Dave Ramsey Officially Sucks

dave-ramsey-sucksI have always been a big Dave Ramsey fan, and believed that his financial advice for consumers is first rate. But today Dave Ramsey got it wrong in a big way. On his blog, he published an article about making money in multi-level marketing.

The article failed to acknowledge the fact that over and over again, it has been proven that 99% of people involved in MLMs lose money. Front and center in the article was this lie:

Truthfully, if you have a go-getter personality, and you can follow some basic business and personal etiquette, you can make a lot of money in an MLM. The trick is to avoid all the potential pitfalls along the way.

Truthfully? No, there is no truth in what was said. Being a go-getter and having etiquette doesn’t make you any money. Even fantastic business skills won’t make you any money in MLM. What makes you money is the ability to lie about the opportunity in order to very quickly recruit lots of new victims.

The article goes on:

MLMs can be awesome if you understand how they work, but they can also be a financial and personal disaster if you jump right in without thinking.

Again, this totally misstates the reality of multi-level marketing. “Understanding how they work” does not give you any advantage.

The article goes on with many more falsehoods. All MLMs pitch you on getting rich quick. Mary Kay, for example, is notorious for pitching the ability to make a full-time executive level income with part-time hours. They don’t come right out and say you’ll get rich “quick,” but the inference is there nonetheless.

Ramsey goes on to suggest that using common sense business practices will save you from disaster in MLM. And he says you shouldn’t pressure friends and family to get involved. Except that’s the only way you will move up in MLM. And you will be taught that you are doing a disservice to your loved ones if you don’t introduce them to this opportunity.

Dave Ramsey’s bottom line is that MLMs are legitimate businesses. He is 100% wrong. They’re pyramid schemes disguised as legitimate businesses. And they swindle consumers out of billions of dollars each year.

Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for adding legitimacy to one of the greatest consumer cons in the history of the world. DAVE RAMSEY SUCKS.


  1. That is not unfortunately the end of the dubious advice. On closer inspection the information Ramsey offers consumers as financial advice is worrisome as well. His statements on credit cards and bankruptcy, for example, make no sense. See http://getoutofdebt.org/48392/dave-ramsey-truth-bankruptcy-credit-cards-guns

    There are other issues as well but the recent book “Pound Foolish” explored the errors made by Ramsey and others. See http://www.amazon.com/Pound-Foolish-Exposing-Personal-Industry/dp/1591844894/

  2. Dawn

    Hi Tracey,
    What about Pampered Chef. I have a good friend that does this as her full time business. She is very good, and to be honest she has NEVER pressured anyone in sining up, or even having a show.

    Just curious.

    1. Tracy Coenen

      Same crap, different name. She is likely losing money, or if she is making money, it is something less than minimum wage. She will tell you she is doing great and making lots of money… she HAS to say that if she ever hopes to recruit anyone.

      MLM is not about pressure to sign up (or the lack thereof). It is about being almost guaranteed that you will lose money.

  3. vinny

    I think I can describe him and Suze Orman for that matter in a nutshell. If you are completely clueless about personal finance and also have major problems you need to fix in your finances, buying their books or watching/listening to their shows will get you in right direction and improve your situation in MOST cases, not all. They do not cater to those that are at least somewhat sophisticated and have some knowledge about personal finance. And the MLM comments are ridiculous, I agree.

  4. Jo

    I can’t stand him. Yes, some of his advice is ok, but he is in it to make a fortune. Honestly, targetting Christians is an outstanding market strategy. They are gullible.

    1. Sharon

      Not all Christians are gullible so don’t generalize. I am a born-again Christian and also an accountant so you won’t see me falling for the mess they spew. The Christians who are gullible are the ones who lack faith in the God they are supposed to believe in.

