U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 18 mins

Don’t Get Your Money Advice from Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey: Pound Foolish Author

Daily Ticker

Few people know how to manage their personal finances effectively. That’s why we spend millions of dollars every year on books and seminars that tell us how to get rich quick and get out of debt.

Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki and David Bach are just some of the best-known personal finance experts advising and lecturing indebted Americans about their foolish and short-sighted money decisions. Yet these are exactly the individuals that the average person should not be listening to for financial solutions according to Helaine Olen, author of the new book "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry" and former editor of the Money Makeover series in the Los Angeles Times.

In an interview with The Daily Ticker, Olen says these financial gurus offer either platitudes or “dreadful” advice that don’t apply to most people’s lives or situations.

“The idea that anyone can give specific advice to millions of people first of all doesn’t really work,” she says. “We’re not archetypes.”

Most Americans are under serious financial strain and the advice “parroted” by these so-called experts is “easier said than done,” Olen argues.

The stats Olen uses to paint the economic picture of a typical American are alarming: Americans have less than $100,000 saved in dedicated retirement accounts and 43% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Salaries have stagnated and Americans’ net worth has fallen nearly 40% between 2007 and 2010.

Related: Three Disturbing Economic Trends for 2013

Moreover, people don’t rack up thousands of dollars in credit card bills because they buy too much, she says. Unexpected and costly medical emergencies, divorce or long bouts of unemployment are the main reasons Americans find themselves drowning in debt.

Ending such indulgences as daily Starbucks lattes (recommended by David Bach) or buying one or two or three homes with zero down (promoted by Robert Kiyosaki) are exactly the admonitions that have steered Americans in the wrong direction and provided false hope to many desperate individuals.

Related: How to Be Richer and Smarter Than Your Parents: Zac Bissonnette

Olen takes particular umbrage at the assertion that an individual can become a millionaire by putting all of one's savings in the stock market. Suze Orman has promoted this suggestion before on CNBC and in her numerous books, but Orman has admitted that she rarely invests in stocks and prefers the safety of municipal bonds, according to Olen. Equities are extremely volatile and rarely provide the 12% annual return that Orman and Dave Ramsey tout for people looking to quadruple their income, Olen adds.

Olen does agree with the overall message promoted by most personal finance experts: Americans should pay off high-interest credit cards and reduce their overall debt burdens. But she insists that there’s no one size fits all solution. Instead, she says, society needs to change its attitude toward money and encourage more frank, candid discussions about debt and saving.

Olen purposely avoids making her own personal finance recommendations in "Pound Foolish" but does proffer one tip she’s learned over the years as a personal finance journalist: invest in market index funds. They won’t make one rich but they offer the best return with the least amount of risk, she says.

More from The Daily Ticker:

Top Risks to Global Markets in 2013: Eurasia Group

Polaroid Reinvents Itself Again With "Fotobars"

Apple's Cheap iPhone Is A Great Move For The Company

  • Why These 3 Top Marijuana Stocks Slumped Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why These 3 Top Marijuana Stocks Slumped Today

    With earnings season hitting a crescendo this week, investors are looking closely at the specific prospects for certain corners of the market, and that's contributing to disparities among the various major benchmarks followed most often by investors. Amid the crosscurrents, marijuana stocks took particularly hard hits, and New Age Beverages (NASDAQ: NBEV), Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), and Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) were among the worst performers on the day. All three of these stocks have given back some of their gains following the long-awaited legalization of recreational cannabis in the Canadian market last week. In the month leading up to the Oct. 17 start date for legal cannabis sales, New Age Beverages tripled in value, while Tilray had more than doubled since the end of August, and Canopy Growth had seen more modest gains of between 10% and 20%.

  • News
    CNBC

    Here's how much money you should have saved by 50

    Fidelity, the nation's largest retirement-plan provider, recommends having the equivalent of six times your annual salary saved. To get to that number, Fidelity recommends saving 15 percent of your annual income. Make sure to invest these funds instead of leaving them in a traditional low-interest savings account.

  • Watch out for ‘dead cat bounce’ in stocks because there’s more pain ahead: Morgan Stanley’s Wilson
    News
    MarketWatch

    Watch out for ‘dead cat bounce’ in stocks because there’s more pain ahead: Morgan Stanley’s Wilson

    October is living up to its infamous reputation as a volatile month for stocks with major indexes down sharply and there is likely more pain ahead for investors, according to one prominent Wall Street analyst. The recent rebound “was a dead cat bounce,” said Michael Wilson, an equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, in a report. After eking out gains last week, the S&P 500 (SPX) is trading below the 200 DMA of 2,768 Monday as stocks struggle for direction with third-quarter earnings cycle picking up pace.

