The Courage to be Richby Suze Orman
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"What would it take for you to change the course of your life?" reads the first sentence of The Courage to Be Rich, a book that goes beyond the phenomenal success of The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom in challenging and inspiring us to realize our full financial potential, and to realize as well that the bottom line of life is comprised of much more than money. With her signature blend of inspirational and practical advice, Suze Orman asks us to look within, asserting her powerful conviction that once we achieve a state of emotional clarity regarding money, financial clarity will always follow.
-- Lucy T. Heckman, St. John's University Library, Jamaica, NY
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 6.28(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.28(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
An Excerpt from The Courage to Be RichLove and Money
It never fails. When everything is working out between two people, they think love is so simple. Yet when the disagreements start, love becomes a complicated venture indeed. Often, the central complication is -- surprise, surprise -- money. Couples are always saying things like "Oh, money is killing our relationship" or "We were doing fine until money came between us." When I hear this, all I can think is that money has never done a thing to anyone, never hurt a fly. Money is just money. But it is the power you give your money, or your attitudes toward and your fears about your money, that can wreak havoc on the most important relationships in your life.
Not surprisingly, by now you may realize that you are in a relationship with money, whether you think of it in these terms or not. And like the other relationships in your life, this one needs work to make it successful. You must take actions that will create possibilities rather than destroy them, actions that will help you feel secure rather than afraid, and above all else, actions that will establish, in your private world, the sense that you are unconditionally loved for who you are and not for what you have. The first law of money states: People first, then money. It is also an essential law of relationships: People first, then money.
Which doesn't mean that money doesn't matter when it comes to love, because it matters a great deal. Of all the kinds of intimacy there are -- physical, emotional, domestic -- financial intimacy is perhaps the hardest to achieve, and, it could easily be argued, the most important in the long run. You can turn over your body, heart, and soul to someone, but the union will never be complete unless you link your fortunes (and misfortunes) together, too, for better or worse, and forever.
The Financial Courtship
You have met the person of your dreams. You have never loved anyone so much in your entire life. Finally you decide to get married or join lives and live happily ever after, till death do you part. The vows truly are holy, and you mean them with every ounce of your being. Could money get in the way of this love of yours? Not possible, you say. Until it does. If you haven't walked carefully and honestly through all the money issues ahead of time, I can promise you that money will one day become an obstacle in your relationship. Even if you think you have the subject well covered, you'll probably find that money becomes a problem later on: you change, your partner changes, the money grows or fails to -- all potential reasons for disagreement. Arguments over money trigger divorce in more cases than you can imagine -- arguments that are not necessarily based on deceit or lies but on how we deal with money. Because most of us deal with it very, very differently. This is so hard to understand ahead of time and so painful to discover after the fact. On your own, you handle your money your own way. You worry, sure, and sometimes perhaps you spend money you shouldn't -- you go overboard on gifts for yourself and others, occasionally you're late in paying your bills. Yet when someone else has a stake in your money and you have a stake in theirs, sloppy habits or reckless spending or even wildly divergent views on how to manage money can strike at the core of how safe and secure you feel and can make you feel violated in a very intimate way. When the first argument over money erupts, most of us are taken by surprise. And the only -- the only -- way to protect yourself and ensure that your relationship will thrive is to look at money issues in the most naked and honest way you can. Before you utter a single vow, and many times thereafter.
You must open the dialogue. Not just "Oh gosh, who's going to pay for what?" -- which we'll get to. But you must attempt to talk together in a rational, candid way about the serious side of money, matters that over time go from being background issues in a relationship to those of the highest priority -- how you spend, how you save, how well you share.
- How do both of you feel about saving money for the future? How committed are you both to investing for tomorrow? Do you both agree that money you've saved shouldn't be touched, or would one of you be willing to tap into your savings for such luxuries as vacations or a hot tub or a new sound system?
- Are your investment styles -- be they aggressive or conservative -- in sync?
- Can you talk together, no matter how young you are, about retirement?
- Are you in agreement over who does the bookkeeping and pays the bills?
- Do your notions of generosity match?
- Do you agree about your responsibilities toward your respective families?
- Do you have a prenuptial agreement? Do you want one? How does that make each of you feel?
- In the case of a job transfer, whose job takes precedence?
- If your incomes vary greatly, who is expected to pay for what, and how do you come to that decision?
- If you have children, what will happen if one of you wants to stay at home with them? How will the money work then?
- Do you feel the same about the financial aspects of child rearing -- public vs. private schools, etc.?
- Are relations with any ex-spouses clearly defined?
- Do you know how much your partner earns? How much he or she spends every month? How much his or her bills are every month?
- Do you both pay your bills on time, or is one of you consistently late?
- Is any past credit card debt, school loans, or bankruptcy being brought into the relationship?
- Do both of you have a good credit report, or does one of you have the credit rating from hell?
- Are you both prepared to share your assets or your income, or does one of you feel the need to keep some aspects of your financial life separate? If so, why? Can you both live with that?
From The Courage to Be Rich by Suze Orman. Copyright © 1999 by Suze Orman. Published by Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc., Professional/Trade Division. All rights reserved.
