Six Ways to Tell the Difference Between Real and Pretend Investors

The Magic of Incremental Change

2 Minute Video: HIG and Focus In Our Own Words

A Message From The Service King

Podcast Episode: Morgan Housel

Category: A piece we love

The Magic of Incremental Change

HIG friend, podcast guest, and NYT columnist, Carl Richards, shared the following story about how incremental change adds up if you take the long view. Keep reading for the story behind the sketch.

The Magic of Incremental Change

Back when I lived in Las Vegas, I used to ride road bikes with a semi-competitive group of riders. I remember when I first joined the group, it felt like a big victory if I could just keep up with them for the first 15 minutes. After a while, that became the first half-hour. Then an hour. One day, almost without even noticing it, I was suddenly able to stick with the pack for the entire ride.

It felt sudden at the time, but of course, it wasn’t. And although I was surprised, nobody else was, because they had all seen it before with other riders or experienced it themselves.

This is the sneaky power of incremental change.

Each day, you make a small improvement. Then, that becomes the new normal, and you get used to it. You make a small improvement again, and then that becomes the new normal. This happens over and over, slowly but surely. We barely notice we are getting closer to our goal, and then (again, seemingly “all of a sudden”) we’re there!

I didn’t feel a lot faster because I wasn’t a lot faster… compared to yesterday or even last week. In fact, I was just a little faster than I was last month. But month after month, ride after ride, it all added up. All those little bits of “faster” started to compound on top of one another.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to riding bikes. I’ve had times in my career where I wondered if I was accomplishing anything. I specifically recall a time when I was working remotely for a large company. I got very little feedback on my work and was largely left alone. I loved the independence, but I also struggled because I had no idea if what I was doing was valued by the people I worked for.

To deal with this struggle, I started reviewing each week and noting what I had done. It felt weird at first because I didn’t want it to be seen as taking credit for things, but as the weeks added up and the list got longer, it felt good. I was doing stuff, and that stuff was making a difference, for sure.

No one else needed to see the list. It still felt good. It helped me to see, in real-time, how incremental changes add up.

If you build a process of reflecting every quarter, month, and year, you’ll never feel like you’re not accomplishing anything again. And while that may spoil some of the surprise of suddenly and unexpectedly arriving at your goal one day, I promise it will be worth it to feel much better along the way.

-Carl Richards

Stop and Ask Yourself…

We wanted to share a poignant excerpt from Jason Zweig’s latest piece for WSJ

When anyone—in person, online or through an app on your phone—tries to push you into chasing an asset that had double-digit (or triple-digit!) returns last year, try answering this way: “Instead of that, what can you offer me that lost money last year?”

That silences the hype. That opens your mind to the kinds of neglected opportunities that often do best when last year’s market darlings fall from grace. And that keeps you from expecting the coming year to repeat the past year. They seldom do.

To learn more about how we would build your bespoke portfolio, schedule a call now.

A Piece We Love

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?
Hill Investment Group