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ABI: Providers took 200,000 calls in first week of pension freedoms

Providers handled over 200,000 calls from customers in the first week following the introduction of pension freedoms, according to the Association of British Insurers. ABI figures out today show members of the trade body received 229,932 calls between Tuesday and Friday last week about the reforms. This is a 214 per cent increase compared to […]

Billy Burrows: The invisible force

According to a business associate of mine (and someone considering his own retirement options) “the sands have shifted since the pensions freedoms were announced”. Now they are here, he believes most rational people will work out the cash option is not that attractive considering the tax implications and the problem of where to reinvest it. […]

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Locking horns: Garry Heath clashes with Apfa over adviser trade body plans

The launch of a new trade organisation representing advisers has reignited the debate around the industry’s ability to lobby at the highest level. This week Money Marketing revealed how former IFA Association director general Garry Heath is launching a new trade body in May for wealth managers and independent and restricted advisers. Heath says Apfa […]

Toby Strauss, Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows appoints head of bulk annuities

Scottish Widows has appointed a managing director of bulk annuities and investment strategy as part of a management shake-up. In October Lloyds Banking Group announced Scottish Widows would enter the bulk annuity market. It has now appointed Jeff Sayers, previously insurance divisional risk officer at Lloyds, to lead the proposition. Sayers joined Lloyds in 2013 […]

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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