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Principles and RU64

The FSA has decided to retain RU64, a clumsy regulatory device intended to force advisers to sell low-cost stakeholder pensions rather than higher-cost up-frontcharging old-style contracts.

The rule was the prime example of using regulations to try to fix a badly designed policy and product. Old-style pensions were too expensive but stakeholder did not allow companies to make enough from pensions to sell them without radically changing the structure of their businesses.

Stakeholder did not reach the target market in any significant numbers. Now, with personal accounts on the horizon and business plans being thrown into disarray again by Government plans, the FSA board decides to keep the rule. Why? To try to fix badly designed personal pension accounts using a clumsy regulatory device perhaps? What happened to principle-based regulation? The regulator is in danger of making a fool of itself.

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Neptune video: Abenomics: the impetus for Japan’s fast-track recovery?

The remarkable performance of the TOPIX over the past year has caused many sceptical equity investors to look again at the Japanese market. These returns have come despite very significant problems facing the Japanese economy. Chris Taylor, manager of the Neptune Japan Opportunities Fund, discusses these problems and whether Abenomics will be able to overcome them, enabling the market to continue to rise.

In the video, Taylor addresses the following:

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