Books Corner

Reviewing Arese Ugwu’s The Smart Money Tribe

When Arese Ugwu, author of the international bestseller, The Smart Money Woman announced on her Instagram that the sequel to her book was available for pre-order, I was fuelled with excitement.

I enjoyed reading her first book as a final year medical student, a copy I borrowed from a friend and read under 24 hours. Even though I could not relate to some of the character’s experience, notably the earning potential of the lead character, I was empowered with some financial truths that would prove helpful later on.

A review of Arese Ugwu's The Smart Money Tribe

As I read through the description of The Smart Money Tribe on what formed the caption of the Instagram post, I was certain I needed to read it too. Moreover, as I outlined my financial goal for 2020 and the road map for achieving it, I listed Arese’s book as one of the steps to take in the direction of my goal.

When at last I held the book in my hands on a beautiful Monday afternoon in July, I knew I had made a worthy investment buying the book. As I scrolled through its pages, I knew two things for sure:

  1. Arese did not hold back in sharing her knowledge.
  2. I was going to write a review.

The Smart Money Tribe Book Re

Title: The Smart Money Tribe (An African Woman’s Guide To Making Bank)

Author: Arese Ugwu

Year of Publishing: 2019

Publisher: Smart Media Africa

Number of pages: 356

Cover: Hardback

The Author:

Arese Ugwu is the founder of, a financial education platform tailored to the African millennial woman. She loves driving money conversations that encourage African women to think bigger and become the chief financial officer of their personal economies.

You are probably asking at this point, ‘Is this book solely for women?’ I would say that even though it was written to address the peculiar mindset and challenges African women face in making, keeping and growing money, every adult can benefit from it.


The Book:

The Smart Money Tribe is a fine blend of fiction and non-fiction. It can be likened to reading your favourite fictional story and discovering financial gems along the lines.

It has a total of thirteen chapters, all of which have a smart money lesson and a dedicated financial exercise at the end. Thankfully, these do not disrupt the flow of the story, but rather aid the reader in concretising the financial information shared.

With the sequel, Arese improved her storytelling ability, giving much more depth to her characters. The story was crafted in short paragraphs (the way I love them) instead of long ones and this added to my reading experience. Even though the prints on some pages appeared faint and there were a few editorial oversights, they did not pose much of a distraction.


I chose to assimilate Arese’s Smart Money Tribe in savoury sips instead of galloped gulps, taking one insight at a time and poring over it for minutes, hours or even days.

It is a book that prompts one to take action and to do so urgently. It is not merely a financial know-how guide.

As I read through the book, this phrase kept resounding in my mind: Go hard or go home.

The book covers topics such as financial abuse, restructuring a business, intrapreneurship, assessing investment opportunities (risk and return), debt and equity, love and money, collaboration, and even maximising social media for business.

It’s truly a haven of financial gems. The dominant themes are friendship, trust, money, loss and resilience. Her characters faced diverse blows in both their finances and personal lives. We saw women holding each other’s hands through some of life’s biggest challenges, supporting and rooting for one another, and all coming out happier and more resilient.

It begs the questions: Who do I have in my corner? What kind of conversations are we having? How can I overcome my challenges as an African entrepreneur and scale my business? How can I earn more as an employee in an organisation? How do I leverage the opportunities and resources at my disposal and build the life of my dreams?

The book goes at a retail price of 6,000 NGN and orders can be made either via her website or on Instagram. She recently launched the ebook and it is exclusively available on the Bambooks app.

Have you read any of Arese’s books or come across any of her resources? Let me know in the comments what you think about them and how they have helped you.



By annieejiofor

Hello. I'm Annie, a Nigerian, medical doctor, IELTS coach, freelance editor and the voice behind the writing.

I blog about life within and without medicine and other lifestyle topics like books, travel and helpful advice for medical professionals.

6 replies on “Reviewing Arese Ugwu’s The Smart Money Tribe”

This is a nice and detailed review Annie.
I’ve read SMW (whilst in school as well)and it was a good read but I must confess that I was more interested in the story and mostly skipped the part after each chapter🙈🙈. Arese definitely has ‘it’ when it comes to being money-smart and now this ‘money thing ‘ has become real😅…I’d pay more attention when I read SMT… might even read SMW again; this time more intentionally😊.
Thanks for making this review short and sweet. I definitely look forward to reading the book😊

Liked by 1 person

🤣🤣🤣 I think I skipped the lessons too then. 😂

I had to reread The Smart Money Woman before I purchased this one because I was certain I might have glossed over some helpful information. I may reread this too. Such a helpful resource. Arese knows her onions.


I read smart money woman while in school and I really enjoyed it. At the time, I was already money conscious but I didn’t exactly have enough to spare as regards saving and others but I think the lessons from there stayed with me and helped when I started earning. I am a bit sceptical about buying SMT because I fear it will be a repetition of the lessons from SMW. Seeing as you’ve read both, what do you think?

Liked by 1 person

It’s not a repetition of the lessons in SMW nor is it a reinforcement of the same. If I remember clearly, SMW focused on tracking one’s expenses, getting out of debt and the difference between good and bad debt. These a few of the lessons from it that I recall by heart.

This was focused on building one’s money tribe, building a thriving business and scaling an already existing one on the African scene, negotiating higher pay as an employee within an organisation, accessing investment opportunities – risk and return, money conversations that are crucial to have during the dating and courtship periods. The lessons in SMT were different from those in SMW.

I recently reread SMW, if the lessons were same, I would have quickly noted that. The only thing I would say is that if you are a close follower of Arese, perhaps listen to her podcast, then you may have heard her share some of the lessons in them. The podcast is more recent than the book so that’s understandable.

Liked by 1 person

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