Dave Ramsey

David Lawrence Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American radio show host, author and businessman.

Dave Ramsey
BornDavid Lawrence Ramsey III
(1960-09-03) September 3, 1960[1]
Antioch, Tennessee, U.S.
OccupationRadio show host, author, businessman
ResidenceFranklin, Tennessee, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville
SubjectPersonal finance
Notable worksThe Total Money Makeover
SpouseSharon Ramsey


Ramsey was born and raised in Antioch, Tennessee. He was a 1982 graduate of the College of Business Administration at University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in Finance and Real Estate.[2] As a real estate investor, doing business as Ramsey Investments, Inc., he built a rental real estate portfolio worth more than $4 million by 1986.[3] The bank that was financing his real estate was sold to a larger bank who demanded immediate repayment on the loans. He was unable to pay, and eventually filed bankruptcy in September 1988.

After recovering financially, Ramsey began counseling couples at his local church. He attended workshops and seminars on consumer financial problems. Ramsey developed a set of lessons and materials based partially on his own experience and partially on works and teachings by Larry Burkett, Ron Blue and Art Williams of the A.L. Williams company, now Primerica.[4] In 1992 he wrote his first book, Financial Peace.[3]

Ramsey is a devout Evangelical Christian.[5] He has been married to his wife Sharon for 38 years. They have three children and reside in Franklin, Tennessee.[3]


Ramsey's syndicated radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show, is heard on more than 500 radio stations throughout the United States and Canada, in podcast format, on IHeartRadio, the Dave Ramsey Show iOS application, live on YouTube, as well as live audio and video on DaveRamsey.com.[6][7] He has written numerous books including five The New York Times bestsellers. His books and broadcasts advocate a fiscally disciplined approach to personal and household finances, including the strict management of debt, and often feature a Christian perspective. Ramsey was named the 2009 Marconi Award winner for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year,[8] and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.[9]

In 2014, he rebranded his company and changed its name from The Lampo Group, Inc. to Ramsey Solutions.[10] It is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, oversees six divisions geared toward financial education.[11][12]

Ramsey has been featured on many media outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, and The Early Show. He recorded a pilot and six unaired episodes of The Dave Ramsey Project[13] for CBS. He was the host of the television program The Dave Ramsey Show, which aired on the Fox Business Network until June 2010.[14]

The Dave Ramsey Show

In 1992, Ramsey started his radio career by co-hosting The Money Game with Roy Matlock of Primerica. Over time, this local show on one radio station in Nashville turned into The Dave Ramsey Show. With a combined listenership of over 12 million weekly, the show is available on more than 575 radio stations and other channels. In 2007, the Fox Business Network launched a television show under the same title, but canceled the show in June 2010. The show is also available via podcast and is recorded at Ramsey Solutions in Franklin, Tennessee.


Ramsey supports the debt snowball method, where debtors pay off their lowest balance debt first instead of paying off their highest interest rate debt first. While this approach has been criticized by some, research done by the Kellogg School of Management has found that the debt snowball method is generally effective.[15][16] The small victories give debtors motivation.[17][18][16][19] A 2016 study by Harvard Business School[20] found that people who used the snowball method to pay off their smallest account first, paid down more of their debt than those who used other methods.

Ramsey claims that investors can get a 12% average annual return, which is the rate he uses in financial analyses.[21] Ann Carrns responded that using an average annual return rate is misleading and that the compound annual growth rate is a better measurement for planning investments.[22] Helaine Olen, author of the book "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry" quoted in Yahoo Finance stated that a 12% return is unrealistically high.[23] According to the Motley Fool, following Ramsey's calculations could cause individuals to be seriously under-invested for retirement.[24]

Ramsey recommends investors to hold all their investments in stock mutual funds, but their volatility increases risk compared to bonds.[25] He recommends that retirees withdraw 8% of their retirement fund each year.[26]

In 2010, Ramsey received criticism on social media sites for building a large and lavish home. He responded that the cost of the home was paid in cash, represented a very low percentage of his net worth, and had already been used to host many fundraisers for ministries, charities and community causes.[27]

