Nov 15 2012


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How I Made My First Million – Part 1

I was interviewed for a short two-part television series titled How I Made My First Million.

 If you’re curious about the show, you can view part 1 below and see part 2 here.

As a guy with no tech related skills whatsoever, I want to give a shout out to David Dixon, my blog site manager, and the friend who downloaded my recent Channel News Asia interview, Chris Popowski.



About the author

andrew hallam

I'm a freelance finance writer, lucky enough to have been nominated as a finalist for two Canadian National Publishing Awards. I'm also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School, a book explaining how I became a millionaire on a teacher's salary, while still in my 30s. Working to empower people financially, I'm available to motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and index investing. I'm happy to comment on your questions, first, please read the Terms of Use.

Permanent link to this article: http://andrewhallam.com/2012/11/how-i-made-my-first-million-part-1/


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  1. avatar
    DIY Investor

    Enjoyed the video. Great job!

  2. avatar
    My Own Advisor

    Awesome video!

  3. avatar

    hi Andrew, i was wondering if you could put this video up on youtube. think more could find it and learn from you!

    1. avatar
      Andrew Hallam

      Robert and Mark, thanks!


      I won't be able to put it on youtube. I'm a bit wary of copyright violations. Thanks for asking though. I agree that it would have broader appeal then. Thanks Drizzt!

  4. avatar
    Rob aka Captain and

    Decided for Christmas this year (home for the first time in 12 years) that for all my nephews and nieces a copy of your book. They've all asked me about investing and I decided this was the best way to go.

    The only thing that I will emphasis is to pay yourself first!!!!!!

    1. avatar
      Andrew Hallam

      Hey Rob,

      I told my wife about your comment yesterday and we were thrilled. It's exciting to know that you are going to be giving your nieces and nephews such an important financial education. We lead them to water, and from there…who knows. Thanks for letting me (a total outsider) play a small role. I'm excited by that!

      Cheers and thank you for letting me know!


  5. avatar

    Hi Andrew,

    I read your book and taught it made big sense. As a I was briefing your book to a friend, one concern he had was a bit like this : "This whole capitalist-based society is to collapsed anytime, the environmental aspect is being ruined day after day, we are going to hit a wall…. and it will be like in 1929: everybody poor at the same time…"

    I mean, still after 1929, if you look in the long-run, everything came back up again and again.

    Thanks for sharing all that info,


    1. avatar
      Andrew Hallam

      Thanks Alexis,

      Well…if we are all on the Titanic, most of us will drown. But if the Titanic doesn't sink, I want to know that there's a dry, warm bed waiting for me at port. Those who don't set up their dry warm accommodation (by saving and investing) may be frustrated that the boat didn't sink.



      1. avatar

        Thanks Andrew,

        What about buying gold + land for security over the long-term, doesn't that sounds appealing?


        1. avatar
          Andrew Hallam

          Hi Alexis,

          I much prefer something that pays cash. Land doesn't pay cash unless it has rentals on it, reaping revenue. And gold doesn't pay cash either, and has a track record over the past 80 years that is worse than stocks, bonds and real estate. People grow an interest in gold when it rises in price, but it is still below its 1980 price level, when considering inflation.

          1. avatar

            Hi Andrew

            I like your answer RE : gold and land. A lot of people bought gold in the 80's thinking it would protect them from inflation. It didn't.

            I remember reading a story about what it was like living in New York in 1928-1929. The author said something like this : "When you hung out with friends, people talked about politics, sports, music, gossips, but the real discussion started when someone mentioned stocks. Everyone became serious and focused. Everyone had a stock to recommend."

            In Canada, I see a parallel with real estate, which is THE topic of the moment. Land and gold are not far behind. Just say you invested money in land or gold and everyone and their mother would applaud and tell you how clever you are.

            That would make me nervous.

  6. avatar
    Andrew Hallam

    You're a wise man Nicolas. Thanks for your comment. I chuckled at your reference to the topic of the moment–and how mothers may applaud. It would make me nervous too!



  7. avatar
    Mary Helen

    I just turned 60 and am going to leave my fed gov't job after 10 years. I will walk away with a $40K buyout pkg (Workforce Adjustment program). I can choose my 2013 departure date, and want to do so strategically.


    * planning to sell my Ottawa condo in Spring 2013 (profit will be $80K+, if market remains unchanged from current eval)

    * planning to sell my prairie farmland (bought for $27K; selling for $75K) in January 2013 (haven't yet committed to exact transaction date)

    * would have $1200/mo govt pension proceeds if I were to 'retire' now; not sure, however, if I *must* commit to *retirement* (e.g. drawing from pension funds)

    * salary earnings for 2012 approx $70K

    * my new online business not yet generating $.

    OMGosh! This is confusing! Soliciting your sage advice.

  8. avatar

    If you notice a small bump in sales I just ordered 5 copies of your book to give to my nephews and nieces, all married and just starting families and are asking questions about investing and money mangement.

  9. avatar

    Tried listening to your videos but no volume available. Don't know if because I'm in Brazil outside of your region?

  10. avatar

    Hi Andrew,

    A question I get often and I pass it on to you.

    "How much money was invested all in all before you reach a million in asset?"

    Was it 150 000$ over 15 years. Just to get an idea (like 10K$ a year invested).



    1. avatar
      Andrew Hallam

      Hi Alexis,

      It was roughly $2000 per month from the age where I started working full-time. And I increased it over time, as my salary increased.



  11. avatar

    Woah! 2000$ a month. I reckon it took probably 15 years for you to reach a miilion value…

    Which means 300 000$ invested over that period, if I understand correctly.

    With 2 kids and an average salary (and a sober life) I can't quite put a quarter of that amount. But i'm doing it at the pace I can. Just wish I had started at 20 years old and not 37….

    Thanks again Andy,


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