Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Suze Orman vs Robert Kiyosaki: My Take

The financial battle royale has reared it simmering, pulsating head on Twitter! No need to wait for the next media frenzy about an author's new book! Just log onto Twitter and follow your favorite expert and you will have their thoughts immediately!  Well it looks like two of America's most prominent financial titans have used their fingers to type messages that question the other validity.

In the corner to my left, we have Suze Orman, author of books like The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke , The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, and a slew of other titles that encourage you to get out of debt and take control of your finances. Orman has her own show on CNBC.  She is in her 60s and she has been fighting the cause of the housewife, newlywed couple, worried parent, single women and she has given them tips on how to become debt free. In these economic times her vision and her message has changed just a bit. When I first started reading her she encouraged everyone to use their homes as an asset.

In the corner to my right, wearing black trunks with a purple and gold lining and trim is Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, creator of the game board Ca$hflow: Learn to Invest in a Fun Way! He has a series of experts and coaching programs that has made his name known in international circles all over the world. He has been published in 51 different languages and sold in over 109 countries! I can't remember when I started reading his books, but I had to be in my late 20s.

Kiyosaki landed the first blow when he was prompted by Orman's, "recent TV segment in which Orman encouraged people to invest in 401(k) accounts up to their employers' matches and to also put money into Roth IRAs. Both types of accounts, which come with different tax incentives, typically consist of stock market investments." (ABC NEWS/Money page 2) 

Kiyosaki believes that Orman is talking to people who "have little or no real financial knowledge to invest in the stock market," Kiyosaki said.

I think this is the key difference between both contenders. Kiyosaki encourages investors to take a historical look at how money is invested, treated, and look for trends that show you how to be a savvy investor. Orman, encourages her people to find a way to invest it with a financial planning service or advisor.  She encourages savings accounts, Mutual Funds, home-ownership, ROTH IRAs, IRAs and any other safe, diversified vehicle to invest your money in.  Are they both wrong? No. Are they both right? No.

I personally think that Orman was a great beginning for someone who is interested in getting out of debt. When I first started reading her books I was confused and looking for answers. With her television shows and socially acceptable dialogue she was an obvious choice for me.  I love Orman's upbeat personality and constant positivity. She has a very, "You Can Do It!" attitude that appeals to me.

However, after I got out of debt, I was left wondering what to do next.  That's when I really started reading Kiyosaki and it seemed as if he answered those questions for me. Invest! Invest in a business that will take you out of the role of an employee and on the road to true financial freedom.  I love this mantra. I play Ca$hflow in Tokyo with Sequoia Entrepreneur Group.  I started my own business and I constantly educate myself on financial matters.  I was a subscriber to Kiyosaki's email.  Where Orman has this sense of positivity about her message, sometimes Kiyosaki can be a bit depressing. I rarely opened his newsletters because the titles were full of doom. I wish I could remember what they were, but I have deleted them.  I will say I do appreciate his, "get off your ass and do something." attitude as can be seen in this video clip.

After I heard Kiyosaki call people who don't want to work hard  wimps and pussies.  I knew I had to do something! I didn't want to just sit around and do nothing. I agree with his more aggressive strategy.  Instead of sending your money to bankers, Wall Street and other financial advisors or planners, we need to take control of our financial destiny.  We need to learn for ourselves how to get the greatest return on our investments.

I don't think Orman or Kiyosaki are for everyone. You have to pick your causes and pick your strategies.  No toolbox is complete without a blueprint.  Both authors give you a blueprint for financial success. However, the question becomes, do you want to be aggressive or do you want to play it safe?

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