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The incredible story of how a schoolteacher built a million-dollar portfolio, and how you can too Most people wouldn't expect a schoolteacher to amass a million-dollar investment account. But Andrew Hallam did so, long before the typical retirement age. And now, with Millionaire Teacher, he wants to show you how to follow in his footsteps. With lively humor and the simple The incredible story of how a schoolteacher built a million-dollar portfolio, and how you can too Most people wouldn't expect a schoolteacher to amass a million-dollar investment account. But Andrew Hallam did so, long before the typical retirement age. And now, with Millionaire Teacher, he wants to show you how to follow in his footsteps. With lively humor and the simple clarity you'd expect from a gifted educator, Hallam demonstrates how average people can build wealth in the stock market by shunning the investment products peddled by most financial advisors and avoiding the get-rich-quicker products concocted by an ever widening, self-serving industry. Using low cost index funds, coupled with a philosophy in line with the one that made Warren Buffett a multi-billionaire, Hallam guides readers to understand how the stock and bond markets really work, arming you with a psychological advantage for when markets fall. Shows why young investors should hope for stock market crashes if they want to get rich Explains how you can spend just 60 minutes a year on your investments, never open a financial paper, avoid investment news, and still leave most professional investors in the dust Promotes a unique new investment methodology that combines low cost index funds and a Warren Buffett-esque investment philosophy Millionaire Teacher explains how any middle-income individual can learn can learn the ABCs of personal finance and become a multi-millionaire, from a schoolteacher who has been there and done that.


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The incredible story of how a schoolteacher built a million-dollar portfolio, and how you can too Most people wouldn't expect a schoolteacher to amass a million-dollar investment account. But Andrew Hallam did so, long before the typical retirement age. And now, with Millionaire Teacher, he wants to show you how to follow in his footsteps. With lively humor and the simple The incredible story of how a schoolteacher built a million-dollar portfolio, and how you can too Most people wouldn't expect a schoolteacher to amass a million-dollar investment account. But Andrew Hallam did so, long before the typical retirement age. And now, with Millionaire Teacher, he wants to show you how to follow in his footsteps. With lively humor and the simple clarity you'd expect from a gifted educator, Hallam demonstrates how average people can build wealth in the stock market by shunning the investment products peddled by most financial advisors and avoiding the get-rich-quicker products concocted by an ever widening, self-serving industry. Using low cost index funds, coupled with a philosophy in line with the one that made Warren Buffett a multi-billionaire, Hallam guides readers to understand how the stock and bond markets really work, arming you with a psychological advantage for when markets fall. Shows why young investors should hope for stock market crashes if they want to get rich Explains how you can spend just 60 minutes a year on your investments, never open a financial paper, avoid investment news, and still leave most professional investors in the dust Promotes a unique new investment methodology that combines low cost index funds and a Warren Buffett-esque investment philosophy Millionaire Teacher explains how any middle-income individual can learn can learn the ABCs of personal finance and become a multi-millionaire, from a schoolteacher who has been there and done that.

30 review for Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brahm

    Update: 7 years later... Since 2012 this review has floated to the top of the stack. I'm glad people have found it useful! I wanted to edit in this update to answer an unasked question: "Is this book still relevant and useful?" The answer is a resounding yes ! What I learned in Millionaire Teacher is every bit as relevant for me today as it was 7 years ago. Banks and are still trying to take advantage of our ignorance and sneak in fees. The strategies in this book have formed the foundation of Update: 7 years later... Since 2012 this review has floated to the top of the stack. I'm glad people have found it useful! I wanted to edit in this update to answer an unasked question: "Is this book still relevant and useful?" The answer is a resounding yes ! What I learned in Millionaire Teacher is every bit as relevant for me today as it was 7 years ago. Banks and are still trying to take advantage of our ignorance and sneak in fees. The strategies in this book have formed the foundation of our household's retirement plan and to date, the results have been great: we're getting steady returns, at low cost, and low risk (due to the split of funds). My advice is take advantage of the lowest-cost index funds you can find, and STICK. TO. YOUR. PLAN. Don't fiddle. I forget if this tip is in the book, but I want to also add that some of the lowest-cost index funds available to you may be through your employer's group RRSP or pension (through a provider like Sunlife, Manulife, etc). Definitely check those rates as you create your plan. Original review (2012) is below. ======================= Probably the most important book about finance I've read. First, if you don't have RRSPs, go read the Wealthy Barber first - it's a good general financial information book. Millionaire Teacher focuses on investing. I think this is a very important book for anyone who's started an RRSP or is thinking of buying stocks to read. If you are (were) like me and felt pretty good about yourself by walking into an RBC or a Scotiabank and having a financial adviser tell you which mutual fund you should invest in for your RRSP, chances are you're "donating" anywhere from 2-3.5% of your retirement earnings to the bank's team of traders, researchers, and "financial advisers" (in quotes because often their advice is not so good). If you add up the bank's seemingly-small fees on your investment, it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime, thanks to compound interest. Millionaire Teacher highlights the importance of something called Index Funds - when you invest in one, you essentially buy a tiny piece of every stock that's currently traded, so your investment grows with the market. These funds are passively managed (they can be run by a computer) so their fees are extremely low (0.09% to 0.5%). Over long periods of time, markets grow - on average - about 10% per year. Coupled with very low management fees Index Funds can make you more money over time then managed (ie, by humans) mutual funds, like RBC's Select Balanced Portfolio, upwards of 90% of the time. Some managed funds do indeed make big returns, but they are inconsistent. The evidence: a small minority of managed mutual funds last a decade. The book was packed with statistics, references, and quotes from experts in finance - Nobel Prize winners, Warren Buffett, etc. It backed up its theories with real data, which did not have a cherry-picked feel (ie, it seemed very credible). I think this is a very important book for young people (and old people!) to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dania

