Helaine Olen

  • Aired:  02/20/13
  •  | Views: 14,502

"Pound Foolish" author Helaine Olen describes the hucksterism at the heart of the personal finance empire. (5:39)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A FREE LANCE JOURNALIST.

HER NEW BOOK IS CALLED "POUND FOOLISH" DISCUSSING THE PERSONAL FINANCE INDUSTRY.

HELAINE OLEN, HELLO.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> Jon: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THE BOOK IS CALLED -- THE MUSIC OF PARTICULARLY LONG -- CALLED "POUND FOOLISH."

EXPOSING THE DARK SIDE OF PERSONAL FINANCE INDUSTRY.

THAT INTIMATES THAT THERE'S A LIGHT SIDE TO THE PERSONAL FINANCE INDUSTRY.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON -- AFTER LOOKING AT THIS SORT OF PERSONAL FINANCE GURUS ON CNBC

WAS IS YOUR CONLIEWTION?

WE WERE SOLD.

IF THE 30 YEARS THE INCOMES HAVE FALLEN, NET WORTH PLUNGED 40% BETWEEN 2007 AND 2010 AND THE

ENTIRE INDUSTRY OF EVERYTHING FROM SUZE ORMAN SAYING HEY WE HAVE THE ANSWER WE'RE GOING TO

HELP YOU.

ALSO FORGETTING TO MENTION THIS THEY WERE SELLING THE PRODUCTS THAT WERE GOING TO HELP YOU.

>> Jon: IN MANY WAYS THEY HAVE A SIM BEOTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CORPORATIONS THEY COVER.

>> SUZE ORMAN IS SELLING PRODUCTS.

SHE HAS HER OWN PREAPPROVED DEBIT CARD AND BOOKS AND TAPES.

>> Jon: A PERSONAL THING LIKE THAT CNBC IS THE ONE THAT STRIKES ME.

HERE IS THIS STATION OS STENSIBLY FINANCIAL JOURNALISTS AND IF THEY MENTION A STOCK IT

GOES UP.

>> WHETHER THEY MENTION IT IN A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE WAY.

IT'S LIKE CHILDREN IF YOU GIVE THEM NEGATIVE ATTENTION IT STILL WORKS.

>> Jon: IT DOES?

SO LONG PRAISE, CHILDREN.

[ LAUGHTER ]

RIGHT, EXACTLY.

AND BUT YOU WRITE ABOUT AN INTERESTING EFFECT THAT HAPPENS WEEKS LATER.

>> IT GOES BACK DOWN.

JIM KRAMER SOMEBODY DID A STUDY OF HIS TICKS.

BEST THING YOU COULD DO IF YOU WANTED TO MAKE MONEY WOULD BE TO IMMEDIATELY SHORT OR BET AGAINST

ANYTHING HE MENTIONED AS A BUY.

BECAUSE HEAR WHAT HE IS SAYING AND THE PRICE GOES UP AND A COUPLE WEEKS LATER IT COMES BACK DOWN.

>> Jon: I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH HIS WORK BUT SOME OF THE OTHER PEOPLE.

I THINK WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT HERE IS THAT THERE IS THIS IDEA NOW THAT WORK IS NOT ENOUGH.

>> RIGHT.

WELL, IT ISN'T FOR MANY PEOPLE.

>> Jon: THAT IS THE POINT.

THAT SEEMS TO BE THE PROBLEM WITH THE SYSTEM.

HUCKSTERS HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: IT SEEMS LIKE THE SYSTEM HAS SHIFTED.

>> WE HAVE 50% OF THE POPULATION SAYING THEY ARE LIVING PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK.

THERE'S AN INDUSTRY OF PEOPLE SAYING YOU CAN'T MANAGE YOUR MONEY FOLLOW ME.

INSTEAD OF SAYING GOSH 50% OF THE POPULATION CAN'T GET BY WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOCIETY.

>> Jon: WHAT IS SO INFURIATING TO ME IS THAT THIS IDEA ALONG YOU ARE W- YOUR LIFE AND WORK

AND ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED, YOU NEED TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THIS COMPLEX AND OBSCURE

INDUSTRY OF EXPERTS TO AVOID BEING HOMELESS AND POVERTY STRICKEN WHEN YOU ARE OLDER.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE DON'T VALUE WORK MORE AND WHY INVESTMENT HAS BECOME SO VALUED.

THIS IS AN INDUSTRY EARNS HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS A YEAR ON YOU AND HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF

REASONS TO CONVINCE YOU WHY YOU NEED THEM.

YOU CAN INVEST YOUR WAY OUT OF THEM.

THE EMPIRES OF PERSONAL FINANCE BUILT UP IN PART AS A RESPONSE TO CHANGES IN THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

IT USED TO BE WE GOT PENSIONS AND WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PENSIONS.

>> Jon: YES.

>> WE NOW HAVE 401 (K)S.

THEY DON'T DO AS WELL FOR PEOPLE.

BUT THEY DO REALLY WELL FOR ONE SEGMENT AND THAT IS THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

WHICH MAKES MONEY WIN OR LOSE.

>> Jon: AND THE 401 (K) IS A SLUSH FUND IN MANY RESPECTS FOR THE OTHER ADVENTURES, IS IT NOT?

DON'T THEY TAKE THAT MONEY AND BET ON THE DERIVE ACTIVES AND ALL THE OTHER SHENANIGANS THAT

ARE PLAYED.

>> IT COMES FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE, THE HEDGE FUNDS, LORD ALONE KNOWS WHERE A LOT OF THE TIME.

>> Jon: CAN WE GET AHOLD OF HIM --

>> IT WOULD HELP, RIGHT.

>> Jon: I BELIEVE HE IS AT GOLDMAN SAVES.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> PROBABLY.

>> Jon: STEREOTYPE ALERT.

STEREOTYPE ALERT.

[ LAUGHTER ]

IT SEEMS THAT THERE IS NOT ANY KIND OF INFROM STRUCTURE IN PLACE TO GET BACK TO THIS IDEA

OF WORK BEING AS VALUED AS INVESTMENT.

>> WELL, RIGHT NOW PEOPLE ARE EARNING LESS AND LESS MONEY.

WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO EARN MORE MONEY.

RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE MIGHT BE A GOOD PLACE TO START.

>> Jon: THEY DON'T -- THEY ALWAYS CLAIM THAT THAT IS -- WE HAVE TO TAKE A COMMERCIAL.

I DON'T WANT TO RUN LATE.

STAY BECAUSE REALLY WHAT ARE WE GOING TO -- GET AN INTERNET ACCOUNT AND YOU CAN WATCH IT.

POUND FOOLISH IS ON THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

IT IS A TREMENDOUS BOOK AND BREAKS DOWN THIS FINANCIAL INDUSTRY GAME THAT IS BEING PLAYED.

HELAINE OLEN.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

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