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Stephanie Flanders: A market to buck global equity trends

Some countries look better than others in today’s global bull market. For example, Europe may suffer from market jitters at the possibility of a Greek debt default and US equities are facing the twin headwinds of a higher dollar and pressure on margins. By comparison, Japanese equities are unlikely to be buffeted in the same […]

Nick Eatock: Looking out for the ‘lost’ generations

Your clients are under attack. At least, if they fall into the baby boomer category they are. Not physically, of course, but their perceived wealth and good fortune is a cause for increasing resentfulness among younger people. Baby boomers are widely regarded as the golden generation, with healthy pension pots, properties bought for a song, […]

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Aldermore management probed ahead of float

The Prudential Regulation Authority investigated the management and governance at Aldermore ahead of the challenger bank’s plans to float the on the stockmarket. The Financial Times reports the regulator launched a review of the bank’s governance last year after chairman Sir David Arculus left the company in 2013. Sources have told the newspaper the regulator […]

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Drawdown customers risk losing out from ‘mortality drag’, report warns

Advisers must explain how ‘mortality drag’ means funds in drawdown must produce increasingly higher returns to match an annuity, a report claims. The paper, written by Retirement Intelligence director Billy Burrows for Partnership, warns that the “invisible force” of mortality drag means drawdown becomes less attractive relative to an annuity as a customer ages. Mortality […]

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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