      1. I didn’t say anything about Christians – I was speaking of cults and that people can be persuaded to believe in anything if you get the right person telling them what to do in the right environment. We fought a war in World War II where one person persuaded an entire country to do things that most people would not be inclined to do. It happens to people – Christians and non Christians alike. I’m sure there were a lot of born- again Christians in Germany during WW II and look what happened. Somehow they rationalized killing 7 million Jews. So please don’t give me the I’m Christian and I’m better than everyone else routine. We can all be persuaded under the right conditions and that’s what this guy is doing.

  5. Alison

    I think there is a big difference between “getting rich quick” and/or having a MLM business be your sole income, and using a small side business like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef as extra income. Many friends who sell for one of these companies make as much or more than they would working a part time job at, say, the mall – but can make their own schedule rather than having to work having weekend at the mall. They’re not making millions, but they’re making enough to perhaps buy some extras they couldn’t afford otherwise. AND – if it’s a product that they like and use, they get it super cheap/free. Not sure why that’s such a bad thing?

    1. Tracy Coenen

      What’s wrong is that your friends are NOT making more than they’d make at a part-time job. More than 99% of people lose money in MLM. The very few who do make money are mostly making less than minimum wage. I’d be willing to bet that your friends are losing money, but are lying about it. Unless they will show you their tax returns with solid profits, don’t believe that they’re making any money.

      1. Alison

        I would like to see where you are getting that statistic. I’m not being facetious – I’d like to see the scientific data and research that compiled the data for that statistic. Since you kept insisting all friends who claim money making in an MLM are liars, and since it’s tax time, I DID ask my friend about her tax return and she showed me her profit (what ??? profit?? you mean she’s not a delusional liar???? ) Her profit was just over 5 thousand dollars – not millions, but a profit none the less and just what she was looking for in doing this. ( my part time job earned me 6,000 this year so that’s not bad!) Not to mention the benefits that don’t show up on a return – a kitchen full of the products she uses at home shows and enjoys herself and the opportunity to spend time with friends and family eating and drinking and socializing during her home parties. Again, not saying anyone should quit their day job to become an MLM “millionaire” but for someone looking to make just a bit to help with the “extras” they CAN be profitable.

        1. N H


          It’s Tracy who is the scam artist.

          She preys on people’s fear of being taken…

          And she makes all or nothing statements that come out of her ass.

          It’s the very nature of the work she does as a “forensic accountant”…

          I know people who have made money in MLM AND I know people who have failed miserably.

          I know people in credible MLM’s AND I know people who are in worthless ones.

          Tracy literally called you and your friend a liar.

          WHO DOES THAT?

          Is THAT your brand, Tracy.. To call people names, say they suck, and to literally be a negative force in the world?

          I’ve read more than I like and I’m done reading this crap…

          When you have real credible information that will help me make sound decisions, not scare tactics for… WHATEVER..

          Then you might be someone worthy of an intelligent person’s time…

          In the meantime, you’ll continue to get people who want to jump on the celebrity/ person in the limelight attacker band wagon…

          Nice work, Trace!

          1. Tracy Coenen

            Who tells it like it is about MLM? Me! The person who knows the facts about it .I’ve heard all sorts of people say “I know someone who made money in MLM and so you’re wrong!” But I’m not wrong. Almost no one makes money in MLM. If you know someone who did, they’re either lying or they’re not. And if they’re not, they are in the LESS THAN 1% who makes money…. but they’re doing it at the expense of the 99% who don’t have a chance in hell of making money in MLM.

            Thanks for visiting and participating! If you’d like to know more about MLM, visit my other site http://www.pinktruth.com.

          2. Do you know what the word ‘literally’ means? I mean, literally? Tracy didn’t call anyone a liar; she is a force for truth and clarity in a murky world. And posting in all caps? WHO DOES THAT?

  6. Margaret

    Dave Ramsey is making a fortune off of the financially incompetent. You can’t wade very far into his advice before he’s trying to sell you something. I wonder how much the MLM trade group paid Ramsey to endorse their schemes.

