Still looking for that last minute gift to give to that special someone and you’re running out of ideas? Well … help that person out and give them a book that will assist him or her in becoming financially independent. One of the best books I have read is the Millionaire Teacher written by Andrew Hallam. He was a freelance teacher from British Columbia that eventually became a millionaire simply by living well below his means and investing in index funds.
This book is an excellent book for novice investors and those who want to get into investing into index funds. A lot of the points that are made in the book are just plain common sense. The author doesn’t glamourize anything at all about getting to where he got to either. In fact, after reading the book you’d think he was crazy doing the things he did because any other normal person wouldn’t go to such extremes to achieve their financial goals.
What I also like about this book is that the language is straight forward and simple. It doesn’t use any business jargon or complicated mathematical formulas to impress you. The book is targeted for beginners that are new to investing or perhaps skeptical about investing because it seems to risky. The book also works well because it moves at a good pace and does not bore you like a school text book.
The first part of the book focuses on the behaviour of the reader. It’s sort of a self reflection because it really makes you think about your own habits, your own behaviours and how it impacts your ability to grow wealth. It also points out the lack of knowledge about personal finance and a lot of the misconceptions that people have about wealth and money. The fact that you read this blog might be a sign that you are hungry for more knowledge and realize that your previous education by schools and parents was not enough. These are all points that are mentioned by the author.
The latter half of the book focuses more on index investing. I covered a bit about index investing in one of my earlier posts. The book helps beginners understand how to invest in equities and makes a good case that index investing is the easiest route to take. It outlines the pitfalls you want to avoid and to be aware that there are many people out there that are trying to make a buck off you. Don’t be fooled by good looks and charismatic smiles. Those are the people that will get you into trouble.
What I really like about the end of the book is that it draws up conclusions and then gives examples of how to do index investing in a plethora of countries and regions. Asia, United States, Canada, Europe. You name the geographic location and the book gives you quite a lot of examples on how to invest. Those familiar with the Canadian Couch Potato site will probably find a lot of similar information. At the end of the book it makes you want to get out there and do something after reading it. Put it into practice. That’s why I like this book.
This book balances, common sense, theory and practical advice all in one. It’s a book I highly recommend reading even if you are more experienced in investing because it will help re-enforce a lot of the principles that you may already know. So if you’re stuck on this Christmas Eve and you don’t know what to get for that special someone, get them this book. They’ll thank you for it, now, and maybe many years later too.