Last night, America’s best-known financial advisor Suze Orman took to Twitter and Facebook to ask Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian to cease promoting and selling their controversial branded prepaid debit card. "KIM there is no reason for you to SKIM them kids- shame shame shame" Orman posted on Facebook last night. "Come on gals, pul (sic) it off the market and put your name or image on something that is great."
As Slate ’s Anne Lowery reported last week, the so-called Kardashian Kard comes with usage charges that are excessive even by the dim standards of the pre-paid debit card industry. Here’s one example: The Kardashians are charging $99.95 for 12 months of use. The median fee for all such cards: $10. But what makes this new product so insidious is that it is being marketed to teenage girls, a group that’s likely to ignore the financial fine print in order to carry something with the Kardashian imprimatur in their wallets.
Orman can be one of the more confounding figures out there on the financial pundit scene. She argues that success with money is, more often than not, a matter of personal conviction: Suze wrote a best seller entitled The Courage to be Rich in which she says, "What’s keeping you from being rich? In most cases, it is simply a lack of belief." This attitude either appeals immediately or drives people insane. She’s far from free of her own conflicts-of-interest , though she’s never stooped to the level of the Kardashian Kard. Her advice can change, often suddenly. (Just ask her about credit and how you should use it and pay for it.)
But then there is the other Suze Orman. That’s the Suze Orman who can stand up last month on a stage at the Long Beach Convention Center at Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference and tell a crowd of several thousand that under no condition are they to raid their retirement accounts or run up credit-card debt in an attempt to make monthly mortgage payments on underwater homes. That Suze Orman reminds women that they cannot protect their children’s financial future if they cannot provide for their own. And that’s the Suze Orman who emerged on social networking sites last night to take the Kardashian clan (or should I say klan?) to task for ripping off their fans.
As of now, the Kardashian sisters have not responded to Orman’s campaign. Here’s hoping Suze keeps the pressure up.
Photograph of Suze Orman by Robyn Beck/Getty.