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Drawdown disaster for 100,000 pensioners

Drawdown has been a disaster for more than 100,000 pensioners who will be significantly worse off than those who chose to annuities back in 1995, according to a report by Annuity Direct. The annuity specialist IFA says investors have lost out because annuity rates falling more sharply than drawdown funds have risen over the past 10 years.

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Clerical Medical publishes new A-day advice

Clerical Medical has published new advice to help IFAs prepare for A-day and the anticipated rush towards contract based group personal pension and stakeholder schemes.Ninety five per cent of intermediaries highlighted new trustee responsibilities as the main driver for change amongst smaller occupational trust based schemes, according to new research from Clerical Medical. Clerical Medical […]

Hutton facing tough task keeping reform on track

Welfare reform remains firmly on the agenda with the arrival of John Hutton as Work and Pensions Secretary but we all now have to be prepared for the current timetable to slip. The big question is just how that agenda will be achieved. The departure of David Blunkett comes at a very awkward moment in […]

MortgageStream launches case management software to PMS members

MortgageStream has launched an exclusive branded version of its case management software to Premier Mortgage Service members on an exclusive basis.The new version is being offered to PMS members to help them manage business pipelines and sales communications with customers. The PMS version of the system also includes full integration with brokers chosen sourcing systems. […]

NU chief’s apology to IFAs over service

Norwich Union chief executive Gary Withers has issued a personal apology to advisers for the company’s significant slip in service standards this year. Letters are being sent out to 35,000 advisers around the UK to apologise for and explain why service levels in protection and investment bond application procedures started to slide significantly, particularly this […]

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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