This week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of Suze Orman’s The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. This title has appeared on countless personal finance shelves over the past decade; does the content inside hold up? We aim to answer that very question.
The overall point of The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom is laid out clearly on the very first page of the book. The premise of the entire book is that conquering fears is the key to financial freedom. In other words, most of the limiting factors to financial success exist in the walls we’ve built up in our own minds, and achieving success lies in knocking down those walls.
Suze Orman takes this idea and subdivides it into nine steps that you can walk yourself through in order to find the source of those fears, root them out, and remove them from your life. In other words, this book isn’t strong on the actual mechanics of personal finance, but it is strong on setting the psychological stage for strong personal finance habits.
Another distinct feature of The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom is the heavily anecdotal nature of the book. Suze likes to use lots of anecdotes to illustrate her points – and she’s pretty good at choosing strong ones. If overly anecdotal works frustrate you, there will likely be portions of this book that you find difficult. For me, I find anecdotes appropriate in books like this that focus on the psychological underpinings of a thought process; they become less useful when you deal with the actual mechanics of personal finance.
The book is divided into nine sections (after the compulsory introduction) that focus on each of the titular nine steps. These steps are:
1. Seeing how your past holds the key to your financial future
2. Facing your fears and creating new truths
3. Being honest with yourself
4. Being responsible to those you love
5. Being respectful of yourself and your money
6. Trusting yourself more than you trust others
7. Being open to receive all that you are meant to have
8. Understanding the ebb and flow of the money cycle
9. Recognizing true wealth
In the next part of this five part series reviewing The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, we’ll tackle the first three steps that Suze offers in great detail. Do they provide a good foundation for rethinking your finances?