Is Suze Orman Nothing But A Lying Shill?

Slate’s James Scurlock has some harsh words for Suze Orman. He says she’s a liar who is more interested in shilling cruises and luxury car leases than anything else.

From Slate:

Who is struggling these days, according to Suze? “People who grew up without much money and later earn a comfortable living sometimes spend too much to make up for what they didn’t get as children. … People who feel entitled to the good life, or are unconsciously copying a mother or father who lived beyond her or his means. … If you feel the need to impress people with what you have rather than with who you are, you are at high risk for credit card abuse.” This from a woman who spends $500,000 a year chartering private jets and who sells “Cruise With Suze” packages on an Italian luxury liner. (She has also hawked for GM, claiming that leasing a luxury car-you know, the kind that people drive to impress others-is a terrific financial decision: “If you ask me, that’s smart money!”) No wonder she winks more than Sarah Palin, girlfriend.

He also goes after Orman for touting stocks as the best investment out there — while at the same time telling the NYT Magazine that she only invests money in the stock market if she doesn’t care that she’ll lose it.

And although one of Suze’s mantras is how much she loves stocks-“[S]tocks, in my opinion, are the best investment vehicle for the growth of your money over time”-less than 3 percent of Suze’s net worth happens to be invested in them. Instead, she’s tucked away the vast majority of those royalties ($32 million-plus, after taxes) into insured, government-backed bonds. As she trilled to the New York Times Magazine a couple of years ago, “I have a million dollars in the stock market, because if I lose a million dollars, I don’t personally care.”

What do you think? Is Suze Orman bad news?

If You Knew Suze Like We Know Suze [Slate]

Comments

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  1. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    If you squint at the pic above, she looks like some jerkoff guy from the 80s.

    I voted “better than nothing.” Her ongoing “women and money” series seems like a pretty good thing, especially since it’s aimed at the gender in charge of 85% of retail spending. So, in other words, her common sense is what drove us into this recession. Suze Orman is evil!

  2. nataku8_e30 says:

    Yeah, she’s a big hypocrite, is pretty creepy, and is a member of the Oprah cult, but at least one of her two faces is recommending living within your means. At least she’s better than Jim Cramer.

    • jaschwa says:

      @nataku83: Recently saw her on PBS speaking to women. Unfortunately, to get women to value money, she needs to get women to value themselves. This starts getting spiritual real quick, almost in the same vain as “you are a god.”

      As far as a member of the Oprah cult…interesting observation since Oprah has been identified by some as a forerunner for a one-world religious system which calls nothing sin except actually have a belief that your religion is the only way.

    • milqtost says:

      @nataku83: She does preach living within your means and I like that. And from the sound of it spending $500,000 on planes and cruises seems to be within her means. If only it were within mine…

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @nataku83: Better than Jim Cramer captures the essence in a nutshell, that. :)

    • Jrsy Devil's Advocate says:

      @nataku83: Cramer’s head should be waxed and then shoved up Orman’s pooper like a suppository..

  3. Murph1908 says:

    When I really started reading investment articles, news, and advice, I quickly stopped clicking on anything with her name on it. Her advice always either seemed simplistic, or just plain silly. I was never impressed with her.

    • calquist says:

      @Murph1908: Yeah, but up until recently most of America wasn’t even saving. When I first graduated from college last May, I read Women and Money and I was able to understand her simplistic information. I set up a Roth IRA and a savings plan and it led to me getting really involved in my personal finances. Americans need simplistic information because otherwise most of us just won’t get it.

      • idip says:

        @calquist: I agree. Most people need to start from square one, nothing wrong with that. It just shows you how easy it can be to save money and become financially responsible.

        • ojzitro says:

          @idip: If you need a television to understand that when you spend money, you won’t have it anymore, you should be eliminated from the gene pool.

          • Cattivella says:

            @ojzitro: You’re oversimplifying the simplifying. Of course anyone can understand that if you spend money it goes away – simple subtraction. But there are good ways to save and invest money, bad ways, productive ways and unproductive ways. I would say most people in America don’t understand which of their options are good/bad/productive/unproductive or risky. Suze isn’t anywhere near perfect, but if she’s inspiring people to live within their means and save their money then it is unfair and inflammatory to claim that her followers should “be eliminated from the gene pool.” Go troll somewhere else.