    Out of the four books (The Wealthy Barber Returns; Wealthing like Rabbits; Personal Finance for Dummies) I read about personal finance - this was no doubt the best, and the shortest, one. If you're a newbie to investing: this is the book for you! Seriously just check it out. You have nothing to lose and A LOT of money to gain. Basically it boils down to: index funds are the best! But it has a lot of other helpful content as well- it has some very solid advice on cars. If anyone I knew was intere Out of the four books (The Wealthy Barber Returns; Wealthing like Rabbits; Personal Finance for Dummies) I read about personal finance - this was no doubt the best, and the shortest, one. If you're a newbie to investing: this is the book for you! Seriously just check it out. You have nothing to lose and A LOT of money to gain. Basically it boils down to: index funds are the best! But it has a lot of other helpful content as well- it has some very solid advice on cars. If anyone I knew was interested in dabbling in individual stocks, I would give them this book. My Notes aka the key information: - When buying cars, consider the resale value. Remember: cars aren’t investments. Unlike long term assets like real estate, stocks and bonds, cars decrease in value each year o Buy used Japanese cars with low-mileage, original paint, great tires/interior - Income – your average monthly expenses = how much you can afford to invest - Make the transfer payment to the investment of choice on pay day - How shareholders make money: 1) dividends (cash payments given to shareholders usually 4 times a year) & 2) wait until the stock has increased a lot in value and sell some/all - With just 3 index funds your money can be spread over nearly every available global money basket: 1. A home country stock market index 2. An international stock market index 3. A government bond (money you would lend to a government for a guaranteed stable interest rate) index creates stability - a portfolio that has this even beat one that has 100% stocks. A responsible portfolio has allocations they stick to and an increasing emphasis on short-term bonds as they age - The growth of stock market prices are directly correlated with the growth of the businesses they represent. (image) Supply and demand pushes prices over the short term: o Buyers > Sellers → prices rise o Sellers > Buyers → prices drop But long-term if price levels dramatically exceed business profit growth, there’s going to be a problem eventually. - Worrying about the immediate future is letting the stock market lead you by the gonads – in any given year the stock market can go crazy. Smart investors think long term and simply rebalance their portfolios if they’re too far from their stock/bond allocation. Buy more of the underperforming index. Like in the supermarket – when stocks fall, buy a ton! - A price-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) indicates how cheap/expensive a stock is. Really it’s how much greater the price of the company is to the annual earnings. It measures the level of stock prices relative to company earnings - Old economy stocks (tried & true) > tech stocks (volatile) - Start investing as early as possible – after paying off high interest loans, of course

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Sherriff

    The stock market is a mad dog on a long lead, and other insights... my proper review is here: https://patricksherriff.com/2019/04/1... The stock market is a mad dog on a long lead, and other insights... my proper review is here: https://patricksherriff.com/2019/04/1...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dele Omotosho

