The voice of youth
A new book promises to reveal "The nine rules of wealth you should have learned at school". This is what 15 year old Danny Beddard made of it:
I’m not a fast reader. In fact I hardly ever finish books. I read about halfway before getting bored and skipping to the end. Millionaire Teacher is different. It will teach you step by step about how to become a successful investor.
The book is easy to read and flows well from page to page. However, in parts it becomes a bit bogged down in the matter. For example when Andrew Hallam, who built a million dollar investment portfolio on a teacher’s salary, talks in depth about stocks rising and falling in value, the two page explanation he gives made it more confusing for me. Maybe that’s because I’m young – it will probably make perfect sense to you. The layout of this book is simple, understandable and very effective. The book is split into nine different rules, and, within each rule there are neat subtitles.
The rules encourage you to start investing early in low-cost index funds, and warn you about the craziness that affects every investing generation, the sales pitches of financial advisers investment scams, and the pitfalls of picking stocks for yourself.
The rules are easily achievable, and what makes it more reassuring is he has already successfully followed them and achieved phenomenal success. For me, rule one, ‘Spend like You Want to Grow Rich’, and rule five, ‘Build Mountains of Money with a Responsible Portfolio’ are potentially the most useful rules in the book.
We can all follow rule one. It doesn’t take much, just cutting down costs. It will also teach you a lot, guaranteed. Your view on how a millionaire spends her money will change. The average ‘decamillionaire’ owns a car worth $42,000, which might sound a lot to you, but it’s nothing to them. The people with the really expensive cars are often the ones blowing money they don’t even have.
This rule is so simple yet so effective and we have known about it for years and years, it’s just common sense. Spend less money and you have more money, yet we are always breaking that rule buying needless items. This rule is important. Rule number 1: ‘Spend like You Want to Grow Rich’.
I didn’t know anything about bonds before I read this book and my dad (who is supposed to be very clever at this sort of thing*) has never enlightened me.
This chapter is not just about bonds. It tells you why you should have a balanced portfolio, and once again it makes sense. He says if you just own a stock market index fund, it will move with the stock market, i.e if the stock market goes down 20% so will your portfolio. This is why this chapter is useful. It is almost like beating the system. By having a mixture of bonds and stocks, making your portfolio balanced, you are reducing the risk of failure in your portfolio. Rule 5: ‘Build Mountains of Money with a Responsible Portfolio’.
Obviously, these are not the only important rules in the book. I picked these because I thought that they were the best for me. I will leave it up to you to find your favourites.
I don’t think Millionaire Teacher is ‘perfect’. A quick flick to the end would show you the nine rules you must follow and perhaps they don’t need so much explanation. Sometimes, it’s a bit slow. But it’s quirky, upbeat and above all interesting. It’s a book for anyone. Give it to your teenage sons or daughters and (after a bit of reluctance) they will read it and probably enjoy it. Give it to your mums and dads, and they will enjoy it. Give it to friends and they will enjoy it. I did.
Astute readers may have worked out Danny is my son. Having been offered a review copy by the author and noting the positive reviews on Amazon.com, I bunged Millionaire Teacher at Danny, promising him £25 if he wrote a review I could publish. When I handed over the loot at the weekend, he promptly pre-ordered SSX, a snowboarding game for the PlayStation (total cost £39.50).
Naturally, I challenged him with Rule number 1, reminding him how important he thinks spending like you want to grow rich is. He replied:
This [gesticulating at his PlayStation] is way more important.
* I don't know much about bonds.
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