Monday, May 19, 2008

Financial Advisor Suze Orman: 9 Steps to Financial Freedom Review

In my last post I wrote about a personal financial advising icon among Americans by the name of Suze Orman. I talked about financial advisor Suze Orman's biography, what she can do for you as a personal financial advisor and wrote about all the different television shows she has appeared on including Oprah and CNBC (The Suze Orman Show). If you are interested in more information about financial advisor Suze Orman please visit the Suze Orman website.

In my last post I also wrote about how I think financial advisor Dave Ramsey's financial planning advice is better than Suze Orman and how it is much more results oriented.

For those of you that were wondering (I only included this because everyone always asks "Is Suze Orman Married?" and "Who is Suze Orman's Husband?") Financial advisor Suze Orman is not married but rather is a lesbian / homosexual and is in a relationship with Kathy Travis. She has said she would like to be married but our current laws do not allow same sex marriages. Sorry if this is awkward to talk about but it is always asked so I figured I would address it before I got the question.

Despite preferring financial advisor Dave Ramsey and his 7 Baby Steps to Financial Peace I still feel that I have a responsibility to you, one of my readers, to go over financial advisor Suze Orman's financial planning and advising information so that you can have a better feel for her ideals and make your own choice about who you would like to use for your financial advising.

Today I am going to go over financial advisor Suze Orman's 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. I am going to explain each step in detail and also let you know the importance of each one of them. 9 Steps to Financial Freedom is a book that was written by financial advisor Suze Orman back in 1997. Despite being over 10 years 9 Steps to Financial Freedom has stood the test of time and is still applicable to today's financial planning environment.

Financial advisor Suze Orman's 9 Steps to Financial Freedom

Step 1 - Seeing how your past holds the key to your financial future

Financial advisor Suze Orman's first financial advising step of her book is about how each of us has some memory from our past that effects how we perceive money and personal finances. The plan with this chapter is to realize that past memory and move on from it so that you can start new with your personal finances.

In my opinion this steps seems to be sort of out there for most people. There are some people who have a bad memory and bad history with money that first needs to be dealt with but in general this is not true. For most people it is merely a lack of discipline and laziness, rather than some horrible memory from the past, that keeps people from seeking the personal financial planning advice needed from a financial advisor.

Step 2 -Facing your fears and creating new truths

This second financial planning step is sort of connected to step one. In this step financial advisor Suze Orman's the goal is to have you look at your past memories and feelings toward money and see how they cause you to act toward money today. The plan is to list out your fears related to money and personal finances and realize how these can be overcome.

Again I find this financial advising step to be more of a mental step to help motivate those that need a more motivation and push in the right direction. The first two steps of 9 Steps to Financial Freedom appear to be traditional "self-help" steps rather than personal finances help and financial planning.

Step 3 - Being honest with yourself

In this financial advisor step Suze has you take all of your spending and income records for the last 2 years and get monthly averages for each. This allows you to create a personal budget for the future and control your spending. The goal here it to budget your income properly so that you are bringing in more money than you are spending.

This step is extremely applicable and probably the most important financial advising step in all of 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. Without implementing this financial advising step you will not have a foundation for the remaining 6 steps in 9 Steps to Financial Freedom.

Step 4 - Being responsible to those you love

In this section financial advisor Suze Orman give you a personal financial advising tip about setting things up so that your loved ones are taken care of if there is some type of disaster. The basic focus of this step is how to set things up in case you die or are badly hurt. It goes over insurance, estate planning, trusts, and wills.

I find this financial advising step to very important but to me it is out of order. How can you begin to plan for everyone else when you are dead when you haven't even got your own personal finances in order for your own life. To me this seems like it should be step 5.

Step 5 - Being respectful of yourself and your money

The focus of this financial advising tip is on getting your own personal finances in order. This includes putting money toward retirement and eliminating debt. In this chapter financial advisor Suze Ormans talks about how taking control of your personal finances will help you to feel better about yourself.

This financial planning step is very good and applicable to everyone who is trying to achieve financial freedom. Without proper saving, debt elimination, and future planning there is no way one can even begin to think about financial freedom.

Step 6 - Trusting yourself more than you trust others

This financial advising steps goes into detail about how one should trust themselves over others when making their financial and investing decisions. It talks all about how one should always go with their gut-feelings.

I find this step to be a bunch of crap. In the area of financial planning people should always seek out the proper advice from personal finance experts and have everything planned out (hence the words financial planning) rather than going with a gut-feeling out of nowhere. I also think that people should get a financial advisor to help them with their investment decisions. It seems Suze says here that it is OK to get financial advising tips from her but after reading her book we should just go with "gut-feelings".

Step 7 - Being open to receive all that you are meant to have

This financial advising steps talks about how money does not bring out happiness but the opposite is actually true. It also talks about the joys of giving to charities.

In this financial advising step financial advisor Suze Orman contradicts the rest of the book where she constantly talks about how you can achieve happiness with financial freedom. Here she says you are happy and then you can achieve financial freedom. What? How does that work? Happiness and financial freedom are actually completely unrelated and happiness comes and goes independent of our personal finances.

Step 8 - Understanding the ebb and flow of the money cycle

This financial advising steps talks about how a lot of good can come from the bad times in our lives, especially financially, and can teach us good lessons for the future.

I find this step to be true but again... Where is the financial planning and financial advising tip in this? Is this a self help or financial advising book?

Step 9 - Recognizing true wealth

In the ninth and final step financial advisor Orman talks about how the truly valuable things in life are not monetary and money cannot bring out true happiness.

Again, this contradicts other sections of the book and is not really much of a financial advising tip. It is more of a self help tip.

I think that 9 Steps to Financial Freedom is a great book for those that are looking for a book about the psychology of money and looking to change their mental perspective on it. It is also an excellent self help book for those that are looking for that type of advice.

Orman's book gives little in the way of true financial planning and there is not a lot of mechanical substance to it. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in the psychology of money but for anyone who is interested in the true mechanics of personal finances and financial planning your money would be better spent elsewhere. For you I would suggest "The Total Money Makeover" by financial advisor Dave Ramsey or doing a quick read of his 7 Baby Steps to Financial Freedom.

Either way, whatever you are looking for, the most important thing is to do something today rather than doing nothing or putting it on hold. You need to take some sort of action or your personal financial situation will only get worse and be harder to recover from.

Do yourself a favor and get started today with your financial planning and begin your quest for personal financial freedom.


Click here to read about the financial advisor Suze Orman free book give away on Oprah.

If you are interested in getting your own personal financial advisor please email me and I will give you a list of a few of the best financial advisor companies available.

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