The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying

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Financial expert Suze Orman is changing the way America thinks about money. She outlines a revolutionary approach to the way we save money, handle debt, and plan for our retirement. By examining and understanding our earliest attitudes toward money, we can honestly confront where we stand financially and take the necessary action toward financial freedom. Orman deals with managing money responsibly, handling credit card debt, planning for our retirement, trusts versus wills and more. You will understand why ...
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Overview

Financial expert Suze Orman is changing the way America thinks about money. She outlines a revolutionary approach to the way we save money, handle debt, and plan for our retirement. By examining and understanding our earliest attitudes toward money, we can honestly confront where we stand financially and take the necessary action toward financial freedom. Orman deals with managing money responsibly, handling credit card debt, planning for our retirement, trusts versus wills and more. You will understand why learning to trust yourself more than others is crucial.

  • Closed Captioned
  • 1 VHS Cassette - 127 minutes

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The words that seem to come up most often when people describe Suze Orman are "intense" and "passionate." These two qualities come through clearly in her inspiring book The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. A financial adviser since the early '70s, Orman has come to believe that many of her clients know perfectly well what they ought to be doing to manage their money but still somehow neglect to do it. Taking readers back to their past to unearth their earliest memories of money and encouraging them to confront the fears that hold them back from taking action, Orman hopes to convince readers that they do have the power to control their money and their lives.
Robert Barker
Nestled inside [Orman's] cocoon of human-potential bunk are fine chapters on estates, trusts, and insurance—the three deadliest topics on earth—which she handles deftly. The book's single-best section, How To Be a Stockbroker, is a must reading if you use or are tempted to use a full-service broker.
BusinessWeek Magazine
BUST Magazine
It's easy to make fun of all this spiritual accounting stuff, but in the end, the book is actually extremely useful, even vital....Perhaps none of us will ever stop worrying, as promised in the book's subtitle. But The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom goes a long way towards that, and towards reconfiguring women's attitude towards wealth and power. Charge it today!
Library Journal
Orman is the head of her own financial-planning firm, a certified retirement specialist, and a best-selling author You've Earned It, Don't Lose It. In her latest work, she analyzes the psychological and spiritual factors involved in how we perceive money. Her definition of financial freedom is "when you have power over your fears and anxieties instead of the other way around." Through case studies, Orman illustrates the psychological importance of money and its effect on our lives. She offers practical guidelines for investing, preparing a budget, purchasing a home, getting out of debt, and writing a will. A helpful financial worksheet is included.
— Lucy T. Heckman, St. John's University Library, Jamaica, NY
Library Journal
Suze Orman, best-selling author and financial planner/advisor, offers viewers a nonstop, easy-to-understand trip to economic security. She carefully and simply explains how we need to take control of our financial foolishness, or profligacy, and to think realistically/positively about money and how it can provide security for the future. Orman's principles/guidance on accepting personal responsibility (not relying on professionals), planning for retirement and death (revokable living trust and long-term care insurance), avoiding bankruptcy (excessive use of credit), investing prudently, and keeping abreast of financial events are sound, thought-provoking, and much needed. The 9 Steps is a dynamic motivational program for all adults. Community and college libraries will find this program in great demand.--Nancy Z. Spillman, Los Angeles Trade-Technical Coll.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517707913
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/25/1997
  • Pages: 285
  • Product dimensions: 6.35 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Suze Orman
Currently, Ms. Orman leads the Financial Workshops for Avon LifeDesigns, a fully owned subsidiary of Avon, Inc. These one-day seminars, which are specifically geared to women, help foster financial independence and have achieved astounding success. Avon LifeDesigns has recently released its own magazine supporting these workshops and Ms. Orman is featured regularly.
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Read an Excerpt

What Do You Want from Your Money?
What do you want from your money? College tuition for your kids? A bigger house and a new car? Security when you retire?
Wouldn't it be great simply to have enough money so you don't have to worry?

The "enough money" part of that equation is easy. By the time you finish this book you will understand everything you need to know about managing and protecting your money and making it grow. The "so you don't have to worry" part is much more complex. It actually has nothing to do with how much money you have or how little. You can balance your checkbook until you're blue in the face, you can move money every day between your mutual funds, you can double your life insurance, you can buy lottery tickets—and none of it will do you any good until you get beyond the worry and fear. The fear of money, the fear of not having enough, the fear of having enough, the fear of taking action, the fear of inaction.

