Take the Long View ℠
We believe that a disciplined, thoughtful, and academically grounded investment strategy is the smartest, safest way to build and sustain wealth. We call this
“ the long view ”
and it's the foundation of everything we do.
As a firm, we champion transparency and clarity. By staying small and selective, we are able to build every client relationship on direct access, open communication, and trust.
As our clients delegate their long-term investment management to us, they find that their own lives are enriched. They have passions to pursue and families to connect with.
we cover the investments. they enjoy their lives.
Explore some of our frequent conversations below, and don't hesitate to give us a call at 314.448.4023, we'd love to speak with you.
Experts in the investment field have said the following:
"The majority of investors should invest in index funds." Warren Buffet 2004 Annual Report
"The average actively managed dollar must 'underperform' the average passive managed dollar. This assertion will hold for any time period, and empirical analyses that appear to refute this principle are guilty of improper measurement." Bill Sharpe 1991 Nobel Prize Winner
"For me, the strongest evidence suggesting that markets are generally quite efficient is that professional investors do not beat the market. When returns are measured over periods of 10 years or longer, 80% of active managers are outperformed by the index." Burton Malkiel Princeton Professor and author of the "Random Walk Theory"
"What's really quite remarkable in the investment world is that people are playing a game which, in some sense, cannot be played. There are so many people out there in the market; the idea that any single individual without extra information or extra market power can beat the market is extraordinarily unlikely. Yet the market is full of people who think they can do it and full of other people who believe them. This is one of the great mysteries of finance: Why do people believe they can do the impossible? And why do other people believe them?" Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and 2002 Nobel Prize winner
For some investors, active investing is exciting. However, investing was never meant to be exciting. Instead, it should be about providing investors with the greatest odds of achieving their financial goals with the least amount of risk.
Two of our core competencies are:
1. Establish a long-term client relationship
We have a consultative client relationship process that is achieved in a series of meetings precisely orchestrated to know our clients' financial challenges and then execute a comprehensive investment solution for them.
We work with a select number of clients ...we don't take clients unless we can add substantial value to their financial lives.
Our clients refer their friends and business associates to us due to our trusted personal relationship.
2. Leveraged with other strategic partners
We are aligned with a group of top advisors who share the same philosophy. Our group allows us to have the lowest fees possible with custodians, banks and fund providers.
We are an approved advisor with two of the most respected passive institutional mutual fund managers in the world.
We have a fixed income group that is able to leverage its' buying power to benefit our clients. These markets can have very expensive hidden markups that we are able to avoid.
We have formed professional relationships with other financial experts that are accessible to our clients (estate planning attorneys, accountants and risk management experts).
Our typical client is very smart and inquisitive. Our experience has taught us that intelligent people appreciate data, logic and evidence when making critical decisions. They do not make decisions quickly, but rather conduct careful due diligence to ensure that they have the best odds of success on their side.
We work with a limited number of clients for whom we can add significant value. We work primarily with corporate executives or business owners to simplify their financial life so they have more time to do what they love. We have a particularly strong relationship with Anheuser-Busch.
Roughly half of our clients are in St. Louis, with the other half located around the United States.
Hill Investment Group isn't for everyone. Those we do choose to partner with share three characteristics:
Number one: They're optimistic, upbeat — they enjoy life.
Number two: They're happy to delegate their investment decisions to us. That's why they've come to Hill — they've got their own daily lives to lead, their own passions to pursue.
Number three: They get what Hill is about: disciplined, long-view investing built on an academic, intelligent approach. They know that we're curious about the world — that we love books and ideas. That we're enthusiastic. That we have a craftsman's pride of work and dedication to a small but important group of customers.
The initial decision is the asset allocation for each client. Studies have shown that this decision determines the vast majority of the investment returns. The breakdown between equity and fixed income is client specific and based on each client's ability, willingness and need to take risk. We also perform a Monte Carlo analysis that shows outcomes using different asset allocations...this provides valuable insight in determining each client's proper allocation.
After deciding on the Equity/Fixed Income breakdown, we will determine the breakdown of the various equity asset classes and fixed income selections. The end result will be a diversified portfolio that provides the best odds of success to achieve each client's financial goals.
The next decision is the asset location or placement of assets in the taxable and tax-deferred accounts. The most tax efficient assets (US Large Equity, Intl Large Value) will be held in the taxable accounts. The most tax inefficient assets (Fixed Income, REITs) will be held in the tax-deferred accounts.
