Customer Reviews: Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny
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on March 1, 2007
First of all, I like Suze Orman because her previous books have actually helped me go from not much money to a nice nest egg in an amazingly short time. Her advice works. She encourages you to ask yourself and your spouse the right questions--and I was really surprised at the answers sometimes. I even went on to become a financial advisor for others because of the knowledge and experience I gained from Orman's first book. And, even though I have been a financial advisor, I still bought this book. Why? For one thing, it has current information about laws and changes that will happen as far in the future as 2010. And for another, the large majority of people who came to me for advice were women. Women who had been suddenly divorced or widowed and who didn't know what to do. That is NOT the time to have to take a crash course in finances. But, that's usually what it takes.

"Women and Money" is loaded with action steps that anyone can do. This latest book is divided into 8 chapters, including "For Women Only", "Imagine What's Possible", "No Shame, No Blame", "You Are Not On Sale", "The 8 Qualities of a Wealthy Woman", "The Save Yourself Plan", "The Commitments", and "Say Your Name". These chapter titles do not indicate how much real information is given--this is not just an "ideas to get you started" book. Orman gives a month by month description of things for women to do to put themselves in a good financial position. She has boxed information entitled, "I Would Be Thrilled If You..." and then gives specific things to do. She also has an Action Plan for each month of her 5 month plan. And, there is an opportunity to open an account and save for a year, after which you would be given $100 (assuming you follow the plan--which is not hard!) She's already found a way to make you more money! (The offer is good between the dates of 2/27/07 and 3/31/08)

It's not that hard to do and it works. It really does. Thank you again, Suzy!
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Suze Orman is right on track with this overdue, and badly needed book directly aimed at women who in Suze's words are dysfunctional about MONEY. The same ladies that can earn doctorate degrees in esoteric subjects just shut their eyes when it comes to money. Although Suze takes shots at what the reasons might be behind this behavior, whether it's upbringing, cultural, or anything else, it doesn't really matter.

What matters to Suze is DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM, and does she deal with it. In this entertaining, easily read book, Suze will teach you to EXECUTE SOLUTIONS to your money problems. I have to tell you, after spending 35 years in the money business myself, this best-selling author is spot on accurate - it's about EXECUTING. It's no longer about thinking about your money issues; it's about DOING SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MONEY ISSUES.

The author explains precisely what it is you have to do, and she does it in a motivational way, without laying blame or shame on the reader. This is a crucial point. Women and men for that matter feel bad enough about the financial position they may have placed themselves in. It's the old concept of should have, could have, would have coming home to haunt us. I should have done that. I could have done this. I would have done that.

Jettison the blame, and get out of that game. You need to get a grip on yourself and follow Suze's moves. They are well thought out. Here are a few to take a look at.

1) You need an account of your own. Ladies whether you are married, divorced, single, or widowed, you need an account in your name, that you can call your very own.

2) To do this Suze has arranged with TD AMERITRADE, the online brokerage firm that if you fund an account with 12 monthly consecutive automatic electronic deposits of $50 or more, in the 13th month the brokerage firm will deposit $100 in your account as a gift, and an incentive to open the account. Although it's not in the book, the reason why the firm would do this is because on average it cost the firm $200 in advertising to secure an account. It's actually a good deal for them, and a better deal for you, because it will get you started. You save $600 over a year, and they add a $100. Ladies - GO FOR IT. Even if your husband is the President of the bank, get an account in your own name.

3) The heart piece of the book is a five-month plan that gets you back in control of your financial destiny. Yes, we both know the real question is what were you thinking when you allowed yourself to get out of control, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is today FORWARD, not looking BACKWARD. In this five-month plan Suze gives you the KEY TASKS that you have to get done. It's a number of things, and not fifty things. The key here, and it's not quite hitting you in the face is to CLOSE ON SOMETHING. This is crucial. Don't do eight things at once, and a little bit of each thing. You need desperately to bring things to closure. Get one thing FINISHED, COMPLETED, PUT TO BED, and then move on.

4) "Learn to say NO to people". Suze's right on this one. You have to put YOU first. Think about it, for many of us, there are many others who are counting on us. Women especially since they are nurturing by instinct, tend to put themselves second to the people they take care of. Here's what you have to get into your soul. Unless YOU ARE OKAY, you are not going to be here, to help everyone else be okay. Think of what they tell you to on the airplane in an emergency when the air masks drop down. You put the mask on your mouth first, and then you put a second one on the child's mouth. You have to be okay for everyone else to be okay. It's not selfish; it's what you need to do.

