Suze Orman 100% equities

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Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby mikeny17 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:05 pm

Does it strike anyone as a little odd as to how cavalier Ms. Orman is when recommending that investors in their 20s/30s be 100% stocks?

I know a lot of people (maybe not many bogleheads) watch the show, so I was concerned after seeing it so many times.

Or is Ms. Orman aware of something that we are not? Maybe the bondageddon, or maybe she feels the ability to re-balance is worth less than the hypothetical gains of being in equities all the time?
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby greg24 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:08 pm

Ms. Orman's investment thoughts are not well respected around these parts.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby elgob.bogle » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:15 pm

I watched the last episode. In the segment you note, I believe that Suze indicated that the young investor should be "100% in the stock market" and have a diversified mix. I am not sure what this means, and I have not seen other episodes where she made a simiar recommendation. When she said "stock market", did she mean 100% stocks only, or did she give herself some "wiggle room" with a subsequent sentence that the investments should be diversified?

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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby mikeny17 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:17 pm

elgob.bogle wrote:I watched the last episode. In the segment you note, I believe that Suze indicated that the young investor should be "100% in the stock market" and have a diversified mix. I am not sure what this means, and I have not seen other episodes where she made a simiar recommendation. When she said "stock market", did she mean 100% stocks only, or did she give herself some "wiggle room" with a subsequent sentence that the investments should be diversified?

elgob

It seemed to be all stocks, but diversified across stocks, still seemed scary to me.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby chaz » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:20 pm

But diversified with bonds not stated by Suze.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby mikeny17 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:21 pm

chaz wrote:But diversified with bonds not stated by Suze.

Right, I took it as hold no bonds at all.
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Suze Orman--Should you listen to her advice?

Postby Taylor Larimore » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:24 pm

Hi Mike:

This is an informative article about Suze Orman and her investment advice:

Suze Orman--Should You Listen To Her Advice?

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby CaliJim » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:33 pm

Ferri's flight path thread is informative:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=104934
-calijim- | | For more info, click this
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Re: Suze Orman--Should you listen to her advice?

Postby mikeny17 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:33 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Hi Mike:

This is an informative article about Suze Orman and her investment advice:

Suze Orman--Should You Listen To Her Advice?

Best wishes.
Taylor

Thanks Taylor, makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby ruralavalon » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:40 pm

elgob.bogle wrote:I watched the last episode. In the segment you note, I believe that Suze indicated that the young investor should be "100% in the stock market" and have a diversified mix. I am not sure what this means, and I have not seen other episodes where she made a simiar recommendation. When she said "stock market", did she mean 100% stocks only, or did she give herself some "wiggle room" with a subsequent sentence that the investments should be diversified?

elgob

I saw the episode, I think she really did mean 100% stocks only.

I think she is good when she promotes saving, living frugally, not co-signing loans, and using your 401k, but her investing advice is more than questionable.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby InvestorNewb » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:44 pm

Considering that Vanguard's Target Retirement funds for young investors only have 10% bonds, why not go Suze's route and wipe bonds out completely for the first 5-7 years. It wouldn't make a whole lot of difference, imo.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Xanadu » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:54 pm

InvestorNewb wrote:Considering that Vanguard's Target Retirement funds for young investors only have 10% bonds, why not go Suze's route and wipe bonds out completely for the first 5-7 years. It wouldn't make a whole lot of difference, imo.


It would if one were to underestimate his/her risk tolerance, and end up abandoning stocks when the going gets tough
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby coldav » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:55 pm

I heared Ric Edelman say awhile back that Orman herself does not invest in the market though she may recommend it.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Jerry_lee » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:00 pm

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being 100% in stocks at any point in your life. If you want/can afford lower risk, or need periodic cash-flow, then adding bonds can be a huge benefit. But 100% stocks has the highest expected returns, is the most volatile (which maximizes the benefits of dollar cost averaging) and for people that can stomach short-term losses or the remote possibility of disappointing returns for long periods, 100% stocks (diversified globally, most likely tilted to small and value) is the way to go.

There is only one portfolio (in most cases) that doesn't make any sense, and that is 100% in bonds.

