Book Review: Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam

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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 and 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 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 part 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 E-series (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 series 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 the 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 shares some dirty little secrets of the investing/ financial world that I didn’t know about.

Young young


Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals.

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