Friday, October 05, 2007

Suze Orman - Livin' in a Van Down by the River!

You heard me. Suze Orman, financial guru and multi-millionaire television host actually used to live in a VW van in her younger years.

No, she didn't live down by the river, that is actually my homage to Chris Farley's hilarious skit about the motivational speaker gone wrong. Anyway, I caught a PBS show where Orman was discussing her meager beginnings and I was just amazed. I would have thought that she went to an Ivy league college and walk all the usual steps to becoming wealthy. Not so. If this gal can do it, we all can. And, she'll tell you that, too. That's one of the reasons I like her so much. She is a bit strange in her communication style, but that is her quirky way.

It turns out that when she was in her 20's, she was a Californian trying to find herself. She didn't have any money and she borrowed enough money from her brother to buy a beat up, VW van and she drove it to San Francisco. She became a waitress at a breakfast diner and lived in her van.

Chris Farley doing his skit as Matt Foley, "Living in a Van Down By the River"
After living life this way for quite some time, she began quizzing one of her regular customers about business and how to make money. Her regular gave her some money to invest in the stock market and he instructed her to have a broker from a well-known brokerage company assist her. That is exactly what she did and became fascinated with the industry. She lost all the money that her regular gave her because the broker invested her money in funds she knew nothing about and didn't take the time to explain the risks involved and so forth.

To him, she was just another "little lady" trying to make a buck or two. Well, she decided to break the "Good ole boy" barrier and apply for a job with this same brokerage. After much determination and selling herself to the interviewer, she was hired and began learning all she could about investments. She learned she could sue the brokerage for not investing her funds based upon her knowledge level at the time. So, she sued her employer WHILE she worked for them.

She won millions of dollars in a lawsuit. She paid her regular back for loaning the money and the rest is history.

One interesting story from a "little lady living in a van down by the river".

More Musings Later-

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So the way to financial independence is not really to know how to invest or to live frugally. It is to sue a corporation and to get a big payday!