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Andrew Hallam was one of the first personal finance bloggers who reached out to say “hi” to me when I first started blogging.  His writing is amazing (he writes for the Globe and Mail, has articles in Money Sense) and his life is amazing (became a millionaire in his thirties on a teacher’s salary, teaches at an international school in Singapore and gets to see the world, he runs marathons, seems ridiculously fit, and also battled bone cancer).  I was very very excited (this is an understatement) to hear that he wrote a book called “The Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth you should have Learned in School.” 

As if the above examples aren’t enough, he’s also really really really nice and seems like a very inspirational teacher.

Honestly, I would love to read an autobiography of Andrew’s life (hear that Andrew? That could be your next bestseller!) because it is so fascinating and his outlook on life is so strong and positive.

I was even more excited to read it.  Andrew has a fantastic way with words, he is a natural writer.  He has a great way with analogies and helps make the often boring concepts of investing and P/E ratios crystal clear.

I was interested to hear what he has to say, especially since I read recently that he sold all his common stocks and stuck to index investing, which is often contrary to what we hear and see in the financial media world.  He tells it like it is, and shares some of his experiences of actively managed mutual funds (which I agree with).

He also talks about spending like you want to GROW rich instead of spending like you ARE rich.  This is something that is not stressed enough in this day and age.  Everyone wants instant gratification and we will be paying for this dearly down the road.

My favourite parts of this book is how Andrew gives you the “how to’s” for index investing and evaluating whether a common stock may be a good purchase (if you want to fulfill that adventurous gambling driven side of you, of course).  Many personal finance books do not do this, which is their pitfall, and I was really happy to see that Andrew even writes about the websites you want to go to if you were to invest the way he suggests.

He even teaches you how to start a TD eseries (for the Canadians who want to index invest), which is one of my personal favourite investing tools.  I am seriously tempted to start a TD eseries for my TFSA instead of worrying about picking dividend stocks.  Or I could do both 😉

I also learned that Vanguard is actually a not for profit company, which I did not know beforehand.  I learned a lot from reading Andrew’s book and it was really good.  I’m sad to be giving it away, but I think that any new (or even seasoned investor who needs a new perspective) investor would benefit from reading this book.

I would rate this book VERY highly in practicality and usefulness.  I think it would be ranked as one of my top 5 investing books I have read so far (that says a lot because I have read a ton of personal finance books).  He is so honest, doesn’t BS (to appease the mutual fund advisors, or the advertisers for magazines- you’ll find out why when you read his book), and he shares some dirty little secrets of the investing/ financial world that I didn’t know about.

Millionaire Teacher book Giveway!

Because I love you guys, I’m giving away this book to one lucky reader.  Trust me, you will love this book- no wonder it was sold out on Amazon Canada and Amazon USA for weeks.  It’s a $19.95 value.  If you don’t win, I highly recommend you buy his book, the $20 goes a long way in financial literacy for years to come.  Your investments will thank you later. 😉

I will draw the winner on December 15 and announce the winner on December 16, 2011 (Friday).

Good luck!

Article comments

Sean says:

Hi young,

I was wondering what your top 5 books are, that you were referring to in the article.


Cool blog btw

young says:

@Sean- Thanks Sean. Hmm top 5 books. Wealthy Barber (first one), Intelligent Investor (good if you want to get into stocks), Millionaire Teacher, Millionaire Next Door (this one is really good), and the Automatic Millionaire.

Those are my top 5! 🙂

Lina D. says:

I don’t remember anything being taught in our High School about personal finance. Everything I learned about money I learned outside of school.

Thanks so much for the wonderful review Young. I’m really pleased that a person with so much spunk (such as yourself) enjoyed the book!

young says:

@Andrew Hallam- You’re welcome! Thanks for writing it! Hey, you’re pretty spunky yourself, so of course I enjoyed it 😉

Karen says:

I wish high school math and economics classes incorporated some basic finance and investing calculations. When I was 14 yrs old, I read the Wealthy Barber, because I heard it was a must read in personal finance and I was extremely interested in how to make money. I understood the basic idea of pay yourself first, but lacked the know how. Just because someone is young, doesn’t mean they can’t be taught about money.
Big fan of your blog!

young says:

@Karen- Excellent!! It’s great to hear that you got such an early start. I wish I read the Wealthy Barber in high school- I think i would have made much better choices as a young adult if I had read that book.

Be'en says:

Didn’t learn anything at all about personal financing in school!

young says:

@Be’en- Sounds like there’s a common theme here 😉

Lillian says:

I taught myself how to save money from being a broke college student. You appreciate what you have more, when it takes such hard work to earn things ($$ schooling fees, food, rent, etc)

young says:

@Lillian- That’s true! Though I think there are many broke college students who STILL don’t understand the concept of saving money, IMO.