Vanguard offers both index and active funds. Index funds will hold the stocks in the appropriate benchmark (ie, S&P 500, Russell 2000, etc.). As the benchmark changes the composition of the stocks each year, the index fund has to buy and sell the individual stocks and often pay excessive trading costs.
The institutional passive funds we recommend (Dimensional Funds Advisors and Bridgeway) are not constrained by the stocks in the benchmark. These funds will buy and hold the stocks based on their size and value tilt and avoid inopportune trading costs, which can improve returns.
DFA has created asset class funds (for example, tax managed US Small Value, international small value, etc.) where no index funds exist. In addition, the historical and expected returns of DFA funds exceed comparable index fund returns.
If one decides to build a portfolio using index funds, one must be prepared to have the discipline to rebalance their investments as the markets fluctuate, take tax losses when appropriate, etc. We find that people have good intentions to stay on top of their investments, but easily become distracted going forward.
Why Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) Beats Vanguard
Many intelligent investors have asked why hiring a passive advisor beats purchasing retail index funds on their own. This one page summary identifies the key advantages that DFA's pure asset class funds have over ETFs and retail index funds. Download the PDF (91k)
We are an elite investment advisory firm with members who believe passionately in delivering simplicity, transparency, and clarity to a select group of clients.
We are focused on one big idea: staying smallJohn Reagan
Advisor - Client Services Jeff Snodgrass
Director - Client Services Buddy Reisinger, Jr.
Director - Client Development Matt Hall
Co-Founder & President Rick Hill
find out more about our team by selecting from the images above
The newest member of the Hill Investment Group team, John supports the firm leadership by focusing on client services, portfolio oversight, and all-around firm operations. With a sharp eye and ear for service, he helps simplify life for our clients.
A graduate of Trinity University, where he studied finance, accounting, and economics, John arrived at Hill Investment Group with four years of experience at one of the largest financial firms in the country. Having first been selected for his former company's respected development program, he went on to become a financial advisor for the company. He excels at crafting strategic financial plans for both individuals and families, as well as developing and sustaining client relationships.
Friends Describe Me As
An older man stuck in a younger man's body. I am up every morning by 5:15 a.m. and read a hard copy of the newspaper. I can't stand being late, and I enjoy listening to Frank Sinatra.
I was a baseball umpire when I was 14. It taught me how to deal with conflict at an early age.
My wife Molly and I have been married for just over a year. We first met when we were 15 at St. Louis' Fleur de Lis Ball, though we never dated during our high school years. She stayed on my mind, though, as her twin brother sat behind me for four years at Saint Louis University High School, the all-boys school I attended. During our sophomore year of college, when we were 1,000 miles apart (I was at Trinity, she was at Mizzou), a spark was lit. We dated long-distance for our final two years of college and have been together ever since.
My dad. At The Muny — St. Louis' famous outdoor theater — his first job was picking up trash. He eventually worked his way to his current role of President of The Muny. His work ethic, passion, and humility inspire me.
During my junior year of high school, I broke my right hand two weeks before I was to compete in the state racquetball tournament. Being right-handed, this was going to be an issue. For the next two weeks I spent every evening after school teaching myself to play left-handed. I ended up finishing third in my seed at state that year.
Approach to Client Services
My experience has taught me that truly listening is the key to service. We all have a desire to be understood, and I've found that listening is the best way to give someone else real understanding. Everyone at Hill has this same approach. We really care, which is what makes genuine listening possible.
I am a member of the Saint Louis University High School Alumni Board. It's a great way for me to give back to a school that gave me so much — and to also stay connected with my classmates and peers. I am also an assistant coach for the Kirkwood High School racquetball team.
Most Likely to Spend a Spare Hour
Molly is a kindergarten teacher. One Friday afternoon, I surprised her and her class by having Fredbird — the popular St. Louis Cardinals mascot — drop into her classroom unannounced. Then I strolled in and proposed in front of the class.
Sports have always been a big part of my life. Growing up, it was soccer, baseball, and basketball — and later lacrosse and tennis. I helped win a state championship for my high school soccer team, then played college soccer at Trinity. To this day, I continue to play soccer, racquetball, squash, and softball. The team approach of athletics is something I feel strongly at Hill as well. It is certainly something that drew me to the firm.
Early Money Management
In college, I was one of a select group of students chosen to manage $1 million of the university's endowment. This taught me an early lesson about the difference between managing your own money and someone else's.
