Dave Ramsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dave Ramsey
Ramsey in 2023
Ramsey in 2023
Born (1960-09-03) September 3, 1960 (age 63)[1]
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
OccupationPersonal finance consultant, radio show host, author
Alma materUniversity of Tennessee (BS)
SubjectPersonal finance
Notable worksThe Total Money Makeover
SpouseSharon Ramsey
Children3, including Rachel Cruze

David Lawrence Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American radio personality who offers financial advice. He hosts the nationally syndicated radio program The Ramsey Show. Ramsey has written several books, including The New York Times bestseller The Total Money Makeover, and hosted a television show on Fox Business from 2007 to 2010.

Early life[edit]

Ramsey was born in Antioch, Tennessee, to real estate developers.[2] He attended Antioch High School where he played ice hockey. At age 18, Ramsey took the real estate exam[2] and began selling property, working through college at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville,[2] where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Real Estate.[3]


By 1986, Ramsey had amassed a portfolio worth over $4 million.[4][5] However, when the Competitive Equality Banking Act of 1987 took effect, several banks changed ownership and called his $1.2 million in loans and lines of credit because he was over-leveraged.[2] Ramsey was unable to pay and filed for bankruptcy in 1988.

Ramsey experienced several years of financial recovery and began offering financial advice to couples at his local church.[5] In 1988, he founded the Lampo Group, a financial counseling service,[5] and in 1992 he wrote and self-published his first book, Financial Peace.[4][2]

Ramsey began as one of three alternating hosts of The Money Game on radio station WWTN/Nashville in 1992. The show eventually became The Dave Ramsey Show, Ramsey's daily three-hour call-in financial advice talk show.[2][6]

Financial Peace University, Ramsey's nine-lesson, video-based personal finance course, debuted in 1994.[7] The Gannett newspaper group ran his financial column, though dropped it when the newspaper realized that Ramsey had changed the names on the letters to which he was responding. He offered to pay them their money back.[2] The Dave Ramsey Show aired on the Fox Business Network from 2007 to 2010.

In 2014, The Lampo Group, Inc. was rebranded as Ramsey Solutions.[8] The company's headquarters are located in Franklin, Tennessee, and a new 47-acre campus opened there in 2019.[9]

Ramsey has written five books for adults, three of which were New York Times bestsellers, and six children's books.[2] He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.[6]


Ramsey advises listeners to reduce debt using the debt snowball method, where debtors pay off their lowest balances first.[10][9] Ramsey opposes the use of credit cards.[11] At live shows, he sometimes takes out his wallet to show audiences the "only four pieces of plastic" he carries: A business debit card, a personal debit card, a driver's license, and a concealed-carry permit.[2][9] Ramsey encourages the use of cash and advises families to utilize an envelope system, putting a cash allocation for each month's food, entertainment, and other expenses in separate envelopes and then spending only what is in the envelope.[12] Ramsey encourages people not to take on student loan debt[9] and calls the idea that student loans are required for college "a myth".[13]

Criticism and controversies[edit]

In 2014, The Daily Beast reported that Ramsey had lashed out against former employees he claimed were discussing working conditions at the company on Facebook and Twitter. At company staff meetings, Ramsey recounted conversations from a private Facebook group of former employees that he had infiltrated, offered cash rewards for the identities of some members who took to anonymous Twitter accounts once they realized Ramsey had joined the private group, and "pulled a gun out of a bag to try to teach a lesson about gossip"[14]. The incident prompted an increased backlash, a meeting Ramsey set up to confront critics, and the eventual deletion of several of the critical Twitter accounts.[15]

Company policies regarding marriage, sex and homosexuality[edit]

According to a September 2021 lawsuit, when Julie Anne Stamps, a Ramsey Solutions employee on the customer care team, approached her supervisor regarding coming out as a lesbian in May 2020, the supervisor explained that company policy would not allow Stamps to continue to be employed at Ramsey Solutions. Stamps alleged that her departure from the company was further expedited once the United States Supreme Court June 15, 2020, ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County was decided. Ramsey Solutions denies the accusations.[16][17]

In July 2020, Caitlin O'Connor, a former Ramsey Solutions employee, filed a federal lawsuit against the company alleging that she was fired for being pregnant and, since she wasn't married to the baby's father, for violating Ramsey Solutions' employee conduct policies.[18] On May 27, 2021, O'Connor gave her first interview about the termination and her experience working for Ramsey.[19]

On March 10, 2021, featured personality Chris Hogan left the company, citing "things going on in my personal life ... that are not in line with Ramsey Solutions."[20] Hogan's resignation followed a request for his personnel file at Ramsey Solutions during the Caitlin O'Connor case. Before the release of his book Everyday Millionaires, Hogan admitted to several affairs, including one with a co-worker at Ramsey Solutions during his marriage to wife Melissa Hogan.[21] References to his book and videos are still available on the Ramsey website (as of August 18, 2021)[22] and YouTube channels; however, direct links on the Ramsey Solutions website are replaced with a redirect page for other company resources.

