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Smith-Thompson

Profile: ‘The future of advice will be more telephone and web-based’

Interrupting clients who were busy watching Coronation Street or bathing their children prompted Rochester-based adviser Jamie Smith-Thompson to establish a telephone-based advice business. The Portal Financial managing director was working as a self-employed adviser, generating his own prospective clients and trying to arrange face-to-face appointments with them when he had his Eureka moment. “I was […]

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Simon Collins: Is your conduct risk strategy up to scratch?

There is nothing like an election to concentrate the mind on what our esteemed politicians believe we need to be thinking about for the future. Whether it is the economy or the NHS, defence or education, the smart money seems to be on a coalition again, it is just the permutations of who will court […]

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NAB set to offload Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks

National Australia Bank is set to let go of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks and float part of the business. As part of its de-merger plans, NAB will transfer 70-80 per cent of its shares in Clydesdale, which includes Yorkshire Bank, to NAB shareholders. The remaining 20-30 per cent will be floated on the stock exchange. […]

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Major parties accused of using ‘made up’ tax avoidance figures

Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians are using “made up assumptions” of increased revenue generated by targeting tax evasion and avoidance, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Tackling tax evasion and avoidance has proved a huge part of this year’s election campaign since HSBC was found to be aiding clients of its Swiss private […]

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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