  • 4 Things Aurora Cannabis Did Right Before Its NYSE Debut
    Business
    Motley Fool

    4 Things Aurora Cannabis Did Right Before Its NYSE Debut

    Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH: ACBFF) (TSX: ACB) has sought to make it even easier for U.S. investors to buy its shares by arranging to have its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Beginning tomorrow, Oct. 23, Aurora will join the elite group of cannabis companies whose shares trade on major U.S. exchanges. Getting ready for the increased exposure that a NYSE listing brings takes time and effort, and Aurora Cannabis hasn't wasted any time.

  • These stocks may be sacrificed in a cold war with China
    COL
    CNBC Videos

    These stocks may be sacrificed in a cold war with China

    Jim Cramer says the escalation in the United States' trade war with China could end in an outright cold war that debilitates parts of the stock market.

  • China Will Open the World's Longest Sea Bridge This Week. A Lot of People Are Unhappy About It
    World
    Fortune

    China Will Open the World's Longest Sea Bridge This Week. A Lot of People Are Unhappy About It

    Later this week, the long-awaited 34-mile sea bridge connecting mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau will finally open. In a ceremony on Tuesday that Chinese president Xi Jinping will reportedly attend, the bridge will officially open. Some critics see the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge as an attempt by mainland China to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, which is an autonomous region.

  • Finance
    CNBC

    Here's the tax bite on $1.6 billion Mega Millions and $620 million Powerball jackpots

    Strategies can be employed to reduce the amount of your win that is taxed, although they are best explored with the help of an experienced tax advisor. While it's anyone's guess who will end up winning the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots, there's at least one guaranteed recipient of a chunk of the loot — the IRS. With the Mega Millions jackpot at $1.6 billion and Powerball's top prize at $620 million, that tax bill will be hefty even if the winner employs strategies to reduce their taxable income.

  • Why Nektar Therapeutics Crashed 17.2% Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Nektar Therapeutics Crashed 17.2% Today

    After delivering a disappointing update on NKTR-214 in cancer patients this summer, Nektar Therapeutics' (NASDAQ: NKTR) shares have been struggling. The company didn't report any news today, so a negative report issued by Plainview LLC this month may be to blamed for its 17.2% tumble today. In February, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) inked a blockbuster deal to license rights to NKTR-214 following positive data last year for NKTR-214's use alongside Bristol-Myers' Opdivo.

  • AMD's Q3 Earnings to Benefit from Strong Demand for GPUs
    Business
    Zacks

    AMD's Q3 Earnings to Benefit from Strong Demand for GPUs

    Advanced Micro Devices AMD is set to report third-quarter 2018 results on Oct 24.The company is expected to gain from robust demand of graphic processor units (GPUs), which are now profusely used in industries like gaming, automotive and blockchain.Increasing

  • Finance
    American City Business Journals

    Microsoft's typical worker makes $168K a year — how that compares with Facebook, Google, PayPal, Box, Salesforce, Intel and other big Bay Area tech employers

    Microsoft Corp. is the latest major Silicon Valley tech employer to reveal just how much its typical employee earns — and how that compares with its top executive. The software giant's median employee pay — almost $168,000 — is high, even by Silicon

  • Religious Extremists Got Their Justice. Now They're Going To Strip LGBTQ Rights.
    Politics
    HuffPost Opinion

    Religious Extremists Got Their Justice. Now They're Going To Strip LGBTQ Rights.

    While much of the country was in an uproar over the nomination (and confirmation) of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, anti-LGBTQ religious extremists in Texas filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Austin targeting its anti-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBTQ people, claiming it infringes on their religious liberty. Like many municipalities and less than half of U.S. states, Austin protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people broadly from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

  • Why Pot Stocks Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, and Tilray Are Cratering Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Pot Stocks Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, and Tilray Are Cratering Today

    Canadian pot stocks are getting hit hard across the board today. As of 1:21 p.m. EDT, for example, shares of Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) and Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) were both down by 11.2%, whereas Tilray's(NASDAQ: TLRY) stock had fallen by 14.4%. Canopy, Cronos, and Tilray all seem to be succumbing to a so-called "sell the news" event.

  • Why AMD Stock Fell 11% on October 19
    Finance
    Market Realist

    Why AMD Stock Fell 11% on October 19

    Semiconductor (SMH) stock Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) fell 11.1% on October 19 to close trading at $23.66. New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu has a 12-month price target of $18 for AMD. Ferragu stated, “AMD’s stock price reflects a scenario we don’t believe possible.

  • Can AMD Stock Go on a Bull Run Once Again?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Can AMD Stock Go on a Bull Run Once Again?

    Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) shares have fallen off a cliff over the past month, as investors are probably concerned about whether it can sustain its rally in the face of a fading tailwind and rising competition. The chipmaker has minted a lot of money thanks to cryptocurrency mining, but that catalyst is fizzling out and rival NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) has launched a new generation of graphics chips to reclaim its lost market share. AMD blames weak GPU sales to the cryptocurrency market for this slowdown, but recent developments indicate that it could easily surpass the low-balled guidance.

