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Book Review: Millionaire Teacher

{ 28 comments }

millionaire teacher book review

In his book, Millionaire Teacher, Andrew Hallam teaches us the nine rules of wealth you should have learned in school. It’s a shame that our public school system does not have a curriculum on personal finance. It is such a vital and fundamental subject that is much more relevant to everyone than history or advanced mathematics. A huge percentage of our population is in financial trouble which could have been avoided had people taken a personal finance course.

I really like the Millionaire Teacher. The book is engaging and easy to read. It is perfect for someone who is starting to accumulate wealth or even people who are well on their way. Andrew started off with his own compelling story of how he became a millionaire on a teacher salary. It is not impossible. Anyone can do this; it just takes a lot of time. He didn’t use any tricky get-rich-quick gimmicks. His investment plan is simply stock and bond index investing. You can spend 10 minutes per year on your investment and became a millionaire too. Are you a millionaire? If you aren’t, you should read Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School.

Here are some key takeaways that resonated with me as a long term investor.

  • Saving. Avoid paying for depreciation and let others do it for you. You shouldn’t pay for a new car when you can buy a used car for such a big discount. Andrew likes to buy a used car, drive it for a year and then sell it at the same price. I did this with some baby items and it worked out well for the buyers and sellers.  Now I just need to put this into practice with other things.
  • Investing. It’s not market timing that matters; it’s time in the market. I know I can’t time the stock market so I tend to avoid the buying and selling frenzies. This is the easy way to invest and it historically beats most active managed mutual funds in the long run.
  • Bonds. Hallam shows the importance of having bonds in your portfolio. I’m guilty of having too little allocated toward bonds. I’m almost 40, but my bond holdings are only around 10%. I have been meaning to fix this, but the book lit a fire under my butt, so to speak. This will be one of my high priority to-dos for 2012.
  • Financial advisors. Most brokers and financial advisors are just glorified salespeople. I agree with this. My first financial advisor steered us toward mutual funds that he makes commissions on. After I extricated myself from those piles of dung, I never talked to another financial adviser. I’m sure there are some financial advisers who have their clients’ best interest in mind, but unfortunately they are a minority.

All in all, Millionaire Teacher is a great book for anyone who aspires to be a millionaire. I highly recommend it.

ps. This book is one of the prizes for next month Giveaway. Don’t forget to check back and enter for a chance to win.

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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Value Indexer April 16, 2012, 8:11 am

    This is a great book with lots of entertaining stories to go along with the solid advice!

    Bond allocations are always hard to balance between a need for security and a need to have your income last a long time. If you’re retiring soon you might want to have a higher bond allocation so you can be sure you aren’t withdrawing from a portfolio that has just had a big loss, but if you’re retiring young you probably need a high stock allocation to make the portfolio last.

    A good way to look at it is figuring out your backup plan for whatever you choose. If your bond allocation is too low you might need extra income in a few years. If it’s too high you might need to go back to work later in life. It’s probably easier to do earlier 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 16, 2012, 1:15 pm

      I like the book quite a bit. It’s not a chore to read. 🙂
      I will quit my job soon, but I’m not touching my retirement funds until I’m in my 60s.
      Shifting to more bonds is still a good idea and I will do that gradually.

  • Jeff @ Digital Nomad Journey April 16, 2012, 8:47 am

    This is so freaking important. It’s against the “system” to teach this type of really useful financial information in schools. The last message they want to preach is “spend less, want less”.

    I wrote about this very thing recently:
    http://www.digitalnomadjourney.com/will-our-educational-system-eat-itself-or-evolve/

    • retirebyforty April 16, 2012, 1:16 pm

      That’s too bad. It’s up to the parents to teach these financial lessons. Unfortunately many parents are deep in debt. 🙁

  • Frugal Portland April 16, 2012, 10:00 am

    I want this book — I want my sister (who IS a teacher) to have it. Thanks for the review!

    • retirebyforty April 16, 2012, 1:17 pm

      It’s a very good read. You should see if there is a copy in the library or maybe get it as a gift for her.

  • SavvyFinancialLatina April 16, 2012, 10:30 am

    I need to read this book! Thanks for the review!

    • retirebyforty April 16, 2012, 1:17 pm

      It’s a good book. You’ll enjoy it.

  • Aloysa April 16, 2012, 10:58 am

    I was eyeing this book for a while now. Sounds like a good read. All I need is time to read. 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 16, 2012, 1:17 pm

      I hear you. I am quite behind in my book reviews. 🙂

  • Julie @ Freedom 48 April 16, 2012, 6:43 pm

    Sounds like a good read – I’ll have to check it out.
    It’s such a shame that personal finance isn’t taught in school, or at lease not until later on. I remember taking a finance class in grade 11 – but by then, a lot of our financial habits and values are already set. I remember counting beans in elementary school to learn math… why oh why can’t they extend that same lesson to include dollars and cents (and income and expenses).
    I can only hope that things change in the future…

    • retirebyforty April 17, 2012, 9:50 am

      It is such an essential subject, I don’t know why there are no curriculum. I guess many teachers have the same problem too.

  • Leigh April 16, 2012, 8:50 pm

    At my high school, the non-academic math was much more practical oriented. They learned about compound interest, car loans, etc. But us in the advanced math? We learned about algebra, graphs, and calculus. I think the non-academic one would have been far more useful, but the academic and advanced ones would actually get you into university.

    • retirebyforty April 17, 2012, 9:53 am

      That’s great. We didn’t have anything like that when I went to school. They should make those classes a requirement before advance math.

  • jefferson April 16, 2012, 9:52 pm

    This one does look interesting.. I’ve been looking for a new finance book to read, and this one might be a winner. I couldn’t agree more that some sort of finance education should be tought in schools.

  • Little House April 17, 2012, 7:00 am

    Being a teacher myself, I need to check this book out! I’ll check back soon for your giveaway!

  • MoneyCone April 17, 2012, 9:18 am

    Excellent review Joe! I had a chance to read the book and I’ll say this is definitely worth reading.

  • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving April 17, 2012, 10:09 am

    Thanks for the review, Joe. This book sounds really good, I’ll have to add it to my reading list. 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 18, 2012, 10:18 am

      Check back in a few weeks and enter our giveaway. 🙂

  • The Happy Homeowner April 17, 2012, 11:29 am

    I’m in the middle of reading this now; GREAT book!!!!

    • retirebyforty April 18, 2012, 10:18 am

      I like it a lot too.

  • Cherleen @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance April 17, 2012, 5:46 pm

    A friend gave me a copy of the book and I love it. The stories are inspiring and the advise are realistic. Yes, Financial Management 101 should be taught as early as high school.

    • retirebyforty April 18, 2012, 10:18 am

      His core strategy is so easy to follow and anyone can do it.

  • Robert @ My Multiple Incomes April 17, 2012, 8:16 pm

    Loved the book and stoked he did an interview for me!

    • retirebyforty April 18, 2012, 10:19 am

      I read your interview. Nice job!

  • Invest It Wisely April 20, 2012, 6:43 am

    I read this one a while ago and loved the book. Andrew’s a great teacher!

  • Peter May 11, 2012, 5:03 am

    I agree a great book. My favorite Rule was #1, Spend Like You Want to Grow Rich. In particular, it was great to read about the spending habit of real millionaires.

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