I really cannot believe this issue is even debated, that there is some allocation (except 100% bond) that is completely off limits. Makes no sense.

100% stocks might not be right for you, but doesn't mean the same for someone else.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Christine_NM » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:01 pm

Suze's 100% may not be the same as yours. She consistently recommends a large emergency fund -- I forget if it is 6 or 8 months of expenses, but it's larger than I ever had when I was young and beginning stock investing. That amount of cash would not be part of the investor's asset allocation.

In contrast, from what I've read here over the years, the emergency fund is generally counted here as a cash or short-term bond allocation.

Doesn't sound like bad advice to me. Actually quite good if an investor can keep hands off money he doesn't need despite volatility. Once we get our definitions right (cash is ex-allocation) it might even be essentially the same as Boglehead-style advice.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Christine_NM » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:02 pm

coldav wrote:I heared Ric Edelman say awhile back that Orman herself does not invest in the market though she may recommend it.


She has no need to take risk.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby phish_indexer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:04 pm

InvestorNewb wrote:Considering that Vanguard's Target Retirement funds for young investors only have 10% bonds, why not go Suze's route and wipe bonds out completely for the first 5-7 years. It wouldn't make a whole lot of difference, imo.


Hell, why stop at 100% equity when you can go 100% emerging market small value? Even as a young investor (26), I have no desire to be 100% equity and don't think I could handle the vicissitudes of such a portfolio. And this is from a somewhat educated investment standpoint. I know many people my age that would be completely scared out of the markets if they held no bonds and there was a 2007-08 redux. My younger sister (age 23) is one such person and she's moving from a Target 2055 fund to a somewhat more conservative allocation. Such advice should come with a grain of salt that I doubt Suze offers.

Full disclosure: I'm 18% bonds and plan to move to 20% and stay there for a while at year's end. The potential rebalancing bonus alone makes it worth it to me.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby garlandwhizzer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:20 pm

I totally agree with Suze Orman on this point for 20 - 30 year olds. I can't imagine a rational, non-emotional reason for such a young person to hold any bonds as long as they know they won't need to be touching the money for 15+ years.

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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Clearly_Irrational » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:22 pm

Considering that most people have little to no funds in their portfolios in that period I actually don't think it's a terrible idea, not optimal of course, but not too bad. Frankly, if you have less than one year's salary in play then the risk of being 100% equities is pretty manageable. Think about it, since the conventional wisdom would have you in 70%-80% equities during that time period anyways, the few extra percent aren't really going to break you. Once you get to say, two years salary in play then I'd call that fairly reckless but that takes a while. I'm not recommending or endorsing her plan, I'm just saying it's really not that big a deal one way or the other.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby wilpat » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:25 pm

elgob.bogle wrote:I watched the last episode. In the segment you note, I believe that Suze indicated that the young investor should be "100% in the stock market" and have a diversified mix. I am not sure what this means, and I have not seen other episodes where she made a simiar recommendation. When she said "stock market", did she mean 100% stocks only, or did she give herself some "wiggle room" with a subsequent sentence that the investments should be diversified?

elgob

I'm not sure that "wiggle" and Suze Orman need be used in the same reference. :o-)
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:00 pm

I believe Suze Orman's portfolio is 100% municipal bonds, if I recall correctly.

Now, I like Suze for her "tough love" approach on budgeting, saving and spending. I like Dave Ramsey for his "debt snowball" approach. However, I would never take any of their advice when it comes to investing and that includes Dave's hypothetical 12% returns and mutual fund recommendations.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby dhodson » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:01 pm

SO does a good job helping to motivate people out of debt. She also is reasonable at helping people avoid certain insurance products. The rest isnt that valuable and probably at times harmful.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby nisiprius » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:04 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:I believe Suze Orman's portfolio is 100% municipal bonds, if I recall correctly.
As of 2007, it was about:

$1 million in stocks;
$24 million in AAA-rated, insured, zero-coupon municipal bonds;
$7 million in real estate.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Clearly_Irrational » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:14 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:I believe Suze Orman's portfolio is 100% municipal bonds, if I recall correctly.
As of 2007, it was about:

$1 million in stocks;
$24 million in AAA-rated, insured, zero-coupon municipal bonds;
$7 million in real estate.


