If you were considering a profession and you wanted to become wealthy, certain lines of traditionally high-paying work might tempt you. Would it be law, medicine, business, or dentistry? Few, if any, would choose my profession if they aspired to be rich. I'm a high school English teacher—a middle-class professional if there ever was one. Yet I became a debt-free millionaire in my 30s.

I didn't take exceptional risks with my money and I didn't inherit a penny from anyone. When I went to college, I paid the entire bill myself. How did I pay for my own schooling and amass more than a million debt-free dollars before my fortieth birthday? Fortunately, I learned from (and was inspired by) some financially savvy characters, who urged me to master what I should have learned in high school. Because financial literacy isn't adequately taught in most high schools, you might be among the millions who were shortchanged by our education system. This book is my attempt to make it up to you.

As a high school student, did you ever sit in an algebra class, an English class, a history or biology class and wonder:“What kind of real-world benefit is this going to have on my life? Are Hamlet's soliloquies, the formulas in trigonometry, or the intimate knowledge of a dead piglet's inner workings really going to benefit me outside the walls of the classroom?” There is no easy answer to these questions.

But the subject of money is undeniably essential. Unlike a pig dissection or a challenging ...

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