Why I Won’t Be Speaking At The NESA Conference In 2017


A few months ago, I announced that I would be speaking at the NESA conference in April. 

NESA stands for the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools.  Their next conference is in Bangkok.

I offered to fly there on my own dime.  I offered to speak for free.  I said I wouldn’t come with books and I wouldn’t sell a thing.  

The organizers appeared to be excited.  Their emails to me contained a lot of exclamation points.

But I won’t be speaking at the NESA conference in April. I want to apologize for that and provide an explanation.

To provide a free talk, I had to pay an Affiliate’s membership fee.  It cost more than $2,100 USD. 

I had hoped the organization would waive an additional conference fee, which cost an extra $860.  But the organizers wouldn’t.

Many teachers in the Middle East get stuck in offshore pensions.  These expensive, inflexible investment policies break a lot of futures. 

Teachers in the Middle East have become easy targets.  With more than 1,400 attendees at the NESA conference, I had hoped to help a lot of people.

I wanted to show how to sidestep these rackets. 

By giving just one talk, I could collectively save hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions). 

That’s why I was prepared for the airfare, accommodation and NESA membership costs. 

But the extra $860 sends the budget over the edge.

To give a single talk at NESA would cost more than $4000 USD, including airfare and accommodation. 

Part of me feels selfish.  That’s cheap, compared to the money I could save the teachers at NESA.

But I guess the timing isn’t right. 

I asked the NESA organizers if they could reimburse my $2,100 membership fee, which I had purchased solely for the conference.  They graciously agreed.

At some point, I know that I’ll get a chance to speak at NESA.  The people seem really nice.  I hope to get invited, and not pay fees. 

If you have attended one of my free investment talks, please spread the word.  Increased demand might mean that, someday, I’ll get a call from NESA. 


 This, however, doesn’t mean that I won’t be speaking in the Middle East. 

From mid January to late March 2017, I’ll be hitting a lot of schools.

I’ve had plenty of requests from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Qatar and Oman. 

I’ve had requests from Israel, Jordan and Egypt.


I think I can do them all.  I’ll post my speaking schedule on my blog. 

This isn’t about selling books.  I never bring books, unless I’m giving them out for free. 

This isn’t about collecting speaker’s fees either.  I’ll gladly speak for free.  

It’s about education.  It costs me time and money.  But as any teacher would understand, nonfinancial rewards are worth so much more than money.


Thank you!



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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4 Responses

  1. Josh & Fan says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I just want you to know that a lot of us really really really appreciate what you are doing and you have helped so many of us. The influence you have on the international teaching community is HUGE!

    You are a good man.

    Thank you.

  2. Jack D says:

    I am in a not-for-profit school in Dubai with a fairly large auditorium at my disposal. If you are wanting a fairly central place to do a talk to which we can invite teachers from across the city to attend we would be happy to host.

    • Hi Jack,

      That would be super! My wife is organising the venues and dates. Would you mind sending her a quick email so she has your direct contact information?
      The email address we’re using is millionaireteacherspeaksATgmail.com


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