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Tony Wickenden: Should Help to Buy Isa’s incentive method extend to pensions?

One of the big headline grabbers from last month’s Budget was the Help to Buy Isa. Like pension freedom, a superficially easy concept to present and understand.  Also like pension freedom, however, there is a little bit more detail to get to grips with. The most obviously available further information on the Help to Buy […]

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Claire Trott: Extra layers of protection

The lifetime allowance is a contentious subject; many like me feel it is unfair to test benefits as they are paid in and when they are paid out. You cannot and really should not try and limit the growth of your pension fund, so the lifetime allowance charge is unfair and is just an easy […]

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FCA fines Merrill Lynch International £13m over transaction reporting

The FCA has fined Merrill Lynch International £13.3m for transaction reporting failures. The regulator says MLI incorrectly reported over 35 million transactions, and failed to report a further 121,387 transactions between November 2007 and November 2014. The fine is the highest ever imposed by the regulator for transaction reporting failures. The FCA says the size […]

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Nick Bamford: Time for a systems and processes check up

Good advisory businesses typically operate with consistent systems and processes that enable them to produce bespoke outcomes for clients. Starting from scratch each time to deliver advice and allowing individuals in the firm to be left to their own devices to determine how to deliver such advice seems like a recipe for disaster. In light […]

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.

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