Key Ingredient in Client Relationships
Trust. Our clients trust that we are working as their advocate. We work hard to first gain that trust — and maintain it.
Jeff's focus for Hill Investment Group: client services and firm operations. He makes clients' lives easier through simplified reporting, billing, and account maintenance.
Having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, Jeff began his college studies at Saint Louis University focused on making his own mark in business — and fast. In just over three years, he graduated Cum Laude from the university's acclaimed Entrepreneurship program. His final-year internship brought him through the door at Hill Investment Group, and it was such a fantastic match from day one, he never left.
Top of mind during calls with clients
First, keep it simple. When I hear someone tending toward something overly complex, I try to redirect the conversation to a more simple approach as quickly as possible.
Second, be "the rock" they need. Conveying calm and confidence by word choice and tone, these are natural strengths of mine.
Stays sharp by
Reading a lot. We find parallels between our work and what others do in completely unrelated industries.
Baby Maria and I usually get some time together watching out the window as the day gets started. I teach her about the bugs, bunnies, falling leaves, and cars passing by ... She just watches and soaks it all in.
Company he admires
Many of our web-based technology tools come from 37Signals. They are genius web developers who build clean and simple applications that the average person can master with ease. They truly understand the value in design and never add in extraneous features that distract from the main purpose.
Long View moment
I shared Carl Richards' "The Behavior Gap" sketch with my mom and she instantly connected with it and what I do. It's gratifying and encouraging to feel energy from people who "get it". I think about it all the time when preparing for meetings or thinking through how to simplify a complicated issue.
My wife Melissa and I have a baby girl, Maria, born November 2011. We think she's beyond cute.
GigBook. It organizes all of my piano music on my iPad for easy reference and actual use while playing the piano.
New skill he plans to learn
I'm really looking forward to learning the violin. My wife bought me one for a recent birthday.
Taking the family out to breakfast and getting some fresh air on a long walk or two. Also, my extended family (40 people) has dinner every Sunday together with my Grandpa. Think of it like Thanksgiving, but it happens literally every week. It's fun and the menu is decided based on what people have available to make in mass quantities. It's not the food we all come for — it's the company.
How he describes his job to friends
Saving investors, one soul at a time.
Most satisfying part of life at Hill Investment Group
Melissa shared an in-depth version of our Hill Investment Group story to a family friend once while I wasn't around. When I heard about the conversation, I felt so proud that she was spreading the good news ... and doing it in a way that made it clear how proud she is of me.
Most likely to spend a spare hour
Making Maria laugh.
My mom. She just finished up six months of chemo/lumpectomy/radiation and beat breast cancer. She never complained, and she fought like a champ.
Buddy concentrates on business development and advanced planning for Hill Investment Group. He splits his time between evaluating potential new families for the firm and coordinating high-level services for our clients.
A Princeton University graduate in economics who earned an MBA from The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, Buddy joined Hill Investment Group in 2009. His career en route to Hill includes: serving as Vice President of Sales for Guggenheim Partners, a global investment firm serving wealthy families; partner of a Wealth Management Team at Merrill Lynch; and the founder of a wealth coaching group and an estate planning firm. Buddy also spent a decade at the former Anheuser-Busch, holding positions in brand management, strategic planning, wholesale operations, and sales.
Over the past decades, Buddy has taken a leadership role in the St. Louis community, serving on numerous boards of trustees and committees for organizations across the health, education, and arts sectors. While this work strengthens Buddy's home community, it also makes him a more valuable advisor for Hill Investment Group families, many of whom wish to safely and smartly fit philanthropic gifts into their long-term financial goals.
Evolution as an advisor and investor
Being appointed Co-Executor and Co-Trustee of my father's estate at age 27. Trial by fire. Kryptonite or rocket fuel? It was a choice. And one I don't wish on anyone — which is why I do what I do. Most of the "bad stuff" of investing and finance is avoidable with the right help and planning.
Why Hill Investment Group makes sense for him
Having witnessed presentations from — and been a client of — some of the most respected investment experts in the country, I can say that they all have one thing in common: their model is backwards. The focus of Wall Street is on Wall Street, its countless products and complexity. Our focus at Hill Investment Group is on serving our clients first while implementing an investment strategy that exhibits clarity, simplicity, and transparency.
