How Much Money Am I Making By Speaking To Teachers?


A couple of months ago, my wife and I began a cycling tour around Europe.  



Most of the time, we click along at about 20 kilometers an hour. 

We battle our GPS.  Sometimes, it sends us up goat paths.




We get lost in every city.

 Sometimes we get wet.  But most of the time, we’re laughing.




Last month, friends at an international school asked me to speak to their staff about saving and investing. 

Why me? 

I’ve written two books on the subject:  Millionaire Teacher and The Global Expatriates Guide To Investing.



(2nd Edition due early 2017)


That started a chain reaction that may have begun in July. I spoke at the Teachers Pay Teachers conference in Florida. 

I didn’t charge for the talk. 

I didn’t sell books. 

I left with an empty wallet.  But I was glad that I could help.




In August, I spoke at the International School of Zug and Lucerne, in Switzerland. 

After that, we cycled from Lucerne to Lausanne where I spoke at the GEMS World Academy. 

A couple of days later, I spoke at the International School Of Lausanne.  

I’m the worst dressed speaker to grace these schools. 

I have two t-shirts.  One is blue.  One is grey.  I wear whichever is less dirty. 




My footwear isn’t flash. I brought a pair of cycling shoes and a pair of butt ugly running shoes. 

The running shoes are light, easy to stuff into a pack, and obnoxiously fluorescent. 

I wear them when I speak.




We followed up with a trip to Germany, where I spoke at Munich International School. 

We then rode towards the Czech Republic.  Teachers at the International School of Prague asked me to speak. 

But we were way behind schedule, so we stuffed our tandem onto a train.

Fortunately, it’s a coupling tandem.  The frame breaks into parts.





So What’s My Speaker’s Fee?

Do you really want to know?  

Zip.  Zilch.  I haven’t made a penny. 

Nor am I selling books. “Borrow my books,” I say.  “Don’t bother to buy them.” 

I didn’t take a speaker’s fee from any of these schools.

Before you get the wrong idea, let’s make something clear. 

I’m not a saint.  If we shared a plate of sushi, I wouldn’t share well. My mom says I’m a pig wrapped in human skin.

But when I’m teaching people about money, I’ll do almost anything so others can learn. 

John Oliver recently (hilariously) ripped apart the financial services industry.

He explained (in a way that only he could do) that we pay far too much money in investment fees.  Such fees, he says, can kill our retirement.



Mr. Oliver doesn’t know, however, that expats pay fees that are 3-4 times more than the typical American does. 

That’s why I don’t mind speaking for free at schools. It’s the right thing to do.

I’ll show you how to save tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

But if we ever eat together, watch my fingers. I might quickly pinch from your lunch plate.




If you would like me to speak at your school, please email me at

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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29 Responses

  1. Rohan says:

    Nice post, Andrew. Enjoyed reading. Also nice not to just have a link to Assetbuilder. 😉

    I hope you are doing well.

  2. My Own Advisor says:

    How awesome is that!

    Great read Andrew 😉


  3. Eric says:

    This is a great post Andrew. Folk would be blessed to hear you speak! My attendance at one of your sessions in Kotakinabalu a few years ago changes the trajectory of my retirement plans- much for the better. Thanks for what you do.

  4. Joe says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to come and talk to us in Prague. It was a terrific presentation that was really appreciated.

  5. Steve says:

    You have helped so many people Andrew, preventing untold future, financial misery while saving them enormous amounts of their hard earned money. Thank you 🙂

  6. Mark Zoril says:

    This is a great way to reach people directly and get out the message. Good work, Andrew!

  7. David says:

    Love the cycling aspect of this. I’m an American teaching in Germany partially as a means to cycle in more places. Can’t wait to see you at FIS.

  8. Richard Todd says:

    Do you have any plans to come out to China, Andrew? This place is so, so open to good advice 🙂

  9. Naomi Hattaway says:

    Have recently been introduced to you and am so happy for the introduction! Love that you aren’t all about the quick buck … and yes, I’ll watch my sushi, should we ever share a meal!

  10. Robert says:

    Hi Andrew

    I am looking for the anecdote in your Global Expat book (I think?), where 2 lawyers (could have remembered this incorrectly as well!) start investing at different times and the first lawyer, who started investing earlier, contributes less overall but retires with more.

    You don’t happen to remember where it is do you, as I can’t find it in either book and it would be really useful for something i am doing at school!


  11. Robert says:

    Thank you so much. I have no idea how I missed it…

  12. Ann Hefte says:

    Hi Andrew,
    After 13 years at Shanghai American School, we’re making a life change for more adventure and a better quality of life in Ghana. You can imagine how this might affect our finances. Any chance you’ll be taking a bike tour in West Africa? If so, we’d love for you to swing by Lincoln International School in Accra. Thanks for all you do! Ann

    • Thanks Ann,

      Best of luck with your new post. If your school is ever interested in flying my wife and me there for a talk, we would do it for free. See if the teachers could all pitch in for airfare.


  13. Michael Mansell says:

    What an amazing couple. Thank you, Andrew and Pele for coming to IST Tanzania. The staff are buzzing.
    Here’s an article from Money Sense magazine I found about online brokerages for Canadians. It helped to answer the questions I had.
    On another note, I would also highly recommend Mark Zoril. He’s really helped my wife and I get our investments in order and started us on the road of investing with low cost index funds/ETF’s.
    Thanks again for everything.
    Mike & Kendra

  14. Dividend Growth Investor says:

    That’s so awesome Andrew. But didn’t anyone offer to buy you a beer at least after the talk. I know I would have.


  15. Mark from says:

    Love seeing you live the life Andrew! You really are a massive inspiration to so many of us!
    That Oliver piece is spot on. I was SO pumped when I got my district to switch 403b providers from to Fidelity (we were paying 3.5% in fees!!!).
    To others reading this Andrew is NOT exaggerating about losing out on tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees over the course of a career. Stop getting robbed!

  16. Douglas Wilson says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I chatted to you briefly after your talk in W Hotel, Doha at the start of the year. I had recently just opened my account with TD Direct (now Internaxx) after reading your first book, and I am now confident in my long-term financial freedom strategies after reading your second book. I think all professional firms in the Middle East should hand out copies of your books to their staff – essential and enjoyable reading!

    Continue to spread the good word: I am trying to do the same, by helping friends of mine stuck with animals like deVere and FP to take (what’s left of) their money and run!



  17. Mark Stacey says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Any chance you’re sweeping through Brussels soon? There’s a few people here at the International School that could benefit from hearing you (including me!)


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