Featured entries from our Journal

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

Category: HIG News

January Newsletter Intro

I had something else planned for my introduction to this month’s newsletter, but that will have to wait until February for reasons you’ll soon understand. 

As I’ve mentioned before, this newsletter is read by more than just our clients. We have 2,000 subscribers and a monthly open rate of 65 to 70 percent. This means every month, 1,400 people are taking a peek at what we share. But there weren’t 2,000 people in the beginning, or even 200. As some may have read in Odds On, we started Hill Investment Group with 0 clients. Rick and I made an agreement with our former firm that allowed us to talk with a small number of relationships, many of whom decided to join us.

One of those “founding” clients passed away recently, and I want to tell you about him. His name was George. 

George was a husband, a dad, a grandfather, a friend to many, a diehard North Carolina Tarheel basketball fan, an avid golfer, a former lawyer for the king of beers, a lover of his dog Maggie Mae, and someone who made a profound impact on Hill Investment Group. He also affected me, creating images and memories in my mind that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Like most of us, George started as a very different investor. He was an old-school active investor, buying stocks and trading options and spending too much time and energy trying to outperform the market. All he got in return was too much stress and unsatisfying results. 

It took three meetings over six months to convince him to convert to an evidence-based approach. It didn’t hurt that his former employer, Anheuser-Busch, had switched to index funds in the mid-80s, so elements of that story helped push George a little closer to accepting our data-driven approach. Once he made the change, he never looked back and became a raving fan. 

When you had George on your side, he was an unstoppable force–the type to put his arm around you and emphatically introduce us by saying, “These are my guys. You should talk with them.” He suggested his family members work with us, neighbors, friends, golf partners, colleagues, and so on. Because he had both relationships and influence, people listened to him.

George approached everything he loved with that same enthusiasm. We once gave him a basketball signed by the coach of his favorite team. To make it perfect for him, we looked all over town for a plexiglass case to display the ball, then wrapped it and presented it as a special gift for all of his support. George tore open the paper, ripped the plexiglass apart, threw it all away, and carried the naked ball home. We tried to stop him and gather the plexiglass display case, but he didn’t want or need it. He blasted right through it and was on to his next adventure.

That was George’s typical speed. Once, he hollered at a golf marshal that play was too slow. The marshal calmly reminded George that he had just returned to St. Louis from Florida and may have forgotten to adjust his watch. The front nine had only taken two hours (right on time), not three. George laughed, saying, “Well, it felt long playing with these guys!”

Becoming a Hill Investment Group client gave George both peace of mind about his portfolio and more time to pursue the things he loved. He took trips worldwide, had a custom wooden boat crafted and named for his beloved wife, Joanie, and built a house on Martha’s Vineyard. Once the house was completed, he hosted a dinner to thank Hill Investment Group for helping make their dream home a reality. George’s generous toast at the dinner is still one of the highlights of my career. 

George embodied everything we hope for our clients and validated why we started this firm: to improve our clients’ lives. George said it best when he uttered a famous line in Hill Investment Group lore: “The only thing I fear now is a downhill, sidehill three-foot putt. My worries are different thanks to you all.”

In 2019, John Reagan and I took our spouses to visit George and Joan on Martha’s Vineyard (see photo). George created an itinerary that wore us out (and I’m 30 years younger). I slept like a baby on that trip. George did, too, on the final night. He took us to a private club—one he didn’t even belong to (except through an old reciprocal that had long expired)for a splendid dinner where we were treated like royalty. Afterward, we drank, told stories, laughed, and finally, he fell asleep in his chair with his dog at his side as I tried to keep my eyes open through the remainder of the documentary he had selected.

George lived a rich life. He made things happen. He used his influence for good. He created memories. He helped our firm. He took the long view and was proud of it.

I’m lucky to have known him.

Text Us Anytime!

As our compliance leader, I’m usually the one who says what we can’t do. Not this time. Effective immediately, I am pleased to announce a new way to communicate with us.

You can now text message our team anytime!

As always, our goal is to simplify your financial life, allowing you the freedom to focus on what truly matters. Communication is a vital part of our relationship, and we’re breaking down barriers, making that communication as easy as sending a text. Connect with our team effortlessly, anytime, from anywhere.

This innovation is more than a service; it’s a commitment to enhancing your experience with us. Embrace the freedom of effortless communication. Take the long view confidently, knowing your financial journey is constantly supported by a team just a text away.

Add any of these numbers to your phone and shoot us a text to test it out!




Holidays at HIG: Office Hours

Our team will take a short break on December 25th, December 26th, and January 1st to celebrate with loved ones. 

During the remaining days, we’re ready and excited to provide top-notch service as we head into the new year. Whether you have questions, need assistance, or simply want to share some holiday cheer, our team is here for you.

Here’s a quick rundown of our holiday hours:

  • Monday, December 25th: Closed for the day
  • Tuesday, December 26th: Closed for the day
  • Monday, January 1st: Closed for the day

Wishing you a joyous holiday season filled with laughter, warmth, and celebration.

Your team at Hill 

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Featured entries from our Journal

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

Hill Investment Group