My wife Jeana and I have three fantastic children: Lily (16), Bear (14), and Lizzy (12). Together we enjoy Corny the not-so-pot-belly pig, Teddy the hypoallergenic Yorkie, and Thumper the amazing rabbit.
I currently serve as the President of The Princeton Club of St. Louis and a Trustee of Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School. I have also served on the Board of Trustees of the Saint Louis Art Museum, as well as on the Development Boards of St. Louis Children's Hospital, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and The Center of Creative Arts.
My mother is the creator of the popular Vivienne Romano Cheese Dressing, which is offered throughout the country. http://www.vivienne.com/
How his kids would describe him
Much smarter than he acts with us.
Seth Godin's blog
What he finds overrated
The importance of eating dinner with your family — however brief the meal — as often as possible
Favorite Workout Routines
P90X, P90X2, Yoga, and Insanity
Movie he's most likely to re-watch
Best presenter he's heard in person
Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.
Sleep in until 8:00 a.m., have breakfast with my wife and kids, workout or go for a bike ride with my family, cook together, eat together. Repeat.
Toughest challenge overcome
Unfortunately, I fully expect that I have yet to face it. But I'll be ready!
Most likely to spend a spare hour
With my wife and kids. They are a constant inspiration and reminder to take nothing for granted ... ever.
Most satisfying part of life at Hill Investment Group
Transforming clients' lives from complexity to simplicity and allowing them to focus on their Unique Ability.
Matt is Hill Investment Group's lead on all strategic matters — crafting the firm's vision, establishing its exceptional standards, and managing key relationships.
Matt found his calling while in Las Vegas. Over 13 years ago, Matt's wife suggested they have lunch with friends from St. Louis, who happened to be visiting "Sin City" at the same time. The friends, Ed and Dorette Goldberg, gave Matt a book on how financial markets really work. By page 100, he knew his life had changed. Matt contacted the author's investment advisory firm, created an opening for himself, and spent the next six years rising the company's ranks.
In 2005, Matt and Rick Hill created Hill Investment Group, together crafting a firm that would fuse their unique abilities. Six years into Hill's remarkable success — having earned a reputation as a thought leader in this financial space — Matt launched LongView Partners in 2010, as a new and concurrent venture. LongView is a pioneering partnership with industry partners, Bridgeway Capital Management, and elite advisors.
Matt graduated from the University of Missouri — Columbia with a bachelor's degree in English literature. (Shakespeare. Keats. Woolf and the rest.) A brief stint in law school followed. Matt is forever a student of his craft and has attended the highest level of training and education tied to investment theory and practice. What's more, Matt has led many training programs for top advisors and founded a peer group of hundreds of advisors, called Passive Investment Professionals. The group has hundreds of respected members from the U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Canada.
Books he often recommends to people
For our investment approach I'm constantly giving away Larry Swedroe's original book, The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need, and Bill Schultheis' The Coffeehouse Investor.
For pleasure I'm addicted to Michael Lewis. I think he is one of the best storytellers of our time. Moneyball is one of my all-time favorites because it isn't really about baseball. It's about using data and evidence to defeat the competitor who ignores the statistics. It's analogous to what we do at Hill. I love almost everything Lewis has written — including Liar's Poker, Home Game, and Coach.
Often described as
Some friends call me the "relentless motivator" and others call me the "relentless agitator." I see both as compliments.
Companies he admires
I'm a believer in companies that are trying to make a difference while also making a profit. I'm convinced that the balance is possible, but it requires a longer view.
My wife Lisa and I met standing in line at the Mizzou bookstore in 1993. Our four-year-old daughter Harper is the star of our household. Our dog's name is Sophie (boxer).
The Wall Street Journal (paper), New York Times (iPad), and Seth Godin via e-mail. My evening reading includes Pinkaliscious, There's a Wocket in My Pocket, and The Big Orange Splot ... These are a few of our bedtime favorites.
Memorable media appearance
"The Buzz List," Alive, February 2011
Long View moment
I'm always reminding clients and friends to take the long view and ignore the daily gyrations because they don't mean anything and you can't control them. Thoughtful plans based on academic evidence pay off. It's fun to see the light bulb go off for others.
Greatest challenge overcome
Dealing with cancer at the age of 33 — chronic myelogenous leukemia. I continue to thrive in remission. I feel lucky and blessed.
What he finds underrated
Taking a walk in the afternoon. It's good to get the blood moving. Makes me feel more productive.