Books authored

  • The Total Money Makeover (Over 6 million copies sold)
  • Complete Guide to Money
  • Smart Money Smart Kids (co-authored with his daughter Rachel Cruze)
  • The Legacy Journey
  • EntreLeadership
  • The Money Answer Book
  • Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your Family
  • The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family's Financial Health

See also


  1. Dave Ramsey Show Newstalk 550 KTSA. San Antonio, Texas. 3 Sep. 2012. Radio.
  2. "Who is Dave Ramsey?". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  3. Ramsey, Dave; Sharon Ramsey (2003). Financial Peace Revisited. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Viking Penguin. p. 325. 0-670-03208-5.
  4. "Broadcast Archives - Jim Daly, Focus on the Family". oneplace.com. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  5. "Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  6. "Axia Interview with Blake Thompson, producer of The Dave Ramsey Show". www.axiaaudio.com. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
  7. "Watch and Listen to the Dave Ramsey Show". daveramsey.com. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  9. http://www.radiohof.org/dave%20ramsey.htm
  10. Company History
  11. "Working at Lampo Group, Dave Ramsey". Glassdoor. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  12. "The Lampo Group, Inc. Business Review in Brentwood, TN - Middle Tennessee BBB". bbb.org. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  13. Drury, Susan (May 31, 2007). "The Gospel According to Dave". Nashville Scene. Retrieved July 16, 2007.
  15. Berger, Rob. "Debt Snowball Versus Debt Avalanche: What The Academic Research Shows". Forbes. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  16. Boyer, Ray. "The 'snowball approach' to debt". Northwestern University. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  17. Tuttle, Brad (August 16, 2012). "Paying Off Credit Card Debt: What is the Best Approach?". Moneyland.time.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  18. "Can Small Victories Help Win the War? Evidence from Consumer Debt Management". Journal of Marketing Research. 49: 487–501. doi:10.1509/jmr.11.0272.
  19. "Frequently Asked Questions". daveramsey.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  20. "Research: The Best Strategy for Paying Off Credit Card Debt". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  21. Ramsey, Dave. "The 12% Reality: Can you really get a 12% return on your mutual fund investments?". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  22. Carrns, Ann (May 13, 2011). "Dave Ramsey's 12% Solution". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  23. Korn, Morgan (January 14, 2013). "Don't Get Your Money Advice from Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey: Pound Foolish Author". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved October 23, 2014. Equities are extremely volatile and rarely provide the 12% annual return that Orman and Dave Ramsey tout for people looking to quadruple their income, Olen adds.
  24. Stoffel, Brian. "Dangerous Retirement Planning Advice From Financial Guru Dave Ramsey". The Motley Fool. Retrieved October 23, 2014. Let's take the case of a 25-year-old who is going to start saving today, and wants to retire when he's 65 with $1 million -- just as Ramsey mentioned on his Twitter page. If that investor assumes he'll make a 12% return per year on his investments, he'll need to save $97 per month. If, however, he assumes his return will be 6.7% -- the S&P 500's CAGR while factoring in inflation, which Ramsey claims to do -- that number jumps to $422 per month. Think about that: $97 per month versus $422. That's an enormous difference! For the hapless investor who saved $97 per month but experienced a more-normal 6.7% return per year, he will be over $770,000 -- or 77% -- short of his investment goal. I'm not sure why Ramsey harps on this 12% figure while not offering any solid numbers to back it up. His followers would be well served to dial down their assumptions before adjusting their retirement planning process.
  25. Salmon, Felix; Poppick, Susie (September 26, 2013). "Save like Dave Ramsey… Just Don't Invest Like Him". Time. Retrieved October 23, 2014. More consequentially, Ramsey advocates a portfolio of only stock funds, with no bonds. (He does say that those with low risk tolerance might add a balanced fund, which includes some bonds as well as stocks.) Given the volatility of stocks, that's aggressive advice, to say the least.
  26. Ramsey, Dave. "How to Wreck Your Nest Egg at Retirement: Things you should and shouldn't do once you retire". Dave Ramsey. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  27. Leah Marieann Klett (March 10, 2015). "Dave Ramsey Offers Powerful, Biblically Sound Response to Criticism over His Multi-Million Dollar Home". The Gospel Herald. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.

Further Reading

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