Active Stocks
Thu Apr 18 2024 15:59:07
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 160.00 -0.03%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 280.20 2.13%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 351.40 -2.19%
  1. Infosys share price
  2. 1,420.55 0.41%
  1. Wipro share price
  2. 444.30 -0.96%
Business News/ Special Report / Why Suze Orman Never Goes Out to Dinner
BackBack

Why Suze Orman Never Goes Out to Dinner

wsj

The financial adviser talks about 3:30 wake-ups, marriage advice and why she’s against setting spending limits.

Suze Orman is the author of a dozen personal finance books and host of the podcast ‘Women & Money.’ She got her start in finance as a broker. Premium
Suze Orman is the author of a dozen personal finance books and host of the podcast ‘Women & Money.’ She got her start in finance as a broker.

Suze Orman, one of the most famous financial advisers in America, doesn’t believe your money should control you.

“I hate budgets," said Orman, 72, comparing them to diets. “If you restrict, you limit, you cut back, you don’t buy this, you don’t buy that, and then all of a sudden you explode and you go out and you buy everything at once."

She abhors New Year’s resolutions for similar reasons; she doesn’t want people to set themselves up for failure. Rather than setting big financial goals for 2024, she recommends asking yourself a question: Do you feel powerful and secure?

“If you don’t, just do one thing that might make you feel more secure," she said. “Is that saving $10? Is that not going out to eat?"

Orman, a best-selling author and host of the podcast “Women & Money," grew up in Chicago. She got her start in finance as a broker at Merrill Lynch before founding the Suze Orman Financial Group. In 2020, she co-founded SecureSave, an employer-sponsored emergency-savings program. These days, Orman lives in the Bahamas with her wife, Kathy Travis, who goes by KT. Here, Orman talks about her fishing hobby, running her own business and meeting Kristen Wiig.

What time do you get up on Mondays?

I always wake up at two times: either 3:30 or 4:45 a.m. I don’t know why that is. KT, my spouse, says, “You have jumped the gun." By 5 o’clock, we’re definitely up and about.

What’s the first thing you do after waking up?

Check the news. I want to see the world is still here. The most important thing I check is the weather report on this app, Windfinder Plus. I find out what the winds and the seas are going to be like for the entire week so I know if we have fishing days or we don’t. No work is to be scheduled on fishing days, period.

What’s your biggest catch of all time?

A wahoo that’s 60 pounds. They’re one of the top 10 hardest fish in the world to catch.

Going back to morning routines, how do you like your coffee?

I do Cafe Bustelo coffee every morning. I would drop dead before I bought a coffee. I do one cup a day and that’s it.

What’s the most important thing you delegate to your assistant or team?

The entire empire is run by KT and myself. We are 10 times more efficient, time-wise and money-wise, than all these people who have everybody taking 15% from them here, 20% from there.

What do you like to splurge on?

I seriously splurge on private air. Unless we go to Europe or something because that’s ridiculous.

Where do you like to pinch pennies?

I refuse to eat out. I think that eating out on any level is one of the biggest wastes of money out there.

A lot of people feel they can’t save money right now. How would you challenge that notion?

You have to live below your means but within your needs. When “9 Steps to Financial Freedom" really hit, I bought a $250,000 apartment in New York City. I could afford a $1 or $2 million penthouse at that time. The question is, when do you buy what you can afford versus what you need when you can afford more than what you need?

KT and I ask ourselves the question, Is this a want or a need? Do that every time for the next three months. Just try it.

What do young people tend to get wrong about their finances?

They don’t understand the value of compounding and that the key to their financial independence is their age. Let’s say you’re 25 and you put $100 a month into a Standard & Poor’s 500 index fund through a Roth IRA every single month for 12 months, every year, until you are 65. It’s very probable that you will average a 12% annual rate of return over 40 years. At the end of those years, you have a million dollars. You wait 10 years until you’re 35? At the age of 65, you’ll have $300,000. [Young people] don’t get that. They would rather dress cool, go on their TikToks.

What’s the secret to a happy marriage?

Nothing is done with money that we both don’t agree on.

What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?

All black.

Have you ever talked to Kristen Wiig about playing you on “Saturday Night Live"?

You bet. She did something about my tan [once]. I was in the audience [another time] she did it. I had on this gold top that was easily opened. So, she was kind of in a corner, and I went up to her and I said, “Miss Wiig." I could tell she was nervous. I said, “I just want to tell you something." I was really stern. I said this, and I opened up my whole top.

You flashed her.

Yeah, and I said, “It’s a real tan. It’s not sprayed."

What have you been reading and watching lately?

I love “The Gilded Age." I also loved “All the Light We Cannot See." I just watched “Squid Game," the new competition one. I’m not sure what I thought of that.

And I love football. I only love Kansas City. I have to admit that this whole thing with [Travis] Kelce and everything, it’s taken it away from me a little bit. It’s like, can you just concentrate on all the guys on the team? I love Taylor Swift, but can we just go back to regular football here?

I used to love the Miami Heat. You know, I was responsible for getting LeBron James and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat.

I did not know that.

This was way back when. Pat Riley [president of the Heat] contacted KT when they wanted to keep Dwyane Wade and bring the other two over. He asked me, could I figure out how to do that?

I met with all the accountants, and I figured out by being a Florida resident, how much more money they would make [without state income taxes]. We videotaped me saying, “How would you like to make an extra $15 million a year and not play one more game, not do one more endorsement, anything?" In the end I said, “Are you man enough to take the heat?" And that was put on a little iPod and sent to them. It’s because their mothers love me.

What’s a piece of advice you’ve gotten that’s been important to you?

Oprah told me never to be filmed while I was sitting on a toilet.

Write to Lane Florsheim at lane.florsheim@wsj.com

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App