Book Review: Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

contributed by Cathy Tanaka

I enjoyed The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley so much that as soon as I was done reading it, I picked up Millionaire Women Next Door. But it took me a surprisingly long time to get through it, primarily because it is quite repetitive of the themes from The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind. Millionaire women, like the millionaires profiled in Stanley's other books, are often successful business owners who have built their own wealth, rather than inheriting it. They live frugally, are "balance-sheet affluent" rather than "income-statement affluent," and are more focused on financial independence than on having nice things.

One interesting point about being a business owner that applied more to women than to men was that women frequently choose to enter the retail business, even though the failure rate in retail is extremely high. Another interesting difference worth noting is that millionaire women give away much more of their money than millionaire men. This generosity is so noteworthy, in fact, that Stanley mentions it repeatedly throughout the book.

I would have found the book much more compelling if Stanley had elaborated on the final chapter of the book, which focused on women who did not work outside the home but built their family's wealth by "running the family office." As a reader looking to glean practical advice on building wealth, I felt like I could have learned an awful lot from the experiences of wives and mothers who have successfully maximized their family's income.

The bottom line is that if you have already read The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind, there will be very little that's new in Millionaire Women Next Door.

Cathy Tanaka publishes a blog called CFO: Chief Family Officer at, featuring tips on finances, parenting, cooking and more.

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