In this Exclusive Interview with Suze Orman on The Road To Wealth, she will reveal never before published insights into researching, writing and producing one of the greatest financial books ever written!
By: Philippe Matthews
In preparation for an exclusive interview with Suze Orman on The Road To Wealth, I was at Borders Books on Chicago’s State Street where women and men were lined up literally around the corner to get a glimpse at the Money-Making Maven. Signing autographs, smiling at strangers and shaking every hand that reached out to her made a successful book signing on The Road to Wealth and her appearance on the Philippe Matthews Show.
This book hit the New York Times Bestseller’s list within its first weeks release, making Suze Orman a bona fide financial superstar! Suze shared with me, “Out of all the books I’ve written, I’m lovin’ this baby more than any of them! 9 Steps to Financial Freedom hit number one on the New York Time Bestsellers list which was an absolute phenomenon in itself but everybody said, ‘that’s not so hard – anybody can do that if you’re on Oprah 11 times.’ Courage to Be Rich comes out and goes right to number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list and everybody says, ‘oh, that’s not that hard – you had an entire PBS special behind you. Road to Wealth comes out and one week after it comes out without any publicity whatsoever except for 4 minutes on the Today Show which is not enough to make a New York Times Bestseller; it hit the New York Times Bestsellers list within one week! What that says to me is that people are buying me now not being sold to me.”
The Road to Wealth was created by Suze’s world travels and past book tours; having thousands of people asking her every financial question imaginable. Not being able to personally answer all of the emails, blogs, phone calls, she took all of those questions and answered them in The Road to Wealth. “This book is staged according to every single stage of your financial life. You get into debt; you have to get out of debt. You meet somebody, you become financially intimate, and you have to know the difference between love and marriage. Once you get married, you need to buy a home – how do you do so? Now that you have a home, you need insurance to protect everything so how do you do that? You need to start saving for your children’s education, how do you pay for college? How about saving for your own retirement? Now if you’re going to save for your own retirement, what are you going to do? You need to know about stocks and mutual funds then you need to know about bonds, bond funds, annuities, wills and trusts. So, this is an entire journey down your own road to wealth.”
Pound for pound, Road to Wealth is one of the most comprehensive financial advice books I’ve every read. Suze adds, “You are getting almost 600 pages and 2052 answered questions! America can not say they can’t find good financial advice and that they don’t know where to go. You will not have to buy another financial book in your life because this book will serve as a guide to you forever.”
NET WORTH VS SELF-WORTH
In the introduction of Road to Wealth, Suze expressed, “I strongly believe that the obstacles that keep us from having more and being more are rooted in the emotional, psychological, and spiritual conditions that have shaped our thoughts.”
I asked her to further define that statement does self-esteem play an integral role in money management? “Everybody feels that money ultimately determines if you are happy or your emotional state of being. If you have money, you’re happy – wrong! It is your emotional state of being that determines how much money you have and ultimately get to keep. Fear, shame and anger are the three internal obstacles to wealth. Fear that you have credit card debt and you don’t know what you’re going to do. You get this paycheck that fear rises, and you rush out to buy something because you define yourself by the things that you are because you’re so afraid that somebody is going to find out that you have credit card debt. Shamed that you’re 45 years of age and don’t have a pot to pee in and you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up so, you go out and spend money. Anger – because you’ve been in this marriage for 25 years and your husband just left you powerless and penniless and you are going to get even at him. Emotions rule your actions when it comes to money.”
Understanding how emotions can greatly affect your ability to get in or out of debt, what about the millions of people who silently feel they have no self-worth if they have not achieved a certain net worth? “The problem is in the end when this is all over, there is not going to be one of us that is able to take a penny with us. We are all going to go out empty handed, including me. So, can somebody tell me what this is all about? True wealth is that which can never be diminished. To be truly wealthy, you not only have to understand what you have but you have to understand who you are. When your self worth means equally as much to you as your net worth then you have true financial freedom.”
YOUR DEBT SET POINT
You’ve heard of the “Set Point Theory” as it relates to your body weight, Suze believes our mindset as it relates to debt has a set point. “Every single one of us has a Debt Set Point. It’s like a teeter totter. On this end your debt goes up, up, up and here you are on the other end going down, down, down, down. There comes a point where each and every one of us hits rock bottom and we realize that we are in serious debt trouble – that is our Debt Set Point. It’s at that point that we start to get out of it but here is the problem; if you just simply worked on reducing your debt without reducing the weight of your own low self-esteem — your own low self-worth; it won’t work. Your low self-esteem, your low self-worth weighs heavier within you than anything else. You’re sitting there at the bottom of the teeter totter. If you don’t work on that at the exact same time you’re working on reducing your debt what will happen is that your debt will start to come down but it will snap right back up and go even higher. You’ve got to work on your self-worth along with net worth so that when you’re on the bottom you can raise those legs of yours and give yourself a push up and let your debt go down.”