    This book can be summarized with this Warren Buffet quote (referenced in the book, pp. 77): A short quiz: If you plan to eat hamburgers throughout your life and are not a cattle producer, should you wish for higher or lower prices for beef? Likewise, if you are going to buy a car from time to time but are not an auto manufacturer, should you prefer higher or lower car prices? These questions, of course, answer themselves. But now for the final exam: If you expect to be a net saver during the next This book can be summarized with this Warren Buffet quote (referenced in the book, pp. 77): A short quiz: If you plan to eat hamburgers throughout your life and are not a cattle producer, should you wish for higher or lower prices for beef? Likewise, if you are going to buy a car from time to time but are not an auto manufacturer, should you prefer higher or lower car prices? These questions, of course, answer themselves. But now for the final exam: If you expect to be a net saver during the next five years, should you hope for a higher or lower stock market during that period? Many investors get this one wrong. Even though they are going to be net buyers of stocks for many years to come, they are elated when stock prices rise and depressed when they fall. In effect, they rejoice because prices have risen for the "hamburgers" they will soon be buying. This reaction makes no sense. Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices. Forget financial planners and fast talking analyst, this keeps it straight. It's an excellent book. The best investing book I've read to date (maybe when I get to reading the others recommended in the book, they might match). No crazy jargon, charts and gimmicks -- it's simple, practical and actionable: eradicate debt, invest in index, diversify to bonds (matched to your age). He's right, this book should be used a school curriculum -- OK, he didn't say that in the book, I am suggesting it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Toki

    I don't know why I'm always embarrassed to tell people I'm reading books about money. Maybe I just assume they'll all think I'm a financial dunce? Well, I am. And so is everyone else I know. You should read this book. Not only does it discuss frugality but it gives you basically "The Idiot's Guide to Investing" that makes sense, is backed up by research, and also makes you feel like a moron for the ways you "save" money. I rank this right up there with Ramit Sethi's book "I Will Teach You to Be I don't know why I'm always embarrassed to tell people I'm reading books about money. Maybe I just assume they'll all think I'm a financial dunce? Well, I am. And so is everyone else I know. You should read this book. Not only does it discuss frugality but it gives you basically "The Idiot's Guide to Investing" that makes sense, is backed up by research, and also makes you feel like a moron for the ways you "save" money. I rank this right up there with Ramit Sethi's book "I Will Teach You to Be Rich," which is a favorite of mine.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mireille Duval

    I think this is a very good introduction to investing for most people. Some parts are too detailed (too much repetition in the "why you must pick index funds" parts, and then discussion of single stocks?), some parts are cut almost completely when they could actually be an entire book (how to actually find money to invest/cut dumb stuff out of your budget - the never-turning-the-heat-on, biking-70-miles-a-day examples he gives are obviously way too extreme), but all in all it's a good start for I think this is a very good introduction to investing for most people. Some parts are too detailed (too much repetition in the "why you must pick index funds" parts, and then discussion of single stocks?), some parts are cut almost completely when they could actually be an entire book (how to actually find money to invest/cut dumb stuff out of your budget - the never-turning-the-heat-on, biking-70-miles-a-day examples he gives are obviously way too extreme), but all in all it's a good start for most people. It has more explanations and anecdotes than, I don't know, The Intelligent Investor or something that looks scarier, and it's also helped by being recent. I also really liked that they had an international section, with actual help for Canadians and other countries - I'm sure investing with Vanguard is amazeballs for Americans, but it's not as available in Canada, so the bits about TD and other brokerage places were really nice. (Though it's depressing to read that we have the mutual funds with the highest fees in the world, man.) Save your money, invest it in three index funds (35% local stock / 35% international stock / 30% bonds), spend an hour a year making sure it still follows the 35%/35%/30% rule by selling what's high and buying what's low, and you'll be rich. Or, well, richer.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robin Potts

    The early chapters discuss the exact errors I made with mutual funds back in the 80's when information gathering was difficult and controlled by the very shysters hawking the funds. I agree that index funds are now the way to go, but I also like the idea of holding back 10 to 20 percent for more risky and potentially higher return investments that help appeal the gambler in all of us. Jmho. The early chapters discuss the exact errors I made with mutual funds back in the 80's when information gathering was difficult and controlled by the very shysters hawking the funds. I agree that index funds are now the way to go, but I also like the idea of holding back 10 to 20 percent for more risky and potentially higher return investments that help appeal the gambler in all of us. Jmho.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dickson Tan