There isn't a part of our lives that money doesn't touch—it affects our relationships, the way we go about our everyday activities, our ability to make dreams reality, everything. Most of us, I think, have a core of anxiety that we carry around with us, though we may not admit it to ourselves. That is part of money's power over us.

From years as a financial planner I have learned that true financial freedom doesn't depend on how much money you have. Financial freedom is when you have power over your fears and anxieties instead of the other way around. That's why, in this book, we'll address first the fears, then the finances.

Whatever their circumstances—in debt, working, downsized, afraid of becoming downsized,retired, having just inherited money, having just lost money—my clients invariably arrive with a handful of financial papers and a heart full of
anxieties. Like most certified financial planners, I started my practice to help other people with their money, but as time went on, I realized that it was far more than their money (or lack of it) that needed attention. Today new clients arrive expecting me to ask to see their papers. Instead I ask them first to share their fears.

It's never too soon to begin, and it's never too late, no matter how the bottom-line numbers read today on your particular handful of financial papers. This book presents a nine-step process that will take you back into the past, when your attitudes about money were born and began to grow. It will help you face the present honestly and clear the way for you to create a future you will love.
I know it works. As you read this book you will meet others who have taken the steps toward financial freedom—and finally made possible the lives they dreamed about.

You will also see that if I could do it against all odds, so can you. When I was very young I had already learned that the reason my parents seemed so unhappy wasn't that they didn't love each other; it was that they never had quite enough money even to pay the bills. In our house money meant tension, worry, and sorrow. When I was about thirteen my dad owned his own business, a tiny chicken shack where he sold take-out chicken, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. One day the oil that the chicken was fried in caught fire. In a few minutes the whole place exploded in flames. My dad bolted from the store before the flames could engulf him. This was when my mom and I happened to arrive on the scene, and we all stood outside watching the fire burn away my dad's business.

All of a sudden my dad realized that he had left his money in the metal cash register inside the building, and I watched in disbelief as he ran back into the inferno, in the split second before anyone could stop him. He tried and tried to open the metal register, but the intense heat had already sealed the drawer shut. Knowing that every penny he had was locked in front of him, about to go up into flames, he literally picked up the scalding metal box and carried it outside. When he threw the register on the ground, the skin on his arms and chest came with it.

He had escaped the fire safely once, untouched. Then he voluntarily risked his life and was severely injured. The money was that important. That was when I learned that money is obviously more important than life itself.

From that point on, earning money, lots of money, not only became what drove me professionally, but also became my emotional priority. Money became, for me, not the means to a life rich in all kinds of ways; money became my singular goal.

Years later this kid from the South Side of Chicago was a broker with a huge investment firm. I was rich, richer than I could have imagined. And I realized I was profoundly unhappy; the money hadn't bought or brought me happiness. So if money wasn't the key to happiness, what was? It was then that I began a quest, which has taken me deep into the meaning of life—and the meaning of money.
I don't know if I have discovered the meaning of life, but I have learned a great deal about what money can and cannot do. And it can do a lot. Your money will work for you, and you will always have enough—more than enough—when you give it energy, time, and understanding. I have come to think that money is very much like a person, and it will respond when you treat it as you would a cherished friend—never fearing it, pushing it away, pretending it doesn't exist, or turning away from its needs, never clutching it so hard that it hurts. Sometimes it's fatter, sometimes it's skinnier, sometimes it doesn't feel so good and needs special nurturing. But if you tend it like the living entity it is, then it will flourish, grow, take care of you for as long as you need it, and look after the loved ones you leave behind.

Most of us already know at least some of the steps we could take to free ourselves from money anxieties—we could manage our debt better, arrange for our children's education, strategically plan now for later, protect what we've saved, save more. Yet most of us are paralyzed, too, when it comes to actually taking these steps, however wise they seem, however much we think we really want to take control.

What good will it do you to know what you should do, if you can't do it?

