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Suze Orman: the teacher, the friend, the confidant, the brand

April 06, 2015 at 9:23 PM

By Randall Kenneth Jones
Originally published in the Naples Daily News

It’s practically impossible to write about time spent with personal-finance wizard Suze Orman using a detached, third-person journalistic voice. Why? Suze Orman excels at leaving no financial or emotional stone unturned—she lives to get personal.

Orman’s response to my first question (“How do I make this interview interesting for you?”) set the tone for all that was to follow: “Ask me things that really mean something to you and will transform your life financially and emotionally,” she instructed.

With “you” and “your” prominently displayed at the forefront of her directive, “I” started to get anxious. Suze Orman expected to talk to flawed-human “me,” not probing-writer “me.”

WGCU recently hosted Orman to speak at a fundraising and “friend-raising” event at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples.

As a devoted viewer of “The Suze Orman Show”—which recently bowed after 13 years on CNBC on Saturday, March 28—I could only wonder if Orman’s I-can-see-right-through-you on-screen persona now had me in its sights.

My internal questioning mechanism was all a-twitter: #helpme

As the erstwhile villain/catalyst in her financial life was a smarmy broker named “Randy,” was I to suffer guilt-by-first-name association? Will I be forced to disclose my lackluster annual 401(k) contributions? And finally, on a personal level, will I metaphorically be “approved” or “denied”?

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Suze Orman: the teacher, the friend, the confidant, the brand

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