Thursday, July 02, 2009

Did She Just Say "Pundint"?

eh? I know Suze Orman is already a target for laughs, portrayed on Saturday Night Live by Kristin Wiig. So I'll try not to get petty here.

There are a few well known "pundits", or even actual financial services practicioners, who have taken opposition to some of Suze's advice. Particularly her hardcore blanketed advice to pay down all debt as a top priority. Critics say, sometimes it's just not that black and white.

In this video, Suze makes a key shift in favor of liquidity for safety purposes as a priority over eliminating credit card debt. It's interesting to note however, that this advice comes too late in the game for many to react. I think it really highlights the key issue some have with her advice - we need to be financially prepared for the unknowns in life before they hit us. It doesn't really help to start preparing for disaster after it strikes.

Her former advice to pay down credit card debt is basically a math lesson gift wrapped as financial planning advice. Too many of the variables in her equation are held constant, when true financial planning takes a subjective, individualized look at all variables in a particular scenario. Same goes for the new advice - that may be the right idea for some, but don't mistake what is going on here. Her extreme point of view, and universal conviction are what make her interesting enough to put on TV. That's not what makes individual advice pertinent or valuable.

For kicks, here's the SNL version.