Spring into Action
Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan
For BettyConfidential readers 2008 was a tough year, and, arguably, the most painful in modern financial, banking and investment history; it was, after all, the worst year for the stock market since 1931. Will 2009 be any better and what do you need to manage your own money during this time?
Financial guru and host of the The Suze Orman Show, Suze Orman has written her latest book as a comprehensive strategy to help you get honest about your money and, as she is so fond of saying, stop writing checks that your accounts cannot cash.
As a certified financial planner, I read Suze’s 2009 Action Plan with a critical eye, particularly toward the book’s promise to prepare readers for the unpredictability of not only the coming months but also the years to come. My verdict: Suze has done it again! She helps you understand what to expect from the stock and bond markets over the next twelve to eighteen months, and then gives you tools to successfully navigate those turbulent financial waters.
Suze will help you determine if your savings are safe and whether you should continue to invest in your retirement account. She also helps you decide whether you should stay in your home if it’s now worth less than what you owe or should you sell it. And increasingly important as the joblessness rate climbs, Suze outlines how to pay your bills after a job loss.
At the heart of her advice is teaching readers-in her straightforward, no-nonsense way-the basics of creating a budget and insisting that they follow it. Budgeting fundamentals, she contends, are what many of us had ignored in the last few years, but now they are what most Americans need. BettyConfidential readers will also discover how to become debt free and create a payment plan that focuses on paying off the highest interest rate cards first. Once credit-card debt is under control, Suze shows you how to create an emergency fund of eight months to keep you out of the red.
A quick glance over the table of contents of this book includes:
• Debt consolidation
• Expense/Income worksheet
• Finding ways to save
• Dealing with car loans
• First-time home buyer tips
• Student loan repayment & consolidation
• Health Insurance
And while the Action Plan 2009 doesn’t spell out specific investments to make, Suze does advise readers on the next direction for their investment portfolios. “If you’re young, don’t panic over this economy and don’t stop investing,” says Suze. “The market represents a great opportunity for people in their twenties and thirties to buy stocks at low prices.”
The thirty-and-under crowd would probably be most interested in this book, but anyone can benefit from a refresher course on the basics of financial planning, particularly when filtered through Suze’s financial “tough love” approach.
Stacy Francis, CFP, CDFA, is BettyConfidential’s Money Maven. Read more from Stacy here.