1. Try Paying $2,950 for Dave Ramsey

    There’s a nice little snippet from JLP at All Financial Matters that’s been quite the comment-magnet:

    AFM: “Dave Ramsey Gets on My Nerves”

    I wholeheartedly agree with JLP on this. I appreciate most of what Dave Ramsey espouses, but Dave and chunks of his website do have the occasional infomercial feel to them, and I could do just fine without that. But he’s doing what he’s doing because it makes him money — and folks could find lots of worse things to spend their cash on, I imagine.

    I’ve purchased three of Dave’s books (Total Money Makeover in audiobook and hardback, and Financial Peace), and I’ve attended a Dave Ramsey Live Event. So I’ve given my share of change to Dave. But Dave’s writing, ideas, and energy helped me get to where I am today, financially, which is to say that he played a significant role in making my life better. What money I’ve spent has, in my opinion, been well spent.

    Three-Dime Dave

    Now, for those who might not be so well versed in Dave Ramsey Financial Paraphernalia, it’s worth pointing out that Dave also sells “Counselor Certification.” The price tag? A mere $3,750 $3,950 $2,950 as of this writing [Source]. (You can add your spouse to the class for another $1,500.)

    Why do I know these figures? Because I’ve strongly considered plunking down the cash (and the time) for the training.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Look: I love personal finance, and I’m all about most of what Dave has to say. I love helping people, and seeing people grow and improve their lives. Financial counseling of this sort is right up my alley. What I’ve done of it so far, I’ve enjoyed tremendously.

    However, while I’ve gotten a ton of value from Dave’s stuff, I just can’t see $2,950 worth of substance in re-learning what I (mostly) already know. And I don’t know that a link from daveramsey.com, or referrals from his group, is worth that kind of coin.

    For comparison’s sake, I could take the six CFP-prep courses at Florida State University (I’ve done the Intro to Financial Planning one already) and be out less than $2,950 with books and all. And I’d practically guarantee that I’d learn tons more useful-to-me stuff from FSU than from Dave Ramsey U.

    So you won’t do Dave Training, right?

    I dunno. Maybe.

    Someday.

    I just love this stuff that much.

    Admittedly, attaching a 3.9-dime price tag to his counselor-training gig is a fine way for Dave to screen out the riff-raff. And the multi-day session can’t be a blow-off thing, as it can earn CPA attendees just over 34 CPE credits. Not bad … I think. (Although, for all I know, you might be able to earn 2 or 3 CPE credits just for punching yourself through a self-serve checkout at Wal-Mart. )

    In the end, Dave’s in this to make money, and that much is obvious. He’s constantly finding new angles by which to sell his schtick, at price tags that range from $5 all the way to $2,950. This is a businessman in action, folks. And a successful one, at that. I don’t know that it’s good … or bad.

    It just is.


  2. 51 Responses to "Try Paying $2,950 for Dave Ramsey" ...

    1. On February 14, 2007 @ 4:29 pm,
      Joey wrote:
      #1
       



      I think you hit the nail on the head. You aren’t paying for any special knowledge, although you might get some training on legal matters that the average Joe wouldn’t know about. What you *are* paying for is advertising, access to the Dave Ramsey “network,” and Dave’s good rep. If you look at this class as a networking and advertising tool, it might just make sense. People trust Dave and they trust the people he endorses. To illustrate, let me give you an example. I used to live in Dave’s home town of Nashville, TN. He did local commercials for a pawn shop called Barry’s Pawn, a store in Madison with a big blue awning. People flocked to that store. It was so popular that other pawn shops tried to cash in by changing their names to Berry’s Pawn, or Barri’s Pawn and putting up big blue awnings on their stores. Dave’s name carries that kind of power in the markets where his show is broadcast. If you’re outside one of those markets, you’ll get less return on your investment.

       

       

    2. On February 14, 2007 @ 6:01 pm,
      Jesse wrote:
      #2
       



      I talked with a guy that went throug his (for profit) counseling course.

      Paraphrased, he said it wasn’t anything he couldn’t have learned from books, but the consolidation of useful material was, well, useful.

      The fact that you’re listed on DR’s site is, as he said, not very useful. He hasn’t received on referral from the site — and he’s based in Texas, which is a pretty strong DR market as far as I know.

       

       

    3. On February 15, 2007 @ 12:20 am,
      JLP wrote:
      #3
       



      Thanks for the mention.

      I have a love/hate relationship with Dave. On the one hand I love the fact that he is trying to talk some sense into people. On the other hand, he seems too “salesy” too me.

      I realize he has to make money or he couldn’t keep doing what he’s doing. I just think there’s less obtrusive ways to do it.

      I wouldn’t spend the $3,750 on the program. It seems like money that would be wasted. Is the $3,750 required in order to get listed on his site?

      JLP

       

       

    4. On February 15, 2007 @ 6:05 am,
      Michael wrote:
      #4
       



      JLP,

      Yes, the $3750 gets you the counselor training, which in turn gets you a link from his site and any “referrals” from folks in your area who might call Ramsey’s company looking for assistance.

      I have my doubts as to either of these methods actually generating much in the way of leads.

       

       

    5. On February 15, 2007 @ 9:57 am,
      Lisa wrote:
      #5
       



      Michael,

      You are not alone – I have contemplated signing up for the counselor training as well. I have also poured over the different training materials Dave offers because I think it would be really neat delivering financial eduation. But alas, I haven’t gone through with it. The prices are pretty steep and if you listen to Dave’s show enough, you likely already know what you need to know. I suppose that what folks like us may be looking for is a way to get into the business with a sense of “legitimacy” (either some letters after our names, or an affiliation with someone as popular as Dave Ramsey). Seems like gaining some formal credentials/education is the way to go.

