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 Post subject: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:51 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:25 am
Posts: 2
Hi All,

I am currently in a volley over whether to gift some tickets to live Dave Ramsey event to my daughter and SIL who are struggling with debt. They attended Financial Peace a few years ago and admit, they did not follow through on suggestions received.

Personally, I find most of Dave's advice is good, common sense (cents!) packaged in successfully marketing - and the current recession is a perfect time for this product. What I'm finding difficult to accept is his "tiered" program of admission for his events. The first 3 rows of seating are offered at a premium of $99 over the general admission of $59. Then, there's the "backstage" opportunity to mingle with him and others for $199.

Something about this just keeps putting me off from buying the tickets. It's not the money, but principle. My daughter and her husband had hit several bottoms and have made a substantial turnaround in efforts to become debt-free. They now appear motivated by the Financial Peace approach, which is why I felt tickets to one of Dave's events would make a great anniversary present.

I'd appreciate your thoughts/feedback, including suggestions of any alternatives to the Financial Peace products.

Thanks,
Jean


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:45 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1201
If they didn't take his advice before, they probably won't again. His methods haven't changed. As for alternatives, are they reading books/blogs/etc on how to get out of debt & turn their financial lives around? If there's no evidence of trying to learn then it sounds like just a bunch of lip service.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:16 pm 
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SeattleSaver wrote:
Hi All,

I am currently in a volley over whether to gift some tickets to live Dave Ramsey event to my daughter and SIL who are struggling with debt. They attended Financial Peace a few years ago and admit, they did not follow through on suggestions received.

My daughter and her husband had hit several bottoms and have made a substantial turnaround in efforts to become debt-free. They now appear motivated by the Financial Peace approach, which is why I felt tickets to one of Dave's events would make a great anniversary present.

I'd appreciate your thoughts/feedback, including suggestions of any alternatives to the Financial Peace products.

Thanks,
Jean


Welcome to the boards Jean! Coming from someone who took the FPU course twice and did get out of debt I don't think you should give up on your daughter & SOL. We actually enjoyed it a lot more the 2nd time as we joined a small group that met for 13 weeks (2 hour sessions), watched the lessons, shared in victories, shared in failures, and eventually helped motivate us to get out of debt. This process was about 1.5-2 years before we got serious about our debt and finances. So don't give up on them yet! ;)

A couple of alternatives...
A) Is there a local church/group near your daughter or SOL that offers the course? (Our church offers to host a small group every six months for example.) Now the new FPU course is just 9 weeks on DVD and only 1.5 hours. There are also multiple speakers now. We're considering taking it again as a refresher course.

B) Perhaps buying the new package and going through it together with the couple might be another option? It would be a good time for you to bond and share your stories.

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Disclaimer: I think DR is a slimeball who gives horrible advice. The bit you noticed about the prices only reinforces my opinion that he rips people off.

That said...I would not waste your money in this case. If you give them tickets they might go but they will not be committed to the program so you'll be throwing money away. They need to make the decision to improve their situation on their own if they are going to have any commitment to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:19 am
Posts: 80
Dave Ramsey is a mixed bag.

On one level I have a lot of respect for him. On another I despise him.

I think he has a good simple system for the financially illiterate and he does inspire hope to people that have lost it. that being said I think he also exploits that feeling of 'needing help' and 'can do' by selling the same product several different ways. But I also think he is an egotistical and narcissistic maniac and most of his radio show is him ranting like just another political pundit or pitching some kind of product. He actually gets hostile with callers that disagree with anything he says.

Factor in also that often times his events are held at churches where he practices his 'ministry' people seem to forget that he is a salesman and a business.

His investment advice is questionable when he says 'growth stock mutual funds' and then cite some high return rate and doesn't seem to factor for risk. But then he talks all about risk when he talks about paying off the mortgage early eliminates 'that' risk. He preaches 'debit cards' like they're some kind of gift from a messiah, but doesn't explain that they don't have some of the protections that credit cards can have.

I'd suggest in lieu of FP maybe get Total Money Makeover or maybe "All Your Worth" by Elizabeth Warren (which are basically the same thing, just AYW is a simpler system.)

