February 2014 | Posted By Matt Hall

Hill Investment Group is pleased to announce that we’ve added a fantastic new member to our team and a new office in Houston, Texas. We wanted our clients and friends to hear it from us as soon as possible, and additional details will be coming in the near future. Henry Bragg will lead our efforts in Texas and adds strength to our team with his trifecta of designations:  MBA, CFP and CPA. Beyond his smarts, Henry is an outstanding person of integrity, with a unique ability that fits right in with our team approach to serving clients.

Henry and his wife, Laurence, have three children and a feisty Tibetan Terrier.

Henry Bragg | Houston, TX

February 2014 | Posted By Hill Investment Group

You may have noticed Hill Investment Group popping up in some new places over the past month. With the help of digital strategy consultant, Nicole Hudson, the Hill team is wading into the world of digital media. Digital platforms are increasingly core in the way the world communicates and we are looking forward to uncovering what that means for Hill Investment Group.

In addition to sharing more about who we are outside of Hill Investment Group, our plan is to widen the audience for the articles, ideas, research, and experience we’re already sharing as a team, with clients and with colleagues.

Nicole has been helping organizations navigate digital waters for over 15 years. In her agency life, she worked with clients like The New Yorker, Lincoln Center and AT&T. In addition to working with us at Hill, Nicole works with KDHX Community Media, Metro Theater Company, the artist Brian Owens, and others.

You can now find Hill Investment Group on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Nicole Hudson

February 2014 | Posted By John Reagan

Last month in the New York Times, Sam Polk offered a refreshing first-hand account from the underbelly of Wall Street. Polk is a former Wall Street trader who lived the excessive life that Hollywood often shows hedge fund managers and investment bankers living (see: The Wolf of Wall Street). Eventually, he did something that a lot of people would find difficult: he gave up his money addiction in search of something better. This article struck me as a great reminder that having the most money isn’t what life is about, and even if you do have financial freedom it doesn’t guarantee happiness. That’s why at Hill Investment Group we’re passionate about helping to refocus on the things that are truly important; life is too short to worry about the rest.

Read the article here.

February 2014 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

Hill Investment Group clients know our mantra Take the long view. It’s short hand for having a well-thought-out plan that’s executed consistently over time, a globally-diversified low-cost portfolio, and a long-term outlook on investment performance.

Jim Parker, Vice President at Dimensional Funds—one of our strategic partners—recently wrote a short and sweet (pun intended) article titled “The Golden Ticket Trap.” What’s that? Many investors behave a bit like the young boy Charlie in a popular children’s story about a chocolate factory, misguidedly pinning the hope for riches on finding one of a handful of golden tickets hidden among millions of candy bars. It’s the same premise behind the ever-present magazine headlines of “The 5 Hottest Stocks” and “What to buy NOW!”

This is where the Hill haystack analogy comes in. Wall Street pontificators and investment magazines try to sell the idea that they know where and how to find the needle in the haystack. Hill clients and followers know that the best path for long term success is to simply buy the entire haystack in a low-cost, tax-efficient manner, rebalance regularly, and get on with your life.

A quick glance at the article will likely reaffirm your belief in Taking the long view and illustrate that you already own the real Golden Ticket. You can view a PDF of the article here.

 

February 2014 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

On a cold winter’s night in St. Louis (February 5), Larry Swedroe and Matt Hall had an enlightening and entertaining conversation about Larry’s latest book (his 14th): Think, Act, and Invest Like Warren Buffett. Nearly 70 guests had the opportunity to learn about why Larry wrote the book, hear some key lessons of investing, and ask questions.

Larry Swedroe and Matt Hall

Don’t despair if you weren’t there!  For all of our clients and friends from coast-to-coast and to those who simply couldn’t make it, be on the lookout for a recording of this enlightening dialogue that will provide additional insight into why we believe what we believe about investing and how markets work. We hope you feel like you were there with us! If you don’t have the book already, would like another copy, or would like to send it to a friend, please call or email us, and we’ll get it right out to you.

The event also marked our first foray into the world of social media. You can see a recap with some photos and tweets here.

February 2014 | Posted By Rick Hill

Many people have told me that it is more difficult to give money away than to earn it. The general instinct to support charitable organizations and causes may come naturally, but the question remains: which ones?

When I started at Wake Forest University I took ROTC, knowing my plan was to enlist in the Army upon graduation. I had one thing standing in my way: poor eyesight as a result of a detached retina. My sophomore year I qualified for Advanced ROTC. Thanks partially to my place in line, I had plenty of time to memorize the smallest characters on the eye exam next to the door. However, on the first day of a required six week summer camp at Fort Bragg, NC prior to my senior year, I entered the eye testing area from the back of the room and—without the chance to study the chart—I failed the eye exam. I was classified as 4F (unfit for service) and spent less than 24 hours in the Army while all of my ROTC class shipped off to Vietnam. Some may look at this as a good break, but my one life regret is that I didn’t serve in the military. This experience is at the core of my strong feelings for those who serve our country as well as my lifelong support of military non-profits.

Our life experiences are often a good starting point when deciding where to gift money. If you had $100,000 that you had to give away to someone other than a family member, what would you support?

Here are some beginning steps to get started:

  1. What specific causes move you or have had an impact on your life?
  2. Identify the non-profits that best address this need.
  3. Start small and increase your gifting as you get more comfortable with the organizations.
January 2014 | Posted By Matt Hall

We invite you to an event with Larry Swedroe on Wednesday, February 5th at the Saint Louis Club. Larry is one of 22 well-known names in finance quoted in The Wall Street Journal’s December 29, 2013 article The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got (or Gave). Larry’s best advice is: “the strategy to get rich—take concentrated risk, typically with your labor capital/business—is entirely different than the strategy to stay rich, which is to minimize the risks we take, diversify the ones we take as much as possible, keep costs low, tax efficiency high, and don’t spend too much.”

We are proud to offer this opportunity to hear Larry, and we look forward to seeing you there. Details are shown below. For those unable to attend, a video of the entire conversation is now available here.

January 2014 | Posted By Rick Hill

According to the 2013 World Giving Index, the United States is ranked as the most charitable country in the world. Americans collectively donate billions of dollars out of their pockets and countless hours of their time for the benefit of others. What is the motivation?

I’ve reflected on my family’s motivation, and our simple answer is that we feel it is the right thing to do. We’re fortunate to have the resources to help others, and we know that a portion of our own success was the luck of being in the right place at the right time.

Your reasons may include:

  • Having a connection to your school, religious group, or other organization
  • Tax benefits
  • Having excess resources that are otherwise not needed

The biggest benefit of philanthropy, however, is increased happiness. A 2009 Harvard Business School paper showed that giving increased happiness, and increased happiness led to more giving. From a personal perspective, I can attest that my wife, Lynn, and I have gotten a great deal of satisfaction from helping others. Is your experience similar?