The rough with the smooth: A sample of sentiment as people review how they fared financially over the year

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WHILE City traders have earned bonuses of up to dollars 1m (pounds 675,000) over the year, 1993 has been less kind to others.

Their personal pensions may not deliver all that they hoped. Some families are also still being evicted from their homes, because they cannot pay their mortgages.

Despite recent falls in unemployment levels, the fear of redundancy still affects millions. For many people, the problem has not been how to invest their money but having any money at all. Here is a sampling of how the past 12 months have shaped up for a few people:

Steve, seller and columnist of the Big Issue at Moorgate Underground station, London. 'My year has been awful. For the last six months I have been selling the Big Issue to stop me getting hungry. It costs 50p and the seller keeps 30p.

'I did have a job as a civil engineer, but I lost it. Three years ago I was doing deals worth millions, but the contracts just dried up. I couldn't keep up the repayments on my house, and it was repossessed by the building society.

'Next year I would like to get back into civil engineering, and then perhaps write a novel about my experiences on the street.'

(Photograph omitted)