Photo: Jim Mauchly. Source: Mountain Graphics. Used by permission.
The other day my wife and I were out walking early in the morning. We had to bundle up! There was frost in the lower areas and a hint of ice and snow. It made me think of all the little things we do in New England to prepare for winter: find scrapers and brushes for the car, make sure our snow shovels are accessible, stack cords (and cords) of wood for the woodstove. By the time the first serious snowstorm hits, we want to have our tools at hand.
Seasons change as the year moves on. Our modern conveniences may shield us, a little, from the harsher side of freezing temperatures and slippery roads. But we can’t eliminate the cold weather’s impact. My remote car starter means I don’t have to bustle outside 10 minutes before leaving, but I still need to remember to start the car ahead of time. Fleece is lighter and less scratchy than wool, but it still takes up space in the closet. And my fleece will melt if I get too close to the wood stove when I come in on a chilly day.
We need to prepare for the seasons in our life, too: intense education when we’re young, saving for college and retirement while we’re working, adjusting our investment mix as we get older and draw from our savings, protecting our assets as we prepare to leave a legacy. Life has its rhythms and changes, just like the weather. And if we pay attention, we can appreciate and enjoy the special beauty that each season brings.
The Norwegians – who know something about winter – have a saying: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” If we’re properly attired, we can watch the weather’s storm and sleet, or the market’s sturm und drang, with a certain level of detachment. There’s a time and place for everything. The most important thing is to be ready.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Charter Trust Company
“The Best Trust Company in New England”