Despite what his millions of loyal fans and followers might believe, Dave Ramsey is only human. But he’s a human with an impressive record of making economic predictions that have a way of coming true.
Between his books, radio show, website and public appearances, someone who prognosticates on the record as frequently as Ramsey is bound to be wrong sometimes — and occasionally, he is.
But when he’s right, it’s often because he went out on a limb and swam against the current of conventional wisdom — and recently, Ramsey has demonstrated an impressive degree of level-headed insight in uncertain times.
The Stock Market Could Have Crashed Last Year, but It Didn’t
The S&P 500 lost nearly 20% in 2022 during the market’s worst year since 2008.
In a June 29, 2022 post on his website, Ramsey and his team discussed the possibility of a stock market crash. Gas had just breached the $5 mark for the first time in history, inflation was over 9%, stocks had officially entered bear territory, the crypto markets were in ruins and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was causing economic ripple effects worldwide.
The country was bracing for a major recession that analysts and the public alike had accepted as inevitable. Although the pessimists predicted a stock market crash in the vein of the Great Recession or even the Great Depression, Ramsey took a more measured tone.
While acknowledging the severity of the situation, Ramsey urged calm, cautioned against panic selling and noted bright spots like falling unemployment, receding COVID-19 rates and the growth of new industries in arguing that a crash was unlikely.
In the end, Ramsey’s judicious tone reflected the reality of what was to come. The market had a lousy year, but there was no crash that looked anything like 1929, 1987, 2001, 2008 or 2020.
The Hot Housing Market Wasn’t a Bubble, After All
The stock market wasn’t the only storyline of the 2022 economy that drew widespread comparisons to the Great Recession.
The prevailing wisdom was that the red-hot housing market was a massive bubble that had to pop eventually. When it did, property values would plummet and millions who paid inflated prices would be stuck with underwater mortgages, the same as in 2008.
But the bubble never popped, and instead has been slowly deflating since around the time that Ramsey forecasted that outcome exactly.
On an October 2022 episode of his radio show, Ramsey reiterated his position that the market would hold “because there is a pool of buyers that is much larger than the pool of sellers still, and the supply-demand curve will maintain the prices.”
The Federal Reserve’s rate hikes have been cooling the overheated market. Interest rates rose, mortgage demand cratered and home prices have continued to fall, but like the stock market, there was no housing crash — just as Ramsey predicted.
Inflation Ran Hot, but There Would Be No Repeat of the 1970s
At the height of the inflation surge that started in 2021, callers dialed into Ramsey’s show for advice on what to do and predictions on what to expect. Ramsey took the former on a case-by-case basis, but he was consistent in his position on the latter. While inflation was driving up the price of cars, building materials, housing and groceries, the country was not headed for a repeat of the hyperinflation that unraveled the U.S. economy in the 1970s, as so many doomsday pundits were predicting.
He said that the affordability crisis was “due to shortages more than anything else, and once the supply-demand curves equal out, it’s going to slow the rate of these price increases.”
Once again, Ramsey was proven right.
Inflation rose at its fastest rate in 40 years, but it peaked in 2022 in the single digits, well below the bad old days of the late ’70s and early ’80s.
The ‘Weirdest Job Market in 30 Years’ Wasn’t Going Anywhere
In early 2022, he predicted that the trend of mass resignations in pursuit of more meaningful work would continue well past the Great Resignation, which Ramsey Solutions chronicled in a study titled The State of Work 2021.
Touching on the same subject on his radio show later in the year, Ramsey opined that the Fed’s rate hikes wouldn’t increase unemployment in what he called “the weirdest job market in 30 years.” His logic was that companies would continue to compete for labor even if the economy cooled because the Great Resignation had taught them that fickle workers were willing to walk even when times were tough.
Today, unemployment is at its lowest rate in more than a half-century.
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