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“What did Ronald Read do that allowed him to have so much money, despite never earning very much?”

Get the students to focus on specific actions - such as investing, saving, and avoiding luxuries. 

This is important as when it comes to money, it’s more important about what actions you take rather than how much money you have or make. Many people who have lots of money don’t manage it well and therefore aren’t financially healthy. 

If the students get into a discussion about ‘Was he happy not spending?’ then you can keep it going but note that this will be covered in a future module.

“Why don’t most people do what Ronald did?”

This question is opening the students to consider why most people don’t:

  • Live below their means (marketing, peer/social pressure)

  • Learn to invest (see it as scary or complex)

Other areas to highlight, if not raised by the students:

  • People feel others will look after them: family, employer, the Government

  • A belief that they will earn more in future so don’t need to take action now


Slides for the class

Click to open slides



For this module - the activity is contained within the slides provided.

The focus of the activity is to help the students understand that comparing their financial position relative to others is a waste of time as we don't have all the information.


Money Jargon Buster:

This picture is to help the students understand that there are many people who spend like they have a lot of money ("The Rich") but as they spend so much they might actually not have a lot of money. The left rabbit.

In the US, 36% of people earning over US$100,000 per year live paycheck to paycheck.

Other people might not look like they have much but are looking after their money and focusing on growing what they do have and not fousing too much on other people ("The Wealthy"). The right rabbit.

If given the option, once people know the difference between Rich and Wealthy, they will choose to be Wealthy rather than Rich. This could be a question to ask the class.

The important point from this picture is that in the 'real-world' they get to see 'Rich' everywhere they go. They will see their friends, family and people walking around Singapore who appear Rich. They will see it more when they go onto social media. However, they won't see Wealthy. It is hidden. The most wealthy person might not look 'Rich' at all.


Bonus Content:

If you cover the content above with time to spare, or want to give the students something to do after the lesson, please see the ‘Bonus Content’ section below for another discussion topic and activity.

Video: Interview with Andrew Hallam. He was previously a teacher at the Singapore American School. He followed the 3 Rules of Wealth and became a millionaire. Video in the slide deck.


"The most valuable personal finance asset is not needing to impress anyone"

Share the quote from Morgan Housel (author of the book The Psychology of Money) with the students:

Ask the students to discuss "Do you believe this statement is true and why?"

Activity: The story of Ronald Read is an inspiring 'Rags to Riches' story. There are many opposite stories, 'Riches to Rags'. Use the internet to find some of these stories and discover what was the reason for their financial downfall.

Popular examples include:

  • The Vanderbilt Family (Stream trains in the late 1800's)

  • MC Hammer (pop artist from the 90's)

  • Johnny Depp (Actor)

  • Lindsay Lohan (Actor)

  • Mike Tyson (Boxer)