    • howie_in_az says:

      @Murph1908: I heard her say people who lose their jobs should get a HELOC and live off of it. I asked some random stranger next to me if he believed this, and he said (and I quote), “I know! I can’t believe she just gives out this kind of life-saving stuff for free!”

      My jaw has yet to recover from its long journey to the floor.

  4. raleel says:

    despite my intense disliking of her personality, she generally does give decent advice to the folks who call in. Largely, it’s “don’t spend that”, which is good for folks who have some spending issues. You don’t need a pile of books for that, but she provides the motivation for folks.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @raleel: I don’t begrudge anybody making and spending money. From what I understand, she advises against spending money you don’t have. She has extra money to spend, so I really don’t care what she does with it.

      I’m a bit wary about some of the other stuff. Although it doesn’t look like she really ever advocated leasing. The Slate article seems to be misrepresenting some facts there.

  5. calquist says:

    Suze Orman always recommends stocks for 20-somethings and then insists that as you grow older move them out of the stock market. I’m not positive how old Suze is, but I think she is old enough to realize that investing all of her money in a market that is probably going to go down before it goes up is a smart move for her. In my opinion, Suze always leans towards the conservative side and this just proves it. While being a spokesperson for cars and cruises does seem against what she normally says, all of her other advice is simple and straightforward enough for people to understand. I’m a big fan of Suze and she even has said in her Woman and Money book: “Do as I say, not as I do”.

  6. savdavid says:

    There seems to be an Event Horizon of success where all celebrities, no matter how good intentioned they started out, suddenly get suck into the black hole of greed.

  7. battra92 says:

    She at least is the good subject of some rather hilarious SNL skits. But yeah, her financial advice is absolute garbage to anyone who has ever been in Business 101.

    I also hate the way that she talks down to people. Average people can learn about money if you stop treating them like idiots who need hand holding. This Oprah-fication of our culture where we worry about our “feelings” about money and not out about actual results.

    You can bring your own food and tap water to restauants and invest in teeth bleachings and large … expensive … jackets but that doesn’t mean you know how to invest.

    In short, she needs more economics and less marketing.

    • tbax929 says:

      @battra92:

      The SNL skits of her make me able to tolerate her. That’s one of the few things they do anymore that’s funny.

    • Edge101 says:

      @battra92:

      Absolute garbage? Yeah, let’s make unsupported sweeping statements. Nice.

      And you complain that she talks down to people and treats them like idiots? You just described the average consumer who bought houses they couldn’t afford with no money down, who then bitch and moan that they’re getting thrown out on the street. If the average person had more-than-a-passing knowledge of finance, this Web site wouldn’t be needed.

      • battra92 says:

        @Edge101: The thing is that she treats them like children who won’t learn and are incapable of learning and are therefore dependent on her next book or her next “tip” or whatever.

        @Etoiles: I’ve always been of the school where you teach the why and how and leave the feelings aside when it comes to money.

    • Etoiles says:

      @battra92: This Oprah-fication of our culture where we worry about our “feelings” about money and not out about actual results.

      The thing is, a lot of spending is emotional, and logic doesn’t necessarily enter into the picture. Putting people on a cash budget has much of the same emotional impact as putting someone on a calorie budget (à la Weight Watchers) and makes some people feel just as deprived and binge much in the same way.

      When you get someone down to the level of logic, they can perhaps acknowledge that yes, renting for the next ten years instead of buying isn’t all bad, but emotionally they’ll long for the security and freedoms of owning a place. (Not mobility-freedoms, but, say, the right to own a dog or paint your living room green.)

      So yes, “feelings” enter into consumer spending. In a big way. And learning to identify when you’re out for “retail therapy” or when you’re stressed or when you’re irrational can be as much of a help with the credit card as it can with the waistline.

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @battra92: I don’t watch her much at all but from what I’ve seen she does encourage people to save more in general. While I wouldn’t take specific advice from her, encouraging people to save is a good first step.

  8. t-r0y says:

    Dave Ramsey, FTW!

    • quail says:

      @t-r0y: Love the Dave. On his talkshow he’s a bit better spoken than Orman. And while Orman seems to deal with Yuppies wanting to buy Prada, Ramsey is dealing with families in crisis. Repossessions, foreclosure, lost jobs. And in today’s economic climate I’d take the advice of someone who’s been offering advice on how to get out of debt for 20 years than someone who’s been pushing stocks for the same amount of time.

    • jameslutz says:

      @t-r0y:
      Add another vote for Dave from me.

