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
June 2019 | Posted By Matt Hall

Family Party and HIG Birthday BBQ – Photo June 2019

On June 6, 2005, Rick Hill and I inked a deal that changed the trajectory of our lives and eventually hundreds of others.

Over the course of a year, Rick and I met every Wednesday night and Saturday morning to discuss our plan to build a firm that was equal parts high touch and high performance. We called it our “island of idealism.” It may not have been the easiest path to bring that idea to fruition, but as I write this passage on our 14-year-old “island of idealism” at 7701 Forsyth Blvd., I can tell you it was worth every step.

Birthday celebrations often entail trips down memory lane—understandably so. It’s pleasant and comforting to reminisce about how much you’ve grown and achieved. But this year, I want to acknowledge Hill Investment Group’s birthday with a different twist: by looking forward instead of backward.

There’s new energy surging through our firm these days, due mainly to the excitement surrounding our group’s future. Our team, which was recently recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the best places to work, is growing stronger each day. Hillfolio, our initiative to deliver a better investing experience to a wider audience, is building impressive momentum. And most recently, the launch of our podcast* has given us a new opportunity to spread the word about the value of Taking the Long View.

Some subscribers might know about my reputation as a “relentless agitator” (or a relentless improver). When I was a kid, my mom would challenge me to go 24 hours without suggesting how we could do something better. I never made it longer than five minutes. Fast forward 30+ years and my mentality hasn’t changed a bit. So, if you’re wondering why I’m celebrating HIG’s birthday by looking ahead to 2020, now you know.

Don’t get me wrong—there’s a time and a place to pop the champagne, tell stories, and evaluate the past, but that isn’t the phase we are in today. We are working on the next chapter and how we will serve clients better. We are a competitive lot, which is why Hill Investment Group will never become complacent. We thank our clients, friends and centers of influence who follow this newsletter, for your continued support. And the only birthday present we want from you is your continued trust – because without that we wouldn’t have made it this far.

*Episode 3 features a conversation between Rick and me. Check it out by subscribing here.

June 2019 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

As you’ve likely heard, the podcast is up and running – spreading 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 four episodes when you can find the time. All feedback is welcome. We offer the following write up as a teaser for Episode 4.

When most athletes transition from the sports world to the business world, the process is painstakingly slow. For Dave Butler, it took 24 hours.

After attending the University of California-Berkeley, Butler was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1987 NBA draft. But a player’s strike and a torn calf muscle cut his hoops career short. After a final stint with a pro team in England, Butler marched into his coach’s office, told him he took a job on Wall Street, and hopped on a flight to New York the next morning.

Since trading his basketball jersey for a suit, Butler has built an impressive career, ultimately leading him to his current role as the Co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors. Today, more than two decades after stepping off the hardwood, Dave Butler joins Matt Hall on episode 4 of Take the Long View: the podcast that nudges you to reframe your thoughts about your money, emotions, behavior, and time.

Listen to the episode here via Apple or here through other platforms.

Key topics discussed:

  • Introducing Dave. [00:42]

  • Dave’s background in professional basketball. [04:10]

  • Dave’s transition from basketball to finance. [06:14]

  • Dave’s early days in finance. [07:17]

  • Starting out at Dimensional. [11:04]

  • The origins of indexing. [14:02]

  • Early days of Dimensional and the 9-10 fund. [16:10]

  • Setting and meeting expectations. [18:35]

  • Philosophical alignment. [19:45]

  • Dan Wheeler’s influence. [21:52]

  • Dimensional’s reach and its growth over the years. [26:17]

  • Finding balance between work and other areas of life. [30:14]

  • Dave’s favorite part of working at Dimensional. [33:32]

  • Dimensional as a visionary in the field. [35:57]

  • Investing philosophy. [38:25]

  • Talking finance at parties. [42:08]

  • Current projects. [44:23]