September 2019 | Posted By Hill Investment Group

David Kabiller is hugely successful and doesn’t need to do podcast interviews, in fact, he rarely grants requests. In Episode 8 of the Take the Longview podcast, Kabiller sat down with Matt Hall to talk about many topics including: tennis, his path to success, starting at “Goldman Slacks”, and his views on modern investing. Enjoy this special episode with the influential leader who assembled AQR, one of the more important quantitative money management firms in the world.

Listen to Episode 8

 

September 2019 | Posted By Nell Schiffer

Building a restaurant and hospitality empire from the ground up doesn’t happen by accident—it’s the product of unwavering attention to detail complemented by a bold vision. That’s where Danny Meyer’s classic book comes in: Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

Restaurants have a notoriously high failure rate. By some estimates, more than half of new restaurants shutter before their fifth anniversary. When you’re a restaurateur, the odds are stacked against you—especially if you’re a novice. But what about the outliers? The mavens, the tastemakers who have the magic touch?

Enter Danny Meyer: St. Louis native, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, and founder of several restaurants including the beloved Shake Shack. At the age of 27, Meyer opened Union Square Cafe in New York City which became an instant hit. But he wanted to prove to himself that his success wasn’t a fluke–and it wasn’t. Today, Meyer has a portfolio of restaurants and is widely regarded as one of the most successful restaurateurs on the planet.

In his memoir-manifesto hybrid, Meyer illustrates the philosophy which he credits to his success: Enlightened Hospitality. “[Enlightened Hospitality] stands some more traditional business approaches on their head, but it’s the foundation of every business decision and every success we’ve had,” says Meyer.

Meyer’s writing is undeniably entertaining and intriguing, but what’s most impressive about the book is how easily it can be applied to industries outside of hospitality. Whether you’re managing a coffee shop or a publicly traded corporation, Meyer’s behind-the-scenes stories are guaranteed to equip you with priceless insights into leadership, creativity, and customer service.

At Hill Investment Group, we don’t limit our reading to books strictly about finance. In fact, some of the best Long View lessons we’ve learned come from stories completely unrelated to money. Now, thanks to Danny Meyer, we can add hospitality to that collection.

September 2019 | Posted By Hill Investment Group

Matt and Danny Following Their Discussion


Why would a man pursuing a career in law and politics suddenly give it all up and gamble his future on a restaurant? Just ask the legendary St. Louis native Danny Meyer, who turned that one restaurant into a hospitality empire and eventually founded Shake Shack, the beloved burger spot with over 250 locations around the world.

Today, with his philosophy of enlightened hospitality and belief in the importance of building community wealth, Meyer continually prods the restaurant industry to level up and create better career opportunities for its workers, while challenging himself to share his insights with new industries through his investment fund.

Danny and Matt Recording at Argot Studios

Matt Hall met up with Meyer in New York to talk about everything from why there is a no-tip rule in Meyer’s restaurants to St. Louis Sports. Get to know more about Meyer’s legendary career in episode 9.

Listen to Episode 9

September 2019 | Posted By Henry Bragg

For the past 10 years, most US investors have been star managers without really trying. In our country, investor portfolios are typically US large-cap dominant, so while they are up this decade (and specifically this year with the S&P), they didn’t fare well the first decade of this century.

I recommend spending a few minutes with this piece from Dimensional. They took a look back at the stock market over the past 20 years. While the 2000s and 2010s have differed starkly in performance, collectively they have reinforced investing lessons on patience and discipline – the real stars! Read their synopsis at the link below.

A Tale of Two Decades: Lessons for Long-Term Investors

September 2019 | Posted By PJ McDaniel

There are about 100 days left in 2019.

Pools are closing. Store clerks are stocking Halloween candy along their aisles. As the amount of daylight dwindles, so too does the time we have to accomplish the goals we set for 2019.

Can you guess when there is a peak in goal setting? You got it — January. That’s when New Year’s resolutions are hot and people are brimming with confidence about the “new them” they plan to build. But the reality is that some studies suggest only 8% of Americans actualize their New Year’s resolutions.

Disappointing? Yes. Hopeless? Not at all.

Whether you want to lose weight, build wealth, read more, or watch less TV, it’s not too late to get back on track. As we head down the home stretch of 2019, I want to share three simple ideas that can reignite the energy you had during the beginning of the year and put the odds of achieving your goal in your favor.

 

  1. Define Your “Why” 

It’s incredibly difficult to justify the hard work required to achieve goals without an underlying purpose. Simply saying “I want to do X” will almost always fizzle out after a few weeks. 

Instead, tell yourself, I need to do this for/because [insert person or cause]. This will carry you through the pits and valleys along the way.

If you want a deeper dive into the importance of defining your “why,” Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why is a must-read. You can also check out his wildly popular TED Talk.

 

  1. Bombard Yourself With Reminders

Post-It notes might be obsolete, but they’re one of the most useful tools to keep you focused on your goals. Write your goals on them and stick them on your bathroom mirror. Every morning when you brush your teeth, stare at them and think about what steps you can take that day to accomplish them. 

