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.


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 and Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas. 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.

You may also like...

18 Responses

  1. DIY Investor says:

    Enjoyed the video. Great job!

  2. Drizzt says:

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

    • 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!

  3. 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!!!!!!

    • 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!


  4. Alexis says:

    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,


    • 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.



      • Alexis says:

        Thanks Andrew,

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


        • 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.

          • Nicolas says:

            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.

  5. 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!



  6. Mary Helen says:

    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.

  7. Rob says:

    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.

  8. Richard says:

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

  9. Alexis says:

    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).



  10. Alexis says:

    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,


Leave a Reply to Alexis Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.