The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom: A Preview
The first steps of this book take you back to discover why you don't do the things you know you should do and bring you beyond that—to where you can take action. These steps will free you to open up a dialogue about money with your parents, your children, and, most important, yourself. The next three steps are the laws of managing money. These laws are must-do's. They cover everything from wills and trusts and what insurance you need (and don't need) to new ways to think about debt and your 401(k) or retirement plan to how to invest and what to invest in. They teach you why you must trust yourself more than you trust anyone else with your money.
The goal of these particular steps is to make you as independent from financial advisers as possible. Over the years, I have learned that it is in my clients' best interest for them to take control over their money, not to relinquish it, even to me. If, later on, they choose to entrust their money to someone else, with these steps they would no longer be able to be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous adviser—or by their unwillingness to face up to the facts and figures of their own finances. Once you take these steps, you will discover the exhilaration that comes from wanting to deal with your money, not just having to deal with it.
The last three steps take you beyond the realm of finances, to the wealth that money can't buy.

When it comes to money, freedom starts to happen when what you do, think, and say are one. You'll never be free if you say that you have more than enough, then act as if and think you don't. You'll never be free if you think you don't have enough, then act as if and say you do. You will have enough when you believe you will and take the actions to express that belief. And you'll have more than enough when you realize that you can be rich at any income because you are more than your money, you are more than your job or title, than the car you drive or the clothing you wear. Your own power and worth are not judged by what money can sell and what money can buy; true freedom cannot be bought or sold at any price. True freedom, true wealth, is that which can never be lost.


From the eBook edition.

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Table of Contents

What Do You Want from Your Money? 1
Step 1 Seeing How Your Past Holds the Key to Your Financial Future 7
Step 2 Facing Your Fears and Creating New Truths 17
Step 3 Being Honest With Yourself 29
Step 4 Being Responsible to Those You Love 43
Step 5 Being Respectful of Yourself and Your Money 115
Step 6 Trusting Yourself More Than You Trust Others 189
Step 7 Being Open to Receive All That You Are Meant to Have 249
Step 8 Understanding the Ebb and Flow of the Money Cycle 261
Step 9 Recognizing True Wealth 269
Index 274
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Interviews & Essays

On Tuesday, May 5th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Suze Orman to discuss THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM.


Moderator: Welcome, Suze Orman! Thank you for taking the time to join us online this evening. How are you doing tonight?

Suze Orman: The truth is I could not be better if I tried.


Lilian from Brooklyn, NY: What was your initial reason for writing this book? Was there something that helped form your theories that you write about in the book?

Suze Orman: The initial reason for writing this book was to share the extraordinary insights that I have gained throughout the years of being an actual financial advisor and dealing with people's money. Unlike many financial authors who do nothing more than write about money, you have to remember, for 18 years I sat across a desk, watching people laugh, cry, flourish, and be afraid of their money. And handing over that responsibility to me, I learned a lot from my own mistakes, from their mistakes, and the mistakes of the financial community and how they render most of us powerless when it comes to our money. That is why I wrote the book.


Fred from New York City: I'm self-employed. I have no benefits package from a large company. Does your book include information on how to set up retirement packages, how IRAs work, and maybe how to start investing?

Suze Orman: Yes, absolutely! There are so many things as a self-employed person that are actually more beneficial than if you were an employee of someone else. There are even ways to get money as a self-employed person into a Roth IRA if you know the tricks of the trade. The book has been updated with all the new tax laws, which you can find on pages 141 through 147. That will help you tremendously.


Kendra from New Orleans, LA: How did you come up with the nine steps? What was the process like in determining these nine steps? Thanks!

Suze Orman: It was a process that revealed itself little by little by actually dealing with people's money that kind of just emerged over 18 years. It was a process that needed to emerge since things weren't making sense when it came to my clients. I would tell people to go and get a will, and for every simple action, six months later they would come back and it wasn't done. For instance, Kendra, do you have a will and a trust? And if not, why not? You know you need one. There is a reason that people were spending more money on credit cards than they knew they should be spending, and I couldn't figure out why at the time. Or simply saving for retirement -- they didn't do that either. So little by little I started to ask questions, questions of true value and meanings, rather than a sale for my commission and me. This book contains truths, not just words, and truths reveal themselves slowly and over time, but they do last forever.


Richard from Carlsberg, PA: I am a college student, age 20, and I made the unfortunate mistake in college of maxing out my credit card and getting myself into some serious debt. Now that I am thousands in the hole, I realize that I am screwed, and I cannot afford to really get myself out because the payments I can afford are barely the interest accumulating on my bill. What should I do, any suggestions?

