The short story is that Suze Orman launched a new prepaid debit card called “The Approved Card.” Prepaid debit cards have fees – and they’re like the antithesis of everything personal finance. More importantly, Suze Orman is making rather robust claims like “the Approved Card will help you improve your credit score” when this is absolutely 100% false.
Naturally, personal finance bloggers around the world jumped on the opportunity to rail on Suze Orman for saying one thing and doing another. Essentially, Suze sold out. And she got called out on selling out.
Despite selling out, I feel bad for Suze Orman.
Suze Orman vs. Dave Ramsey
To the uninformed, the difference between Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey is often little more than a few “Girrrlfriand” labels, which Suze slaps on virtually any human with half a lick of female sexuality. It’s cute, isn’t it?
This difference was mostly true for a very long time. Suze was always kind of the moderate to Dave Ramsey’s extremism. You could say that Suze Orman was the personal finance personality for liberals, and Dave Ramsey was for neoconservatives.
I feel bad for Suze now, though, because she’s completely killed her brand. Let’s get this straight: Dave Ramsey waits until his readers and followers can invest before screwing them for their hard-earned money. It’s not until Dave Ramsey gets people out of debt and encourages good spending habits that he starts taking his dues – huge dues! He presumably generates millions through his ELP cash cow each year where people pay too much for mutual funds to make Dave Ramsey rich.
Suze Orman, on the other hand, obviously has a problem. Given that she has a following that now looks less human and more like dollar signs, she figured the best way to start harvesting the seed already sowed was to start a prepaid debit card with a $3 monthly fee. This is the kind of stuff that makes you want to bang your head on a composite door.
To recap: Dave Ramsey sends his followers to the chopping block – financial planners who make 5%+ on every mutual fund they sell up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Suze Orman competes with a lowly prepaid debit card with a $3 monthly fee.
In terms of damaging people’s personal finances for a profit, Dave Ramsey has a guillotine where Suze Orman has merely a prehistoric caveman club.
The Worst Admission
Suze Orman should stand up and make one of the worst admissions of them all, “Dave Ramsey is smarter than I am.”
Ouch. Dude, that’s got to hurt.
But there’s more. It’s only logical that Dave Ramsey’s followers are more successful than Suze’s, since Suze is ripping off the poorest and most unbanked people in the United States. Dave Ramsey is actually going after the investor class, a tip of the hat to some of his students’ success.
Just compare their promises!
Dave Ramsey promises a reasonable retirement from his ELP commission scheme. Suze Orman has to stoop so low so as to offer only a better credit score – no, wait, the PROSPECT of a better credit score. (Her card doesn’t actually result in more activity on your credit report.) There isn’t much comparison between a credit score and fully funded retirement.
Dave Ramsey’s robbing banks. Suze Orman is robbing the Salvation Army bell ringers for lost pennies.
Poor Suze. She can’t even figure out how to screw people the right way.