The Ultimate Strategy for Wealth Empowerment? You Tell me!

Have I stumbled upon the ultimate strategy for wealth empowerment?  You tell me. 

In January, my job title changes: from high school English teacher to high school personal finance teacher.

I’m not going to use dull textbooks to teach academically mundane content.

This course is going to be real.

I’m going to build it from scratch, and I’m going to use a Socratic system of teaching.

The best teaching comes, I believe, when you don’t tell the students what you know.  The best teaching, in my view, occurs when students teach themselves, with a guide in the room who continues to ask them questions that will challenge their assumptions.

I won’t tell my students that actively managed mutual funds are generally a bad deal.

I won’t tell them that they should pay their credit cards off every month.

I won’t tell them that they need to start investing early.

But they’ll learn all that…and much more.

Great teaching, I believe, involves guidance and a nurturing of curiosities.  It doesn’t come from giving people “the answers.”

We only remember what we truly learn.  We don’t always remember what we’re told.

I’ll be discussing this personal finance course in my Globe and Mail column over the next month or so.

My first article, Two lessons on the road to becoming wealthy,  is online now, and will appear in tomorrow’s newspaper.

Let me know what you think!





no one has more first hand experience helping expat investors

worlds best value financial advisor

Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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9 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Great article in the Globe, Andrew. I'm looking forward to the rest.

    When I think back to all the courses I took in high school, I can probably count on one hand the number of courses that were of practical benefit to me throughout my life.

    A course like you'll be teaching them will pay "dividends" throughout the rest of their lives. 🙂

    It will be interesting to see how they respond to the Socratic teaching style. I imagine some will "get it" and flourish while others will get frustrated that you won't just give them the answers that they need to know for the exams.


  2. Nice article, congrats! The example you wrote about reminds me of Thomas Stanley's books, which are often at their best when showing counter-intuitive truths like that.

    I remember being quite excited to learn about bonds when I was 10 years old, so it's definitely a subject that can be taught. It's a fine line between teaching and telling sometimes, but if you can show your students that the average return of all active managers is the average return of the market that helps put a lot of things in context.

  3. Think Dividends says:

    Really surprised to see your article in the Globe this morning! Enjoyed reading it. Congrats on the new course.

  4. The Dividend Ninja says:

    Andrew, congrats that's great! A good article, and hopefully gets some of the people stuck in a rut, thinking there is indeed a better way for them. That would really be the gift 🙂 Looks like you will be too busy to go back to your regular teaching position… and that's a good thing!

  5. Paula @ AffordAnythi says:

    Wow, congratulations on writing for the Globe and Mail AND for your new title as a PF teacher!! I like how easy-to-read your Globe column is. It's perfect for a broad audience of investing newbies, and still has interesting tidbits for people who know a thing or two about personal finance. The story of the Jaguar-driving-investment-banker whose checks keep bouncing is crazy! … especially since I know how much it costs to have a car, ANY car, in Singapore!

  6. Awesome stuff Andrew!

    Can't wait to read all the articles!

  7. Stanton says:

    This is awesome–if only there was a personal finance course like this when I was at SAS.

  8. Great stuff, Andrew! The lessons are simple: live below your means, passively index, but human factors often get in the way! I wish there were more teachers like you in this world.

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