Monday, June 1, 2009

Suze Orman Now Says What???

If you pay any attention to the financial gurus teaching about investing in the stock market so you can “live your dream retirement,” you should be able to recite this mantra or something like it: Invest in the stock market for the long term, and you’ll come out great. Generally, long-term is defined by these advisors as 10 or more years.

Of course, the recent turn of events has decimated the investments of millions, including those who have been investing and following these alleged experts’ advice for the long term and the “super” long term, alike.

But whose wealth has taken a more catastrophic drop? The fact is that it doesn’t matter how long you have been saving – if your investments are directly in the stock market, a 30 percent drop, for example, impacts your ENTIRE account.

Let’s assume John has been investing directly in the stock market for the past 35 years and, prior to January 2008, had accumulated $1 million. Mary, on the other hand, has been investing for only 5 years and had amassed $50,000. Their respective account values, based on the 30 percent drop in this example, would now be $700,000 and $35,000. Who is better off? Notice that even those who’ve met the long-term standard (of these “experts”) lose the exact same percentage of their account values.

One of the so-called experts who’s been preaching all this long-term nonsense is Suze Orman. UNTIL NOW, she’s been saying that you need to allow 10 years or more (preferably more) to invest in the stock market!

Apparently, she recently realized that her listeners did not really understand what she meant by that statement or strategy. Interesting that she’s only come to this realization now, after the past few years have proven how shallow, baseless, and quite frankly, impractical this advice is.

So Suze dedicated a segment of a recent show to explaining, re-explaining – or, more appropriately – redeeming herself in the eyes of her friends, readers, and viewers. Before we go any further, watch this 3-minute, 28-second video – and please listen CLOSELY, and I mean very closely. Otherwise, you will need to watch it several times ... unless, of course, you are far smarter than I am.

Let’s Just Say, Consistently

Before going any further, let me congratulate Suze on her recent honorary doctor of humane letters awarded by the University of Illinois.

Now, here are my thoughts. First, I am going to assume that you understand the meaning of the word “consistently,” particularly now that Suze Orman has explained it. I have to tell you, though, that if you understood what you just heard, your IQ is like 20,000, which makes you a super genius. Heck, I don’t understand her strategy, let alone have the vaguest clue about applying it.

I would posit that two critical hallmarks of any financial advisor worth listening to are clarity and simplicity. Based on those criteria, if I were grading Suze’s presentation, I would give her an “F” for fuzzy. But then again, maybe you understand her inscrutable explanation. Please be sure to write and let me know if you do; maybe you can help the rest of us who are still scratching our heads in confusion.

I would think a “financial guru” of Suze’s stature would have understood how critical it was to explain what “10 years consistently” meant to her friends. I reiterate my perplexity, wondering why Suze did not offer this explanation, albeit a wildly confusing one, until now, only after the stock market has eroded millions – if not trillions – of dollars from those who followed advisors like her. Does she explain it in ANY of her books?

While I cannot say so with absolute certainty, this sure sounds to me like an attempt to save face by someone who has been disingenuous, erroneously believing the average consumer is so stupid as to fail to recognize porous, revolving-door financial advice when they hear it.

Look folks, it does not matter what Suze Orman – or any other advisor like her – says, believes, or thinks. You lose money when the stock market drops, regardless of how long you’ve been investing in it. PERIOD!

For far too long, the American public has been brainwashed into thinking that in order to grow a sizable nest egg, they must accept risk, volatility, and unpredictability. That’s simply NOT TRUE. None of our clients has lost even a penny because we apply time-tested, common-sense principles.

Suze Orman claims that if you had been following her advice since 1999 – in that example – you would now have more money. My question for her is HOW MUCH MORE? Just one hypothetical slide show example – like the ones she used to confuse her viewers and try to redeem herself – would have sufficed. Does she really understand the concepts of time value of money and inflation?

Really? Given, as she claims, that money market accounts and Certificates of Deposit are consistently earning high yields. This apparently is true only on Planet Suze Orman, which, by the way, has yet to be discovered by NASA.

Ridiculous, preposterous, comical, bizarre, farcical, absurd, and wacky would not even begin to describe such an assertion. Truly, I am left speechless.

It’s fair to say that I am not in Suze Orman’s head, so I don’t know what she was thinking when she made the claims in this video. But I don’t have to be in her head to make the following assertions:

  • Let’s just say that Suze Orman needs to be consistently SIMPLE!

  • Let’s just say that Suze Orman needs to be consistently CLEAR!

  • Let’s just say that Suze Orman needs to be consistently CONSISTENT!
My friends, doesn’t it just make sense to follow an advisor who CONSISTENTLY exhibits these qualities?


  1. Samuel,I watched the video a couple of times and am still scratching my head. One thing is her VERY defensive, arrogant attitude. Is that how you really talk to people to get them to trust you? Also, one has to wonder how she skirts all the regulations. Perhaps it's the same as Jim Cramer and you should go after the whole industry of televised "financial gurus" who are giving unregulated bad advice.

  2. I have actually seen her on TV several saturdays, was never impressed I could tell she was one of the "financial Gurus" Keep telling us more!!!

  3. RIGHT ON, I am not in the financial field but this lady strikes me as shady in some respects. Good perspective. Hope more and more viewers will begin to pay close attention.

  4. I have always wondered how in world someone who sell almost everything, from credit repair kits to ID theft to cruises and car leases could ever be an objective advisor. She does not sound real to me at all and this video with your honest analysis seals the deal. Thankk you Mr. Asare! Folks wake up!

    Jude F.

  5. Best video ever. She is so confused. years kiss my...

  6. I watched the video once, I didn't think it was that confusing. She's just saying that any money you have in the stock market, you better not need any of that money for at least the next 10 years because the stock market is so volatile. If at any point in time you do see yourself needing some money from stocks within ten years, start moving it.

    It makes sense


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