chips such as Vodafone, Lloyds and GlaxoSmithKline.”
Stone said nerves may grow as next year’s Brexit deadline looms, but markets should be supported by the positive global economy: “This should drive company earnings and improve stock market valuations.”
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Despite getting a bloody nose on the day of the result, the UK stock market as a whole has posted some pretty healthy returns since then.”
The drop in the pound boosted the foreign earnings of FTSE 100 firms, which generate three quarters of their income overseas.
Big mining stocks have performed particularly well, with Glencore and Anglo American both up more than 140 per cent over the last two years.
Khalaf added: “Smaller UK companies have performed better than the big blue chips, despite being more domestically focused.”
Philip Smeaton, chief investment officer at Sanlam UK, said although markets are still no clearer over the Brexit deal, the economy is not as bleak as many predicted: “Besides higher inflation and weaker sterling, economic indicators suggest Brexit has had little impact.”
The UK had a tough start to 2018 with first quarter GDP growth slumping to just 0.1 per cent, but Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG in the UK, said the gloom has been overdone: “The economy was hit by the snow and this figure may even be revised upwards when figures are released on Friday.”
The British high street is struggling with House of Fraser set to close 31 stores, but Selfin said: “This is largely because of changing spending patterns, as more people do their shopping online.”
Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, expected GDP growth to be slower this year at 1.3 per cent: “A real recovery will not emerge until firms have clarity on Brexit.”
John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, warned. “Talk of a global trade war could pose a longer-term threat.”