Suze Orman is a personal finance guru who makes a lot of money giving people advice on how to spend theirs. Her net worth around $35 million that she earned through book sales, television shows, and other “celebrity guru” methods. All of which seem to be geared towards increasing your net worth with savings tips.
She might be a financial giant with a net worth to match the talk, but Suze isn’t always giving the best advice. Before you put all your money into something she recommends, consider these four big reasons that Suze’s advice may not be right for you.
The best way for any guru to dispense advice to the masses is to be as general as possible. By giving advice that is not extremely in depth and untailored to any one particular individual, gurus can reach a large number of semi-relevant believers. In accordance with this tactic, Suze Orman casts a wide enough net to gain attention, but the advice is not thorough enough to actually be of considerable use.
When it comes to personal finance, there are always a lot of factors influencing your decisions, and all of these factors have a direct influence on your net worth. If you watch Suze give advice to people on her TV show, then you’ll notice that any one detail of someone’s situation can be enough to change the entire focus of what she advises people to do. In truth, Suze Orman is giving advice to a strawman audience. This is advice that sounds great until you add any trace of human element to it.
Variables like the number of people in your family, the ratio of income to expenses, and the amount of money you have set aside in an emergency fund can all have a huge impact on the best financial plan for you. There’s simply no way for Suze Orman to be able to personalize the information that she gives out. If you want to build your individual net worth, you’ll need advice that sits well at home.
When your income is tied so closely to how well known you are, reputation matters more than sound advice. I would never accuse Suze of knowingly misleading her followers, and I’m sure that she does the best she can to give the best possible financial guidance. But you have to question the motives of someone who has to stay relevant in order to continue earning an income. It is a bit cynical; I know. Despite the cynicism, history tells us that people who make that much money had a trick of some sort.
Here is the bottom line. A financial guru has to be a charismatic performer in order to become as successful as Suze Orman has. With this in mind, separating real advice from entertainment value is important if you don’t want to be caught up in the net.
If you are seeking financial advice while living paycheck to paycheck with hope that Suze Orman can help break the cycle, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Suze has an irritating habit of talking about the “little things” that you can stop paying for to save money. Stop paying for a gym membership and work out at home! Stop buying lattes every morning and invest in an espresso machine! You can save over $100 a month! While this advice makes perfect sense, it can be found anywhere.
Most people who are looking for financial advice either: A. Don’t have enough money to spend on things like this in the first place; or B. Have more than enough money to actually worry, but have questions about stock investments. Either way, this is another example of the strawman tactic that Suze utilizes. She’s doling out advice that doesn’t fit the reality of people’s financial situations.
There is an explanation: Suze is worth 35 million dollars! It’s only natural that someone with that net worth would lose touch with those who need to save nickels and dimes for rent. When reading Suze Orman’s advice, you should remember that it might not necessarily be for someone in your tax bracket.
In 2012, Suze released a pre-paid credit card option that she claimed would help raise your FICO score by reporting to TransUnion credit bureau. The card, lacking the required fanfare, was ended two years after it was first offered. The card received some heat for being a misleading claim. One of the main complaints referred to the claim of being an “easier, smarter way to be debt free.” In reality, the card charge fees for service when a bank debit card would be much cheaper. On top of that, there really wasn’t much of a basis for improving credit via pre-paid debit card. At any rate, the card would certainly not expedite your way to a steep net worth.
One bad product isn’t necessarily enough to completely write off the advice of someone who endorsed it. But when your financial guru recommends a product on misleading information that she profits directly from, that is a pretty big red flag.
It’s normal for financial advisors to charge fees, but there’s something unsettling about Suze Orman making money from a misleading product that might have lost people money. Despite that, the monthly fee for holding the pre-paid card was only $3 which is still much lower than similar products.
It comes back to the fact that Suze Orman is a celebrity. It’s not always easy to tell if she is endorsing a product or giving sound financial advice. If you can’t tell the difference, then it’s a good idea to take what she says with healthy skepticism. Celebrities have so much money and an overall insurmountable net worth; it is only natural for them to lose touch.
Final Thoughts on Suze Orman and your Net Worth
At the end of the day, Suze Orman has increased her own net worth vastly by giving personal financial advice. Who am I to say it’s not great advice? But there are multiple reasons to ignore what she says. At any rate, Orman is just another voice to be heard on the TV or on the internet (just like mine!).
When it comes to your personal financial situation, no guru, no matter what their net worth is, can have all the answers. This has been reiterated quite a few times in this article, but it is still true. It is also very easy advice to give to say the least.
It’s important that you learn how to manage your own personal finances without all of the buzz in mind. Many of these commercials are simply meant to make money in the end. Every second of coverage is invested in to influence you into making their decision. Only you can make the best decisions for yourself since you know your own net worth and your situation better than anyone. Know your own wallet!