Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Monday, May 28, 2012

“Millionaire Teacher” by Andrew Hallam - Book Review

I have been wanting to read this book for a while now and I so regret I didn't read it sooner. I am very curious when authors from a non-financial background write personal finance books. I wonder what possible secrets they have discovered that all the money gurus and financial planners haven't already come up with.

Andrew Hallam Is an English teacher who currently resides in Singapore. When he was a young man he met a millionaire that bestowed the wisdom of investing to him. The millionaire told him he needed to invest $100 a month in the markets. Andrew balked and said he couldn't afford that amount. The millionaire said it's only $3.33 per day, you spend that much on fries and Cokes every month. Andrew saw the light and 20 years later he is a millionaire.

Andrews Hallam's natural curiosity got the best of him, he caught the bug and learned the right and wrong ways to invest. He has earned that millionaire status not by sitting on his hands but by investing over and over again. A good lesson I wish I could of learned 20 years ago.

"Millionaire Teacher" is much more than a shopping list of things to do to grow wealth. It's a lesson in lifestyle. The lifestyle Andrew Hallam teaches, is what the millionaire's secret actually is. In his "Nine Rules" he lets the secret out. Rule 1 is "Spend Like You Want To Grow Rich. This one rule is the foundation to all that follows in his book. Without it all the fancy investing practices you come up with not get you where you want to be.

I found the book very easy to read with its casual and down to earth style. It's like your having a conversation with a friend. Andrew uses lots of charts and statistics to back up his ideas. What I can relate personally is his use of low expense index stock and bond funds. This investing style is growing more and more popular every day. I like his philosophy of it's hard to beat the market in the long term consistently, so why try to beat them when you can just join them.

His nine rules should be plastered to your wall so you don't forget them. 

Hallam’s 9 Rules of Wealth:

Rule 1 is to spend like you want to grow rich, wasting your money on today's wants postpones your potential wealth growth. So why do it.

Rule 2 is to take advantage of compound interest by starting investing as early in life as possible. Here is the another great rule that you only realize when your to old to do something about it.

Rule 3 he emphasizes the negative impact of high fees and makes the case for low fee index funds.

Rule 4 is to “Conquer the enemy in the mirror.” It looks at the problems of stock-picking and market timing, fear, greed and other emotions that can sabotage investing.

Rule 5 is to build a “responsible portfolio” that includes both stocks and bonds. Here Hallam introduces what he terms the Couch Potato Portfolio.

Rule 6 looks at indexing in the U.S, Canada,and worldwide.

Rule 7 is entitled “Peek inside a pilferer’s playbook.” It looks at common sales practices of financial advisors and brokers. He says to watch those advisors that want to nickel and dime your portfolio.

Rule 8 is “Avoid Seduction,” and looks at the various distractions that some term “financial pornography” — investment newsletters and magazines, junk bonds, gold and hedge funds, which Hallam describes as “the rich stealing from the rich.”

Rule 9 is for those who love to pick their own stocks if “they can’t help themselves.” Hallam’s solution is to stay 90% indexed but to allocate 10% to individual stocks if you find it enjoyable.

Overall I found the book keeping my interest and a lot of fun to read. Many things I read in the book are already well know practices for an old hand couch-potato investor like myself. I feel the main take away is the philosophy and foundational concepts that keep you on track during your investment process. We all know things we should be doing, concerning investing, but staying on track and not bailing out in the down markets takes a core understanding of knowing yourself and having a plan. Thats what separates the million teachers from everyone else. Read this book you'll learn something.

Get the book Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School

Visit Andrew Hallam's website at
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Giving Away A Free Book For The Holiday Season

Audiobooks at! is the website that provides quality and timely audio books for you to listen to on your computer or portable device. I have been using Audible .com for the last couple of months and really like being able to enjoy many books that I really don't have the time to sit and read. Mostly while in the car or at work I have time to listen to a book per week. 

For the holidays is giving away the audio book, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to new and existing members till Dec 23 at 11:59PM EST. Existing members just have to go to the website and download it. If you are new to, now is the best time to join.