    TLDR: just buy it, the return on investment on this book will be enormous. Share what you've learnt with friends too. > If a financial adviser tries to tell you not to invest in index funds, they’re essentially suggesting that they’re smarter than Warren Buffett and more brilliant than a Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics. What do you think? This is one of the best books out there to learn about investing. With lots of well-researched statistics and information, this book basically makes the case f TLDR: just buy it, the return on investment on this book will be enormous. Share what you've learnt with friends too. > If a financial adviser tries to tell you not to invest in index funds, they’re essentially suggesting that they’re smarter than Warren Buffett and more brilliant than a Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics. What do you think? This is one of the best books out there to learn about investing. With lots of well-researched statistics and information, this book basically makes the case for investing in indexed funds like ETFs. ETFs are a way of buying stocks in the entire market at once so that your returns match the average return of the stock market. Here're some of my takeaways: 1. This is one area where trusting the expertss is wrong, because it is in your best interest to buy an indexed fund with rock bottom costs (but your financial adviser receives almost nothing from that). Actively managed funds are much more expensive, with a portion of those costs being paid to said advisors. 2. Index fund investing provides the highest probability of success compared to actively managed fund investing. In the long run, the worldwide stock market has provided about 10% annual returns. 3. Noone has succeeded yet in choosing which actively managed funds will outperform stock market indexes. 4. Dollar cost averaging is especially rewarding especially when the market is fluctuating (its crashing due to Covid-19 at time of writing) 5. Stocks represent ownership in business, and the growth of stock prices can never go too far from the growth of business earnings over the long run - there is a "rubber band" effect if stock prices inflate too quickly, and they need to go back down or earnings need to go up. 6. Bonds are an important component in your portfolio to reduce volatility. 7. Rebalancing regularly not only keeps your portfolio to your desired asset allocation, but it mindlessly allows you to sell high and buy low, the exact opposite of what most people do when the stock market plunges. 8. Once you've decided on the 3 or 4 funds in your portfolio and asset allocation, stay the course and beware things that are too good to be true (because they aren't). 9. Use insurance only for risk mitigation, and avoid insurance products that also have an investment component, since that causes confusion. They generally have high fees and low returns. However, I wished the book included info on the following, since it affects how you would construct a portfolio: 1. the effect of currency risk on investments, which is especially relevant if your home currency is not USD or EUR. This is especially relevant when deciding on whether to get a global bond ETF or a local one 2. home bias: having investments in your home country be a larger part of your portfolio than your country's world market capitalization. For example, Singapore is 1% of the world market capitalization, so having more than 1% of my portfolio there would introduce a home bias, which I'm wary of since Singapore is such a small country. 3. I was hoping for more information specifically for investors from Singapore Also, this is the only ebook that I can remember that actually has meaningful and very good alt text on graphs and charts, which was really helpful for my understanding. It also uses all the right semantic tags (e.g proper heading structure, tables instead of images of tables). Lots of Kudos to Andrew and/or O'Reilly for this. My rating: 5.5 / 5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Neal

    I would give the book five stars if it left off all the parts about the author himself and his anecdotes on his own financial picture. Also the title would have to be changed to something less obnoxious like "The Safe Way to Manage your 401K" but that may be the book I write and no one would read it. Basically removing all the fluff and human interest you could write this in a 30 page pamphlet with just the necessary information to guide you to a sound and secure financial strategy for your mone I would give the book five stars if it left off all the parts about the author himself and his anecdotes on his own financial picture. Also the title would have to be changed to something less obnoxious like "The Safe Way to Manage your 401K" but that may be the book I write and no one would read it. Basically removing all the fluff and human interest you could write this in a 30 page pamphlet with just the necessary information to guide you to a sound and secure financial strategy for your money. Still I did pick up the book and then passed it on to a friend after adjusting my 401K holdings and making note of my future investment strategies. It was an easy read and exactly the kind of no-nonsense clear advice I was trying to get from financial planners about how best to diversify my retirement funds for growth and security. I had already shifted all my holdings into an index fund tracking the S&P 500 because it just made sense but I had no understanding of the bond market and I wasn't clear on the international indexes and how they worked. This really is a great book, don't let the title or the authors smug anecdotes deter you from reading this if you have an interest in your financial future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Recommended by a colleague. Too beginner for me overall, but I did learn a few things that made me steaming mad at my personal banker for constantly derailing my investment plans....which I now see is her job. I'm finally pissed off enough to move my money, and this book helped me focus on finding out exactly how to do it. This book is great for high-school students and young adults. I learned that giving kids financial gifts is a bad idea, so I'm going to focus on giving my time and experiences Recommended by a colleague. Too beginner for me overall, but I did learn a few things that made me steaming mad at my personal banker for constantly derailing my investment plans....which I now see is her job. I'm finally pissed off enough to move my money, and this book helped me focus on finding out exactly how to do it. This book is great for high-school students and young adults. I learned that giving kids financial gifts is a bad idea, so I'm going to focus on giving my time and experiences for the little buggers instead of cash. I'm looking at BMO's Investorline, TD's e-series, and Tangerine Investment funds. I also learned about Vanguard, which was very interesting. Global Couch Potato Portfolio: Int'l Stock Market Index (XIN)- 20% Cdn Stock Market Index (XIC)- 20% US Stock Market Index (XSP) - 25% Cdn Bond Market Index (XBB) - 35%

