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Millionaire Women Next Door and Running the Family Office

February 23, 2007

Some months back I picked up a copy of Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas Stanley of The Millionaire Next Door fame. There was lots of interesting info in this book but by far the most interesting to me was the different paths women can take to wealth. And I bought the book for chapter 17 in particular: Why Not Run the Family Office?

Stanley profiles three women who have focused their efforts on running their households like businesses. He describes them as “well disciplined, resourceful, and unselfish.” And what are their accomplishments? According to Stanley, one of these women was able to grow her family’s net worth to more than $4 million through her budgeting and investment decision making. Another was able to increase her family’s net worth every year despite the fact that their household income was almost cut in half when she left the workforce.

This struck a chord with me because “running the family office” is what I spend a lot of my time doing. I work part-time from home doing some administrative work for pay but most of my financial contribution to our household comes from economizing, doing the bookkeeping and payroll for my husband’s business, and finding other ways to contribute to the bottom line.

I don’t think I’m alone, either. Many women I know, whether they work outside the home or not, make these kind of unpaid contributions to their family finances. I appreciate the fact that Stanley took the time to profile these women and their efforts. In all my reading about personal finance I don’t think I’ve seen that done anywhere else.

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