Andrew Hallam has published his new book “Millionaire Teacher, the Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School.” If you’re not familiar with Andrew’s writing he is indeed a Millionaire teacher residing in Singapore, and is a true inspiration to not only his students, but also to other investors. He has also given investment seminars, appeared in various financial magazines, and has been nominated for national publishing awards for his writing. The book will no doubt be entertaining and informative, packed with very insightful and well researched information!
You can pre-order the Millionaire Teacher through Amazon. The book will be available August in Asia, and throughout Europe, Australia, and North America in September. An excerpt from his book is also going to appear in the Summer 2011 issue of Money Sense Magazine.
An Interview with Andrew Hallam
Being a fan of his blog and his enthusiasm to educate others about investing, I wanted to learn more about Andrew’s new book. He has already received some very high praise from other well known financial writers, such as Burton Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street. And also from William Bernstein, author of The Investor’s Manifesto and The Four Pillars of Investing.
One thing I appreciate about Andrew is whenever I have asked him a question, usually for a tentative blog post, he has always been kind enough to answer in thoughtful detail. I recently asked Andrew if he could share with readers more information on his new book.
Andrew, thanks for taking the time for a few quick questions on your new book, Millionaire Teacher. Many of us are looking forward to getting our hands on this book!
Andrew what inspired you to write this book?
The average person hasn’t been given a fair crack. They’ve gone through school, learned all kinds of facts and ideas. But they’ve been short-changed, big time. For the most part, they haven’t been given any kind of financial education and I’d like to do what I can to fill in the gaps for the average person.
I went with a friend once, to TD Bank, so we could open an account of index funds for him. The bank’s representative knew shockingly little, so I politely asked her a few questions. That’s when I found that she didn’t have financial training, other than a two week course she had taken to give her a license to sell funds. And that woman could talk financial rings around my friend because of his lack of financial education (and he’s otherwise a well-educated guy). In my view, that kind of thing has to change. A person with a two week finance course under her belt shouldn’t be able to talk circles around the average person, but they can…because we don’t adequately learn about personal finance in schools.
Andrew, you must have been working on this for a long time now. What would be the one wish you hope readers will take away from your book?
I want readers to become empowered—to realize that if they are going to hire an advisor, they should know why they’re hiring them, and understand how fees compound over time. I’d also like them to come away inspired. Everyone is going to be in a different financial situation. It would be silly for me to say, “Read my book and you can become a millionaire before your 40th birthday.” Books that make those kinds of promises are misleading because people have entirely different situations. But I feel that those who read my book and embrace its concepts will end up better off, financially, as a result of the book, regardless of their respective starting points.
Andrew I’m really looking forward to reading the book! Millionaire Teacher has already received excellent reviews from some very prominent authors, who have already perused the book. That must make you feel very proud.
Reviews for my book have been fabulous – except for the first one. One gentleman roasted me for not sticking to a single nationality. But that was the same guy who suggested that humour has no place in a personal finance book either, so I didn’t want to pay much attention to him! And he sounded pretty dull… not the sort of guy you’d want to have over for dinner.
Andrew, are you able to give readers some of the chapter titles, or a sample of what’s in the book to wet reader’s appetites?
The fourth chapter: Conquer The Enemy in the Mirror, might be one of the most useful. A 3000 word excerpt from this chapter is going to be published in MoneySense magazine’s summer 2011 issue, and I think it emphasizes some important issues.
There are many people who concern themselves over what investments to own and there’s no doubt that some investments are likely going to be far more beneficial over others– for example, low cost indexes over actively managed funds, but how a person responds to stock market fluctuations is more important than what an investor buys.
Most index fund investors, for example, don’t earn the returns of the stock market. They either give up on the approach when it “isn’t working for them” or they choose to add more money to their indexes when the markets are doing well, and less money to their indexes when the markets are doing poorly. The same rule applies to most actively managed mutual fund investors. They like buy something that has “done well lately” and they shun products that underperform.
Most people might view this as common sense – something they’d never fall victim to. But mastering this concept is far more important (and more difficult) than selecting which stocks or funds to own.
Andrew, I understand Millionaire Teacher is more than just a book on Index Investing. I understand you are covering Index Investing from an international perspective.
I’m proud of my sixth chapter, but I’m a bit nervous about how it’s going to be received. It’s called, Sample a “Round-the-World” Ticket to Indexing.
My publisher, John Wiley & Sons is an American company, although they have offices all over the world. If you think about the most influential personal finance writers, they tend to be American: Bernstein, Solin, Bogle, Malkiel, Swedroe, to name just a few. And of course, the investment service companies recommended by these great writers are American companies—like Vanguard.
I wanted to write a “how to” chapter that could span different nationalities. So I broke this chapter down into four sections, while profiling real people who found ways to build indexed accounts. I’m hoping that it gives the chapter a personal, narrative feel—while showing exactly how these investors went about building indexed accounts.
First, I chose an American doctor, named Kris Olson, who’s a fascinating character in his own right, as you’ll read from the book. Then I chose an interesting Canadian fellow named Keith Wakelin, who built an account of ETFs about six years ago. Next, I chose a Singaporean-based couple, who built an indexed account with a Singapore brokerage. Finally, I take the readers through an Australian example, with a guy named Neerav Bhatt, who is Australia’s most widely read full-time blogger.
The idea was this: No matter what country you live in, no matter what your nationality is, you can build an indexed portfolio.
Andrew thanks so much for taking the time and sharing some information with readers on your new book, the Millionaire Teacher. I wish you the best of success from it! By the way, I am expecting an autographed copy in the ninja mail box
Of course Ninja! Thank you!
An Excerpt from Millionaire Teacher
If you were considering a profession and you wanted to become wealthy, certain lines of traditionally high-paying work might tempt you. Would it be law, medicine, business, or dentistry? Few, if any, would choose my profession if they aspired to be rich. I’m a high school English teacher—a middle-class professional if there ever was one. Yet I became a debt-free millionaire in my 30s.
I didn’t take exceptional risks with my money and I didn’t inherit a penny from anyone. 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? Fortunately, I learned from (and was inspired by) some financially savvy characters, urging me to master what I should have learned in high school. Because financial literacy isn’t adequately taught in most high schools, you might be among the millions who were shortchanged by our education system. This book is my attempt to make it up to you.