Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sometimes it pays to be a mean girl

Book review: Nice girls don’t get rich
Lois P. Frankel

While it’s a rather bland adjective, I believe that “nice” would be part of the top 10 (okay, likely 5) descriptions that my friends and family would give me, so it’s no wonder that Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich appealed to me from the library book shelf. Lois P. Frankel writes about the 75 avoidable mistakes that women make with money and offers coaching advice on how to correct them. I’ve also read her book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, and in both titles, she offers easy-to-implement guidance on how to become a strong-minded, savvy, and financially independent woman. 

Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich starts with a self-assessment to help the reader understand why she is not already rich. Of 42 true & false questions, I had 31 true responses so Frankel says that I’ve made a good start and need to focus on areas of difficulty in order to become fully financially independent. This book belongs in a choose-your-own-adventure series as the 75 avoidable mistakes don’t need to be read in any particular order. I first read her section on “saving and investing for future wealth” as this is the category where I had the most false responses, and then proceeded to read the rest of the book.

Frankel’s advice is not exhaustive, but her tips are quick & easy tools to put into action and clear to understand. This book also made me realize how far I’ve come in the last 15 months as I often read about a mistake that I used to make and now the thought makes me shudder (for instance, #28 First job syndrome, #33 Not budgeting, and #34 Paying bills instead of managing money). 

Here are the top mistakes that I now to plan to correct pronto:   

#41 Being risk adverse: now that I’m back in the black, I’m reluctant to part with any of my money so I’m investing in relatively safe assets. Given my young age, I can afford to bolder with my investments.

#45 Saving instead of investing: I’ve been saving up bi-weekly into my Girls Just Want To Have Funds account for the last 6 months with the intention of investing. But I just don’t know when and where to start and if I have enough dollars saved up to even start.

#42 Thinking you don’t have enough to invest to make a difference: This echos the sentiment above. I don’t notice my automatic withdrawals into my savings account so why am I not putting the deposit towards an investment instead of an account earning 0.5% interest?

#51 Not seeking financial advice: This is my definitely my biggest qualm. I think I’ve maxed out what I can do on my own (building savings accounts, maximizing my monthly budget, holding GICs, and maximizing my RRSPs), but now I need to guidance on “what’s next”. I’ve been holding back thinking I need tens of thousands of dollars to start investing, but Frankel has made me realize that I just need to get started. Her best advice is to find an advisor that fits my early stage of financial planning.

All in all, I recommend Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich to my fellow nice girls out there. It’s an ideal tool to determine your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to financial management and it has built-in roadmap to get you on your wealthy-way.



  1. Great review! Have you read "Prince Charming Isn't Coming"? I've had it on my shelf for a while but haven't checked it out yet.

  2. I read this book a while ago and thought it was great! I also learned to max out my RRSP's and to never trust my finances to my man (or husband or financial advisor). The cover itself was a great conversation starter on the bus!