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Who's Got Your Back?

Showdown: Money manager Jim Cramer vs. financial advisor Suze Orman.

This story appears in the September 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In moments of crisis, the world needs its gurus, and this economic mess has two: manager , host of CNBC's Mad Money, and financial advisor , host of The Suze Orman Show, also on CNBC.

But as savants go, these two have taken a lot of hits lately. Earlier this year, Cramer was pummeled by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show for "stupid financial observations," while Orman has been skewered on Saturday Night Live for preachy financial advice and loud jackets.

Does either of them have any answers?

Cramer vs. Orman

Cramer: "Buy! Buy! Buy!" Cramer wants you to have fun with your "Mad Money"--the amount you can afford to use playing the stock market.
Orman: "People first, then money, then things." Orman wants you to pay off your credit card bills, have a savings plan and build equity.
Point goes to: Cramer and Orman have different objectives, but both make good points.

Picking Stocks
Cramer: He gets a 46 percent forecasting grade from the CXO Advisory Group, worse than the average 48.3 percent.
Orman: She suggests you get an index fund.
Point goes to: Orman. Her advice is more appropriate for more people.

Most Out of Touch
Cramer: Away from the cameras, Cramer lives a fairly ordinary life in an upperclass New Jersey suburb.
Orman: Orman wants you to cut out your daily latte, but reportedly spends $500,000 a year on chartered jets.
Point goes to: Orman wins this one.

Biggest Flip-Flop
Cramer: How can we pick just one? This is the man who coined the phrase, "Things have changed since then."
Orman: Advised people to stop paying off their credit card debt to build up an emergency fund.
Point goes to: Cramer. But we're not saying that's a good thing.

Rallying Cry
Cramer: "Boo-yah!"
Orman: "Approved!"
Point goes to: Cramer wins, hands down.

Final Score
Who's really got your back? Orman. Her stick-to-the-fundamentals advice is more relevant to most people trying to get their financial houses in order.

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