For the first time this decade, taking stock of your investments this year should be a heartening experience.
If you have not done better than you expected you have been exceedingly rash, unlucky, or ill-advised.
Better still, unless you were heavily committed to the tech bubble when it burst in March, 2000, there is a decent chance that your stock market investments are worth more than ever before, certainly if you were hair-shirted and re-invested the dividends during the lean years.
By hindsight we could all have done better - by piling into those tired-looking Japanese unit trusts, for instance. The Nikkei has risen by a third - in a year of rocketing oil prices which are supposed to squeeze the Japanese economy which has to import every drop.
At home, much good fortune was reserved for investors who spotted takeover candidates. Bid activity was the main reason why the Footsie 250 beat both the 100-share index and the Small Cap.