Orman, Suze 1951(?)–

views updated

Orman, Suze 1951(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1951 in Chicago, IL; daughter of Morris (a landlord and deli operator) and Ann (a legal secretary) Orman. Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

ADDRESSES: Home—FL. Agent—c/o Publicity, River-head Books, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.

CAREER: Writer, television show host and producer, and public speaker. Buttercup Bakery, Berkeley, CA, waitress, 1973–80; Merrill Lynch, account executive, 1980–83; Prudential Bache Securities, vice president of investments, 1983–87; Suze Orman Financial Group, president and CEO, 1987–97. Host of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) specials, including The Financial Freedom Hour, The Money Book for the Young Fabulous & Broke, and The Laws of Money the Lessons of Life; appears regularly on QVC-TV as host of Suzie Orman Financial Freedom Hour and as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Good Morning, America. Speaker and lecturer throughout the United States.

AWARDS, HONORS: BBL Motivational Book Award, 1999, for The Courage to Be Rich; TJFR Group News Luminaries Award, 2002, for lifetime achievement in business journalism; Books for a Better Life Award Hall of Fame, 2003; Crossing Borders Award, Feminist Press, 2003; Gracie Allen Award, American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT), 2003, for The Suze Orman Show, 2005, for Individual Achievement: Program Host; Emmy award as best host of a service award show, also nomination as producer, 2004, for The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life.


(With Linda Mead) You've Earned It, Don't Lose It: Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When You Retire, Newmarket Press (New York, NY), 1994, revised and updated edition, 1999.

The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom, Crown (New York, NY), 1997.

The Courage to Be Rich, Riverhead Books (New York, NY), 1999.

The Road to Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Money, Riverhead Books (New York, NY), 2001, revised and updated, 2003.

Suze Orman's Protection Portfolio: The Forms You Need Today to Protect Your Tomorrows, Hay House (Carlsbad, CA), 2002.

Financial Freedom: Creating True Wealth Now, River-head Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Suze Orman's Financial Guidebook: Put the 9 Steps to Work, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life: Keep What You Have and Create What You Deserve, Free Press (New York, NY), 2003.

The Laws of Money: 5 Timeless Secrets to Get Out and Stay Out of Financial Trouble, Free Press (New York, NY), 2004.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, Riverhead Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributed column to Self, contributing financial editor, O: The Oprah Magazine; contributor to periodicals, including Currency and Costco magazine.

ADAPTATIONS: Author's books have been adapted for audio, including The Courage to be Rich, BDD Audio, 1999; The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life, Simon & Schuster Audio, 2003; and The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, Penguin Audio, 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Certified financial planner Suze Orman has written a number of books advising ordinary people how to handle their finances in a responsible and ultimately wealth-producing manner.

Orman goes beyond typical retirement planning advice in her book You've Earned It, Don't Lose It: Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When You Retire. Orman, who has owned her own financial planning firm, achieved bestselling success with the 1995 book. While many retirement planning how-to books focus on building and investing retirement income, Orman's philosophy includes a focus on preserving, rather than building income. She also addresses such financial subjects as legal issues, medical issues, and estate planning. Orman starts each chapter with an anecdote illustrating one person's mistake in handling their financial affairs, and then analyzes the mistake and outlines how it could have been prevented. Topics covered include trusts and wills, estates, insurance, power of attorney for health decisions, and situations that the consumer should be aware of, such as accepting unscrupulous investment advice. Other mistakes Orman illustrates include failing to set up estates correctly and thus being subject to huge estate and probate taxes. Orman also discusses retirement subjects that readers should be aware of, including gifts, joint tenancy, survival benefits, and long-term care.

A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that Orman has given new and original slants to the issues of retirement planning that may surprise some readers. For example, the author points out that while it is commonly believed that only the wealthy benefit from trusts, a trust can actually benefit those of many income levels who are doing estate planning. The reviewer notes that Orman also touches on a subject that many will find of interest: the issue of withholding expensive life-prolonging procedures when a person is terminally ill or badly injured. Orman also takes the time to decipher some of the complicated tax codes regarding estates and trusts. Throughout the book, Orman maintains that saving money is the underlying factor of success in a good retirement plan. The Publishers Weekly contributor praised You've Earned It, Don't Lose It as a "hard nosed, pull-no-punches money guide."

Orman's second financial planning book, The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom, looks at how our perceptions of money are shaped by spiritual and psychological influences. She also presents a suggested paradigm to readers, citing financial freedom as occurring "when you have power over your fears and anxieties instead of the other way around." Orman uses case studies to show the psychological significance of money and how it affects individuals. The book includes advice on investment, household budgeting, home purchase, debt control and getting out of debt, and planning and putting together a will. The author includes a financial worksheet to facilitate individual or family planning.

In The Courage to Be Rich, the author focuses on the psychological, societal, and spiritual aspects of money in peoples' lives. Through true story accounts and the author's commentary on them, Orman covers a wide range of topics, from marriage, divorce, and death to IRAs and charitable giving. In her book The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life: Keep What You Have and Create What You Deserve, Orman addresses the difficult financial times following the burst bubble of Internet start up speculation and the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. For example, one of her five laws in the book is "Look at What You Have, Not at What You Had." Andrea Sachs, writing in Time, commented that the author's advice "will aid those intimidated by finances." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted: "These laws are essentially common sense standards … yet still undeniably powerful."

Orman focuses on young people in their twenties in her book The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. The author discusses such issues as maximizing what money a person has and addressing problems such as car payments, taxes, IRAs, and other aspects of personal finance. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted the book's "combination of specific solutions and deep knowledge of the target demographic's specific problems." Newsweek contributor Jennifer Barrett Ozols wrote that the author "adapts her message appropriately." In a review in the Miami Herald, Sarah Pachter called it "an especially useful book for people who are young, in debt and inexperienced."



Newsmakers, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.


America's Intelligence Wire, September 18, 2005, Larry King, "Interview with Viktor Yushchenko, Suze Orman—Part 1" and "Interview with Viktor Yushchenko, Suze Orman—Part 2."

Booklist, March 15, 2003, Brad Hooper, review of The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life: Keep What You Have and Create What You Deserve, p. 1253.

Library Journal, January, 1995, Robert Kruthoffer, review of You've Earned It, Don't Lose It: Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When You Retire, p. 114; May 1, 1997, Lucy T. Heckman, review of The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom, p. 118.

MediaWeek, January 7, 2002, "Orman Headed for Radio," p. 20.

Miami Herald, May 5, 2005, Sarah Pachter, review of The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke.

Newsday (Melville, NY), May 22, 2005, Amisha Padnani, "Financial Adviser Aims to Help Young People Handle Their Money Woes."

Newsweek, March 21, 2005, Jennifer Barrett Ozols, review of The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, p. 36.

Publishers Weekly, January 9, 1995, review of You've Earned it, Don't Lose It, p. 52; August 6, 2001, review of The Road to Wealth, p. 19; February 17, 2003, review of The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life, p. 68; February 14, 2005, review of The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, p. 66.

Time, May 16, 2005, Rebecca Winters, "Plan Your Pension with Russell," discusses author collaboration to teach youth about finances, p. 87.


Suze Orman Home Page, http://www.suzeorman.com (February 5, 2005).