5) Make sure you read the "You are not on sale" chapter. Many women tend to under price their services, and also allow themselves to be paid a lesser salary for equivalent work done by a male. You need to get out of this loop, and quick. Suze shows you how.

6) Suze's advice on credit cards is completely accurate. If you are going to win in a system that is stacked against you, than you must learn the rules in order to know how to work the system. As an example once a credit card is open, never shut it down because creditors like to see long-term open lines of credit. This is the type of information, you will figure out on your own.

In conclusion, this is a FABULOUS book for you to get back on track, and in control of YOUR OWN LIFE FINANCIALLY. Women have just as much brainpower as men. It is inexcusable that many find themselves in the position they are currently in, but understandable too. After all what courses are given while growing up in managing money. They don't give us a course in human relationships or marriage either; maybe that's why the divorce rate is 50%. If we don't learn what we need to learn in school or from our mentors, than we have to learn it on our own - Suze is a good place to start, and GOOD LUCK.

Richard Stoyeck
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 3, 2007
First, a response to the person who wrote that she was "very disappointed" because readers "have to buy Suze's book and put in a special code to participate in the Ameritrade Save Yourself program". She felt this was duplicitous on Suze's part, after claiming she doesn't get "a penny from Ameritrade" but she DOES benefit from the required purchase of her book (in order to use the special code).
While I see her point, I think she is missing the larger picture...and that is that more Americans, including women, need to start saving more. Secondly, the Ameritrade offer is a good one, with a fair interest rate 4.59% as of this writing) and a bonus of $100 at the end of 12 months (more than enough for readers to cover the cost of the book and still make a nice profit).
Finally, the book and the program encourage readers to get into the habit of saving regularly, which I feel more than offsets any other issues people may have with the book and offer.
Yes, Suze profits from the book itself but who would expect her to write a book and NOT make a profit? On the other hand, readers have a great opportunity to save money and get a financial reward for doing so. Plus, the REST of the info in the book is solid, including the special challenges women face when it comes to money. All in all, I think the balance is in Suze's favor and readers will benefit from buying this book.
On balance, a LOT to be gained from for the price of this book ($14.50 as of this writing).
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on May 4, 2007
Suze Orman has written a number of books about personal finance. Readers will find that Women & Money covers a lot of the same ground as previous books. This is because the author is attempting to take those same basics and structure them in a way that will make it easier to use it in taking action.

Essentially, the author feels that there's a trend among women she meets to be developing very successfully in their professional and personal lives, but to remain uneasy when it comes to anything related to money. She spends several chapters discussing the attitudes that she feels may be at the root of this issue, and then moves on to her usual financial advice.

The best part of this book is its structure. All of the content is kept simple, with alerts given whenever more detail is provided on her website. Likewise, once she moves on to setting a financial plan, each step gives a very clear and short list of things that are absolutely critical to do. The general philosophy of the writing and the layout is to be as clear as possible and make it as easy to take action as possible, and leave all of the detail beyond the bare necessities to another location in order to avoid overwhelming the readers.

If your personal finances are in good shape and you're already familiar with things like Roth IRAs and the concept of universal default, most of the material in this book is likely to be a review. Some of it will still be new, since she covers some recent (and upcoming) laws, but overall this isn't a dramatic departure from what you'd find in her other books. You still may find it worthwhile due to the action-oriented layout, and the extra chapters that attempt to help women deal with mental blocks and hesitation they might have about taking control of their money.

If you have financial problems or you really don't know much about money and investing, you'll find this book to be a gentle and clear introduction that takes pains to avoid confusing you or wasting your time on more detail than you absolutely need.
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on November 1, 2008
I never imagined in a million years I would pick up a book on personal
finance. I had an idea that investments and numbers were just too hard,
something I'd never understand. Reading Suze Orman's "Women & Money"
turned that notion on its head. Her warm, funny and no-nonsense book is
not only informative and empowering, it is also really enjoyable to
read. While she offers plenty of detailed and helpful financial advice,
the underlying theme throughout -and what really impacted me- is that
control of your financial destiny begins with you. How you treat your
money is an extension of how you treat yourself. Her 'Save Yourself
Plan' is about letting go of the old excuses that say 'I can't' and
letting go of the shame and blame of past decisions; it's about
empowering yourself with knowledge and starting fresh from exactly where
you are in this moment.

