Why Dave Ramsey Gives (Some) Bad Advice: Our Take On Good Debt

Flipping Houses | Posted On: 03.11.24

Key Takeaways:

In this episode of our Fearless Future podcast, we discuss why we believe Dave Ramsey gives bad advice when it comes to real estate investing. We challenge Dave Ramsey’s stance on debt and argue that leveraging other people’s money to invest in rental properties can be a more effective strategy for building wealth. 

We also share our own experiences and successes with rental property investing, highlighting the benefits of cash flow, appreciation, debt reduction, and tax advantages. Together we emphasize the importance of having a risk tolerance and making informed decisions based on data and market trends.

The Problem with Dave Ramsey’s Debt Aversion

Dave Ramsey, a well-known financial guru, has built a successful career by preaching the dangers of debt and advocating for a debt-free lifestyle. While his advice may resonate with some individuals, it fails to consider the nuances and benefits of leveraging assets, particularly in real estate investing.

Ramsey’s personal experience with bankruptcy in the 1980s, which resulted from being overleveraged in real estate, has undoubtedly shaped his aversion to debt. However, it is important to recognize that his experience does not reflect the potential benefits and opportunities that can arise from using debt strategically.

The Benefits of Leveraging Real Estate

One of the main points of contention with Ramsey’s advice is his dismissal of rental properties as a viable investment option. He argues that relying on renters to pay the mortgage is a flawed assumption, as various factors can lead to missed payments or vacancies.

While it is true that there are risks associated with rental properties, such as non-payment or unexpected expenses, these risks can be mitigated through proper planning and management. Additionally, the benefits of real estate investing far outweigh the potential downsides.

Cash Flow and Appreciation

When investing in rental properties, cash flow is a crucial consideration. While the monthly cash flow from a single property may not be substantial, when multiplied across multiple properties, it can provide a steady stream of income. Furthermore, rental properties have the potential to appreciate in value over time, allowing investors to build equity and increase their net worth.

Tax Advantages and Debt Reduction

Real estate investing offers numerous tax advantages, including deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, and depreciation. These deductions can significantly reduce an investor’s taxable income and increase their overall cash flow. Additionally, as tenants pay down the mortgage, the investor’s equity in the property increases, leading to debt reduction and increased net worth.

Control and Diversification

Investing in real estate provides individuals with a level of control that is often lacking in other investment options. Unlike the stock market, where investors have limited control over the performance of their investments, real estate investors can actively manage their properties to maximize returns. Additionally, real estate investing allows for diversification, as investors can spread their risk across multiple properties and markets.


The Importance of Risk Tolerance

One of the key factors that differentiates Ramsey’s advice from a more comprehensive approach to investing is risk tolerance. Ramsey’s aversion to debt stems from his personal experience with bankruptcy, which understandably has made him risk-averse. However, it is essential to recognize that risk tolerance varies among individuals, and what works for one person may not work for another.

While some individuals may prefer a more conservative approach to investing, others may be comfortable taking on calculated risks to achieve their financial goals. Real estate investing offers a range of options that cater to different risk tolerances, from conservative investments in stable markets to more aggressive strategies in emerging markets.


While Dave Ramsey’s advice on debt and real estate may resonate with some individuals, it is important to critically evaluate his recommendations and consider the broader benefits and opportunities that can arise from leveraging assets. Real estate investing, when done strategically and responsibly, can provide significant financial benefits, including cash flow, appreciation, tax advantages, and debt reduction. Ultimately, individuals should assess their risk tolerance and financial goals to determine the best approach for their unique circumstances.

Check out our podcast Fearless Future on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5ACmzj3UKmKN5N0cB3A3aU

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