What People are saying about this
"The reigning shaman and high priestess of personal finance...Orman's new book, The Courage to Be Rich, is another blockbuster."The San Francisco Examiner
"Very sound and practical advice."The Chicago Tribune
"People just can't seem to get enough of financial expert Suze Orman...The former Prudential Bache Securities vice president manages to help people change the way they think about money, convincing them that they can't change their financial destiny until they learn to truly value and respect money. The Courage to Be Rich covers the basics of money managementfrom buying a home to information on investing...Savvy financial strategies."The Dallas Morning News
"The Courage To Be Rich combines practical financial advice with an understanding of the fears a lot of people face when confronted with the bottom line."Good Morning America
"[Suze Orman] knows how to work a crowd as she preaches the gospel of abundance... Her enthusiasm is infectious."The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Meet the Author
Suze Orman is the author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers, The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom; The Courage to Be Rich; The Road to Wealth; and The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life; and the national bestsellers, You've Earned It, Don't Lose It and Suze Orman's Financial Guidebook. The host of her own national award-winning CNBC-TV show, which airs every Saturday night, she is a contributing editor to O: The Oprah Magazine and is the featured writer on Yahoo! Personal Finance with her bi-weekly Money Matters series. She has written, co-produced, and hosted four PBS specials based on her bestselling books, which are among the network's most successful fundraisers ever. The most recent, inspired by The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life, earned her an Emmy award.
A Certified Financial Planner Professional®, Suze Orman directed the Suze Orman Financial Group from 1987-1997, served as Vice President — Investments for Prudential Bache Securities from 1983-87, and from 1980-83, was an Account Executive at Merrill Lynch. In 2003 she was inducted into the Books for Better Life Awards' Hall of Fame in recognition of her ongoing contributions to self-improvement. A highly sought-after public speaker worldwide, she was profiled in Worth magazine's 100th issue as among those "who have revolutionized the way America thinks about money."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book is not so much about financial advice as it is about how your thinking can impact your ability to reach your financial success and dreams. The book looks at attitudes and core beliefs - in this respect, it is excellent.
I find this book extremely instructing. She is not only talking about money at the level of money, but emotion, which a lot of us ignore. Not only that, I learned a lot from her book. This is the first book of hers that I'm reading and I expect more from her new books.
Advice based on spirituality. Another great spiritual book is A Guide to the Scriptures which has numerous prosperity scriptures in it.
I bought this book hoping to find some real insider tips to saving money and building wealth. However, I found the book to be overly simple. Author does not explore any of the subject in greater detail. Not recommended.
The Courage to Be Rich provides support for overcoming your stalled thinking about money. If you lack confidence about money, have money problems, or have bad feelings about your relationship to money, you will find this book helpful. I have graded the book from the perspective of people in this category. On the other hand, if you have lots of money and feel good about what you are doing, you will hate this book. This is a self-help guide more along the lines of Unleash the Power Within than it is a financial guide. If you want to add to your perspectives about how to make more money, I suggest that you shift to Rich Dad, Poor Dad instead. For you, The Courage to Be Rich is a one star book. I appreciate the care and consideration Ms. Orman shows to her readers who may be suffering from emotional overwhelm (such as often occurs during and after a divorce, after a loved one dies, or while buying a first home). Her lists will probably help these anguished souls. Although money has a lot to do with math, Ms. Orman correctly perceives that it is all about emotion as well. Emotion and math do not mix well, and she provides many useful insights into how to make them work better together. An experienced and credentialed psychological counselor she is not, however. I suspect this book would have been better with two co-authors, one who is an expert on emotions about money and the other who is an expert on money to supplement Ms. Orman's skill as a communicator. Ms. Orman is neither, so th is book's treatment is pretty lightweight in both areas. But if it gets you started in dealing with your issues, all the better for you. The only part that seemed totally inadequate was her writing off of tax issues: You will spend a lot of money on taxes in your life and your choices do have a large impact on how much you will spend. Her advice is to feel good about paying more taxes because your income is higher. By contrast, someone who really wants to be rich needs to compound as much money tax-free or tax-deferred as possible. This book does not begin to address that subject. The Courage to Be Rich is a better book for dealing with specific life traumas such as divorce, death, and so forth. This book would be a good gift to a friend who has such an event in his or her life. Her stories are good, because they bring home the message of how crippling too much emotion can be, so we take this problem more seriously. I think the biggest misconception people have about money is that they do not need to address their feelings about money. In that sense, Ms. Orman is doing a lot for us by reminding us that we have deeply held beliefs and attitudes that deserve being reexamined from time to time. I enjoyed reading the book, although it only added to stockpile of stories, rather than my knowledge. Maybe the book's obvious appeal for general audiences can best be understood by thinking about the experience of watching a tear-jerker of a movie or television show -- you get a great feeling from knowing that the cataclysm is not happening to you. If you have heard Ms. Orman speak at length on television (which she does a lot), you can probably safely skip this book. To get a good return on your time with this review, I suggest that you pick one belief about money that you have where strong emotion comes into play. If that emotion does not serve you well, rephrase what you believe until it does serve you in the right way. Then, you'll have mastered a skill for having more! Live with rich thoughts and warm emotions! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
I read this book and it is one of this year's best. Achieving financial freedom is the first step toward independence. If you don't have financial freedom, you don't have anything. So please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.