    • trrwilson says:

      @t-r0y: Dave’s a hardass, but I know several people who have pulled themselves out of crap situations by following his advice.

    • dopplerd says:

      @t-r0y: I’ve long followed the Dave Ramsey budget plan, even before I knew who Dave Ramsey was. He is way better than Suze.

      He has gotten a little annoying lately with about half his show bitching about Obama’s stimulus plan. Maybe if he had spent a little more time bitching about Bush’s waste money plan Obama wouldn’t be in this situation.

    • battra92 says:

      @t-r0y: This thread got me to listen to Dave Ramsey on XM last night while I drove home. I really liked how he stressed integrity in terms of accounts and debt. I know he’s a different market (Conservative Christian America vs Orman’s failed yuppies) but I can recommend the guy.

  9. honestlytoomuch says:

    For someone who thinks you should impress people with who you are and not what you have, she certainly wears a crap load of make-up so she will look better. I don’t trust people with that much make-up – it’s a literal facade!

  10. full.tang.halo says:

    Both her and Cramer are shills, but at least when I watch Jim the is a good chance of:
    a) Something being thrown across the room/broken
    or
    b) Him doing something you’d not expect a 5th grader to do, much less a grown man, aka, biting head’s off foam bulls, & floundering on the floor.

    if I’m gonna watch crap, mise be entertained.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @full.tang.halo: So, if you’re an eleven-year-old, ADD-infested boy who’s perversely interested in cable “finance” shows, Jim Cramer’s the guy?
      That is a ringing endorsement. :-o

      • full.tang.halo says:

        @Trai_Dep: and if I was a ball busting bull D*#@ I’d be into Nancy Grace….

        Gun to head, give me Cramer over Orman, flush both off the face of the earth, and my watching of english football wont be affected in any way at all.

  11. bohemian says:

    When a personal finance expert turns into (or always was) a marketing shill she loses credibility. One would think at her level of success she would not need to sell herself out to make a living.

  12. smythe says:

    I have read her book aimed at young new graduates and I though it was really good for many young people who have no clue what to do after graduation.

    However the collar popping has totally turned me off!

    • Jubilance22 says:

      @smythe: I agree. I also have Women & Money, and a lot of her advice is good for the person who knows absolutely nothing about money besides how to spend it on crap they don’t need.

      I never watch her show though, her voice bothers me.

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @smythe: Stop the pop! Its an epidemic.

  13. pb5000 says:

    I met Suzie Ormond back in the mid 90’s as her books were starting to become popular. I was a hotel bellman helping her load up her things to the conference room where she was doing a guest appearance. I was in my late teens and had no clue who she was, I could tell that really irritated her. She did give me a copy of her book and signed it a nice little note in there and everything. I wish I could find it, I might be able to sell it on ebay?

  14. ADismalScience says:

    Taking a snapshot of someone’s current portfolio in this market and claiming it should be cast against free, one-size-fits-all financial advice is nonsense. Right now, MOST wealthy investors are in capital preservation mode. But if you lack the savvy and the funds to actively manage your investments, like most of her callers, she’s right: dollar cost averaging and broad stock allocations are historically the right move. Keep in mind that advice is tailored to audience, and Suze Orman is talking to a broad swath of people with little financial experience. If you can’t see the sign over her glowing little face that says “amateurs only” I question your credentials as a pro.

    Are you going to outearn professionals following TV-based, one-size-fits-all advice like Suze Orman’s? Absolutely not. But you will do far better than if you had invested in your company’s stock or invested strictly in treasuries.

  15. friendlynerd says:

    Suze pushing a car lease…source please?

    One of her main things is no leasing.

  16. Yossarian says:

    Sounds like Scurlock is a bit of a tard himself.

    “Instead, she’s tucked away the vast majority of those royalties ($32 million-plus, after taxes) into insured, government-backed bonds.”

    If you have $32 million to invest, you probably have no need for the risk of the stock market. To imply that someone who needs to preserve wealth needs to adhere to the advice she gives others to try to accumulate wealth is moronic.

    Unless he has some evidence that “$500,000 a year chartering private jets” is beyond her means, the comparison to people who do live beyond their means is ludicrous.

  17. rpm773 says:

    I’m sorry for being sexist, but I’ve always thought it kind of strange how a woman with blonde hair and blue eyes can have zero sex appeal…at least to me.

    She’s got the stink of Oprah all over her. Another minus.