  7. Tracy Coenen

    P.S. I don’t “prey” on fears of being taken. I don’t prey on anything, period. I provide information on this blog to consumers for free. I have nothing to sell them, and I don’t want to provide services to them. I simply want to inform them about scam artists who will take their money.

  8. Like some say, If it is too good to be true then it probably isn’t. It takes advantage of low income and poor people. It’s a pyramid scheme pure and simple that is set in a cult like atmosphere. Their divine leader makes promises to their flock of riches and fame but the only one who benefits is the leader. I have had friends who have gotten mixed up in these scams and they sound like they have been brainwashed. I had a old childhood friend call me after 25 years of not seeing him and he had the audacity to invite me to lunch, not to say hi, but to try to enlist me in his operation. Little did he know that I was a private investigator and knew better. The only way that these folks make money is to sell it to their own people. We can take an example from the animal kingdom of how some animals eat their own.

    1. Sharon

      I got invited to a Quixtar/Amway meeting by an ex-boyfriend who is now a minister(Lord help us) but that was 7 years ago. He tried to sign his own sister up too but she wasn’t an idiot. Anyway, I attended the meeting with the sister but I knew something was up when he wouldn’t give me any details about the meeting prior to getting there. He sounded like a brainwashed little gnome. This is also the same guy that I considered to be a deceptive human being in our teenage years.

      When I met up with a wife who was a couple of tiers up, me and my ex’s sister, started asking a lot of questions. The woman started to appear annoyed which again proved that something wasn’t right. I later found out that this married couple lived with the husband’s parents instead of having their own place. Actually, they lived in an detached in-law suite behind the house.

      Well, needless to say my ex is no longer involved with Quixtar. He probably bailed within one year. He did the same thing with Vector Marketing. He always tried the MLMs but never succeeded. What ticked me off about him and that he went to church trying to recruit people. I wanted to tell him off so bad but I held my tongue.

      Like Tracy, I have a background in forensic accounting and I can tell you, these schemes are not that hard to spot. The only ones who ignore the glaring signs are the ones who are desperate. But if you are making those extra $50/mon to buy what another person called “extras”, then I guess you are profitable in the world of MLM.

  9. Jeremy

    This is quite funny to read. The author (who I am sure really is an expert) is doing the same thing that Dave Ramsey is doing. She is selling people on a concept, and branding herself as the “expert” that you need to be listening to.
    Meanwhile she builds an audience, gains traffic on the website, cashes in on the ads/affiliates, and says that she is the “good guy”……..very Ramsey-esque.

    1. Tracy Coenen

      Oh Jeremy! You are right, I am an expert. And I have no problem with Dave Ramsey speaking on that which he knows. When it comes to MLM, he knows NOTHING, so I wish he wouldn’t speak about it.

      I’m really not “cashing in” on the ads here. They don’t even cover my basic costs of the website. I simply blog because I like to help consumers and I happen to know a lot about fraud and scams.

  10. John

    It really troubles me how people like Dave Ramsey have totally corrupted and destroyed the Christian philosophy. The “Evangelicals” are nothing more than Zionist ravenous wolves in sheeps’ clothing that the Lord warned us about. He is only out to make a bunch of money preying on people who the money changers (bankers and corporate scum) have gotten into fraudulent “debt” to begin with. Instead of telling people to pay off this fraudulent “debt” that they really don’t owe, he would be a true Christian if he promoted the idea of CANCELLING the debt!

    And in reference to MLM’s aka Pyramid Schemes, they are just another fraudulent way that the thieving deceitful money changers prey upon the desperate poor that the money changers have driven into abject poverty in the first place. I hope there is a special place in the Hottest Pits Of HELL for them. They should have their ill gotten gains forcefully taken from them and their “profits” distributed back to their victims!

