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As a proud Prestonian, I am looking forward to the Preston Guild celebrations in September when the city goes into festival mood celebrating the heritage, people, sports, trade, arts and culture of the ancient Borough.

The first reliably recorded celebration of the Guild was in 1397, when it was already more than two centuries old. The public gatherings for renewing membership were infrequent and it was soon accepted that they only needed to be held once in a generation. As a result; from 1542, Preston Guild has taken place every 20 years with the sole exception of 1942.

20 years is a long time and an awful lot can happen in people’s lives over that period and a lot can happen to investments in that time. As Justin Urquhart Stewart, founder of Seven Investment Management, says, “It is time in the market - not trying to time the market – that counts.” Stock Market investments are long-term commitments and should be an integral part of everyone’s savings and retirement plans.

A quick peek back to the end of 1992 saw the FSTE 100 index standing at 2847 and we saw it rise to 6930 by December 1999. Since then the index has been as low as 3287 in March 2003 and as high as 6730 in June 2007. Where are we now? At the time of uploading, it is currently standing at 5692 - almost exactly where it was at the end of last year.

Even though we have been through probably one of the most turbulent periods in our economic history the value of the FTSE 100 is still almost TWICE what it was 20 years ago, so as Justin says “It’s time in the market that counts” which brings me nicely onto another well-known phrase, “Failing to plan is planning to fail."

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