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Dave Says: Pull From Stocks and Put Toward Mortgage?

JUNE 19, 2023

Dear Dave,
I bought a house about a year ago. Currently, I have $45,000 sitting in an account with a money manager. I’ve had this account for a little over three years, and the investment hasn’t grown much, if at all. Under the circumstances, and being single, too, would it be better to pull the money out of that investment and put it toward my mortgage?

Dear Johnny,
I recommend putting 100% of any non-retirement savings, above your emergency fund, toward paying off your mortgage until the mortgage is paid off. I’d still tell you to pay down the house, even if you were making 20% on your money. Just make sure you’re following the Baby Steps, and you’re already putting 15% of your income into good retirement investments before attacking the house. Paying down your mortgage is not an expenditure that’s just lost money. The cash is sitting there, you’re just banking it in your home and land. And on a side note, with all the craziness in the market over the last three years, you might come to realize breaking even over that time wasn’t so bad after all.

Johnny, the shortest distance between where you are and your first $1 million to $5 million in net worth is getting your house paid off. After that, load 15% to 20% of your income into a serious retirement plan. And by that, I don’t mean playing financial footsie with some little brokerage account. Investing in good, growth stock mutual funds with a proven track record of at least 10 years is a proven way to build wealth the right way.

I’m sure you can find someone on TikTok telling you to do the exact opposite of what I’m suggesting. But you won’t find that kind of advice coming from real millionaires.
— Dave

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of “The Ramsey Show.” He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” “Today,” Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people take control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for the company Ramsey Solutions.