That actually looks fairly reasonable if you've got that much cash and are risk averse. I'm sure she felt very secure during the crisis.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby nisiprius » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:16 pm

Jerry_lee wrote:There is absolutely nothing wrong with being 100% in stocks at any point in your life. If you want/can afford lower risk, or need periodic cash-flow, then adding bonds can be a huge benefit. But 100% stocks has the highest expected returns, is the most volatile (which maximizes the benefits of dollar cost averaging) and for people that can stomach short-term losses or the remote possibility of disappointing returns for long periods, 100% stocks (diversified globally, most likely tilted to small and value) is the way to go.
Do you have any statistics on the actual behavior of those retail investors who were 100% in stocks in 2008-2009? There's a sort of double layer of introspection that's needed. a) What is my risk tolerance? b) How sure am I that my risk tolerance is as great as I think it is?

I've seen throwaway statements to the effect that "research shows that when people lose more than 30% of their money, they tend to panic and sell," e.g. here. I'd like to know what that research is--I've seen that throwaway several times but they never mention the actual study. But it sounds plausible to me. If it's accurate, then for most people there is something wrong with being more than 60% in stocks. The big question is: of the people who think they are OK with >60% in stocks, how many of them are accurate in their self-assessment?

It's not a vacuous question. One of my colleagues at work, a man in his late forties, sold everything in his 401(k)--exchanged it all into the money market fund in late 2008. Unfortunately we were both laid off a few weeks later and I'm not in touch with him so I don't know how he fared subsequently. He was telling me about it, and I asked him "did you have all of it in stocks?" He said to me, verbatim quote, "Oh, no, a lot of it was in international." (In other words: he thought that if the mutual fund name didn't include the word "stock," it wasn't in stocks). Maybe he changed his mind, bought it all back in February 2009, and made out like a bandit.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Kuckie » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:21 pm

In “The Elements of Investing” by Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis, Mr. Ellis also recommends 100% equities for investors in the 20 and 30 year age groups. (Mr. Malkiel recommends 75%.) However both authors state that no investor should take risks outside of his or her comfort zone and that all investments be indexed.

It appears that most investors, other than those here, feel they are in their comfort zone when the market is high with good news being reported, but suddenly feel out of their comfort zone when the market is low and with nothing but doom and gloom in the forecast.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby sscritic » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:24 pm

Young person A has 50,000 all in stocks. Young person B has 40,000 in stocks and 10,000 in bonds. The market drops 50%.

Young person A now has $25,000 in stocks. Young person B now has $20,000 in stocks and $10,000 in bonds.

Which one will retire earlier?

The correct answer is A. Having lost 25,000 at a young age, she will switch to an AA with 40% bonds, while B will stick with 20% bonds. When the next crash comes when they each have $500,000, A will end up with $350,000 while B will have only $300,000. Repeat again at $1 million and at $2 million, and it is clear that A is the winner!

This is all total speculation, as is any response that thinks being 100% stocks at age 24 will lead to a life of unending drudgery.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby nisiprius » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:35 pm

sscritic wrote:The correct answer is A. Having lost 25,000 at a young age, she will switch to an AA with 40% bonds, while B will stick with 20% bonds.... This is all total speculation.
:)

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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby sscritic » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:40 pm

nisiprius wrote:"No man is safe from losing every penny he has in the world, unless he has had his facer.... It is only on having actually lost money that one realises what an awful thing the loss of it is, and finds out how easily it is lost by those who venture out of the middle of the most beaten path. Ernest had had his facer, as he had had his attack of poverty, young, and sufficiently badly for a sensible man to be little likely to forget it. I can fancy few pieces of good fortune greater than this as happening to any man, provided, of course, that he is not damaged irretrievably."--Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh

I admit, I had to look it up.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Jerry_lee » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:59 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Jerry_lee wrote:There is absolutely nothing wrong with being 100% in stocks at any point in your life. If you want/can afford lower risk, or need periodic cash-flow, then adding bonds can be a huge benefit. But 100% stocks has the highest expected returns, is the most volatile (which maximizes the benefits of dollar cost averaging) and for people that can stomach short-term losses or the remote possibility of disappointing returns for long periods, 100% stocks (diversified globally, most likely tilted to small and value) is the way to go.
Do you have any statistics on the actual behavior of those retail investors who were 100% in stocks in 2008-2009? There's a sort of double layer of introspection that's needed. a) What is my risk tolerance? b) How sure am I that my risk tolerance is as great as I think it is?

