Oprah isn’t ashamed of her money

Ramit Sethi

I have mixed feelings about this article: Oprah Winfrey: ‘Wealth is a Good Thing’. Maybe it’s more about the choice of words than anything else.

Also, I’m going to be reposting my articles on investing in stocks and bonds. Read them, ask any questions, etc, because I’m slowly getting back into the financial makeover.

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  1. Scott Young

    I completely agree with Oprah. Being wealthy is like being happy. Nobody says, “Wow, look at all the unhappy people. I shouldn’t really want to be happier.”

    This attitude comes from the scarcity mentality that the rich must become so because they take from the poor.

    The only time wealth becomes bad is when we let it control our lives. And even in this case, it doesn’t make us evil, just stupid.

    I’m a very happy guy, should I feel guilty about that? Hell no. So why should Oprah be guilty about her wealth? It isn’t like she is using it to build a deathray… 😉

  2. Rob

    I really don’t have any problem with very wealthy people – in fact, most *really* wealthy people are overly generous.

    I do agree though that the wording here makes Oprha sound like a flake. I’m glad she’s building a school in Africa. But really, she has more money than she can ever spend. Build two schools. Build ten. Best of all, give it all away before you die, since it won’t be doing you any goood at that point anyway.

    If I were filthy rich I too would live a really good life, but I would make sure that “all that money I can’t spend anyway” goes to charities, and not the government (or even my kids) after I die. My kids would get enough to never have to worry about money, but not so much that THEY could never spend it… that just doesn’t make sense!

  3. John

    Personally, I think her wording reflects an attitude and slight arrogance. I’ve heard her say other things with regards to money which have made my stomach turn. I’m no fan, but ….

    Oprah has worked for her money.

    She’s risked it in her investments.

    People feel the value she creates everyday is worth paying for.

    IMHO-The people who don’t feel that Oprah and others like her, deserve thier wealth, are a problem in society.

  4. Jonathan

    I agree with John, her wording makes her sound very arrogant, but at the same time, she worked for it, and she shouldn’t have to feel bad about what she has worked for.

  5. Gagan

    I agree with the above posters. Every now and then I get in arguments with my friends who feel that CEOs, corporate execs., celebrities etc. don’t deserve their hefty paychecks, which is completely untrue. These are the true leaders who inspire everyone of us to reach the top one day.

    In fact, I respect everyone who’s made it to the big leagues by working diligently. I could care less about their attitude. If they are bitter at life despite being rich, there must be a reason for it, and I don’t feel necessary to butt into their lives.

    As far as pro athletes and celebrities are concerned, there’s no doubt that they’ve worked just as hard as CEOs etc., but for some reason, I just don’t feel any sympathy for them (though I should), esp. when they have nothing better to do than make sex tapes, which are then circulated around the web by bitter boyfriends/girlfriends.

  6. Milind

    Guilt is a bad thing, not wealth.

    Her comments (edited by People, remember) do seem insensitive.

    But actions speak louder than words. Oprah is not only enjoying her wealth but using it to help people in effective ways. So hurrah for her.

    That said, there are many other CEOs and corporate executives who have gotten rich at the expense of people who own the companies they manage and people who work for the companies they manage. They are not leaders but looters. They deserve contempt, not respect.

  7. penty

    A lot of you are saying “if I had more money than I can spend…”

    I’d say “I don’t know, I can spend alot.” Go ahead try me.

  8. JLP at AllFinancialMatters

    I have love/hate feelings for Oprah. On the one hand, I love the fact that she believes in hard work and has made it on her own. On the other hand, I cringe when she starts bragging about what she has. We all know she’s rich. She doesn’t have to remind us.

    She’s a person and she makes mistakes. At least she does give money to worthy causes.

  9. Judah L.

    Hmmm…i agree, her choice of words were not optimal. But hey, she’s up-front about how she feels and says so. I’m always a bit cynical about celebrities and their philanthropic intentions however….makes you wonder how often “charities” are set up primarily to do good versus the tax breaks associated with their nonprofit status. Why do so many athletes live in Florida?

  10. Hawk

    I’m not sure why you’d want to be ashamed of being rich. Oh no, I have a lot of money, I’m sorry you don’t… ?

    It’s like being ashamed of your job. I like to write porn (it’s not my job), my boyfriend’s an office max retail employee (which is a crappy job, but nothing to be ashamed of), etc etc. Why?

    If I had a lot of money, I’d be happy I had money. I’d also be constantly thinking about it, so I suddenly didn’t end up with no money at all by making poor decisions (coughmchammercough).

  11. Justine Kaley

    I agree that wealth is not a bad thing, but what you do with it is either bad or good. I don’t believe she’s a flake thru words, she tells people who don’t have money that money is all that matters but she go around and buy $5000 bags when people are starving, need helathcare, clothes, roofs, schools people who have more money then they can handle should donate several million to charities in every part of the world. I don’t have that much money and I live below proverty by I still manage to donate what I can to others who are proably less forunate than I am.

  12. Jake

    Not only is poverty cool and happening, it is sexy.

    I feel sorry for Oprah. She does not know the joy of poverty.

    I was raised below poverty as one of 5 children. We never had a house to live in or steady school to go to. Three meals a day was prohibitively expensive and clothing was a joke. Fun times.

    It was so sexy, I started a family of my own. Contraceptives are prohibitively expensive, so sex = kids. I know have 5 kids and my wife is pregnant with the next. We can’t really feed all of them, but it’s all good.

    I would not trade this for anything.

  13. Dship

    Oprah knows poverty. She was raised poor and grew up in the projects.