Are you a fireworks person?
I used to be. I used to love to find the biggest and boldest and loudest fireworks show possible, whether it was on the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve or any other celebration. The show almost always gave me goose bumps. I remember climbing a mountain in New Hampshire with some friends July several years ago. We waited for dusk on the summit, and watched the display in several small towns below us. We were a little surprised how tiny the displays seemed, like small flowers in the yard. Also, there was no sound. We should have expected this, though, if we had considered our perspective. After all, we were about 2000 feet above the valley floor and several miles away.
Now, however, I think that’s how I like fireworks best: in the distance, and silent. Our poor dog is gun-shy, and when she hears thunder or sees our kids setting up a backyard demonstration, she starts to panic. And I’m not as impressed by the heavy concussive “booms” as I once was. My favorite “fireworks” today come on a clear summer night, when we can see thousands of stars and the Milky Way, and look for the occasional shooting star.
Our tastes change over time. What worked for us years ago may not fit our lifestyle now. We might have once enjoyed a big party, but now we just want a quiet evening with friends. Or it can go the other way, with folks looking for more social stimulation than they once did. The point is, there’s no right or wrong way to appreciate fireworks, and there’s no absolutely right or wrong way to invest. What works best is what works for you: your goals, concerns, circumstances, and limitations. Some people want the fireworks that come from owning shares in a bunch of innovative startups. Others just want to enjoy the quiet lights that come from a stable portfolio of US Treasury Notes.
The important thing is to be mindful about what we need, and review our situation periodically, especially when our circumstances change. That way, we can keep watching the fireworks from exactly where we want to be.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Charter Trust Company
“The Best Trust Company in New England”