Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Which Financial Author Should You Follow?

Too often, we read financial advice in books from Dave Ramsey, David Bach, or Robert Kiyosaki and conclude that whatever they write, is the correct way for the reader.  But is it?

Let’s look at Dave Ramsey.

First, let me say that I’m one of the rare financial bloggers that did not read any of Dave’s books.  That said, I’ve read enough personal finance blogs to get the gist of what his approach is about.  I believe for the most part, I like what Dave says.  In fact, I paid off my mortgage early as he suggests.  I don’t have any debt nor have I carried much either except for car and home loans at one time, but those have been paid off entire.

The target group the Dave has the most impact on and who should read his books are those that have debt (especially credit card debt) and are trying to dig themselves out, and the middle class/middle-income group.  So if you are in this group, this book is a great read for this segment!

At the other extreme is Robert Kiyosaki!

Let’s Look At Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki take a more “do or die” approach and obviously takes a much more risky approach to finances.  Is he wrong?  No, but his message is primarily for the type A personality types that have a lot of confidence and aren’t afraid of failing.

I would guess that Robert’s approach only works for 10% of the population, and he doesn’t deny it.  I think Robert’s approach only works for those that are young without families or those with a lot “Chutzpah“, but this is just my opinion.

And this leads me to David Bach

Let’s Look At David Bach

David target segment of the population overlaps primarily with Dave Ramsey, but also a little with Robert Kiyosaki too.  I like David Bach’s approach because he preaches the frugality via “the latte factor” message, but also preaches investments via real estate and 401ks.

To me David Bach advice is much like the perfect portage that Goldilocks eats in the story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears“.  But this is because his financial advice “shoe” fits my financial risk level tolerance the best.


So for me personally, my approach at ( is more in line with David Bach’s approach.  I’m debt free and my finances are automated.  Now if I could just bring myself to follow his advice about lattes.

An example of a blogger that follow an approach more in line with Robert Kiyosaki wold be Adrian at  According to this blogger, he’s followed aggressive techniques and they have word for him.

There are plenty of example of those that follow Dave Ramsey too.  One such blogger is Jeff at Deliver Away Debt.

All take different but valid approaches for people of different risk tolerances.  Which author do you most identify with?


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22 Responses to Which Financial Author Should You Follow?

  1. Don’t forget Elizabeth Warren!

    We’re Bach and I guess Warren, though we didn’t follow either of them… they just suggest what we already did.

    For folks that have difficulties with spending, I think Ramsey and/or Warren are well worth following. As long as they follow someone who isn’t Kiyosaki!

    • I’m not 100% Bach yet. I did automate my saving/investing, but I don’t have real estate and I like my lattes.

      I’ll have to check out Elizabeth Warren (I’m not familar with her).

      • She’s the one that breaks percentages into needs/fixed expenses, wants, and savings. Her book is All Your Worth. It’s also a great read.

        We’re also not into real estate and I think we’re fine on the latte factor.

    • Ironically, I had Suze Orman pencilled in before I decided to change her to David Bach.

      Suze and Dave Ramsey are in the same boat, but David Bach is a hybrid in risk between (Suze/Dave Ramsey) and Robert Kiyosaki.

      I have nothing bad to say about Suze and I admit, I’ve been know to watch her “Can you afford it” segment in her show “Suze Orman”.

      • Suze and Dave are kind of polar opposites… except the “New Suze” is more Dave Ramsey like. She was very pro-credit card, pro-debt etc. Her Young Fabulous and Broke got a number of people I know into trouble… “Just charge it, you’ll make more money later!”

    • I would agree that Suze Orman is a good one for the list. A newer money coach is Sakina Spruell. She has some pretty good advice at

  2. BTW, I never really thought of David Bach and Dave Ramsey overlapping in this way, but I see your point. Great post!!!!

    My thoughts on Dave Ramsey being targeted for the middle class or people with trouble spending: I say yes but only with deep reservation. My personal belief is that many people who claim the “middle class” status are not middle class at all. Many people who claim to be affluent are pretenders (low net worth, “big hat but no cattle” types). This is only relevant in that I think Dave’s advice probably is most targeted towards the middle class and the poor, but there are many people who would benefit from his advice who would never admit that they are anything but “fairing well,” yet they couldn’t quit work for a year or two without substantial difficult.

    I’ll reserve my thoughts about Kiyosaki for another time.

    • I agree Dave Ramsey’s advice also includes the poor and working classes. But usually those groups consider themselves middle class too.

      Robert Kiyosaki is good for a thin layer of folks like Adrian above, but not so for those in the masses (like me).

  3. I have not read Ramsey either, so that makes 2 of us.

    I generally do not agree 100 percent with any of them, but I think they all have something to offer.

    Very interesting post. I keep thinking I need to read Ramsey just so I can say I read something he wrote. Maybe I will…

    • I think I’m too far along to read Ramsey. I never carry a credit card balance and my house is already paid off. I still think Ramsey’s a great financial advisor, and if I were in debt or younger, I would read him for sure.

      Bach still has some value to me though, and a little bit of Kiyosaki too.

    • About the authors, me too. I learned most of my financial savvy from my family (grandparents mainly). But I do agree with a lot of waht David Bach says. He has a pretty smart system (although I had thought of the same stuff too)…

    • Whew, both you and Kris didn’t read Dave Ramsey either. For a while, I felt like a poser in the personal finance world because is seemed like everybody had read him… I feel normal again 🙂

      I did listen to one (or maybe 2) of Suze’s audio books… She’s actually pretty good.

  4. I am not sure I identify with any of them, but Robert Kiyosaki is the closest. I read too many business books and articles to say if I identify with a particular one. I get something from everything I read.

    • I really used those three authors to represent levels of financial risk. So even though you haven’t read them, most likely your financial actions represent one of their viewpoints in some fashion…

      Ramsey = low risk
      Bach = medium risk
      Kiyosaki = high risk

      I’m more like Bach, with just a little bit of Kiyosaki mixed in.

  5. I listened to Dave Ramsey’s podcast for a while, until it became repetitive. I do like his anti-debt message, that is a positive influence. Kiyosaki I’ve heard of, but never read. David Bach I hadn’t heard until now.

  6. Each of these financial authors serve a different purpose and appeal to a different audience. Ramsey is a get out of debt and stay out of debt evangelist. Kiyosaki strikes me as more of a snake oil salesman than anything else. I couldn’t begin to spell out his strategies in a concise and coherent fashion. I think he is all about making money of Kiyosaki. Bach is an auto-pilot stock/bond market evangelist. Each individual investor will have to pick the one best suited for their current phase of life.

    • I envision these three authors as a risk spectrum.
      low risk = Ramsey
      medium (balanced) risk = Bach
      high risk = Kiyosaki

      Each have their segment of the population that their books could successfully be applied to. Kiyosaki can really only be applied to maybe 10% of the population…