Beginning in January 2023 and in association with Over the Road Magazine, Making Your Miles Count will be producing a PODCAST to serve Canadian Truck Drivers and Operators. I have been researching topics and formats part-time for over two years. So far, I have discussed/outlined two topics in my September article, and two in my October article. Below are two more topics on my list.
5. DAVE RAMSEY IN CANADA
Dave Ramsey is one of the most influential talk show hosts in North America and he has touted debt-free living for over three decades. Heard on over 600 radio stations and listed in the top five most watched You-tube channels in the world (18+ million viewers a week), Dave Ramsey is a loud and sobering voice of financial reason. Notwithstanding his personal bankruptcy in 1988, his estimated worth today is somewhere between $200 and $300 million dollars which exemplifies his meteoric successful philosophy.
Having a PODCAST about financial growth, success, and independence without at least mentioning Ramsey Solutions would be more than a little naive. The Ramsey way is the benchmark for debt-free living. However, despite his great literary, radio, seminar, and publishing success, why does he not have an official presence in Canada? Why, is it actually “ILLEGAL” to purchase some of his material in our great and vast country? What diabolic message or “anti-Canadian” voice does he hold? Simply put, his trademark course on debt-free living is called “Financial Peace University” and according to our Canadian government he is not registered or accredited to use the name/word “University”. Apparently, this word is managed by our government officials. It is one of the most outrageous (and even hilarious) examples of governmental inefficiencies that our country displays.
Even though the program is technically illegal to purchase or utilize in Canada, there are literally thousands who have gone through the nine-week course and have emerged debt free and are now travelling on a new financial path. The smugglers and underground network are alive and well, though often hard to find. However, I shall leave the topic alone for now because if I draw too much attention to this illegal program, our government may resurrect the Emergencies Act and send out the police to people’s homes to seek out and shut down this great process of getting out of debt.
A PODCAST focused on building financial success requires a lot of research. The internet is loaded with personalities and experts selling their ideas, their philosophy, and wares for success. There are hundreds of “experts” in numerous areas of financial counsel. Personally, I have gained knowledge from many great people and programs. In my research, I have learned one primary requirement… Interpolation which is: the act of inserting something foreign into the original message. In other words, taking a truth from the message and applying it in your own life without the context originally presented. Dave Ramsey is an Evangelical Christian and does not shy away from placing his teaching in that context. It must also be noted that many other “experts” have their own philosophies and religions. Whenever we look to gain wisdom, we must learn to interpolate as may be needed; to take the truth only and apply it independently of its original context. Dave Ramsey is a prime example. Not everyone is an Evangelical Christian, and some may even be hostile to this type of belief. In seeking personal wisdom, many/most teachers must be interpolated in some form, large or small. If we only gain wisdom from those who believe exactly as we do, we will draw from a very shallow pool.
There are other things about Ramsey that requires interpolation. He talks about 401 Ks and IRAs, something foreign to Canadian financial terminology. We have RRSPs and TFSAs and very little need for health insurance. The Ramsey plan needs to be adapted to the Canadian market.
6. BUILDING WEALTH AS A DRIVER OR OPERATOR ISN’T WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.
I have two clients that have been with me for well over ten years. They both started with little to no net worth. After well over a decade their current circumstances display a staggering difference; one has less than $150,000 of net worth while the other has in excess of $550,000. Allow me to tell you the circumstances and then you decide which set of choices produced which result.
One client made $150 K pre-tax while the other never made more than $40 K (no other family income). One client had exotic and unique vacations, the other… well I never heard of anything special (though I am sure there was something informal). One client was divorced and the other is married with at least 4 kids at home. One has built at least two homes and has a high mortgage and the other paid off their mortgage about two years ago. One operates on a very tight cash flow and the other gives regularly to charity. One has a boat and hot tub payments and the other does not. One purchases a new vehicle every few years and the other has a 10-15-year-old minivan (paid for). One is on their third new truck and the other is on their second (the first got written off).
Just by looking at their behaviour you can see they have dramatically different lifestyles. It is not a reflection of their morals but their values. It is just their regular accumulated choices, year over year. Hollywood and advertisers would imply the high earner would be the high-net-worth client, but is it so?
In the end we use common sense to evaluate other people’s choices, but can we use common sense to guide our own? Is our goal to LOOK successful or BE successful? Do we make choices because of what we need or because of what others have? Building wealth long term requires a cumulative set of focused decisions. It’s hard to ignore or hide the net effect after ten plus years.
Being an accountant to Independent Operators has its advantages. Over time we can see the results an accumulated string of choices can bring. One thing I can confirm; there is a good living to be made in this industry if discipline and restraint are practiced.
The PODCAST is designed for industry information and educational purposes. It is not designed to make me popular or a social influencer. I seek to assist Drivers in building long-term financial wealth and stability, outside any dependence on government “cradle to grave” standards. Building wealth as a truck driver and/operator is not difficult if the right formula is followed. In fact, it is probably one of the easiest industries to succeed in. I know plenty of very wealthy Drivers and Operators who are well prepared for retirement. You can be too.
About the Author:
Robert D. Scheper is a leading Accountant and Consultant to the Lease/Owner operator industry in Canada. His first book in the Making Your Miles Count series “taxes, taxes, taxes” was released in 2007. His firm exclusively serves Lease/Owner Operators across Canada. His second book “Choosing a Trucking company” is the most in-depth analysis of the operator industry available today. He has a Master’s degree (MBA) in financial management and has been serving the industry since he and his wife came off the road in 1993. His dedication, commitment and strong opinions can be read and heard in many articles and seminars.
You can find him and his books at www.makingyourmilescount.com or 1-877-987-9787. You can also e-mail him at email@example.com.
Robert D Scheper operates an accounting and consulting firm in Steinbach, Manitoba. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of the Book “Making Your Miles Count: taxes, taxes, taxes” (now available on CD). You can find him at www.thrconsulting.ca and thrconsulting.blogspot.com or at 1-877-987-9787. You can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.