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Leeds & Holbeck takes up with platinum bond

Leeds & Holbeck has designed the platinum access bond for investors who want to divide their investment between a high interest account and a unit-linked bond.

Up to 30 per cent of the investment goes into the high interest account from Leeds and Holbeck. This part of the product offers a fixed rate of interest at 7 per cent gross a year or 6.75 per cent gross a month until January 1, 2003. One emergency withdrawal can be made during the term.

The rest of the overall investment goes into a unit-linked bond from Norwich Union. This is called the platinum portfolio plan and offers access to a range of unit-linked funds including guaranteed, property and socially responsible funds. Norwich Union&#39s with-profits and with-profits income funds are also available and they proved to be the most popular fund link during the previous version of the platinum access bond.

The bond offers a range of fund links to suit different investment needs and objectives with the security that comes with a high interest account offering a fixed rate of interest. The two with-profits funds available may attract interest from cautious investors who have followed the downward movement of interest rates and stockmarket indices in recent months. However, bonus rates suffer when stockmarkets are performing badly and this may put some investors off.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s the Norwich Union with-profits fund is ranked 4 out of 26 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over three years to October 1, 2001.

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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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