       

       

    6. On February 15, 2007 @ 7:28 pm,
      Slim wrote:
      #6
       



      That counselor training is pretty steep – not for me. I did buy his FPU facilitator kit for churches at about $290 and each family bought their own kits for $90. That was 5 months ago and since then I have paid off $11k in debt and stashed $8k in my emergency fund. I’ve got more “financial peace” than ever and I’m excited about facilitating another FPU course at our church starting in March. So the money was well spent to me and I have used the principles I learned to help others with their financial matters.

      As for the merchandising he does and the money he makes from selling his “product” – I think it’s all legit. Just my 2 cents…

       

       

    7. On February 18, 2007 @ 8:51 pm,
      finance girl wrote:
      #7
       



      You don’t need to pay this guy to get that knowledge. Likely you can create something organically with other folks at your church. That’s what I am doing with my church, and pulling from knowledge experts as needed on our team (I am a volunteer Financial Counselor at my church).

      Dave Ramsey is a bit sketch IMO. He is great if you don’t know anything, but he quickly tries to make a buck off of you with his “tools”.

      I tell people the best way to get fundamentals is to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal ($99 a year). You will learn more than you ever thought there was to learn about not just personal finance but also economics, which is fundamental to really “getting” money management.

       

       

    8. On April 20, 2007 @ 2:34 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #8
       



      talk about making a buck– or several thousand?? I talked with someone who went through Dave’s Entreleadership. Price tag?? $4,500. And again, nothing extremely special in the knowledge area.
      Here a buck, there a buck, hand over your bucks!

       

       

    9. On October 30, 2007 @ 8:03 pm,
      James wrote:
      #9
       



      Ramsey is great… for really dumb people. Listen to his show… 99% of the callers all sound the same. And the thing that bugs me is that he loves calling people “stupid”. I guess that’s his way of being a bit of a shock jock. I mean, my wife and I are in our early 30s, and will have our first house paid off in 2 years. No other debt. How did we do it? Well, we have common spending sense and we didn;t need a wealthy man to tell us we are stupid.

      I haven’t really looked closely at his web site, so forgive me here. But he rails against using a credit card (My wife and I have ALWAYS had one and ALWAYS paid it off each month… for 7 years… we aren’t “stupid” but he may think we are) yet, I assume to buy his books, dvds and CDs on his site, you need a (GASP) CREDIT CARD??? Dave: “Wait, wait! BEFORE you cut up that “stupid” card, buy my book with it!”

      I guess one main reason I don;t like him is that my cousin did some contract work with Ramsey’s company in Nashville. He was shocked to learn how mean Dave Ramsey was to his own employees and to him… said he got the woerd feeling that his employees worked in fear of Ramsey… Hey, it’s his compnay I guess, run it your own way.

      Wanna save money? I’ll tell you how my wife and I did what we did… my dad showed me a PAPER spreadsheet (Yes, they are huge) and my wife and I converted it to MS Excel. within 3 months of our marriage, we stopped argueing about money and our checking account seemed to double. There. What I just told you is what Dave Ramsey is making 6 figures on… he just makes it seem alot more confusing than that so you pay to learn it.

       

       

    10. On November 15, 2007 @ 6:18 am,
      dionigi wrote:
      #10
       



      james- first, you’re wrong about his website accepting credit cards. it only accepts debit cards. remember to put your teeth in the next time you try to make a biting remark.

      ref:
      http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/cms/debit_card_policy_32.htmlc

      second, his entire get-out-of-debt plan is explained, daily, on his radio show and website for a grand total of $0.

      not everyone in this country is as intelligent or financially responsible as you and your wife are. it might even be a majority of people out there who just don’t “get it”. he helps a lot of people understand why and how to get themselves onto better financial ground, and he actually makes it sound simple, not confusing.

      my only real complaints are his cheesy catchphrases, horrible theme song, and constant references to the bible.

       

       

    11. On November 15, 2007 @ 7:22 am,
      ldavid wrote:
      #11
       



      Dave Ramsay is a fraud. The debt snowball theory makes no sense at all. Common sense tells you to pay your highest interest debts first. The psychological factor means nothing to me. Also I manage my finances without the belief in a higher power. Too many times Mr. Ramsay has an evenagelical agenda and its very obvious. I pay 4.7 on mortgage and getting upwards of 5 percent on various accts in my name. There is no way I am paying off my mortgage early . Thats just stupid, not to mention the tax write off I get as well, bringing my interest even lower.

       

       

    12. On December 23, 2007 @ 1:36 pm,
      kevbo828 wrote:
      #12
       



      ldavid…First, you probably pay taxes on that 5% interest, right? If not, you’ve got other issues. That would probably bring your overall interest pocketed down below your 4.7%. Second, why would you like to pay, say, $5,000 in interest in order to save approximatly $1,500 in taxes. If it were up to me, I’d rather keep the $5,000 of interest in my pocket.

       

       

    13. On January 4, 2008 @ 8:21 pm,
      Sidewinder314 wrote:
      #13
       



      Seems like most of the people in the above comments who are railing against Dave are the very people who don’t know what he teaches (by virtue of the content of their comment). Interesting.

