AN INVESTMENT expert has pointed to positive signs for the economy outside the EU – but said the markets need a decision on Brexit soon.

Justin Urquhart-Stewart told an audience in Poole that confidence “runs the economy”.

He spoke to around 70 clients and associates of Blue Sky Financial Planning, at the Harbour Heights Hotel.

Mr Urquhart-Stewart, whose red braces made him an instantly recognisable figure on television, said: “Confidence runs the economy and there is an awful lot going on – we are still setting up more new companies than France or Germany.

“We are the fifth largest economy in the world in terms of GDP, the eighth largest manufacturer and the 12th largest exporter.”

He said trade would always find a way of operating and modern businesses were nimble, efficient and open to change. But he said the market was looking for a Brexit decision and would react to “real” news.

Bryanston School-educated Mr Urquhart-Stewart, founder partner of Seven Investment Management, was a keynote speaker along with Sanjay Sanjay Rijhsinghani , a partner at LGT Vestra.

Both firms are associates of Blue Sky, which was founded in 2002 by managing director Gary Neild, who hosted the seminar.

Mr Sanjay Rijhsinghani said Brexit would not dictate how money would be invested as there were also many other factors. There had been enough time for businesses to adapt to the changing climate although currencies remained volatile, he said.

“Politics do not dictate investment decisions although the markets are increasingly difficult. We take a ‘many baskets’ approach where stock selection and managing expectations are important,” he said.

The seminar’s third guest speaker was Phoebe Stone, MPS investment manager at LGT Vestra, who spoke of the changing nature of investment portfolios and the need to protect them from moments of market stress.

Mr Neild told the audience: “As guardians of your money we need to be selective about where we are investing, we must be careful, we have to protect the capital and optimise those returns not maximise them. We must manage through market judders.”

Doctors and consultants from Priority Medical, the new independent medical clinic serving Dorset, also addressed the seminar about preventative medicine.

Blue Sky has been promoting the importance of health planning as well as financial planning, urging business owners and entrepreneurs to take care of themselves as well as their companies.

The audience heard from consultant orthopaedic surgeon Charles Willis-Owen and consultant in general, colorectal and laparoscopic surgeon Andrew Clarke.