Nell Schiffer, Chief Operating officer

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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