Our Team

  • Our team is comprised of talented professionals who have been hand-picked for their unique abilities. Clients work with the firm, not one individual. We all believe passionately in delivering simplicity, transparency, and clarity to our ideal clients.

    We are focused on one big idea: understanding you

    • Matt Hall

      Matt Hall

    • Rick Hill

      Rick Hill

    • Buddy

      Buddy Reisinger, Jr.

    • John Reagan

      John Reagan

    • Henry Bragg

      Henry Bragg

    • Katie Ackerman

      Katie Ackerman

    • Nell Schiffer

      Nell Schiffer

    • Jared Machen

      Jared Machen

    • PJ McDaniel

      PJ McDaniel

  • Matt Hall

    Matt Hall

    Co-founder & President

    Matt is the author of Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor (Apr 2016) and is Hill Investment Group’s lead on all strategic matters—crafting the firm’s vision, establishing its exceptional standards, and managing key relationships.

    Matt found his calling while in Las Vegas. Over fifteen years ago, Matt’s wife suggested they have lunch with friends from St. Louis, who happened to be visiting “Sin City” at the same time. The friends, Ed and Dorette Goldberg, gave Matt a book on how financial markets really work. Within the first 100 pages, he knew his life had changed. Matt contacted the author’s investment advisory firm, created an opening for himself, and spent the next six years rising the company’s ranks.

    In June of 2005, Matt and Rick Hill left the firm where they met to create Hill Investment Group, together shaping a group that would fuse their unique abilities. Hill Investment Group is sometimes referred to as a model practice and has earned respect from both clients and the advisor community. The firm has grown from fifty million dollars in assets under management in 2005 to over 600 million dollars under advisement in 2017.

    Matt graduated from the University of Missouri — Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. A brief stint in law school followed. Matt is a student of his craft and has attended the highest levels of practitioner training. Matt has led education programs for advisors tied to marketing, client service and practice management. Matt founded a peer group called Evidence-Based Advisors. There are over 1400 members from the U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Canada. In 2010 Matt also co-created an evidence-based mutual fund with Jared Kizer that now has close to a billion dollars in assets.

    Matt serves on the boards of Community School and the Saint Louis Club.

    BOOKS HE OFTEN RECOMMENDS TO PEOPLE

    Beyond reading Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor, I suggest Larry Swedroe’s original book, The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy. For pleasure I’m addicted to Michael Lewis. Moneyball is one of my recent favorites because it isn’t really about baseball. It’s about resourcefully using data to defeat the wasteful competitor who ignores the statistics. It’s analogous to what we do at Hill.

    OFTEN DESCRIBED AS

    Some friends call me the “relentless motivator” and others call me the “relentless agitator.” I see both as compliments.

    FAMILY MATTERS

    My wife Lisa and I met standing in line at the Mizzou bookstore in 1993. Our 9-year-old daughter Harper is the star of our household.

    Lisa, Harper and Matt picnicking at the historic Muny in St. Louis.

    DAILY READS

    The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times

    MEMORABLE MEDIA APPEARANCEs

    Profiled in Laura Vanderkam’s book, What the Most Successful People Do at Work

    LONG VIEW MOMENT

    People sometimes ask us how long is the long view? We say that it hopefully extends beyond their own lifetimes. What if your great-grandchildren benefit from your prudent and thoughtful planning today?

    GREATEST CHALLENGE OVERCOME

    Being diagnosed with leukemia at age 33 was a challenge. I thrive in remission thanks to Gleevec and great doctors.

    WHAT HE FINDS UNDERRATED

    Taking a walk in the afternoon. It’s good to get the blood moving.

    HOW HE STAYS SHARP

    Writing my book Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor (April 2016) was an incredibly demanding process, but one that has been worth the investment of time and energy. It is very hard to write about investing without boring your audience. I gave it all I have and the early reviews have been phenomenal.

    FRIENDS OR FAMILY POKE FUN AT

    My mom used to challenge me to go 24 hours without suggesting how we could do something better. I didn’t make it five minutes. I like to edit.

    MOVIE MOMENTS

    In Moneyball, when John Henry talks with Billy Beane about how Beane has changed the game, threatened the old ways of building a baseball team, and won more efficiently than the teams with big budgets.

    CREDO

    Don’t confuse strategy and outcome. (Borrowed from Larry Swedroe.)

    FINANCIAL LESSON HE’LL TEACH HIS DAUGHTER

    The rewards from patience and discipline are sweet.

