Let’s Put the ‘Personal’ Back in Personal Finance

The May 2019 issue of Money magazine was delivered to our office recently with a large picture of Dave Ramsey on the cover.

The cover reads:

“The Debt Slasher: Broke millennials are flocking to financial guru Dave Ramsey – is his advice sound?”

The piece about Ramsey in the magazine starts by telling the story of an event Ramsey held in Grand Rapids, MI back in February.  The story says “Grand Rapids was blanketed in an ice storm earlier that afternoon, so much of the crowd had to drive through miles of slush to make it in.  But 4,000 people still showed up, Ramsey said later.”

Something about that quote just didn’t make sense to me.  4,000 people are going to listen to a man talk about “personal” finance?

 How can financial advice be personal if it’s delivered to 4,000 people at the same time in a one-sided conversation?

Money magazine May 2019

Dave Ramsey – Money Magazine May 2019

I’m not here to attack Dave Ramsey, or the advice he gives, but I do want to express my concern to those seeking out his advice.

Hats off to Ramsey for being able to pull crowds that large, and have such a large following throughout his career.  His advice has certainly helped a ton of people over the years, and it’s most likely better than folks getting absolutely no financial advice.

But is it the best we can do?

The article goes on to talk about how Millennials, the younger generation, make up a large portion of Ramsey’s following over the last handful of years.  With the impact social media is having on our society, especially the younger generations, this makes sense.

Ramsey has millions of people following him on all social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.  The article stated “60% of the people who talk Ramsey on Twitter are millennials.”

For millennials who feel like they have no money, no sense of financial direction, and can’t afford to work with an advisor, I totally get why flocking to Ramsey’s FREE personal finance advice seems like a good idea.

But let me ask you this:

Would you rather pay nothing for advice that ISN’T designed specifically for you by someone who doesn’t know you at all?

OR

Develop a personal one on one relationship with a planner who can tailor advice specifically to YOUR LIFE and be with you every step of the way?

And a quick word to advisors/planners out there: we need to do better!

We need to continue spreading the word that personalized financial planning advice is available for those who want it.  We need to encourage more advisors to find ways to work with young professionals who need our help the most.  We need to do our best to not just devote our attention to those who ALREADY HAVE wealth, but find ways to work with clients that need help ACCUMULATING WEALTH.

Enough with saying these younger generations aren’t worth the time of day because they don’t have a million dollar portfolio.  Financial planning and investment advice shouldn’t be exclusive to the wealthy.

Enough with getting “personal” finance advice from gurus and pundits on TV who have no idea what your life is like.

People need a financial plan that is made for them specifically, and not yelled at them by a complete stranger in a crowd of 4,000 people.

It’s time to put the “personal” back in personal finance.

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