Many schools do a great job teaching their students.
Where I teach high school English, at Singapore American School, we have a superb program that encourages core values of honesty, respect, tolerance, responsibility and kindness. Our arts programs are fabulous, our sports programs are numerous, and our academic programs and facilities are second to none. It’s my opinion (I’m bias, of course) that it’s the best school in the world.
But we might be falling short in an area that so many other schools have fallen behind in: financial education.
In a world where we work to get degrees, so we can make money, so we can provide for ourselves and the next generation, perhaps financial education should take its rightful seat among the other core subject areas, like Science, Math, English and Social Studies. But obviously, it doesn’t.
This is where I’m trying to help. I’ve just completed the manuscript of my book, with the working title, The Millionaire Teacher, to be published by John Wiley & Sons.
Considering that there are numerous personal finance books on the market, why did I bother writing this one?
My interest began when I moved to Singapore, when I saw the high investment costs (and generally small-sized investment accounts) that my colleagues began showing me. As private school teachers, we don’t have pensions. So for most of these people, their investments are their old age lifelines. As a freelance finance writer, colleagues seemed compelled to reveal their inner financial secrets to me from the very first week I arrived at this school, back in 2003.
And I was shocked by what I saw.
So I held frequent “teach-in” sessions, and I gave out free investment books because far too many of my colleagues were paying exorbitant, hidden investment fees that were anchoring their accounts. They needed to learn some of the basics so they wouldn’t be taken advantage of.
But despite the greatness of those books, my colleagues found them boring and confusing because the authors took certain terms for granted. After giving away thousands of dollars worth of investment books, I gave up. The books, it appeared, were tough to understand for college educated professionals who didn’t already have an interest in money.
The reason these books were so tough to understand?
In many ways, my colleagues’ own schools (when they were kids) let them down. And whether you live in Singapore, The U.S., Canada, Australia or the UK, I believe that your basic schooling fell short in an area that could leave you victimized by salespeople, selling financial products that benefit them—not you.
So I decided to write my own book—to teach nine rules of wealth people should have learned in school.
With the help of colleagues, whom I was able to use as readers and critiques, I’ve written an easily understandable (and entertaining!) investment book describing how I became a debt-free millionaire on a teacher’s salary, while still in my 30s. Sure, everybody’s personal scenario is different, but there are certain rules of wealth that most of us weren’t taught in school. And the majority of people can benefit from those rules today, regardless of their age.
Periodically, I’ll keep you updated on the publication process and timeline. And like any decent “educator”, this book will ensure that you’re learning, and laughing at the same time.