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Old 10-31-2013, 01:14 PM   #21
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+1 to all that mentioned that they cater to there target audience

It is through reading Dave's Total Money Make Over that I was able to pull my head out of my back side. It gave me a sobering wake up call which in turn led me to this web site. Personally I would never had considered FIRE prior to reading that book. Since then I have actively been aware
of where we have been prioritizing our funds. His investing advice is not the best, but since focusing on getting out of "stupid tax" I have been more engaged on researching a better approach. If anything, Dave has helped my family break our ties from debt and inspired us to look actively towards the future. We are better for it!
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:17 PM   #22
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The only one I've listened to with any degree of regularity is Dave. His investment advice and retirement spending advice is terrible. On the getting out of debt front, I think he really is good.

I've listened to a lot of his shows and have listened to him on specific issues at his website. There is more nuance in some of what he says than more people think. He is rigid on debt, but less so on spending. For example, I remember a question from a woman about whether to spend any money on Christmas presents while in debt. He came down in favor of buying the presents (modestly to be sure).

If I could give only one resource to someone who is in debt it would be to send them to listen to Dave or to read Total Money Makeoever (which I've read). He is inspirational on getting out of debt and really does help people to see where they are going wrong.

That said, it used to annoy me about how adamant he was about no debt (other than a mortgage) no matter the situation. I do agree with him that debt is not a good thing and most people should avoid it. On the other hand, even as someone who was once in debt, I can handle charging to my Amex card (to get cash back and for convenience) and then paying the full amount when the bill comes. There are also some limited situations where it makes more financial sense to take a modest loan at low interest rate. I know that he is basically worried about people falling back into bad habits. And, that is a real concern. However, despite ignoring his advice on that point (I use Amex every month and pay the bill every month), I think his advice on getting out of debt is very helpful for most people in that situation.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:33 PM   #23
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Ric(k)'s Top 50 Tips made me cringe. Some are fine, of course, but many apply only in certain situations (which he does not describe). Blindly following this list could cause lots of trouble for some.
Article | Ric Edelman
Ric like most advisors are trying to appeal to those who know zero about investing. Like most he has a huge ego, you'll hear how he's the top FA as ranked by Barrons about every 30 mins, they are more salesman than FA. FA's biggest benefit is they will hold your hand when market drops, if you need that to prevent panicking, I guess they are worth their 1%.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:02 PM   #24
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That said, it used to annoy me about how adamant he was about no debt (other than a mortgage) no matter the situation. I do agree with him that debt is not a good thing and most people should avoid it. On the other hand, even as someone who was once in debt, I can handle charging to my Amex card (to get cash back and for convenience) and then paying the full amount when the bill comes. There are also some limited situations where it makes more financial sense to take a modest loan at low interest rate. I know that he is basically worried about people falling back into bad habits. And, that is a real concern. However, despite ignoring his advice on that point (I use Amex every month and pay the bill every month), I think his advice on getting out of debt is very helpful for most people in that situation.
Which is why, as many of us have often said here, we of the ER.org forum are not (for the most part) Dave's "target market". You rarely put yourself in a position to enjoy a long, early retirement with a boat load of debt you can't crawl out from.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:05 PM   #25
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I didn't like the way Suze was advising to dump equities at their bottom. There were many that advised selling after the market had already gombe down 5000 points.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:17 PM   #26
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I like the banter on squack box on CNBC every morning. They have a lot of great guests and I feel connected to the financial community watching them. Still......index fund investing for me.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:31 PM   #27
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I love Larry Kudlow. Just for the entertainment value. The sparring is all good natured.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:54 PM   #28
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I am a money junkie, so I will watch or listen to any of them. Clark is the best all around. But usually its while I am driving or during a quiet evening in. I don't seek any of them out.

I do think Ric might be the sleeziest (except the insurance guys who will rent radio time on weekends). I seem to recall him suggesting a guy roll money out of his TSP. Ah, so the FA can charge an AUM fee?

I can only take Cramer in limited doses.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:37 PM   #29
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I am a money junkie, so I will watch or listen to any of them. Clark is the best all around. But usually its while I am driving or during a quiet evening in. I don't seek any of them out.
Clark Howard is non-nonsense for pretty much anyone. Suze wants people to work forever; Dave talks like no one can ever be a master of credit (rather than its slave); and Ric? I've never heard of him but from this thread, maybe it's for the better.

