Suze Orman - Investment Advice vs. Money Management

I will occasionally tune in to the Suze Orman show on CNBC.  I paid attention to Suze Orman quite a while back and I have even read parts of one her books.  At the time, I was looking at buying a primary residence and she offers some good basic lessons and advice in at least one of her books.

I think some people think of Suze Orman as geared towards women.  Perhaps that may be true, but most of her advice would apply equally to men.

I have been somewhat critical of Suze Orman in the past on specific things.  I have warned to be careful in taking investment advice from her.  She used to be one of those people who would suggest that you just buy no-load mutual funds that invest in broad indexes of stocks, as long as you were investing for the long term.  She did seem to change her advice somewhat after the stock market went sour for a while.

I have also held it against Suze (for some reason, it just seems right calling her by her first name) that she is against gold.  It was a few years ago that I heard someone call in and ask her about a gold standard and she blew the person off.  I have never heard her give any advice on investing in gold or gold assets, but let me know in the comments for anyone who has heard otherwise.  I don't watch all of her shows, so I could have missed something.

With all of that said, when I do tune into her shows, it seems she does not give much investment advice anymore.  Most of her calls are on money management.  I think most of her advice is sound and reasonable.

Since most of her show does not deal with investment advice and since most of her advice on handling money seems reasonable, I would recommend that people watch her show.  There are a variety of callers and you can learn from the good and the bad.  There are some people who call in with enormous debt and you wonder how anyone could get themselves into such a disastrous situation.

Then you will suddenly hear from somebody who is relatively young who is close to being worth a million dollars.

People who watch the Suze Orman show really enjoy the segment called "Can I Afford It?".  People call in wanting to buy something.  It is usually a luxury item, or at least something that is not a basic need.  They will then run down their financial situation including their age, their income, their expenses, their debt, and their assets.  Suze will then tell them whether they are "denied" or "approved".

She is not always easy on people.  I have seen people call in and get denied even though they were looking to buy an item that cost just a few thousand dollars or less.  The person may have a net worth of a few hundred thousand dollars, but they still may be denied based on their age.  If you have someone who is 60 years old with a net worth of $200,000, they will probably be denied for most luxury purposes.  Suze will point out that the person is near retirement age and has not saved enough.

In conclusion, I generally recommend watching Suze Orman's show.  I would be cautious about her investment advice, although I'm not really sure what that is these days.  But her advice on money management and debt is generally quite good and can be helpful for anyone.  It doesn't matter if your net worth is zero or a million dollars.