10 TV Financial Experts Worth Watching

by Staff Writer

Some are loud and intimidating, others are calm and empathetic. They're TV's popular, self-proclaimed financial experts, and in these unstable economic times, there are more of them than ever before yammering for your attention. Here are 10 wildly different personalities who are not only entertaining to watch, but actually provide information and helpful advice.

  1. Suze Orman

    Well-loved and oft-parodied, Suze Orman has a back-story that includes working in a diner to barely pay her bills, losing all of her money in ill-advised investments, and eventually becoming one of the most popular and successful television personalities of our time. Much of her advice is directed to women, as well as what she calls the Young, Fabulous, and Broke generation. Her popular segment "Can You Afford It?" might piss you off, but the truth hurts, and Orman isn't afraid to bring the pain.

  2. David Bach

    David Bach is one of the most popular financial experts in the world. His demeanor is down to earth, not intimidating, and informed by not only intellect, but basic common sense. He's a proponent of "automating" your financial life, which simply means putting a plan into place that keeps you from spending or wasting the money you should be investing for retirement. His books, including Smart Couples Finish Rich and other titles in his FinishRich series, have been published in 18 languages.

  3. Ric Edelman

    Chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, author, educator, and media personality Ric Edelman is the creator and host of the popular PBS series The Truth About Money. Unlike Bach, who obviously hits the gym everyday and as a result favors form fitting collarless shirts, Edelman sports a frumpier, jacket-but-no-tie look, which may endear him to those who feel picked on and abused in the current economy. Education is a key message in Edelman's presentations, with straight-forward advice that is applicable no matter what your salary. Brains will always win over brawn.

  4. Jim Cramer

    Then again, there's Jim Cramer. Cramer comes across as the guy who, back in grade school, or maybe just last week, beat up Ric Edelman and took his lunch money. They even kind of look alike. On his CNBC show Mad Money, Cramer punctuates his high-volume, fast-paced analysis and (perhaps dubious) advice with goofy sound effects, props, and out-of-the-blue cartoon images. This is armchair financial analysis for folks who love sports, beer, and movies with lots of explosions. And we mean that as a compliment.

  5. Gail Vaz-Oxlade

    It's no secret that money is the root cause for the majority of marriages ending in divorce. Financial author and columnist Gail Vaz-Oxlade created the popular CNBC show Till Debt Do Us Part to help guest couples acknowledge and deal with their financial problems, and hopefully save their marriage. It's a unique, and heartfelt show that speaks to the times we live in.

  6. Clark Howard

    Clark Howard's self-titled show can be seen on CNN's spin-off network HLN (Headline News) and in streaming video on his website. Howard tackles a mind-boggling array of topics related to money, and often interviews regular folks who share real-life stories giving his show a very down-to-earth vibe. His website aggregates the financial topics he addresses into links, usually with video, which is helpful given the scope of the subjects he addresses.

  7. Mike Aubrey

    Home and Garden Television's Real Estate Intervention features Real Estate expert Mike Aubrey with Sabrina Soto helping out home owners who must sell their homes. Aubrey helps them assess the value of their home and price it accordingly. The scenarios are sometimes emotionally charged, probably involving a great deal of off-camera stress on the home sellers and buyers. But Aubrey keeps a lid on the melodrama, opting instead to provide straight-forward, easy-to-comprehend information and advice.

  8. Various hosts of Your Money, Your Life

    A bank, a television station, and a documentary filmmaker collaborated on this PBS series to reach out to young adults and teach them the basics of financial literacy. Hosted by Donald Faison, the series is now a website, complete with videos and links to several helpful tools and resources. The programs and presentation are entertaining, hip, and never overdramatic. The series may be the only successful attempt to connect with and provide financial skills to a demographic below the age of 25.

  9. Sandra Rinomato

    In transition from HGTV's popular show Property Virgins (episodes are available for viewing online) and a brand new Canadian show called Buy Herself, realtor and television personality Sandra Rinomato guides first-time home buyers through a process that can be confusing and stressful. The buyers in each episode come from all walks of life, and Rinomato cheerfully addresses any and all challenges they bring to the table.

  10. Tavis Smiley

    Radio and television personality Tavis Smiley has archived his special series Road to Wealth on his website as a series of streaming videos grouped under specific topics including Careers & College, Real Estate, and Investing & Insurance. Complimenting the video archive is financial expert Michelle Singletary's answers to several basic financial questions. The additional tools and resources on the website are also helpful. Smiley along with Dr. Cornel West took the subject of money and financial literacy even further in his recent Tour of Poverty.

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