Book Review: “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach

One of my favorite books of all time is “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach. The book that started Mr. Bach’s “Finish Rich” series, “Smart Women Finish Rich” is a guide to personal finance written especially for women. Consider these facts:

1. In general, women live longer than men.

2. Women are more likely to take breaks in their careers in order to care for family members, be they children or elderly parents.

3. Women still make less money than their male counterparts.

Taking all these things into account, women have to take more steps in order to secure their financial future. This is where “Smart Women” comes in.

Prior to reading this book, I thought that I already had a pretty good grasp of my finances. I got my first job, took home my first paycheck, started saving everything I could. I got my first credit card. It was only upon reading “Smart Women” that it finally sank in that the things I did NOT know about money far outweighed the things that I did know. I knew inflation was a bad thing but didn’t know just how badly it could affect money lying stagnant in a savings account. I knew how the stock market worked but not how to go about making money in it. I didn’t know what a mutual fund was. I didn’t realize just how important having health insurance was. Through reading “Smart Women”, I found out all of these and much more. Most importantly, I found out how to make my money work for me.

“Smart Women” is geared towards personal finance newbies, with worksheets to accomplish and easy-to-understand text largely free of jargon. Because it is an introductory text, “Smart Women” doesn’t contain any “earth-shattering” revelations for someone who’s already well-versed in financial planning. Mr. Bach also makes frequent references to United States law, especially when discussing taxes, retirement accounts, and company benefits, but that doesn’t mean that you should skip those sections entirely. In fact, you should read those sections to find out how the US government is helping their citizens save money and prepare for retirement. Makes you wish that the Philippines had similar legislation.

The first thing I did after reading the book was analyze my financial situation and plans for the future. The second thing I did was to consult with a (well-off) friend in the finance sector and pick his brain regarding suitable places to invest in. The third thing I did was to put money away in a mutual fund. Prior to reading “Smart Women Finish Rich”, the future had always seemed to be something off in the distance that wouldn’t arrive for many, many years. The future is still a long way away, but that just means that I best start preparing for it now.