    MOST SATISFYING PART OF LIFE AT HILL INVESTMENT

    Working to improve the lives of others with people who care about you and want to do the same.

  • Rick Hill

    Rick Hill

    Founder

    Rick directs Hill Investment Group’s advanced planning and client services. He actively adds value to clients’ lives through his expertise on a variety of areas, including wealth planning, tax and risk management, and Monte Carlo analysis.

    A graduate of Wake Forest University and the Wharton School of Business, Rick began helping people achieve their financial goals in 1967, when he started his first job as a stockbroker. He left the brokerage after 3 years and joined Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, holding management assignments in the corporate finance, international treasury, and capital planning areas. He rose to the level of Assistant Treasurer.

    After leaving AB in 1998, Rick’s passion for evidence-based investment came full circle, as he joined a very successful investment firm. In the years that followed, he earned his Certified Financial Planning (CFP) certification, then partnered with Matt Hall to launch Hill Investment Group in June of 2005. He has found this work more rewarding than he could have imagined.

    Family Matters

    My wife, Lynn, and I have two grown children — and two wonderful granddaughters.

    Chief Characteristic

    I’m an expectation setter. I find that setting and managing expectations — whether working with a client or managing something in my family life — has endless benefits.

    Inspired by

    Humble people who do significant work that no one knows about except for close friends.

    Bylines

    I have written several articles including “Planning for the Life You Want.”

    Travel Memories

    My wife and I have enjoyed traveling with other couples to Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, France, and Cuba. In 2008, I went with my son to the NCAA Final Four game in San Antonio on a Monday night (Kansas won), and the next day we were walking the hills at the Masters in Augusta (Immelman won).

    Friends Describe Him As

    Dependable, good sense of humor, and a good dancer (for a male).

    Credo

    Happy and healthy. Happy means I’m living up to my potential and achieving my goals. Healthy means exercising and eating right so I have more energy to play with my grandkids.

    Favorite Grandfather Duties

    Rick’s family

    When our grandchildren turn 10, they get to choose a travel destination for a weekend-long trip with Lynn and me. One chose Boston and the other Colorado Springs. Since our grandchildren live in San Antonio, this was a great opportunity to spend quality time with them.

    Lesson Learned In The Corporate World

    Do not manage for the short-term. Make decisions that will prove beneficial in the long run—capital investments, borrowing funds, etc. We all need to be willing to accept delayed gratification.

    Interesting Fact

    I do not watch any live sporting events on TV… everything is on my DVR. For my favorite teams (St. Louis Cardinals, San Antonio Spurs, and Wake Forest teams) I first check to see who won (but not the score), and then watch it only if my team won. I find that this saves time and is less stressful.

    Favorite Quote

    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass...it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
    —Vivian Greene

    Most Satisfying Part of Life at Hill Investment

    Acknowledgment that we are changing our clients’ lives, giving them more time for the important things. Also, being with a group of younger people makes me feel, well, younger. Our casual conversations are about technology, sports, and children’s activities rather than the medications we take.

    Why He’s Still Working

    I find that being engaged in both work and free time makes both more fun and rewarding. For me, constant relaxation is not in fact relaxing.

    Bucket List

    I started making goals about 30 years ago. Ones that I have achieved include trips to Ireland, Scotland, and the Masters; classes at Washington University; and building a firm. Among my future goals: Get my golf handicap down to 16 (from 18), a family trip to Lake Tahoe and couples' trips to Croatia.

  • Buddy Reisinger, Jr.

    Walter C. “Buddy” Reisinger, Jr.

    Director

    Buddy concentrates on business development and advanced and charitable planning for Hill Investment Group. He splits his time between evaluating potential new families for the firm and coordinating high-level services for our clients.

    A Princeton University graduate in economics who earned an MBA from The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, Buddy joined Hill Investment Group in 2009. Before joining Hill, Buddy spent more than a decade at Anheuser-Busch, holding positions in brand management, strategic planning, wholesale operations, and sales before transitioning to the world of finance as the founder of a wealth coaching group and an estate planning firm called The Legacy Specialists; partner of a Wealth Management Team at Merrill Lynch; and Vice President of Sales for Guggenheim Partners, a global investment firm serving wealthy families.

    Buddy is passionate about giving back to the community and has taken a leadership role in St. Louis and beyond, serving on numerous boards of trustees and committees for organizations across the health, education, and arts sectors including: Princeton University, Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School, The Nature Conservancy, The St. Louis Art Museum, COCA, The St. Louis Zoo, and three local children’s hospitals: Ranken Jordan, Cardinal Glennon, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. While this work strengthens Buddy’s local community, it also makes him a more valuable advisor for Hill Investment Group client families, many of whom wish to safely and smartly incorporate philanthropy into their financial legacy.

