The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has experienced some major mood swings today, truly testing the patience and temperament of investors around the country.

Local shares started the day on the front foot based on early indications that the Remain party would be victorious in the Brexit vote. However, shares quickly plummeted as much as 2.7% /8

to a low of 5,139 points as the Leave party gained favour, resulting in heavy losses for some of Australia’s biggest companies.

Shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) were among the companies leading the sell-off.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) all fell sharply as well.

However, shares have since experienced a major rebound. The ASX 200 is now trading just 1% lower at 5224 points, with many of those companies also enjoying a breath of fresh air.

Investors need to know that the outcome of today’s referendum vote in Britain is still hours away from being revealed, while it is also far too close to call. The Remain campaign currently has 50.78% of votes compared to 49.22% of votes to the Leave campaign, with 64 out of 382 electorates having declared their votes thus far.

Investors need to expect and prepare themselves for further volatility today. The market could take heavy swings in either direction based on the outcome of upcoming votes.

Rather than panicking and selling your shares in a frenzy, try to remain calm and keep your emotions in check. If the market does take a pounding, it could certainly create some great buying opportunities while a Remain victory could see a sharp recovery in share prices around the country.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.