Andrew Hallam’s Money Talks: International Community School of Istanbul

When Google’s shares were about to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004, the company’s leaders were concerned. 

Practically overnight, they realized that many of their employees were going to become instant millionaires.

Google knew this would attract streams of financial planners.  Such financial reps would want to sell investment products to Google’s soon-to-be rich employees who owned company stock.  But Google’s top brass was worried.  What products would these advisors try to sell?

Google, much like the International Community School of Istanbul did two weeks ago, held sessions on financial education for its workers. 

This said a lot about Google.  And it says a lot about the administration at the International Community School of Istanbul.

Rob Grantham is the school’s Primary School Principal.   He knew about the importance of low-cost investing.  He knew about the importance of diversification.  And much like the leaders at Google, he wanted to show his teachers a solid method of investing.

I spoke to a keen group of teachers on a weekend in early April, many of whom battled Istanbul’s traffic to hear the merits of investing in low-cost index funds.  We also went through a series of calculations to determine how much the teachers should be saving.

If you want to see what they learned (about how much to save) I created a screencast here.

The administrators at the International Community School of Istanbul aren’t forcing anyone to invest a specific way.  But I was impressed that they invited me to speak. They care enough about their faculty to provide opportunities for financial education.

That’s the kind of school that is worth working at.  And if the teachers feel valued, they’ll pass that on to students.  


If you would like me to speak at your business or school, please contact my wife, Pele.

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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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