    Evolution As an Advisor and Investor

    Being appointed Co-Executor and Co-Trustee of my father’s estate at age 27. Trial by fire. Kryptonite or rocket fuel? It was a choice. And one I don’t wish on anyone — which is why I do what I do. Most of the "bad stuff" of investing and finance is avoidable with the right help and planning.

    Why Hill Investment Group Makes Sense for Him

    Having witnessed presentations from — and been a client of — some of the most respected investment experts in the country, I can say that they all have one thing in common: their model is backwards. The focus of Wall Street is on Wall Street; its countless products and complexity. Our focus at Hill Investment Group is on serving our clients first while implementing an investment strategy that exhibits clarity, simplicity, and transparency.

    Family Matters

    My wife Jeana and I have three amazing (aren’t yours?) children: Lily, Bear, and Lizzy. Together we enjoy Corny — the 300-pound pig, Teddy the hypoallergenic Yorkie, and Thumper the magical rabbit.

    Buddy’s kids

    Highest Priority

    Experience has taught me that a strong family connection is not only fun and rewarding but provides the best foundation for helping others achieve the same thing. If I’m not happy, how can I be expected to help make our clients happy? One of the best ways to do that is through family vacations…in the photo above our kids remind me every day to embrace the opportunity ahead by jumping into life…you may get a little wet, but it’s worth it!

    Family Factoid

    My mom is the creator of the popular Vivienne Romano Cheese Dressing, which is offered throughout the country and online at http://www.vivienne.com/

    How His Kids Would Describe Him

    Much smarter than he acts with us.

    Daily Reads

    Seth Godin’s blog

    Favorite Apps

    Overcast and Pandora

    What He Finds Overrated

    TV

    Underrated

    The importance of eating dinner with your family — however brief the meal — as often as possible

    Favorite Workout Routines

    Shark Fitness Bootcamp, Fitness Formula and TFitwell

    Movie He’s Most Likely To Re-watch

    Top Gun

    Favorite Musical

    Hamilton. Yes...it’s worth it!

    Favorite Karaoke Song

    Come Sail Away by Styx

    Ideal Weekend

    Sleep in until 8:00 a.m., have breakfast with my wife and kids, workout or go for a bike ride with my family, cook together, eat together. Repeat.

    Toughest Challenge Overcome

    Unfortunately, I fully expect that I have yet to face it. But I’ll be ready!

    Most Likely To Spend A Spare Hour

    With my wife and kids. They are a constant inspiration and reminder to take nothing for granted … ever.

    Most Satisfying Part Of Life At Hill Investment Group

    Working with a fantastic group of people that together transforms clients’ lives from complexity to simplicity and allows them to focus on their Unique Ability while we focus on our own.

  • John Reagan

    John Reagan

    Partner

    John supports the firm by focusing on client service, portfolio oversight, and all-around firm operations. With a sharp eye and ear for service, he helps simplify life for our clients.

    A graduate of Trinity University, where he studied finance, accounting, and economics, John arrived at Hill Investment Group with four years of experience at one of the largest financial services firms in the country.

    Having first been selected for his former company’s respected development program, he went on to become a financial advisor for the company. He excels at crafting strategic financial plans for both individuals and families, as well as developing and sustaining client relationships.

    Friends describe me as

    An older man stuck in a younger man’s body. I am up most mornings before the sun and read a hard copy of the newspaper. I can’t stand being late, and I enjoy listening to Frank Sinatra.

    First Job

    I was a baseball umpire when I was 14. It taught me how to deal with conflict at an early age.

    Family Matters

    My wife Molly and I have been married since 2011. We first met when we were 15 at St. Louis’ Fleur de Lis Ball, though we never dated during our high school years. She stayed on my mind, though, as her twin brother sat behind me for four years at Saint Louis University High School, the all-boys school I attended. During our sophomore year of college, when we were 1,000 miles apart (I was at Trinity, she was at Mizzou), a spark was lit. We dated long-distance for our final two years of college and have been together ever since. We have two little boys (less than a year apart), James and Thomas.

    Daily Reads

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Wall Street Journal, and NBCSports.com.

    Inspired By

    My dad. At The Muny — St. Louis’ famous outdoor theater — his first job was picking up trash. He eventually worked his way to his current role of President of The Muny. His work ethic, passion, and humility inspire me.