       

       

    14. On February 1, 2008 @ 7:24 pm,
      Johnnykick wrote:
      #14
       



      Luke 10:7, …”for the labourer is worthy of his hire…” Since when did making money become a sin? $3,750 is nothing in today’s world when compared to all the “stuff” we ‘ve accumulated in our basements and attics. I sense the real issue is not the $3,750 but the fact that he’s making money off people who are usually suffering in financial difficulties; and so are insurance salesmen, credit counselors, banks, credit unions, credit card companies, etc. So, if people would follow the philosophy of Ron Blue or the late Larry Burkett (of which much of DR’s empire is based on), then we could put the financial counselors and money changers out of business. But then again, we wouldn’t need pastors if we would all stop sinning.

       

       

    15. On February 8, 2008 @ 8:44 pm,
      WeWon wrote:
      #15
       



      You people BASHING DAVE RAMSEY, don’t have a clue! Dave is a very successful business man. And that’s wrong??? His company is growing at an astounding rate. That’s a bad thing??? He often says that if he sells one book and makes a dollar and helps somebody out of debt, people love him. (he often sells his hard cover books for $10.00 each–most likely a break even at that point). But if he does that a million times and helps a million people, somehow all of a sudden people think he’s greedy. Yeah, I drank the coolaid. But guess what? I’m now 100% debt free!!! Don’t even have an overdue library book! I guess I was stupid cause I was not doing this on my own–He made it seem so easy though. And he has vevy few of my dollars. Listen to the radio show–he gives away stuff all day long! I’ve spent more money in McDonald’s on dinner than I’ve given Dave and am now Debt Free. The program works without spending any money with his company! I mean Really works. One other thing–I seriously doubt that he is as mean as one person stated, to his employees. Could have had a bad day or taken out of context. You don’t win “Best place to work in Nashville” two years in a row if the boss is a jerk. The guy helps people on a daily basis and talks about all the Millionaires he’s met. Very few if any are mean or jerks. Why do poor people think all rich people are mean jerks? Take some personal responsibility with or without Dave. Coolaid anyone? Drink up, America!!!

       

       

    16. On March 11, 2008 @ 3:20 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #16
       



      dionigi, you are right. Dave is perfect for Stupid People. People without common sense. Bless their hearts. Non, truly some people just don’t get it. And I geuss it takes a guy to show them that 1 + 1 = 2 at the cost of seminars to knock them straight.

      SO you are right, Dave makes a fortune off of stupid people. America is great. I’d do it too if I could.

       

       

    17. On March 20, 2008 @ 10:11 am,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #17
       



      James is right there several comments up. If he is just saying something out loud, James is allowed ro do that. Dave is mean to his own employees. When you can glossy coat things and have people “drink the Kool-Aid”, why not? That is just Dave with his MY way or the highway approach!!!!! Man, be careful of who you trust!! Look up Dave Ramsey bad live events in Google. Get the post Dave Ramsey live event at money musings and see how he steam-rolled people at a Grand Rapids event…2007. Hey, it’s OK!!!! Dollars in his pocket.

       

       

    18. On April 2, 2008 @ 1:43 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #18
       



      Like any other “guru”, you have to take his program with a grain of salt. I also tire of his cheesy sayings. But there is a lot of good information in the Financial Peace University courses, even for people who know a lot about finances. The course cost $90 and the stuff I learned in the insurance lesson alone paid for that.

      I’m an intelligent man (an engineer), but I was just ignorant on financial stuff. We have no consumer debt, just a mortgage, and have always been saving in our 401k’s. So I’m probably not his typical audience. We never did a budget before FPU, but we also didn’t spend more than we earned. We still have credit cards that we pay off each month. But my marriage has improved because we’re having discussions about long term goals in more definite terms, not just “we’ll retire together someday” or “we’ll save for the kids college”. I guess you could just say we’re spending with purpose. We’re happy with it and we haven’t really changed our lifestyle. We’re just conscious of our choices.

      I think if they taught FPU in high school or college, a lot of people would get started out on the right financial foot when they get their first big job. But the principals are sort of against the mainstream pop culture right now, which is I want it now and I should buy it now. Now is Dave Ramsey’s plan the be all end all? Absolutely not. But it’s a great plan for people who feel hopelessly in debt and good personal finance intro for everyone else. As you gather wealth, you will need to learn more details about investing and tax sheltering and all of that. But I bought a kit for my brother and my sister-in-law and hopefully it’ll help them start out good after college.

       

       

    19. On November 4, 2008 @ 3:05 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #19
       



      Looks like it's been a while since anyone has posted. However, let me take a shot. To my knowledge, I am the only poster here who is one of Dave's Certified Financial Counselors. I went through the course (>5 years ago when it was $3500). I get phone calls almost on a daily basis from people who have been referred to me by Dave's office. I don't advertise and I do this on the side and I am making some nice spending cash. I have made back the $3500 many, many times.

      Now, the issue about him being a jerk. Here it is, folks…he is a jerk! He is a serial name dropper and his pride and ego are bloated out of reality. A good friend of mine is a department head with Dave's company and he gives me the scoop. If you work for Dave, he will make it clear that he is not your friend. He is your boss. So don't think he is this great warm and fuzzy kind of guy. He is not. But he is an excellent business man. He treats his employees ok. He starts them out extremely low and gives them a bonus structure based on monthly performance of the specific department you work in. My neighbor, who is in IT, interviewed with Dave's company earlier this year. He was offered the job but the starting salary was laughable…about $30,000 below the average in the IT field in Nashville (i.e. about $40,000). He was told that in about two years, with bonuses, he would be making what he makes now. Also, the health insurance plan he offers is horrible. He gives away good Christmas gifts, though, to his employees (i.e. flat screen tv's).