In May 2021, Religion News Service (RNS) obtained recordings of Ramsey mocking employees over the policy and explaining Hogan's 2019 absence as a "rest break" following the affair accusations. Melissa Hogan, Chris Hogan's ex-wife, issued a statement to RNS claiming that the company downplayed Chris's behavior, covered for him, and characterized her behavior as "anger, hyperbole, and drama".[23][24]

COVID-19 response[edit]

In December 2020, a complaint was filed with the Franklin health department alleging that caterers hired for the Ramsey Solutions Christmas party at its company headquarters were instructed not to wear masks or gloves while serving, which the company later confirmed to the local NBC affiliate.[25] Ramsey Solutions responded that there was no truth to the complaint.[26] Earlier in the pandemic, the company remained open after employees tested positive for the virus, ignored recommendations to avoid large gatherings, and hosted a July business conference after the Marriott hotel canceled citing safety concerns.[27]

On his radio show[28] and in staff meetings, Ramsey railed against face coverings and other COVID-19 precautions, calling them "a sign of fear".[29] On his March 2, 2020, show, he mocked concerned ticket holders for his upcoming live events, calling anyone who wanted a refund a "wuss" and insisting that he would attend the "Live Like No One Else" cruise "by my freaking self" if necessary.[24]

In February 2021, Ramsey appeared on Fox News, where he said, "I don't believe in stimulus checks, because if $600 or $1,400 changes your life you were pretty much screwed already. You got other issues going on."[30][31]

In a December 2021 federal lawsuit, a former employee alleged that Ramsey violated his religious rights by firing him when he took scientifically prescribed precautions against COVID-19. The lawsuit said Ramsey ran a "cultlike" environment where employees who worried about the pandemic were accused of "weakness of spirit" and told to pray if they wanted to ward off the virus.[32] Ramsey Solutions has denied all accusations and has claimed the suit was "completely false".[33]


Critics of Ramsey's core teachings point out that they are often a "one-size-fits-all" approach that disregards income disparities, investment horizon, and ignores financial emergencies.[34][12][9] The debt snowball method is frequently debated, and studies have returned results that both support and oppose its efficacy.[35] [36] Ramsey's investing advice has also drawn criticism over its reliance on stock investment, as opposed to bonds, using mutual funds with load fees, and its frequent claim of 12% annual returns on investments.[37][38][39]

Personal life[edit]

Ramsey married his wife Sharon in 1982, and the Ramseys have three children: Denise (Ramsey) Whittemore, Rachel (Ramsey) Cruze, and Daniel Ramsey. All three work for Ramsey Solutions.[9] With Ramsey, Cruze co-wrote and published the New York Times No. 1 bestseller Smart Money, Smart Kids in 2014.

Ramsey had an estimated net worth of $55 million as of 2018.[40] He sold his custom-built home in the Nashville, Tennessee area for $10.2 million in 2021 after living there for over a decade. A spokesperson said he was having another home built in the area.[41]

Ramsey is an evangelical Christian[9] who describes himself as conservative, both fiscally and culturally.[5][7] He has blamed politics for what he considers Americans' economic dependence, and has said presidents should do "as little as possible" about the economy.[7]