    Challenge Overcome

    During my junior year of high school, I broke my right hand two weeks before I was to compete in the state racquetball tournament. Being right-handed, this was going to be an issue. For the next two weeks I spent every evening after school teaching myself to play left-handed. I ended up finishing third in my seed at state that year.

    Approach to client services

    My experience has taught me that truly listening is the key to service. Not only listening to hear the explicit question, but also listening to learn more about what prompted the original question. We all have a desire to be understood, and I’ve found that listening is the best way to give someone else real understanding. Everyone at Hill has this same approach. We really care, which is what makes genuine listening possible.

    COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

    I am a member of the Saint Louis University High School Alumni Board. It’s a great way for me to give back to a school that gave me so much — and to also stay connected with my classmates and peers. I am also involved with the Young Friends group at The Muny.

    HOW I STAY BUSY

    I stay busy by staying active, both physically and mentally. I love being outdoors, and try to spend any "free" time I have with my kids. I try to do some sort of physical exercise at least 4 days/week, and stay sharp mentally by reading and listening to thought leaders, both at the forefront of our industry and others.

    ENGAGEMENT STORY

    Molly was a kindergarten teacher after graduating college. One Friday afternoon, I surprised her and her class by having Fredbird — the popular St. Louis Cardinals mascot — drop into her classroom unannounced. Then I strolled in and proposed in front of the class.

    SPORTING LIFE

    Sports have always been a big part of my life. Growing up, it was soccer, baseball, and basketball—and later lacrosse and racquetball. I was part of a state championship for my high school soccer team and then played college soccer at Trinity. To this day, I continue to play multiple sports. The team approach of athletics is something I feel strongly at Hill as well. It is certainly something that drew me to the firm.

    EARLY MONEY MANAGEMENT

    In college, I was one of a select group of students chosen to manage $1 million of the university’s endowment. This taught me an early lesson about the difference between managing your own money and someone else’s.

    KEY INGREDIENT IN CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS

    Trust. Our clients trust that we are working as their advocate. We work hard to first gain that trust—and maintain it. One way we do that is through being reliable. Our clients know that if we tell them we are going to take care of something, then they can take it off of their "to-do" list.

    MY FAVORITE QUOTES

    “Nice guys finish first.” – Unknown

    If you continue to do the right things, people will notice and you will ultimately end up more successful than if you tried to take a shortcut or cheat your way to victory.

    “A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life.” – Frank Abagnale

    Having a lot of money or a lot of power doesn’t make you a real man. Being a loving husband and always there for your children is what makes you a real man.

  • Henry Bragg

    Henry Bragg

    Partner

    Henry leads Hill Investment Group’s client service and development efforts in Texas. Based in Houston, Henry’s primary focus is extending the reach of the firm's high-touch service.

    Henry graduated with an MBA from Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, a Master’s in Accounting from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and a Bachelor’s in Finance with Honors from Arizona State University. Henry also has his CPA and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation.

    Henry began his career at Ernst & Young, working in audit, fraud & forensic consulting, and business process mapping. Prior to joining Hill, Henry was a partner and Director of Planning at a successful wealth management firm in Houston.

    Leveraging his experiences and entrepreneurial spirit, Henry has pioneered and perfected wealth visualization techniques to help wealthy individuals see opportunity and make better financial decisions in context of their current situation.

    Family Matters

    My wife Laurence and I met in 1999 and married nine months later. While it seemed crazy at the time, looking back, it was the best decision I ever made. We have three children- Kathryn, Julia, and Henry, Jr. Our dog’s name is Libby. She’s a feisty Tibetan Terrier.

    Best Presentation He’s Heard in Person

    Caroline Gaynor from Dimensional Fund Advisors on leading blind triathletes.

    Most Likely to Spend a Spare Hour

    Fixing something or playing with my kids.

    Greatest Accomplishment

    Swimming the Pensacola Bay (in 74 minutes), building a treasure box for my son (thanks to Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids), passing the CPA and CFP exams.

    Most Memorable Trip

    Israel, March 2013 with my wife and children.

    Ideal Weekend

    Spending the weekend at our family’s “ranch” outside Round Top, Texas. The best part of the day is just before sundown with the sun setting over a “Frog Lake” (a small pond). The ideal day would include time alone pruning trees along the creek line, fun and games with the kids in the tree house, while the dog races around.

    Why Hill Investment Group Makes Sense for Him

    Being part of a team that not just strives for excellence, but delivers it.

    What He Finds Underrated

    Getting outside.

