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An Overview of Where We Differ from Dave Ramsey

An Overview of Where We Differ from Dave Ramsey

August 20, 2021

In this article, we’ll provide insight to where our strategy differs from Dave Ramsey. A number of people have attended our Financial Foundations program who recently completed Financial Peace University, the Dave Ramsey course that helps you pay off debt fast. They attend our program so that they can continue learning finance and investing on a deeper level. We thought it was important to explain the differences in opinion so that you can decide if the Financial Foundations program is right for you.

Dave Ramsey Does a Great Job at Getting You Out of Debt

In the Financial Foundations program, we walk you through three perspectives: the debtor, the saver, and the wealth creator. In the diagram below, you can see that the debtor (in red) is constantly below the zero line. They always owe money. Being in this position can feel like an endless cycle with no way out. Dave Ramsey does a great job of creating a plan that gets you out of debt. He tells you, step-by-step, how you can trim money off your budget, apply that to your lowest debt, and using the “snowball” method, become debt free. We also advise debtors to take this approach with their finances in order to pay off consumer debt.

On the opposite side of the zero line lies the saver. This person continues to save money and then spend it all on purchases. They are essentially borrowing money from themselves; putting money into a savings account that doesn’t earn much interest. Then spending it all when they would like to go on vacation, purchase a new vehicle, or something else. While they are staying out of debt, they are not generating wealth.

The last type is the wealth creator. This person continues to build on the money they’ve earned using compound interest and maximizes the benefits available in their so that their money can grow. This is where CSP Financial Group can make a difference. By working with one of our advisors, you can become a wealth creator. Your money will work for you and earn more.  One of the most difficult Financial Foundations for people to grasp is that you finance everything you buy you either pay interest, or you give up the ability to earn interest. 

It’s important to remember that Dave Ramsey is dealing with the masses when it comes to finances. Most have some type of consumer debt or student loans. Many are looking for a life raft to save them from feeling like they’re drowning in debt. He has to keep it simple, and he has to be consistent. It’s not a personalized approach.  At CSP Financial Group, we believe that everyone’s situation is different and there is no cookie cutter approach.


4 Differences Between Dave Ramsey and CSP Financial Group


Your financial situation is unique.

Your dreams aren’t the same as other people’s dreams. Your income, debt, savings, and expenses are not the same. Why would you want a plan for the masses? We make everything come together in a comprehensive plan with wealth-generation as the goal.

Being debt-free shouldn’t include your mortgage.

Ramsey believes that you should be completely debt-free, and that any debt is bad. There are a number of reasons why it’s a good financial decision to keep a mortgage. Think about it this way: if you have a $100k mortgage and $100k in savings, do you really have debt? You are better off having control of the cash. We get into this in greater detail during the Financial Foundations program and encourage you to participate in the discussion.

There are advantages to having permanent life insurance.

Ramsey believes that term insurance is the only way to go. However, if you’re only looking at term insurance then you are missing out on tax advantages and other benefits that come with other policies. As experts in life insurance, we can find the plan that makes the most sense for your life.

A 12% return every year is highly unlikely and you cannot ‘set it and forget it’.

Ramsey believes that by investing 15% of your income in mutual funds, that you’ll generate a return between 11-12%. This is bogus. He’s looking at the S&P 500 from 1928-2020, which is not the same as investing in mutual funds. It also does not take into account that you could end up having to withdraw during a year like 2008, when your return was -37%[1]. It’s important--no, critical--to rebalance your portfolio based on your age and retirement expectations. We do this annually for every client.

Returns are important and you should be getting the market returns. The most important is your behavior around your investments; we teach this in the American Dream Experience.  The reality is that investors are getting much less in their returns. We hope you will join us at the next American Dream Experience to learn about what investing is and how it works – being left with the knowledge to make powerful choices for you, your family, and your financial future.


There’s a reason why a general contractor is crucial to any new home project. It’s important that everyone communicates with one person, and that one person is responsible for the bigger picture of the build. Think of us like the general contractor - we see your financial picture and we are creating a future where you have achieved your dreams. Whether it’s early retirement, a vacation home in the Poconos, or leaving a legacy, we are here to help you make your money work for you.

Register for the next Financial Foundations course here or give us a call at 480-600-9626 to schedule a meet-and-greet with a financial advisor. We look forward to meeting you and helping you create a life you love.