Suze Orman: First thing to do, Robert, is tune in to "Oprah" tomorrow, where you will see me hosting a show with 15 kids just like you -- under the age of 21 and with $200,000 in credit card debt. So please know that you are not alone. In the book in step five I give you ways to slowly, but surely get yourself out of the situation that you have gotten yourself into. It is extremely important that you know that you are worth far more than the negative balance on your credit card statement. I beg you not to judge your self-worth by the red ink of your net-worth. Please start reading page 158 in the book and it will help you considerably. If you cannot afford the book, know that on the "Oprah" web site tomorrow night, they will excerpt portions of it to help all of you. There are ways out. Thank God time is still on your side.


Victoria Eden from Grampian, PA: I am currently going through a divorce. I am 39, with five children at home, ages 18 to twin boys that are soon to be seven. I am, thankfully, receiving child support of $754 and $521 from my daughter's SSI checks. I have assumed half of the debts of $40,000. I am buying my home on contract of deed from my father, which is a four-bedroom house on a double lot on Main Street of town. My house payments are $300 for seven years. I am currently looking for employment which would accommodate being at work after my children are at school and before they arrive home at 3:30pm. The area I am living is very depressed and employment is scarce. I am an Independent Travel Contractor, which means I work for commission only. Because I've just started my business, business is slow. Consequently, my credit is shot. Under the circumstances, should I file bankruptcy? Most of the debts are credit cards, which have already been charged off. Also, with having such limited income, how much should I be saving for emergencies? I am considering relocating and renting my house out, as eventually it will be paid for and could be an asset to me in the future. Do you think that would be a good idea or not? I await your reply.

Suze Orman: What did you originally purchase on those credit cards that maxed them out? I need to know that before I can answer your question about bankruptcy.


Marie from Statesboro, GA: What percentage of a paycheck do you recommend using to repay debt?

Suze Orman: It will depend on if you have a 401k plan at work where your employer matches your contribution or not. It will depend on what the current interest rate on that credit card is. And how much you actually owe and how old you are. What is very important to learn is that you are all not a herd of cattle where one answer feeds you all. You are all individuals with individual personalities as well, and I have more respect for each and every one of you than to give you just a pat answer. I can tell you this however, that debt of any kind will [always be] bondage. You will never have financial freedom if you have debt.


Gary from Albuquerque: I'm 26 years old, single, no kids. Do I still need life insurance? When does one need life insurance?

Suze Orman: On no level do you need life insurance. Life insurance was never meant to be a permanent need. It was only meant to be there during your working years when you were still young, before you had assets accumulated. Most life insurance policies are sold to you, not purchased by you. Do you understand the difference between the two? You need life insurance if you have a family to protect and if you lost your income they wouldn't survive. There is no reason to have it at all otherwise. Again in the book on step four, I go over this in great detail. I go over when you need and when you are taken advantage of in most situations. Please look at page 70 in THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM.


Bernice from Massachusetts: I'm in the process of closing on my mother's estate. I'm expecting about $50,000 after assets have been probated and split among my siblings. What is my best investment option so as to not get whacked at tax time next year? How much in taxes should I anticipate losing? I'm also thinking about using a portion of this money towards a new car. Is that unwise?

Suze Orman: Again it is very difficult to answer the question since I don't know very essential things about you...like do you have credit card debt? How do you feel about investing? Why do you care if you get whacked at tax time or not? For, the truth is the more taxes you owe simply means the more money that you made. However, if you were to invest in a good no-loan without commission, one like an index fund, you will have very little tax ramifications while your money sat in that fund. If you held it long enough and it continued to grow, you will owe capital gains tax, but may you only be so lucky.


Harold from Boston: Do you think that the wealth in the world is distributed in a rational way? Why do you think that wealth is distributed in the way that it is? Do you think that the manner in which wealth is distributed will ever change?

Suze Orman: There is nothing fair about some people working 40 hours in a factory or our schoolteachers who are in charge of our children's lives being paid a wage or a salary that they can barely get by on. Versus those, and this includes myself, who make extraordinary amounts of money and in most cases, with far less effort than the people who really keep this world running. How one changes this I don't know. We have a hard enough time on how we think about money on an individual level let alone on a national one. Do I wish we had a world where everybody had everything they needed and wanted? You bet I do. However, I have no idea how to accomplish that in such an economic system like the one we live in.


Darrell B from California: I'm just about six years from an early retirement and have done very well in the stock market where I've almost doubled my money over the last 20 months with aggressive NASDAQ technology stocks. I know I should take a more conservative approach as I approach retirement, but I'm reluctant to give up more potential gains for bonds or a set five- or six-percent return. Any advice?