    Overrated

    Active management.

    How He Stays Sharp

    The wealth visualization work that I do helps me to see new things (assets, planning techniques, family dynamics), which makes me a better advisor.

    Interesting Fact

    I grew up on a grain farm outside of Memphis, Tennessee. The farm has been in my family since 1853.

    Favorite Quote

    Don’t ask what the world needs, but ask what makes you come alive, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman.

  • Katie Ackerman

    Katie Ackerman

    Executive Assistant

    In Katie's role as Executive Assistant, she supports client services and firm operations. You're sure to speak with her when scheduling meetings and interacting with our client service team. She works to leverage our time—ensuring that we're as responsive and attentive as ever.

    Like our two founders, Matt Hall and Rick Hill, Katie formerly worked at Buckingham Asset Management. She was a member of the institutional services team as it grew from a few hundred million in client assets to approximately $800M. In her free time, she is involved with several local nonprofits including Gateway to Hope, The St. Louis Fashion Fund, and the Crisis Nursery. Katie holds an MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University and a bachelor's degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Family Matters

    My husband, Doug, and I got married October 2015 at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. In January 2017 we welcomed our first child together, Sally. She is the center of our whole world: we cannot remember what life was like before she arrived. In our free time, we love to travel, spend time as a family and work around the house.

    We are also incredibly close with our extended family. My mom and dad are two of my best friends, and phenomenal grandparents to baby Sally. My brothers Tim and Colin have officially claimed Doug as their mentor and hunting buddy while being fabulous uncles to Sally.

    Katie's Wedding

    Community Involvement

    Being involved with nonprofits is one of my favorite things. I have been very blessed and want to give back as much as I can. I serve on the board of Gateway to Hope: A Breast Cancer Lifeline and am very involved with their fundraising events. I also serve on the board of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund. When I have free time I fundraise or volunteer at the St. Louis Crisis Nursery.

    Most memorable trip

    While it's hard to pick, Italy is my favorite place to visit, more specifically, Rome — the eternal city! Each trip has been incredibly special. In 2012, I was privileged to meet Pope Benedict with my dad through the Papal Foundation. In 2013, I went on a spur-of-the-moment trip with a friend for the Conclave and witnessed Pope Francis' election and installation mass, but, the most memorable trip I've ever been on was in October 2015 when my husband, Doug, and I were married in Saint Peter's Basilica. We will never forget that trip — and were lucky enough to go back a few months later for an audience with Pope Francis.

    Katie and Doug Have An Audience with Pope Francis

    Top of mind during calls with clients

    I want to make them feel like they are calling a close friend, and let them know they are my top priority at that moment.

    Favorite workout routine

    Yoga! Especially Ashtanga. I also enjoy playing tennis and walking when the weather is nice.

    Katie Doing Yoga

    Top five movies

    This answer is always changing, but, right now: The Women, To Catch a Thief, Thomas Crown Affair (the remake), The Money Pit, and Blue Jasmine

    Favorite App

    Instagram. It's kind of an addiction.

    Ideal weekend

    Relaxing with my family or working around the house

    Most satisfying part of life at HIG

    Hands down, the people on our team! Also, the attention to detail in all aspects of our company. I never thought I would find an investment firm so thoughtful about the design and quality of all our materials.

    Most likely to spend a spare hour

    Giggling with Sally, reading, needlepointing, or letting my OCD run wild by organizing!

    Katie holding her daughter Sally.

    Inspired by

    My parents, Ralph Lauren, and Walt Disney.

    Favorite quotes

    “Honesty is a very expensive gift, don't expect it from cheap people.” — Warren Buffett

    “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” — Jim Elliot

    What's the deal with the pink hair

    Ten years ago, the hair salon I was going to participated in a program called "Pink Hair for Hope." During October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) they would attach pink hair extensions and donate the proceeds to various charities. About six years ago I decided that I wanted the pink to stay in year round, so my stylist agreed to continue making a donation and started dyeing a section permanently with hot pink! It doesn't hurt that pink is also my favorite color.

  • Nell Schiffer

    Nell Schiffer

    Chief Operating Officer

    Nell runs the business. She leads operational activities for Hill Investment Group, focusing on planning, human capital management, compliance, and investment policy. Nell is based out of our office in her hometown of Houston, Texas.

    Nell graduated from the University of Texas in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering and grew up attending St. John’s School.

    Nell began her career working for Occidental Petroleum in Long Beach, California as a production engineer. Prior to working at Hill, Nell worked at a successful oil and gas private equity firm in Houston. Her work primarily focused on determining projects for investment.

