"Many people are in the dark when it comes to money, and I'm going to turn on the lights." -- Suze Orman
Susan "Suze" Lynn Orman (born June 5, 1951) is an American financial advisor, author, motivational speaker, and television host.
She is the host of The Suze Orman Show on CNBC. She has written seven consecutive New York Times Best Sellers; has written, co-produced, and hosted six PBS specials based on her books; and is the most successful fundraiser in the history of public television. Similar programs that she hosts on QVC, the leading home shopping network, also place her as the top seller.
In 2004 and 2006, Orman won two daytime Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Service Show Host for her PBS specials. Over her television career, she has won six Gracie Awards, more than anyone in the 34-year history of the awards.
In July 2009 Forbes named Orman 18th on their list of The Most Influential Women In Media. In May 2009 Orman was presented with an honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois. In 2009 & 2008, she was selected by Time magazine as one of the TIME 100, The World's Most Influential People. In 2009 she was honored by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Vito Russo Media Award. In April 2008 Orman was presented with the Amelia Earhart Award for her message of financial empowerment for women and Saturday Night Live spoofed Suze three times during 2008. Orman delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary degree at Bentley University on May 15, 2010.
"A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.""I think they've been baby bummers.""If you have debt I'm willing to bet that general clutter is a problem for you too.""In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential... it's no different in the financial realm.""Opposites may attract, but I wouldn't put my money on a relationship of financial opposites.""Owning a home is a keystone of wealth... both financial affluence and emotional security.""People first, then money, then things.""They got married, they got divorced, and half their money goes out the window.""We never had it as rough as the kids have it today. Look at the price of a gallon of gas or a piece of real estate or a college education."
Orman was born on the South Side of , in 1951 to Russian and Romanian Jewish immigrants, she grew up on Chicago's south side with a father who had come from Russia and a mother whose family had emigrated from Romania a generation before. Her parents Ann and Morry Orman, ran a deli in Hyde Park. Orman came from a working class background and has said that she did not "grow up with money." She was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from which she holds a B.A. in social work (1976).
In 1973 Orman's brother Robert, a lawyer in Chicago, gave her a thousand dollars to get started with her life after she finished college. She decided to move with friends to Berkeley, California, and lived for three months in a van on Hearst Avenue. She soon became a waitress at the Buttercup Bakery on College Avenue. In 1980, a longtime customer named Fred Hasbrook gave Orman a loan of $2,000 and took up a collection from other customers totaling $50,000 to help finance opening her own restaurant. The loan was to be paid back in ten years with no interest. Orman invested the money at Merrill Lynch, but four months later was broke again, after her stockbroker had led her into bad investments.
Knowing that she couldn't make the money back as a waitress, and having started learning more about finances and investing, Orman returned to Merrill Lynch and entered their training program to become an account executive. She discovered through her training that her stockbroker had committed an illegal act and she thus sued Merrill Lynch. Suze received the entire $50,000 back plus interest and was able to pay back her former customer. After she completed the training, she was hired by the firm and remained there until 1983 when she left to take a position as a vice president of investments at Prudential Bache Securities. In 1987, Orman resigned and opened her own financial planning firm, the Suze Orman Financial Group, in Emeryville, California. She acted as director of the firm until 1997, when she stepped down as her writing career took off with the publication of her second book. She received the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009.
Orman's understanding of comprehensive financial planning has been questioned by many in the industry. Senior MarketWatch columnist Chuck Jaffe, for example, states that Orman "scores very high on the personality index, but very low on the knowledge and understanding of the complex issues that face a lot of her audience. She's giving generic, simple solutions to people's most difficult problems, and judging from her [own personal investment] portfolio she's taking them on a path she really hasn't traveled herself." And according to MSN Money's James Scurlock, "the personal-finance guru favors supersimple mantras...even when they're wrong...and psychological explanations for all your money problems.
Orman has written seven consecutive New York Times Best Sellers; has written, co-produced, and hosted six PBS specials based on her books; and is the most successful fundraiser in the history of public television. Similar programs that she hostson QVC, the leading home shopping network, also place her as the top seller.
