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DWP to consult industry on PPF

The Department for Work & Pensions is to consult on technical aspects of the Pension Protection Fund, including levies, how schemes are transferred into the PPF and compensation levels.

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IFP wants global standards for certified planners

The Institute of Financial Planning is working to achieve global recognition for certified status by compiling a definitive list of standards required from financial planners. The IFP is consulting with 18 countries which have the certified financial planner status to specify what should be expected of planners beyond the different tax laws and regulations they […]

Ethical funds set to rethink nuclear power

Nuclear power could be inc- luded in ethical funds as the debate on energy is reopened, says Aberdeen head of soc-ially responsible investment Andrew Preston. Preston’s ethical world fund screens stocks against 15 criteria, including inv- olvement in animal test- ing, gambling, pornography, tobacco and negative lab- our issues. Preston says that there have been […]

Bond and go says Liv Vic

Liverpool Victoria has brought out a unit-linked bond which provides access to three unitised with-profit fund links.

Investment trust discounts narrow to 10 year lows

Investment trust discounts have narrowed to their lowest levels in over a decade, according to the AITC.Average discounts have fallen to 7.4 per cent, as of 30 September, compared to a longer term trend level of around 11 per cent.While strong equity markets over the past two years have contributed markedly to this, the AITC […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

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