    Check out the internet reports of Dave Ramseys’ new 13,000 sq. ft. home of decadent opulence in Tennessee. Mr. goody goody “Christian” Evangelical money changer wolf in sheep’s clothing con artist has built for himself. He promotes Wall Street investments in the Ponzi Scheme fraud we call the Stock Market, which is further evidence he is a TOTAL CON MAN!

  11. You are exactly the people that should be listening to Dave R. List your assets and debts in this blog. If he sux and his advice doesn’t work then you should all be debt free including the house, funding retirement and have a 3-6 months emergency fund.

  12. Tracy Coenen

    Jason – By and large, Dave has really good advice for people and I was a huge fan for years. But his endorsement of multi-level marketing as a way to make money negates it all. 99% of people involved in multi-level marketing LOSE money. Dave is doing a disservice to his audience by promoting MLM in any way. If he took the time to look into it, he woule find it is a complete waste of money. Because he refuses to become educated about MLM and instead indirectly promotes these scams, he sucks.

  13. Justin

    Wow. So negative. I got his book from the library…for FREE. I read it…for FREE. I used his advice to get out of det…for FREE. I now have no debt to include my home. I never sent Dave a penny and he helped me tremendously. I always find it odd that the people who dislike Dave are typically in debt or not very successful. Odd, very odd.

  14. Tracy Coenen

    Justin – Did you even bother to read the article? Do you have any idea what I’m criticizing? Of course not. And guess what… I am successful and not in debt. Darnit, there I go ruining your silly theory.

  15. Tracy Coenen

    Justin – Most of what is in the article is not really opinion. Dave is wrong on the facts about multi-level marketing, and that’s what my criticism is. He normally has such wonderful advice for consumers. But on the issue of MLM, he’s got the facts completely wrong and therefore is giving bad advice. THAT is my issue.

  16. I know someone close to me and is following Ramsey’s advise. Let me say this people. This person that I know distant himself from friends and family. He is so cheap that he hates to visit people that love him because he might have to spend money. When someone ask him for a financial advice, he would tell them to hire someone else. He felt as if his money spent on Ramsey’s advice was not to be shared with anyone else. So if you want to destroy your family and lose your friends, Ramsey is the best way to go!

  17. Travis

    Kipper, I’m sorry to hear your friend has ruined relationships with his friends and family. When something sad like that happens it’s easy to play the blame game. I just want to assure you that Dave Ramsey does not encourage people to be selfish or avoid their friends and family. The responsibility wholly rests on your friends shoulders as it was his choice to take sound financial advice and flavor it with extremism. That’s not pleasant to hear I know but you’d be doing yourself a big favor if you stopped blaming and asked your friend about what he’s going through.

  18. Glenn Morris

    Dave Ramsey is one of the least sophisticated radio – financial- personalities ever !!! How anyone could possibly listen to his egomaniac rantings
    amazes me and my friends.Atlanta is far too sophisticated for his backyard style.

  19. Billy Sanford

    in addition, Ramsey touts his endorsed local provider (ELP) program as a way to connect with thoroughly vetted professionals.
    What he never mentions is the chief criteria that determines which professional gets to become an ELP, that being which ones are desperate enough to pay tboisands of $$/month for leads. There’s no vetting, just pay a ton of cash in return for that honeat, heartfelt “endorsement”.
    His clones & listeners have no idea.
    I was an ELP for years and had countless DR fans contact me under the impression Dave or his people chose me based on some criteria or qualifications. Sometimes it was difficult not to roll my eyes as I played the part of “endorsed” local provider paying Dave a cool grand/month for exclusive access to his gullible listeners..

  20. Luposian

    My son is getting involved with a “Dave Ramsey Course” at a church (which we paid for) and, in reading a portion of this book he has (“Financial Peace University”), DR talks about some “12%” rule he uses when investing or something. The example he gives about two fictional people makes no sense whatsoever. There’s no MMA you can invest in, no CD, no nothing that will net you 12% APY. So, what is this bulldonkey he’s talking about?

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