Yikes. Recently, a quarrel arose on Twitter between financial-advice radio host Dave Ramsey and several fee-based advisors. The subject at hand? Ramsey’s promotion of commission-based advisors and his philosophy that advises Americans to expect a 12 percent return on investments.
Carolyn McClanahan, one of the first to instigate the discussion, said, “Every advisor's main problem with Ramsey is him telling people they can expect 12 percent returns on investments. That is unconscionable. If someone is near retirement and they are 100 percent in stocks so they can reach for that 12 percent, that's scary."
Several advisors asked Ramsey to defend the philosophy and became increasingly agitated when he dodged the question. The tweet rampage really gained momentum over the weekend, leading to aggressive words and strong emotions — obvious even in 140 characters or less.
In addition to McClanahan, the prominent voices of the fee-only side of the debate were advisors Carl Richards and Michael Kitches. McClanahan said she “despised” Ramsey’s investment advice; Richards called it “dangerous” and “crap.” When Ramsey lashed out, saying "Don't want to get bit by the big dog, stay off the porch," Michael Kitches called Ramsey’s responses to the attacks “embarrassing.”
Advisor David Grant noted that Ramsey had been a role model, but after this discussion, that had changed.
A handful of people spoke up on Ramsey’s behalf, noting how his advice helped them or how his debt reduction perspective is one most can agree on.
One of Ramsey's tweets in particular added gallons of fuel to the fire:
"I help more people in 10 min. than all of you combined in your ENTIRE lives #stophating"
Since the heated exchange, Ramsey has taken deleted most of his tweets (although oddly, he chose to leave the one above). In their place, he has posted various Bible verses, like this one:
"Understanding will keep you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things, Proverbs 2:11-12"
You can see excerpts of the feud below.
Many ProducersWEB members have spoken out for and against Dave Ramsey's teachings in the past. I want to know, what is your reaction to this online scuffle? Were some of these Twitter attacks out of line or justified? Although many of Ramsey's responses are no longer live, was his behavior hypocritical, especially considering his target audience? Does this either solidify or radically change your opinion about him?
Steve Savant recently shared that How to vet an advisor with nationally recognized industry consultant and Top of the Table & Forum 400 producer Chuck Hollander on Steve Savant's Money, the Name of the Game.