A crowd of 3,500 attended an event led by national personal finance personality Dave Ramsey at Grace Church in Eden Prairie earlier this month.
The Nov. 10 “Building Wealth Live” presentation was the Upper Midwest’s stop on a guided tour of the event described on the Ramsey Solutions website as teaching “how to build wealth – and keep it.”
Ramsey’s keynote touched on this topic by citing the National Millionaire Study. “Typical millionaires put money in their 401(k) and paid off their house,” Ramsey said. “It’s boring as crudeness.”
Ramsey, radio host and author, peppered his speech with personal stories, Bible verses and an account of “The Three Little Pigs,” in which he compared the Big Bad Wolf to “COVID quarantine, elections mid-term, inflation”, etc. .
He also addressed public concerns about inflation rates hitting a 40-year high, acknowledging: “The bad news is that it is real. The things we buy cost more. The price of labor has increased. Ramsey also predicted, however, that “in about 36 months he will have stabilized.”
Ramsey called the current inflation a different kind than in previous decades, and he pointed to COVID-related manufacturing shutdowns as the cause. “This inflation was caused by the quarantine, in large part. Once things get back into the supply chain, it will stabilize. It has nothing to do with rising interest rates,” he said.
Mental health, financial relations
Jesse Parker of Mitchell, South Dakota said he traveled to attend the event to seek inspiration from other followers of Ramsey and his team. Parker, who started listening to Ramsey’s radio show to keep himself awake during an overnight drive from Michigan in 2016, visited Ramsey Solutions headquarters in Nashville earlier this year to participate in a “cry without debt”.
Participant Annie Mattson of Chaska said of Ramsey’s discussions of debt repayment and examples of compound interest, “These are things I’ve heard before, but we need reminders.”
Her husband, Bob Mattson, described the couple as “big fans” of Ramsey and said they had previously taken Financial Peace University (FPU), Ramsey Solutions’ nine-lesson course on debt repayment and the accumulation of wealth. According to Ramsey’s statement from the stage based on a show of hands audience, 30-40% of event attendees had already taken the course.
The FPU course was among many Ramsey Solutions books and products for sale in the Grace Church lobby during the event, with several company-associated personalities on hand for book signings and photo ops.
Two of Ramsey’s personalities, career coach Ken Coleman and mental health expert Dr. John Delony, hosted a question-and-answer session ahead of Ramsey’s keynote address. The two also participated in a panel discussion after the keynote with Ramsey, budgeting expert Rachel Cruze and Ramsey Show co-host George Kamel.
During the roundtable and in a separate interview, Delony spoke about including a mental health focus in a finance-focused team. He and Cruze suggested a relationship between high rates of credit card debt and high rates of depression and anxiety.
“The fundamentals of psychological well-being are safety, community, and autonomy,” Delony said. He indicated that debt to creditors impacts feelings of autonomy and security in the brain. “If you owe someone money, you can’t quit your job. The amygdala knows Toyota Motor Company decides we’re going to work tomorrow,” he said.
“You’ll never recover from anxiety if you owe someone money because the body knows you’re not safe,” Delony said.
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