Member Benefits:

· 1 audiobook per month
· Members save 30% on additional purchases
· Free previews, chapters and excerpts
· Free digital subscription to the New York Times or Wall Street Journal
· Invitations to exclusive member-only special sales and promotions
· Free daily audio newspaper subscriptions
· Now Over 100,000 titles to choose from
· Compatible with iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry and over 500 mp3 devices

When you sign up for membership you receive your first audio book free during the 14 day trial period. If you decide to not join you still get to keep the free audio book of your choice. If you join before Dec 23 deadline you get to also download the free Sherlock Holmes book.

Try Audible Now and Get A FREE Audiobook!

Further Reading : 5 Reasons Reading Books Is Important To Your Well Being

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

5 Reasons Reading Books Is Important To Your Well Being

What I'm reading and re-readingImage by Earl - What I Saw 2.0 via FlickrWhen I was a kid reading books was more important. Through the many years of education reading books and writing a book report was as common as peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. With all this reading I grew to love books. I was a scifi geek so i devoured many books in that genre. But as the years pass and life happened, I lost my love for books. I tried along the many years to start again. But every time I started to read, the book would put me to sleep. I finally solved this problem, but you'll have to wait till the end of the post to find out.

I believe in reading so much, the benefits are many and I could probably come up with many more but I have only included in this post just a few of my favorites.

  1. Reading keeps your mind thinking. You have to use your mind and the best way to do it is by putting something in it that will stimulate it. Reading about a subject you would like to explore further is a good way. It's not like watching TV. With TV, all the work is done for you. You don't have to use your mind. With books you have to work. 
  2. Reading builds your concentration. Reading a book forces you to concentrate. A good book grabs you and takes you down a path that exercises your brain to keep up. 
  3. Reading helps you learn new things. When you read articles on line, like this article, you get a little snippet of a particular subject. It's a little taste of what reading a book is like. Your natural curiosity kicks in and you become enveloped in a much larger more involved treatment of that subject. Thus giving you a broader and deeper explanation of the subject.
  4. Reading gives you a new perspective. It's a lot like going to school about a particular subject. A book makes you an explorer of a new world that opens up to you page by page.
  5. Reading gives you purpose and direction. Just pick up a self help book on something you need direction on. You now have a one on one relationship with that author who is giving everything they know, only to you. If your open and it makes sense to you, your whole outlook may improve. A book could just push you in a direction you need to go.

Since I have started reading again, I have found reading a paper book just puts me to sleep.  My eyes get tired and before you know it, asleep. I have tried reading them on the computer screen but again, eyestrain happens. 

By chance I stumbled upon an audio book company called Audible. They have all the latest books and many other great books. With over 100,000 books on their website you should find something you like. With Audible you can have the entire unabridged book read to you. For me, it's a blessing to go through a book on the way to work, before bed, or whenever I am on the road. 

As an example, I always wanted to read Tim Ferriss' book "The 4-Hour Workweek". I have the pdf that he gave away for free when he debuted his new book. It's been on my computer for almost a year and I never read it. I got it from Audible on sale for $4.95 last month and I am almost done with it. I enjoyed it so much and learned a lot. It gave me a new perspective and something new to think about.

Reading is important and if your like me and picking up a book doesn't work for you why not try Audible. You get a free book, any book, on a 14 day trial period. Listen for 14 days, if you don't like it cancel the account and keep the book at no charge. But I bet once you get hooked you'll see how great it is and keep on the program.

Just click the banner below to get started.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Read Books?

BooksImage via Wikipedia

We read in school. Fiction and nonfiction. When I was in school we read all the time. We need to always be learning. Wealthy people read one non-fiction book every month. According to the book "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas Stanley. But, why read books now that your an adult. 
I had to seek out someone more knowledgeable than myself to see the academic or philosophical reason. I found a man named Harold Bloom. Harold Bloom is an 80 year old American writer and literary critic, currently Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. He's had a lifelong study and love for books. He's written and taught about literature his whole life. And just so happened to write a book called "How To Read And Why". So he was the perfect source to answer my question. 
I found in Bloom's book an in depth discussion, I am noting what I think our the most important items. 
Reading helps people form their own judgements and opinions

You read for your own self interest.

Reading is to prepare ourselves for change

We must read as the as Bible student searches for the truth.

