Recently I received an email from a website I follow and it caught my attention. The title was “Why (Not) Dave Ramsey?” Here is a link to the full article: Why (Not) Dave Ramsey?
The author has three reasons they gave as to why they would not recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University as a resource to learn how to manage your money. Here is my 2 cents to why I would amicably disagree:
Note: All reason headings are credited to Stewardship Financial Counsel
Reason #1: Dave Ramsey has NO educational credentials or professional experience in personal finance
To dismiss someone’s advice based on the fact that they do not have educational experience in the subject is short-sighted. Let’s see: Michael Dell, Founder of Dell Computers a former pre-med student, dropped out of the University of Texas during his sophomore year to found Dell Computers. Steve Jobs: no need for introduction, also a college drop out. I bet you use one of their products. How did you get to trust them?
Obtaining a degree or credentials in Personal Finance does not guarantee being the subject matter expert. It gives you a backbone of where to start. Experience most times is the best teacher.
“Personal finance is only 20% head knowledge. It’s 80% behavior!” – Dave Ramsey
Finally, get the facts right! Dave Ramsey was a 1982 graduate of the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in Finance and Real Estate. Dave also has years of experience that you can not ignore. Like he say’s, “Finances 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge”.
Reason #2: Dave Ramsey’s advice is chock-full of conflicts of interest. Ultimately, YOU are the product he sells.
No one is chained to the rock and forced to use the “Endorsed Local Providers”. It is ironic how the author talks about the Endorsed Local Providers buy a spot to which Dave is the beneficially. Come On! Any business just like your website endorses some product to which you will benefit. Are my wrong? Business is about creating relationships as well as making the math right for your profits and part of that may require endorsing other business that aligns with your mission. That is why Dave has a team that finds and approves the “Endorsed Local Providers”.
I personally have used these Endorsed Local Providers and have learned a lot about finances that most Finacial adviser would not have shared that knowledge with me. Dave recommends advisers with the heart of a teacher so that you the individual gets to learn what your money is doing and not just leave it to the professionals. Whether recommended by Dave or not that is what a personal financial adviser should be doing. The advantage of using an Endorsed Local Providers ensures that one has a starting point to learn about finances.
Reason #3: Lastly and most importantly, Dave Ramsey is not a good witness to Christian living.
The author concludes with this reason I quote, ” It’s not my place to judge a person’s heart or the level of their conviction as a follower of Jesus.”
Then do not. The personal tweets pointed to, is two people disagreeing on a financial approach. Nothing that screams unChristian. The fruits of the spirits work in mystical ways and I believe Dave is doing the best he can to help people handle God’s finances. As we well know nothing on earth is ours, we are merely stewards taking care of it. Does he fall short in his words or actions? You bet! But that is human nature and we shall always fall short, but we get up every day trying to live our Christian values as best as we can.
Agree or disagree, at the end of the day, the decision is yours to make. I personally do not see anything that screams Dave is misleading people, but rather sharing with people and trying to help them with their personal finances. Dave definitely imparts some common sense. As I like to say, “Common sense is not common”. We, humans, are creatures of habit and sometimes it is hard to break bad habits especially when it comes to money. Here is a verse from the bible to contemplate: (Romans 12:2 NIV)