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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great advice, but easily summed up in three sentences., April 4, 2013
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This review is from: Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (Paperback)
This is my first written review. I had never before felt so compelled to write, despite a voracious appetite for books. I wanted to love this book. As a fellow English teacher with a passion for personal finance, I certainly have enough in common with the author.

I will start with the high points. The directive to invest in index funds and to balance your portfolio with bond funds is excellent. The research and testimony behind the strategy is compelling and well-presented. I had index funds in my portfolio, but had them in amongst managed mutuals. I found myself online within the week, reallocating my funds.

So why three stars? Simply because this is the main idea of the book for seven chapters. Chapters 2-8 are essentially the same thing, presented over and over in different ways. When the author touted nine rules, I expected nine distinct pieces of information, a la Your Money or your Life or David Bach's books. Chapters 2-8 in this book could have simply been summed up by the following:

1) Buy an indexed bond fund for your portfolio. The percentage of how much of your portfolio should be invested in bonds should correspond to your age (35 years old = 35%).
2) Split the rest of your portfolio between a US stock index fund and an international stock index fund.
3) Don't jump ship when the market plummets.

As for Chapter 1, while the edict to spend less than you earn is appreciated, it is hardly novel advice. The author brings up many of the salient points from The Millionaire Next Door, but I would rather read those directly from their source than see them quoted secondhand. Chapter 9, on the other hand, seems to fly in the face of much of what the author discussed in the previous chapters and detracts from the overall message.

I would have liked far more information on how the author achieved millionaire status. Index funds are not get-rich-quick schemes and I cannot imagine that those alone propelled him to his current level of wealth. The author did allude to a spartan period of time in his existence when he house-sat for others without turning on their heat and caught and ate his own clams. Is this how he achieved millionaire status? Not sure I can replicate that with kids in tow and not sure I would want to do so.

In summary, the information about populating your portfolio with stock and bond index funds is spot on. That being said, I think this would have been far more worthwhile as a pamphlet or mini-book than as its current full-length version. I would not buy this book and I am sorry that I did. My recommendation would be to take it out of the library, read Chapters 2-5 and promptly return it.
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Location: New Jersey

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