We read not to refute, believe, or take for granted but to weigh and consider.

We read to let the book find us.

We read to strengthen self and learn your authentic interests.

We read not to improve our neighbor but ourselves.

We read for a mind greater than our own. 
There are many good reasons to read. His favorite author, Shakespeare, holds an abundance of examples of reasons to read. His reason to read books can be summarized with Shakespeare's works, "Shakespeare is waiting to speak to you." 
Bloom's book has given me something new to think about. But isn't that what he's trying to tell us. That reading opens new doors in our mind that we didn't know we had. Reading takes your point of view and let's you see things through a different lens. It's like when your traveling in a plane or pictures of the Earth from space. What a completely different point of view you have. What completely new thoughts enter your head. That's what reading can do for you. Now go read something. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review: The Richest Man In Babylon

I have been wanting to read this book for quite a while. I have been hearing Dave Ramsey talk about it over the years so I thought I'd check it out. I got the kindle edition from Amazon for $3.99, the price was right. 
As usual, I'm the last one in the world to read this thing. There is a ton of reviews and summarys on the web, so I won't bore you with another one. So I'll just give you a few impressions of the book. 
When you read a self help or personal finance book, if your like me, sometimes you just want to dig out of the book that new tidbit that your trying to improve yourself with. After a while all these books ussually just repeat the same advice. They sometimes supprise, but ussually not. Then you find a book that tells a good story that draws you in and you can't put the book down. This was what this book did for me. I enjoyed the process the story takes you thru to make a point. The timeless truths that will help you win financially. This book just doesn't teach these truths, it teachs the wisdom needed to win in other facets of life, too. 
It's a small book, only about 150 pages, you'll have it read in no time. It tells in a parable like style the secrets of becoming wealthy. It's a book that can be read and reread. In today's world it could be considered naive and preachy. But like most books that teach in story fashion, the wisdom can only be seen with an inquisitive mind. 
The truths in the book are simple but eternally true : 
  • Save and invest 
  • Watch out for self serving middlemen 
  • Use powerful investments 
  • Stay away from hot tips 
  • Stay within your means when buying a home 
  • Do work you love and become excellent at it 
  • Increase your earning potential and keep educating yourself 
These tools are the old fashion way to succeed. No get rich quick scheme here. These are the rules of success. Work hard and be successful. 
For me I'll be reading this book again. These lessons are what we should be teaching in school, but they won't be because this is about self reliance and hard work. I recommend this book for all ages especially the young adults starting in the world. Why make mistakes when you can do it right the first time. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review: The Difference

Cover of "The Difference: How Anyone Can ...Cover via Amazon

Jean Chatzky has a new book called "The Difference". It describes the different traits of people who attain financial success and the ones who don't. She claims that in previous times the difference between rich and poor was great. Today the percentage of rich who came up from the middle class is 83 percent. The super rich who usually stay that way give the other 17 percent. Of the rich, their income is derived from 10 percent coming from passive investments and 90 percent coming from active business'. 
Ms. Chatzky breaks all of us down into four groups. Wealthy, Comfortable, Paycheck to paycheck and Further in debt. The reasons for someone to end up in one of these categories is our attitudes and behaviors. The four groups our: 
  • Financial Attitudes and Behaviors 
  • Goals 
  • Personality 
  • Non financial Behaviors 
Of course the greater your positive attributes are in these category's the more successful you will be. She says we don't have to be excellent in all these category's but just good. 
I have to add that her accent on good personality traits only work if you make a decent living. You spend less than you make. You invest your money so it can work for you in retirement and protect yourself and your finances from disaster. 
I admit I have only read the first chapter online at Yet the book seems to rehash the same concepts of the book "The Millionaire Next Door". I can agree with the author that you have to have the right traits and behaviors to make money and to keep it. If you have the right knowledge you will be able to attain financial success. 
This book is well written and can be a good aid in discovering what you could be doing wrong. It has a lot of interesting facts and puts aside a lot of the myths of the rich and how they got there. If you never read other books about how work, good behaviors and a work ethic transfers into wealth, this book will be good for you. 
In reading a lot about this subject I believe that after a while all this good advice is just advice. It's all up to you to get up and put the book down and go make some money. 

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