I have recently read a number of posts, opinion articles and forum comments all with the same common thread; Dave Ramsey is past his prime. I’m a Dave Ramsey fan. He was one of the first resources I found when I began my personal finance journey back in 2010. I don’t regularly listen to his daily radio show because I’m at work but do download his podcast and listen at night and weekends. I’m still inspired every time I hear someone perform a debt free scream on his show. Dave offers practical, common sense advice. His baby steps outline seven easy steps to get you started on turning your personal finances around. When my family and I were in need of information Dave’s steps were very helpful in getting us on the right track. His book the Total Money Makeover is a great read and helped motivate me to take the plunge to get my finances in order. Over time I have found plenty of other great resources which have also helped shape my finances over the past 4 years. So as I move forward I’m a combination of all of this great information I have collected included bits of Dave’s. I don’t just take everything his says and run with it, I listen and see what fits or doesn’t for my personal finance situation. So why just straight up bash the guy?
I’ll summarize, because I don’t want to call attention to the information I’m referencing, but a quick Google search will find a number of articles on the topic, and you may have even read some of them on your favorite personal finance blogs. Here are some of the chief complaints:
- Debt Snow Ball Doesn’t Make Sense – Your rack up interest chargers
- Paper Currency is a thing of the past – Millennials don’t use cash
- Dave’s investing advice is weak – 12% returns are impossible
- Mimicking Rich people’s habits doesn’t work for everyone – poverty-stricken people don’t have these opportunities
I have been using the debt snowball technique for 4 years and am on track to pay off $109k worth of debt later this year. I was able to negotiate with my creditors and lower my interest rates to as low as 1.5%. The snowball has worked for me.
I’m a Gen X kid, and my choice of payment is a debit card, sometimes I use cash. So just because Dave states to use cash you take shots at him? I don’t care what age you are, use what method worked best for you, but the point of it is, spend less than you earn.
I agree Dave’s investment advice isn’t the strongest, but if you know nothing about investing dropping your retirement money in mutual funds and let them bake for 20-30 years isn’t a bad plan. I think that’s Dave point he’s trying to give general tips to a wide audience.
I read books, listen to podcasts, watch a video about successful people all the time, my goal? To learn how and what they did to become successful and try to duplicate it. This is the basic principle of the book The Millionaire Next Door. The author interview millionaire and reveals their secrets on building wealth. This information can all be found at your public library if you are willing to find it.
I still believe many of the things Dave talks about and teaches are relevant today no matter when you were born. My approach with this information is I find what best for my personal situation. I do this with all of the books, blogs, podcast, etc that I consume. I never just blindly follow someone’s advice. I’m sure people like to take shots at Dave Ramsey for the sheer fact that he’s been successful for so long and trying to knock the guy off on top usually draws some attention. Keep up the great work Dave. I’ll continue to listen.
What do you think of Dave Ramsey? Does he still offer value in the personal finance world?