  1. ^ Dave Ramsey Show Newstalk 550 KTSA. San Antonio, Texas. September 3, 2012. Radio.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Drury, Susan (May 31, 2007). "The Gospel According to Dave". Nashville Scene. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  3. ^ "Check out the latest from Dave Ramsey!". daveramsey.com. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Ramsey, Dave; Sharon Ramsey (2003). Financial Peace Revisited. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Viking Penguin. p. 325. 0-670-03208-5.
  5. ^ a b c d Ross Jr., Bobby (March 31, 2003). "Christian financial guru crusades against overspending". Google News. Ocala Star-Banner. p. 6C. Archived from the original on January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Dave Ramsey". Radio Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Alberta, Tim. "The Financial Whisperer to Trump's America". Politico. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  8. ^ "Company History". daveramsey.com. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Bahler, Kristen (April 16, 2019). "Broke Millennials Are Flocking to Financial Guru Dave Ramsey. Is His Advice Any Good?". Money. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  10. ^ White, Martha (August 16, 2012). "The Verdict Is In: Tackle Smaller Debts First". Time. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  11. ^ Grisby, Lorna (February 17, 1997). "Digging Out of Debt". People. Archived from the original on January 16, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Olen, Helaine (October 28, 2013). "The Prophet". Pacific Standard. Archived from the original on January 16, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  13. ^ Ramsey, Dave. "Parents shouldn't co-sign student loans". Knoxville News Sentinel.
  15. ^ Turner, Matthew Paul (May 29, 2014). "Spies, Cash, and Fear: Inside Christian Money Guru Dave Ramsey's Social Media Witch Hunt". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  16. ^ Morris, Chuck (September 30, 2021). "Woman sues Dave Ramsey company after being fired for coming out as lesbian". News 4 Nashville. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  17. ^ Hale, Steven (September 30, 2021). "Former Ramsey Solutions Employee Says She Was Fired for Coming Out as a Lesbian". Nashville Scene. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  18. ^ West, Emily R. (July 21, 2020). "Lawsuit: Former Ramsey Solutions employee alleges firing over pregnancy". Tennessean. Archived from the original on July 22, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  19. ^ Finley, Jeremy (May 27, 2021). "'It's Like Leaving the Cult': Former employee suing Dave Ramsey speaks out for the first time". News 4 Nashville. Archived from the original on June 3, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  20. ^ Finley, Jeremy (March 11, 2021). "Lawsuit alleges Dave Ramsey's company fired/disciplined employees for premarital sex". WBIR.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  21. ^ Smietana, Bob (March 10, 2021). "Chris Hogan, retirement expert and Dave Ramsey protégé, departs Ramsey Solutions". Religion News Service. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  22. ^ Search Ramsey
  23. ^ Finley, Jeremy (May 24, 2021). "Secretly recorded audio of Dave Ramsey reveals question of double standards in company". News 4 Nashville. Archived from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Smietana, Bob (January 15, 2021). "Is Dave Ramsey's empire the 'best place to work in America'? Say no and you're out". Religion News Service. Archived from the original on January 30, 2021. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  25. ^ Finley, Jeremy (December 11, 2020). "Dave Ramsey's company Christmas party subject of non-mask compliance complaint". News 4 Nashville. Archived from the original on January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  26. ^ Hale, Steven; Jamieson, Dave (December 14, 2020). "Personal Finance Guru Dave Ramsey Just Threw A Huge Indoor Christmas Party". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  27. ^ Hale, Steven (July 8, 2020). "Dave Ramsey to Host Business Conference in Franklin as COVID-19 Cases Rise". Nashville Scene. Archived from the original on July 8, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  28. ^ Ramsey, Dave (November 19, 2020). "This Has Gotten Out of Hand! – Dave Ramsey Rant". The Dave Ramsey Show – YouTube. Archived from the original on January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  29. ^ Smietana, Bob (December 11, 2020). "Dave Ramsey, Christian personal finance guru, defies COVID-19 to keep staff at desks". Religion News Service. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  30. ^ Lonas, Lexi (February 11, 2021). "Dave Ramsey on stimulus checks: 'If $600 or $1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already'". The Hill. Archived from the original on February 13, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  31. ^ "If a $600 Stimulus Check Changes Your Life, Then You're Already Screwed!". The Ramsey Show on Youtube. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  32. ^ Cramer, Maria (December 14, 2021). "Dave Ramsey Fired Employee for Taking Covid Precautions, Suit Says". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  33. ^ "Dave Ramsey fired staffer for taking Covid precautions, ran work environment where masks were 'mocked', lawsuit says". NBC News. December 15, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  34. ^ CLU®, David Chang, ChFC® (October 29, 2022). "3 Reasons Not to Listen to Dave Ramsey". www.fool.com. Retrieved August 11, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  35. ^ Berger, Rob (July 20, 2017). "Debt Snowball Versus Debt Avalanche: What The Academic Research Shows". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  36. ^ "Paying Down Credit Card Debt | Questrom School of Business". www.bu.edu.
  37. ^ Carrns, Ann (May 13, 2011). "Dave Ramsey's 12% Solution". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  38. ^ Stoffel, Brian (June 3, 2013). "Dangerous Retirement Planning Advice From Financial Guru Dave Ramsey". The Motley Fool. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  39. ^ Salmon, Felix (September 26, 2013). "Save like Dave Ramsey ... Just Don't Invest Like Him?". Money. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  40. ^ Alberta, Tim (May 8, 2020). "The Financial Whisperer to Trump's America". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  41. ^ "Dave Ramsey Takes a Deep Discount, Sells Franklin, TN, Home for $10.2M". Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®. November 24, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.

External links[edit]