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Suze Orman is a financial adviser best known for her television appearances on The Suze Orman Show, and for her best-selling self-help financial planning books.
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In 1983, she left to join another firm as a vice president. Orman started her own firm in 1987.
Orman got her first media exposure through a local radio station after writing to complain about another guest that provided incorrect information on an investment product. "The next Saturday I went down there and did a show. After that, my phone started to ring off the hook," Orman told Success magazine. Soon Orman became a guest expert for other radio and television programs.
In 1995, Orman had her first book, You've Earned It, Don't Lose It, published. She went on an extensive tour to promote the work, which eventually sold 700,000 copies. Two years later, Orman hit the best-sellers list with The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. The book, based on a workshop that she gave, sold more than 3 million copies. "It was at that point that I made the change from being a financial adviser who wanted simply to give a book to my clients to a No.1 New York Times best-selling author," Orman told People magazine.
Orman's career continued on its upward trajectory with 1999's The Courage to Be Rich. That same year, she was named one of Money magazine's "Power Brokers." More popular titles soon followed, including 2001's The Road to Wealth and 2003's The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life. She also became a hit on public television with a number of financial specials based on her books.
In 2003, Orman received accolades for her television series, The Suze Orman Show. Her show won a Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Radio and Television organization in the National/Network/Syndicated Talk Show category. The following year, Orman won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show Host for the The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life special. She went on to win the 2005 Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Program Host—a feat she repeated in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. She also won a second Daytime Emmy Award in 2006 for Outstanding Service Show Host for The Money Show for the Young Fabulous & Broke.
In addition to her numerous awards, Orman has received critical praise for her work. A critic for Entertainment Weekly wrote "Suze has managed to do for money what Trading Spaces did for design and Top Chef did for food—make it accessible and entertaining."
Orman did, however, come under fire for not predicting the recent economic downturn. She told U.S. News & World Report that she "believed the CEOs that went on television...and told everyone it was going to be OK, that they were fine." Orman indicated that the crisis was a wake-up call for many. "Our problems were that we were spending money that we never had," she said. She also faced criticism for her business relationships with the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade and credit reporting company Fair Isaacs.
Once a waitress earning $400 a month, Orman has become a nationally known personality. She has even been spoofed several times on the popular late night comedy series Saturday Night Live.
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