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Twitter smackdown! Orman vs. Kiyosaki

Finance gurus trade a few tweets as to whose advice is worse. What do you think?

By Teresa Mears Mar 4, 2010 5:23PM

Oooh, a Twitter smackdown!! It’s Suze Orman vs. Robert Kiyosaki in a knock-down, drag-out fight over who dishes out the best financial advice.

 

OK, maybe it was just a few tweets on the microblogging service, but it still has the personal-finance world all a-twitter (pun intended).

 

Robert, the author of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" books, started it, with this tweet about Suze:

I can't believe this lady - @suzeormanshow. No way in hell she believes what she teaches.

She tweeted back:

AT LEAST @theRealKiyosaki I DID NOT LEAD MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DOWN THE PATH TO LOSE ALL THEIR MONEY IN REAL ESTATE AS YOU DID. SHAME ON YOU

His response:

If we are talking losses @suzeormanshow how about the TRILLIONS lost through 401K's http://ow.ly/1cZW4
Real Estate flippers may have lost $, but I teach investing for cash flow, not capital gains. Good convo @suzeormanshow  

And then Zac Bissonnette of WalletPop wrote about the exchange, declaring Suze the winner of this smackdown.

 

Clearly Robert is having a good time. He wrote on his Facebook fan page:

Hah. Let's do the next debate live...

Anyone remember “Point/Counterpoint” from “60 Minutes”?

 

Zac has no doubt whose advice is superior:

So who's right? Without a doubt, Suze. Orman has made millions selling something fundamentally good: solid, conservative financial advice that will put people on the slow and steady path toward wealth and security. Her charisma and common-sense principles have allowed her to tap into a mass of people who otherwise never would have received any financial education.

Kiyosaki is a windbag who charges people tens of thousands of dollars for worthless real estate advice, fabricated his first book that was published as non-fiction, and offers up an alarming amount of bad advice -- see, for instance, this wonderful takedown from real estate guru John T. Reed.

Suze also has her detractors, including James Scurlock of The Big Money, who believes she too often blames the victim.

(You could spend all day on the Internet reading praise and damnation for both Suze and Robert, but this may not be the best use of your time.)

 

Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar, one of our partner blogs, did posts deconstructing both Orman and Kiyosaki. Hint: He likes Suze much better, but not as much as he likes Dave Ramsey and Jim Cramer.

We’re rather fond of Suze, even if we don’t agree with every word she says. Still, who can argue with advice to refrain from buying things you can't afford, to amass an emergency fund, to save for retirement and stay out of consumer debt?

 

We certainly agree with Robert that investing in real estate is an excellent way to build wealth, when you can make it work. But we maintain a strong skepticism of anyone who charges thousands of dollars for seminars, especially when the advice seems to be to take even more expensive seminars.

 

Whose advice should you take? It depends on your personality, your financial circumstances and where you are in your life.

 

Should you make minimum payments on your credit cards so you can amass an emergency fund, advice for which Suze was roundly criticized? It depends on your circumstances. If you fear you may lose your job, don’t have much credit and don’t have any way to pay your bills, I’d focus on the emergency fund. If you have enough credit to see yourself through, and your job is secure, I would pay off debt at a 29.9% interest rate rather than save money and earn 1% or less.

 

Suze vs. Robert? Whose advice do you like? Or do you think they are both wrong? Who do you think gives good personal- finance advice? Is this just another twempest in a tweapot?

 

Related reading:

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