  11. 4 out of 5

    Celise

    Second Edition. A good finance book to read after starting with The Wealthy Barber. Very accessibly written, but still packed with numbers and good information. If you've started investing recently, or are about to, the chapters on mutual funds versus investing in index funds on your own (or with a robo investor) would probably be really valuable to you, like it was to me. Book a Week Experiment. 4.5/5 Second Edition. A good finance book to read after starting with The Wealthy Barber. Very accessibly written, but still packed with numbers and good information. If you've started investing recently, or are about to, the chapters on mutual funds versus investing in index funds on your own (or with a robo investor) would probably be really valuable to you, like it was to me. Book a Week Experiment. 4.5/5

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jean Buckland

    Good book on investing. Especially if you know very little about it. The author explains things in a way that is easy to understand and is it quite funny at times. Investing concepts that I have heard before that didn't make sense finally clicked. Good book on investing. Especially if you know very little about it. The author explains things in a way that is easy to understand and is it quite funny at times. Investing concepts that I have heard before that didn't make sense finally clicked.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The only financial investing advice you'll need, and in clear layman's terms. Great book. The only financial investing advice you'll need, and in clear layman's terms. Great book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    Amazing start to my financial literacy journey.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Taighe Selwood

    Pretty good intro to investing I think - if I'm a millionaire in 50 years I'll give it 5 stars Pretty good intro to investing I think - if I'm a millionaire in 50 years I'll give it 5 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hind

    it is a good book to start with if you were wondering about investment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hidde

    Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School Introduction The author is a former English- and personal finance teacher and managed to grow a millionaire before the age of 40 on an average high school teacher salary. In this book he shares the 9 proven rules which one have to consider to grow wealthy. What the book is about The premise of the book is to learn one to invest without having to read to newspapers, following the news and digging into other financial new Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School Introduction The author is a former English- and personal finance teacher and managed to grow a millionaire before the age of 40 on an average high school teacher salary. In this book he shares the 9 proven rules which one have to consider to grow wealthy. What the book is about The premise of the book is to learn one to invest without having to read to newspapers, following the news and digging into other financial news. Of course you don’t become a millionaire overnight, but I could be quicker attained than you might think. The only thing you have to do is following the 9 rules distilled in this might and providing an average income to work with. Sounds achievable right? About the book – Careful ! Spoilers included throughout So I immediately cut to the chase and sum up the nine rules everyone should have learned in school with a brief explanation. 1. Think and spend like a millionaire if you want to become rich. This first rule is basically a crash course personal finance. The big takeaway in the first chapter is that (future) millionaires are financial savvy. Millionaires spend just less than they are earning and are living below their means. As perfectly quoted: “It’s not about how much money you make that counts: it’s what you do with what you make”. See for example the findings of numbeo.com where global home costs relative to income got examined. They found out that most US homes valued at a million dollars or more, were not owned by millionaires. Instead, the majority of million dollars homes were owned by non-millionaires with large mortgages and very expensive tastes. In sharp contrast 90 percent of millionaires lived in homes valued at less than a million dollars. And yes this is only the tip of the iceberg, expensive sport cars, stupid expenses for overpriced gadgets, designer clothes, fancy food etc. are other pitfalls. As Davey Ramsey states it clear: “We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.'” 2. Start investing early – after paying off credit card debt and any other high-interest loans. This capital elaborates more on personal finance and the necessity to get your life on track as fast as possible and start investing accordingly as soon as one can. With some numbers is shown how you can turn 32.400 into 1.050,80 if you start early. However if you start relative late, you can turn 240,000 only in 813,128You can imagine the sense of urgency when it is about investing. START NOW is the advice. Another practical tip is to invest monthly just after your pay slip landed in your bank account. When you wait till the end of the wait, there is a pitfall of having spent too much already. 3. Invest in low-cost index funds instead of actively managed funds. Nobody can consistently pick “winning” actively managed funds ahead of time. This capital is the beginning of the bashing of the financial industry. I like the statement right at the begin. “Does it make sense to challenge a professional financial adviser in a long-term investing contest? Common sense initially suggests that we shouldn’t. However, this may be the only exception to the rule of challenging someone in their given profession – and beating them easily.” It comes all down to actively managed funds being ineffective due to their cost (expense ratios, 12B1 fees, Trading costs, Sales commissions and taxes) and the exposure to capriciousness. They dramatically underperform their index fund counterparts and chiefly when hidden costs and taxes are taken into account. Another takeaway is that often mutual funds with high historical profits are getting recommended by financial advisers. These funds won’t historically continue to perform at such level. Rather the contrary, mutual funds which performed good in the past are likely to fall as a brick at the moment you buy them. At the end of the capital has been described what under the hood of index funds is. The index fund is namely the angelic counterpart of the devilish actively managed mutual fund. 4. Understand stock market history and psychology so you don’t fall victim to the craziness that infects every investing generation (often more than once). People generally have the tendency to buy high and sell low. The author argues that one could profit of a market crash if an equal sum of dollars is transferred to an index investment each month. At the end of the day will an investor purchase a greater number of units when the market is low and fewer units when the market rises and therefore pay a below-average price over time. The more volatility there is the better a disciplined investor get rewarded with a return which is higher than the average of the index. In fact most people underperform their due to the enemy in the mirror. An exception is having a lump sum, which beats around 67% of the time a dollar cost average approach, by investing spaced out over x-months according to a Vanguard case study. Finally you get a little lesson in business earnings and how business earnings relate to stock prize. Apparently business earnings can’t be seen as completely separated from stock price. Of course is the market volatile and are jumping stock prices irrationally up and down, but on the long term can stock prices always be tracked back to business earnings. Try not to lose sight of this concept ever. 5. Learn to build a complete, balanced portfolio of stock and bond index funds that will beat most professional investors after fees. Here is the allocation of a stock/bond portfolio introduced and the so called couch potato investment strategy (introduced by Scott burn). The maxim is to choose an allocation of your portfolio. This allocation will naturally fluctuate over time due to the volatility of the stock- and bond market. However when you add fresh money to your account, you have to make sure to rebalance your allocation to the original one. This is pretty simple and forces you to buy in the falling market and on the other hand it tempers your greed. How cool is that? You just sell of the overheated part of your portfolio, cash, let the market burn and get in again if everything is settled down again. 6. Create an indexed account no matter where you live. Here we are going global. The author takes us to the US, Australia, the UK and Singapore and shows us the train of thoughts which are necessary when searching for a brokerage account in your home country. Showing pitfalls and perks along the way you get a good insight where to look for. Thereby is the difference between index funds and ETFs explained and the accompanying fees, commissions, taxes and other costs which have to look for when choosing between the two of them. 7. Find low-cost financial advisory firms that build portfolios of index funds. After focusing mainly on DYI investing, the author takes a little sidestep to abdicating. This is possible too in an affordable way nowadays. When you don’t have the time, interest or strong nerves to invest on your own this option is viable according the author. These brokerages are online and thus have no brick-and-mortar offices to keep costs low. It’s a matter of investigating which brokerage suits you and what kind of services you’re looking for. The only thing to be vigilant for is the service of rebalancing your portfolio on your behalf. Rebalancing is good and advisable as we learnt. Rebalancing based on historical numbers however is rather harmful and should be avoided. 8. Learn to fight and adviser’s sales rhetoric. Financial advisers are designed to deter would-be index investors. But an actively managed mutual fund only beats an index fund in roughly half the cases if you imagine this fantasy world where your adviser is not paid any sales fees, they have no profit motive, researchers have to work for free, fund managers should buying and selling for free, fund companies could trade stocks for free and governments should waive your taxable obligations. The author is walking us through the most used rhetoric of sales representatives and provides us immediately with facts to counter them. 9. Avoid investment schemes and scams that might tickle a greed button. At the final part there are some exotic financial instruments coming along. Like high interest loans (the ones too good to be true), Ponzi schemes, growing markets which have historically nothing to do with higher returns on stock investment, gold which is dismissed as a glittering useless commodity (I think the author is fully entitled in the light of the track record of gold prices), hedge funds which performance would upset a real investor with a brain, currency hedge stock funds where one insures oneself against plummeting of one currency but on the other hand shoot oneself in the foot by missing the advantages of a soaring of the same currency, smart beta indexes which are full of hot air and last but not least the false promise of small cap stocks. No, small caps don’t have an extra premium on them according to research. Favorite part What I liked throughout was the creative wordplay, the puns, the exaggerations and “dad jokes”, as well as funny comments and remarks of other financial figureheads. See for example how Mr. Hallam describes the uselessness of high school math in real life: “Perhaps I’m committing heresy in the eyes of the world’s match teachers, but I think quadratic equations (a polynomial equation of the second degree, if that clears things up) are just about as useful to most people as ingrown toenails and just as painful for some. Having said that, buried in the dull pages of most school math books is something that’s actually useful: the magical premise of compound interest.” But the jokes and exaggerations aside, this book is full of uncensored truths and quotes from within the financial industry itself. This is information you don’t stumble upon quite regularly. See for example this confession of a (former) sales representative about their sales approach at banks: “First we get a feel for the client. The bank suggests that if the client doesn’t know much about investing, we should put them in a fund of funds, for example, a mutual fund that would have a series of funds within it. It tends to be a bit more expensive than regular mutual funds. This sales job only works with investors who really don’t know anything what they are doing. If the investor seems a little smarter, we offer them, individually, our in-house brand of actively managed mutual funds. We don’t make as much money with these, so we push for the other products first. Under no circumstances do we offer the bank’s index funds to clients. If an investor requests them and we can’t talk them out of the indexes, only then will we buy them for the client.” Recommendation This book is basically written for the novice investor. Which is already money savvy but doesn’t have the time or interest to dig deep into value investing. Moreover it is specifically tailored to average wage earners, although everyone with some sort of income could profit from the lessons in this book. The book has a strong focus on the US, Canadian, UK, Australian and Singapore stock/bond market. Although not directly applicable to me as I’m living the Netherlands, it has absolutely more than worthwhile to read it through and adopt and adept the trains of thought to my own home country, and the array of possibilities which I have at my disposal. Rating 5/5

