Finally, after getting a copy from the author himself about 6 months ago, I’m finally getting around to reviewing Millionaire Teacher. You’d all be disappointed and whatnot, but my laziness is well maintained at this point. The book sat for months right beside my bed, where it witnessed some horrific events that neither of us want to talk about. There were a lot of tears. Let’s move on.
Firstly, a little background on the author. Andrew writes at the predictably titled AndrewHallam.com, a blog that I’ve subscribed to for years now. I’ve dubbed him the “nicest guy on the entire internet” because I don’t think I’ve ever seen him be even remotely mean to anyone, especially to guys like me who deserve it. He’s a teacher who lives and works in Singapore, after living in Canada for many years.
As the title of the book alludes, Andrew has managed to accumulate an impressive net worth on just a teacher’s salary. How did he do it? Did he sell his body? Did he consistently hit up his students for their lunch money to supercharge his savings? Nah. He’s too nice for that. Luckily for all of us, he decided to write a book that’s half memoir and half how-to guide. And you’re going to get a chance to win it. You’ll see how soon enough Sparky.
SHOW US A PICTURE!
Luckily for Andrew, he figured out the miracle of compound interest early in his life, as he started investing at 19 years old. While the rest of you were throwing your money at booze and the other sex, Andrew was pouring all his excess cash into the market.
Once he graduated from university, he lived incredibly frugally in order to have more money to invest. He ate potatoes, pasta and clams HE CAUGHT AT THE BEACH. This guy was not screwing around with frugality. He also rode his bike 35 miles each way to his first teaching job. All this was done with one goal in mind – to maximize his contributions to his investment accounts. You didn’t think getting rich on a teacher’s salary was going to be without some sacrifice, did you? Because if you did, that would make you a moron.
The book is a how-to guide all about how to get where Andrew is today. The meat of the book are the methods he recommends for the average investor. Like any good plan, it’s simple and takes emotion out of the equation.
How To Invest – The Millionaire Teacher Way
Andrew started an investment club with other teachers back in 1999. After some initial stumbles, the club ended up handily beating the S&P 500 over the next decade, mostly because the club make a specific effort to copy the investing mantra of Warren Buffett, buying companies with strong competitive advantages. They took large positions in Coke, Schering Plough and Fastenal, among other companies. Yet, in 2011, Andrew sold most of his individual stocks (some $700,000 worth) and exchanged them for index funds.
Andrew’s reasoning is simple. He believes, over time, buying the index will beat just about every active mutual fund and stock picking strategy out there. Buying the index also means an investor can save easily 1-2% a year in costs, costs that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over your investing lifetime, especially if you start young.
The meat of the book is spent on the merits of index investing, as Andrew lays out a convincing case as to why the average investor should avoid actively managed mutual funds all together. He lists the objections your financial advisor will have and easily throws those objections into the trash.
He also gets into the psychology of investing, outlining a simple strategy to avoid the common pitfalls that plague investors. Andrew also has all sorts of sample portfolios in the book, complete with the simple steps you’ll need to take to rebalance those portfolios once a year. He knows investing can be scary for someone who isn’t into it, so he makes the process easy.
Enough Talking, You Want a Copy
Millionaire Teacher takes the world of investing and not only shows you how to do it better than all your friends, but also presents these lessons in easy to understand language and as a series of simple steps. It’s a good book for both beginners and intermediates, and I’m giving you a chance to win the copy I once had in my very hands. I promise, there will be no strange stains on this one.
How can you win? There’s approximately 28592 ways you could enter, including sending me letters professing your love for me (ladies only) or sending me large amounts of cash. Considering the off chance that neither of those things happen, you have one of two ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Like Financial Uproar on Facebook for a bonus entry. (If you’ve already liked my Facebook page, just mention it in the comments and I’ll credit you with the bonus entry)
That’s it. Oh, and don’t enter if you’re from anywhere except in North America. Cause I’m not shipping this thing all over the damn place. Also, if you wrote the book, you cannot enter. Sorry about that, but not really. The contest ends on Friday at midnight MST, so you’re probably going to want to get at the plan and enter. I’ll announce the winner during next week’s link dump.