      You should see his new $1.5 million home he is building now. It sits atop of a hill overlooking Brentwood, TN where he works. Dave is king of the hill and he knows it.

      All that said, I guess he deserves it. He has literally helped millions of people. He also provides me with some nice spending money every month on the side. :)

       

       

    20. On November 22, 2008 @ 9:41 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #20
       



      This might be acceptable to only believers. If Dave is a true member of the Body of Christ, I think he is, he has my vote as a fellow brother. Now, for his legitimacy. Yes, he is a legitimate teacher that is able to teach those who NEED his teaching in the VERY BASIC financial arena. What he charges is what he charges. And if people find value in that, so be it. I don’t, but that’s me. I would like to mention that there are a multitude of approaches to financial stability and everyone has there favorite. We shoud not bash others for the mere promotion of our own agenda (and money). I have seen Dave shoot from the hip with reckless remarks and do that to others that seem to be a competitor of sorts (shame on Dave for that). God bless him anyway.

       

       

    21. On December 5, 2008 @ 12:10 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #21
       



      It’s easy to dismiss Dave as simple financial advice for simple folks. While that certainly is the case, his program is also VERY applicable to people who think they’re well versed in finance. I have a business degree and was a banker for a number of years before I took Dave’s Financial Peace University class. What he offers is a paradigm shift from conventional financial thought. His plan is the KISS principle in action. By discarding the shell games, you’re able to focus on your goals and achieve them far more effectively. You’re welcome to continue messing around, convinced that you’re too “sophisticated” for his common-sense approach, but I can tell you from experience that I have been where you are, I have thought what you thought, and there is real power in the simplicity of the program.

      Oh, and if teaching my wife and I how to pay off $40,000 in debt in 16 months on a $55,000 annual income is fraud, I look forward to Mr Ramsey defrauding us for the rest of our lives.

       

       

    22. On January 24, 2009 @ 11:53 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #22
       



      I was very much into Dave Ramsey until two things happened. First, I asked to be put in touch with one of his “endorsed local providers” and followed their advice, rolling our 401K money over to an American Funds account, complete with their huge commissions, losing $5000 right off the bat. At the time I naively thought that Dave’s ELPs were just good guys that had proven themselves to “have the heart of a teacher” in order to get Dave’s endorsement. I didn’t know they paid to get it. In hindsite I wish I would have just educated myself on where to invest and gone with Vanguard. I really feel like I was duped. The ELP he sent us to was a salesman, with a product to sell, not a teacher.

      The second thing that changed my mind happened around the same time when I attended one of Dave’s live events, taking my husband and two children with me. I felt like I had paid $120 to take my family to a giant infomercial, that didn’t teach us any more than listening to his radio program teaches, and left with a $50 “starter kit,” and a sick feeling in my stomach that I had done something wrong.

      I don’t think I am stupid, just trusting. and gullible apparently. The only debt we have is our house. I know Dave has helped many people, but I think he has cost me money. Buying a $10 book is one thing. Being referred to a salesman that was supposed to be a teacher to tell you how to invest your life’s savings is quite another.

      I still listen to Dave sometimes, because it is interesting to hear the stories people tell. I hate it when people thank him for his “ministry” though. He has made a fortune doing what he does.

       

       

    23. On March 18, 2009 @ 2:37 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #23
       



      “Oh, and if teaching my wife and I how to pay off $40,000 in debt in 16 months on a $55,000 annual income is fraud,”

      You were a bank manager and yet needed Mr. Ramsey’s products to extract yourself from 40k in consumer debt?

      I s’pose this kind of “management” explains the present critical state of the banking and financial industry in general – doesn’t it.

      ehem.

       

       

    24. On April 17, 2009 @ 4:36 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #24
       



      I find it humerous that people get upset at Dave Ramsey for making money on a “simple idea.” 1. The ideas he teaches are very simple, but unfortunately 9 out of 10 people will not practice the concepts to get out of debt or build wealth.

       

       

    25. On May 18, 2009 @ 12:26 pm,
      Chris Terrell wrote:
      #25
       



      It is very interesting indeed that many people here are bashing Dave for not being perfect. Wake up call everyone. He is HUMAN, and I can bet that every one of us in here has a mean streak, would jump at the opportunity to make some good money, and would want to run their business with a profit.

      There is nothing wrong with making a ton of money at something, shoot I would love to make a ton of money at something.

      If you listen to his radio show he says everyday multiple times a day that this is common sense stuff, and that he didn’t make it up. He is just packaging it. He has never claimed that this is his ideas, just that it is his presentation of them.

      If you don’t want to spend money on Dave’s stuff, then don’t! Listen to his radio show for free and you can get out of debt doing what he is teaching.

       

       

    26. On June 17, 2009 @ 6:31 pm,
      naneki wrote:
      #26
       



      Dave Ramsey is capitalism at it's best! I have practiced some of his principles (on my own) but not all of them and not all the time. DR doesn't take credit for ideas that are not his own. He shows his 1940 budget envelopes. He calls himself a teacher. From what I understand, he does donate his advice to the military and poor single Moms. Of course, he asks us to help, yea, that doesn't qualify as a ministry, but that's how church people talk, don't worry. God bless America!!! Or we might soon say "whatever whatever Amerika".