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve Granger

    An incredibly helpful and accessible introduction to investing targeted towards those in the lower-to-middle income brackets. Highly recommended as a great place to start when considering how best to start saving money for your future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Well worth a read. Gives a great overview of how to implement a passive investment plan.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Valentino Mpasinas

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Yet another life-changing book that could have come handy a few years ago, oh well better late than never. It is true that school doesn't prepare you for this kind of advice but this book lays the foundation of your investment philosophy. As we enter our prime investment years, every decision we make today will have in 30 years, through the mindshattering power of compound interest, the impact of an earthquake. Even though the author unnecessarily continues hammering his point after a few chapte Yet another life-changing book that could have come handy a few years ago, oh well better late than never. It is true that school doesn't prepare you for this kind of advice but this book lays the foundation of your investment philosophy. As we enter our prime investment years, every decision we make today will have in 30 years, through the mindshattering power of compound interest, the impact of an earthquake. Even though the author unnecessarily continues hammering his point after a few chapters, which is probably because it is so simple it must be false, we can gather that by investing every month in a balanced portfolio and lead the life of an investor and not a compulsive spender, we can retire early, debt-free and enjoy weekly massages with our wife. As nobody can time and outperform the market, here is the recipe of index funds : - One third International stocks - One third local stocks - One third international bonds Recalibrate every year by selling the performing ETFs (exchange traded funds) and buying more of the lagging ones. Enjoy your margarita on the tropical beach of your choice. You're welcome.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. It's a quick read, funny in many instances, and educational. Having a degree in English Literature, I really appreciated all the literary examples, especially in the first couple of chapters. For someone who has no clue about investing, Hallam lays out the scene in the simplest of terms (your future), clearly pinpoints the protagonist (all those lovely indexes) and the antagonists (actively managed funds), the co-conspirators (your average - or not so This book was recommended to me by a friend. It's a quick read, funny in many instances, and educational. Having a degree in English Literature, I really appreciated all the literary examples, especially in the first couple of chapters. For someone who has no clue about investing, Hallam lays out the scene in the simplest of terms (your future), clearly pinpoints the protagonist (all those lovely indexes) and the antagonists (actively managed funds), the co-conspirators (your average - or not so average broker), and the resolution (money in your bank account). However, I did find some parts to be repetitive. Three chatpers could have been combined in the same simple sentence: If it's an index, invest; if it's actively managed, do not! That is of course the oversimplied, non-explanatory version of those three chapters. Even if you do not plan to invest, read the book. You will gain knowledge and insight into that strange and mysterious world.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    I recently came to the realization that I was never going to become a millionaire by being granted a million dollars either through salary or lottery winnings, so I figured I'd better take a different approach. This is a no nonsense, easy to read book about investing that just makes sense. The author is Canadian but includes information about US investing options (and options for residents of other countries too, which is nice). A lot of it already rang true to me - I am by nature a saver - and I recently came to the realization that I was never going to become a millionaire by being granted a million dollars either through salary or lottery winnings, so I figured I'd better take a different approach. This is a no nonsense, easy to read book about investing that just makes sense. The author is Canadian but includes information about US investing options (and options for residents of other countries too, which is nice). A lot of it already rang true to me - I am by nature a saver - and other parts served as a reality check that made me realize I need to make some changes to the way I am managing my money. The author does make me feel a little panicky about not having started saving/investing when I was 19, but there's no time like the present. I think this book would be a great gift for high school or college graduates.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Justin G