Best presentation he's heard in person
Simon Sinek's "Start With Why" talk, which he gave to the St. Louis chapter of the Entrepreneurs' Organization.
How he stays sharp
I mix training and education from my industry and other areas. The best education inside my industry is through BAM Advisor Services. Beyond our firm I have found the most enlightening sessions through EO (Entrepreneurs' Organization) and Washington University in St. Louis.
Top talk from the TED website
Friends or family poke fun at
I'm too sensitive, and I get made fun of for being overly critical. My mom used to challenge me to go 24 hours without suggesting how we could do something better. I didn't make it five minutes.
In Hoosiers, when Dennis Hopper —in rehab — is so excited for the team that he's jumping on the bed.
Don't confuse strategy and outcome. (Borrowed from Larry Swedroe.)
Financial lesson he'll teach his daughter
Trick yourself to be disciplined. We're not wired to do what we know we need to do, like saving and eating right.
Most satisfying part of life at Hill Investment
Working to improve the lives of others with people who care about you and want to do the same.
Most people might not know
I cry easily when I see other people proud of something they have worked for or when I observe pure expressions of joy.
Rick directs Hill Investment Group's advanced planning and client services. He actively adds value to clients' lives through his expertise on a variety of areas, including rebalancing, tax management, asset location, and Monte Carlo analysis.
A graduate of Wake Forest University and the Wharton School of Business, Rick began helping people achieve their financial goals in 1967, when he started his first job as a stock broker. After three years, he left the brokerage business and joined Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, holding management assignments in the corporate finance, international treasury, and capital planning areas. He rose to the level of Assistant Treasurer.
After leaving AB in 1998, Rick's passion for evidence-based investment management came full circle, as he joined a very successful investment firm as a Senior Advisor. In the years that followed, he earned his Certified Financial Planning (CFP) certification, then partnered with Matt Hall to launch Hill Investment Group in June of 2005. He has found this work more rewarding than he could have imagined.
My wife Lynn and I have two grown children — and two wonderful grandchildren.
I'm an expectation setter. I find that setting and managing expectations — whether working with a client or managing something in my family life — has endless benefits.
Humble people who do significant things no one knows about.
The Wall Street Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Sunday New York Times.
Palm Desert or San Antonio.
In the media
"Close-up with Rick Hill," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 2008
In 2008, I was fortunate to be one of four Missourians named to Worth magazine's list of the Top 250 Wealth Advisors in the country.
I have written several articles including "Planning for the Life You Want".
We greatly enjoyed traveling with other couples to Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and France. And in 2008, I went with my son to an NCAA Final Four game on a Monday night, and we were watching the Masters in Augusta the next day.
Friends describe him as
Dependable, good sense of humor, and a good dancer (for a male).
Happy and healthy. Happy means I'm living up to my potential and achieving my goals. Healthy means exercising and being able to play with our grandkids.
Lynn and I would play golf, have a drink by my small pond that has one fish, and enjoy a casual dinner with friends.
Lesson learned in the corporate world
Do not manage for the short-term. Make decisions that will prove beneficial in the long run — for example, capital investments, borrowing bonds, etc. We all need to be willing to accept delayed gratification.
Favorite grandfather duties
Hide-and-seek, and taking them to The Magic House.
I try to avoid surprises by considering all the possibilities.
Great book he read recently
Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
Most satisfying part of life at Hill Investment
Acknowledgement that we are changing our clients' lives, giving them more time for the important things. Also, being with a group of younger people makes me feel, well, younger. Our conversations are about technology, sports, and children's activities rather than what medicine one is taking.
Why he's still working
I find that being engaged in both work and free time makes both more fun and rewarding. For me, constant relaxation is not in fact relaxing.
I started making goals about 30 years ago. Ones that I have achieved include trips to Ireland, Scotland, and the Masters; classes at Washington University; church activities; and building a firm. Among my future goals: Get my golf handicap down to 15 (from 17), take my grandkids on trips when they turn 10, and visit China and Russia.
Our Latest Thinking
What we believe, how we think and what we're up to.
We'd love to hear from you.
Hill Investment Group
Call 314 448 4023 / Toll Free 866 834 0561
7701 Forsyth Blvd., Suite 350
Saint Louis, MO 63105
Passive Investment Professionals on Linkedin
Hill Investment Group co-founder Matt Hall launched this peer group in May 2008. It now brings together hundreds of respected advisors from the U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Belgium and Canada. Join this group today at Linkedin.
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