Dave Ramsey

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Dave Ramsey
BornDavid Lawrence Ramsey III
(1960-09-03) September 3, 1960 (age 58)
Antioch, Tennessee, U.S.
OccupationBusinessman, author
ResidenceFranklin, Tennessee, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville
SubjectPersonal finance
Notable worksThe Total Money Makeover
SpouseSharon Ramsey

David Lawrence Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American businessman and author.


Ramsey was born and raised in Antioch, Tennessee. He was a 1982 graduate of the College of Business Administration at University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in Finance and Real Estate.[1] As a real estate investor, doing business as Ramsey Investments, Inc., he built a rental real estate portfolio worth more than $4 million by 1986.[2] The bank he was financing real estate through was sold to a larger bank who demanded immediate repayment on the loans. Because he was unable to pay it, he eventually had to file bankruptcy in September 1988.

After recovering financially, Ramsey began counseling couples at his local church. He soon began attending workshops and seminars on consumer financial problems, he developed a set of lessons and materials based partially on his own experience and on works and teachings by Larry Burkett, Ron Blue and Art Williams of A.L. Williams company now called Primerica.[3] In 1992 he wrote his first book, Financial Peace.[2]

Ramsey is a devout Christian.[4] He has been married to his wife, Sharon, for over 30 years. They have three children, and reside in Franklin, Tennessee.[2]


Ramsey's syndicated radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show, is heard on more than 500 radio stations throughout the United States and Canada, in podcast format, on IHeartRadio, the Dave Ramsey Show iOS application, live on YouTube, as well as live audio and video on DaveRamsey.com.[5][6] He has written numerous books including five New York Times bestsellers. His books and broadcasts advocate a fiscally disciplined approach to personal and household finances, including the strict management of debt, and often feature a Christian perspective. Ramsey was named the 2009 Marconi Award winner for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year,[7] and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.[8]

His company, The Lampo Group, Inc., headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, oversees six divisions geared toward financial education.[9][10]

Ramsey has been featured on many media outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, and The Early Show. He recorded a pilot and six unaired episodes of The Dave Ramsey Project[11] for CBS. He was the host of the television program The Dave Ramsey Show, which aired on the Fox Business Network until June 2010.[12]

The Dave Ramsey Show[edit]

Twenty-five years ago, Ramsey started his radio career by co-hosting The Money Game with Roy Matlock of Primerica. Over time, this local show on one radio station in Nashville turned into The Dave Ramsey Show. With a combined listenership of over 12 million weekly, the show is available on more than 575 radio stations and other channels. In 2007, the Fox Business Network launched a television show under the same title, but canceled the show in June 2010.

Related companies[edit]

The Lampo Group, Inc.[edit]

Ramsey founded his company, The Lampo Group, Inc., in 1992 (now called Ramsey Solutions),[13] initially helping people one-on-one who were struggling with financial issues. In 1994, he hired Russ Carroll, Ramsey's lead financial counselor, and together they began teaching the first Financial Peace University classes on overhead projectors.[13] Between 1999 and 2004, The Lampo Group grew from 18 to 105 team members. There are currently over 500 team members.[14]

Financial Peace University[edit]

Ramsey is the creator of Financial Peace University, a biblically based training series for adults that integrates video teaching, class discussions, and small group activities.[15] In 2013, he launched a followup program, The Legacy Journey. This course is a biblically based training series for adults focused on "what's next?" after getting out of debt.[16]


He coined the term word EntreLeadership to describe the responsibilities of a small business owner as an entrepreneur, and used it as the name of a small business conference. Ramsey also released the book titled EntreLeadership in 2011. It rose to the New York Times Bestseller's list nearly overnight.[17]


EveryDollar is a budgeting tool that was created by Ramsey Solutions, available online, on iOS, and Android. Users list all sources of income and they give every dollar a name for the month, based on zero-based budgeting.[18]

Financial advice[edit]

Ramsey supports the debt snowball method, where debtors pay off their lowest balance debt first instead of paying off their highest interest rate debt first. While this approach has been criticized by some, such as NerdWallet.com,[19] other research such as that done by the Kellogg School of Management has found that the debt snowball method is generally effective. The article stated that the small victories give debtors motivation.[20][21][22][23] A 2016 study by Harvard Business School[24] also found people who used the snowball method to pay off their smallest account first paid down more of their debt than those who used other methods.

Ramsey states that investors can get a 12% average annual return and this is the number he uses in financial analyses.[25] Critics state that using an average annual return rate is misleading and that the compound annual growth rate is a better measurement when planning investments.[26] Critics have also stated that a 12% return is unrealistically high—the usual planning assumption is 4%.[27] According to the Motley Fool, following Ramsey's calculations could cause individuals to be seriously under-invested for retirement.[28]

Ramsey recommends investors to hold all their investments in stock mutual funds, which has been criticized as stocks are more volatile than bonds.[29] He recommends that retirees withdraw 8% of their retirement each year, a contrast to the generally recommended 4%.[30]

In 2010, Ramsey received criticism on social media sites for building a large and lavish home. He responded that the cost of the home was paid in cash, represented a very low percentage of his net worth, and had already been used to host many fundraisers for ministries, charities and community causes.[31]


Personal finance[edit]

  • Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your Family (1997) ISBN 0-670-87361-6
  • The Financial Peace Planner: A step-by step guide to restoring your family's financial healths (1998) ISBN 0-14-026468-X
  • How to Have More than Enough: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Abundance (2000) ISBN 0-14-028193-2
  • More than Enough: The Ten Keys to Changing Your Financial Destiny (2002) ISBN 0-14-200047-7
  • Financial Peace Revisited (2002) ISBN 0-670-03208-5
  • The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness (2003) ISBN 0-7852-6326-8
  • Total Money Makeover Workbook (2004) ISBN 0-7852-6327-6
  • The Money Answer Book: Quick Answers to Everyday Financial Questions (2005) ISBN 0-8499-9619-8
  • Priceless: Straight-Shooting, No-Frills Financial Wisdom (2006) ISBN 0-9774895-9-0
  • EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches (2011) ISBN 978-1-4516-1785-6
  • Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide To Money: The Handbook of Financial Peace University (2012) ISBN 978-1-9370-7720-4
  • Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win With Money (2014) ISBN 1937077632 (co-authored by Ramsey's daughter Rachel Cruze)
  • The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity (2014) ISBN 1937077713

Kids' books[edit]

Spanish translations[edit]

The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace Revisited, and More than Enough have been translated into Spanish.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who is Dave Ramsey?". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Ramsey, Dave; Sharon Ramsey (2003). Financial Peace Revisited. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Viking Penguin. p. 325. 0-670-03208-5.
  3. ^ "Broadcast Archives - Jim Daly, Focus on the Family". oneplace.com. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Axia Interview with Blake Thompson, producer of The Dave Ramsey Show". www.axiaaudio.com. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
  6. ^ "Watch and Listen to the Dave Ramsey Show". daveramsey.com. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  8. ^ http://www.radiohof.org/dave%20ramsey.htm
  9. ^ "Working at Lampo Group, Dave Ramsey". Glassdoor. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Lampo Group, Inc. Business Review in Brentwood, TN - Middle Tennessee BBB". bbb.org. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  11. ^ Drury, Susan (May 31, 2007). "The Gospel According to Dave". Nashville Scene. Retrieved July 16, 2007.
  13. ^ a b Dave Ramsey (2006). "Our Company History". daveramsey.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
  14. ^ "Fact sheet". DaveRamsey.com. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Beth Tallent (2007). "THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY LEARN LIFES FINANCIAL LESSONS FROM DAVE RAMSEY". DaveRamsey.com. Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  16. ^ "The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey". daveramsey.com. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  17. ^ "EntreLeadership". daveramsey.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  18. ^ "A Zero-Based Budget: What and Why". www.daveramsey.com. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  19. ^ "Why Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball is Bad Financial Advice". NerdWallet.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  20. ^ Tuttle, Brad (August 16, 2012). "Paying Off Credit Card Debt: What is the Best Approach?". Moneyland.time.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  21. ^ "Can Small Victories Help Win the War? Evidence from Consumer Debt Management". Journal of Marketing Research. 49: 487–501. doi:10.1509/jmr.11.0272.
  22. ^ Boyer, Ray. "The 'snowball approach' to debt". Northwestern University. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  23. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". daveramsey.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  24. ^ "Research: The Best Strategy for Paying Off Credit Card Debt". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  25. ^ Ramsey, Dave. "The 12% Reality: Can you really get a 12% return on your mutual fund investments?". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  26. ^ Carrns, Ann (May 13, 2011). "Dave Ramsey's 12% Solution". New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  27. ^ Korn, Morgan. "Don't Get Your Money Advice from Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey: Pound Foolish Author". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved October 23, 2014. Equities are extremely volatile and rarely provide the 12% annual return that Orman and Dave Ramsey tout for people looking to quadruple their income, Olen adds.
  28. ^ Stoffel, Brian. "Dangerous Retirement Planning Advice From Financial Guru Dave Ramsey". The Motley Fool. Retrieved October 23, 2014. Let's take the case of a 25-year-old who is going to start saving today, and wants to retire when he's 65 with $1 million -- just as Ramsey mentioned on his Twitter page. If that investor assumes he'll make a 12% return per year on his investments, he'll need to save $97 per month. If, however, he assumes his return will be 6.7% -- the S&P 500's CAGR while factoring in inflation, which Ramsey claims to do -- that number jumps to $422 per month. Think about that: $97 per month versus $422. That's an enormous difference! For the hapless investor who saved $97 per month but experienced a more-normal 6.7% return per year, he will be over $770,000 -- or 77% -- short of his investment goal. I'm not sure why Ramsey harps on this 12% figure while not offering any solid numbers to back it up. His followers would be well served to dial down their assumptions before adjusting their retirement planning process. Dave Ramsey is a fake, and his show is clearly scripted.
  29. ^ Salmon, Felix; Poppick, Susie (September 26, 2013). "Save like Dave Ramsey… Just Don't Invest Like Him". Time. Retrieved October 23, 2014. More consequentially, Ramsey advocates a portfolio of only stock funds, with no bonds. (He does say that those with low risk tolerance might add a balanced fund, which includes some bonds as well as stocks.) Given the volatility of stocks, that’s aggressive advice, to say the least.
  30. ^ Ramsey, Dave. "How to Wreck Your Nest Egg at Retirement: Things you should and shouldn't do once you retire". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  31. ^ Leah Marieann Klett (March 10, 2015). "Dave Ramsey Offers Powerful, Biblically Sound Response to Criticism over His Multi-Million Dollar Home". The Gospel Herald. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.

Further Reading

External links[edit]