Working on eliminating bad debt, Suze says also involves working on the reasons you got into debt in the first place. This exactly what Robert T. Kiyosaki said in Segment 3 of my TV interview with him. Understanding the reason for debt Suze says, “That has to do with why are you spending money that you know you should not be spending – very simple. You define yourself by the things you have around you rather than who you are. You think that when other people see you they will define you and think great thoughts of you if you are leasing a fancy car, you live in a fancy home, you’re wearing designer clothes that are mortgaged to the department stores to the tune of 21-22%. You are nothing more than financial liars because everything that you have around you in mortgaged, leased or credit card rated and yet everybody thinks you have so much money because you look like you do and they all want to be like you.”
This psychological phenomenon of keeping up with the Jones’ or Kardashians one of the reasons people cannot break out of the cycle of debting. Suze says, “The reason they have that debt is because they have never looked at themselves – they don’t know who they are. They would not be able to answer the question, ‘who am I’ if they asked themselves that question without defining themselves by their cars, their homes, their job title. Because they have never truly seen who they are, they only show people what they have.”
CREDIT CARD COMPANIES, DEBT & FINANCIAL ORGASM
On page 10 in Road to Wealth, Suze says, “It’s absolutely essential that you pay more than the minimum amount required each month if you want to get out of debt in a timely and cost effective manner.” Of course, most people pay only the minimum or even less. But that behavior is a credit card companies dream. Suze says, “The credit card companies are vultures. You think they’re doing you a favor when they say to you, ‘Oh, you don’t have to pay your payment this month.’ and you’re thrilled but forget that they’re charging you interest to not have to do that. For example, an $1100 credit card debt at an 18% interest rate, if you pay the minimum every single month that they require, it will take you 12 ½ years to pay it! If you pay $10 more per month, it will reduce it from 12 ½ years to 6 year…period! That’s why you’ve got to pay more than the minimum. The goal of the credit card company is to get you to not pay as much as you want to because the less you pay the longer it goes, the longer it goes, the more interest they make on you and that’s what they’re in business to do. That’s the biggest blowjob I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s true. The only problem is that you don’t have a financial orgasm at the end! You are seriously frustrated and all the viagra in the world is not going to help you in this one [LMAO]!”
PEOPLE, MONEY, THINGS
A powerful wealth mindset perspective that Suze offered was when she explained that “There is a major law of money and that is, ‘People first, then money then things.’ the reason is, is that money flows through people. Money can’t do a darn thing without you. You pay for things, you write paychecks, you get the pay raise or give somebody the pay raise – so people have got to come first but that’s not how people live their life. They might live their life people first but that’s not the case with women. Women care about their husbands first; their parents, their children, their next door neighbors, their employers and then…maybe then, they care about themselves. Most people care about the things that money can buy rather than money itself, which is why most people have more things in their household than money in their bank account. Because they define themselves by the things they have around them. It goes back to the credit card debt. We say to people this is what I do, this is what I have not this is who I am.”
Many of the multimillionaires whom I’ve interviewed over the years feel there are so many people in the world that are affected by poverty that it seems to be almost impossible for them to reinvent their lives. Suze, disagrees, “Just ask Oprah that question honey – I’m not buying that one! Money affects each and every one of us, and it is the currency of life and if you think about it; it is a physical manifestation of how we feel about who we are. There are so many people born into poverty who are seriously rich today. There are so many people who are born into serious money who are poverty stricken today – emotions dictate how much you have and get to keep. It has nothing to do with money.”
Okay Suze, so why is there a huge population of people who have emotional issues with money? For example, what about people who say they hate money? “If you hate money you hate yourself because money is nothing more than an extension of what you have created so how can you hate it. You don’t hate your furniture… you don’t hate your bed. I laugh at this all the time because people take me into their homes and they show me their artwork, they’re showing me their silver collection, they’re trying to impress me by having me drink out of crystal – why even have them? You’re going to break them and you can’t use them in the dishwasher and you have to wash them by hand and who has time to do that but that’s another story – they show this stuff off as if they are so proud. However, if you brought somebody into a home and they had a pile of money sitting in the living room, you would think that they’re so crass, so rude and vulgar because when you look at money in money form, you hate it. But if you transform money into a chair, into a couch, into a fancy car, we admire it. We are simply financially numb because we are not willing to look at financial reality.”
Alright Suze, here is my last question. Let’s take the people who hate money a step further and look at the people who spiritually feel that money is bad, wrong the root of all evil. What is your response to this worldwide population of people? “What’s wrong with all of you!? You’re all making excuses because you feel money is dirty, because it’s in the bible. Well, in those days, they all walked around in lion cloths as well. The Arch Diosis was quoting to me about what Jesus said about money. Well look at the last supper, there was a lot of money that went into preparing all of that food! Jesus would not be saying to you today if He were alive, ‘We all need to be poverty stricken.’ The churches operate on a lot of hats being passed around every single week so that the churches can continue to operate. Money is the foundation of the church, yet you’re telling me that it’s harder to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man in heaven…oh please! Do you know why the rich man can’t go to heaven? He’s got to stay down here on earth to give all of these religious organizations money! God knew what He was doing. God knew to keep him down here on earth because he’s not going to do any good up there. You can’t take that money with you – God don’t need your money! He’s doing just fine without it sweetheart.”
Want more Suze? Visit her website at www.suzeorman.com.