I've seen throwaway statements to the effect that "research shows that when people lose more than 30% of their money, they tend to panic and sell," e.g. here. I'd like to know what that research is--I've seen that throwaway several times but they never mention the actual study. But it sounds plausible to me. If it's accurate, then for most people there is something wrong with being more than 60% in stocks. The big question is: of the people who think they are OK with >60% in stocks, how many of them are accurate in their self-assessment?

It's not a vacuous question. One of my colleagues at work, a man in his late forties, sold everything in his 401(k)--exchanged it all into the money market fund in late 2008. Unfortunately we were both laid off a few weeks later and I'm not in touch with him so I don't know how he fared subsequently. He was telling me about it, and I asked him "did you have all of it in stocks?" He said to me, verbatim quote, "Oh, no, a lot of it was in international." (In other words: he thought that if the mutual fund name didn't include the word "stock," it wasn't in stocks). Maybe he changed his mind, bought it all back in February 2009, and made out like a bandit.


Look, most people aren't good investors. They'll just as soon bail out on stocks after a 30% plunge as they will pile in to stocks (abandoning a bond-heavy portfolio) after a few years of 30% cumulative excess returns. They're both bad. The problem isn't the 100% stock portfolio, though, its the investor.

And to fix an investor problem by attacking a particular allocation doesn't make sense. Some of the best investors I've met had to learn the hard way (on much smaller amounts than they have today). Could be the best thing that ever happened to them.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby The Wizard » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:03 pm

Jerry_lee wrote:Look, most people aren't good investors. They'll just as soon bail out on stocks after a 30% plunge as they will pile in to stocks (abandoning a bond-heavy portfolio) after a few years of 30% cumulative excess returns. They're both bad. The problem isn't the 100% stock portfolio, though, its the investor.

And to fix an investor problem by attacking a particular allocation doesn't make sense. Some of the best investors I've met had to learn the hard way (on much smaller amounts than they have today). Could be the best thing that ever happened to them.

I basically agree with this.
On the one hand, a newly employed new investor starting at zero might well be advised to put it all in a stock index fund for the first five years until he has a modest egg. Say $1000 a month for 60 months, so that the new money coming in is large compared to the small egg size.
But then, I'd like to see that newbie investor go to 10% or 20% bonds and start developing the DISCIPLINE to keep his AA on target strictly by adjusting where the new $$ goes each month.
Developing discipline is almost as important as putting $$ aside each month...
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby ResNullius » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:37 pm

Except for a small emergency fund, I was 100% in equities for several decades before I went into semi-retirement 12 years ago. I then went to around 20% fixed, then to 30% fixed right before the financial meltdown. I'm now 60% fixed, but I didn't sell during the downturn or collapse, whichever you want to call it.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby jojay » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:58 pm

Suze Orman is very good at what got her to where she is - money management. She is not someone whose advice we should follow on investing. She is excellent at her thing, but investing is not it.
Do you find it ironic that on her shows, she tells people that they can't spend $500 on something but now she - and Dr Phil - shamelessly are selling cars on tv.
I wonder what she would say if someone asked her if he / she should buy the car she is marketing? Should they buy the stock of the car company for whom she is marketing?
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby zaboomafoozarg » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:21 am

garlandwhizzer wrote:I can't imagine a rational, non-emotional reason for such a young person to hold any bonds as long as they know they won't need to be touching the money for 15+ years.


Except that few people are completely rational and non-emotional when it comes to their hard-earned money.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby TerryDMillerMBA » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:27 am

Christine_NM wrote:
coldav wrote:I heared Ric Edelman say awhile back that Orman herself does not invest in the market though she may recommend it.


She has no need to take risk.