Of course, this isn’t the only way to keep your goals top of mind. You can change your phone’s screensaver, set a daily reminder on your phone, or even download an app like Habitica. The options are endless, but your time isn’t.

 

  1. Make a Bet.

Let’s say you want to lose ten pounds by the end of the year. Find someone who will hold you accountable and say, “If I don’t lose ten pounds by December 31, I owe you $500 (or whatever amount you choose.) 

Economist Dean Karlan found that the success rate of goal achievement with nothing at stake is a mere 33.5%. However, when someone puts money on the line, that success rate jumps to 72.8%.

100 days. 2,400 hours. That’s more than enough time to make a dent in whatever goal you have (or had) your eyes set on. Now, get to work. We’ll check back with you in December.

August 2019 | Posted By PJ McDaniel

There is a new term we are hyper-focused on this month at Hill Investment Group – “snowplow parent.” The phrase refers to a parent who clears every obstacle out of their child’s way, preventing the youngster from developing the skills they will need later in life.

In episode 7 of the Take the Long View with Matt Hall podcast, experienced wealth counselor and financial therapist, Marilyn Wechter says “If you think about spoiled, what you’re talking about is kids who haven’t had the opportunity to figure out how to solve problems on their own and haven’t had the opportunity to figure out how to get something that they really want other than passively being given to.”

Marilyn and Matt Hall discussed the 4 primary things spoiled kids have in common.

  1. Few chores or responsibilities
  2. Not many rules to govern behavior or schedules
  3. Parents and others lavish them with time and assistance
  4. A plethora of material possessions

So, if we know what not to do, what’s the solution? Marilyn suggests we should nurture curiosity, patience, thrift, generosity, perseverance, modesty, and perspective.

That’s a lot to tackle, especially because today you can buy just about anything from your phone and POOF, it shows up at your door the next day.  How do you teach kids the value of money when your kids rarely see you hand a physical dollar to a live human in exchange for a good or service? Are the days of stashing wrinkled dollars and loose change in a piggy bank over?

In our house, once you turn 8, which is the age of my oldest son Jack, you began to earn an allowance on a weekly basis. It has been interesting to see how Jack chooses to spend or save his allowance. At first, he bought a few Pokémon cards on Amazon with our help.  In an effort to get him to realize everything does not come in a cardboard box a few days after you order it online, we went to a physical store.  We chose to visit one of his favorite spots, the store where everything is a dollar – I mean everything!  Jack chose his items and when he had to hand over his 4 hard-earned dollars to the cashier in exchange for a few cheap toys, he began to learn the value of money.  Shortly after that trip to The Dollar Store and some careful thought, Jack realized that the toys he bought would likely break or become less interesting within just a few days, so he’s now committed to saving his allowance.  He is learning if he puts his money in a bank, the bank actually pays HIM (very, very little these days) to keep his cash with them. That concept was mind-blowing for an 8-year-old. He asks me each week how much money he has in the bank and is thrilled to watch it grow. I can’t wait to show him the power of investing and the valuable work we do at Hill Investment Group!

Talking how to take the long view (not snowplowing) is vital at an early age, but as we hear in the podcast, it is never too late to start!

August 2019 | Posted By Nell Schiffer

 

If you’re acquainted with our offices, you’ve likely noticed the rows of books lining the walls of our lobby. Some businesses adorn their offices with books to manufacture an aura of thoughtfulness or sagacity. But at Hill Investment Group, our book collection goes beyond optics.

For the past 14 years, continued education has been a pillar of our firm. By exposing our minds to a wide swath of insights and information, we’re equipped to deliver better experiences—and ultimately better outcomes—for our clients.

We encourage new employees and clients alike to dig into the books that have shaped HIG’s philosophy. This month, we’re highlighting The Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get On with Your Life by Bill Schultheis.

Like countless other evidence-based investing advocates, Schultheis’ conversion was sparked by a disenchantment with the active, Wall Street-style approach to investing that characterized his early career.

13 years after Schultheis saw the light, he wrote a book with a simple premise: Simplifying your investment strategy produces more wealth and more leisure time. The book doesn’t divulge any secrets, hacks, or inside scoops. In other words, it’s anti-viral. And yet, The Seattle Times dubbed it “The best investment book you’ve never read.” Even John Bogle, the father of index investing, urged people to act on its message.

“Exhaustive studies have shown that it is difficult, if not impossible, to ‘beat the market’ over the long haul. And yet that is exactly what Wall Street encourages you to do,” says Schultheis. “For serious investors, the question is not, ‘Can I beat the market?’, but rather, ‘How can I limit if not totally eliminate ‘underperformance’ of the market?’”

Though we don’t agree with Shultheis on everything, we love the simplicity of his maxim “Ignore Wall Street and get on with your life”.  If you’re ever overwhelmed by the flood of investment advice, The Coffeehouse Investor will bring you back down to earth.

Let us know what you think of The Coffeehouse Investor, and stay tuned for next month’s recommendation!