Suze Orman: When you take early retirement if you think that you will need to live off of the money that is in your retirement plan, then as time goes on, you need to start scaling down into more conservative investments that will not hurt you if the market turns south in a time of your life when you will really need the money. You happen to be in a sector of the market that is one of the riskiest of all. As quickly as they can go up, I have seen some stocks lose 50 percent, and please remember, Darrell, if something goes down by 50 percent, it has to go back up 100 percent just for you to break even. Don't push the envelope too far, for I have seen it backfire many times. The mere fact that you are asking the questions, tells me that you yourself are starting to become afraid. A lack of clarity usually leads to losses. Get back to the fundamentals of why you bought what you bought. If those reasons are still true to this day then stay put and put your fear aside. Six years is still a significant time away.


Frannie from Illinois: Hello, Suze Orman! I'm intrigued by your concept of letting money go in order to receive money. How does it work that if you donate money or contribute to someone other than yourself, you'll open yourself to "all that you are meant to have"? I'm a single mother with two kids, making $18,000 a year. I can't possibly spare a penny to donate! I appreciate you taking my question. Thanks.

Suze Orman: The mere fact that you think that you can't possibly spare a penny means that you will never be able to do so. Your thoughts and how you feel about money are the main source of what attracts or repels money to you. If I were to take a dollar and rip it up in front of all of you, you would all gasp, thinking how could I be so disrespectful of money, yet none of you think twice when you throw away a magazine or food that spoils in the fridge. But money in money form has an energy to it; it is alive and it responds to you just like people do. When you feel powerful in life, people feel attracted to you. When you feel powerless, nobody is around. Money is the same way. If you feel so powerless that you can't give money away, you will never get a return. When you feel generous you feel powerful, and when you feel powerful, money is attracted to you. How much to give? Each and every one of you needs to decide what is a respectable amount. Show your children that giving can be responsible. Make it a practice that once a month you take yourself to a place of worship or where you feel comfortable and make an offering for everything that you have. Show them that there is always enough to give away because there is always somebody that needs more than you do.


Ernie from San Diego: We are DINKs in our early 40s. We max out our 401ks, started Roth IRAs, and have a modest townhouse with low mortgage payments. Our annual tax burden is quite high due to low mortgage interest and small real estate tax write-offs. The 15-year mortgage has a rate below seven percent and should be paid off in about 10 years, at which time we plan on reducing our work schedules to the bare minimum. Should we buy a larger/more expensive home for the tax write-offs and lease our town-home?

Suze Orman: Absolutely not! If you continue to expand simply to save at most 50 cents on every dollar, your dream of being able to retire early will go by the wayside. Stop being so obsessed with the amount of taxes you have to pay. I can guarantee you that I pay a hundred times more in taxes than you, and I have adopted the attitude that I am happy to do so. When you concentrate on what you have rather than how much you have, your own thoughts begin to create your own future. How many people for the simple sake of trying to save on taxes wouldn't be able to pay their bills? I myself, today as we speak, just bought an apartment in NYC. I paid cash for it; therefore it will offer me no tax write-off whatsoever. However, it does offer me the freedom of thought that if anything were to go wrong, I would be able to pay for it. That is part of the key to financial freedom, please don't become a slave to you money simply to avoid paying taxes. Learn how to buy what you need versus what you can afford. I could have afforded a lot bigger an apartment, but I didn't need it. Stay respectful of your money and what it can and can't do, and when you do take that retirement plunge you will be swimming in a pool of freedom rather than imprisonment.


DebbieLou from Middletown, Ohio: Just wanted to say hello from Ohio... I have your book but haven't finished it yet. My first step is to "up" my 401k to the six percent ceiling... I'll be turning 40 this year and I have nothing right now to show for my hard-earned money... My three teenage sons usually end up eating it! Thanks for all your information...

Suze Orman: Debbie, please know the six percent ceiling is incorrect. Most corporations allow you contribute up to $10,000 or a maximum of 10 percent. The six percent is what the corporation matches. Please don't limit yourself to just that amount.


Mark from Michigan: I am a 35-year-old married father of two. My kids are 3 1/2 and 1 year old. What would you recommend as the best avenue to invest for their college education?

