Just as it is with musicians, comedians and authors, some financial experts manage to capture the voice of a generation. GOBankingRates examined more than 65 of the most trusted and popular money experts in America — including authors, podcasters, radio hosts, news columnists, TV personalities and celebrity advisors — and hand-picked the ones who spoke loudest to each age demographic.
The following is an introduction to six of the country’s top financial pros and the generations they click with — even if they’re not of those generations themselves. There are three for Gen Z — young up-and-comers need the most help — one for millennials, one for Gen X, and one for the baby boomers.
Gen Z: Farnoosh Torabi
Farnoosh Torabi rose to prominence just as the oldest Gen Zers were coming of age — and Torabi recognized a new kind of danger facing the only generation that never knew life before social media. She’s now one of the most authentic voices speaking to that young generation and is working to guide them through life in post-pandemic America.
She recently told “Good Morning America”: “Now, with the ability to travel and go out more freely, people are making big plans and possibly spending more than they normally would to ‘make up for lost time,’ as they see it. There may be a tendency to go overboard. Making financial decisions in a highly emotional state is never wise. So take time to reflect and reevaluate your goals and values, which may have changed dramatically over the course of the pandemic.”
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Gen Z: Christina and Amon Browning
In July 2020, Farnoosh Torabi had Amon and Christina Browning on her “So Money” podcast. The couple, who retired at 39 and 41, were two of the most prominent members of the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement, which had amassed a cult following of Gen Zers. Their amazing story of radical saving — they were socking away 70% of their income at one point despite living in expensive places like San Francisco, Japan, and Spain — was an inspiration to young people who wanted to follow the same path.
The story became a family brand, Our Rich Journey, which includes a popular YouTube channel, a blog, an investing course, and a FIRE master class. Gen Zers flock to them for unique budget-shrinking tips like house hacking and travel hacking.
Gen Z: Carmen and Darius Britt
Just like the Brownings from Our Rich Journey, Darius and Carmen Britt drew legions of young followers to their brand by setting a firsthand example. The couple erased six figures worth of debt in just three years and now spend their time sharing their Lifestyle Banking system with young up-and-comers.
The philosophy — and their Wealth Nation brand — is hot with Gen Z, which tunes into their YouTube channel, follows their blog, and takes their master classes in droves. The couple’s system has helped their users generate $75 million.
Millennials: Suze Orman
When TheLadders asked celebrity finance maven Suze Orman about her advice to millennials, the so-called “Matriarch of Money” reminded them never to pass up an opportunity to save for retirement with someone else’s cash — and also took the opportunity to showcase the crass, blunt style that made her famous.
“If you work for a corporation that offers a 401(k), a 403(b), a TSP, whatever it is — that matches your contribution,” she said. “I don’t care if you don’t have a pot to pee in, I don’t care about how much credit card debt you have, I don’t care about any of that. You cannot pass up free money.”
Gen X: Grant Cardone
Gen Xers are on deck for retirement, but there’s still time to make a few good — or bad — moves that could change everything in their golden years.
Self-made millionaire/sales guru Grant Cardone thinks one of the good ones is to go Orman-opposite and stop contributing to their 401(k)s right away. That advice runs contrary to everything Gen Xers have been told their whole lives about saving for retirement, but Cardone made his bones on bold ideas.
He said to CNBC: “Why would I go to work, have my employer give me another $6,000 a year and then take that money and send it off to Wall Street, where I can’t even touch it for 30 years?”
Cardone insists that neither that Gen Xers nor anyone else can save their way to financial freedom. Instead, he wants them to earn their way to their goals by taking that savings and investing it in a business or some other wealth generator.
Baby Boomers: Jim Cramer
Known for the zany persona he crafted on his groundbreaking “Mad Money” TV show, Jim Cramer used his status as a Wall Street insider to build trust with baby boomers on Main Street.
Unlike Gen Z, boomers do not have time on their side and Cramer is currently warning them to be cautious about continuing to trust their savings to the endless bull market that has been running strong since before many Gen Zers were born.
But he’s also not hiding his money under the mattress.
“I’m not a bear,” Cramer told CNBC. “I’m neutral for the moment. I’m just waiting to have something to hang my hat on before I pull the trigger.”
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Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.
Photo note: The images in this article are for representational use only and may not reflect the actual money expert.