Last week a friend asked me “why do you wear suspenders and a belt?” I’ve also had people tell me “my daddy/mamma told me that I should never trust a man that wears suspenders,” but that little nugget of folk wisdom never made sense to me.
Supermodels wear suspenders… right?
I do have several reasons why I am often clad in such regalia, mostly because it’s simply necessary. The suspenders hold my pants up, and the belt keeps my shirt tucked. Neatness counts… and I (unlike many of those out there, to each their own of course) think that underwear should never be seen or even thought about in public.
Now that we have discussed the stabilization of the bottom half of my wardrobe, we could segue nicely to a discussion of bonds and how they might help hold a portfolio in place. However, I won’t bore you with that this month – I learned a different lesson to share with you.
Lessons learned from a photo session
So, I had a photo session the other day. I was the one being photographed, not the one taking the photos. This is good; as a photographer, I have several masterpieces to my name: “Finger on Lens,” “Blurred People,” and “Tree Growing from a Guy’s Head.” I even have one picture of the White House (the one on Pennsylvania Ave) that was taken with a cheap box camera in 1963 (my brother had the Brownie Starmite – remember those?) The picture was not only taken about three feet behind the old wrought iron fence, but I even managed to strategically position myself so that I got a corner of a gate in there, too.
However, this photo session wasn’t exactly a fashion show; they told me we needed to get new pictures for our website since “I had changed my look.” Wait, what? You mean I’ve gotten older, fatter, balder, and the beard long ago giving up brown, passing through gray and gone straight to white? The lovely woman managing things around here told me to “stop that!” but I’m not sure if I can stop the aging, I’ve tried. A modeling career just won’t work out for me.
You can still surprise yourself
Nevertheless, I adjusted my suspenders, held my head high, and attended the photo shoot. And what do you know – I’ve gotten better at posing! None of the photos came out with the intimidating stare that I usually have when I think I’m smiling for the camera. (Like the late, great Manute Bol — who would glare at opponents on the basketball court to intimidate them; it never really worked due to his immensely kind nature, but it was still a great glare!)
In any case, it was a positive result that I wasn’t expecting.
The inevitability of change
As we kick off the summer season, this got me thinking about the inevitability of change. I’ve talked a lot about weathering changes in market volatility, but what about just the simple fear of change?
Remember not to live in fear of changes, in life or in investing
What stuck with me about this experience was not to fear change, no matter how large or small (like your beard going white!) Regardless of your age or what you’ve been through, march in with your head held high and tough it out.
Like me, you might find out your portrait (or your portfolio) will turn out better than you expected.