So many of my family members, friends and associates just can’t get themselves to explore and discuss their financial lives. And I’m talking really smart people….usually.
They make comments such as my Fidelity fund has done well. Which one? What are the fees? How does its performance match up with others? Who recommended it? Does he/she make money when you buy the fund?
Many don’t know even these basics. And if they don’t know these basics, there is no way they can have a viable financial plan. Enter Suze Orman. Years and years ago she began doling out common sense financial advice. She wasn’t touting some miracle stock or some magic REIT or flipping houses. She was simply and directly addressing the ABCs of managing your financial life. Extremely sound advice.
But the reason I’m a huge fan of Suze Orman is that she gets it. She gets why this matters so much. It’s about creating as much freedom as possible to live your life the way you want to. Nothing less. It is that important.
One of my favorite examples of Suze providing sound guidance was with a homeowner, who was a single woman in her 40s. This woman had done everything right. She had bought her home years ago, paid off her non-mortgage debt, continued to save and her home now had a decent amount of equity in it. All was fine, right? Nope. The woman hated being a homeowner. It completely stressed her out. She thought of being responsible for its maintenance and that it was such a disproportionately huge part of her overall wealth. She couldn’t shake the pressure she felt about something possibly going wrong with her home.
In strict dollars and cents, it likely would have made more sense for the woman to hold onto her own home. But how does one put a price tag on living years free of pressure? So Suze told her to sell and went on to name some investment options. This is clarity on exactly why money matters. It is not about maximizing your wealth. It is about maximizing your freedom.
Orman has come under some criticism. She introduced her own ill-fated debit card, which was directed at those with very low income, and she has been accused of not grasping complexities in financial planning. To me, these are but minor blips. The real benefit Suze Orman has provided is demystifying the conversation about personal finances and emphatically hitting home the point just how important those finances are in all of one’s life.