I used to listen to him regularly but now I have found Clark Howard to be much more enjoyable and reasonable. Dave told me to get out of debt by fixing my cash flow. Clark Howard's money saving advice had practical application in the real world and gave me the tools to help with cash flow. For example, I've cut a $90 a month cell bill to zero.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:29 am 
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DoingHomework wrote:
Disclaimer: I think DR is a slimeball who gives horrible advice. The bit you noticed about the prices only reinforces my opinion that he rips people off.

That said...I would not waste your money in this case. If you give them tickets they might go but they will not be committed to the program so you'll be throwing money away. They need to make the decision to improve their situation on their own if they are going to have any commitment to it.


So what is an alternative program or website you would recommend DoingHomework?

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:43 am 
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potatoslayer wrote:
Dave Ramsey is a mixed bag.

On one level I have a lot of respect for him. On another I despise him.

I think he has a good simple system for the financially illiterate and he does inspire hope to people that have lost it. That being said I think he also exploits that feeling of 'needing help' and 'can do' by selling the same product several different ways. But I also think he is an egotistical and narcissistic maniac and most of his radio show is him ranting like just another political pundit or pitching some kind of product. He actually gets hostile with callers that disagree with anything he says.

Factor in also that often times his events are held at churches where he practices his 'ministry' people seem to forget that he is a salesman and a business.


Even if you don’t like him it is interesting how successful DR has been with his products. DR just really dislikes people who call in with dumb ideas or assumptions. I would agree that looking at DR’s program as a “ministry” is misleading.

I would say DR wants to help people get out of debt. I would also say that DR really believes in his product just as any salesman should. Is it the best advice? The getting out of debt section is helpful from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know much about finances. His pitch is emotional motivation. Plain and simple. While it’s all good to tell someone from a financial standpoint to pay off their $20k of CC debt at 15% interest before paying off smaller loans such as a CC balance of $2000 at 5% interest many people would give up before they started. Small victories motivate people to greater success in reducing debt.

potatoslayer wrote:
His investment advice is questionable when he says 'growth stock mutual funds' and then cite some high return rate and doesn't seem to factor for risk. But then he talks all about risk when he talks about paying off the mortgage early eliminates 'that' risk. He preaches 'debit cards' like they're some kind of gift from a messiah, but doesn't explain that they don't have some of the protections that credit cards can have.


His stances on investments and credit cards are pretty frustrating. I’m still not convinced of his claim of 10-12% average returns for mutual funds. We use credit cards due to the protection factor and the rewards. Not everyone is responsible enough not to swipe the card and spend more than they have in the bank. That takes discipline and is achievable.

potatoslayer wrote:
I'd suggest in lieu of FP maybe get Total Money Makeover or maybe "All Your Worth" by Elizabeth Warren (which are basically the same thing, just AYW is a simpler system.)

I used to listen to him regularly but now I have found Clark Howard to be much more enjoyable and reasonable. Dave told me to get out of debt by fixing my cash flow. Clark Howard's money saving advice had practical application in the real world and gave me the tools to help with cash flow. For example, I've cut a $90 a month cell bill to zero.


Not sure that reading a book is the best solution. However, if the OP’s daughter and SOL would be willing to do that it would at least be a step in the right direction.

I’m very interested in Clark Howard. Thanks for mentioning him. ;) I’m going to check him out today.

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
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Eagle wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
Disclaimer: I think DR is a slimeball who gives horrible advice. The bit you noticed about the prices only reinforces my opinion that he rips people off.

That said...I would not waste your money in this case. If you give them tickets they might go but they will not be committed to the program so you'll be throwing money away. They need to make the decision to improve their situation on their own if they are going to have any commitment to it.


So what is an alternative program or website you would recommend DoingHomework?


How about READING books and generally educating oneself rather than listening to a guy that clearly does not know what he is talking about.

Getting out of debt is simple...pay them off as fast as you can by sacrificing everywhere possible to free up more cash. For investing, start with John Bogle's book.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:42 am 
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Eagle wrote:
potatoslayer wrote:
Dave Ramsey is a mixed bag.

On one level I have a lot of respect for him. On another I despise him.

