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Tories pledge 5-year ‘tax lock’

The Conservatives will introduce a five-year “tax lock” on income tax, VAT and national insurance if they win the general election. Prime minister David Cameron is to pledge legislation within 100 days of assuming office to ensure the taxes do not rise in the next Parliament, the BBC reports. Cameron will say: “This is the clearest choice […]

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University College launches pension transfer qualification

Financial education organisation ifs University College has launched a new pension transfer qualification following the FCA’s proposals to tighten advice in the area. Last month, the regulator revealed plans to require all transfers out of defined benefit schemes to be undertaken by advisers with a pension transfer specialist qualification. Transfers from other “safeguarded benefits”, such […]

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Openwork launches chartered status study programme

Openwork is launching a study programme for advisers looking to attain chartered status. The Route to Chartered Status programme is open to principals, advisers and paraplanners. It will initially deliver face-to-face support at Openwork’s headquarters in Swindon, and subject to demand will offer face-to-face courses at a number of additional locations. Each advanced study module […]

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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 […]

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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