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I hate Suze Orman (but she's mostly right)

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Capital Region TV viewers have no doubt become familiar with the scolding voice, the posh dress style, the "I'm always right" tone of Suze, Orman, the ubiquitous personal financial advisor. While she turns many people off, Ms. Orman counts legions of fans who swear by her money advice.

Ms. Orman has been scoffing at Americans for decades now. She reminds one of a seventh-grade English teacher who criticized your lack of knowledge of an obscure poet, who might as well have written poems in Chinese.

However, most often, Ms. Orman is correct, despite her style. She generally delivers correct information for consumers, including the basics, such as:

  • Getting a large income tax refund is not good news. You've overpaid your tax bill, be definition, giving a free loan to the government. (The average American family overpays by more than $3,000 a year. Money that could be in your pocket every paycheck.)
  • A Roth IRA is the best thing since sliced bread. Truly. Tax-free at retirement, Roth money can be used for schooling and for first time home purchases.
  • Buy term life insurance and invest the difference. Term is cheap and families can buy enough to protect against the devastating, unexpected loss of a spouse/breadwinner. Controlling the investment cuts out the middlemen (e.g., banks and insurance companies) that take a large, unreasonable share of your money.

If only Ms. Orman could deliver her message with a spoonful of sugar. But life's not perfect, so as uncomfortable as she may be, tune out the noise and listen to her advice.

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Dave Balog is a personal financial representative. 355-0967,




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