    With her experience in operations and finance, and her passion for our work counselling clients, Nell is an integral part of our team and our future success.

    Most Satisfying Part of Life at HIG

    I have found my tribe: relentless improvers, lifelong learners, caring experts, and coffee people. Check out this blog post from Katie Ackerman about the radical podcast that connected me to Hill Investment Group.

    Family Matters

    My husband Walter and I created our new family at our wedding on November 25, 2017 with all of our friends and family (including HIG!) cheering us on.

    Nell and her husband, Walter
    Congratulations to the newlyweds, Nell & Walter. (Photo credit: Leah Wilson Photography)

    From the moment my sister Emily played “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” on the guitar for me when I was 6, and she 20, I knew her to be the coolest person on the planet. She and her Husband Alex are both physicians and live with my nephews in Portland, OR.

    My parents ostensibly live in Houston, but actually live on I–10 between Houston and our family ranch near Millet, TX.

    Nell and her family

    Travel

    Our family hobby is travel. Whether my parents and I are going to visit my sister in Portland, or using a couple days off as an excuse to go to Istanbul, we are all over the map.

    One of our favorite trips was a hiking trip to Iceland in 2016. We traveled with both sets of Walters and my parents, and with Walter’s brother Parker (sadly my sister Emily couldn’t make it because she was busy saving lives). With the volcanoes, steam vents, and copious waterfalls, Iceland was like visiting a different planet. It was so special for all of us to explore that strange country together.

    Nell and Walter standing on the coast in iceland

    Early Money Management

    I was hooked from the time I was 14 and my dad insisted I read Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan. Personal finance has been a hobby (read: mild obsession) ever since.

    Most Likely To Spend A Spare Hour

    Journaling. My journal is a daily touchstone I use to tame my mind and organize my thoughts. My days don’t feel right without it.

    I recently took a 5–day silent retreat to Marfa, TX to journal and reflect. As all sane people would do, I drove nearly to Mexico to achieve the desired atmosphere for efficacious reflection in silence (note: no sane person would do this). Marfa is known for its art and other sundry oddities. One of the most famous is Prada Marfa, a permanent art installation in truly the middle of nowhere. I took a photo of my reflection, and the reflection of the desert, in the window of Prada Marfa to commemorate my time there.

    Nell's reflection in a the window of of Prada Marfa as she takes a picture of herself.

    Inspired By

    My friends. I am so lucky to have “forever” friends from each of my life stages. Each one is unique, but each of them is also authentic, honest, and fiercely loving. They are the compasses that help me find my true North.

    First Job

    Counselor at one of my favorite places in the world, Camp Mystic for Girls in Hunt, TX.

    Ideal Weekend

    In no particular order:
    Nightcap: Laphroig ® 15 Year
    Dessert: Melted ice cream
    Dinner: with friends and family
    Happy hour: Beer, preferably Yellow Rose IPA
    Daytime: read, run, write, repeat
    Upon waking: copious volumes of coffee

    Engagement Story

    My fiancé Walter and I met in pre–school, but paid hardly a moment of attention to each other until three years ago. We have been inseparable since.

    Walter took me to the tiny restaurant where we had our first date to exchange Christmas presents. We always laugh because we were both too nervous on our first date to really taste the food, so this would be our time to finally eat. We played rock, paper, scissors to determine when I could open my gift. I won, opened my “gift” (aka my ring) before dinner and he proposed! We headed back to my parent’s house where our family and friends were waiting, and completely lost track of dinner. We still need to go back and have a real meal at that restaurant. Maybe for our first anniversary...

    Nell and Walter in a mountainous setting

    What She Finds Underrated

    Sitting in stillness.

    Overrated

    Financial media.

    My Favorite Quotes

    “Weniger aber besser.”
    English translation: Less but better.
    — Dieter Rams, Braun Industrial Designer

    “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
    — Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

    “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
    — J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
    — Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”
    — Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    Favorite Books

    Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

    A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

    The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

    Favorite Podcasts

    The Tim Ferriss Show

    How I Built This

    Death, Sex, and Money

    Radical Personal Finance

  • Jared Machen

    Jared Machen

    Client Service Associate

    Jared is an essential part of our client service team. He is focused on implementing daily tasks core to our offering. Jared's work isn't always glamorous, nor is it always front stage, and yet it is absolutely necessary for upholding the Hill Investment Group standards of business and ensuring the Director of Client Service is freed up to spend his time serving clients.

