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About Suze Orman

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Suze OrmanIn our brief profile of Robert Kiyosaki, I said that few people on our Top Money Guru poll generates as much emotion as he does. Suze Orman is one of those gurus.

Suze Orman is a very strong television host who uses a lot of “tough love” when it comes to dispensing financial advice. Personally, I think some people respond better to her brand of personal finance and many have gotten themselves back on track because of it. Her style can be abrasive but you can’t smooth a piece of wood unless you use sandpaper, right?

This profile is part of our Top Money Guru poll. For the next two weeks we’ll be highlighting ten personal finance experts for our first ever Top Money Guru poll – you can vote for your favorite guru here. It takes less than a minute and you could win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Poll ends June 10th.

Her background was as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch and as she progressed she founded her own group and started her own television show on CNBC. Some of the gurus on the list started as journalists, she started as an advisor. She’s written several books (10 in total) and produced several products including credit score kits, will & trust kids, insurance kits, and identity theft protection kits. She has an entire personal finance empire.

More recently, Suze got into it with some personal finance bloggers who didn’t think fondly of her new debit card offer – calling Phil Taylor (ptmoney.com) “an idiot.” (here’s what he said about the card) Many experts in traditional media also considered it a bad deal. It all played out very publicly on Twitter and it was a pretty hot mess.

There’s no doubt she’s helped countless people get their finances on track but chances are she won’t win any prizes from personal finance bloggers! (I suspect the personal finance blogger poll will reflect this!)

Guru Vitals:

  • Twitter Followers: ~1,470,000
  • Facebook Fans: ~350,000
  • # of Books: 10

You can find her on Twitter @suzeormanshow or through her website SuzeOrman.com.

What do you think about Suze Orman?

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

{ 15 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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15 Responses to “About Suze Orman”

  1. admiral58 says:

    i watch suze most saturday nights. That’s the only way I know her

  2. Barb says:

    I watch Suze weekly (usually Sunday morning from the DVR). She is a fellow Illini. Her mother was a nurse and they family didn’t have much money. Suze studied Social Work at Illinois.
    I know that Suze talked about living in her car at one point in her life.
    I love her advice, but sometimes I don’t ever think I have enough money after watching her. I know that some people think she is too drastic about saving money and do not encourage people spend to enjoy their life.
    I think there is way more to Suze than your article. This is way too short of an article and you need to go more in-depth about them and their philosophy on money.

  3. Brett says:

    No matter how much “good” she may have accomplished with her show or advice in general, she has lost all credibility with her pre-paid debit card that charges crazy fees to access your own money and does nothing to help your credit. Can you be a bigger hypocrite?

    • Yana says:

      I agree with this. Whatever sense she might have made is cancelled by exploitative marketing of the debit card. And I’m offended by her exchange with personal finance bloggers, whom I respect and consider valid.

  4. Daniel says:

    If only her advice was sound. There are many things I have seen from Suze that are just bad advice and wrong information, and while some of the things she says are good, I find it troubling that less knowledgeable people follow her advice without checking it.

    Much more reliable are Dave Ramsey (though I think Dave’s investing advice is lacking), Clark Howard, and Ric Edelman.

    • Mike says:

      Hi Daniel,

      I agree, Suze has definitely provided wrong information in the past.

      I have never know Dave Ramsey to provide inaccurate information though. Investing advice, sure.. But his facts are solid.

      • Daniel says:

        This is starting to get off-topic (it’s about Dave, not Suze), but hopefully Jim will let this comment stand.

        On Dave’s investing advice, every financial advisor will tell you that past performance is not indicative of future results, yet Dave always tells people to invest only in mutual funds that have long track records. He completely ignores that mutual fund managers can and do change, and that a new manager might come in with a new philosophy, selling everything that the previous manager owned. Bam – there goes that long track record!

        He also tells people to avoid ETFs like the plague, that they are only for day traders. He completely ignores that ETFs cost a lot less than mutual funds.

        I wouldn’t classify his investing advice as incorrect, just lacking. Dave gives excellent advice in his core area of knowledge (budgeting, and living a debt-free life), but when he gets into other areas, his advice starts to falter.

        • Jim says:

          The conversation goes where it wants to go, I generally don’t edit comments unless they are just made to be mean, incendiary, racist, sexist, etc. I’m not here to moderate or referee, I just participate. :)

  5. I used to think that Suze must be a great financial advisor until I actually tuned into her show one day. She is a great show person, but her advice is ordinary.

    She is great for people who are failing in their spending/saving habits. She can bring them up to the level of being able to breathe with relief of overwhelming bad debt. In their cases, it is great to be ordinary, on an even playing ground of managing expenses to income and saving a bit.

    However, her advice past that stage is terrible, imo. She rants and raves about taking on more debt, even if it will lead to cash flow income that can put one into a different class, from middle to upper. I’ll take upper class anytime, I choose to rise out of ordinary to extraordinary.

    To be extraordinary means doing what others are not. It doesn’t necessarily mean risking it all, it means planning to be wealthy, and taking the steps to get there.

    Suze’s advice is for the masses. Suze’s motives are for her pocketbook.

  6. Dave says:

    Suze Orman lost all credibility with me when, during the 2008 meltdown, she stated in a panel: “Just put all your money in Muni’s like I do!”. Given that the vast majority of her audience do not have enough assets to derive their income needs from Muni’s and the incredibly poor guidance to put all your assets in one single asset class, this was an ill advised statement to make. It really signaled that she was out of touch with the financial reality of her audience.

  7. Tim says:

    I think highly of Suze Orman. I bought one of her books when i was buying my first home. That information was invaluable at that time. Her advice was spot on!!

  8. Shafi says:

    I’ve read reviews about Suze and they weren’t as good as you present her to be. The problem with these so-called gurus is they’ll convince you to buy into a security which they invest in as well. They sell it when it’s share gets higher but don’t tell you about selling it. They make money for themselves. They jack up the price artificially by telling everyone to buy but later secretly sell them. The price thus is lowered and you become the loser.

  9. Bucksprout says:

    Suze Orman is one tough lady. I’ll never forget the time she told a 12 year old that she couldn’t buy a Maltese puppy for $900 even though she had double the amount saved. Her reasoning, you can’t spend half of your savings on a dog. Suze Orman is right on this but poor girl.

  10. freeby50 says:

    Dave, Who did Suze tell to buy munis? I don’t see her telling the wider audience just to go buy municipal bonds. She generally tells people to buy stocks / index funds. or a mix of stocks & bonds. It may be perfectly reasonable to tell an individual to buy municipal bonds if it suits that persons financial needs and goals but that doesn’t mean all her advice is bad or that such advice applies to everyone.

  11. freeby50 says:

    Shafi,

    I don’t see any evidence that the financial ‘guru’s like Suze Orman are pumping up investments to profit. Suze, Dave Ramsey and their peers rarely if ever mention specific investments. So they don’t operate like that.

    You might be thinking of the talking heads on CNBC or similar. People like Jim Cramer could feasibly be doing that kind of thing since they do recommend specific stocks. But again I see no evidence of that either.


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