by Matt B

There are thousands of people who make a very good living giving out financial advice. It is quite a formidable career choice. Even more so if you make your living under the bright lights of a television studio, spewing daily advice about personal finance.

I watch quite a bit of television. A good amount of this is finance related. Most of the financial news is very “up to the minute” news programming. Very little is related to the “big picture”. Which is what finance is all about. Prospering over time, not getting wealthy today. Needless to say, most of this programming is worthless to everyday people. Fortunately, there is also programming dedicated to personal finance. The majority of these programs contain volumes of valuable information that everyone can use.

Now we explore the biggest personalities that deliver information to our households.

Jim Cramer

“The loudest mouth in investing”, Jim Cramer, hosts “MAD MONEY”. A weekday show on Fox Business, with the aforementioned host screaming, yelling, and using zany sound effects to deliver his opinion on stocks. Basically, people call in and ask whether to buy or sell a certain stock, and this manimal barks his opinion directly into the camera. The two biggest problems I have with Mr. Cramer are that:
1) His suggestions have been proven wrong time and time again. I know that nobody is perfect with stock investment advice, but the percentages of correct calls he has made varies from 40%-65% from my research. These numbers are completely unimpressive. I know a few people who used to watch Mad Money nearly every day, so I told a friend of mine who watches to start following random companies that he was bullish on and track their gains in a watch portfolio on Yahoo. The results were poor. The economy had just started to faulter and he was still spitting out “BUY” suggestions left and right, so I give him a slight benefit of doubt, but if he knew better, the results would have been more positive.
2) He is Completely Obnoxious!!! I personally can not watch Mad Money for more than 4 or 5 minutes. Despite misinformation, I do not want to be yelled at, and I do not need sound effects injected into my investment advice. It is childish and completely unnecessary.

Suze Orman

“The Femmoney Guru”
Suze Orman hosts “The Suze Orman show”, a weekly show on CNBC. Despite much talk and debate about her sexuality, her advice is very helpful for many. For my personal taste, she comes off slightly “holier than thou”. I believe Suze thinks that she is smarter and better off than everyone else and likes to flaunt it. I also believe that she caters too much to personal finance for women. Since most of her advice applies to everyone, why not present it in that manner? It would only serve to make her more money and get more viewership. My biggest gripe with Suze is that her books are so smart and easy to read, but on screen she is too hard to swallow. I literally can not stomach it. She is a very intelligent woman with a lot to offer, especially in personal finance, but I’ll leave it to the ladies to watch her program.

“The Anti-Debt”
Dave is by far the most recognizable name in personal finance. “The Dave Ramsey Show” airs weeknights on Fox Business. This is the PREMIER program in personal finance, and for good reason. Mr. Ramsey has cemented himself as the go-to guy for solid, truthful personal finance advice. His book, The Total Money Makeover may as well be the bible in the world of personal finance. Although some criticize him for answers that are too simplistic for their preferences, I believe that his aim is to give them a starting point. Of course he would like them to buy his books to learn more in-depth…he is not going to give away all of his methods for free!! My only real gripe with Dave Ramsey is his tone. At times, he is mind-numbingly boring and almost monotone. I can imagine becoming complacent after hearing the same questions and problems day after day, but it wouldn’t hurt to fake some enthusiasm every once in a while.

I would just like to reiterate that these are character opinions and not based as much on actual advice and content. If one of these personalities offers something you are interested in, and presents it in an intelligent, believable way, you should by all means listen.

Neil Cavuto

I do not even have a crafty nickname for Neil Cavuto. He is the evening drive time host of Cavuto on Fox Business. I realize that I have mentioned fox business a few times, but I feel that they have the biggest personalities in money matters. Cavuto is no exception. He looks funny, like a nerd you knew in high school. He also has a muppety kind of voice. Despite the awkwardness, Cavuto is an extremely intelligent man with much to say about the state of economic affairs. Personal finance is not his specialty, but his extensive knowledge on economics and great guests make Cavuto a very interesting and informative show. His republican leaning opinions are very strong, and situations on the show often get heated. The great debates and depth of current event discussions are what continually bring me back to Cavuto. Although I do not consider myself “republican”, there is no reason
to avoid shows like this just because you disagree with opinions expressed on them.

Dissenting opinions are necessary to solve tough money matters. It will yield optimum results when people discuss different paths to a common goal. Whether you like these personalities or not, all of them have something to offer in the way of knowledge and advice for important money matters. Let me know what you think of them!!! That means comment your little hearts out, duh.

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