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Suze Orman vs Robert Kiyosaki

If you are a Gen Xer, as am I, you probably have come across financial advice from Suze Orman and Robert Kiyosaki.  My introduction to Suze Orman came from watching The Suze Orman Show.  She has written several books and has her website of content that helps individuals manage their wealth.  Robert Kiyosaki is best known for his financial cult classic book Rich Dad Poor Dad, which spawned the Rich Dad book series and Rich Dad education center.  Both of these individuals have given me great information to utilize; however, I wanted to analyze both Suze’s and Robert’s approaches and compare and contrast the two.  Now, keep in mind this publication is just my observation and personal opinion of both individual’s financial methodologies.

Suze Orman

From watching The Suze Orman Show and other specials that Suze Orman has produced - Suze Orman’s Financial Solutions for You and America’s Money Class with Suze Orman - I have deduced that Suze’s financial advice stems around saving as much money as you can and being financially prudent so that you can have money in your latter years (let’s say 65+ years).  Suze enlightened people on preparing to transition your personal wealth to loved ones through trusts, wills, and life insurance, and being educated on debt.

The one thing that I do like about Suze Orman’s guidance is that she takes a layman’s approach to finances.  She teaches people the power of saving and planning, and informs people on financial tools that most people neglect over the course of our lives (wills, trusts, and powers of attorney).  But, personally speaking, I think Suze’s guidance is geared towards not enjoying life in your younger years so that one can have money in their old age.  The problem with this approach is that you are assuming that one is going to be alive at the age of 65.  Moreover, by the time one is in their senior years, they don’t really care about material wealth.  The people I know that are this age are enjoying their elder years, and doing things such as traveling, but they are more focused on helping out their heirs - particularly their grandchildren.  Again, I will stress that this has been my experience.  I think Suze’s advice is perfect for people that want to live frugal lives, are financially illiterate, or do not strive to climb the socioeconomic ladder into the upper-middle or upper classes.  Moreover, I think Suze’s advice somewhat clashes with what she practices.  From what I have heard, she mainly focuses on telling people to save and be frugal; she doesn’t talk much about building wealth and getting your dollars up.  I don’t doubt that Suze follows her own advice about saving, but she subscribes to the Robert Kiyosaki model just as much as she does her own as the bulk of her wealth comes from her establishing multiple streams of income through her books, television shows and specials, speaking engagements, and products that she sells on her website.  From my observation, Suze doesn’t preach that type of hustler mentality to her followers; she pushes them to save while selling them products that help to build up her wealth.

Robert Kiyosaki

From reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad book, and listening to some of his interviews online, I have concluded that Robert Kiyosaki’s approach to financial wealth is to have more money coming in than going out.  And, the best way to ensure this money flow is to have multiple streams of income.  Moreover, entrepreneurship is power; whereas, being an employee limits your earning potential.

I love Robert Kiyosaki’s guidance.  His approach is simplistic, but also realistic.  The message that I get from his book is that his poor dad was educated, but played it safe in life and struggled because he limited his earnings potential by becoming an employee and not managing his debt-to-income ratio, while his rich dad didn’t get a college education but maximized his earnings through risks and leveraging others as a resource to improve his wealth.  The problem with Robert Kiyosaki’s principles is that, realistically, society is not built for everyone to take this approach.  If everyone became an entrepreneur, we’d all be broke.  Someone has to be an employee and someone has to be an entrepreneur.  Personally, I don’t feel that Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad book teaches a holistic approach to wealth, which would include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, or gives specificity about how debt work. 

Whose Approach is Better

I think there is no fair comparison between the two as they both tend to service a different financial customer.  Suze’s advice is optimal for people who don’t want to be entrepreneurs but want to manage their money for long-term sustenance.  I also believe Suze Orman’s advice is perfect for people who are new to understanding personal finances.  But, when it comes to aspiring entrepreneurs or people with a sales spirit, Robert Kiyosaki’s advice should be focused on.  Moreover, if you have a fundamental understanding of money and how commerce works, I think Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad is the next step in your financial evolution.

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