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Anyone like Clark Howard?

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  • Anyone like Clark Howard?

    People often mention Dave Ramsey around here. Often seemingly in a whisper.

    I got started in my financial education going through Dave's Financial Peace University. That course lit the initial fire that's still going to day in managing our money. Before that, I was worse than useless with money - I didn't understand it and I hated to think or talk about it. I owe something to Dave Ramsey for that.

    But the reason is name is whispered and not exactly championed around here is that much of his advice isn't completely sound. After about six months of going through his course and listening to his radio show/podcast every day, I began to expand my learning to other sources and began to see shortcomings with much of Dave's teachings. Fortunately I did so before I canceled all my credit cards and tanked my credit (I came very close to doing just that). Today, I think I could pick apart most of his basic tenets, but it is true that he is an excellent motivator and he has really helped a lot of people.

    Around the time I began to expand knowledge beyond Dave, I found Clark Howard, which is a name rarely mentioned in this community. I'm just wondering why. Clark's general personal finance and investing advice is solid, and the consumer info he provides is very helpful. I think most of the people in this community would agree with his general philosophies. (Although he often recommends Target Date Funds, which I think many wouldn't agree with, but I think it's important to consider his audience before dismissing him for that.) I sometimes say that I 'graduated' from Dave to Clark. Dave is good at general motivation and debt reduction (mostly), but Clark is more level-headed, lives in the real world (as opposed to Dave's fantastical no-credit-cash-only world), and gives real-world advice.

    I don't listen to Clark much anymore. His show is a broadcast radio show that has some shortcomings when translated into podcast format. The nature of a radio show is that you can't expect anyone to listen to every one of your shows, so you often repeat the same information over and over again. When listening via podcast, you do hear every show, hear the same information over and over again, and after about a year I felt I had heard most everything he had to say. He still has good segments on consumer matters, though.

    Do any of you like and listen to Clark Howard? Do you know who he is? Do you think his advice is good?

    If you've never listened to him, give his podcast a try. One thing I'll warn you of: he speaks extremely and annoyingly slowly. My favorite podcast player (Podcast Addict for Android) has a feature that allows me to listen at faster speeds without distorting voices. For Clark, 1.4x speed is tolerable, and I generally listen at 1.6x speed.

  • #2
    I agree with everything you had to say. I don't listen to anything regularly because my listening time is spent on Audible books, but the few times I've listened to him, I've liked what he had to say, no criticism.
    Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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    • #3
      I like Clark, but his show seems to focus a great deal on consumerism such as travel, rather than strictly investing type topics, and I find that a little less interesting. He had an interesting bit on the Deeper Pockets podcast. He invests in both index funds and real estate.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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      • #4
        Dave Ramsey is awesome but he is pretty extreme.  I pretty much follow what he says though except I do invest in a lot of bonds.

        As far as Clark:  Yes, I think he is level-headed and honest.  I checked out his book from the library.  It allowed me to get a $7 pair of eyeglasses from China and $400 in "lost money" that was owed me.  I wanted to calculate a ROI from following his advice but given that it was a library book the ROI was infinite!

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