    Jared graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Before arriving at Hill, he worked for an investment advisory firm that focused on financial planning for executives and picking individual stocks. Jared began the philosophical transformation to an evidence-based approach when A) everything he began reading in his free time pointed him in that direction and B) he realized the time required to employ an active strategy precludes the ability to genuinely serve clients.

    With his experience in financial planning and investing, Jared understands the importance of establishing enduring relationships and implementing a long-term investment strategy to best position clients to succeed over the long term.

    MOST SATISFYING PART OF LIFE AT HIG:

    We see things differently. Instead of viewing money as something intrinsically valuable, Hill Investment Group realizes that the primary value of money is as a tool to help someone define and achieve a life of meaning.

    FAMILY MATTERS:

    My family is the kind of family that spends an American holiday outside of America. We forsake tradition for adventure, which I guess ironically makes adventure our tradition. (See the below picture of my family celebrating Thanksgiving in Guatemala... and yes, that is an active volcano behind us)

    Jared Machen

    I'm the oldest of three siblings. My sister is the coolest of the three, working for a marketing agency in Nashville. My youngest brother is taller and bigger than me, despite my being five years his senior. My parents live in Memphis, but spend a lot of time traveling to visit their kids, to our family farm in Honduras, or to fundraisers around the country for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    My wife and I were born on the same day (April 26th) a year apart from one another on separate sides of the country — she was born in Boston and I was born in California. Somehow, we met in the middle for college at the University of Arkansas. The first time I met Erin, she was dressed up for a party, but the time when I fell in love with her was when she was covered in sweat and dirt in the middle of a Honduran rainforest. She knows how to let her guard down and jump into crazy adventures with me. We were married in May 2017 in downtown Saint Louis, not knowing we'd relocate to the city where we tied the knot in later that year.

    Jared Machen

    INSPIRED BY:

    My parents. Their favorite hobby is serving others. Whether it is leading mission trips, taking us to spend a Christmas in New Orleans doing Hurricane Katrina relief, or their volunteer work with the marginalized of inner-city Memphis, serving others is part of their DNA. They didn't have to talk about the importance of loving others as yourself, they lived it.

    IDEAL WEEKEND:

    Having lived in 5 different states, I've met a lot of great people along the way. My favorite weekends are those spent on the road visiting and reconnecting with friends and loved ones. I love taking short trips to nurture the valuable relationships I have made across the different stages of my life.

    TRAVEL:

    When I go to a new place, I get outside of my comfort zone. And when I get outside of my comfort zone and get to see life outside of my own, I get a better sense of who I am. Traveling is important because it teaches me more of who I am.

    One of my most memorable traveling experiences is when my wife and I backpacked through the Pacific Northwest. We didn't have much of a plan. We ended up at a concert in central Washington, not knowing where we'd go next or how we'd get there. Somehow, we befriended some Canadians and ended up hitching a ride with them to Vancouver. We still laugh looking back at how far relentless optimism could take us.

    Jared Machen

    MOST LIKELY TO SPEND A SPARE HOUR:

    Making a pour-over coffee while listening to one of my favorite vinyl records.

    UNDERRATED:

    Spending time with people who are different from you.

    OVERRATED:

    Social Media

    FAVORITE QUOTES:

    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.”
    — CS Lewis

  • PJ McDaniel

    PJ McDaniel

    Director

    PJ oversees Hillfolio, Hill Investment Group's powerful new digital advice platform. In this role, PJ is helping realize our long-held dream of bringing evidence-based investing to clients who otherwise wouldn't have access to the institutional portfolios and exceptional service that are the hallmarks of the Hill Investment Group (HIG) experience.

    Although new to the team, PJ's connection with the firm began 6 years ago, when he and Matt Hall both began serving on the board of the St. Louis Club. Besides bonding over their status as the "young guys" on the board, the two also shared careers in the financial services industry. For the past 13 years, PJ worked for investment firms that provided alternative investment products—a job that required him to call on thousands of financial advisors around that country. Those visits showed PJ how widely the quality of the client's experience varied depending on the advisor's approach: While many advisors were committed to doing what's right for their clients, others remained stuck in the traditional Wall Street culture that prioritized company profits over people.

    Increasingly bothered by this discrepancy—and looking for a way to make a positive impact on client's lives PJ approached Matt for advice on a career change. Call it fate or just good timing, but their conversation coincided with Hill Investment Group beginning serious work on the Hillfolio platform. The two realized they had a unique opportunity to work together on achieving a shared dream.