    PBS runs her self-help specials every pledge drive, which is about once every six weeks now. That means my normal Sat. cooking shows are preempted for her schlock, which annoys me. And as such PBS gets no money from me.

    No. I don’t like her.

  18. EBounding says:

    I’m not a huge fan of her, but I thought she was absolutely against any kind of car lease.

    • friendlynerd says:

      @EBounding:
      She is. This guy from Slate either doesn’t fact check or knows something that Google doesn’t.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      @EBounding:

      Suze Orman:

      So do I think the best financial move you can make is almost always to buy a car instead of leasing? You bet I do. In fact, if you are cutting it close financially, you should strategize a step further: buy a new car but make sure it is used. Let me explain. New cars depreciate 20 percent to 30 percent the second you drive them off the lot. So if you really want to be smart, make someone else’s mistake your lucky day. Buy what I call a new used car.

  19. Roycester says:

    Tied neck n’ neck with Dave Ramsey…

    • MrEvil says:

      @Roycester: How so? I haven’t bought any of Dave’s books or subscribed to his other services. But I’ve listened to his radio show and I think his advice is more useful than Suze’s. At least for someone that wants to be completely free of debt.

      I do agree the one bad mark on Dave is when he filed bankruptcy when his lenders called in a bunch of his short term notes. This in spite of what he tells everyone about not filing bankruptcy.

  20. Saboth says:

    This is the lady that has a show where people call in and ask ridiculous questions, right?

    “Hello, I only make $98,000 a year, and my wife only makes $89,000. We have $99,999 in savings, and $898,000 in our 401k. We are both in our 30s. Our house, cars and student loans are paid off. We are wondering if it is ok for us to take a $5,000 cruise this year?”

    “WHAT, ARE YOU PEOPLE CRAZY? No way you can afford a cruise despite being better off than 99.999999% of Americans!”

  21. Danilo Campos says:

    In Maxed Out, it is revealed that she spends a lot of time talking about the importance of FICO while being sponsored by Fair Isaac. Sounds like a shill to me.

    • friendlynerd says:

      @Danilo Campos:
      Tell me she’s wrong, though. If your FICO score is in the shitter you’re not getting a loan, on anything. You may not even get a rental.

      FICO isn’t a product to be consciously chosen or consumed. Everyone has a FICO score, for better or for worse. Pointing out that fact to people who may not otherwise understand is not shilling.

      • JeffM says:

        @friendlynerd: And that awareness is a good thing because as a consumer you can take specific actions to help your FICO score.

        Shill? Hell I’d be proud to have a company with a relevant product sponsoring me to help people.

  22. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Uh, stocks are a good investment vehicle. A 16 month slump doesn’t take away from 40+ years of performance. If you want to avoid stocks for the rest of your days, enjoy being poor and constantly losing to inflation.

  23. Plates says:

    Those scammy Suze Orman PBS pledge drive infomercial specials should have been the first indicator something is not right with her. PBS, you want to know why I don’t give you money? It is because of these infomercial things you put on in place of the stuff I actually watch. Dr. Wayne Dyer and Suze Orman seem more like something you would find on at 3 AM on between Billy Mays and Kevin Trudeau.

  24. Pinget says:

    Short answer – yep. She *made* FICO and NOLO. Who had heard of either one before her?

  25. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    I would never listen to her (or most other investment advisors for that matter) for investment advice, but she’s right on the money on personal finance advice, in particular about issues relating to debt.

  26. Kaellorian says:

    If you don’t itemize nor drive more than 14K miles a year, I don’t see how car leasing ISN’T the better option. It’s cheaper monthly and, of course, no car has ever risen in value, with the exception of course of the Batmobile. Well, it rose in value, dipped a bit after Val Kilmer drove it, then regained value.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      @Kaellorian: “no car has ever risen in value” is absolutely, patently wrong. No mainstream volume-production new car rises in value in its first several years of life, but there are even some high-volume cars that have eventually appreciated in value.

      Leasing’s value differs for different people. If you’re a car-flipper and “need” a new one ever 3 years or so, leasing may not be a bad choice. If you’re a smart car buyer and keep your cars more on the order of 7-10 years, leasing is a relative money-pit.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        @GearheadGeek: damn, left out a whole paragraph about cars that appreciate.

