Emergency Fund, Health, Money Management
April 19, 2020
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In this podcast, Suze shares her thoughts on health over wealth, financial lessons we should be learning during this crisis, and the need to continue to be prepared for what comes next.
April 19, 2020. As I'm recording this, it's early in the morning. Many of you will wake up and you will come to this podcast today, maybe some of you will listen to it a week from now, but today it's very still out there. The sun is shining, the birds once again are singing, and here I am about to deliver a podcast to you. And one would think that I would have it all planned out, that I would have notes and I would have facts and I would have figures. But I have to tell you something, that's not how I do a podcast. I sit down behind this microphone and I tell you from my heart the things that I really want you to know. And I think about, OK, what should be the theme of today's podcast? And what came to me was the saying that I used to end my TV show with every single Saturday night for 13 years, and it went like this. "Now, there's only one thing that matters when it comes to your money and it is this. It is people first, then money, then things. Now you stay safe." And those words, those words have been ringing in my mind lately because I'm realizing that that is not happening right now. That that theme of people first, then money, and by the way, when I would say people first, I didn't mean be generous, make sure everybody else is taken care of. I would always mean YOU. And I would be talking to the women out there, and I would mean you take care of yourself first before you take care of others. Then you take care of your money, and then you take care of your things because if you don't have money, you shouldn't have things. But most people had more things than money, and that's how that all came about. But I have to tell you, that saying is about to be seriously ignored on every possible level. And what I mean by that is this. People, whether it's you or others, really, people should come before their money. Before wealth should be you and your own needs, and people should care about you before they care about the money they can make off of you. But what is about to happen is because all these countries are being financially devastated, they're going to now put money before you. They are going to put wealth before your health. And I know many of you are like but Suze, I need to go back to work. Suze, I need to make money. Suze, I'm so broke. I don't know. I get that you're broke, I get that you need to make money, I get that you all want to go back to how it always was. I don't know if that's going to happen right away or not, but I do think that it's very, very dangerous to go back out in the world, open up everything, and just do it simply because of money. We really need to make sure that if we are going to do that, it's you know, without a shadow of a doubt that your health will remain intact. And I'm not sure we know that. In fact, I know we don't know that at this particular point in time, so this concerns me, everybody. And it concerns me because if we open everything up and all of a sudden we all go out there again, and people get sick again and we have to close down again, I do not think that the economy will survive at that point in time. There will be more financial destruction if we do that than if we just continue to do what we're doing. But it doesn't matter what I think, because that's not what's going to happen. What's going to happen is little by little, and I hope, intelligently, the world is going to open up again. But here's what's very important that you also know about that. Over in Europe, other countries out there, many of them have opened up again. The restaurants are open, the theaters are open, things are open, but nobody's going. The restaurants are still empty, the theatres are still empty, the schools that have opened up overseas, the parents are not sending their kids to school. So, just don't think that if things opened up here, you're going to have customers, you're going to have a job, you're going to have this, you're going to have that. I'm not sure that that is true. So I ask you just to be careful and to just think about what I just said and do your planning accordingly, OK? Don't be doing things with your money cause you think oh, in two months, in one month, I'm going to be back to work, everything's going to be OK. I'm going to be able to open up my restaurant, I'm going to be able to do this. You will only make money if you have a small business if people come into your business. You will only make money if the job that you had hires you back. And I don't want to be a Suze Downer here, but I also want to tell you what I really think. Has your office, has your company, have they learned, oh, we can do business just as well with half the staff? Oh, I could make more money now and make up for the losses because I don't have to have a big building, everybody can work from home. And so, I'm just asking you to be careful that way. Even myself, I was interviewing this morning with a company that I normally go there to be on television. In fact, it's QVC. And if you want to watch me, by the way, it is tonight, 5 p.m. East Coast time. So, for those of you who are interested in getting the Must Have documents, which is the will, the living revocable trust, the advance