Dave Ramsey

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Dave Ramsey
BornDavid L. Ramsey III
(1960-09-03) September 3, 1960 (age 54)
Antioch, Tennessee
OccupationAuthor, Radio host
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For the actor, see David Ramsey.
Dave Ramsey
BornDavid L. Ramsey III
(1960-09-03) September 3, 1960 (age 54)
Antioch, Tennessee
OccupationAuthor, Radio host

David L. "Dave" Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American financial author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker. His show and writings strongly focus on encouraging people to get out of debt.

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, a dedicated iOS application, as well as live audio and video on DaveRamsey.com.[1][2] He has written numerous books including five New York Times bestsellers. His books and broadcasts often feature a Christian perspective that reflects Ramsey's religious beliefs. Ramsey was named the 2009 Marconi Award winner for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year.[3]

Ramsey's company, The Lampo Group, Inc., headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, oversees six divisions geared toward financial education.

Ramsey has been featured on many media outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, and The Early Show on CBS. He recorded a pilot and six unaired episodes of The Dave Ramsey Project[4] for CBS. He was the host of The Dave Ramsey Show, which aired at 8 p.m. ET and repeated weekdays on the Fox Business Network until June 2010.[5]


Ramsey was born and raised in Antioch, Tennessee. He was a 1982 graduate of the College of Business Administration at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. At the age of 26, through his brokerage firm Ramsey Investments, Inc., he built a rental real estate portfolio worth more than $4 million and became one of Tennessee's youngest brokers to be admitted to the Graduate Realtors Institute.[6]

Ramsey's success soon came to an end as the Tax Reform Act of 1986 began to have a negative impact on the real estate business. One of Ramsey's largest creditors was sold to a larger bank, which began to take a harder look at Ramsey's borrowing habits. The bank demanded he pay $1.2 million worth of short-term notes within 90 days, forcing him to file for bankruptcy relief.[6]

Ramsey then began counseling couples at his local church. Soon after offering private counseling services, Ramsey began attending every workshop and seminar on consumer financial problems that he could find. He developed a simple set of lessons and materials based partially on his own experience and on works and teachings by Larry Burkett, Ron Blue and Art Williams of A.L. Williams company now called Primerica.[7] In 1992, after many requests from his clients, he wrote his first book, Financial Peace.[6]

Ramsey has been married to his wife, Sharon, for over 30 years. They have three children: Denise, Rachel, and Daniel. The family resides in Franklin, Tennessee.[6]

The Dave Ramsey Show[edit]

Ramsey started his radio career by co-hosting the show The Money Game with Roy Matlock of Primerica on June 15, 1992. It is currently known as The Dave Ramsey Show. Originally based locally, it is now syndicated across the country. In 2007 the Fox Business Network launched a television show under the same title, but canceled the show in June 2010. In August 2013 the Dave Ramsey Show began transmitting a live video feed featuring the live three-hour call-in show, as well as other special video content.[8]

Dave identifies himself as a devout born-again Christian. Many churches have hosted and promoted Dave Ramsey workshops.

Related companies[edit]

The Lampo Group, Inc.[edit]

Ramsey founded his company, The Lampo Group, Inc., in 1992,[9] initially helping people one-on-one who were struggling with financial issues. In 1994 he hired Russ Carroll, Ramsey's lead financial counselor, and together they began teaching the first Financial Peace University classes on overhead projectors.[9] Between 1999 and 2004, The Lampo Group grew from 18 to 105 team members. There are currently over 400 team members.[10]

Ramsey runs his business completely debt-free, an accomplishment he states was critical to the success of his company.[11]

Financial Peace University[edit]

Ramsey is also the creator of Financial Peace University, a biblically based training series for adults that integrates video teaching, class discussions, and small group activities. The video series lasted for 13 weeks until August 2012 when it was relaunched as a 9-week program. Some topics covered in the series are cash flow planning, investing, saving, credit, retirement, and giving.[12]

Share It![edit]

"Share It!" is a foundation created by Dave and Sharon Ramsey for the purpose of working with other non-profit organizations, such as housing initiatives, work to success projects, domestic violence shelters, drug and alcohol recovery programs, crisis pregnancy centers, youth outreaches, and high schools, to help others become financially literate.[13]


The word EntreLeadership describes the responsibilities of a small business owner as an entrepreneur (Entre) and as a leader (Leadership). EntreLeadership is also the name of a small business conference developed by Dave Ramsey. The principles presented at EntreLeadership seminars are the core principles of how Ramsey grew his company debt-free. EntreLeadership is available to small-business owners in two forms; a one-day abbreviated seminar; and a five-day master series located at a resort destination. The small business conference is taught by Ramsey and his leadership team. Ramsey also released the book titled EntreLeadership in 2011. The book rose to the New York Times Bestseller's list nearly overnight. EntreLeadership marked the fourth time Dave Ramsey has been listed on the New York Times Bestseller's list.[14]