        There are cars, mostly not new ones, that appreciate in value beyond all logic. In the last few years I’ve seen astronomical prices for pony cars and muscle cars from the late ’60s/early ’70s. It’s hardly the sort of thing I’d recommend investing in, since it’s purely a luxury good without any intrinsic value to justify the insane prices people have been paying at Barrett-Jackson and other clip joints…er… classic car auction houses.

    • SJActress says:

      @Kaellorian:

      With my driving habits, I pretty much figure I’m going to spend the same amount maintaining a car for 10 years (after spending the first 5 years paying it off) as I would leasing 3 cars in 10 years. The benefit is, I get a new, efficient car every couple of years, as opposed to spending $400 on new tires one month, brake pads the next, new wipers, new lights, and on and on as things wear out.

      Leasing is NOT one-size-fits-all, which is Orman’s approach on EVERYTHING. It’s fairly advantageous for ME to lease a car, because I’m gentle with it and almost never have passengers.

      A chain-smoking mom with 4 kids who play soccer, on the other hand…

  27. jsboehm79 says:

    Scurlock’s article is insane!

    I liked “Maxed Out,” but I think he had a crazy moment when he wrote this crap.

    He doesn’t like her personality, fine. But his only real criticism of her is her recommending stocks and, mainly, dollar cost averaging.

    I think he’s taken the stock market corrections of late a little too personally against Suze. Dollar cost averaging wasn’t invented by Suze, and it’s been a widely accepted practice, even in these economic times.

    Some people may think Suze’s advice is simplistic, and that’s fine. Those people have made it past basic personal finance. But the fact is that so many people have no knowledge at all, and her advice is, I find, very practical and common-sense.

    If you’re gonna rage against common sense, I can’t help you.

    • Sam Glover says:

      @jsboehm79: You are either Suze Orman’s biggest fan, or on her payroll.

      [caveatemptorblog.com]

      • jsboehm79 says:

        @Sam Glover: No, I just subscribe to feeds from caveatemptorblog.com and consumerist and had to jump in.

        I’m not her biggest fan, and I’d love to be on her payroll. But really, is dollar cost averaging, and investing in the stock market in general, such a bad thing?

        • Saboth says:

          @jsboehm79:

          If that’s the case, how is she even considered an “expert”?

          “Invest in stocks, diversify your investments, invest heavily and make sure you don’t carry balances on loans where you have to pay an interest rate.”

          Ok, you can now cancel her show, I’ve covered all the bases.

          • jsboehm79 says:

            @Saboth: And that’s great for you! YOU don’t need to watch her show because 1) you don’t need the information, and 2) you aren’t entertained by it.

            And no, that one bit of advice isn’t the whole of what she talks and writes about. Scurlock’s only substantive criticism of Suze Orman was her advice to listeners and readers to invest in the stock market and dollar cost average. I’m only asking if Scurlock is suggesting a better way to invest?

      • BelleOogle says:

        @Sam Glover: I am not on her payroll. I just watch her show and like I commented earlier, I have found what she has covered on her show to be very helpful.

        The writer of the SLATE piece never watched her show and is basing his attack on personality it appears.

  28. JGKojak says:

    Dave Ramsey, who on balance seems to give fairly honest advice, hates Suze and pretty much says so on his show.

    Their No. 1 difference- Ramsey says to hell w/FICO scores- you shouldn’t be in debt in the first place. Suze is all about FICO.

    • jsboehm79 says:

      @JGKojak: Where Dave is wrong, and where he misleads, is that credit does NOT equal debt. Suze, and many others, realize the importance of keeping and maintaining great credit (measured by the Fico score that is used by lenders, insurers, potential employers, and on and on). There is no need to go into debt in order to do that, as Dave would have his listeners believe.

    • Saboth says:

      @JGKojak:

      Id say she is right then. When your FICO can determine if you can get a job, or what your interest rates are on your home, and how much you pay for insurance…yeah…FICO matters.

    • friendlynerd says:

      @JGKojak:
      I would say her advice is more realistic then. It’s fabulous if you can be completely out of debt. But what about the rest of us?

      Some of us can’t buy cars or homes with cash. Some people even have student loans! The horror!

      • SJActress says:

        @friendlynerd:

        Ramsay has no problem with people owing on their HOUSE, but he doesn’t see why someone making $44,000 a year should buy a brand new $35,000 car.