directive and durable power of attorney for health care, as well as the financial power of attorney, as well as my book and other things, the offer really is incredible. I'm telling you that right now. So, you might want to tune in at 5 p.m. East Coast time. And you can call in, you can ask questions, you can see a little bit of my home and, you know, it's maybe what you want to do tonight. But that wasn't the point of why I was telling you this. See, I never plan anything. But they were asking me while we were on the phone this morning, Suze, is this going to be your only visit, or will you be coming back? And I said I actually don't know, but I do know that I am not coming off of this island until September or longer because I can't afford to get sick, I just can't. My body will not take it, and I've told you this before, I have horrific lungs and have had troubles with my esophagus. I am high, high, high risk and therefore, you know, I'm not going to risk it. Now, I'm lucky enough that I don't have to be concerned about money, I get that everybody. But what a bummer if you're concerned about money and you have to go back to work and you're high risk, and everybody hasn't planned to make sure that they should protect your health. So, I can only pray that everybody out there gets tested, that we know exactly where we stand, and that they do not open up anything until every single one of you has taken the test and we know where we stand. All right. I just wanted to say that, but now I do also want to talk about lessons learned. So I'm so confused. Should I name this podcast "People First, Then Money, Then Things?" Or, should I name this podcast "Lessons Learned?" Because here's the lesson that I hope you have now all learned, which is, do you remember just a little bit ago when the Dow Jones Industrial Average and all the other indexes went down 38% approximately? And many of you were freaked out and I touched on this just a few days ago, but still, I'm going to touch on it again. And you were freaked out and you sold, and I would tell you on this podcast over and over again, please don't sell. Please don't sell, especially if you have at least five years, 10 years or longer until you need this money. And if you do need this money within a year, sell, I would still tell you that. And many of you didn't listen, and you would write to me and say no, Suze, I sold, I took all of my money out of the stock market. And I would go no, don't, please, I'm begging you don't do that. Because then you locked in a 38% loss, and if you took it out of a retirement account, you had to pay taxes on top of that. But do you realize that as of the close of business on Friday that the Dow Jones, many of the averages right now, are only down 8%, 17% from their highs. So, you have recovered a whole lot of money, so aren't you glad you stuck with it? But why am I telling you this? Because I am still concerned at this point in time, I'm concerned that while the markets are going up and everything seems to be OK right now, and you're probably feeling really good, as I reiterated last week and I'm going to do it again, I'm concerned that I still don't think it's straight up from here. I'm concerned that when we open things up again and we find out that people aren't going out to eat, they're not going to the movies, they're not going to buy clothes, they're not doing what they normally do. Maybe they will, but will they do it to the amount that needs to get done to make everything get whole again? And if we find those things out, and then we find out that the companies, and everybody, have lost a whole lot more money than they had any idea, and the deficits in the dead and everything starts to weigh on this economy. It concerns me. So again, if you have time on your side, I hope these markets go back up again and they do exactly what you want them to do. But I need you to be strong in case they turn around and they go right back down again because anything is possible. And as long as you have that expectation and you have time on your side, then we'll be great and you'll be fine. You're diversified, you're fine, especially if you could keep investing month in and month out. But again, I'm telling you, if you need this money within a year or so, I don't know, I would be coming out if I were you. And I would not look back because you want to know what's strange, everybody? It's almost as if you care more about the money you could have made but didn't make than the money that you lost. I don't know why that is. People always talk to me and they say to me, Suze, I bought this stock at $10 a share and it went to $50 and I sold it and I was so happy. But Suze, that stock right now it's at $800 a share; I'm killing myself that I didn't keep it. But this person is so depressed all the time because even though they made money, they didn't make as much as they could have. And then you do these numbers in your head, if only, if only I… Maybe that's what I should call this podcast, "If Only." If only I had kept the stock I would have this much money. None of that matters. So, if you decide to come out here because you need the money right now and all of a sudden we find out in a week, two, or three it's back. You would have been made whole. You're going to go "if only I just stayed in, I'm so upset I sold, I could have made this much money." Stop living your life like that. I want you to look at currently what you have, not at