A crowd of 3,500 people attended an event headlined by national personal finance personality Dave Ramsey at Grace Church in Eden Prairie earlier this month.
The Nov. 10 “Building Wealth Live” presentation was an Upper Midwest stop on a tour of the event described on the Ramsey Solutions website as teaching “how to build wealth – and keep it.”
Ramsey’s keynote addressed that topic by citing The National Study of Millionaires. “Typical millionaires put money into their 401(k) and pay off their house,” Ramsey said. “It’s as boring as raw.”
Radio host and author Ramsey peppered his speech with personal stories, Bible verses, and a retelling of “The Three Little Pigs” in which he compared the Big Bad Wolf to “COVID quarantines, midterm elections, inflation” and more. .
He also acknowledged audience concerns about inflation reaching a 40-year high, saying, “The bad news is it’s very real. The goods we buy cost more. The price of labor has gone up.” Ramsey also predicted, however, that “in about 36 months, it will level off.”
Ramsey called current inflation different than in previous decades, and he pointed to Covid-related production shutdowns as the cause. “This inflation is largely due to quarantine. Once things get back into the supply chain, it will level out. It has nothing to do with rising interest rates,’ he said.
Mental Health, Finance Connections
Jesse Parker of Mitchell, South Dakota, said he traveled to attend the event to find inspiration in Ramsey and other followers of his team. Parker, who started listening to Ramsey’s radio show to keep himself awake on overnight drives home from Michigan in 2016, visited Ramsey Solutions’ Nashville headquarters earlier this year to participate in a “debt-free scream.”
Attendee Annie Matson of Chaska discussed Ramsey’s example of loan payments and compound interest, saying, “It’s something I’ve heard before, but we need reminders.”
Her husband, Bob Matson, described the couple as Ramsey’s “big fans” and said they had previously taken a nine-lesson course on debt settlement and wealth acquisition at Financial Peace University (FPU), Ramsey Solutions. According to Ramsay from the audience’s hands-on stage, 30 to 40 percent of those participating in the program had previously taken the course.
The FPU curriculum was one of several Ramsey Solutions books and products that were for sale in the lobby of Grace Church during the event, with several personalities associated with the company on hand for book signings and photo opportunities.
Ramsey’s two personalities, career coach Ken Coleman and mental health expert Dr. John Deloney hosted a question-and-answer session prior to Ramsey’s keynote address. The two also participated in a post-keynote panel discussion with Ramsey, budget expert Rachel Cruz and Ramsey Show cohost George Kamel.
In both the panel discussion and a separate interview, Deloney talked about incorporating a mental health focus into a finance-focused team. Both he and Cruz suggested a link between higher rates of credit card debt and higher rates of depression and anxiety.
“The core principles of psychological well-being are safety, community and autonomy,” Deloney said. He indicated that debt to creditors affects the brain’s sense of both autonomy and security. “If you give someone money, you can’t quit your job. The amygdala knows that Toyota Motor Company decides that we will go to work tomorrow,” he said.
“You’ll never recover from anxiety if you give someone money, because the body knows you’re not safe,” Deloney said.
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