Money Talks At The International School of Ho Chi Minh City


Three years ago, my wife and I stuffed some clothing in a couple of small backpacks.

We decided to tour Vietnam for a month.

My friend, Dave Fox, was writing a book about a specific street in Ho Chi Minh City. He was interviewing prostitutes, drug dealers and a slew of other fascinating characters.

He recommended a hotel near his hallowed research ground. We poked into restaurants and cafes.

We wondered whether a particular guy on a bicycle was part of Dave’s book.

We wondered about a specific prostitute Dave profiled. Was she lurking in the shadows?

Before flying to Ho Chi Minh City, I bought 8 copies of my latest book, The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing (Wiley 2014).

I stuffed them in a bag, much to my wife’s dismay. “Why did you buy those?” she asked. “And why did you bother to bring them?” I wanted to give them away.

Shortly after arriving at our hotel, I went online. I wanted to find an international school.

Too many teachers fall victim to horrific financial products, so I wanted to gift those eight books to teachers at a school. I selected the International School of Ho Chi Minh City.

I emailed the school and asked if they wanted the books. They probably thought I was crazy. But they were likely also curious.

Adrian Watts is the Head of the school. We chatted briefly while I handed him the small stack of hardcover books. Pele and I then left for the door, with a far lighter load, ready to enjoy a month of exploring.

I didn’t think I would see Adrian or that school again. But they recently contacted me. They wanted me to speak to their teachers. On Tuesday, November 6th, I spoke at their school.

Adrian was a gracious host. He also sees the importance of financially educating teachers.

Leaders like Adrian are fabulous folk. They recognize the financial pitfalls of teaching (and investing) overseas. And they do their best to educate their teachers.

I would like to thank Adrian Watts and his team at The International School of Ho Chi Minh City for giving me the chance to help.

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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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