what you had or could have had. Got that, everybody? Just live in the moment, especially if you need this money. All right, I just wanted to say that. There are certain stocks out there, and especially if you're buying individual stocks, I mean, you have stocks like Amazon that hit its all-time high again, and Netflix and all these companies. But remember, they're certain sectors of the stock market, and what was fascinating, as soon as the information came out that possibly they found a drug that could help, those stocks, I call them COVID Stocks. Like Zoom, Netflix, Amazon, they went down significantly, even though the market went up. So news should not drive what these markets are doing, the earnings of companies are what should drive what the market does. So don't feel bad if you missed out on the Amazons or the this or the that. I'm begging you to please just stay diversified. And why am I telling you that? I'm telling you that because the other day I was talking to a friend and somebody I love very much, such an intelligent woman. And she was telling me about how she's down 80% in her portfolio, and I'm like, how is it possible that you're down 80%? The overall market only went down 38%, why are you down 80%? And she said to me, well Suze, I'm totally invested in the majority of my money in marijuana stocks, cannabis stocks. And I'm like, no! I said to her, you sound like this woman I'll never forget back in the 1990s, and so, when this woman came up to me and said, you know, Suze, 100% of my money is in technology stocks, and I again, I went, no! And she said no, I've made a fortune, it's OK. And I thought to myself, OK, but I wouldn't be doing that if I were you. And then, sure enough, all the technology stocks back then absolutely crashed, and I know she lost all her money. I mean, maybe she was lucky enough to hold on, but some of those companies actually went out of business. So lessons learned, you have to be diversified. You have to be diversified because sometimes certain types of stocks are going to go up. Sometimes other types of stocks are going to go up. So that's why I love the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF, symbol VTI. If you want to try another index fund that I love, I love the Motley Fool 100 Index and their symbol is TMFC. But really, between those two indexes, if you really just dollar-cost average every single month, over the long run, you would do fine. Maybe you would do so well this month, maybe if you had individual stocks you would be doing better, I don't know. But over the long run, you're diversified and you will be protected, especially if you dollar-cost average. So those are lessons that should be learned. I just have to talk about real estate one more time here because it really does concern me. Another friend, I don't know what's with my friends, said that they were smart, I don't know! The friend is telling me how they're absolutely going to take the money they have and buy real estate right now. And not only are they going to buy individual homes, but they're also going to buy commercial real estate. And again, I'm sitting there and I'm going, no, no. Maybe I should name the podcast, "No, No." So, so far what we have, we have "People First, Then Money, Then Things." Then we have, what else did I say? "Lesson Learned." Then also, "If Only" and now "No, No." All right, we maybe should vote on this, and then I should go back and rename it. But anyway, that's beside the point. You see, I just sit here and I talked to myself, that's what I do most of the time. You know, sometimes KT says to me, who are you talking to? I go, I'm talking to myself, KT. She says OK, just making sure, just making sure. And no, KT's not coming on today, by the way, because there are too many things that I have to tell you, once again. One day here she'll come on, it's OK, no problem. But, you know, and I'm saying, can you all just think about this? If you're going to buy real estate right now, then don't you think that you have to have a lot of working capital? And hopefully, that you can either pay the mortgages on those pieces of real estate if you can't buy them outright and then if your tenants can't pay you, it's not going to hurt you at all. I don't know what all of you have about real estate. It scares me. I don't mind if you have some real estate, but all of your money in real estate I think is very, very unwise. I just want to remind you what's happening right now. Maybe you're a landlord and you have tenants, whether they're living in your house or an apartment building, condo or they're leasing from you a business space because you own a little complex or whatever it may be. They're not able to work right now so they can't pay you, they can't pay you rent. So how are you going to pay your bills, especially if you don't have working capital? I don't know, why can't you just look at REITs and other types of investments, real estate investment trusts, for instance, and invest in real estate that way? Again, I'm just asking you to be careful and I don't know, It just worries me. Times like this worry me until we know really what's happening out there, and I just want to remind you we still don't know. And I understand that the death rate possibly is getting better, the instances of the virus maybe are going down. Can we just wait and really see like, is it really going to kill you just to wait a few more months to make really big decisions with your