Should you use a Dave Ramsey ELP?
I know this is a common question when you’re following Dave’s plan. The idea of an ELP, or Endorsed Local Provider, is an interesting one, with several factors to consider.
(Also, just so you are aware, Dave now calls his ELPs “SmartVestors”.)
Our Dave Ramsey ELP experiences
With a realtor
As a family on Baby Step #7 (our debt free story is here), we’ve tried using an ELP on a handful of occasions. None of them offered much benefit to us personally, and we were especially disappointed with the Dave-endorsed realtor we used when buying one of our homes.
In the realtor scenario, the ELP realtor had a team of people working under her, and after our initial meetings we were then passed on to her staff, who had no knowledge of Dave’s baby steps or the debt free principles that had become so important to us.
With financial advisors
We also interviewed some ELPs to handle our investments. While they were likable enough, especially one in particular, we couldn’t stomach all the fees involved with actively managed funds and opted to DIY our investments using Vanguard and a selection of low cost index funds. The ELPs also recommended various insurance options (such as life/disability) but we already had those in place.
However, if you’re not one to pay attention to the market, or if you don’t think you can stomach the roller coaster ride of investing on your own, then you might see value in working with an ELP on your investing strategy. Remember, as Dave says, the only ones who get hurt on a roller coaster are the ones who jump off. People who try to time the market, or pull out when markets dip, miss the gains when the markets rise again and tend to earn less from their investments overall. An ELP could help you stay accountable and hold on tight during the twists and turns.
Remember this, too
Also keep in mind that ELPs pay for the privilege of getting referrals from Dave’s site. Dave is ultimately making money from them. This has always made me question if they are really working in my best interest, theirs, or Dave’s.
But I’m still a DR fan
I really, truly am a Dave Ramsey fan. He gives solid advice, seems to have a heart of gold, and has helped millions of families get out of debt. His books Total Money Makeover and The Legacy Journey are two of our all-time favorite books. We’re just not sure that his ELP recommendations are for everyone. They certainly weren’t for us. Only you can decide if they’re a good choice for you! Interview a few and see what you think.
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Have you ever tried a Dave Ramsey ELP or SmartVestor? What did you think?
Go in grace today,