Suze Orman: I would definitely recommend aggressive growth mutual funds -- again, no loans that don't have commission on them. However a more important question is whose name should they be held in. Please read in detail why I don't like the new education IRAs, as I think it is extremely dangerous to hold money in your children's name. There are far better ways for you to invest that money. I talk about this in the book in great detail starting on page 248.


Harold from Boston: What do think is the single most important factor in accumulating wealth other than luck? I would suggest that it is self-discipline.

Suze Orman: It is self-discipline. That is true, and the belief that you can do it, the belief in yourself and your abilities. Telling yourself that you can versus you can't. Creating new truths and going for it. To put it in a nutshell, the two most important things needed are self-effort and grace. Grace is always there for us. When we work as hard with self-effort as the grace is working, then you have true flight in the financial freedom.


Burt from Scottsdale, AZ: Is it good for an older person to have insurance for long-term nursing care?

Suze Orman: Yes, absolutely! Burt, one out of three of you will spend some time in a nursing home after the age of 65. Your health insurance will not pay for it, Medicare will not pay for it, only you will pay for it out of your own money. It is one of the most essential items that I think opens needs in their portfolio. The perfect age to start purchasing is age 54. My favorite long-term carrier is Continental Casualty. Please read starting on page 81, and you will get an education about everything you need to know about long-term care insurance.


Lisa from Murray Hill, NJ: What's the best way to draw a will so my heirs have to pay the least amount of taxes? Thank you for taking my question.

Suze Orman: A will does absolutely nothing on any level to save your heirs from paying taxes. There is only one way to save them from paying taxes and it is by creating an AB Tax planning trust. It is essential that you get this done with your wife prior to one of your doing. For if one of you dies, it can save you up to $245,000 of estate taxes this year. In step four of the nine-step book I again tell you about everything you need to know about trusts and wills starting on page 44. And for you especially, you might want to read starting on page 104 of the book.


Barbara from Santa Rosa: We are changing our lives thanks to you, your books, and soon tapes. We are currently in Vanguard Index 500 and wonder if we should be taking our profit and transfer to another of Vanguard's funds? Have you read in the paper, people should be exiting from index funds? We will be retiring sometime in the next ten years. May I send you a list of our investments and info on our situation, and ask for your help or suggestions -- [we] need someone we can trust. Don't want to bother you -- be glad to pay. Our situation is unique and needs advice. Also, husband is in Annuity -- should we get out and transfer money? I realize it should have not been purchased.

Suze Orman: Thank you for wanting me to help you. However, I no longer take personal clients and I am honored that you would have considered me. In regards to exiting from Vanguard, index funds will be hurt more than a managed fund if the market were to head south. For, they stay 100 percent guarded while a managed fund has the ability to go to cash. If it is starting to make you nervous than start the dollar/cost average, which I talk about in step five of the book, into a mutual fund that you feel comfortable with that does have the ability to go to cash.


DebbieLou from Middletown, Ohio: Suze, the cassette tapes you offered on QVC yesterday, are the tapes themselves available? I have your book that I got from QVC the last time you were on there...but I would love to have the tapes too! Do the tapes contain the same information as what is in the book? Thanks for answering...

Suze Orman: The tapes go beyond the realm of the book in that it brings the book alive in ways that only 30 true-life people can do. You laugh with them, you cry with them, and you hear them transform in front of your very eyes using the steps of this book. Currently these tapes are only available on QVC, and at this time we have no intention of bringing them to retail. They are a true journey with me serving as the guide; they are another way of learning what goes beyond the written word. The book itself is truly a magnificent peace of art that will paint a beautiful picture for you if you use its words as its paint brush.


Martin from Fairfield, CT: Hello, Ms. Orman. I saw somewhere that you will be on "Oprah" later this week. Is this true?

Suze Orman: Yes I will be on tomorrow and I will also be on the "Oprah" chat room @10 PM ET on AOL.


Samantha from Connecticut: When will your next book come out? What will it cover? Can you give us a sneak peek? Thanks, Suze!

Suze Orman: The next book release date will be Women's Day of next March. This sneak peek will be that it goes beyond financial freedom and into topics that were not discovered or discussed in my previous two books. It will be a journey into the soul of money and your life, with the end destination being one of a life of true wealth.


Moderator: Thank you so much for taking the time to field all of our questions, Suze Orman. And congratulations on the success of THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM. Do you have any final words of advice for our online audience?

