Dave Ramsey

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Dave Ramsey
Born David L. Ramsey III
(1960-09-03) September 3, 1960 (age 57)
Antioch, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Businessman, author, radio host
Residence Franklin, Tennessee, U.S.
Nationality American
Subject Personal finance
Notable works The Total Money Makeover
Spouse Sharon
Children Rachel Cruze
Daniel Ramsey
Denise Ramsey
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)

David L. Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American businessman, author, financial broadcaster, television personality, and motivational speaker.

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.[1][2] 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 that reflects Ramsey's religious beliefs. Ramsey was named the 2009 Marconi Award winner for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year,[3] and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.[4]

Ramsey's company, The Lampo Group, Inc., headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, oversees six divisions geared toward financial education.[5][6]

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[7] for CBS. He was the host of the television program The Dave Ramsey Show, which aired on the Fox Business Network until June 2010.[8]


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.[9] At the age of 26, through his brokerage firm Ramsey Investments, Inc., he built a rental real estate portfolio worth more than $4 million and became one of Tennessee's youngest brokers to be admitted to the Graduate Realtors Institute.[10]

Ramsey's success soon came to an end as the Tax Reform Act of 1986 began to have a negative impact on the real estate business. One of Ramsey's largest creditors was sold to a larger bank, which began to take a harder look at Ramsey's borrowing habits. The bank demanded he pay $1.2 million worth of short-term notes within 90 days, forcing him to file for bankruptcy relief. Sixty days later another bank demanded nearly $800,000.[10]

After recovering financially, Ramsey began counseling couples at his local church. Soon after offering private counseling services, Ramsey began attending every workshop and seminar on consumer financial problems that he could find. He developed a simple 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.[11] In 1992, after many requests from his clients, he wrote his first book, Financial Peace.[10]

Ramsey is a devout Christian.[12]

Ramsey has been married to his wife, Sharon, for over 30 years. They have three children: Denise, Rachel, and Daniel. The family resides in Winchester, Tennessee.[10]

The Dave Ramsey Show[edit]

Twenty-five years ago, Ramsey started his radio career by co-hosting the show The Money Game with Roy Matlock of Primerica. Over time, that 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, a dedicated YouTube channel, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, a podcast on iTunes and Google Play, and a video channel on daveramsey.com. 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]

Ramsey runs his business completely debt-free, an accomplishment he states was critical to the success of his company.[15]

Financial Peace University[edit]

Ramsey is also the creator of Financial Peace University, a biblically based training series for adults that integrates video teaching, class discussions, and small group activities. The video series lasted for 13 weeks until August 2012 when it was relaunched as a 9-week program. Some topics covered in the series are cash flow planning, investing, saving, credit, retirement, and giving.[16]


The word EntreLeadership describes the responsibilities of a small business owner as an entrepreneur (Entre) and as a leader (Leadership). EntreLeadership is also the name of a small business conference developed by Dave Ramsey. The principles presented at EntreLeadership seminars are the core principles of how Ramsey grew his company debt-free. EntreLeadership is available to small-business owners in several forms; a one-day abbreviated seminar; and a five-day master series event located in Nashville, Tenn; a multi-day Summit; and as premium online content. Ramsey also released the book titled EntreLeadership in 2011. The book rose to the New York Times Bestseller's list nearly overnight. EntreLeadership marked the fourth time Dave Ramsey has been listed on the New York Times Bestseller's list.[17]

The Legacy Journey[edit]

In 2013, Ramsey and the Lampo Group launched the followup to Financial Peace University, The Legacy Journey. This course is a biblically based training series for adults lasting seven weeks focused on "what's next?" after getting out of debt and, like Financial Peace University, integrates video teaching, class discussions, and small group activities. Some topics covered in this series are a deeper look into investing, basic estate planning, purposeful living, safeguarding your legacy, and discovering the keys to generational wealth and true generosity.[18]


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.[19]

