Shortly after I wrote the post noting how The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life was one of only a handful of books that could be a worthy candidate to break my list of the top five money books, I found another one that has possibilities.
I first heard about Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School during a podcast interview and made a note to check the book out. Coincidently I received an email the next day from the author’s PR team asking if I wanted a free copy. Of course I did. 😉
I read the book over a couple weeks (a bit at a time) and today want to share some thoughts on it with you.
Nine Rules for Becoming a Millionaire Teacher
As you can tell from the sub-title, the author lists nine rules that are designed to make you a millionaire. They are (his official wording with my commentary added on):
- Spend like you want to grow rich. Watch your spending and save a large amount of your income.
- Use the greatest investment ally you have. Make the most of time/compounding.
- Small fees pack big punches. Keep investment costs low. The solution to this is low-cost index funds.
- Conquer the enemy in the mirror. Many of us are our own worst enemies when it comes to investing.
- Build mountains of money with a responsible portfolio. You need a good asset allocation of both stocks and bonds.
- Sample a “round-the-world” ticket to indexing. Include international funds in your allocation.
- No, you don’t have to invest on your own. But it’s a smart idea to do so. Many financial advisors are not experts on finances but experts at selling.
- Peek inside a pilferer’s playbook. More reasons not to trust/invest with a financial advisor.
- Avoid seduction. Don’t fall for scams and get-rich-quick “investments”.
Not a bad list at all.
My Take on the Nine Rules
Here are my thoughts on the nine rules specifically:
- I can’t argue with saving money. It’s certainly an important part of achieving financial independence. My savings rate was key in allowing me to retire early.
- Yes, time is your greatest investment ally. Investing as much as you can for as long as you can is a tried-and-true path to wealth.
- You know what I think about index funds. 😉
- A key part of getting a high return on your investments is to stick to your index investing strategy and not fall prey to your own “I can do better with my own plans” line of thinking. The author details how people fall into this trap and as a result sabotage their investment returns.
- I agree with the asset allocation and financial advisor suggestions, of course. You know what I think of “experts.”
Overall, the rules are good and in line with much of my thinking. That said, the book and I are not 100% on the same page.
My Take on the Book Overall
Here are some thoughts I had on the book overall:
- Why nine rules and not three? 😉
- He’s a bit over-the-top with the saving. I don’t want to have to bike 45 minutes to work and eat clams I find on the beach to save 50% of my income. In fairness though, teachers usually don’t earn a lot and don’t have tons of upside (though he could have talked about summer side hustles.)
- After listening to the podcast with the author, I thought the book would be more “general personal finance” and less “investing”, but it’s certainly more of the latter. It’s a good investing book IMO, but I would have preferred the former option.
- To that end, he does not focus on earning at all, a big miss IMO. (He does cover saving and investing, though). This clearly puts the book into the “investing” category where it has to compete with The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing and The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life for a spot at the table.
- Many people assume that teachers can not earn a high salary, but that is hogwash. If you doubt it, check out Seeking a Six-Figure Income.
- LOVE his thoughts on index funds! He does one of the best jobs I’ve seen of breaking down the fees of actively managed funds and making a case for index funds. That said, he devotes probably 25 pages too much to the topic. It’s a bit over-kill.
- LOVE his thoughts on financial advisors! He does a great job of showing how they work to make your money their money. That said, he devotes probably 25 pages too much to the topic. It’s a bit over-kill.
- If I had my way with this book, I’d pare the index fund and financial advisor sections and add in an earning section. You’d then have a home run IMO.
- His thoughts about the importance of not being your own worst enemy make the book worth the cost. These thoughts can save people thousands of dollars over a life-time of investing.
Generally, it’s a solid book and worth the read.
My Final Analysis
In the end, I’d say the book falls short of the top five.
It’s good, but I’d rate it behind The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing and The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life for the investing spot in the top few.
That said, it’s a good read and worth checking out if you’re interested in new personal finance books. I’d certainly put this book in the top 20 money books and maybe in the top 10.
Have you read the book? If so, what do you think about it?