    PJ's skills in launching and growing new businesses, combined with his passion for evidence-based investing and client service, make him the ideal champion for our mission to put logic, data and evidence to work for everyone.

    Family Matters:

    My wife and I have been married since 2008, and we've grown our McDaniel tribe to a party of five, raising three boys Jack (6), Patrick (4) and Henry (2). Those three wild boys are helping us find the kid (or superhero- see photo) in ourselves and keep our lives interesting. My wife is an accomplished evidenced-based registered dietitian, cookbook author, corporate wellness guru, and media spokesperson who locals may have seen on our St.Louis Fox 2 news station. Her best work, however, is being a mother to our boys.

    PJ McDaniel

    What attracted me to Hill Investment Group?

    My initial attraction to Hill Investment Group was the people, and their genuine dedication to our clients. Now that I'm active in my role, I'm seeing up close how deliberate our team is in doing the right thing for the individuals we represent. I spent the past 13 years of my career as a consultant to financial advisors, and I've seen the good and bad of the financial services industry. Too few advisors are truly committed to their fiduciary responsibilities. This gap is part of why I am so excited to play a direct role in moving more people into a better solution.

    Most Interesting College Job:

    During the summers in Denver, where I went to college, I worked as a caddy at an exclusive country club in Aspen. Not only was this a dream job for a golf lover, it got even sweeter when I had the chance to caddy for Tiger Woods, President Clinton (while in office), various actors/musicians and countless other characters.

    PJ McDaniel

    No matter who you are, golf will level the playing field. Whether you watch a billionaire tycoon or the leader of the free world duff a chip, it reminds you that we're all human, but the real eye opener is to see how people handle or recovery from those mistakes.

    My Evidence-Based "Ah Ha" Moment:

    The light bulb came on while reading the second to last chapter titled "Stacking the Odds" in Matt's book, Odds On. I related with many of the topics in his book, but it wasn't until Matt laid out the cold, hard facts dating back to 1926 about the benefits of evidence-based investing versus old-school active, marketing-timing investing.

    Overrated:

    Business travel. I'd give up all of my Southwest and Marriott points as well as the expensed steak dinners, to get the time back I missed away from my family.

    PJ McDaniel

    Underrated:

    Riding my bike to work. The fresh air and light exercise gets my head ready for the day. It also reminds me how lucky I am to be able to ride to work.

    Most Interesting Fact:

    I've traveled around the world, twice. My first trip was an experience called "Semester at Sea" where I, along with 700 lucky college students, traveled from Vancouver to Florida. We visited 10 countries in 100 days on this converted cruise liner. The experience was eye-opening in many ways, ignited my love for travel, and also reminded me how blessed we are to live in the United States. My second trip around the world was independent cathartic adventure, borne out of burnout. Feeling dissatisfied after my time in a cut-throat brokerage firm in San Francisco, I quit my job, sold all material possessions and left the country. My solo backpacking trip started in South America, where I was mugged at knifepoint on my first full day of my journey. Despite that rough start, I continued traveling through South America and on to Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. I could write a book soley on the crazy stories from these travels, but the most valuable takeaway was the perseverance, independence and flexibility I cultivated during those six months. I'm planning my next global adventure with my wife for when we're both retired.

    Favorite Book:

    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A classic story about the incredible journey of life.

    Challenge Overcome:

    Overcoming a stutter. My late father had a stutter, I have a stutter, and my son has a stutter. As a kid, I was petrified to answer questions, read aloud or participate in group speaking activities. Public speaking is the number one fear for many people, I can tell you that it is even more crippling for someone with a stutter or speech difficulty. Whether it was determination or grit, I made the choice to face these fears by accepting roles in life which required me to speak publicly. While I will never be 100% fluent (which, really, no one is), I continue to welcome the chance to communicate and face the reality that we all have challenges—it's what you do with them that determines your future.

    Favorite Movie:

    The King's Speech which is based upon a true story of overcoming adversity.

    Favorite Quote:

    “You are no better than anyone else, but there is nobody else any better than you.”
    — Joseph H. Kuebel, Sr.

    Greatest Athletic Accomplishments:

    I ran the Big Sur Marathon with my wife. Training with a sports dietitian made me understand the importance of staying disciplined to both a training and fuel plan that led to a successful race. I also swam the Escape from Alcatraz race—twice. After getting dumped off in frigid, rough waters near the prison—you truly feel like an escapee ready to swim for your life. I wore a thick wetsuit and thermal swim cap, but a few crazy folks only had a speedo. Yikes!

    PJ McDaniel