A wonderful companion book to Ms. Orman's that expands on these
ideas is Ariel and Shya Kane's Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life. Their inspiring approach to
living in the moment (instead of in a continuous loop of worry about
the past and the future) gives you the tools to dissolve those old,
limiting stories about yourself ("I'm not good with numbers!") and step
into a life that is easy, alive, and full of possibility.
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on March 3, 2007
I have been a fan of Orman's for years now, and waited with anticipation for this book. After all, I'm a woman. I earn and use money. I was expecting an intelligent analysis of the unique issues women face when dealing with money -- all those sticky relationship things, attitudes learned from our mothers, residual sexism in salary structures - and some sound advice for getting past these things and claiming real financial strength.

What this book presents, instead, is a large print, surface level set of instructions on matters than any woman over 20 is at least somewhat familiar with. Perhaps it will be useful to women who have been living in a cave for the last fifteen years. For young women, read "Young, Fabulous, & Broke." But if you've been around, skip this book.

I bought it the day it was released, and also got Jean Chatzky's "Make Money, Not Excuses" book for women from the local library. I really wish I'd done this the other way around.

Suze, I love your show and your earlier books. You're energetic and fun and wise. But this book is way below your standards - and while we all understand wanting to help your friend start her new publishing venture with a virtually guaranteed best seller, this book is fluff. I am disappointed and frankly, shocked.

Readers, I will keep watching her show, and will pass this book on to my 18 year old daughter. It's just not useful for anyone whose been around awhile and not kept herself totally in the dark. I sincerely hope there are very few women left who are so financially ignorant as to really need to read this book. If you feel this book was helpful to you, it won't be for long. It is too basic, too poorly written, too silly. Use it for what it is, then move on.
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on February 28, 2007
I am one of those women who is always letting my husband deal with all the money stuff. I have always felt fine just getting my little allowance and going on my happy way. My inner voice has been telling me something is wrong with this picture (this "inner voice" may have been made louder by my deepening yoga practice over the past few months!).

This book has opened my eyes to how I need to take some power for myself, and ultimately how no one can take care of me but me.

My husband is actually happy because I am finally taking an interest in our expenses.

Every women should take a look at this book.
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on March 3, 2007
Suze's latest is designed to get women to move past the point of good intention and into action. There is a reason this book has incredible word-of-mouth (I heard about it from three different friends who saw the ad in O magazine): Suze has put her finger on why it is that women who can do everything for everyone still can't get it together when it comes to their money. The stories of her friends -- successful women who were in debt, couldn't bring themselves to ask for a raise, or let documents sit unsigned on their desk -- rang so true to me. I let an IRA sit in cash for years because I didn't know I was supposed to choose investments for it and then didn't know which investments to choose. This book told me exactly what to do with that money -- I only wish I knew this years ago. Others can make snide comments on this site and take their shots but no one can argue with the fact that Suze tells it straight and has helped so many men and women with her no-nonsense approach. You want to take issue with the TD Ameritrade offer? You want to pass up $100 and a great interest rate because you think there's "something in it" for Suze? Do so at your own risk. This is a great offer and anyone would be a fool to pass it up. Brava, Suze -- and thank you so much.
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on March 5, 2007
Oh, what I would have given for this book the day I started my first job!! Absolutely everything a woman needs to know about handling money on her own is in this guide. Suze goes through the essential must-knows and talks in plain Enlish about complex financial terms. She even recommends how exactly to allocate your 401(k) and Roth IRA contributions, which I found incredibly honest and useful. Suze is never condescending, which I appreciated because these are the lessons no one ever gave us growing up. I finished the book in less than a week and have already started checking things off my financial to-do list (there's a great online component through her website to keep you on track). Thank you, Suze, for putting into words the things we all ought to know and for making it seem do-able.
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on August 22, 2007
A friend of mine recommended that I read "Women & Money - Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny" by Suze Orman and I am really glad she did! This book is about taking control of your financial future. She recounts instances from her life as a way to show how she didn't let her history control her financial destiny. She promotes the idea that a person can only start from where they are. One motto she repeatedly says is "No Shame, No Blame."
Furthermore she explains Roth IRA's, FICO scores and other financial terms so that we can learn how they can be beneficial to our financial freedom. If you want to be inspired, empowered to control your finances and not be afraid to be a woman who has money - read this book!

If you are interested in the writings of Suze Orman, I highly recommend the authors of "How To Create a Magical Relationship" and "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: A Book About Instantaneous Transformation", Ariel and Shya Kane. They take the focus of "living in the moment" to all aspects of your life - financial, business and personal. They too emphasize that you are not your story; even if you have had a horrible past it doesn't have to control your present or your destiny.
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