Amy says:

The only thing I remember learning in high school was about compound interest. I was actually using the formula a few months back when I was looking at predicting income earned based on different interest rates for funds I was looking at.

young says:

@Amy- Great! Now that I recall, I vaguely remember learning about compound interest in my financial accounting class. Though I don’t remember them applying it in a way that interested me.

I already have the book, but tweeted anyways. 🙂

I really enjoy Andrew’s philosophy and outlook on life as well, and the book is great!

Elliot says:

My father (being an accountant) taught me about the importance of saving and investing early when I was young. Any gift money I accumulated was put into bonds and the rates back then were WAY better than they are now.

Theresa B says:

We did not learn ANYTHING is high school about money

I agree with Steve. These kinds of skills are fundamental to one’s success in life and should be taught early on. This is what I am going to do with my kids.

Liz says:

I didn’t start learning about money until University when I had to take business finance and accounting courses. Even then, I didn’t really pay attention til I w graduated and done school.

young says:

@Liz- Yeah, I guess it boils down to usability of the information you learn and applicability. At the time, we probably did not realize the importance and relevance of business finance and accounting until one is done school.

amy says:

In Highschool we had to set up a budget .

young says:

@amy- And did you follow it? 🙂

Emily says:

How to build wealth is just one of several key life skills that is dreadfully lacking in school curriculum.

Andi says:

Nothing! Not one thing. I took all honors classes, so I didn’t have the opportunity to take art classes or “practical” skills classes.

young says:

@Andi- It’d be nice to have practical skills classes eh? I think they should incorporate that into high school. I guess home economics counts, but they should include some personal finance in home economics.

Flash says:

I learned absolutely nothing about money from school. In fact, it took me another 2 years after graduating from Uni before I realized the importance of personal finance. PF Bloggers like yourself have really helped me to live a frugal lifestyle and focus on saving.

young says:

@Flash- Awe! That’s how I learned about personal finance too- from the internet mainly. And books. I didn’t realize the importance until I started making money after graduating either.

Karl says:

I didnt learn anything from a class in high school, but I did learn the value of money from several part-time jobs

Simple Rich Living says:

I learned to spend money (from part time job). (I was never a good saver.)

Brandon says:

Far less than I should have.

young says:

@Brandon- I didn’t learn about personal finance in high school either.

Aloysa says:

I graduated High School in the Soviet Union. No one EVER taught as anything about finance. Students never discussed any money matters with their friends or families. We did not have any education re: finances. Sad, huh?

young says:

@Aloysa- I don’t think that’s sad at all, Aloysa. It’s the same growing up here in Canada too 🙂

Cassie says:

Technically it was still high school – I graduated a year early and spend my grade 12 year as an exchange student abroad – but I discovered the importance of saving for retirement. I went through every article I could find on the subject on the MSN money site, because I was looking for something in English to read and the subject of finance peaked my interest. I opened an RRSP account at 18. While I haven’t been funding it adequately every year since then, it is slowly growing.

young says:

@Cassie- That sounds like an amazing experience! I remember opening up my RRSP account when I was 20 or so, though I didn’t fund it regularly immediately. I’m curious 🙂 how did spending a year abroad teach you about saving for retirement? Was it how you learned to budget being abroad, or was there a specific course in your grade 12 year?

I learn that I could sell my free lunch tickets for cash money! I didn’t learn much about money in class.

young says:

@retirebyforty- LOL. Did you get a lot of cash money for your lunch tickets? What did you eat for lunch then?

Joel ME says:

In highschool I learned about the formula for compounding interest (which is actually a formula, and not magic)

young says:

@Joel ME- Ooh you’re cheeky! Hey, a girl’s gotta have a catchy title for a post ya know.

Schultzter says:

What did I learn in high school about money? Not a hell of a lot! There was no personal finance course; and our Home Economics course was more about food fights and sewing people’s pant cuffs together than anything else.

But I have to ask, if everyone were to follow this advice and become a millionaire then would that make millionaires the new middle-class and we’d be right back where we are now?

young says:

@Schultzter- lol, I had a lot of food fights and lacklustre baking in home economics too. Well, I highly doubt everyone would follow his advice- when you read the book, he biked everywhere to save money and was very debt averse. Andrew seems to be very disciplined, and I think most people enjoy instant gratification a little too much.

This is a skill that should be learned early on in life. Responsibility and work ethic are skills that should come first and then how to save and then how to invest.

This book seems to have great insight and has been recommended by many personal finance bloggers.

young says:

@Steve Zussino- Very true, but I think having some basic education about what to expect and what to aim for can help. I agree with you about what must come first before learning how to save and invest. 🙂

john says:

learned NOTHIGN in high school about finances…

young says:

@john- me too! You are not alone!