I contacted one of her "people" to start negotiations for an appearance/seminar for women. $30,000, plus expenses for two assistants. I don't know what it is now (this was 2004), but a couple of those a year, plus her salary, plus "sponsorships"/endorsement deals, and true, she doesn't appear to need to embrace that risk.

This was before I found out she was like Dave Ramsey: a little bit of great general principles and a lot of questionable proposals.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby nisiprius » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:45 am

1) I have a real problem with someone who is 96% bonds advising people to be 100% in stocks. If she customarily explained that she is 96% bonds, and why, and why that is right for her but not for most investors, that would be helpful. And she would be acknowledging, too, that her own risk tolerance has a limit, and perhaps yours does, too.

2) Just a personal feeling, but a retail investor I feel strongly that for as long as I've been investing, the main thrust of all the advice I've received from investment firms has not been "stay within your comfort zone." I feel that the investment industry as a whole systematically tries to push investors out of their comfort zone.

You can see this in dozens of small ways. For example, the first question on Vanguard's investor questionnaire is:
Image
That is not a neutral question. A neutral question would have a freeform blank as an answer. When expressed as a multiple-choice question, with the center choice being 5-6 years and the highest number shown being 10, this, intentionally or not, is a "push poll." What is being pushed is "5-6 years is a long time to hold an investment," "'Long-term' usually means 5-6 years."
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Karl » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:35 am

Well, boyfriend/girlfriend, I gather Suze assumes young investors are basically broke.

Given America's pathetically low savings rate this assumption is frequently true. Bogleheads are odd balls, furiously stashing away as much money as possible for the future. If you look at a typical American's retirement plan you have to conclude they're planning to drop dead on the job. If an investor has a modest, say $10,000 retirement plan then going 100% in stock is no big risk. Now going 100% stock with $1M would be pure lunacy IMO.

A much more troubling thing about her equity advice is her demand that you go with high-dividend stocks. She seems to forget how she advised in 1999 buying a NASDAQ index fund -- which is still waiting to break even after 13 years.

Suze is pretty bad at investment advice. What she does well is smacking spendthrifts upside the head and telling them they can't afford whatever stupid thing they have their eye on.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Jerilynn » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:41 am

greg24 wrote:Ms. Orman's investment thoughts are not well respected around these parts.


probably depends on what specific thing she is talking about. I watch the show occasionally. I don't agree with everything she says, but she seems more right than wrong.

Compared to Dave Ramsey, her investment advice is godly. It's all relative.

I particularly liked the episode when she went bonkers on a member of a couple who spent $400 a month on cigarettes. :)
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby foxfirev5 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:41 am

I watched the show a number of times but found no benefit. The good advice given is so basic that it would have been realized long ago by members of this board. Probably while we were in grade school. The bad advice is just plain dangerous and shifts with the prevailing wind. :happy
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby nisiprius » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:49 am

Karl wrote:A much more troubling thing about her equity advice is her demand that you go with high-dividend stocks. She seems to forget how she advised in 1999 buying a NASDAQ index fund -- which is still waiting to break even after 13 years.
Haven't heard what she says. If she's being demanding and presents it as vital inside information then, of course, she's being a jerk. But the "high-dividend stocks" thing seems "mostly harmless" to me. It's only harmful if you believe you can substitute high-dividend stocks for bonds, or buy individual stocks and instead of a broadly diversified mutual fund, or make a cult of specific, individual blue chips and believe they return your love and will never let you down.

The most likely truth about high-dividend stocks is that on a total return basis they are no different from the market as a whole, and that they are somewhat less volatile than the total market. So that's a departure in a safer direction. There is a substantial faction that believes high-dividend stocks are better than the market as a whole; I seriously doubt that. There must be a counterfaction that believes they are worse than the market as a whole, but I don't think I've ever heard that, and they wouldn't be much worse.

If she was recommending buying a NASDAQ index fund in 1999, that was a recommendation to jump into an obviously risky security and it was reckless.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: Suze Orman 100% equities

Postby Call_Me_Op » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:55 am

I have watched Suze for several years (for entertainment, of course). She can be of value if you have no clue about money and are deeply in credit-card debt - that sort of thing. I do not count her among the investing wizards.
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