        And while he doesn’t talk about FICO much, he’s dealing with normal people (not Orman trust fund babies) who need to deal with their debt before DESTROYING their credit. He doesn’t shun credit cards; he shuns not being able to pay for what you purchase IMMEDIATELY. That builds credit, and you’re not in the hole.

    • JeffM says:

      @JGKojak: I’ve never listen to or read Dave Ramsey, but that is nonsense advice. You’ll need to have an established FICO score to have a dwelling, rent or buy you will almost certainly have a credit check. Right?

  29. lincolnparadox says:

    If you’re looking for good advice, the television is not the place to look.

  30. Fist-o™ says:

    I want her job.

  31. adamczar says:

    Suze Orman is single handedly responsible for my financial status right now, which allows me to be relatively debt free and surviving the economic climate without having to sacrifice much. Her book “Young, Fabulous, and Broke” really did change my life and for that she’s one of my heroes.

    • oneandone says:

      @adamczar: I really enjoyed that book, and it helped me out a lot also. She clarifies a lot of confusing aspects about personal finance without being condescending – and I appreciated that she realized what kind of expenses recent grads have (loans, needing to buy professional clothes, moving, etc). I feel more confident making my decisions & empowered to research options I might not have considered.

  32. Fist-o™ says:

    Are there any other big-time financiers out there besides Orman and Ramsey? Kramer’s just a stock pick guy, I mean somebody who talks about personal wealth management.

  33. hhole says:

    Suzy Orman is the Vince Offer of financial shill.

    Slightly grating with a whiff of poo poo arrogance to those who don’t have a million plus in liquid capital.

    I can almost see her quoting Vince as he schleps his latest product, the Slap Chop. “You’re gonna love my nuts.”

  34. moore850 says:

    Just like Trump said, all you need is 2-3 million dollars on the stock market and you can turn that into some real money.

  35. varro says:

    Meh….no worse than Dave “Failed 80s House Flipper” Ramsey or Jim “Bear Stears? BUY BUY BUY!” Cramer.

  36. GMFish says:

    Some people become celebrities from acting in movies. Others from singing in rock bands. Orman became a celebrity by her TV appearances and her books.

    It is never a good idea to listen to celebrities for advice on any topic.

  37. Dethzilla says:

    People hate on Suze for not practicing what she preaches… but I think she’s dead on in saying over the long term, the Stock market is the best investment vehicle (given the history of the Stock Market). If I could create another stream of income by selling cars or cruises, I’d do the same thing. She’s a hustler. Stop hatin on her.

    Oh… and those luxery cars she’s hawking aren’t aimed at the average middle class person her shows and advice are geared towards, they’re geared towards people who can afford them. Nor are the cruises. She preaches restraint and in today’s economy, restraint is probably the best policy… though, we could all use a vacation.

    • GMFish says:

      @Dethzilla: “I’d do the same thing” “She’s a hustler. Stop hatin on her.

      Let me get this straight. You admit she’s a hustler, but you think that’s somehow OK, because you’d “do the same thing.”

      Am I to assume that grizzly murders are acceptable in cases where you’d also murder?

  38. RoswellMarten says:

    My husband and I watch her show almost every week. The “Can I Afford It” segment makes us feel really grounded.

    Suze consistently tells people DO NOT LEASE A CAR, for the last year and a half she’s been recommending GETTING OUT OF STOCKS and INTO I-BONDS or if you’re olderINTO HIGH YIELD SAVINGS or CDs. I’ve heard people say she shills for FICO and encourages people to use credit cards but if you watch the show she consistently tells people to pay off and cut up the cards.

    Even though I watch, I’m no Suze fanatic. I’ve never bought any of her books, or watched her on Oprah and sometimes her personality is grating. Why on earth anyone would want to go on a Suze cruise is beyond me. However, like her or hate her, I don’t see any evidence that James Scurloc’s allegations are true.

  39. DeeKey says:

    Suze is in her 60’s, so her money should NOT be in the stock market. Suze regularly says that any money you NEED within the next 5 years should be somewhere safe, NOT the stock market, it is not safe, and anyone anywhere near retirement age should not have money in anything with risk involved. She is simply following her own advice folks.

    This article is YEARS old, having a slow news day? This pic of Suze is years old, and if any of you look this good in your mid-60’s, I want to see proof.

    Yes, she can be annoying on TV, but damned if she cant be proud of helping women like myself who find themselves suddenly in charge of finances with no prior experience or lousy financial teachers such as parents/spouses/friends.