Clark doesn't seem to pretend to try to be what he's not: He doesn't say specifically how you should budget, invest, or use debt, but just how to get the best bang for your buck and avoid getting ripped off.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 10-31-2013, 04:44 PM   #30
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I can't stand CNBC for more than 30 seconds.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:54 PM   #31
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I listened to Dave quite a bit during debt reduction / elimination phase but would not take his investing advice. I never completely follwed his advice as I never stopped my 401k contributions - to give up "free" money via the company match is just plain silly.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:59 PM   #32
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I can't stand CNBC for more than 30 seconds.
+101

I have a lot better things to do (like cleaning my toilet) than listen to these or any other shills for Wall Street. Bernstein cured me of all that. Listening to CNBC for business news to me is like listening to CNN (or any US mainstream media outlet) for real news.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:41 PM   #33
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+101

I have a lot better things to do (like cleaning my toilet) than listen to these or any other shills for Wall Street. Bernstein cured me of all that. Listening to CNBC for business news to me is like listening to CNN (or any US mainstream media outlet) for real news.
Yep. I heard CNBC talking about the JP Morgan Chase fine like it was a sudden shakedown for political purposes. But the CEO of the company put $28 billion for litigation and settlements aside when they acquired Lehman, suggesting it was a one-time hit to a transaction which would be profitable long-term. And as it turned out, they paid less than half of that. CNBC was talking as if the Feds were committing armed robbery, even after they came after less than half of what they put away for it!
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 10-31-2013, 05:54 PM   #34
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FIRE types are not the main audience of these financial gurus but listening can sometimes be interesting. Of the three I think Suze offers the most constructive help and tackles the most diverse issues, but is the most abrasive of the three. I was surprised by how much of a religious bent Dave's show has, and his repeated "get rid of debt" mantra quickly grows old. Rick's advice is so unconditional as to be reckless IMO. For example, Rick is completely against tIRA to Roth conversion, but so far that has been one of the best financial moves I've ever made.
Here is an interesting, and I think balanced, take on Dave Ramsey by Felix Salmon

The red-blue divide in personal finance | Felix Salmon

Be sure to click through and read the Helaine Olen piece on which he is commenting.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:46 PM   #35
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I like Bob Brinker. His radio program "Money Talk" is broadcast live 3-6 PM CT on Sundays. He is fiscally very conservative. I think his advice is solid most of the time. He invites his listeners to join the "land of critical mass". He says we have the "best government money can buy".
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:52 PM   #36
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I'm not a big fan of Suze although I sometimes watch her shows on PBS.

I listen to Dave once in a while and wish more people would pay attention to what he has to say. Yes, Dave is not really for the FIRE types as most FIRE types are beyond the need to save and get out of debt. I really liked Dave's Town Hall Meeting back in 2008 (?) - where he discussed how to weather the "economic downturn."

I've read a few of Ric Edelman's books. He has some good ideas but as with anything it has to be considered case by case.

I'm a big fan of Clark Howard. While he covers a variety of topics most of them have a financial slant.

There's a financial planning group in Georgia that host a radio show 9 - 11 AM Eastern Time on Sunday mornings. Check out WSB radio - AM750 for the Wes Moss Money Matters show. It has a rinse and repeat mantra to some extent but there is lot's of good information for FIRE types as well as traditional retirees.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:59 PM   #37
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I like Bob Brinker. His radio program "Money Talk" is broadcast live 3-6 PM CT on Sundays. He is fiscally very conservative. I think his advice is solid most of the time. He invites his listeners to join the "land of critical mass". He says we have the "best government money can buy".
My late father liked Bob Brinker. He was a bit too market-timey for me, but my dad did pretty well with him, and maybe it was luck or just a good market, but I'm not going to diss him too much because I know Dad did pretty well taking his advice into consideration (never blindly and not going all in/all out, but giving it some thought).
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:07 PM   #38
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Debt is never good for the individual just because it increases personal risk.
So does getting out of bed every morning. Risk isn't necessarily bad, and neither is debt. Not being able to control your debt level is bad.

I have listened to Suze a couple of times, and Dave Ramsey once. Nothing there either to learn or enjoy, IMO.

I got to know Ric Edelman back in the pre-internet bulletin board days, and had a number of conversations with him. He made some sense, and actually introduced me to the concept of indexing, although at the time he was pushing DFA funds. He charges a large fee to put people into index funds, which I guess is better than charging them a large fee then putting them in American Funds or other high cost funds. But I don't personally see why anyone would pay that kind of money to be put into indexes. Plus, he's got the personality of an ex-used car salesman turned politician. I always felt the need to wash my hands after chatting with him. I've never really listened to his show, but occasionally go to Youtube when somebody links something. He makes some sense, then says "pay me to do for you what you could easily do for yourself". Ugh.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:08 PM   #39
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Here is an interesting, and I think balanced, take on Dave Ramsey by Felix Salmon

The red-blue divide in personal finance | Felix Salmon

Be sure to click through and read the Helaine Olen piece on which he is commenting.
I read both articles. While I agree with Olen in some respects I think that Salmon has the better take on it.

