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Suze Orman’s Tips For 2006, Part 1

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I’m not the biggest fan of Suze Orman. I’ve seen her show and I don’t like the way she talks to her callers, even if they deserve a little berating. I don’t agree with all of her advice, such her suggestions for young workers in the advertising industry in New York. If I remember correctly, her advice was to run up credit card debt on groceries while pursuing the next step on the corporate ladder. Anyhow, there are some thoughts of hers I can support. Suze’s offering Ten Tips for a Prosperous 2006 — and Beyond on Yahoo Finance. Here are her tips:

Play The Match Game.

More than 20 percent of 401(k) plan participants don’t invest enough to get the maximum company matching contribution. That means about one out of every five plan participants is unwisely turning down a bonus.

When I first started at my current company, I debated whether I should contribute 4% of my income in order to get the full employer match on the 401(k). I thought that since I probably wouldn’t be there after three years, the vesting period, it wouldn’t be worth tying up the money I needed as cash. As it turned out, it’s almost four years later and I’m stil here (though I did take an unofficlal break to teach one semester). I’m glad I took advantage of the match as soon as it was available.

Limit Your Company’s Stock in Your 401(k).

I don’t care if you work for the most fabulous company in the most dynamic industry. No one should have more than five to 10 percent of their investments riding on one stock.

This raises a red flag. I have about 14% of my total investments (non-cash) in company stock in my 401(k). Of just the 401(k), that’s 22%. Half of my company match is directed to company stock. Since my position in the company supposedly has access to Material, Non-Public Information, I’m not allowed to sell that stock unless it is in within a designated period. I made an effort to sell during the last period, but I had some technical difficulties and it didn’t happen.

The company’s stock has had a great run-up since being lised several years ago, and thus my investments are a little heavily weighted towards it. This is a dangerous position to be in and I’ll try to rememdy it during the next period.

If you’re a fan of Suze Orman, check out The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke.

Updated April 21, 2017 and originally published December 19, 2005.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

avatar 1 Anonymous

Thanks for pointing out these tips. I went ahead and posted them to my blog.

While I see that some people have issues with Suze Orman or her methods, I think they might benefit those new to the PF arena (possibly those in their 20’s).


avatar 2 Anonymous

Dear Suze,

I ran into your show by accident as I was skimming the channels on a restless night.
I have been married for 24 years and about to get divorced. My husband has been in control of the money all these years, or as he puts it, “handling the finances”. He has a 401K, Pension Plan and has worked for 17 years. He has proposed several options that he is willing to abide with. One of them is to let me keep the house(which has about 140-170 in equity) and he will reluctantly pay about 1000 a month for two children. He does not want me to have his 401k, Pension or receive any alimony.
My gross income (as a teacher), is about 2, 140.00. and I have only been working 6 months (I was a stay at home mom), and have no retirement or pension being deducted or accumulated at this time.

My question is, “Should I keep the house and somehow try to pay the mortgage and all expenses (3,200.00)and perhaps sell it in the future? OR
Should I insist on keeping the house plus alimony OR Should I agree to sell the house, split the equity, and fight for alimony and move into an apartment (with four children) and perhaps make some sort of investment/