Get expert advice delivered straight to your inbox.

Skip to Main Content

How Do Dave’s ELP and SmartVestor Programs Work?

You’ve no doubt heard Dave mention his Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) and SmartVestor programs either on the radio, in an online article or maybe at a live event. Perhaps you’ve considered working with an ELP or SmartVestor Pro yourself, but you wondered what makes them different from any other real estate or financial services professional.

Why Did Dave Create the ELP and SmartVestor Programs?

If you needed heart surgery, would you grab a scalpel and try to operate on yourself? Of course not! You would find a heart surgeon—a really good one who has done hundreds (if not thousands) of heart surgeries. That makes sense!

Yet many folks try to buy a house or save for retirement on their own without knowing what they’re doing. That rarely ends well. Instead, you want a real estate agent or financial professional in your corner to help you make smart decisions. And that’s where the ELP and SmartVestor programs come in.  

Dave began the programs during the early days of his radio show as a way to connect his listeners with financial and real estate professionals he trusted to provide excellent service. That’s still our goal today: We want you to work with experts who are trustworthy and who understand Dave’s financial principles.

“At one point during the process, I was listening to the [Dave Ramsey Show] and thinking to myself, He is reminding me of someone. I realized a short time later that Dave was reminding me of our agent Phil and how he always took the time to explain things to us and always seemed to have our best interest at heart.”

– Christie W.

How Do We Select ELPs and SmartVestor Pros?

To join ELP and SmartVestor, an expert must share Dave’s values. An ELP or SmartVestor Pro will help you stay intense about working the plan and they won’t take you on a detour. They make sure you understand that investing strategy, insurance policy or home pricing you’re wondering about so you can decide if it’s the right or wrong choice for you.

In short, your ELP and SmartVestor Pro’s goal is to give you the knowledge you need to make your own decisions. After all, it’s your money. This also means that ELPs and SmartVestor Pros agree to work with folks who don’t necessarily have a lot of money to invest. They focus on helping each client make the most of the money they have.

The process to become an ELP or SmartVestor Pro is extremely thorough. Once an agent or advisor submits an application, Dave’s team reviews their business background. To be selected as a candidate, professionals must:

  • Have proper licensing and be in good standing with their respective regulatory agencies.

  • Have experienced both challenging times as well as good times in their industries, giving them the knowledge to help their clients in any type of market.

  • Plan to be in business long-term because they love what they do.

  • Have the ability to super-serve all the customers who come to them through the ELP or SmartVestor program.

  • Understand Dave’s financial principles.

“Our SmartVestor has tirelessly [and] repeatedly explained the world of investing to us with patience and clarity. He’s steadied us when we’ve felt insecure or nervous. He’s done exactly what you claim a SmartVestor Pro will do. He’s definitely a rock star!”

– Sharon T.

How Do the ELP and SmartVestor Programs Ensure Excellent Service?

To be part of the program, our financial ELPs and SmartVestor Pros pay a membership fee based on the territory they serve. Our real estate ELPs pay a membership fee along with a referral fee. This helps cover the costs for all the systems and support resources Dave has in place to inform our fans about the ELP and SmartVestor programs, connect them with pros, follow up on their experiences, and (best of all) keep the service free for you.


Market chaos, inflation, your future—work with a pro to navigate this stuff.

One commonly asked question is: “Why doesn’t Dave simply provide a list of the top financial or real estate professionals around the country?” When the program first began, Dave quickly learned that without a system of checks and balances in place to hold ELPs and SmartVestor Pros accountable, the risk of someone providing poor service was just too great. There needed to be a framework or an actual program built around connecting individuals with providers and then following up to make sure the standards of service were being upheld. 

Today, Dave has a dedicated team of more than 100 people who run the ELP and SmartVestor programs on a day-to-day basis. These team members maintain and ensure the quality and expansion of the program through customer service, technology, recruiting, training and marketing.

Everyone who works with an ELP or SmartVestor Pro has the opportunity to rate their experience and provide feedback about the level of customer service they received. We remove any pro whose service falls below the levels Dave has outlined. Even if a market has no other suitable applicants, Dave would rather have a market go without a local pro than send his listeners to the wrong person. In those cases, we connect people with regional or national providers.

How Can You Find Your ELP or SmartVestor Pro?

Dave is proud of how the ELP and SmartVestor programs have grown, and he’s also proud that these pros help thousands upon thousands of people each year to buy or sell a home, save money on insurance, plan for retirement, and complete their taxes with confidence. Today, an overwhelming majority of our fans highly recommend the ELP and SmartVestor programs to their friends, and they often return to use the program for additional services.

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to work with an ELP or SmartVestor Pro, the process is simple. Choose a category and take a few seconds to provide us with some contact information. An expert Dave recommends in your area will contact you—usually the same day and sometimes within a few minutes!

Want to know who Dave recommends in your area? Find your ELP or SmartVestor Pro now!

This article provides general guidelines about investing topics. Your situation may be unique. To discuss a plan for your situation, connect with a SmartVestor Pro. Ramsey Solutions is a paid, non-client promoter of participating Pros. 

Did you find this article helpful? Share it!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

Related Articles

how to choose a financial advisor

How to Choose a Financial Advisor

Finding the right financial advisor may seem intimidating, but it's not that difficult. You just need to remember a few things.

Ramsey Ramsey
How to Evaluate Your Financial Advisor

How to Evaluate Your Financial Advisor

Working with a financial advisor can be a game-changer for your money goals, but how do you know you’ve connected with the right investing expert for you and your situation? Let’s talk about it.

Ramsey Ramsey