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Julian Gibbs

The long-term track record of technology stocks has been stunning. Over the past 10 years, the Nasdaq has grown by over 700 per cent although it is now nearly 70 per cent off its high and could well fall further. However, over the medium to long term, technology shares are the ones to invest in because all major companies will be spending heavily and continuously in this area. US firms, for example, are now devoting more than 55 per cent of their capital spending to technology. Innovations have enabled companies to boost productivity, reduce labour costs and increase profitability without exerting upward pressure on prices. This sector is as cheap as it has been for a long time and valuations of many leading technology firms are attractive. It is likely to remain a volatile sector and it is not for those investors looking to double their money in five minutes. However, over a five-year period, there is no other sector of the global economy that offers a better opportunity for sustained growth. The new Technology Plus plan from NDF, with assets backed by Abbey National Treasury Services, is probably the best safe growth investment that has been available in a long time. Investors can receive up to a 232 per cent return, including capital, over five-and-a-half years with 100 per cent capital security. This return is equivalent to almost 17 per cent a year – not a bad return by any standard, especially with no risk to capital.

Over the 10 years from February 28, 1991, the average return from Technology Plus would have been 189.3 per cent and the maximum 232 per cent. Returns from this plan can be tax-free if invested through an Isa or Pep transfer or via a direct investment, where profits would be treated as capital gains.


Exeter offers balance to Pep holders

Exeter Fund Managers has added the Chameleon UK balanced portfolio to its range of Pep transfer unit trusts.This unit trust was introduced because Exeter Fund Managers needed a medium risk fund to sit alongside its existing funds which cater for cautious and adventurous risk profiles.Half of the fund is invested in Exeter&#39s equity income fund […]

Opra website directs employers to providers

Opra is encouraging employers to find out whether they have to offer stakeholder pensions to their employees by using the on-line decision tree at the Opra website.The site also offers a full list of registered stakeholder schemes, contact details and links to the providers&#39 websites. Opra has also set up a telephone helpdesk for employers […]

Fractional pricing war for direct stakeholder

Direct stakeholder sales are being driven by fractional pricing differences as employers shun performance in favour of cost. Direct-offer website says 82 per cent of schemes designated since its launch last year are stakeholder and half of these are Norwich Union&#39s plan which has an annual charge of 0.8 per cent. This is marginally […]

Merrill Lynch looks at healthscience

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has introduced the MST world healthscience fund.Based in Luxemburg but managed from London and New York, the fund is a SICAV aimed at investors who are looking to add a specialist, high-risk investment to an existing portfolio. The fund is denominated in dollars.MST world healthscience will invest in companies that are […]


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