We are at a point where controversial figures like Dave Ramsey are a dime a dozen. Everyone who has tried their hand at investing is becoming a personal finance guru.
Your background, success, and even credibility are less important. The only criterion you need to check is whether people follow your advice. If they do – great, you have an audience that you can squeeze dry. If they do not – that is still great, you just need to change up your pitch and you will find listeners.
However, not all finance gurus are cut from the same cloth. Some are worth checking out. As a result, people want to know whether Dave Ramsey is a scam. Where do we begin, though?
Who is Dave?
Many of Dave Ramsey’s reviews start with a look into who he is. Unlike most, Ramsey has been open about his past ventures – both the good and the bad. Before he became one of America’s most influential finance gurus, Ramsey started as a child with a humble upbringing. Some might even call it rough.
Dave Ramsey learned that if he wants to get something, he has to work for it. This idea that his father instilled into him was the first and only push Ramsey needed to become an entrepreneur. He had to start small, so he resorted to selling manual labor and trinkets. He did so because there was not much he could offer at that point. A few years later, the then 18-year-old Ramsey earned a real estate license.
I know what you are thinking. Is Dave Ramsey a scam because he started selling overpriced real estate and became a shady real estate mogul? Not exactly. At an important part in his life, Dave Ramsey’s budget took a dive. In other words, his real estate business failed, so he had to file for bankruptcy. How, then, did Ramsey bounce back?
Path to Redemption
There is a reason why people want to know if Dave Ramsey is a scam, and it has got a lot to do with what he did to get back on his feet. Ramsey’s story is not your typical rags-to-riches situation. There is a proverb that perfectly describes his case – those who can’t do, teach.
Ramsey’s solutions came about because of his turn to Christianity. Soon enough, he turned to the Bible for financial advice. He even met his first financial counseling client at church. The man asked Ramsey for financial advice, Ramsey helped him set up a financial plan, and the rest is history.
Luckily for Ramsey, the event kickstarted his financial counseling business, which led to him creating The Lampo Group. In time, Ramsey took part in a radio show centered around personal finance known as The Money Game. During this period, he also published a book called Financial Peace. Now, are any of these things red flags? Not really. Is Dave Ramsey a scam? Again, not really.
Not many of Dave Ramsey’s critics claim he is a scam because of how he started his career. Although people might be willing to call him out on his initial endeavors, there are few things one could single out during this period. Nevertheless, can we really say that Dave Ramsey is not a scam?
As much as it may pain people to read this, Dave Ramsey is not a scam. That is because there is not a lot that Ramsey can do to scam his audience. The majority of his business ventures that can be flagged are based on giving advice, and it is not even the type of advice that outright tells you to buy his product or participate in a scheme of his.
But does that mean Ramsey offers quality advice?
The biggest problem with personal finance gurus is that they consider themselves the be-all and end-all of financial planning. Ramsey especially puts himself in a position where he is more than likely to be seen as a divine authority because at the core of his teaching lie a set of biblical principles he claims can improve one’s financial condition. It does not take a lot of explanation to connect this to a scenario where a set of fervent followers biasedly filter his advice and end up deeply unsatisfied at best.
Moreover, Dave Ramsey’s critics have pointed out that one of his core financial systems, also known as a series of 7 Baby Steps, is unsurprisingly rigid. I say unsurprisingly as rigid financial advice is expected to come from a financial guru with an equally rigid upbringing.
Still, it would do Ramsey’s solutions injustice to call them scams. Rigid as they may be, they are not nonsensical. Do they ask followers to take a conservative approach toward financial planning? Yes. Do they involve scamming said followers? No.
In summary, Dave Ramsey’s budget planning advice is not a scam. Controversial as he may be, he does not seem to be scamming his audience. Regardless of whether he truly believes in what he preaches, Ramsey seems to be a decent financial guru.
Still, if you are willing to give him a chance, I would advise you not to consider his advice at face value. Regardless of what Dave Ramsey’s Reviews say, in his case, it is not just about how sound his practices are, but their implication on your life.
And lastly, is Dave Ramsey a scam? No, but you should still consider his advice carefully.