In a new interview, taped on Wednesday, personal finance guru Suze Orman added her voice to the chorus of bitcoin boosters, professing her "love" for the cryptocurrency. She emphasized the strength of bitcoin as an investment vehicle but criticized it as an alternative to fiat currency, adding that the cryptocurrency is "risky" and its investors should be prepared to lose their money.
"I love bitcoin. I like the universality of it. I like that it's just there and there are corporations that are investing in it," she says.
"I like it as a possible replacement for gold as an investment," she adds.
Last month, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric car company had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would at some point be accepting it as payment for its products. The price of the cryptocurrency spiked in the ensuing days, peaking at a price of more than $58,000 on Feb. 21.
Since then, it has fallen 10%, a pullback likely due in part to criticism leveled at the cryptocurrency by Musk, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. During a senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, SEC chair nominee Gary Gensler warned of fraud risks involved in cryptocurrency, another blow to the price of bitcoin.
Renewing his criticism of the cryptocurrency, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger late last month called it "an artificial substitute for gold" that's "too volatile" to serve as a global currency, while speaking at the Daily Journal (DJCO) annual meeting, streamed on Yahoo Finance.
After Orman praised bitcoin, she acknowledged its shortcomings as an alternative currency and the risks it poses to investors.
"I do not like bitcoin as a currency. I don't like it where you're going to buy a Tesla or you're going to buy something with it."
"Now what I tell my listeners, and what I would tell everybody, bitcoin is seriously risky," she adds. "I would not be investing in bitcoin with money that I could not afford to lose."
Orman spoke to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
She started her career at Merrill Lynch in the 1980s and before long, she formed her own consulting firm. Then, in 2002, she launched "The Suze Orman Show" on CNBC, which made her the go-to financial guide for millions. She has written dozens of books, and now hosts "Suze Orman's Women & Money Podcast."
"In June of last year, I bought MicroStrategy at about $125 a share, right around there, I believe. I rode it all the way up and I sold that, I think it was last week, at right about $1,000 a share."
She said she draws reassurance from the support for bitcoin voiced by ARK Invest's CEO/CIO Cathie Wood.
"I really love how Cathie Wood loves bitcoin," Orman says.