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The Best Free Money Advice
Who can you trust with money advice?
Without a doubt, the American people have weathered scary financial times. Since the financial crash in 2007, good paying jobs disappeared in record numbers, investments did not rebound and a record number of consumers lost their homes to foreclosure. It’s seems that no one is to be trusted today with our money. Phone and mail scams and phishing schemes online are still occurring in alarming rates. People are losing money in more sophisticated ways today. When you can’t trust well-known financial giants with your hard earned money.
The financial advice we were given in the past is worthless. The people we trusted to help us save for and enjoy a worry-free retirement are the same scoundrels who are stealing our hard earned money and dreams.
The American ideal of retirement is seriously in danger of becoming extinct. To work hard most of your life and invest part of your paycheck into stocks, mutual funds, municipal bonds, and annuities, only to discover that big Corporations lost or stole it. This is the worst kind of crime any one from the all income brackets will agree on.
Financial advice to the rescue
The prime-time airways are filled with free financial advice that I have come to watch, think about and research. I cannot say that I wholeheartedly trust any advice that I see on TV or read about as yet. The Internet is flooded as well with advice which is just as diverse and contrary as those on the television. Popular syndicated radio programs such as Dave Ramsey,Ric Edelman, and others provide advice for every income level.
This whole financial “crisis" has spawned another cottage industry. It seems that scaring people into buying financial advice and products has replaced old fashioned good sense and investing.
Just like a lot of people today. I watch my retirement savings go up and down each week. I was too scared to take a peek at it until the end of the year statements came in and now I’m becoming more pro active. Somehow I've become accustomed to the idea of not making money with investments in the last 5-6 years. Hopefully that will change in the near future.
There are a few good, down-to-earth financial advisers that I trust. Someone who can give financial information in easy to understand, layman's terms will have a large following. One is Clark Howard. He provides free practical, no nonsense advice to working class people without the fluff. I've included a few more to consider as well.
Clark Howard Live giving Advice
Financial advice on air
Clark Howard is a newcomer to the TV financial advice scene and I do like his down to earth style and no frills program. He describes himself as “a consumer advocate with a nationally syndicated talk show designed to help you spend less, "save more and avoid getting ripped off."
He comes off as a real cheapskate, wearing a vest and simple cotton shirts, compared to the other advisers on the TV today who wear Armani’s and Rolex's. He actually goes into shops and shows consumers how to pick the best buy and does comparison shopping. Catch some repeats of this program; it's filled with handy tips.
He’s described as self made millionaire, who was fascinated by money and how to make it from an early age. I’ll bet he had an adult in his early life teach him about money. So far he seems to be genuine. Howard can be seen on several networks so do a search. He also has a number of books and his latest one is sold on Amazon titled “Clark Howard's Big Book of Bargains”.
Suze Orman on the OWN network
From waitress to financial guru
I want to discuss has become a fixture in the media and talk shows over the past five years. Suze Orman had worked her way up from a waitress to a full-fledged stockbroker and now doles out advice and reprimands listeners like your old school principal, on her nightly “Suze Orman Show.”
She has many books and kits on the internet and in bookstores, as many of us know. I read one of her first books but thought it was a little too simplistic.
She is a staple on public broadcasting programs,especially when it comes time for the annual fundraising campaign.
Suze has a call in program "Can I afford it?" on Saturdays on CNBC, giving people to go ahead or not to buy something they want. It’s a little entertaining and annoying at the same time. She treats callers like her adult children but I guess some people need that.
You can also see older programs on video or Youtube.
Other Financial advisers
There are a few more financial advisers you should listen to. They are Gerri Willis, Ali Veshi, and Jim Cramer . I watch their segments when I can and always learn something new. They share their expert knowledge in their respective fields.
Gerri had a program called The Willis Report and may be found on Fox Business weekdays . Gerri also has a book out titled “Home Rich.” Read more about her and some useful articles on CNN.
Ali Velshi can be seen on CNN Saturdays and Sundays on "Your Money."He is also on a number of websites and blogs. Youtube his older segments.
Of course,most people have heard of Jim Cramer and his "Mad Money" program that can be seen on CNBC 6pm and 11Pm weeknights and "Squawk on the Street" most mornings. He also has several books and videos about financial advice mostly on investing your money.
Financial Decisions Rest with the Consumer
You can read all the financial advice columns, listen to many television programs giving you their opinions, ask your broker or friends, but it all comes down to what you decide to do.
Suze Orman has no nonsense advice on television and in books so check her out.
Clark Howard has practical advice for the middle class without the fluff.
Jim Cramer is pro investing so read his books, oe watch him every day.
It’s true that the government and the financial raters let the public down tremendously. Public trust has been destroyed and we, the common people, will have a hard time believing what anyone from financial institutions advises from now on.
I am not playing a wait and see game anymore. That is, I am not waiting for statements and hoping for the best. I log on and read what is making money and what isn’t and make adjustments as I see fit.
Consumer programs and products have more information written about them than in past history. It’s us to you to search out the information and do your homework before buying anything today.
Don’t be a victim of scams and phishing online. It’s becoming so dangerous to buy without checking first. Gone are the days of trusting what you are told.
Use your credit cards only when you absolutely need to and watch your statements carefully. Even with that said, I and millions of other bank debit card holders, were victims of a computer hacker that broke into a national credit card and debit card processor’s data system. I didn’t learn of this till months later with a letter from my bank and instructions how to activate a new card. They didn’t seem very concerned at all. I guess this is a sign of the times we’re living in.
More legislation and better security for data information systems may help but I doubt it. Just make sure the greenbacks in your pocket are real and you’ll be fine. Maybe we’ll go back to stuffing the mattress again like they did after the 1929 stock market crash.
© 2009 Stacie L