I think he has a good simple system for the financially illiterate and he does inspire hope to people that have lost it. That being said I think he also exploits that feeling of 'needing help' and 'can do' by selling the same product several different ways. But I also think he is an egotistical and narcissistic maniac and most of his radio show is him ranting like just another political pundit or pitching some kind of product. He actually gets hostile with callers that disagree with anything he says.

Factor in also that often times his events are held at churches where he practices his 'ministry' people seem to forget that he is a salesman and a business.


Even if you don’t like him it is interesting how successful DR has been with his products. DR just really dislikes people who call in with dumb ideas or assumptions. I would agree that looking at DR’s program as a “ministry” is misleading.


In my opinion, DR is the worst kind of slimeball who preys on the financially illiterate and people who have weak thinking skills. That is who he targets churches for his programs. I would think that would completely disgust anyone who is religious. His success is in his selection of "victims." If he ran his seminars at Harvard or CalTech where people know how to think critically he would not make much because they'd be smart enough not to pay him.

Why anyone would encourage snakes like him by promoting or recommending his programs, especially those who are religious and look to their church as a focus of their life, is beyond my comprehension!


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:03 am 
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DoingHomework wrote:
Eagle wrote:
So what is an alternative program or website you would recommend DoingHomework?


How about READING books and generally educating oneself rather than listening to a guy that clearly does not know what he is talking about.


DR doesn't know about reducing/eliminating debt? DR doesn't know how to instruct people how to make a budget? DR doesn't know how to instruct people on how to reduce debt? DR doesn't know about setting up an emergency fund? The first three steps of the DR system are actually doable. The investment side of things is... Questionable at best.

DoingHomework wrote:
Getting out of debt is simple...pay them off as fast as you can by sacrificing everywhere possible to free up more cash. For investing, start with John Bogle's book.


If getting out of debt were that simple debt wouldn't be an issue in America or other parts of the world. Once again the alternative suggested is read books, check out some blogs, and educate yourself. Most people have horrible financial habits that are in debt. They may be successful in their careers but they are lost when it comes to handling their own finances. They have no idea where to start. DR's system is simple. Anyone can do it. Surely we can agree on that?

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:50 am 
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Eagle wrote:
DR doesn't know about reducing/eliminating debt? DR doesn't know how to instruct people how to make a budget? DR doesn't know how to instruct people on how to reduce debt? DR doesn't know about setting up an emergency fund? The first three steps of the DR system are actually doable. The investment side of things is... Questionable at best.


No, I don't think he does. His snowball method costs people extra money and asks them to blindly follow a plan that they are not asked to understand. Does he actually explain to you how to calculate how much extra interest you will pay when you follow his snowball rather than paying off the high interest rate debts first?

He himself got out of debt by declaring bankruptcy - quitting the race - then paying off his debts when he felt like it later. In other words he lied to his creditors and broke his promises to repay. The is one thing DR know well. He is an expert at finding people that will give him money for snake oil.

Eagle wrote:
If getting out of debt were that simple debt wouldn't be an issue in America or other parts of the world. Once again the alternative suggested is read books, check out some blogs, and educate yourself. Most people have horrible financial habits that are in debt. They may be successful in their careers but they are lost when it comes to handling their own finances. They have no idea where to start. DR's system is simple. Anyone can do it. Surely we can agree on that?


Yes, the alternative is to educate yourself. Education is a very helpful thing. Most people, if they are truly educated, will apply their education and actually begin to think, to accept the evidence and adjust their thinking to improve their financial habits. Blindly following anyone's system does not lead to improved thinking and does not educate anyone.

Besides, how does charging people who are in debt money help them? How can one justify upselling a front row seat or backstage pass to those already choking on debt? Surely we can agree that behavior is immoral.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:06 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
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Years ago, before I'd heard of Dave Ramsey, a friend came to me saying that the best way for her to get out of debt was to pay off the smallest balance first, then the next smallest, and so on. That didn't sound right to me so I ran the numbers and proved to her (and myself) that paying off the highest interest was in fact the fastest and cheapest. So when I heard Dave Ramsey blast a guy for "failing" because his wife had sent an extra $20 to the highest interest debt - just enough to round it up - I was shocked. They were cutting back on expenses, paying extra to their debt, and working together, but because they didn't mindlessly follow Dave's plan they were failures. For this and many other reasons I would not be helped by seeing Dave speak. It's possible your daughter and SIL are in the same boat, or it could be they need to have the point hammered in a few times. Do you know why they didn't follow through on FPU?

