One on One with Suze Orman

By Jan Hillenmeyer | 02/28/2011 5:25:44 PM


SUZE ORMAN, expert in all personal money matters, will be appearing onstage at International Salon and Spa Expo/ Midwest (ISSE/MW) on March 27, 2011 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

She recently took time from her hectic schedule to chat on the phone, but she gave away no hints about her ISSE/MW presentation. That’s because Orman shoots from the hip—no notes, no prompter, no canned message. She reads the audience and intuits what they need and if you’ve seen her on her CNN show, or on countless other venues, you know she delivers. All she’ll say is that she wants the audience at The Style of Money—Making it Work for You to leave “feeling and looking financially stunning.” But she did take a moment to field a few questions for SALON TODAY:

ST: Is anyone too young or earning too little to start investing?

SO: It’s never too soon, but it can be too late to get started. The key ingredient in financial health is time. Here’s an example: If, at age 25, you start funding a Roth IRA at the maximum of $416/ a month and that money is compounded at six percent, by age 65, you’ll have $828,000. If you wait until age 40, in 20 years you’ll only have $192,000. From 20 to 40 years old is an increase of 100 percent, but that jumps to 500 percent, when you factor in the six percent, and you would have to contribute $2,000 a month to catch up.

Maybe you have to start initially with a smaller amount, but you get the idea that time is crucial. Putting aside a little money turns into a lot more money over time.

ST: What are some of the biggest money mistakes?

SO: One of the biggest is over-use of credit cards. Running up multiple credit cards and paying the minimum each month is disastrous, especially when the credit card companies start raising their interest rates. Don’t think you can ignore student loans—they never go away. Everyone should participate in their employer’s 401K, if available and have a Roth IRA, if you qualify.

Here are a few other “don’ts”—Don’t buy a house you can’t afford, don’t lease a car, don’t co-sign a loan.

ST: Are there any specifi cs a woman business owner needs to know or avoid to be successful?

SO: Women business owners can’t let themselves fall into the traditional women’s role of saving the world before saving themselves. Women have to always be aware of running their business as a business, and not as a clubhouse for friends and colleagues. I’ve been in salons where the owner tells me she is covering expenses, but not making money. She may have two people at the reception area because they are her friends. She needs to have only one. Women have to put their business before traditional female nurturing tendencies. On the same subject, women in service businesses have more of a tendency to “barter” for their services, reduce fees or offer freebies to friends and family. That devalues their talent and their business.

Women business owners are generally more reluctant to raise prices when their operating expenses go up. They are afraid of offending clients or losing business.

In my book Women & Money, I specifically use hair stylists, manicurists and massage therapists as the kind of nurturing service providers who are most vulnerable to lowering prices, not raising prices and taking something (often something they don’t even want) in trade for their valuable talents.

ST: How can readers connect with your financial information?

SO: I have my weekly show on CNN and am planning a new show on the new Oprah Winfrey OWN network. I have a new book, The Money Class, coming out in March. I think it is the best book I’ve written so far. It will be an essential tool to let people learn what they need to learn about money. It’s a great retirement primer and will give readers everything they need to know for the future.

Catch her Live!
For additional information on ISSE/ Midwest and Suze Orman’s presentation, visit






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jan Hillenmeyer

Jan Hillenmeyer is the News Editor of Modern Salon magazine.


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