    A bit dated now, perhaps, but still some good advice about the lazy portfolio model to investing. Although I wouldn't go to the extremes the author has in trying to save money to invest, it definitely made me way less terrified to manage my own stock investments with a few simple (like, really simple) pieces of advice. It's all backed up by MATH which I appreciate too. It's a little broad, so it served as good inspiration to dig into the specifics by reading The Value of Simple: A Practical Guid A bit dated now, perhaps, but still some good advice about the lazy portfolio model to investing. Although I wouldn't go to the extremes the author has in trying to save money to invest, it definitely made me way less terrified to manage my own stock investments with a few simple (like, really simple) pieces of advice. It's all backed up by MATH which I appreciate too. It's a little broad, so it served as good inspiration to dig into the specifics by reading The Value of Simple: A Practical Guide to Taking the Complexity Out of Investing afterward. Definitely worth reading if you're not managing your own retirement funds currently.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Highly recommended. To be fair I have some background knowledge on personal finance and index funds which made this an easier read for me. But I like seeing other people’s perspectives and see if their ideas align with mine. I like that this book really ranged from beginner topics to getting much more advanced so there’s something for everybody no matter where you are in the investment process.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Andrew Hallam writes in such a way that makes understanding investment easy. Loved the various chapters on how to invest in different countries. He gives us a global perspective.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vỹ Hồng

    This is a good beginner book that explains basic investment concepts and argues for index investing. Despite the title, the author does not come across as an arrogant, self-bloating individual. It is quite the opposite. The book's tone is friendly and casual. Just like... a teacher. "The millionaire teacher" is knowledgeable about his subject matter. He can explain the core concepts clearly and convincingly. He gives enough data to support his arguments, but not too much that it boggles the reader This is a good beginner book that explains basic investment concepts and argues for index investing. Despite the title, the author does not come across as an arrogant, self-bloating individual. It is quite the opposite. The book's tone is friendly and casual. Just like... a teacher. "The millionaire teacher" is knowledgeable about his subject matter. He can explain the core concepts clearly and convincingly. He gives enough data to support his arguments, but not too much that it boggles the readers' minds. Apart from the basic investment concepts, you also get a brief glance at specific mutual funds in certain countries (e.g. US, Canada, Singapore), tips on dealing with your financial advisers, and sections dedicated to managing your (inability to manage your own) greed. Overall, this is a fun and informative read. p/s: Oh, and if you have heard but not sure what Couch Potato investment strategy is, you can learn about that here too.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shivam Sharma

    It's 7 in the morning and I have spent the last hour reading the final two chapters of this book. How has this book been to me? Worth every minute I have put into reading it. It introduced me to the working about indexed fund while making jokes about James Bond. There is the wisdom of Warren Buffet in it, you surely can't get enough of that. But most importantly, unlike most other finance books I've read, this is the first in the way that it is written. While most books focus on the fact and the It's 7 in the morning and I have spent the last hour reading the final two chapters of this book. How has this book been to me? Worth every minute I have put into reading it. It introduced me to the working about indexed fund while making jokes about James Bond. There is the wisdom of Warren Buffet in it, you surely can't get enough of that. But most importantly, unlike most other finance books I've read, this is the first in the way that it is written. While most books focus on the fact and theory, here we get to spend the time with the author himself and with his family and friends. You can learn a whole lot from this book. It's an easy read. Where I was left hanging was when the author choose to skip his journey in the long distance running side hobby that he has. Or perhaps that is in the stocks for another book, for some other day. Highly recommended.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Piccinin

    I received this book from my brother as a Christmas gift last year and I’m happy to say it proved useful, easy to digest, and surprisingly accessible. While Hallam’s writing style leaves something to be desired, what he lacks in finesse he more than makes up for in practical advice and sound life coaching. If I could condense the book into one sentence it would be “Remain consistent with your investment portfolio despite market fluctuation, be frugal in your 20’s and 30’s, and opt for index fund I received this book from my brother as a Christmas gift last year and I’m happy to say it proved useful, easy to digest, and surprisingly accessible. While Hallam’s writing style leaves something to be desired, what he lacks in finesse he more than makes up for in practical advice and sound life coaching. If I could condense the book into one sentence it would be “Remain consistent with your investment portfolio despite market fluctuation, be frugal in your 20’s and 30’s, and opt for index funds over actively managed TFSA’s as an investment vehicle”. The book is a worthwhile read for any young adult and contains plenty of level headed, straightforward advice for building wealth as early as possible. Definitely recommend and probably something everyone should read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Lau

    A sound read that's a great, and non-intimidating, entry for personal fiscal responsibility. While some topics haven't aged quite as well as others (ie. being bearish on investing in Tech), the fundamentals are still strong (index funds/bond portfolio, auto-rebalancing, etc.). A sound read that's a great, and non-intimidating, entry for personal fiscal responsibility. While some topics haven't aged quite as well as others (ie. being bearish on investing in Tech), the fundamentals are still strong (index funds/bond portfolio, auto-rebalancing, etc.).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nghia Ngo

    simple and easy understanding for the begginers of stock investment... with realistics guides and sample to let the readers know how to choose stock, when to sale, etc ...

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