The Legacy Journey[edit]

In 2013 Ramsey and the Lampo Group launched the followup to Financial Peace University, The Legacy Journey. This course is a biblically based training series for adults lasting seven weeks focused on "what's next?" after getting out of debt and, like Financial Peace University, integrates video teaching, class discussions, and small group activities. Some topics covered in this series are a deeper look into investing, basic estate planning, purposeful living, safeguarding your legacy, and discovering the keys to generational wealth and true generosity.[15]

Criticism and countercriticism[edit]

Financial criticism[edit]

Ramsey is criticized[who?] for advocating the debt snowball method of debt reduction (paying the debt with the lowest balance first) by those preferring that the debt with the highest interest rate should be paid first.[16] Time Magazine reports research which defends Ramsey's method as more effective.[17][18]

Ramsey is criticized[who?] for his advice to stop retirement contributions while getting out of debt and building an emergency fund, even to the point of rejecting an employer match.[19] Ramsey responds that, as with the debt snowball, it is about the emotion, not the math.[20]

Christian criticism[edit]

The Nashville Scene has reported that Ramsey occasionally receives emails and letters containing the red-letter Bible verse: "And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24) Ramsey interprets such communications as a rebuke of his own wealth and a call for poverty, dismissing these letters as “doctrinal nitpicking.”[4] He instead points to Matthew 25:13-30 and the good Samaritan as examples of being a good steward of money. That is why he states he is unashamedly in favor of building wealth.[21] As Dave Ramsey states, how can broke people help the poor?

In November 2013, Ramsey received significant criticism from other Christians over social media after posting an article by Tim Corley to his website, titled 20 Things the Rich Do Every Day (Internet Archive).[22][23][24]

In May 2014, Matthew Paul Turner of the Daily Beast wrote an article about how Ramsey runs his organization and treats his employees. He is called a bully in the article and is accused of bringing out a gun in a staff meeting to prove a point.[25]


Financial advice[edit]

Kids' books[edit]


Spanish translations[edit]

The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace Revisited, and More than Enough have been translated into Spanish.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Axia Interview with Blake Thompson, producer of The Dave Ramsey Show". www.axiaaudio.com. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  2. ^ "Watch and Listen to the Dave Ramsey Show". daveramsey.com. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Drury, Susan (May 31, 2007). "The Gospel According to Dave". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  5. ^ Fox Business Network Names Radio Show Personality Dave Ramsey As Primetime Host
  6. ^ a b c d Ramsey, Dave; Sharon Ramsey (2003). Financial Peace Revisited. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Viking Penguin. p. 325. 0-670-03208-5. 
  7. ^ Focus on the Family (Dr. James Dobson) - Broadcast Archives
  8. ^ "The Dave Ramsey Show Videocast". daveramsey.com. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Dave Ramsey (2006). "Our Company History". daveramsey.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  10. ^ DaveRamsey.com https://www.daveramsey.com/pr/fact-sheet/ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  11. ^ Mike Kinosian (2005). "The Inside Story with Mike Kinosian: Behind The Dave Ramsey Show" (PDF). InsideRadio.com. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  12. ^ Beth Tallent (2007). "THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY LEARN LIFES FINANCIAL LESSONS FROM DAVE RAMSEY". DaveRamsey.com. Archived from the original on 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  13. ^ "About Us". shareittoday.org. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  14. ^ "EntreLeadership". daveramsey.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey". daveramsey.com. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  16. ^ "Suze Orman Smacks Down Dave Ramsey". Free By 50. April 14, 2011. 
  17. ^ Tuttle, Brad (August 16, 2012). "Paying Off Credit Card Debt: What is the Best Approach? | Moneyland | TIME.com". Moneyland.time.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ doi: 10.1509/jmr.11.0272
  19. ^ "Examining Dave Ramsey's Advice: Stop Saving for Retirement While Paying Off Debt?". Pennywise2Pennyworth. February 5, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". daveramsey.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  21. ^ {The Total Money Makeover, Thomas Nelson Publishers 2009, Dave Ramsey. P. 213}
  22. ^ Held Evans, Rachel. What Dave Ramsey Gets Wrong About Poverty. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  23. ^ Rivadeneira, Caryn. Things Broke People Do. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  24. ^ Yancey, Preston. Conversation with Dave Ramsey. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  25. ^ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/29/spies-cash-and-fear-inside-christian-money-guru-dave-ramsey-s-social-media-witch-hunt.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_morning&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_morning&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet

Further Reading

External links[edit]