November 2020 | Posted By Matt Hall

Please take two minutes to watch and listen to our new video. You’ll see why we love working together. I think our shared passion for serving you shines through! May your Thanksgiving be filled with the gratitude we feel in our firm.

November 2020 | Posted By Rick Hill

We often ask prospective clients if they are clear on their fees, returns, and allocation. Most are fuzzy on the answers. In our world, we value transparency and keep a close eye on fees, exerting pressure where there is room for a reduction. We are pleased to share that Dimensional Funds just announced meaningful reductions in management fees for the equity funds we invest in for our clients and ourselves. The majority of our clients will experience 20% lower fees on the equity portion of their Dimensional investments. We’ll be sharing the details in future client meetings, but for now, know that the odds of long term success just got better!

November 2020 | Posted By Abby Crimmins

Morgan Housel just wrote THE book you need to read, and our pick for the November Book Club. In this episode, the esteemed financial writer joins Matt Hall and shares insights into his own investing strategies, an event that shaped his outlook on risk, a story about a janitor who left behind millions of dollars to charity, and why behavior is the most important factor in mastering your financial life.

Listen here.

November 2020 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

As we head into the holiday season, we are encouraging families to discuss their values and guiding principles. On this point – we wanted to share this short, unedited piece by one of our favorite bloggers, Seth Godin. We think he does a superb job of defining what principles are, and why they are important. 

Principle is Inconvenient

A principle is an approach you stick with even if you know it might lead to a short-term outcome you don’t prefer. Especially then.

It’s this gap between the short-term and the long-term that makes a principle valuable. If your guiding principle is to do whatever benefits you right now, you don’t have principles of much value.

But it’s the valuable principles that pay off, because they enable forward motion, particularly when it feels like there are few alternatives. We embrace a culture based on principles because it’s that structure and momentum that enables connection and progress to happen in the first place.

You can check out the original piece on Seth’s blog here

Curious about facilitating your own family meeting? Try out these questions about values and guiding principles that you can pose to kids, partners, and parents this holiday season:

  • What are your values? 
  • Anything you believe that you feel is a guiding principle in your life? 
  • What are our family’s guiding principles? 
  • How do these principles impact the decisions we make?
November 2020 | Posted By Nell Schiffer

This month, our team read the new Morgan Housel book, The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness.  It is THE best personal finance book we have read in a long time. Why? It is filled with real stories that show, instead of just tell, the real impact investing behavior has on people’s financial lives. Matt Hall recently interviewed Morgan Housel on his podcast, and Housel shared some of these astounding stories and more. Listen here!

Our favorite takeaways:

Rich vs. Wealthy

Rich is out in the open like a flashy sports car, while wealth is the money that you don’t see but has the capacity to change lives – yours or others. “Rich” is empty. Wealth is rock-solid. How do we get wealthy? Save a bit more than you spend over a long period of time, and try not to interrupt the compounding. Sound familiar?

The importance of time, and the magic of compounding 

Compounding is so hard to imagine because it is by definition not intuitive. Warren Buffet is 90 years old, and he’s worth roughly $90 billion. That’s a huge number. It gets even crazier when you realize 99% of his net worth came after his 50th birthday, and 97% came after his 65th birthday. That’s worth repeating – 99% of his net worth came after 50. The lesson: once wealth starts compounding over time, the numbers get bigger faster than you can imagine. Also, it’s really never too late; however, starting today (or yesterday) is the best. That’s the long view in neon lights! 

How to feel “better off”

If the more you make the more you spend, it will always feel like the goal line is moving. To feel better off, growing the gap between what you earn and what you spend is key. One exercise that has helped our clients is understanding what “enough” means for them. From a place of enough, any additional dollar earned contributes to growing wealth. 

So how do you define “enough”? In our experience, a simple dinner conversation with family is a great place to start. If you want help facilitating that family conversation, let us know – family meetings are one of our favorite services to provide. 

Do you eat your own cooking?

At HIG, we “eat our own cooking.” Translation: we invest our personal investments the same way we invest our client’s. While that sounds like an obvious statement, it is not the norm in the financial advice world. Sadly, not even close. Morgan talks about how important it is to ask experts how they apply their expertise to themselves or their family. For example, ask your doctor what kind of care they would want if they were in your shoes. You might be surprised by the answer.  Curious to learn more? Give us a call.

