I don’t normally cover financial advice, but I wanted to pass along a tidbit I recently came across. A lot of people are big fans of Dave Ramsey. He has a strong personality, and a lot of people like listening to that sort of person. I think that explains his popularity more than anything – kind of a Rush Limbaugh for personal finances.
I don’t listen to his show, but I have met people who do and are big fans. One thing that has always troubled me is: here is a multimillionaire who sells expensive “get out of debt” materials to those who are in the greatest financial need. On top of that, he claims to be a Christian. I guess he never read the part of the Bible where it condemns those who profit by taking advantage of the poor. He could give the basic materials away for free and still be quite rich, but he doesn’t. He prefers to profit off the backs of the poor and needy.
Evidently, I am not only alone in this opinion. Gary North has recently published a scathing piece on this man and his financial advice. It is called How Dave Ramsey Made $55 Million by Being Good on Personal Debt, Naive on Business Debt, Lousy on Investing, and a Loudmouth Bully.
Good Advice for Getting Out of Debt
In contrast to Ramsey, North has established his own get-out-of-debt website for free, complete with user forums. Some of it is members-only, but the membership is free, and while he probably will try to sell you something of his, I doubt it will be get out of debt materials. He is giving those away for free. Here is the website: Deliverance From Debt.
If you are facing debt problems or know someone who is, I recommend starting with this site. Don’t waste your precious money making Dave Ramsey richer.
Good Advice for Accumulating Wealth
In his article, North also addresses the issue of wealth accumulation. He points out that Ramsey continually touts the get rich slowly technique of saving a portion of your salary in a mutual fund account. North points out that this is not the way to become rich. The reason is that these funds can perform poorly just as often as profitably. One must also take into account continual dollar devaluation due to money printing by the Federal Reserve. This inflation is relentless and eliminates just about any hope for passive financial gains.
North points out that the only way most people acquire a lot of money is to start their own business. This is also a form of investing, but it is active. You not only invest your money, but contribute your time and talents to make it grow. Anyone can do this, especially with the fantastic opportunities presented us by the Internet. You can start your own business while keeping your day job.
If you think about it, profiting by passive investing is an attempt to get something for nothing. It just doesn’t work very well. Active investing in your own business does work. Work on starting your own today.