  • Meet What Could Be Advanced Micro Devices' Next Billion-Dollar Business
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Meet What Could Be Advanced Micro Devices' Next Billion-Dollar Business

    Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) CEO Lisa Su said earlier this year that the company plans to achieve "mid-single-digit server unit share" by the end of 2018. The chipmaker's server chip market share crossed 1% at the end of the second quarter. Mercury Research estimates that AMD now commands 1.3% of the server market as compared to just 0.5% earlier.

  • Former General Electric vice chair on the company's futur...
    Business
    CNBC Videos

    Former General Electric vice chair on the company's futur...

    Beth Comstock, Nike board member and former vice chair of General Electric, weighs in on the future of General Electric under new CEO Larry Culp.

  • 5 Popular Marijuana Stocks I Wouldn't Buy With Free Money
    Business
    Motley Fool

    5 Popular Marijuana Stocks I Wouldn't Buy With Free Money

    Last week on Oct. 17, Canada lifted the curtain on nine decades of prohibition and legalized recreational marijuana for adults. Given the notable surge in pot stocks since the beginning of 2016, it's pretty evident that Wall Street and investors expect the industry to be a resounding success. With that being said, there are a handful of marijuana stocks -- some quite popular -- that I simply wouldn't buy, even if I were given free money to do so.

  • Aurora Cannabis prepares for NYSE debut on Oct. 23
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance Canada

    Aurora Cannabis prepares for NYSE debut on Oct. 23

    One of Canada’s largest marijuana producers is gearing up for its big debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis will be the third major Canadian cannabis company to go public in the U.S., where marijuana is still an illegal substance in most states. Aurora will be following in the steps of Tilray, which became the first U.S. marijuana IPO in July, and Canopy Growth, which debuted in the U.S. markets in May.

  • This Warren Buffett Stock Is Dirt Cheap Right Now
    Business
    Motley Fool

    This Warren Buffett Stock Is Dirt Cheap Right Now

    Warren Buffett has amassed a large portfolio of bank stocks for Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) with major holdings in Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), and American Express (NYSE: AXP), just to name a few of the most well-known and largest investments. Synchrony is a major issuer of store-branded credit cards and also operates a rapidly growing online banking platform.

  • Investors Dumped Cannabis Stocks after Legalization Last Week
    Finance
    Market Realist

    Investors Dumped Cannabis Stocks after Legalization Last Week

    Cannabis Stocks Getting Dumped after Legalization? Cannabis sector Last week, the overall cannabis sector ended in negative territory. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ) lost almost 5.4% of its value, while the Emerging Marijuana Growers

  • Which Canadian Marijuana Stock Will Enjoy a Bigger Bump From Its NYSE Listing -- Aphria or Aurora?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Which Canadian Marijuana Stock Will Enjoy a Bigger Bump From Its NYSE Listing -- Aphria or Aurora?

    Maybe Wall Street should be called "Weed Street." Big Canadian marijuana grower Canopy Growth listed its stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) earlier this year. Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH: ACBFF) begins trading on the NYSE on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Aphria (NASDAQOTH: APHQF) filed last week to list its stock on the NYSE.

  • 2 Things to Watch When Ford Motor Company Reports Earnings
    Business
    Motley Fool

    2 Things to Watch When Ford Motor Company Reports Earnings

    Wall Street analysts expect Ford's earnings to fall from the third quarter of 2017. Ford has refreshed the Explorer twice since its 2011 debut, but its age is hurting Ford's pricing power. 1. How soon will Ford's new products arrive?

  • 3 Dividend Stocks to Fund Your Retirement Nest Egg
    Business
    Motley Fool

    3 Dividend Stocks to Fund Your Retirement Nest Egg

    Dividend stocks play a key role in a good retirement portfolio, but investing indiscriminately in companies just because they offer a big yield or have a recent history of payout growth will likely cause your portfolio's performance to fall short of its

  • Suze Orman has a killer question for your retirement
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Suze Orman has a killer question for your retirement

    Suze Orman is one of those singular personalities in the financial business who seems to be right on the pulse of everyone she meets. She’s written books, starred in her own television show and made innumerable appearances in person. Like Oprah

  • Aurora Cannabis is plunging ahead of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange
    Business
    Business Insider

    Aurora Cannabis is plunging ahead of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange

    Aurora Cannabis is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday under the ticker ACB. Aurora Cannabis was plunging Monday, down more than 14%, one day ahead of the company's trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The Canadian producer, which grows cannabis for both the adult-use and medicinal market, has seen its market capitalization explode by more than 150% since August — to nearly $10 billion — as both corporate giants and investors have gotten in on the "green rush" into marijuana.