You may know him or have heard of him from his radio show or his books on investing and financial planning. But did you know that David Ramsey went bankrupt in his late twenties and managed to rebuild his wealth by evangelizing about sound money management using the Bible as a reference?
What is Dave Ramsey’s net worth?
David Ramsey net worth in 2019 according to estimates is $200 million.
David Lawrence Ramsey III was born September 3, 1960 and grew up in Antioch, Tennessee. He frequently refers to an early lesson in self-sufficiency when, at age 12, he asked his father for money to buy an Icee at the local Quick Sack, and his father told him to “find a work” and to earn it, because “that’s where the money comes from”.
His dad asked him what he thought he could do to make some money, and Ramsey said he thought maybe, since he had friends doing it for money, he could mow the grass fields.
So his dad took him to the local print shop in Old Town Nashville, and printed out 50 business cards, which said “Dave’s Lawns.” And his dad asked him to knock on the 50 nearest doors in the neighborhood and tell them he’d like the “opportunity to provide them with all of their lawn care needs.”
He credits it starts with teaching him about customer service and keeping his word.. Ramsey said that at age 12 he had 27 lawns to mow.
And that’s how he started making money.
How did Ramsey make his fortune?
Ramsey said in a documentary that he had “all kinds” of small businesses, after experiencing lawn care, including selling leather bracelets, while in high school. He stamped people’s names on them and sold them in the hallways.
When he graduated from high school at age 18, Ramsey took and passed his real estate license exam. His parents owned a real estate company, so he sold real estate while in college and took his bachelor’s degree with him to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he worked for a real estate agent for 40 to 60 years. hours a week while going through college.
Ramsey graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a degree in finance and real estate, “essentially broke,” he said in the documentary, “but not deeply in debt,” because he was working.
After selling real estate for a builder, he started buying and selling real estate in his very early twenties, just a few years after graduating and getting married. This helped his family to have connections with bankers who would help fund his plans.
“They started lending me money and I…became rich,” he explains.
Ramsey Investments Inc. built a real estate portfolio worth over $4 million in 1986 with $3.3 million in debt, giving him a personal net worth at the time of about $1 million. By age 25 or 26, Ramsey was earning $250,000 a year.
Ramsey said that given the neighborhood he grew up in, he was considered successful and started doing things he and his wife dreamed of when they were younger. He bought a Jaguar, which he had wanted since high school, and his first child, a daughter, was born.
Ramsey credits things going so well that he went to church, and “it was weird,” around the time he says he “discovered” God, everything he thought was solid in his life began to fall apart.
On September 22, 1988, the cork was pulled on Ramsey Investments, by the banks from which it had borrowed millions.
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The banks with which he had relations and loans were sold. While he was buying property and “flipping” it for profit, a bank where he had $1.2 million in 90-day notes was sold to another bank, and bankers in another state, from another town, saw a 26-year-old “kid” owed so much money to the bank. The bankers decided to limit the relationship, so they called his notes and demanded payment within 90 days.
A second lender, to whom he owed about $800,000, recalled his notes about 60 days later.
It was not possible to sell enough real estate in less than six months to raise $2 million.
Ramsey signed the bankruptcy papers on that date.
And right after that, he says in his biographical documentary, he and his wife found out what the Bible had to say about money.
He attributes reading the Bible and comparing his financial advice to what he learned in school, and began to prepare an emergency fund, develop a budget and other financial basics he had never applied before.
The key, says Ramsey, is hope. When people lose hope that they can get out of financial difficulties, they are in trouble. And when they come for help, it’s because they still have a glimmer of hope that things can and will get better.
He had written his first book on the advice of a pastor, who knew he had helped some members of his church with financial advice, who said he needed to write his story to give hope to people. He wrote “Financial Peace” in the mid-1990s, took it to a local printer, and printed 1,000 copies.
After being a guest on a local radio show and successfully advising people on financial issues, a friend of his invited him to an hour-long radio show and the listeners kept going. ‘to call. Then the friend left the radio station. Another friend involved in mutual funds called him and convinced him to come together to host the radio show which was now short of a host. They called their radio show “The Money Game”. And Dave Ramsey’s radio show was born on June 25, 1992.
His books were ready the same evening.
As of 2019, The “Dave Ramsey Show” can be heard on over 500 radio stations in the United States and Canada.
Since “Financial Peace,” Ramsey has written three more New York Times bestsellers, and he won the Marconi Award for “Network/Unionized Personality of the Year” in 2009. And he founded The Lampo Group, which has over 350 team members and runs its business debt-free. And he reportedly owns a real estate portfolio worth around $150 million alone.
Much of his advice can be summed up by his oft-quoted maxim: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
Ramsey was often criticized for his advice and methods.
One of the more controversial pieces of advice he gives is known as the “debt snowball” method, which involves paying off the smaller debt first, rather than the larger one. The reverse, advocated by most financial advisors, is the debt stacking method, which involves paying off the highest amounts of debt first, then moving to the lowest amounts. In the debt snowball method, the higher amounts of debt are financed by paying the minimum payment while paying off the lower amounts of debt; in the debt stacking method, the minimum payments are usually smaller, as they are used to reduce the debt.
Another feature of the debt snowball method is that the debt is classified by amount rather than by amount of interest.
Research by Kellogg School of Management found the debt snowball method relatively effectiveexcept for the danger of ignoring interest rates, because repayment of any amount induces debtors to repay other debts.
Another Ramsey controversy involves his stated belief that investors can achieve annual returns of 12%, which he uses in his financial analyses. According to Brian Stoffel in a 2018 article in The Motley Fool, relying on that estimated 12% return could leave people heavily underinvested for retirement. He also recommends retirees plan to withdraw 8% of their retirement savings a year – double what most advisers recommend – and stay heavily invested in equities (stocks), the most volatile investments and the riskiest.
How does Dave Ramsey invest his money?
Ramsey is anti-debt. He suggests saving up and using cash for everything, and getting rid of credit cards.
He bought a lavish 13,000 square foot mansion in 2010 without a mortgage. He paid cash; the house and land are worth approximately $4.9 million.
Ramsey’s investments are relatively unknown, except for his investment advice: he recommends invest 15% of income for retirement, once all debts have been paid off (except the mortgage) and a strong emergency fund has been built up. He also recommends investing that 15% in four types of mutual funds: Growth and Income, Growth, Aggressive Growth and International.