Self Made Millionaire On $35,000 a Year?

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Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

In This Episode / Listener Questions

  • Yes, you can become a millionaire on a teacher’s salary. Andrew Hallam did it in just 17 years.
  • How do you save money on appliances if you move into a new house (Marcy, West Adams, CO)
  • How should help our 10-year-old grow his business (Rosalyn)
  • More 401(k) administrators getting fined for pushing people into higher priced products.
  • Generation Z – Kylie’s thoughts on money.
  • A simpler way to separate finances after a divorce.
  • I’m 58 and having trouble finding work after moving (Ray, Austin, TX)
  • How can I be disciplined when investing in myself while working 9-5 (Sherrin)
  • Is there any hope for my husband who has been out of work since the fall (Lori)
  • Be wary of the get-rich-quick people that try to hang around with you (Valenti, Youtube)


I know you’ll want to listen to the amazing story of a teacher becoming a millionaire by age 36, on $35,000 a year.

Andrew Hallam became a millionaire at 36 years old. By 40, his savings had grown even more, granting him financial independence to travel the world and enjoy financial freedom.

He was a high school teacher. Didn’t inherit any money. Didn’t win the lottery. Didn’t invent something super cool like a DVD on how to toilet train your cat. Speaking of cats, a new segment of the live streaming show is cat karaoke. We’ll do whatever it takes to get more people interested in changing their lives, taking control of their money, and crushing it in life. For some reason cat videos are more popular than my weird hair.

So, what gives?

For Hallam, everything clicked when he was just 19 years old.

While working at a bus depot to save money for college, Andrew met Russ, the spot’s head mechanic, who asked him, “What would you do if I gave you $10,000?”

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this type of question before too, right? If I had a million dollars. If I had $10,000. If I had a bag of Cheetos right now.

“I was really excited because I thought, ‘Oh man, he likes me, he might give me some money! But I thought about it and said I’d put it toward my schooling.”

When Andrew protested that he didn’t have enough to begin investing himself, Russ pointed to the bus depot’s vending machine. He asked if Andrew had enough to buy, say, a muffin and a chocolate bar every day.

“Sure,” Andrew replied.

Well, Russ reasoned, if he could spare that $3 a day for junk food, he could stand to invest $100 a month instead. “If you start investing $100 a month right now, you could retire as a millionaire,” he said.

So, Andrew started investing.

Though Hallam doesn’t recommend the crazy-frugal lifestyle — “I was a fruitcake, there’s no doubt about it,” he says — he’s living proof that it works: Despite his meager teacher’s salary, Hallam was able to pay off his student loan debt within nine months of graduation.

From there, Hallam continued to invest. He started off with actively managed funds and moved to index funds and individually managed stocks. From there, he eventually condensed his entire portfolio into index funds, which give him a better chance at earning consistent returns.

“By the time I was in my mid 30s, I’d read more than 400 books about personal finance and investing money, and there were a lot of common denominators there,” he says. “The one thing that struck me was that you do end up getting the odd person who ends up beating the market, or the odd mutual fund that ends up beating the market, but invariably, the market typically comes back to beat them.”

By 36, Hallam had become a millionaire.

You’re probably thinking, that’s fine for him but I’m in debt, right? Most millionaires start with nothing, usually less than nothing and move up from there. Just start.

Or maybe you’re thinking, well come on Scott, that’s fine for someone who wants to get in real estate, but I don’t want to be a land lord. Then don’t. Real estate is one of many paths to build wealth, not the only or best path. Do something else. Just start.

Or like some listeners who write into the Scott Alan Turner Show, it’s too late for me. Well if you can predict the day you’re going to die and how much longer you’ve got. We need to talk my friend. I need to borrow your crystal ball.

We’ve got listeners who will be around for another there 100 years, 20 years, 40 years. If you follow what I teach, and what most financial planners teach, you will be invested until you depart the earth. For heaven or the moon if you’re going to go live there. So just start.

Mother-in-law – retired, still invested. Can’t tell you her age, that wouldn’t be nice.

Starting at age 19, millionaire at age 36. That’s 17 years. Seventeen years! That’s what people think. Too long! Image what the alternative looks like.

What people should be thinking is this – if a teacher can do it, so can I. Can you just believe that? Teachers on their low salaries. Schools out for the summer in some places. Hats off to teachers and what you have to put up with to educate people. Low pay, long hours, dealing with bone head bureaucrats who would never survive working for a corporation. You don’t get thanked enough for what you do, so thank you. Enjoy your hard-earned summer vacation off.

All these people that build massive wealth. They aren’t inheriting it. They aren’t coming into big windfalls from the lottery. They are ordinary people doing ordinary things over time. And it grows to extraordinary wealth.

It’s kinda like if someone ate 3 packages of Oreos every day for the next five years. If that were in addition to whatever they ate now, would they grow extraordinarily? Yes. Please don’t do that. You know I want you around to share your millionaire’s journey someday.

If you are one of my millionaire listeners and haven’t shared your story yet. Success Story link is on I’ll not only send you a #moneyac t-shirt, I’ll throw in a pack of Oreos. Just the new stories. We’ve shared a bunch of millionaire listener stories in the past.

Please tell all your friends – Turner is giving away Oreos.

You’ve heard me talk about these people working regular jobs and become millionaires, right? Think about where you want to be in ten years? You must be able to imagine some massive progress. Make a few small changes and you can get big results over time. Even people in lower paying jobs.


Self Made Millionaire On $35,000 a Year? Self Made Millionaire On $35,000 a Year? Self Made Millionaire On $35,000 a Year?

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