Anchor says financial responsibility important

Financial expert Suze Orman warned students and faculty Monday night that if they want to secure a better financial future they need to invest wisely.

In a lecture, titled “The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life,” CNBC’s Orman gave some of her expert financial advice to those in attendance at the USF Special Events Center.

Orman is the host of The Suze Orman Show as well as a best-selling author of six books dealing with financial advice. Her financial expertise can be attributed to her 23 years of examining investment portfolios, said Cathy Grant, an assistant director for community relations at USF.

During the lecture, Orman explained how some people are taken advantage of when they do not invest their money wisely.

Orman said people who make financial investments need to do their homework in order to become smart investors.

“The information presented to you about your money by most financial institutions is not as honest and forthcoming as it should be,” Orman said. “You need to be teach yourself better so that these companies are not making money off of you.”

Throughout the lecture, Orman provided her own personal list of do’s and don’ts investors should follow in order to be successful.

The topics she covered included financial market activity, when to buy stocks, when to invest in mutual funds, how to mortgage your house for success and what types of insurance to buy.

Orman said in order for people to be smart investors they need to stay informed about the state of the economy as well as activity in the past. This knowledge allows investors to forecast economic trends that occur while saving money, Orman said.

“Anything at anytime can send the market in a tizzy,” she said.

Orman also said there are two internal obstacles to accumulating wealth that are present in everyone. One is fear and the other is hope. When most people invest money in stocks, they have a hard time selling them because they are afraid that the stock will go up immediately after they sell it. This fear causes investors to hold on to stocks instead of selling them, Orman said.

Some investors are on the opposite side of the equation. This occurs when an investor holds on to a falling stock in hopes that it will go back up.

“When the market goes down, it is going to take everything with it,” Orman said.

Orman said there are two main reasons many investors are losing money today. One is that they do not have a clear plan of action of what to do with their money. As a result, investors don’t know what to do, so they don’t act. Orman said they basically become paralyzed.

The other reason is that investors attempt to squeeze out every possible dollar from their investments. This happens when investors keep holding on to a stock instead of selling it for fear they may miss out on a few extra dollars. Orman calls this the “all-or-nothing” approach.

“Just because something is a winner doesn’t mean it will be like that in the future,” Orman said.

In addition to discussing financial markets, Orman also touched upon the benefits of investing in a house.

“I personally believe that the most important thing you can invest in in the entire world is your own personal home,” Orman said.

Orman listed just a few of the benefits, which included having your home paid off by the time a person retires, having secure returns on your money and having an extra tax write-off.