Details Are Part of Our Difference
Embracing the Evidence at Anheuser-Busch – Mid 1980s
529 Best Practices
David Booth on How to Choose an Advisor
The One Minute Audio Clip You Need to Hear
Raising Resilient Children Through Storytelling
I read a great article recently in the New York Times. It revealed that studies ranging from Emory University to Silicon Valley indicate that children learn resilience when they discover how their family and previous generations have dealt with adversity. Introducing stories from your past, trials and errors, success and failures – anything that reveals to your children that mistakes are a part of life – will enable them to become stronger, more resilient members of society.
Reading this article is a great starting point to come up with ways to weave your own family narrative into dinner table discussions this holiday season (which is right around the corner)! Ask your children and grandchildren questions, share your stories with them, and be prepared for new holiday memories to be made.
Please click here to read the full article: The Stories That Bind Us.
Change in Your Pocket
At Hill Investment Group, we are proud to deliver best-in-class investment reporting to our clients each quarter. Having had experience with reporting writing software, this is no easy task.
As our clients know, our reports clearly illustrate the vital signs every investor should know – fees, returns and asset allocation. Well, we’ve decided that’s not enough. Late last year, we began experimenting with a new tool that will bring all your wealth into the palm of your hand.
So, now you can securely see your real estate holdings, banking assets, and private assets on the web or your phone. Check out the video below.
I’m making personal calls to our clients about the tool, but please let me know if you would like your access accelerated. And, be sure to ask me about the ability to run a formatted personal financial statement as of any date with the click of a few buttons.
Why Even I (Especially I) Need an Investment Advisor
Our friend, Wendy Cook, recently wrote an article called “Why Even I (Especially I) Need an Investment Advisor”. We think it’s an excellent explanation of why one should hire a professional to help meet important financial goals. Please read on for the whole text:
Hire an Adviser or Do It Yourself? If ever there were a promising candidate for a DIY approach, it would be me.
That’s not always been so. When I embarked on my investment journey around 1990, I was just a typical investor about to enjoy a tech-boom-fueled run in the markets. Then, in 1998, I happened to accept a position at Buckingham Asset Management, where I was introduced to a new way to invest. I’d written about healthcare, libraries and pet care products. Why not finance? I knew as much about investing as the next person.
Which is to say, I knew nothing.
In what turned out to be one of the luckiest breaks in my life, I heeded the advice of my new employers and shifted my scattered stocks into a portfolio of Dimensional Fund Advisors funds. I didn’t really know why, but to be a team player, I took a leap of faith.
Then that tech bubble burst and, boy, did I learn fast how lucky I’d been to have placed my blind faith where I did. Not only did I happen to sell at the height of the bubble, but I was relatively protected when it blew up. Plus, I got to do some tax-loss harvesting, so I paid almost no gains on the transformation. Suffice it to say, I’ve never looked back.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about the whys and wherefores of my actions. What began as beginner’s luck has matured over the years into the deepest appreciation for the science and wisdom of evidence-based investing. From my personal experience as well as the many tales I’ve been privy to in my day job, I know that, compared to any other strategy … well, there is no comparison.
So these days, I’ve got way more understanding of the science of investing, with way more disciplined decision-making capabilities and way better abilities to spot a financial pig in a poke. I’ve also seen the intricacies of portfolio management first-hand, with sufficient working knowledge to go DIY if I had to – especially with today’s automated robo-advisor services to help with the heavy lifting.
Still, I won’t do that. In fact, the more I learn about investing, the more comfortable I am paying for the advice that I know I still need. Here are a few reasons even a sharpshooter like me should not hit the trails by herself:
Me and My Brain – Knowing about my behavioral biases doesn’t immunize me against them. When the financial you-know-what hits the fan, I value having an evidence-based adviser as my dependable sounding board, to confirm that I’m remaining rational … or to let me know if I’m not.
Me and My Education – Since I first discovered evidence-based investing, that evidence has refused to sit still. If anything, its pace has only quickened as new, seemingly credible possibilities augment existing insights and spur off in intriguing directions. To help separate the substance from the senseless distractions, I collaborate with my adviser (and his advisor community) as I consider what to make of the news. Otherwise, circle back to the first point: My brain is always trying to play expensive tricks on me.
And all this is before we even get to the many second-opinion questions I pepper the guy with, on everything from our estate plans, home mortgage and insurance coverage to whether he happens to know a good criminal lawyer for a friend of mine whose son got in a bit of a tight spot.
Me and My Family – My poor husband. Through vicarious absorption, he’s had to learn way more about investing than he’d probably prefer. But if that proverbial bus were to suddenly call me home (and the way I drive, that’s not such a stretch), I feel so much better knowing that all he has to do on the financial front is to call Phil. I would like my family to miss me for my good company, my good humor, and maybe my good cooking – not for my ability to manage a mean trade sheet.
Me and My Time – Which brings me to my last point. Even if I could do all of the above on my own, my long run as a disciplined evidence-based investor has left me in the fortunate position that I can afford to pay Phil to do it instead. Frankly, I’d rather be writing and leaving the nitty-gritty portfolio management to somebody else. Thanks, Phil!