This reminds me of the great divide that existed in social work graduate school in the mid-90s when I was earning my MSW degree. A large contingent (who mostly had the upper hand at the time) felt that social work should take a macro perspective and should focus on systemic issues. So, they would have felt the proper focus was as Olen discussed regarding the overall declines in real income in recent years coupled with rising costs. So, they would have been more inclined to want to do work at a more macro level to help to reduce income inequality. They might have thought community organization work was worthwhile. But, they fairly clearly discouraged working with actual individuals on their individual problems. They discouraged the idea of, say, working as a therapist with individuals because they felt that working with individuals would avoid dealing with the real issues, which they felt were the macro ones. Time spent helping individual people was almost time wasted from this standpoint. So, a Dave Ramsay who focuses on the individual person taking responsibility to deal with his/her own problems it totally anathema to this point of view. It seems that Olen takes this more macro perspective.

On the other hand, the other (smaller) group in the social work school I attended certainly agreed with the first group on the more macro issues. They shared the overall social work perspective. But, they believed in working with individuals from a social work perspective. To be clear, they didn't deny the larger societal issues. They would grant Olen her point about those. But, they would recognize that acknowledging those issues and trying to chance society in response doesn't necessarily help the individual person right now. They were more focused on trying to help the individual person. (Yes, I'm a firm member of this group).

It seems that Salmon largely takes this perspective. I don't think he denies Olen's point. However, her point doesn't do anything to help people get out of debt. If your income has gone down and her expenses have gone up, there may be larger societal forces at play. However, the individual person needs to know how to stay out of debt. One thing I appreciate from Dave is that he often helps people to see things a different way to try to solve a problem. I suspect that while I think Olen is correct from a macro point of view, Dave's way is far more likely to help the individual person struggling financially.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:52 PM   #40
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I read both articles. . . . I suspect that while I think Olen is correct from a macro point of view, Dave's way is far more likely to help the individual person struggling financially.
I faced this same dilemma when I was in law school eons ago.

At Yale, we had a very strong clinical law program. Among other things, they represented tenants in eviction proceedings. Very intelligent, very inventive and very dedicated law students would appear in court and raise innumerable legal obstacles to the eviction proceeding, with the goal of keeping the tenant in the apartment as long as possible. Failing that, they tried to squeeze a "cash for keys" deal, so that the tenants could afford to move somewhere else. The people involved always justified their actions by saying that they were fighting the slumlords.

I hypothesized that while the students participating in the clinic felt good about what they were doing, they were not actually doing good. So, along with two of my classmates, I researched the state of the rental market in one of the worst slums of New Haven to test my hypothesis. We determined who owned every property in the area and how many other properties they owned, we learned how much each property was worth and the market forces affecting the rents. We interviewed many of the owners and learned their cash on cash returns for the properties. We researched the court eviction proceedings to determine how much the various delaying tactics employed by the law school students were costing the landlords in excess of a typical eviction.

At the end of our research, we learned the following -- 1) that most of the properties in the area were triple deckers, owned by the family that lived on the first floor, with the upper two floors rented out; 2) that the owners generally owned only that one building (i.e. - there actually weren't many slumlords); 2) that the market rents were essentially dictated by the Section 8 subsidies available; 3) that, taking into account mortgage payments, taxes, repairs, and allowance for vacancies, the return to the owners was minimal; 4) that the costs associated with trying to evict a tenant represented by the Yale clinical program would often result in negative returns to owners and that they would often respond by selling the property to one of the small but growing number of real slumlords who could better afford the overhead associated with legal proceedings.

The conclusion of our research was that the clinical program was creating the very monsters they were purporting to slay, and that their efforts would be better directed toward obtaining more government support for affordable housing in the area. We opined that it was unfair to impose the societal burden of housing poor people on a few unfortunate landlords and that all of us should contribute to the solution.

Needless to say, our project was not popular in some quarters. They pointed out that our proposed solution did nothing for those poor people who, absent the efforts of the clinic, would be sleeping in the street that night. And they were right about that.

These issues, just like saving money for retirement, need to be approached from both ends -- individuals need to do what they can, but society as a whole must also address the issues that are beyond the ability of individuals to change.
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