Thursday, June 6, 2013

My harsh reaction to a dangerous Motley Fool article regarding Dave Ramsey

Today I discovered a disturbing article regarding financial guru Dave Ramsey.  I discovered this as I was perusing his website and came across a half-hour radio interview with the article writer from the Motley Fool.

I give the guy kudos for at least agreeing to go on the show and debate his views, and I equally give Dave kudos for not ripping the guy a new one--something he sorely needed.

The article in reference on the Motley Fool site is listed here, and the basic gist of his argument is regarding the 12% average rate of return the stock market has done since the mid 1920's.  This supposedly causes people anxiety as they harp on with "Oh, you can't get 12% on your mutual funds!"

I have one word for this: bull.

The company I work for offers a 401(K) program, and in its mutual fund offerings I have four I am invested in.  The average in the last 3 years (the furthest back the data provides unless I view the prospectus), one did a little less than 10%, two were are 13%, and one did 16%.  I don't know about you, but that's a lot more than 12%.  Besides, I looked at the information Wells Fargo gave us and ALL of the information they state advised that the average rate of return was 12%!

And here's my greatest contention in response to the "foolish" article: WHO CARES!  You're splitting hairs and analyzing data to death, depending on how you want to look at it.  This is why I hate following politics any longer, because when the government spews out data for something, you can analyze it fourteen different ways to Sunday and come up with a different analysis--this depends on which political party is in power and which news program you're watching.

Take Ramsey's teachings of never having a car payment.  If you were to save for decades what you'd pay for in car payments, investing in mutual funds which have averaged 12% rate of return, it comes to 5-7 million dollars--and to top it off, Dave ALWAYS ends this statement with "And if I'm half right, you're still okay!"

I tried to comment on the Fool's article, but I could not without registering on their website--something I am not about to do.  Because of this, I will not EVER visit their site nor purchase any of their products.

(Oh, by the way, the guy who wrote the article had NEVER attended his 9-week Financial Peace University course, had NEVER read any of his books--except for a few choice article in the Total Money Makeover--and was not a regular listener to Ramsey's show.  I don't know about you, but if I was going to write an article trashing someone's views, I'd want to do a lot of research and read a lot on what that person said.)

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