So often, major media publications view personal finance as a niche topic for people who “have problems” with money. I’d much rather see each publication cover personal finance in whatever way is best for their readers. From my experience, we all “have problems” with money, whether we have lots of it or none or anywhere in between.
Today’s New York Times Magazine featured an interview with Suze Orman, about her new book on women and money, and about herself and her own relationship to money. The interviewer was, I thought, very condescending, taking the “niche topic” approach to extremes. It was an interesting read nonetheless — Orman is great at taking control of a conversation, and she certainly did this time. Some excerpts:
Q: As one of the most widely read financial gurus of our time, why would you write a book like “Women and Money,” which is based on the regressive premise that women are birdbrains when it comes to managing money? I would think women are better at saving than men.
A. No, they save and then they give it to their best friends, who need it. They give it to their children, who need it. They give it all away once they’ve saved it.
Q. Isn’t that admirable?
A. That depends on what it leaves them with. It’s not admirable when it leaves them with nothing. I want to change women from savers to investors. […]
Q. Are you married?
A. I’m in a relationship with life. My life is just out there. I’m on the road every day. I love my life.
Q. Meaning what? Do you live with anyone?
A. K.T. is my life partner. K.T. stands for Kathy Travis. We’re going on seven years. I have never been with a man in my whole life. I’m still a 55-year-old virgin.
Q. Would you like to get married to K.T.?
A. Yes. Absolutely. Both of us have millions of dollars in our name. It’s killing me that upon my death, K.T. is going to lose 50 percent of everything I have to estate taxes. Or vice versa. […]
Q. Do you enjoy spending money?
A. Oh, yes. My greatest pleasure is still flying private. I spend between $300,000 to $500,000, depending on my year, on flying private.
The full interview is worth a read. It’s hard to read even such a short piece and come away thinking of personal finance as a niche topic.