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Suze Orman: Stimulus checks are for survival, not the stock market

Stephanie Asymkos
·Reporter
·2 min read

Coronavirus stimulus checks should be spent on necessary expenses and not funding stock investments, according to personal finance expert Suze Orman.

"If you are getting a stimulus check, that means you need the money to survive, you need the money to buy food to possibly pay rent, to keep your utilities on," Orman said recently on Yahoo Finance. "If you're going to take the money to put in the stock market, in my opinion, you do not need a stimulus check."

Instead, Orman wants you to save that money. Her comments come after the Senate on Saturday passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks. The amended legislation goes back to the House for a vote before the president can sign it into law.

Read more: Here's what to do if you haven't gotten your stimulus check

"I know everybody really wants everybody to take those stimulus checks and stimulate the economy — buy this, buy that. I don't think so," she said. "If you don't have at least — like I said — an 8- to 12-month emergency fund, can you just save the money because we don't know what's going to happen?"

Orman spoke to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

TODAY -- Pictured: Suze Orman on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Suze Orman on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

'Investing isn't just about making money'

Orman specifically spoke about those who need stimulus checks, but still found money to spend in the stock market during January's trading frenzy of GameStop (GME) and AMC (AMC).

Though GameStop and AMC caught the attention of many, that doesn't mean it's a smart investment, Orman said, particularly because the seemingly get-rich-quick stocks proved to be extremely volatile. While the upside is potential returns, those investments are hands-off to people barely scraping by, calling it less of an investment and more of a “game that needs to stop," she said.

Read more: Here's what to consider before getting into day trading

“A good percentage of people are going to put that money in the stock market [which is] not money that belongs in the stock market,” she said.

This is because flash-in-the-pan investing goes against Orman’s philosophy of investing for the long run and “not just a month of two.”

“Investing isn't about just making money," she said. "Investing is about understanding what you're investing in and doing it over the long haul.”

Yahoo Money sister site Cashay has a weekly newsletter.
Yahoo Money sister site Cashay has a weekly newsletter.

Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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