Financial adviser and TV personality Suze Orman talks about her new debit card, the banklng crisis and why a bad relationship is so expensive in this Time Magazine interviewed aired a couple of years ago.
I am Belinda Luscombe an editor at large at Time Magazine. Sur Orman is one of America's most influential, most well-respected, most successful and definitely most fun financial advisors and she's here to answer 10 questions with Time Magazine today.
Miss Orman, welcome.
So does the world really need another credit card?
No, the world does not need another credit card. What the world needs is a another vehicle, whether it's a prepaid debit card or debit card to get people to pay in cash. People have got to learn if they don't have cookies in the cookie jar they can't eat a cookie.
So yours is different. Yours is a debit card you gotta put money in in order to buy anything.
But mine isn't just any other prepaid debit card. In my opinion, what happened two years ago is that these prepaid debit cards came out, many of them with fees from anywhere from thirteen dollars to fifty dollars a month, which is what the consumer is paying. I came out with the card which absolutely levels the playing field. I think people should have a card that is better than cash. I think people should have a card that gives them things for free, such as identity theft protection rather than paid forty dollars a month for certain things they should get for free. I think this system has got to change. This is an Occupy credit card. This is it occupied debit card, a debit card that serves as a bank that you can't put in your pocket. There is a three dollar-a-month charge that’s all it will cost you if you use it like I tell you to. But once we start making money, and I hope we make money, the three dollars will go away.
One of the reasons that I was excited about interviewing you is that you actually tell people how much are worth…
…so how much are you worth?
It fluctuates daily but we're worth about $25 million dollars, so coming from a strong thousandaire over here to a millionaire do you not feel that there's some discrepancy in your ability to give financial advice to people when you are so liquid and wealthy yourself and the people you're speaking to, you know, they don't have jobs, they're really in, in dire financial straits, how can you really understand what they're going through?
For seven years I was a waitress, making four hundred dollars a month. Here's a girl who even after she made money, had one of her employees rip her off, then had to 250,000 dollars in credit card debt and realized that I had less money than the waitress that was waiting on me in a Denny's. Don't think that I don't remember what it's like not to have a pot to pee in.
Who, in your opinion, is more to blame for the current crisis that we find ourselves in? Is it consumers or is it the banks?
The banks. Hands down. I know everybody likes to blame the consumers for they should have known what they were doing. They did this, they…
Are you kidding me?
They didn't understand liar loans. If the banks, the mortgage companies, Wall Street, you name it, weren't so concerned with their bottom line profits, they never, ever, ever would have given loans too half these people who bought homes they couldn’t afford it.
A lot of financial advisers would say, or a lot of guys on the street would say that your ideas for investment are way too risk-averse for people to make any money. How would you respond to that?
I would say when things are going bad, and you don't know what's going to happen in the world, aren’t you better to be safe than to be sorry? So, yeah, I was risk-averse.
You’ve got your new show on Oprah's network, your book is a massive bestseller. You’re now legitimately probably one of the most famous people in America and therefore you have to take the downside of Fame which is that people parody you on Saturday Night Live.
Oh my god! Today I have to tell your that no matter where I go women always seen to ask me the same thing, it doesn't matter if I'm in the Oprah show or out on the street walking my cat. They ask me, Susie where do you get your jacquets?
Of all my honors, even of being the one most 100 influential people on the Time list, one of the 100 most powerful women in the world according to Forbes, one of the things that really is the greatest honor is being parodied on Saturday Night Live, ‘cause then you know you've made it mainstream. I love that they do it.
We have more people living in on unmarried households than we have people living in married households. Now for the first time in decades and according to census figures that just recently came out, does the advice vary for those different sets of people? Does the financial advice vary?
I've always found that the people calling into the Suzy Orman show that are in the most financial trouble are people who are in a relationship that isn't a good relationship. You know, I have a saying which is fico first then sex.
And I mean that saying. You should know each other’s fico scores before you go to the next step of being serious with one another.
That's great kind. Can I ask just finally, I know you've given so much time but what's the weirdest piece of advice you've been asked for, like what, what is some of the weirdest questions where people…
Can I afford six thousand dollars for us sundeck for my pet iguana? Can I afford a hundred thousand dollars to be able to clone my dog?
These are not hard questions to answer. They are, but guess what? I looked at their money and they were both approved think that people.
Yes, these are people with a lot of money.
Oh, I know, six thousand dollars for me to go to Ireland to become an elf.
Really. I just thought I would tell you that. She was denied.
Suzie Orman, thanks very much.