Author Topic: SUZE ORMAN  (Read 1184 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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« on: October 19, 2014, 08:42:47 am »
Suze Orman

Bob Lefsetz <>
9:28 PM (11 hours ago)

to me
She reminds me of my father.

I never watched her CNBC show, I really had no idea who she was, but Felice kept turning her on at 6 every Saturday and I've become hooked. Because she's the voice of reason in an unreasonable world.

I like to think I know everything. But I was stunned last week when Suze came down on variable annuities. I have no children, I've got no debt, I'm not in the market for one of these financial products, but I thought they were a reasonable thing, turns out they're not. And that's what keeps me watching Suze, the way she counters conventional wisdom.

My father used to have a rap. Actually, we'd call it the "Morris Lefsetz Philosophy." We'd hear it on long car drives, after a good meal, my dad would kick back and smile and tell us how we didn't have a fancy house, we didn't drive the latest cars, but our house was paid for, we could go on vacation, we could eat out, we had each other.

That's right, when I was in junior high, everybody decamped for a better neighborhood. The split level we lived in shook when someone shut the front door. But to get my dad to sell that house and take on debt would be akin to asking him to cut off his left arm. He told us he could sleep at night. Now I understand.

My relationships have been riddled with financial issues. Not only how the money is spent, but how much of it there is. We all have different values, and I'll admit it's hard to accept those of others, but when it comes to blowing money I'm intolerant, and when you've got two people struggling it adds tension and it breaks you up, I know from experience.

I also know that the fantasy of loading up credit cards to pursue your dreams is just that, a fantasy. Sure, some people break through and get rich and pay the debt off, but most don't. My experience has turned me into a depression baby just like my dad, I live on a cash only basis, I don't believe in borrowing, because belief that life will get better is oftentimes just that, a belief, and beliefs are often wrong.

But my dad was not fake like Suze. Actually, I don't think Suze's like the show at all. She makes nice, talks about her life, when the truth is she's probably tough as nails, like my dad. Who loved bestowing gifts and picking up the tab, but would tolerate no dishonesty, no b.s.

He also didn't care what people thought of him. He kept on telling everybody he was a poor immigrant boy, when the truth is he was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but when his dad died the family was broke, he had to take care of his mom.

But my dad fought his way out. And insisted we do so too. Come home with bad grades and not only would you be grounded, your life was in jeopardy. It was all about education, preparing yourself for the future.

As a result, I'm prepared pretty well.

But most people are not.

The biggest crime you see in Los Angeles is "Keeping up with the Joneses." Leasing a fancy car and moving into a desirable neighborhood because everybody else is. Suze says you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, that those who smile outside might be fighting and unable to sleep inside.

And not only must you live within your means, you must have an emergency fund, of eight months. And with so many of my baby boomer brethren out of work with their unemployment benefits having run out, eight months is not much. But people call Suze every week eager to spend.

Which America wants you to do.

And once you open your eyes to this it's frightening. There was a story in last week's "New York Times" delineating the different responsibilities of those selling products at the bank as opposed to certified financial planners. The latter have a fiduciary duty, the former do not. And I know the difference in responsibility, having gone to law school, but I did not know the difference between a bank's investment brokers and licensed certified financial planners.

If only Suze were taught in school. If only everybody in America was forced to listen to her words. Sure, America runs on consumer spending, but if you want to get ahead you've got to manage your money wisely, you've got to plan, you've got to be realistic.

And the show is good television because it's absent the tropes of the networks. The people call in weeping about bad decisions and after describing their problems a sponsor does not swoop in and make them whole. No, Suze dispenses truth and then they're left to their own devices. Suze just told a cashless couple to sell their house after the husband ran up credit card debt the wife was unaware of. They balked, they cannot do it, their image can't take the hit. But is image what it's really about?

And then there are the people who want to buy frivolous items when they've still got credit card debt, at inflated interest rates. The government is never gonna crack down hard enough, the financial industry keeps legislators alive, you've got to help yourself.

But what makes Suze's show so riveting is the no b.s. truthful advice that we all want to hear that we never get. It's kind of like Simon Cowell on "American Idol." The acts all want to be successful, their hearts are in it, the other judges are encouraging, but Simon says no way.

Ain't that America, where it's illegal to piss on your hopes and dreams. But the truth is life is tough. And the way you succeed is through knowledge, that you gain from authorized, approved sources, which are often pooh-poohed by the hoi polloi the same way the ignorant educated refuse to get their kids vaccinated because it makes them feel less powerful, less in control if someone else has the answers, if someone else knows more.

But someone else always knows more than you. And someone else is always looking to take advantage of you. Yup, go try to buy a car, the salesman will have you leasing something you can't afford that you're unsure of the price of because you don't want to be seen driving a Toyota that's paid for.

Kind of like the auto I drive. It gets terrible gas mileage, certainly for its size. But it's paid for. It makes no sense to trade it in. Just like it makes no sense to lease a hybrid that doesn't return its premium for six years.

But you want it.

But we all cannot have what we want.

My father told me this.

"Before the Advice, Check out the Adviser":

Offline Metro

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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 04:36:15 am »

She could do more to understand the macroeconomics of the global economy.  Her principles are increasingly outdated.
Dean Walter Greason
The Honors School
Monmouth University
(twitter) @worldprofessor