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Andrew Tully: Breaking the taboo on final salary pension transfers

Transferring out of a final salary pension scheme has long been seen as a taboo by many in the industry. But the issue has been thrown into much greater focus since the pension freedoms were introduced. This is partly because many schemes are offering transfer values higher than the historical average but also as a […]

Danby Bloch

Danby Bloch: Lessons from a star fund manager

I saw a brilliant presentation recently, in which Lindsell Train joint founder and portfolio manager Nick Train characterised the equity investment market in the words of the poet Ogden Nash: “Shake, shake, shake the ketchup bottle! First none will come, and then a lot’ll.” If Train (whom I had not encountered before in person) was not […]

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Pension dashboard threat to closed-book firms

Providers could be hit by a surge of customer transfers, following the launch of a pensions dashboard, software consultancy Dunstan Thomas has warned. The Treasury is committed to backing a new, industry-developed, dashboard by the end of 2019, although experts have warned that the timetable could be “unattainable”. However, Dunstan Thomas has now warned that […]

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Govt completes £13bn Northern Rock mortgage sale

The Government has completed selling its £13bn book of former Northern Rock mortgages to US investment firm Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus made the final payment of £520m today, concluding the largest-ever financial asset sale by a European government. The loan book, of around 125,000 customers, is part of NRAM – the state-owned remnant of Northern […]

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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