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Labour election win could block cash for annuity plan

Pensioners who want to swap their annuities for cash or drawdown under the Coalition’s plan could find a Labour government blocking their plans, Money Marketing understands. Chancellor George Osborne launched a consultation on creating a secondary annuity market as part of his March Budget, and claimed the reform would allow around five million people to […]

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US dividends up for the fifth time in Q1

US companies paid out a record $99.4bn (£63.3bn) in the first quarter of 2015, up 14.8 per cent year-on-year, the Henderson Global Dividend Index shows. The rise in dividends marks the fifth consecutive quarter of double digit increases, despite a surge in the US dollar. North American companies spread their payments more evenly over the […]

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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