       

       

    27. On August 16, 2009 @ 2:15 am,
      IndianaTeacher wrote:
      #27
       



      I have listened to a few of Ramsey’s shows. To me he is not a “guru” nor are the people calling his show "dumb people." I teach my daughter how to budget, keep a check book, and use a debit card (responsibly), but many Americans have never learned money management from their parents. For them, Ramsey's plan can help.
      1. Steps 1-3 of his plan are indeed simplistic, but logical and highly effective; after all, there is really only one way to pay off debt: PAYING IT OFF. However, that requires the kind of self-discipline many people just don’t have or don’t think they have. Ramsey provides the kind of enthusiastic support that many people need if they are hopelessly mired in debt. He acknowledges their struggle, gives them a “community,” and even provides a celebration, a ritual almost, if they succeed (debt-free scream). That is Dave Ramsey’s real strength. His compassion with people (to whom he often gives his books for free) is quite apparent, and I believe he/his books do change lives. I was once inspired by the book “Your Money or Your Life” (by Robin and Dominguez), but I have never seen a champion of debt-free living like Dave Ramsey. In that respect he’s my kindred spirit, and I am thrilled that he is making this concept cool. I am almost sad that I was completely debt free eight years before I happened upon Ramsey’s show. Now I will never be able to partake in the ritual scream.:-)
      2. Steps 4-6 make sense as well, but the order is not that important. I, for ex., paid off my mortgage before really turbocharging my retirement savings. The order of any of the steps can be tweaked, really. Many bloggers have come up with all kinds of logical adaptations such an increased emergency fund right from the start in these shaky economic times.
      3. Step 7 (’get wealthy and give”) is more an afterthought than any real “step,” and Ramsey’s investment advice is generic (”a good growth-stock mutual fund”) and flawed. Assuming the stock market returns 12% on average, he repeatedly tells people to take out 8% of their retirement funds annually. That is TWICE as much as anyone else recommends. Anyone following that “advice,” especially in this market, would definitely outlive his money. People seeking investment advice should read Money Magazine or Kiplinger.
      4. Ramsey’s take on credit cards is illogical. Calling everyone who’s using a credit card “stupid” is, hm, stupid. Sure, people with $30k cc debt need to cut up their cards, but people who pay off the balance every month can obviously handle them. I understand that it is possible to get by without credit and a credit history, but why make life more difficult than it has to be?!
      5. The Christian aspect does not bother me since common sense always comes first on his show. In addition, he is very clear and open about his bias, his political bias as well. I also relate to many of the values that come up on his show, such as children honoring their parents. As a high school teacher, I hear my share of kids complaining about their parents. I often tell them that there is no religion or culture on earth that advocates treating your parents with disrespect. They all say something along the lines of honoring your parents. [Just because it's in the Bible doesn't mean it's not true.:-)]
      6. Ramsey's materials and courses may be overpriced, but I will never buy any of them since I don't need to. He may be a tyrant of a boss, but then, I don't plan to work for him.:-)

      To me, Dave Ramsey is just a decent guy who is helping many people who otherwise would not find their way out of the mess they’re in. For those of us already debt free, he provides a great service to the indebted masses or perhaps just good entertainment. In any case, he helps changing the attitude toward consumer debt in this country, and that is definitely necessary!

       

       

    28. On September 25, 2009 @ 12:34 am,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #28
       



      I have yet to read anyone say he is a "nice guy" once they meet him in person.

      The more I listen to his show, the more disappointed I am by the advice. I have been following his show and his advice for a year. But as I do my own research and reading, I have learned that a lot of his advice is crap. It's worth what you paid for it — zero.

      It's good advice to get started with. But once you're out of debt, you'll need a lot better and more sophisticated advice than the junk he peddles on his show.

      A few examples — his investing advice. Pure junk. Get an account with Vanguard and stay away from the investments he suggests.

      College savings — crappy advice to go with an ESA. Get a good 529 plan. New Hampshire or West Virginia's Smart 529 are the best.

      Bonds — they DO have a place in your portfolio. He routinely tells people in their 40s and 50s to go all equity in the markets. BAD IDEA. What's wrong with throwing in 30-40% of intermediate term government bonds as a safe and reliable source of income? Nothing.

      And it gets a little tiresome to hear the "When Sharon and I went broke 20 years ago" and "When I was a millionaire in my 20s and went broke" line over and over and over. Dude, that was decades ago. Move on. You can't reuse the same toilet paper time and time again without it starting to tear and stink.

      He's the personal finance equivalent of Jim Cramer.

       

       

    29. On September 25, 2009 @ 7:29 am,
      adsense wrote:
      #29
       



      He's the personal finance equivalent of Jim Cramer.

      That's an interesting comparison. Jim's a shill for Wall Street, and Dave's a shill for … himself?

      I dunno.

       

       

    30. On April 23, 2010 @ 8:33 pm,
      bae wrote:
      #30
       



      is it wrong to pay for his seminar on credit?

       

       

    31. On June 24, 2010 @ 5:40 pm,
      Ryan wrote:
      #31
       



      Does anyone have a ballpark what these “counselors” make? Are they full time “Dave” employees or is this a second job on the side? Does the client pay the counselor or does the client pay Dave and then Dave pays the counselor?

