Become Wealthy without a High Income
Several years ago I read a book called Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. The book explains 9 rules that allow someone on a teacher’s salary to become a millionaire by saving and investing. After purchasing the book I was pumped to find out how he did it. After all, if the author managed to pull it off then so can I because I’m also a teacher. 🙂 So here are the 9 rules he outlined in the book.
- Don’t spend like you want to appear or feel rich. Instead, spend like you want to grow rich. In this life you can either be wealthy, or look wealthy. It’s very hard to do both.
- Start investing right away to take advantage of time. Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world, says Einstein.
- Keep your investment fees low. A mutual fund with 1.5% annual fee will eat up a quarter of your investment returns every year given an 6% expected rate of return. That 1/4 return you could have made will stack up to huge missed opportunities in the future.
- Learn to control your emotions. Most people get worried and think about selling their investments when the market goes down. But that’s often when stocks are on sale so if anything, that’s the best time to buy. Don’t be emotional. Be rational. Investing is 10% knowledge, and 90% psychology.
- Balance stocks and bonds using the age rule. This basically means keep your age in bonds, and the rest in stocks. So for a 25 year old, his asset allocation would be 75% stocks and 25% bonds.
- Many investors have a home country bias. But it’s important to diversify globally.
- Many financial advisors and brokers have a strong incentive for you to stay in actively managed funds or other financial products. Understand that they are sales people, and don’t fall for their tactics.
- Don’t be seduced by the next hot stock or tempting investment opportunities that seem too good to be true. Stick to diversified index funds.
- If you really must pick and choose individual stocks, limit your exposure to 10% of your total portfolio.
Living below your means
The author is very frugal. He house-sits for vacationers so he could live in their homes for free. He never turns on the heat in the winter and walks around the house wearing layers of clothing. And he even catches his own food sometimes.
I generally agree with all 9 of his rules. I don’t follow rule #5 very closely as my asset allocation changes based on personal circumstances and economic indicators rather than age. But for the most part I’ve been using Andrew’s advice for many years now. My finances are in pretty good shape so I guess it’s working. 🙂
I would say the book is a great read for personal finance beginners. It explains lots of fundamental principles about money management. But I don’t think someone with an intermediate level of financial knowledge will learn anything new and substantial from the book.
Random Useless Fact:
The US Postal Service moves mail using planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, float planes, hovercraft, mules, bicycles and feet.