    Without Suze I am 100% certain my net worth would be much less than it is. She taught me about FICO scores and credit cards and mutual funds and CD’s and how to make money on money I already have and not lose money to the “financial guru’s” out there who only want to part you from your money.

    Huge thumbs up to Suze!

  40. u1itn0w2day says:

    I don’t know what her claim to fame was before she became a TV financial expert but her advice is very standard and mediocre at best .She’s trying to be conservative but dealing with the fools that call in to her show her level of expertise and depth of knowledge must seem & is greater . It’s spooky that the call-ins to her show are some of the idiots that help propel us into this current financial mess .

    She’s a tv personality .She’s part of the pop culture now .I always thought of her as a infomercial hostess .

  41. Trencher93 says:

    Who is struggling list — is this typical of her “advice” — overgeneralized nonsense?

  42. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Suzie Orman…represents the credit card industry…she is paid good money to sway your feelings and concerns regarding your FICO score. Basically a system that cares nothing about the individual and just wants your money at any cost.

    I’m claiming Bankruptcy, maybe Suzie O. could swallow that one.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @WatchOutNow: Now that I think about her call-in shows in particular she does emphasize the credit rating .

      But there is alot of self promotion there .And she does seem to emphasize the old buy and hold strategy from 20 years ago when talking about stocks over time .I just don’t get her fame .

    • friendlynerd says:

      @WatchOutNow:
      To suggest Suze wants people to get into debt or use credit cards is incredibly ignorant and suggests you’ve never seen her show.

      Whether or not you understand, approve of, love, or hate your FICO score, it’s there and it’s going to affect your life and finances. Suze harps on it because it’s incredibly important unless you have a mountain of cash and zero debt – and those people don’t need her advice.

    • BelleOogle says:

      @WatchOutNow: Suze DOES NOT represent the credit card industry. She does endorse FICO scores so that we know what we have to work with. Have you ever seen her segment called CAN I AFFORD IT? Every week people ask if they can afford a big ticket purchase and she never says YES PUT IT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD YOU CAN AFFORD IT. NEVER!!

      She has really shown people that the things we think are important enough to put on our credit cards are things we SHOULD DO WITHOUT.

  43. chilled says:

    Seems like her investments are pretty sound..beter than getting beat up in the stocks.

    Sounds like this guys just an ass…

  44. ZukeZuke says:

    Saw her on the Today show this week and she was one of the few people that I’ve seen who had the balls to at least partially blame the mortgage catastrophe on the thousands of “homeowners” who took out big loans on houses they never should have bought in the first place. That impressed me.

    Everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon fully blaming the mortgage brokers + banks, which is B.S. IMO… and I’m no fan of the crooked banks either.

  45. oneliketadow says:

    Where’s the “WHO CARES” option in that poll.

  46. jake.valentine says:

    The few times I have seen her on tv I have found her advice to be nothing more than common sense. I am actually a little shocked she has done so well giving out “advice” that I would imagine most people already know. Good for her I guess, but who in the world is watching her or respecting her opinion anymore than you would of your friends/family?

    • friendlynerd says:

      @jake.valentine:
      My friends/family are not multimillionaires nor self-made. What seems like common sense to you, and anyone else with a good handle on personal finance, is not common sense to many people out there.

      You are not her target market. Her advice may not be useful to you, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t hundreds of thousands of people out there who do appreciate it.

      • jake.valentine says:

        @friendlynerd:

        I’m not a multimillionaire or a self-made business person. I’m not sure why that needs to be said, but…….Her advice is essentially “If you don’t have enough left over after paying your bills each month, then don’t purchase the…..” It is just sooooooo simple that if it is really useful for some people in society, I have severly over-estimated the financial knowledge of most Americans. That would be amazing because I don’t assume they know very much as it is. I am not saying you are wrong, but if you are correct we are in more trouble than I initially thought.

        • friendlynerd says:

          @jake.valentine:
          Well, yes…many, many Americans think living paycheck to paycheck and constantly bumping the limits of their credit cards is perfectly ok.

          It’s probably important for people to hear it from someone like Suze because their family/friends either don’t know or are too chickenshit to call out financial stupidity.

  47. Brittany Stewart says:

    I like Suze’s basic advice: don’t spend beyond your means, pay off your credit card debts as quickly as possible, have an 8 month emergency fund, and don’t ever take money out of your 401k.

    The rest of her advice doesn’t really apply to me or to anyone else that I know because we have no intention of playing with the stock market.

