I was recently approached to do a book review. It’s not a rare occurrence and I’ve had my fill of investing books over the years. When the Millionaire Teacher finally showed up in the mail, I honestly wasn’t overly excited about reading it. Despite my misgivings, I gave it a shot and quickly found it was not your typical investment book.
The Millionaire Teacher is an investing autobiography of sorts by the author Andrew Hallam. He is a successful high school English teacher, investor and writer. Did I mention he’s a self-made millionaire on a teacher’s salary?
Hallam breaks down his financial successes and failures into nine simple rules that everyone can use to build wealth. He attacks each rule from an educational perspective, with humor, research, and pure simplicity.
If your portfolio could beat 95% of professional money managers each year, would you take it? What about protecting your money when the market heads down? Or taking advantage of great market buying opportunities to grow your wealth? Sounds like a bad infomercial, but it’s not. It’s easy to start and most investors never take advantage of it.
Throughout the book, Hallam covers all of these topics, based on his own experiences and backs it up with research. He starts with rule #1, the basis of any successful strategy, to live within our means. Then moves on to teach what a little cost cutting and index funds can do for any portfolio.
There are opportunities in every market to make money and preserve money. With Rule #4, Hallam covers how most investors perceive these moments and then sets us straight. The markets can get crazy sometimes. Fear and greed are close cousins and we usually overreact in the wrong way.
Rule #9, on stock picking, goes against the entire index philosophy. But lets face it, compared to indexing, stock picking is fun, unless we’re losing money. Hallam, realizes that and sets some interesting ground rules for those of us who still want to play in the stock market.
That said, I agree with 98% of what Hallam wrote. The one exception – saving money shouldn’t involve shutting off the heater.
The Millionaire Teacher is a great place for novice investors to start. You can’t go wrong following Hallam’s nine rules of wealth. It’s filled with simple financial concepts that have proven results. It should be your go to book the next time the markets get crazy or you stray from your goals. I’d recommend it as a great book to start your financial education journey.