My youngest daughter turned 18 this week, (thank you – yes I don’t look old enough) sadly I am. As you might expect it got me thinking where the last 18 years have gone – how time flies and all that.  So I thought it might be a little amusing to look back at some financial stats over the last 18 years… ok since 1995, so not quite the full 18 years – but my data (the useful kind) runs to the end of 2012. The FTSE AllShare has provided annualised real returns of 4.40%. UK Treasury 1.3%, UK Inflation (RPI) of 3.0%. Real returns are the returns after or over/above inflation. The average man with 18 years to live (2031) will now be 64 and the average woman 68. Of course those turning or already 18, would not remember, but in 1995 the world population was estimated as 5.6bn.

The Conservative Prime Minister John Major was forced to resign following the John Redwood leadership challenge. Unemployment was less than 2.3m. Investment Bank Barings  failed spectacularly to cope with investment controls and was brought down by rogue trader Nick Leeson. The Royal family were in turmoil as Diana’s interview with Martin Bashir was aired. There were conflicting predictions about the UK car industry as Daewoo cars began selling in Britain and questions about the changing face of retail as the outlet in Bicester opened. British soldiers were involved in foreign conflict – the war in Bosnia. Soldiers (well the TV kind) Robson & Jerome topped the charts, Blur released “The Great Escape” and Oasis “(Whats the Story) Morning Glory?”. British boxing gained a new world champion in Frank Bruno and the Premier League was won by Blackburn Rovers.

Strangely, given the natural disaster in Oklahoma this week, it is 18 years since the Oklahoma bombing which killed 168 people… and yes the UK  weather was in the news for recording its lowest ever temperature -27.2% in Scotland. So I’ve decided to stop complaining about the British weather…. which of course brings me neatly to making predictions about the next 18 years (2031)… things will change.

Dominic Thomas – Solomons IFA