July 2019 | Posted By Matt Hall

On July 19, I traveled to Cashiers, North Carolina, a spectacularly beautiful community nestled in the Nantahala National Forest. Cashiers is home to The Chattooga Club: a special venue for intimate family retreats. Here, I spoke to families about the benefits of our evidence-based investing approach and the power of Taking the Long View—a concept that, if you’re reading this, you’re surely familiar with.

But right now, I want to revisit a specific facet of my talk that many of us have a tendency to overlook: time.

When most people think of wealth, they think of money—understandably so. But I’d like to expand the definition of wealth to encompass not just the amount of money in one’s portfolio, but how much time they have at their disposal. In fact, it’s quite possible that you’re a “time billionaire.” Just like people are billionaires in terms of dollars, if you have more than a billion seconds left in your life, you’re a time billionaire (concept recently discussed on Tim Ferriss podcast with Graham Duncan).

Let’s break this down.

A million seconds is 11 days. A billion seconds is just over 31 years. With an average life expectancy of about 80 years, anyone 50 years old or younger is a time billionaire.

Inspiring as this analogy sounds, some time billionaires don’t take advantage of their wealth. They devalue their precious seconds with weak relationships, excessive work, and mindless entertainment. Sometimes a traumatic event can jolt us out of our negligence, but how can we help ourselves reframe or revalue our time?

To put the advantage of being a time billionaire in perspective, consider this: what if you were Rubert Murdoch, with an estimated fortune of 22 billion and you are 88 years old? How much do you think you would pay to relive the health and energy that defined your 30s? Now, consider what kind of price tag a 30-year-old would place on the next ten years of his life. Chances are, there’d be an enormous discrepancy because the 30-year-old doesn’t realize just how precious his time is, but he covets the financial freedom of Mr. Murdoch.

During joyful experiences (or any experience for that matter), try to pause and imagine yourself in the future asking: How much would I pay to be in this moment again? Part of our mission at Hill Investment Group is to guide people towards financial freedom. But what’s the point of financial freedom if we can’t manage our time effectively enough to enjoy that freedom?

Whether you’re a time billionaire or a time millionaire, invest wisely—it’s your most valuable asset. Standing in the mountains of North Carolina reminded me to do the same.

July 2019 | Posted By Rick Hill

One of the services we provide for our clients is social security optimization. We like for you to get the maximum benefit from the system you’ve paid into for most of your life. For as much bad publicity as the Social Security Administration receives, it does oversee one of the few guaranteed programs backed by the federal government. Social security may not be the primary source of one’s income but it can provide a stable stream in retirement.

REMINDER: It is important to ensure your benefits reflect what you’ve earned over your working life.

In an attempt to reduce costs, the Social Security Administration has greatly curtailed the number of statements mailed each year and encourages workers to check their information online. In fact, for people under 60 the SSA no longer mails statements and only allows users to view their information online. We recommend that all individuals establish an online account and check it annually. This allows you to see your estimated benefits at different ages as well as provides an opportunity to safeguard against identity theft and fraud by checking your earnings history.

To review your Social Security information, go to www.ssa.gov to set up your personal account.

 

 

July 2019 | Posted By John Reagan

Sometimes even the experienced investor forgets how important diversification really is. Eric Nelson demonstrates what’s at stake in simple and powerful terms. Of course the situation below is theoretical: the math depends on cost, and on which securities you use to achieve your global stock mix. But, the broad-strokes points remain the same: global diversification matters. Curious about your own global diversification score? Click here to schedule a complimentary call with a qualified professional from our team.

July 2019 | Posted By Katie Ackerman

The podcast is off to an incredible start. Thank you for your support as we spread our story and message to curious investors around the world. We’re thrilled with the success of the launch and encourage you to listen to all six episodes when you can find the time. We offer the following write up as a teaser for Episode 6.

How do you go from a small town to big city success? How do you get asked to decorate the White House for the holidays? What does this have to do with a long view approach? The latest podcast episode features acclaimed designer Cheree Berry. In Matt’s words, “Cheree Berry Paper is the best paper resource you can find.” Cheree is a friend and a total beast in the business world, she is  Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Cheree Berry Paper, an award-winning graphic design and social stationery company known for creating unexpected event invitations. She is also an author and a former Kate Spade New York art director.

