The richest man in Babylon book was written by George S. Clason. Most times we often wish there was a rule book to help guide us through some tough decisions that we have to make in life, from relationships, health, and money.
Experts in these fields have made attempts to write this kind of books, but they are only a few that really proffer that needed solution, especially when it comes to money. The richest man in Babylon is one of the few books that truly stand out as a manual for managing money and growing your wealth.
Considering that this book was first published in 1926, it will come as an exciting surprise that the facts presented in its pages are as practical and useful today as they were more than 90 years ago. This is just testament to the sound financial principles that are recorded in this book.
The first thing you will notice about The Richest Man in Babylon is the archaic writing style used in telling the very interesting stories or parables, similar to those used in the Bible. You will come across a lot of ‘thou’ and ‘seeketh’, but the book has no religious connotation and this doesn’t take away its flair, instead it makes it even more classical and the narrative highly engaging.
In trying to really capture the essence of the richest man in Babylon book in this short review, I will do a quick summary of some of its most interesting stories that hold deep financial lessons.
Set in ancient Babylon, one of the first tales you will encounter is the “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse,” here the author tells us about Arkad, one of the richest men in Babylon, who on the king’s request is tutoring a class for anyone in Babylon who wants to learn the secrets of acquiring wealth. Arkad divides his class into seven sessions, one lesson for each day for seven days.
First cure: Start thy purse to fattening
Put aside one-tenth of your earnings and save it for future purposes.
Second cure: Control thy expenditures
Don’t spend carelessly, even if you have the money to. Focus on savings.
Third cure: Make thy gold multiply
Once you have reasonable savings, invest it to multiply your money.
Fourth cure: Guard thy treasure against loss
Only invest in a venture that guarantees your capital, even if it fails.
Fifth cure: Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment
It is better to buy or build and own your house, instead of renting and paying a landlord.
Sixth cure: Insure a future income
Save and invest money for your retirement, so you have money for yourself and family after your working days are over.
Seventh cure: Increase thy ability to earn
Never stop learning, get new skills and improve on old ones to increase your potentials of earning more.
To further entrench his philosophy to his students, in the richest man in Babylon book, Arkad leaves them with five laws of gold; rules on how to take charge of your finances. These are:
1. Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.
2. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.
3. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.
4. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those who are skilled in its keep.
5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.
The richest man in Babylon book then ends up with other tales that keep fortifying the established principles such as:
• A Part of All You Earn Is Yours To Keep: From the total income you earn, always pay yourself first, before you start making other statutory expenses. This advice in the richest man in Babylon book when followed is very helpful and could be a key to financial success.
• Men of Action Are Favoured By The Goddess Of Good Luck: The wisdom here is great, there is no way you can grow wealthy by doing nothing with your money. You must take action in investing it in order to find ‘luck’ to become wealthy.
• Better A Little Caution Than A Great Regret: Be cautious and wise in making investment decisions, guard your principal from losses. Putting your money in the wrong venture can make you lose everything.
• We Cannot Afford To Be Without Adequate Protection: You will not work and earn for the whole of your life, so here again the need to saving and investing for your retirement is emphasized.
• Where The Determination Is, The Way Can Be Found:The road to success is marked by bumps of failure, so don’t give up when you fail with a wrong investment, keep going and you will succeed.
If you enjoy a nicely written narrative laced with a lot of wisdom on growing your finances, then the richest man in Babylon book will make a very good reading.
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