This is a review of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam.
I met Andrew Hallam by accident in my email’s spam folder. It’s a bad day when a notable financial writer (and a super nice guy) gets banned from my inbox along with thousands of spammers.
In Hallam’s case, I found three. THREE REAL EMAILS! That’s like a million spams to one Andrew Hallam. The odds were against him.
Now, you wouldn’t think that Hallam, a high school English teacher, would take a lot of stock in playing the odds. It’s the math teachers, after all, who spend their days calculating Calculus formulas, integrating integer ratios, studying statistics, and perhaps dabbling in a little bit of probability theory.
But Hallam isn’t your average English teacher. He’s a millionaire. And he became a member of this elusive club by being a bit of a numbers guy.
“I didn’t take exceptional risks with my money and I didn’t inherit a penny from anyone,” he writes in his book. “When I went to college, I paid the entire bill myself. How did I pay for my own schooling and amass more than a million debt-free dollars before my fortieth birthday?”
Hallam poses good questions. After reading Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School I now know the answers.
Raise your hand for a little money advice!
Money is a taboo subject, and schools haven’t done much to untabooify (new financial word) the wacky world of personal finance. Heck, many high school teachers wouldn’t know where to start! That’s why a bunch of them banded together and asked Hallam for money help. The teachers wanted to know how best to save, invest, and prosper like the millionaire English teacher.
Hallam, being a generous kind of guy, started clubs and taught his fellow teachers his money ways. Being a finalist in the National Publishing Awards for financial writing, he is known for his penny-wise prowess.
It was within these clubs Hallam learned first hand how the majority of money books fail to connect with real people — you know, human beings. Written by economists and other super-smart people, too many investing tomes use jargon and financial language that barely skims the minds of well-meaning folks.
So with the help of over 100 colleagues and friends, Andrew went on a mission to bring his money lessons and rules to the masses. Jargon-free, fun to read, and easy to follow, Millionaire Teacher is the book that could take you to the head of the class and add a few zeros to your portfolio.
Millionaire Teacher: The ‘Nine Rules’ you didn’t learn in school
You won’t find any ‘get rich quick’ schemes here. Hallam is a practical fellow who believes in hard work. He advocates a sensible savings strategy, steers clear of the financial service industry (many advisers charge hidden fees), and invests in low cost index funds to grow his modest income into unimaginable wealth. He shows you how to do it.
I won’t review every rule in Millionaire Teacher — I don’t think I could do each chapter justice. But the rules that resonate strongest with me are as follows:
Rule 1: Spend like You Want To Grow Rich
Readers of Squawkfox will love the first chapter, since Hallam outlines how to be frugal without becoming a miserable miser. Hallam has a witty sense of humor about choosing to live on less, and shows you how to live life to the fullest while not spending buckets of money.
Rule 5: Build Mountains of Money with a Responsible Portfolio
I’ve always been great at saving money. But after paying off my student debt, I had little clue how to invest. Enter chapter five, where both newbie and intermediate investors can benefit from Hallam’s down-to-earth explanations of stocks, bonds, and those newsworthy market movements.
He shows how you can build wealth over time by investing in low cost index funds and building a ‘Couch Potato Portfolio’. And yes, everyone can do this!
Rule 6: Sample a ‘Round-the-World’ Ticket to Indexing
Rule six makes this book worthy of the international audience who reads this blog. Whether you live in the U.S., Canada, Australia, or Singapore you’ll find huge value in this chapter since Hallam outlines possible funds to invest in.
Read this chapter at least five times. You’ll learn investing lessons from the American section even if you are a Canadian. If you hail from Australia, the Canuck section is eye-opening. Even the personal stories Hallam shares throughout the Singaporean indexing part are enlightening to an international readership. Really!
Why More Stuff Won’t Make You Happy
An interview with Andrew Hallam where we talk about Millionaire Teacher. 🙂
Who should read Millionaire Teacher?
Whether you’re a newbie saver or an advanced investor, this is a great investment book for all levels, ages, and incomes. I love Hallam’s accessible style — he’s fun to read AND he explains challenging financial concepts in an understandable way that’s rare in personal finance books.
Love, love love