    I’d like to mention, though, that every financial advisor is going to tell you something different. Suze advocates a good FICO score, while I’ve heard others relate FICO to the “I Love Debt” score. It’s all a matter of perspective. I, for one, like her and I follow her advice as best as I can.

  48. bricko says:

    For that lack of sex appeal…does this board know she IS a Lesbian…? She came out some time ago.

    And the audience she caters to has an income of between 20 and 30,000 dollars and is majority women. The advice she gives is relevant to them when they are young. And as she says…she is a multimillionaire and doesnt need to be in stocks etc. She chooses safe type rather than more aggressive. And she is older, so she is doing it right looks like.

  49. Jason Baldwin says:

    She’s the Dr. Laura of finance.

  50. veronykah says:

    Out of curiosity, if the majority of your “investments” are in royalties WHY would you put them into stocks?
    Is that even an option?
    I’m a photographer and can’t wait until I start making money off my work. It seems strange that the author is chastising her for having most of her investments in royalties, I don’t think as an author she really has much choice.

  51. u1itn0w2day says:

    There is truth to what she says about trying to impress people or as most say trying to keep up with the Joneses .That is a major problem-living beyond your means-for image at that .

    Alot of her advice is anecdotal .But there are people that need that basic,simple common sense taught to them .Even if by a TV star .

    Suze and her audience deserve each other .

  52. BelleOogle says:

    The writer of the slate piece obviously never watched the show! on the show Suze berates people for car leases period. She also is very clear about timelines to retirement and the best approaches to minimize risk while getting a decent return.

    Watching the show regularly has given me a better perspective on priorites for spending and has improved my personal financial standing by giving me a lot of common sense info. on $$ that my parents never gave me.

    So what if she leases jets? If she can afford it then what difference does it make on the quality of her advice?

    I’m a convert. I didn’t want to like her but like I said by watching her show I have learned a lot and it has directly helped me in my quest for financial security.

  53. KylieH says:

    No one should ever relinguish independent thought when listening to any talking head, be it Suze Orman or James Scurlock.

    The one point that I agree with is her statement that no one can take better care of your money than you can.

    Do your research and make your own choices.

  54. Brad Joerres says:

    Dave Ramsey > Suze Orman

  55. Krowa003 says:

    Look, I think the message of common sense and personal financial responability expressed in her books and show is what I like about her.If she chooses to earn extra income by advertising some other product, that does not mean you have to run out and lease/purchase it. It does not change her message. And if you’re taking investment advise from anyone blindly, without doing any research yourself, then you can’t place the blame on her just becuase you decided to make a downpayment in the housing complex of sheer ignorance.

  56. MissGayle says:

    When Suzi was on Oprah, she admitted that she never got her start by saving and being economical and having business loans and such like the rest of us – she got a free check from an “admirer” for $50,000 to start her career. So her whole schtick is fake – you can’t get where she is unless somebody gives YOU an interest free check for $50,000. Her “advice” would have gotten her nothing but up to her eyeballs in bankruptcy had she had to use it herself to get started.

  57. DeeKey says:

    Lets not forget that she gave away one of her books for FREE via download in 2008. She truly does want America to be responsible and financially savvy and the truth is most of the country is not or we would not have 800k homes standing empty, people being gouged by ARMs and student loan interest out of control. Its epidemic and Suze is appealing to creditcard companies and the government to change the way interest is regulated.

    Ask your parents if they know their credit score, ask your siblings, co-workers. You would be surprised by the number of people who walk into a bank for a loan who have no idea how the system works. Same goes for car loans and home equity loans.

    How did you learn about finances? Your parents? College? I am intrigued by the number of people here who would seem to have degrees in finance and can speak with authority about Ms. Orman’s advice.

    Most people who call into the show are trying to curb a spousal argument about what they as a couple can afford. Husband wants sportscar, wife says “lets ask Suze if we can afford your toy”, Suze says no, wife is off the hook. This is not a question you can ask your run-of-the-mill financial advisor.

    Actually watch the show before you bash her advice as being for the financially illiterate.

  58. Youdont Knowme says:

    I want to say awful nasty things about her, however, I haven’t even given her the time of day. She is money crazy. She is probably one of the founders of Amway. Oops. I meant Quixtar.

  59. Justifan says:

    shes so annoying. the only thing she shows is that you make big bucks giving financial advice:P