I second the notion of reading books, blogs, and just generally researching. I think people need to set their own priorities and figure out what works best for themselves. For some that's Dave's method, but it's not for me. I would not feel safe with only $1000 in savings, in fact it would drive me nuts. I would also get frustrated paying the smallest balance knowing that I'd be wasting money. If you need milestones to keep you motivated keep a tally of your total debt. When you pay off $1000, $5000, whatever's appropriate to your income and debt level, celebrate (cheaply of course).


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:13 am 
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catchingup wrote:
I second the notion of reading books, blogs, and just generally researching. I think people need to set their own priorities and figure out what works best for themselves. For some that's Dave's method, but it's not for me. I would not feel safe with only $1000 in savings, in fact it would drive me nuts. I would also get frustrated paying the smallest balance knowing that I'd be wasting money. If you need milestones to keep you motivated keep a tally of your total debt. When you pay off $1000, $5000, whatever's appropriate to your income and debt level, celebrate (cheaply of course).


I think this is an important point - people should think and do what works best for them. Because when people start to think for themselves, great things happen - they are empowered to think for themselves and improve their behavior in all areas of their life. It might be hard to know where to begin but I don't think following someone else's plan, anyone else's, requires any thought, and the thinking is the most important part! Sitting down, perhaps with your spouse or partner, and thinking about your own behavior, preferences, habits, and situation and then deciding on a few simple steps to try to begin to move in a better direction is far better than just trying to follow what a book says.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:19 am
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DoingHomework wrote:
I think this is an important point - people should think and do what works best for them. Because when people start to think for themselves, great things happen - they are empowered to think for themselves and improve their behavior in all areas of their life. It might be hard to know where to begin but I don't think following someone else's plan, anyone else's, requires any thought, and the thinking is the most important part! Sitting down, perhaps with your spouse or partner, and thinking about your own behavior, preferences, habits, and situation and then deciding on a few simple steps to try to begin to move in a better direction is far better than just trying to follow what a book says.


I had the distinct pleasure of just gaining traction in our finances right before the economy tanked and all the credit card companies started shutting accounts and slashing credit lines. I already had grocery lists of reasons I hated certain companies. But then when they started pulling all this nonsense it just made things all the clearer.

I used anger as my motivator. I put the debts in order of which creditors I hated the most. Chase, Boa, Citi, 5/3. etc. I would just get myself more and more pissed the more I thought about all the tricks and traps they put me through and all the BS (i.e. Chase told me my payment got 'lost in the mail' for 3 months despite me making a payment online via their system.) This really got things moving. When I'd pay them off I'd send them a certified letter where I'd tell them what I thought of them. I told Chase Bank that doing business with them was "like having an infected hemoroid at the base of my ###h#le while having traveler's diarrhea." I printed out the letters and I was going to frame them but I never got around to it. I did put them on the refrigerator to remind myself of how much they had pissed me off. But getting them off my back and then getting how i felt off my chest helped me along big time.

I get to do it again because I bonus-surfed those cretins. (i.e. spent $500 get $300 back so I just spent exactly $500, got a check for a little over $300 and haven't used the card since. )


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Ramsey
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:46 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:36 am
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First post. To a certain degree DR is what Liz Weston (as I understand her) would call a "financial fundamentalists" one rule (i.e. no credit cards) is the rule for everyone. Obviously everyone's case is different, you have to honestly evaluate your financial habits and if you can't handle credit cards then don't use them, but if you can there are good cash back rewards programs. Actually most personal finance "gurus" agree on about 90% of topics. In her intro to her book "the Ten Commandments of Money" she says that even though she calls them commandments they are not etched in stone because everyone's situation is different. She states take what you like and can use of her advice and leave the rest. It is a good book and your local public library probably has it, if not see if they can get it via Interlibrary Loan.


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