Why I Don't Like Suze Orman's Advice (Or, Why Variable Annuities CAN Work)

My speaker’s intro includes something about my self-description of being a “recovering financial advisor”. It’s true. I was in the business of giving financial advice for over 8 years, during which I saw some amazingly interesting market events – good and bad.

One of the most consistent things I saw, though, was a number of media-described “experts” on financial matters, who often gave blanket, broad-brushed advice that didn’t always tell the entire story. While I can’t say that everything she has ever said is bad, generally speaking, I don’t care too much for the scrubbed-for-the-lowest-common-denominator-sound-bite-media advice dished out by people like Suze Orman.

First here’s a clip of her somewhat infamous bad call from a show on CNBC from a few years ago. Before the days of YouTube, it circulated among emails of many financial pros as a laughable example of her being called out by a viewer….just note how angry her face gets when she realizes what the screener didn’t screen out….

Then, today, I received an email from an industry trade group with further proof that NO SINGLE INVESTMENT is ALWAYS BAD (or good) – see this article. As the old saying goes, I guess “Every Dog (truly) Has His Day”. Go figure – then, get with a true financial pro to find a plan that works for YOU.

Chicken Little Gets Job at CNN

Open message to the popular media: Please STOP adding such sensationalism to EVERYTHING. Seriously, we’ve all seen video of some idiot driving off with the gas pump still hanging out of the car. It’s happened before. It will happen again.

“Wall Street bracing for a dismal start!” – Seriously? The reporter I’m watching AS I WRITE THIS is saying, effectively, “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!” Look, the financial situation of late is dicey, but let us not all lose our minds.

Ms. Talking Head, you’re (most likely) someone who is pleasing to the eye when on a television screen . [Come on, I know I’m not the only person to have noticed this phenomenon. ] I was a financial professional for over 12 years. So here’s the real story: If it all goes to hell, we’re all in it together, and we’ll find a way out. Don’t believe me? Call your grandfather. Mine remembers the Great Depression, and he is STILL ALIVE (at 92, thank you very much)! It’s though every news outlet is now trying to predict the future, so they can lay claim to being the source who “brought it to you first”–even if it wasn’t true yet when it was reported. I’m SO over it!

As a society literally BOMBARDED each day with such overblown sensationalism over what MIGHT happen….no wonder we live amongst people who have lost all hope when all they need to do is pull up their big boy pants and take some accountability for their own well-being. Haven’t you people ever heard of Chicken Little?

p.s. By the time I could get this posted online, the market (measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average) had closed…Down 215.05 from Thursday’s close at 8476.20. Hardly the “worst financial day ever”.