November 2020 | Posted By Scott Krajacic

Have you found yourself asking, “Who cares about diversification? Shouldn’t I put everything in the US market?” Here are a few reminders as to why we go global with our clients. 

It’s no secret the US market has performed exceptionally well over the past several years. Still, as the saying goes, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one (market) basket.

  • The US market hasn’t been the best performer this year. Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and Norway all outperformed the US market in the third quarter of 2020, with Sweden pulling ahead of the US by almost 8%. In fact, over the past year, Sweden has outperformed the US market by 12.7%.
  • There’s no reasonable way to predict which country’s market will outperform and when. Less than a year ago, Finland, for example, went from the third worst-performing market to the third-best market this past quarter.
  • Guessing wrong could have a significant impact on returns. The difference between the best performing developed market (Sweden) and the worst-performing market (Portugal) was 20.7%. The gap was even wider amongst emerging markets, with 30.5% separating India at the top of the list and Turkey at the bottom.
November 2020 | Posted By John Reagan

With 2020 coming to an end, we thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of a few tax planning strategies that can be easily overlooked:

  1. Maximize your 401(K) or other employer plan contributions – Saving funds on a pre-tax basis in a retirement account allows them to grow tax-deferred until they are withdrawn in retirement.
  2. Contribute to your Health Savings Account (HSA) – An HSA is an often overlooked savings vehicle that allows individuals covered by high-deductible health insurance plans to save money on a pre-tax basis. The funds then grow tax-deferred and if used for medical expenses can be withdrawn tax-free. These are sometimes called the triple tax advantages of an HSA.
  3. Get going on 529 contributions – If you have children (or grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or anyone that may attend school in the future), a 529 may be the right savings vehicle for you. The tax deductibility of these contributions depends on your state of residence, and any contributions grow tax-free so long as they are used for qualified education expenses.
  4. Contribute to a cause you care aboutIf you don’t have a charitable organization that you want to support directly in 2020, you can open a Donor Advised Fund to make the charitable contribution this year, allowing you to gift to your favorite charitable organization later. You receive the tax deduction in the year of contribution to the Donor Fund, and this also allows your funds to stay invested, and potentially grow, so that you can give away greater amounts in the future.
  5. Think about financial gifts to individuals – While gifts to individuals are not tax deductible, they are a great way to lower your overall estate and reduce the amount that is potentially subject to estate taxes in the future. Cumulative gifts to an individual up to $15,000 [$30,000 for a married couple filing jointly in 2020] are under the annual gift exclusion and do not require a gift tax return to be filed. If you give more than $15,000 to one person, you may have to file a gift tax return and would encourage you to consult with your tax professional.

For some individuals it makes sense to accelerate their tax deductions in 2020, and for others it may make sense to delay their deductions until 2021. One of the things we do at Hill Investment Group is work with our clients’ clients’ CPAs and estate attorneys to ensure they are maximizing not only their portfolio with us, but their complete financial picture. Feel free to give us a call to discuss.

October 2020 | Posted By John Reagan

Cheers Bar featured in “Cheers” TV show, Established in 1895, Boston, MA., New England, USA (Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Here at HIG, we are passionate about service and hospitality. What does this really mean to us? In this short post, I’ll share a couple of points on how we approach serving you. Since our founding 15 years ago, we have talked inside our walls about the magic combination of two places: Cheers and the Four Seasons. 

If you are under age 35, you might not be familiar with the fictional bar Cheers. For the rest of us, we know Cheers is the home away from home, where everyone knows your name. While we may not scream out your name when you walk through our doors like those famous Cheers regulars, we seek to create a welcoming space at HIG. Our goal is that everyone who walks through the door, from our favorite mail carrier (Saronda we’re talking to you) to our newest prospect, feels this intention. 

We also look to the Four Seasons approach, where any staff member is empowered to solve a client’s problem and even anticipate her needs. This means each one of us on the team takes personal responsibility for helping our clients. How does this change your experience? In short – we make it happen. Whatever you need. One recent example, my colleague Abby recently completed a last-minute, socially-distant emergency notarization for a client before their child left for college.

Now that you know more about our aim, we want you to hold us accountable. If you have any suggestions for us, let’s talk. You can book 15 minutes with me here.