‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ is written by George S. Clason and dates back to the 1920’s. Clason issued a series of pamphlets that were short stories penned with a biblical writing style. These became “Babylonian Parables” that were formed into this book. Keeping that in mind, each chapter aims to put forth a financial principle through a parable lens. You are not really following a protagonist through the story, rather you are learning about the richest in Babylon and how this feat was accomplished.
3 Rules for life
These three simple rules are timeless helpers that can make anyone wealthy. First, live on less than you make. No matter your income, if you live on less than the total you can save or pay off debts. Second, you should seek advice from those who have demonstrated they are competent in that area of knowledge. If you want advice on computers, go to someone who works with computers. If you want advice with money, go to someone who you know has wealth. Third, make your gold work for you. This is a parable teaches us to make our money work for us. Invest your money into jobs that will generate more money for you, then take that investment money and invest that in something else. If you follow the logic through practice, soon you will have plenty.
A fun parable in the book is when the richest man is talking with others in a town square discussing good luck. They start by talking about how the rich seem too lucky as if they always seem to find a way that is not fair to riches. They begin by talking about betting and discuss how there is big reward but also big losses. The men agree that bets are not a sure way to get rich. The discussion pivots to lost opportunity.
The men tell tales of how if they had accepted more opportunity, they would have had great fortune. As long as they were wise and not rash, opportunity had come to each man. However, few people were in a financial position to accept the risk / reward. By saving for the future, we learn from the parable that good luck is enticed by accepting opportunity.
Fight your debts
The borrower is slave to the lender. This idea is put literally in these parables. However, they also tell a story of how a man who was sick of being in debt decided to work his way from a slave to a business owner. The moral of the story is that debt is not your friend, it cripples you. One should attack their debts with ferocity since debt is the enemy. Getting rich using ‘other peoples money’ is false.
When you attack your debts, you take control of your income both in payments and your income capacity. People will pay more money to a person who works well and manages money well.
The Richest Man in Babylon Summary
There are many principles in this book, and it comes highly recommended. Keep in mind it is written in somewhat of old style English. Once you get past that writing style it has numerous gems of wisdom to share.
Check out my previous blog post here.
You can find yourself a copy of The Richest Man in Babylon here.
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God bless you!