Suze Orman: May financial freedom be something that each and every one of you believe that you can obtain. May you all know that you can become a money magnet. May you all know that you can be the master of your own financial destinies. Please have faith in yourselves and know that anything is possible. I wish you all a life of true wealth, and abundance of joy of all kinds.


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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2004

    Teaching A Professor A Thing Or Two.

    I have been a university professor for 22 years and have read hundreds of books pertaining to finance. Only in the last year or so have I read three books that have truly opened my eyes and are helping me teach my students more about the reality of finance, rather than the idea of it. The 9 Steps... is one of those books. The other 2 are in the related titles below. Believe it or not, I needed these books to break away my cemented way of thinking and teaching. I was all mixed up and set in my ways. After changing my diet of reading material, I feel resurrected and my students are more interested in my class. This being so, they are paying attention to what I say and are getting better grades as a result. In the big pecture, this university is producing a better quality of graduate for the worlds market place. This book was one of 3 wake up calls that has refired my vigor for teaching and I'm actually excited to go to work. My students don't nod off anymore and some intense discussions have taken place. Before I read this book, I felt like a burn out but now I feel like I have been given another shot at teaching. I only wish the American Government would run this country the way Suze Orman teaches people to run their financial lives. If they did, then this country would be rich again.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2003

    My first Suze Orman book!

    I first discovered Suze Orman on PBS. I listened to her approach to financial advice and questions and was ultimately impressed at the level of compassion that she had for her guests and for her clients. I realized during that show that there was something special about this woman. She has a level of charisma and self confidence that permeates everything she does. So when I set out to learn more about her I discovered this book '9 steps'. Once again I found her information was genuine and sincere. She has a lot of wonderful stories that concretely tie her steps into real world examples. I have been involved with futures and commodities, as an investor, broker, and author for 11 years. In all that time I have rarely seen such a knowledgeable, compassionate, financial advisor that can speak in layperson's terms. Ms.Orman succeeds in that respect an this book is worth owning.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2000

    A personal session with a financial counselor!

    After reading this financial primer, I felt as if I had been personally counseled by a financial consultant. Suze Orman goes beyond giving tips for managing money; this book takes you on a journey from past to present and beyond to conquer your fears and misgivings about money. She encourages us to capture a money memory from our past that has changed our perceptions about spending, and to move beyond them. Ms. Orman teaches us that money is a living thing, to be nurtured and respected so it can grow-- what a practical and profound insight! From credit card management to investing, The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom leads you through this discovery one step at a time. If you only read one book on how to organize your finances, this is it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2004

    Practicle Steps

    This book offers praticle (and somewhat common knowledge) steps to managing finances. For those who are deep in debt or faced with loosing their jobs, this book may be a bit too late.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2002

    A Spirtually Guided Help

    Suze Orman's "The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom", was a magnificent help in understanding a lot of my own financial problems even though I'm not yet of age to have any serious ones. She is helpful in her step by step explanations and each step and exercise are extremely simple to follow, although i must add that reading will be useless unless you do what she asks of you besides it makes the interaction with the book much more fun. I truly enjoyed the individual stories making financial freedom seem much more possible. If I hadn't read this book i don't know if I would be able to know what to look for when i get older. From finding out where my fears of money come from to having complete control over those fears. From respecting money to trusting myself with it this book teaches it all. Another great thing is the worksheets in step 6 they are a great help in planning. I strongly recommend people in financial trouble to read this book immediately it really is a wonderful help.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2000

    Not for lower income families!

    This book was FULL of useful information about this vs. that and defining vocabulary. I did learn alot of tips on investing for my future, but Suze's advise caters toward the wealthy. If I were to follow her guidelines, I would be putting one entire paycheck into investments. Her advise was just way too expensive for a family that only makes $45,000 per year. If you have an extra $1000 a month laying around, then this book is for you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2000

    Worry no more!

    For those of who have been either scared off or confused by words like, mutual funds, estate planning and retirement accounts, worry no more! What a wonderful book! This book explained and defined all of the parameters of finance that I was unfamiliar with. After reading this book, I felt that I was back in control of my financial life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2000

    The First Step? Listen to Suze's Nine Steps !

    We got our copy of Suze's 9 Steps..when we subscribed to our Las Vegas PBS Drive. A Great Tape...but too long...and too much detail...for the average listenor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2000

    perfect gift

    I'm giving a copy to each of my kids and telling them, 'If you don't read anything else in your life, you must read this.'

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