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

Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas Stanley (affiliate link) was an impulse buy. I was browsing my local used bookstore and ran across it. I enjoyed his other book, The Millionaire Next Door (affiliate link). This seemed like an excellent addition to it.

Stanley uses data gathered from 2,500 women to create a profile of “the woman millionaire”. Everyone he interviewed owned a business and earned an annual net revenue of at least $100,000, so the book mainly focuses on that specific demographic. In this book, we discover that millionaires have much the same traits and habits regardless of their gender.

 

Millionaires (both men and women):

  • are frugal and own average houses, cars, clothing, etc
  • buy few consumer goods
  • own businesses (overall)
  • are charitable (with women being more generous than men)

Many of these traits he writes about in The Millionaire Next Door (affiliate link). A fair amount in The Millionaire Women Next Door reiterates what he shares in that book.

Lots of Data

In my opinion, this book could have been much shorter. He shares his surveying methods and calculations. It supported what his points, but was not very interesting to me. The value of this book doesn’t come from the numbers, but from these women’s stories. He had a unique chance to share those, which he did. I would have liked a lot more of the stories and a lot less of the numbers.

Impactful Stories

Of the stories he shared, I really enjoyed the one about Ann Lawton Hills (Chapter 14).

Her husband was born with a heart abnormality so they always knew he would pass before her. He couldn’t be insured, due to his condition. So their plan was to focus on investing and planning for when he would pass on. Ann knew she would need both financial stability and social support. In preparation, they bought a large home in the university town.

They renovated the extra rooms and rented them out to local students. These high quality rentals attracted high caliber tenants. These tenants became her family and support when her husband passed away.

Like many widows, Ann was a target for swindlers. One such person contacted her to buy a piece of furniture she was selling. He arrived with an associate to move it out of her basement. Ann and the man agreed on a price. He left to “get some cash” while his associate moved the furniture outside.

The man returned and proclaimed that he would only pay half of the agreed upon price now he saw the furniture in the light. He knew it would be difficult to move back downstairs and figured she was desperate for the money.

Ann was not a desperate woman. She pointed to all the homes she owned and told him there were many strong men who would help her move the furniture back. Ann was savvy and told him if anything, the furniture was worth more out of the basement. Movers would have charged $150 or more for that work.

The swindler realized he was dealing with a smart, independent, and well-connected woman. He reluctantly agreed to pay the original price.

Ann’s story was so insightful and moving. Stories like hers are what I loved about this book. I just wish the author would have included a few more.

There was one story Stanley expounded greatly. Oddly enough, it was about a man – Brian’s Journey (Chapter 13), and felt really out of place in this book. It was an interesting story, but didn’t really belong in a book about millionaire women.

Alpha and Beta Women

Stanley also had some unique insights into these women’s upbringings. He separated them into two groups – Alphas and Betas. “Alpha” women were raised in a loving, nurturing, and supportive home. “Beta” women were raised in less than ideal circumstances.

Unsurprisingly, there were far more “Alpha” women who became millionaires. It definitely helps to get a good start in life.

I enjoyed hearing the “Beta” women’s stories a bit more. They had the odds stacked against them and were still able to succeed. It was really inspiring.

Not Self-Employed, Still Millionaires

I also enjoyed the last few chapters. Stanley briefly highlighted millionaire women who were not self-employed. It was a nice change of pace. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and it’s good to know there are still avenues to wealth that don’t require it.

Overall, this was a fascinating book and I’m glad I had the chance to read it.

You should buy The Millionaire Women Next Door (affiliate link) if…

  • you like his other book, “The Millionaire Next Door” (affiliate link), and want information and a few stories focused specifically on women
  • you’re curious about the habits of millionaire women
  • you have some time to read it OR listen to the audiobook (if you can find it, I recommend listening)
  • you just need a little inspiration to see that other women have achieved this goal and you can too