       

       

    32. On July 31, 2010 @ 10:54 pm,
      Robie wrote:
      #32
       



      Ryan, I’m posting a link below to the FAQ page regarding his counseling training program that will answer your question. The bottom line is his training is something that you would do as self-improvement and a possibility to gain some skills in order to further your own career, but you are not considered an employee and they do not teach you how to open and run your own counseling business.

      http://www.daveramsey.com/counselors/faq/

      Regarding some of the other comments above, I agree with some of the points such as the overuse of the word “stupid” in referring to people and things. But he gets his point across and I just ignore that because I can filter the good from the bad and if that’s the only thing I don’t like, then I’m in good shape. The rest of the repetitive phrases are necessary in order to keep his teachings consistent and that’s one thing that I’m very happy about – he doesn’t waiver much in his advice from one person to another without a really good reason. And his references to him going broke in his 20′s is his way of relating to the people who are staring these problems in the place today. Otherwise, who’s going to listen to a guy who appears like he has tons of money and never struggled? A good teacher must find a way to form a relationship with the students and this is key to his success.

      Personally, I’m not stupid and I’m actually heads and shoulders ahead of most of the people who call Dave but that doesn’t mean that I’m doing what I need to do. I have even paid for a financial advisor from a large financial corporation who has told me that I need to get rid of my debt. As much as I like – and even trust – my financial advisor, he was not able to get me to understand what I really needed to do. In other words, he told me but he didn’t show me and he didn’t lay it out one step at a time. Dave TEACHES and MOTIVATES people to be accountable for their own financial situation and he has shifted my entire thinking about how I manage my money.

      In my personal search for a better financial outlook, I’ve gotten sucked into to some of the other “opportunities” that are out there. You know them – the ones who tell you that if you’re “hungry” enough, you’ll do anything and all you have to do is a) talk to all of your family members and friends and sell ‘em something or b) pay a ton of money to learn how to buy real estate for pennies on the dollar, yada yada yada (and those of you who have done this too, know that those “opportunites” cost a heck of a lot more than anything DR has to offer.!) Dave is the first person that I’ve read who teaches me to manage what I have available and to get out of the mess that the rest of these other gurus have helped me get into (no, I’m not blaming them – it’s 100% my fault!)

      I believe that Dave Ramsey helps the people who needs his help. Some of the comments above are from people who have better control of their finances and don’t need his help but you are in the minority. I wish I were like you as far as having the common sense to manage my finances like you do naturally. But the behavioral issues that Dave Ramsey talks about are so true. Keeping up with the Joneses is a real problem, at least in my life, and Dave has given ME permission to stop feeling that way.

      I find it sad that I needed someone like DR to kick me in the butt, but I’m glad he did. He’s not perfect. I probably won’t follow his advice exactly as he advises to the end but I feel grateful that I have found his advice to at least get me pointed in the right direction. And even though I’m “ok” now, I was struggling to see a comfortable retirement. Now, I have a plan and that’s the key in my opinion.

       

       

    33. On August 17, 2010 @ 2:47 pm,
      Mikey wrote:
      #33
       



      I have a friend out west who went throuh Dave’s counselor training 2 yrs ago and he said that part of the $3K+ cost was food, lodging, and transportation. He loved the experience and said it was done very well. No matter what you think about Dave, it seems what you spend you get a quality product in return.

       

       

    34. On November 1, 2010 @ 1:32 am,
      Melyssa wrote:
      #34
       



      Anyone who has attended Dave’s counselor training, I’d love to hear from you. missmelyssa[at]hotmail[dot]com

       

       

    35. On November 14, 2010 @ 6:24 pm,
      billy wrote:
      #35
       



      I’m a former Dave Ramsey insurance ELP. The guy is a used care salesman/charmer and I was always amazed at the koolaid drinkers that lined up to do everything a guy they never met told them to do. Not that his advice was poor, but the blind obedience to the ‘church of Dave’ was always a little unsettling to me.
      BTW, ELPs pay thousands of dollars to be “endorsed”. I’m not saying that fact is, in itself, a fraud, but the fact that DR listeners aren’t made aware up front that their ELP is paying $$$ to leverage their trust of Dave into new clients is a tad unseemly.
      The perception put out there by DR is that the ELPs must submit to a rigorous slection process to be considered for the job. My ‘interview’ was about 5 minutes of shooting the breeze with some 20 something clueless kid employed by DR, followed by having to sign a statement declaring that I wouldn’t do things like recommend permanent life insurance, etc. In 6+ years, that was all I had to do………other than write that fat check each month..
      In the interests of full disclosure, the DR folks terminated my contract after I repeatedly questioned their integrity. I was told by my DR contact that being an ELP was a privelege, not a right. I found that somewhat galling, given that this individual had been in my wallet every month for years & had contributed exactly zero to assisting any of the DR listeners I worked with..

       

       

    36. On November 20, 2010 @ 11:50 pm,
      Brooke wrote:
      #36
       



      All I know is, is Ramsey is a conman. And suckers are plentiful……

       

       

    37. On May 15, 2011 @ 8:45 am,
      Eli wrote:
      #37
       



      Does anyone know if Dave’s employee’s share in his business? I mean that is their an employee equity pool, or is the entire company Dave’s?

       

       

    38. On May 15, 2011 @ 6:34 pm,
      Davey wrote:
      #38
       



      @ Brooke (Comment #36): Really? Please cite your source. Give specifics or keep your idiotic comments to yourself. However, I agree with you that suckers are plentiful. By the way, how much in debt are you?! Me, none. House and everything has been paid off for 3.5 years now! Dave motivated me, however, I already had the knowledge.