You've Earned It, Don't Lose It: Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When You Retire (with Linda Mead) (1997)
The Courage to Be Rich (1998)
The Road to Wealth (2001)
The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life... (2003)
The Money Book for the Young Fabulous and Broke (2005)
Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny (2007)
Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan (2009)
Suze Orman's 2010 Action Plan: New Rules for New Times (2010)
In 1998 Forbes reported that Orman had misrepresented her credentials, and criticized some of her advice as simplistic. The San Francisco Chronicle ran a follow-up article in which a representative of Orman stated that the book's publisher, Crown, used inaccurate information without Orman's knowledge.
Orman has a Q&A advice section in Oprah Winfrey's monthly magazine O, alongside Dr. Phil's advice section. She is the former author of a biweekly column entitled "Money Matters" on Yahoo!'s finance website. For many years, she has contributed on a monthly basis to Costco Connection, a magazine published by the membership wholesaler. She is also a contributor to several other magazines and publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lowes MoneyWorks, and Your Business at Home Magazine.
Orman's books have propelled her into a television personality. She has written, co-produced, and hosted six PBS specials based on her books; and is the most successful fundraiser in the history of public television. Similar programs that she hosts on QVC, the leading home shopping network, also place her as the top seller.
Orman has won two Daytime Emmy Awards in 2004 and 2006 in the category of Outstanding Service Show Host for her PBS pledge drive specials, The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life and The Money Show for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke. Over her television career, she has won six Gracie Awards, more than anyone in the 34-year history of the awards.
She hosts a weekend financial advice show on CNBC called The Suze Orman Show. She hosts another TV program on QVC called Suze Orman's Financial Freedom.
In 2007, Orman launched a segment called "Can I Afford it?" which was also featured as an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. People tell Orman what they hope to purchase or refinance and why they want it. She then commands them to "Show me the money". They then tell Orman how much money they make, how much expenses they have, how much debt they have, if any, (mortgages, credit card debt, car loans, student loans, etc.) and how much they have in savings and retirement accounts. After asking questions such as "How are you going to pay for this?" or "How secure is your job?", or "How many miles do you have on your car?", Orman then determines if they can or can't afford it by saying they are "approved" or "denied". She then explains her reasoning; those with high credit card debt, as well a lack of money in savings are usually denied. She will sometimes follow up with past participants to see their current status. Her catch phrases are "Self-worth equals net worth", "People first, then money, then things", and "Truth creates money. Lies destroy it."
In February 2008, Orman appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and announced that her most recent book, Women and Money, would be available for free on Oprah's website for 33 hours. Over 1 million people downloaded the book.
In an April 2008 online interview with The Young Turks, Orman stated that her net worth is more than ten million USD. Orman shared her personal investment portfolio strategy. It is highly concentrated compared with traditional investment theory, which emphasizes asset diversification and a significant allocation to equities for long-term growth. Orman stated: "I have a million dollars in the stock market because if I lose a million dollars, I don't personally care. I buy zero-coupon municipal bonds, and all the bonds I buy are triple-A rated and insured so even if the city goes under, I get my money. I take a little lower interest rate to make sure my bonds are 100 percent safe and sound."
In July 2008, CNBC began airing new weeknight editions of The Suze Orman Show. Orman has also been featured on the Food Network's Paula's Party alongside RuPaul.
In February 2007, Orman told The New York Times Magazine that she is a lesbian. Her partner of seven years is Kathy Travis, a co-producer on The Suze Orman Show. In the interview, Orman said that she wishes she could marry her partner partly because it could save them both a lot of money. She says, "It's killing me that upon death, K.T. is going to lose fifty percent of everything I have to estate taxes. Or vice versa."
According to the Federal Election Commission, Orman has donated money to the Democratic National Committee and to the 2000 senate campaign of Hillary Clinton (D-NY). NEWSMEAT ? Suze Orman's Federal Campaign Contribution Report In 2008, Orman donated $28,000 to the Democratic National Committee. NEWSMEAT ? Suze Orman's federal campaign contribution search results She stated in an interview with Larry King in 2008 she believes the U.S Democratic Party does a better job of managing the economy and proposing civil rights issues. She also said she likes a lot of what she is seeing with Barack Obama.
In June 2010, Orman was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.