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!

August 2019 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

What’s the opposite of spoiled? We get after the questions surrounding kids and money with Marilyn Wecther, returning guest from our very first episode. Marilyn has over 35 years of experience as a wealth counselor and financial therapist. In this episode, she talks about how to raise young people to grow up to have a strong, positive relationship with money.

From allowances, to credit cards, to paying for college (or not), Marilyn covers many of her best tips. Initial reviews say this is one of the best episodes, especially as families head back to school! Listen now.

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.