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,[20] 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.[21][22][23][24]A 2016 study by Harvard Business School[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] Most individuals are unaware of this difference.[28] Critics have also stated that a 12% return is unrealistic.[29] According to the Motley Fool, following Ramsey's calculations could cause individuals to be seriously under-invested for retirement.[30]

Ramsey recommends investors to hold all their investments in stock mutual funds, with no bonds, which has been criticized as stocks are more volatile than bonds.[31] Ramsey recommends that retirees withdraw 8% of their retirement each year.[32]

Ramsey recommends individuals buy term life insurance instead of cash value insurance or return of premium life insurance and invest the savings.[33][34]

The Nashville Scene has reported that Ramsey occasionally receives emails and letters containing the red-letter Bible verse: "And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Ramsey interprets such communications as a rebuke of his own wealth and a call for poverty, dismissing these letters as “doctrinal nitpicking.”[7] He instead points to Matthew 25:13-30 and the good Samaritan as examples of being a good steward of money,[35] and asks rhetorically how broke people can help the poor.

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.[36]


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 health (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]


  • 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller, Foreword by Dave Ramsey (2005) ISBN 0-8054-3188-8
  • Thou Shall Prosper (Second Edition): Ten Commandments for Making Money by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Foreword by Dave Ramsey (2009) ISBN 0470485884
  • Retire Inspired: It's Not an Age, It's a Financial Number by Chris Hogan, Foreword by Dave Ramsey (2016) ISBN 1937077810
  • Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want by Rachel Cruze, Foreword by Dave Ramsey (2016) ISBN 1937077977
  • Business Boutique: A Woman's Guide to Making Money Doing What She Loves by Christy Wright, Foreword by Dave Ramsey (2017) ISBN 1942121032

Spanish translations[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ "Watch and Listen to the Dave Ramsey Show". daveramsey.com. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  4. ^ http://www.radiohof.org/dave%20ramsey.htm
  5. ^ "Working at Lampo Group, Dave Ramsey". Glassdoor. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Lampo Group, Inc. Business Review in Brentwood, TN - Middle Tennessee BBB". www.bbb.org. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Drury, Susan (May 31, 2007). "The Gospel According to Dave". Nashville Scene. Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Who is Dave Ramsey?". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d Ramsey, Dave; Sharon Ramsey (2003). Financial Peace Revisited. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Viking Penguin. p. 325. 0-670-03208-5. 
  11. ^ "Broadcast Archives - Jim Daly, Focus on the Family". www.oneplace.com. Retrieved December 19, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved December 19, 2017. 
  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. ^ Mike Kinosian (2005). "The Inside Story with Mike Kinosian: Behind The Dave Ramsey Show" (PDF). InsideRadio.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 14, 2005. Retrieved December 3, 2006. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ "EntreLeadership". daveramsey.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey". daveramsey.com. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  19. ^ "A Zero-Based Budget: What and Why". www.daveramsey.com. Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Why Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball is Bad Financial Advice". NerdWallet.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  21. ^ Tuttle, Brad (August 16, 2012). "Paying Off Credit Card Debt: What is the Best Approach?". Moneyland.time.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  22. ^ "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. 
  23. ^ Boyer, Ray. "The 'snowball approach' to debt". Northwestern University. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". daveramsey.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Research: The Best Strategy for Paying Off Credit Card Debt". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 16, 2017. 
  26. ^ Ramsey, Dave. "The 12% Reality: Can you really get a 12% return on your mutual fund investments?". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  27. ^ Carrns, Ann (May 13, 2011). "Dave Ramsey's 12% Solution". New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  28. ^ Ludwig, Larry. "Why Dave Ramsey's 12% Return Isn't Reality". Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  29. ^ 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. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ 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. 
  32. ^ 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. 
  33. ^ Root, Jeff. "ZANDER INSURANCE REVIEW". RootFin. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  34. ^ Ramsey, Dave. "The Truth About Life Insurance". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  35. ^ {The Total Money Makeover, Thomas Nelson Publishers 2009, Dave Ramsey. P. 213}
  36. ^ 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]