December 2013 | Posted By Matt Hall

The story that follows is one of the more technical pieces that we have shared on our blog, but it is a fun introduction to Cliff Asness for those who aren’t yet familiar with his name. As referenced in another recent post, Cliff was a student of Gene Fama and since founded AQR Capital Management. Though his approach may seem lighthearted, his intent is seriously aimed at helping investors sort through the noise.  For example, the word “Bubble” is not only overused, but—for efficient-market fans like us—“It should never be uttered outside the tub.” Click here to read Cliff’s Top 10 Peeves.

Stay tuned for more in the future from AQR!

December 2013 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

Hill Investment Group clients have come to know, like and expect simple images that creatively tell a story. The 2013 Holiday card is no exception.

Working with our long-time friend and designer, Cheree Berry of Cheree Berry Paper, we wanted to deliver a combination of iconic holiday images (along with our familiar coffee cup!) that would also provide a subtle nod to “the benefits of having a Diversified Portfolio.” The card is a seasonal play on a beloved Hill Investment Group T-shirt created by Life is Good. Their mission is to “spread optimism” —another thing that we at Hill Investment Group believe in strongly.

November 2013 | Posted By Hill Investment Group

In mid-November, a few members of our team attended the largest conference of independent investment advisors and wealth managers in the country—Charles Schwab’s 2013 IMPACT conference in Washington, DC. Attending conferences like Impact is just one of the ways we stay sharp. As you know, DC is a beautiful city and an idyllic backdrop for speakers like Michael LewisDaniel PinkSteve Kroft, and others who inspired us along the way. We also returned with our own renewed perspectives on our country, our peers, and our practice.

November 2013 | Posted By John Reagan

Hill Investment Group recently invited Dan Solin to speak at an event for nearly 80 clients, friends, and supporters of our firm. Dan is the New York Times best-selling author of the Smartest series of books, and the Director of Advocacy for the BAM ALLIANCE. Dan works tirelessly to help investors put the odds of financial success in their favor. Check out this video that gives a snapshot of our event with Dan. If you attended the event, you may even see yourself!

November 2013 | Posted By John Reagan

November 15, 2013. For most people the day came and went like most Fridays. But that date was circled and starred on my calendar. November 15, 2013 was the first day of the two-day exam to earn the designation of Certified Financial Planner. After working through the required education courses during the first half of 2013, attending a four day intense review session in Atlanta, GA, and spending over 200 hours during the final few months reviewing the material, I was ready to sit for the 10-hour exam. According to the CFP board, the historic pass rate is approximately 57%. How did I do on the exam? Ask me after December 20th when the results are released by the CFP board.

November 2013 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

Recently, the entire Hill Investment Group team had the opportunity to support Rex Sinquefield, Co-Founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors and native St. Louisan, at the Inaugural Queen’s Gala in support of the World Chess Hall of Fame, which Rex brought to St. Louis in 2010. In addition to educating the world about the strategy, mental challenge, and fun of chess, Rex’s support of the Hall of Fame has helped hundreds of inner-city youth stay off the streets and stretch their mind by applying it to chess. The Queen’s Gala also sought to recognize women in chess, including Rex’s own teacher, Jennifer Shahade, two-time US Women’s Champion, author, commentator and editor on www.USChess.org. For more than 30 years, investors have benefitted from Rex’s investment work, and Rex continues to try to make the world a better place through his non-profit support.

Pictured from left to Right: Jeff Snodgrass, Rick Hill, Buddy Reisinger, Rex Sinquefield, Matt Hall, and John Reagan

Speaking of philanthropy, stay tuned for an upcoming story by Rick Hill about how and why people support non-profits and how Hill Investment Group can help clients create a charitable plan that reflects each family’s unique vision and values.

November 2013 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

Whether you’re a long term client of Hill Investment Group or a new member of our family, you already know that, along with clarity and transparency, one of our key tenets is simplicity. This 2-minute article by Jim Parker, VP of Dimensional Funds, sets forth three core principles (which we adhere to) that lead to long-term investment success. Leonardo DaVinci’s words apply to investing too: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

October 2013 | Posted By Buddy Reisinger

Just this week Gene Fama of the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his research that fundamentally comes down to,“No one can consistently and predictably beat the market.”  Historically, investors have believed that they hired advisors to beat the market. If this can’t be done, then why would anyone pay to work with an investment advisor? It’s a great question and one that I’ve heard many times throughout my career.  In fact, I asked the same question myself before I became an advisor in 1997.

Put simply: A great investment advisor acts as “an emotional circuit breaker.” The real value of having an investment advisor that knows your goals, hopes, and dreams is that she or he can be your behavioral coach.  This is the person helping you “take the long view”.  The person that won’t let short term market gyrations disrupt a well thought out, long-term investment plan.

To learn more about “Advisor Alpha,” consider reading this April, 2013, research piece by Donald Bennyhoff and Francis Kinniry of Vanguard, one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world. Hill Investment Group holds Vanguard in high esteem for offering low-cost, tax-efficient, passive options. While Vanguard offers solid mutual funds, we are fortunate to be able to bring our clients what we feel are even better solutions (or choices).  The funds that our clients, and we ourselves, own are offered exclusively through advisors. For your information, each advisor at Hill Investment Group has an investment advisor serving their family too because we value the discipline or the advisor alpha.