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.
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.
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.