Saturday, August 11, 2007

If I were Dave Ramsey...

If I were Dave Ramsey, I'd first buy a lot of stock in credit card companies, check cashing joints, car title pawnshops, and tax refund lenders. These are the types of companies that he is always warning his listeners against.

Then I'd add the following to my Financial Peace speech:

"Now, do you have a lot of credit card debt? Do you cash checks at any place other than the bank where you have a checking account? Do you borrow against your car's value, or take out tax refund loans? Full disclosure here. I own stock in all those types of companies. I don't need to. I make plenty of money with my speaking and radio gigs, and with my more socially responsible portfolio. But I want you to know that I am invested in these businesses.

"You may well wonder why I would give my money to these parasites, these sharks, that are eating your futures alive. Simple. I want you to get out of debt, same as I've always wanted. And I want you to get mad at your debt, same as I've always wanted. And the best way to do that, I've discovered, is to get mad at yourself for a) getting into all this debt so foolishly, and b) having to pay a short bald guy on the speaking circuit to tell you how to get out. For just a short while, I want you to get mad at me.

"Because now, with my stock holdings in these predatory industries, I am getting even richer than I already am. If nothing about your present sad situation makes you mad, then I want this to make you mad: I am getting you coming and going. I've already got your money to come hear me speak, and maybe buy a book and audio cd, too. If you take the advice I'm giving you tonight, you will be on the road to get out of debt and be able to live like no one else.

"Or you can ignore my advice. You can heave a sigh and say that it's just too hard. You're just not disciplined enough. Your mate would never co-operate. You're in too deep. And on and on and on. You can go back to paying off one credit card with another, taking out second mortgages for grown-up toys and vacations, piddling away your cash flow on car loans and rent-to-own stereos. If you do that, well...I'm still getting rich off of you. Your bad habits are just going to make me richer and richer. I am getting you coming and going, and that makes you not only a bad steward of your finances. It makes you a sucker. A mark. A fish. Take my seminar to heart, and you'll only pay me once. Stay in your bad habits, and you'll keep me sleeping between silk sheets forever.

"When I'm out on my next vacation, at a gorgeous, exclusive mountain lodge, looking out over the breathtaking view and enjoying the cool, refreshing mountain breezes, know what I'm going to do? I'm going to pull out my blackberry, check my portfolio, throw an extra thousand or two into my fund for my *next* vacation, in just a couple of months or so, and then I'm going to raise my umbrella drink in a toast to you--the undisciplined, spendthrift, whining slob, who's making my wonderful life possible. Here's to you--sucker. Now get mad, and listen up."

That's what I'd say, if I were him.

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