In this episode, Cheree shares how the importance of handwritten communication was instilled in her from a young age and her tips for maintaining this in a digital age. She discusses what shaped her career after moving to New York City from a small town in Missouri. She reflects on important moments working with Kate and Andy Spade, and how she started her own business. Cheree shares the challenges and benefits of being a female entrepreneur and so much more!

Click here to listen through Apple or here for other platforms.

July 2019 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

The podcast momentum is building. We offer the following write up as a teaser for Episode 5.

“Mom, I have a problem. I have a credit card—and I need you to pay the bill.”

“I’m not paying the bill, you have to figure it out. Consider this a lesson.”

That was the exchange Joe Saul-Sehy had with his mother shortly into his first semester in college. Within 90 days, his credit was wrecked. He had no job, no income, no financial aptitude whatsoever—understandably so.

Joe grew up in a family where the topic of money was constantly swept under the rug. His parents even went as far as asking the kids to leave the room if a financial discussion bubbled up.

So, who is this guy, and why would Matt spend an hour interviewing someone who admitted he has been “horrible with money?”

Joe Saul-Sehy is the co-host of The Stacking Benjamins Show: the record-smashing, award-winning, wildly popular podcast covering all things money-related. After years of avoiding conversations about money, Joe now broadcasts conversations about money to thousands of people every week.

In episode five of Take the Long View, Joe joins Matt to tell the story about his mission to make conversations about money fun and accessible. During this interview, Matt and Joe discuss financial independence, the perils of comparing your situation to others, and a traumatic experience with a minibar in Chicago.

Much like Matt, Joe has a knack for burying yawn-inducing jargon into stories that are as entertaining as they are enlightening. As Joe says, “If you don’t think you’re learning, you’re much more open to learning.”

Give it a listen and be sure to share the show with anyone else who’s fed up with finger-wagging, buttoned-up lectures about how you should handle your money.

Oh, and in case you missed it, Joe interviewed Matt back in 2016 right after the launch of Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor.

Click here for Episode 5 on Apple or here for other platforms.

June 2019 | Posted By PJ McDaniel

On January 2nd, 2019 the St. Louis Blues hit rock bottom. After 37 games, they had the worst record and the fewest points in the NHL. The team that was predicted to be a playoff contender couldn’t even manage to tally three wins in a row. To outsiders looking in, the team looked like a bunch of underachievers who cost their head coach his job and let their city down—again.

But the Blues saw things differently.

For them, this was the beginning of a long, steady climb to fulfill their potential. By midseason, the Blues finally began to gel with their interim coach, Craig Berube, while rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington instilled new life into the locker room. When the regular season came to a close, the Blues had achieved the improbable, winning 30 of their final 45 games to earn a playoff berth.

As the world witnessed, the Blues carried this momentum through the playoffs on their way to being crowned Stanley Cup champions for the first time ever. Throughout the history of professional sports (NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL), this was one of the most dramatic turnarounds, with the Blues being the farthest into a season with the worst record, yet managing to win a title.

Cinderella stories like this don’t happen by accident—especially in sports. To the naked eye, they’re miracles. But if we peek behind the curtain, we see that these radical transformations are simply the byproduct of discipline and patience. At Hill Investment Group, we call this Taking the Long View. The Blues may not have used this specific mantra, but they embodied it.

Sports—especially hockey—are complex. No player nor coach has the mental capacity to micromanage every variable during an entire season, let alone a single game. There are too many unpredictable elements. Over the course of eight months, the randomness adds up into an impossibly large cognitive load. The only sustainable strategy is for the team to elevate their gaze and see the bigger picture, to trust the process.

Financial markets, just like the St. Louis Blues 2018-19 NHL season, have their ups and downs. Many investors live in a seesaw world (just think back to December of 2018) of short-term thrills and panics. But as prudent investors—and NHL players—will tell you, the fruits of Taking the Long View are sweet.

Baby Billy Ackerman in Blues Gear
June 2019 | Posted By Katie Ackerman

Sometimes we run out of time and space to highlight everything we’ve loved reading in the last month. Based on the talk in the office, the following items deserve your attention, even if they didn’t get their own dedicated post.

  1. The Randomness of Global Equity Returns – We love this piece by Dimensional and you will too.
  2. Meet the Money Whisperer to the NBA Elite – We enjoyed this NYT profile. 
  3. 6 St. Louis Dads Highlighted in St. Louis Magazine and you’ll know one of them.
  4. Our friend John Jennings nails it with this interesting fact of the day.
  5. Podcast Love from St. Louis Magazine