money? I hope not. Now, I have some good news for you. Do you know how over all these months I've been saying to you just wait, we're going to have a Suze app, a Women and Money app, and you're going to be able to do so many things there. And I keep saying, oh, it'll be next week, and it'll be in three weeks. Well, guess what? It is today. Today, you can go to Google apps or Apple apps, and you can search for Suze Orman. So it's under my name, and you'll be able to download the Women and Money app. And this is what Sarah has been working on with me now for months and months. Remember Sarah from the very first episodes? Well, Sarah took some time off because she had Charlie. Hi, Charlie. Charlie is now a little bit over two years of age, and I have to tell you, and this is the truth, she is the smartest kid I have ever met in my life. I can have full-blown conversations with her it is absolutely amazing. But Sarah and I have put together this app for you. So what are you going to be able to do with this app? Let me tell you, this is the place that you are now going to go if you have a question that you want to ask me, and so many of you are asking me questions but I can't answer your questions now, individually. Some I can, but not all of them. So when you go on this app and you ask a question, you'll also be able to search all the questions in your category that I've answered. So, maybe I've already answered your question and it will be there and you'll be able to search by topic. You're also going to be able to search all the information in all the podcasts that I have done to date. So maybe you want to know what does Suze think about Backdoor Roth IRAs, or student loans, or real estate, or stocks, or whatever it may be. What podcast was that? Now you're going to be able to put the words that you're searching for and up will come all the podcasts that I've talked about what you want to know about. Fabulous. You're going to be able to communicate with one another and support one another. There's a little section there called Live Stream, where every once in a while when I'm in the mood, I'm just going to click it. You're going to get a ding, ding, ding, ding, ding and it's going to say I'm streaming live and you're going to be able to see me because if I have something important that I want to say to you, I don't want to have to wait until Thursday or a Sunday podcast. I may want to say it to you right here and right now, and you'll hear me and see me say it to you. Also, there will be polls. You'll be able to get the Must Have documents there. There are so many things, you're going to even be able to listen to all the podcasts there. So if you want to listen to one of my podcasts, just go to the app and there it is, because so many of you are like, how do you get a podcast? I don't have an iPhone, Suze, I don't know how to get the podcast. Now all you have to do is go to the app. Again, you get it by doing what? By going to Google apps or Apple apps, search for Suze Orman, my name, and you'll see it, it will come up. I'll be in my little white outfit or whatever that is I wear, the same one as the Women and Money podcast, and it's there, so easy, and you'll just click on it and play with it. Now, this is a very simplistic version of the dream that I have for this app. So I'm just starting out very simple because I want to know this is something that you really want. And if you want it and it grows and it grows and it grows, then I'm going to expand with you. And my dream is really for this app is that one day, every single one of you, the thousands and thousands and thousands of you that have a question, I want you to be able to come to this app, and I'm going to be able to answer every single question that you have asked if you join the community. But that will be a little bit down the road here. So the main thing that I want is I want us to be a community, I want us to share success stories. I want us to share with each other the things that we want to say and learn how to support one another, emotionally and psychologically speaking. I want it to be a place for women who have been financially abused to talk with all of you and talk with everybody and communicate about it. I want this to be an app where every one of you stands in your truth, where every one of you learns how to own the power to control your destiny and where every single one of you becomes, a woman who is strong, smart and secure. That is my dream for all of you. So make that dream a reality for yourself and go and download the app today. In providing answers neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman is acting as a Certified Financial Planner, advisor, a Certified Financial Analyst, an economist, CPA, accountant, or lawyer. Neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman makes any recommendations as to any specific securities or investments. All content is for informational and general purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting or legal advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and financial advisors regarding your particular situation. Neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman accepts any responsibility for any loss, which may arise from accessing or reliance on the information in this podcast and to the fullest extent permitted by law, we exclude all liability for loss or damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of the informat.