How Suze Orman SCAMMED the Poor and Middle Class

Click on the following to watch Emmy award winning TV producer Sharon Jumuda Janis‘s video.

The video is 1 hour and 15 minutes. To help advisors save time, I have listed my favorite parts of the video with a time stamp.

My favorite quotes or parts from the video: (timestamp in brackets)

Suze takes whatever she wants and disregards others“ (1:20)

“I made the mistake of using my skills to edit videos I filmed into a video that made rip off artist Suze Orman look like a media-savvy financial expert in spite of her lack of education or credentials” (1:40)

 Suze lying in 1993 about having a Master’s Degree…(2:05)

 Suze has cheated, ripped off, lied to, lied about, and caused a lot of troubles, to many people who helped her begin and expand her career (3:47).

-Sharon helped Suze get her first book published after 30 publishers turned her down.

SCAM Alert—Suze started pitching a “fee ladenpre-paid debit card called The Approved Card (pitched to help people create a FICO score (5:30). 

From Chase bank: Activity from a prepaid card will NOT help in establishing or maintaining your credit score.

“Suze Orman’s pre-paid debit card has up to 20 different fees!” (the American Express version has one fee).            

Suze told the world the only fee is $3 a month.  Real fees included among others, $2 for paper statements, $1 for pay by check, $2 for a cash withdrawal, $2 (after 1 free call) to call customer service, and it costs over $3 to simply load money onto the card.

The “American Dream is Dead”…the financial crisis made Suze a star…(13:14)

Suze’s role in the US Housing Crisis (14:50)…2003-2008, the most important thing you can do is buy a home (this was PRIOR to the 2008 housing bubble bursting which sent millions of Americans into foreclosure).

Renting a home for life is ok after the bubble burst (16:00) calling homeowners idiots who got caught in the bubble (16:25).

Suze’s gold rush (recommending gold in 2011-2012) (17:30). Gold goes to $2,000 was her #1 prediction for 2012. Suze sold her gold position near the top late in 2011 but didn’t tell people to do the same except in an innocuous tweet (those who held gold got absolutely hammered) (gold lost approximately 40% of its value when it hit the bottom in 2016). And even after she sold, she continued to tell people (like on The View TV show) to buy it six months after she claims to have sold (19:30).

Amazingly, in 2013 Suze goes on TV and say that gold is a “speculative investment.”

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Money Navigator (20:35)—Free newsletter ($63 value). SEC charges NY-based money manager for misleading advertisements! “Investor Newsletter Used as a Tool for Fraud.” (21:09). Suze touts the newsletter and then says it used her name without her permission (which is a false assertion).

Suze’s books are written by Ghost Writers (24:00).

She is a financial actress, not a financial guru or expert.

Boldface lie about The Approved Card and Transunion credit bureau? (38:09).

Hilary Rosen provides protection for Suze’s shenanigans (42:05).

Suze Orman’s Select Quote (life) commercials (50:00) “you better get life insurance right now!”

Suze’s FICO Kit ($49.95) (57:00). A class-action lawsuitwas filed against FICO (57:54) alleging that FICO was sharing consumer information with creditors (and that’s the business purpose of FICO). The complaint states that FICO disguising its debt collection efforts by Suze Orman as advice is misleading and extremely damaging to consumers.        

FICO scores are no longer relevant (1:00:44) After spending years touting the need to get a FICO score and incorrectly (many would say falsely) asserting that her The Approved Card would help get people a credit score, she comes out at the Money 20/20 convention in 2013 and says a FICO score is are NOT a good determinant of creditworthiness  and not relevant as a personal financial metric.

You can’t make this stuff up!

Why didn’t Elizabeth Warren (a zealot about going after banks about high fees) go after her? Is it because Suze Orman went on national TV and endorsed Warren as a presidential candidate? (1:02:50)

The Approved Card was quietly discontinued without an announcement from Suze (1:04:30).

University of Phoenix marketing deal (1:06:56). Many consider this university a predatory entity offering little value and leaving them much worse off than before taking classes (high drop-out rate, poor job placement, leaving single parent, veteran, immigrant, and other students struggling to find jobs while being saddled with large student loan debts). For- profit colleges like the University of Phoenix make up 13% of total college students, but 47% of the student loan default rate).

If Suze really cared about the personal finance of those who listen to her, she would warn them to stay away from the University of Phoenix instead of cutting a marketing deal.

In summary, Suze is everything that is wrong with the industry. Unfortunately, if you are on TV, you are seen as an “expert.” For advisors who want to tell clients the truth (Suze doesn’t know what she’s talking about), this video will do the heavy lifting for you.

For the record, I have no first-hand knowledge of what is true in the video and am putting it out there for advisors to view and determine its validity.

Roccy DeFrancesco, JD, CAPP, CMP