      @ Eli (Comment #37): Yes, there is profit sharing in Dave’s company. He doesn’t pay extremely well, however, that tends to motivate everyone to do well so as to make more as the company makes more. Very good idea.

       

       

    39. On June 2, 2011 @ 12:21 am,
      Matthew P. collins wrote:
      #39
       



      Ok the first thing that I want to point out is that Dave’s course is built on the princible of someone having at least a 40 hour week job and pulls in a minimal of $2000.00 a month. Unless you have those 2 things to begin with, his course is impossible to do. I’m quite frankly so sick and tired and beyond infuriated with the people who this works for under some illusion that a 40 hour a week job is somehow magically going to come to you in this day and age in this economy.

      The key factor is you have to be allowed to work a job like that and people who have that or have never had this problem I have eben constantly put through is ever going to be able to understand this situation.

      I am almost 41 years old and I have never once ever been allowed to work in a job where I have made anywhere near $15,000 a year. The jobs I do manage to get that pay $12-$14 an hour I always get screwed out of. but yet i get blamed by people who do not understand having thsi constantly happen and use moronic statements like Well i’ve never had that problem…I seriously want to puch their face in. it’s gottent ot he point where I literally have refused to go out and try and look for a job. because if i do and get one something will happen and i will get screwed over again…And i’m not going to subject myself to that any further. Anyone who says to me a job with 40 hours would be good for me…better know someone or a job I can get by having them vouch for me.

      Anyway my point is this:
      My wife and I borrowed and watched watched 2 segments of his first video, and I have to say nothing Dave said in either of those 2 segments was understandable. Me and my wife have zero clue to anything he was saying. And quite frankly nothing he said explained anything anyway. For starters You’re magically supposed to somehow manage to get $1000 into an emergency account…… Umm sorry that’s not possible when you are not being allowed to make even $300 a week.

      the next thing is the budget which went right over our heads…He was using % figures and charts that only someone with a masters in business finance would ever be able to understand…then starts filling in a budget paper with examples based off what was not explained….

      And All I got out of this was a headache and pure frustration. I even went so far as to leave a message for the raido show explaining that his system cannot be done by someone who doesn’t have 40 hours a week and pulling in at least about $2000 a month, and I also explained that his videos are unfollowable.

      So far following his system will never allow you to break out of debt EVER…
      I fail to see how thsi course does anything.

      If his system works so well then how about he give me a job making about $450 a week so i can put his course into motion.

       

       

    40. On June 10, 2011 @ 1:54 am,
      smitty wrote:
      #40
       



      yeah…I’m 100% sure DR would say change your attitude and get a 40 to 60 hour a week job. You can’t do the program like you’ve lived your life (half-***ed)

       

       

    41. On July 1, 2011 @ 2:50 pm,
      Matthew P. Collins wrote:
      #41
       



      smitty- People like you are the main reason the jobs are the way they are even before the economy becamse the way it was….Preventing epople from working due to not having a degree, never gveing peoeepl the opportunity to prove themselves..Hell I can do more than half of the jobs out there better than the people in them, but always get told no. So Equal opportunity employment is never allowed in this case.

      I’m so sick and tired of people that have work saying retarded comments to others who have major problems finding work due to people like yourself, saying things like Oh i had no problems finding work or dumb ass statements like that, then making all sorts of snap judgments that you knoww nothing about. Then using the set up as ammunition against them to say “See look at how you act, no wonder you dont’ have a job” when in fact it’s the people working that are actually causing teh problem. Seriously who the hell is anyone to say if someone can or cannot do something when they don’t even know them.

      People that dont’ allow people wto work are the cause of why people like me have attitudes. Instead of allowing work for someone you screw them over constantly until they have had enough..This is one of the main reasons people go into places at people
      s work and shoot the place up…it’s because they get pushed and puched and pushed by scociety then sciciety and the people that really caused the problem say the person was unstable but they never would have been had they been allowed the same chance all the retards I see getting work who cannot even do teh job get it instead…

      This is exactly like a jock in school picking on kids, then people only see the kid mad and never taking a look at the reason WHY the kid is mad…And the jock never gets blamed despite it being his fault.

      I despise people like you, and even though I have aenough common sense to not do something ebcause it wont’ do anything to correct the problem. I how someone you push to that extent does something to you because it will server you right. You talked down to me saying i live my life half-assed…Who the hell are you to judge me, especially not kowing anything about me…. Again snap judgments frrom people like you are the cause of why people have attitudes.

      People need to think twice about the ramifications of what they do and start taking a look at the reasons behind why what happens, instead of looking at the fact that it just happened. If the reasons were actually looked at, things would be a lot different.

      Get real and stop talking down to people you piece of low life garbage.

       

       

    42. On July 31, 2011 @ 4:49 am,
      your mom wrote:
      #42
       



      I listen to DR most days on the radio, but I would never pay for his events, or anything. Go buy some books to read instead, like The Wealthy Barber, Your Money or Your Life, The Millionaire Next Door. You’ll have a much better perspective and mindset than paying for DR’s courses or events.

      If you’re lazy, then that’d be the only reason to pay for his live events. We can’t help lazy or dumb, but if you are somewhat smart, save your money and go buy some books instead.

      DR is not doing you a favor by overcharging for these events.

       

       

    43. On October 4, 2011 @ 10:25 am,
      Jimmy wrote:
      #43
       



      Your Mom…………..how much wealth have you accumulated by reading the other books?

      I went to an event, paid a whooping $39. I learned way more than $39 worth of info, and figured out how to pay off $17,000 in debt the next week.

      What’s your net worth genius?

       

       

    44. On October 11, 2011 @ 12:10 pm,
      Jan Dillaha wrote:
      #44
       



      Some of the things Dave teaches are well worth the investment. The fee for counselor training is, in my opinion, not worth it. I have 20 years of public accounting experience. While the training can get me CPE that just isn’t enough to cover the $86/per credit fee. I have looked at the training materials and there just isn’t enough substance there to justify that sort of rate. I can get CPE that is more substantive for a fraction of the cost.

      This training isn’t enough to make you a competent counselor either. Too many people go expecting to be fully ready to make a living selling counseling services to broke people. This is a tough business model particularly for those who think that success will come from a passion for Dave’s teaching and helping folks with financial troubles. It takes much more than that.

      I saw the writing on the wall on that when a friend attended the training and I was given an opportunity to do a debrief. There is no accountability to Dave to actually learn the material, only to sit through the class. I have actually met some people who paid for the training and still can’t balance a checkbook.

      Dave is a savvy marketer and there is a lot of wisdom in what he teachers. Buyer beware is one of those phrases that applies to the clip charge on counselor training.

       

       

    45. On October 26, 2011 @ 5:54 am,
      George Cantstandya wrote:
      #45
       



      Dave Ramsey is a fraud. Preaching about his god and throwing away 10% of your money to give to WIZARDRY IN THE SKY makes no sense. It is obvious he is using the church for his own good. That freaking antisemitic Mel Gibson rant he uses from Braveheart. What a joke. By the way I have yet to hear Dave Ramsey wish anyone a Happy Hanuka. Tunnel vision all the way. Either you believe in Christ or you are nothing. That is my take from hypocrite Ramsey. Furthermore, he dissuades people in debt from spending money to debt forgiveness, but preaches paying money for his program.

       

       

    46. On November 4, 2011 @ 1:30 pm,
      Dan wrote:
      #46
       



      I just think that since he comes from a sales background, and he monetizes everything he can, it irritates actual professionals who live and breathe financial details.

      His class is incredibly valuable for someone who’s just read his books and a few others and wants to be good at running his FPU class for their church. If you’re already a CPA or have a degree in Business/Finance or years of experience already, it’s only use would be the networking.

      Someone was whining on Twitter about the expense of his class, and Dave’s response works here, too. “Then don’t buy it.” He offers this class, if you don’t think it’s worth it, don’t go. Simple as that. He’ll still be your friend.

       

       

    47. On November 30, 2011 @ 6:34 pm,
      Angela wrote:
      #47
       



      @ George …Dave has said to give 10% to charity no matter what your religion or lack of religion. It doesnt have to go to church..donate to the food pantry,animal shelters..etc. Money makes the world go round.

       

       

    48. On August 23, 2012 @ 3:28 pm,
      JKH wrote:
      #48
       



      I found out about Dave over the summer listening to WOR in NYC.

      I had realized his methods a few years ago on my own. Debt is bad, pay off the smallest cards first. Not necessarily because it makes you feel better, but because it frees up more monthly money to pay off the next credit card.

      I like his message a lot, but agree, he is way too evangelical. One does not have to be a bible thumping follower of Christ to be a good person.

      Being a Tax CPA, I caught him in an inexcusable tax mistake today. He told a caller one cannot go from being a C Corp to a S Corp. Of course one can, Form 2553. Look it up on the IRS website. I called the show and emailed, he never retracted. He trashed C Corps, but there are considerable benefits to operating a C Corp.

      Bought Total Money Makeover and it is mostly stories. Also bought his Entre-Leadership book and so far the same thing, mostly stories.

      His show is great in that his sole message is to get out of debt and I agree with that message. But the show does often come across as a Don Lapre infomercial.

      I agree with his preaching of working hard and then even harder to get ahead and being responsible and teaching your kids to be successful. The man was bankrupt and now is a millionaire.

      But I think it is a mistake to buy too many of his products.

       

       

    49. On August 23, 2012 @ 3:42 pm,
      JKH wrote:
      #49
       



      Okay, Dave did just retract on his comment that a C Corp cannot switch to be a S Corp.

      Bigger man in my eyes.

       

       

    50. On November 29, 2012 @ 11:16 pm,
      Dave wrote:
      #50
       



      There are few things I can say about Dave Ramesy. Most are good. The idea of staying out of debt as to not be a slave to the lender, perfect. On the whole there is only one major part of his message that I don’t agree with. The idea that wealth is so great. I can’t think of anyone else that is so obsessed with making more and more money. As a fellow Christian I don’t understand it. We are warned many times over about the lure of riches. The bible does not pull punches about it. If you have enough to provide for you and your family then stop. He said something about knowing your “winning” when you give and it doesn’t hurt. I don’t think that kind of giving is doing anything important, at least not spirituality. It does not require any faith. I hope for his sake that his foundation is what he says it is.

       

       

    51. On October 2, 2013 @ 10:21 am,
      MikeM wrote:
      #51
       



      Dave has a lot of my respect, he has had a lot of my attention over the years (not so much since 2009), and he has my full blessing to keep putting his message out on the air. But, he has very little of my money.

      I would recommend a similar strategy to everyone.

       

       

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