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The Richest Man in Babylon Paperback – January 1, 2002
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“What can a book written in the 1920s tell modern investors about their finances? A whole lot if it's George Clason's delightful set of parables that explain the basics of money. This is a great gift for a graduate or anyone who seems baffled by the world of finance and a wonderful, refreshing read for even the most experienced investor.”—Los Angeles Times
About the Author
George Samuel Clason was born in Louisiana, Missouri, on November 7th, 1874. He attended the University of Nebraska and served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. A successful businessman, he founded the Clason Map Company of Denver, Colorado and published the first road atlas of the United States and Canada. In 1926, he issued the first of a famous series of pamphlets on thrift and financial success, using parables set in ancient Babylon to make each of his points. These were distributed in large quantities by banks and insurance companies and became familiar to millions, the most famous being “The Richest Man in Babylon,” the parable from which the present volume takes its title. These “Babylonian parables” have become a modern inspirational classic.
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The "Thou"s and "thy"s are a bit silly and annoying, I admit--but you get used to it and after a while--it's fun. The financial basics told thru parables (i.e. bible-esque tales). I read a few parts out loud to my husband and he was cracking up.
Richest Man in Babylon in a Nutshell:
Pay yourself 1st: Save 10% of your income.
Pay your debtors: 20% of your income
Live off 70% of your income.
7 Cures for a lean purse:
1st CURE: Start thy purse to fattening.
Save 10 % of what you earn.
2nd CURE: Control thy expenditures.
Budget your income.
3rd CURE: Make thy gold multiply.
4th CURE: Guard thy treasures from loss.
Study your investments to reduce risk. Make sure you are FDIC insured.
5th CURE: Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment.
Own your home.
6th CURE: Insure a future income.
Invest for old age.
7th CURE: Increase thy ability to earn.
Acquire education and experience to increase income.
Fave quote: A part of all I earn is mine to keep.
If you loved it: Think and Grow Rich, The Automatic Millionaire
If you hated it: Rich Dad Poor Dad
It's both taller and wider than my current beat up version but the font they used is soooo small that I couldn't bring myself to make a detailed comparison- unlike the cover and back cover which are huge in comparison. They jammed 160 pages into 88 POORLY!!! I've never sent a book back before, but this one must go back!!!
So get the book, but not this version!!!
When we speak of history, Babylon is a city that we associate with much wealth and prosperity, however it wasn't always like that. The city of Babylon is a clear example of mans ability to achieve much even though they had little at their disposal.
Babylon had only two natural resources, fertile soil and river water , through this and the wisdom they possessed, they were able to build one of the greatest cities ever. They engineered dams which allowed the water to flow onto the fertile soil, encouraging the growth of crops in abundance. It is believed the trading of these crops was the stepping stone for their wealth and splendor.
Unlike other well known cities in history, Babylon was that which did not require the use of raiding to increase their profits, though it happened it wasn't incidental to their success as many of their battles were on the defense against opposing forces who aimed to overcome this great city. Their defenses, the sky scraping walls they built, also considered as great as the pyramids of Egypt, were crucial in their survival, and is claimed as one of the seven wonders of the world.
It is believed that the Babylonians were ahead of their time, they were skilled arts man, painters, weavers, jewelers etc, they were clever financiers and traders.
Babylon though constantly besieged was never overthrown or entered by outside forces until 540 years before Christ's birth. However it wasn't because the opposing army penetrated the impregnable walls.
The king at the time was advised to go forth to meet the oncoming army, in doing so, he was unfortunately defeated leaving the city open and unguarded.
The city never achieved the greatness it once possessed and over time it became a desolate waste.
Nonetheless though the city is no more. the wisdom of the Babylonians lives on, and we all can learn a great deal from the great city of Babylon.
The book starts off with a man who desired gold, like every other human being we all want to be better and live better, to accumulate items we like and to bless ourselves with gifts. Bansir a chariot builder was discouraged at his lack of fortune, every day he did the same thing and barely got by, while others were living life ecstatically. He wanted more, and he observed the only way to increase his monetary value was to ask his good friend who done what he wanted to achieve and go where he wanted to go.
"It costs nothing to ask wise advice from a good friend"
"Thou makes me to realize the reason why we never found any measure of wealth. We never sought it."
The book continues to the advice of the good friend and how he achieved his wealth and greatness and how he became the richest man in Babylon. Likewise, The richest man in Babylon, wasn't handed a silver spoon neither was he a prince with an inheritance. He as well, had to ask one more well off than him how to obtain richest and gold for himself. The grand advice he received was "a part of all you earn is yours to keep."
From this the richest man in Babylon understood that he must pay himself first. From everything that he earned, one tenth was his to save, or more based on what he could afford. For "wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed."
The rich man than went on to include what else he had learned from his mentor, the seven cures for a lean purse. (Empty purse)
1.) Start they purse to fattening: which is to put aside a tenth of what you earned, over time it will accumulate.
2.) Control thy expenditures: carefully consider what is necessary and what isn't. Don't throw your coin to what which isn't required.
3.) Make they gold multiply: look for ways to get your gold to work for you, investments.
4.) Guard thy treasure from loss: this ties in with number 2, to be careful with where we spend our money. We shouldn't be rash with spending or intrigued by get rich quick schemes.
5.) Own they own home, Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment: invest in obtaining thine own land. You can't fully enjoy life unless you have something you can call your own.
6.) Insure a future income: "save for a rainy day" comes to mind with this. We don't know what the future holds, therefore we must save accordingly for a day that comes upon us unexpectedly.
7.) Increase thy ability to earn: "the more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn." Increase your knowledge to better hell yourself. "The man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded." The more you learn the more you earn.
These methods for creating wealth were in the first half of the book. The author continues to include key knowledgeable concepts within the pages, from topics to "good luck" and "working for others", there's so much one can learn. The points are fundamental and simple but without a doubt are crucial. I've begun to adapt some methods and can see the effect it will have in the future.
This book isn't complicated or brain wrecking, it's simplified tremendously but the impact regardless is grand. It also goes into detail concerning the seven cures for a lean purse and many other economical situations. Most would do universities courses in economics but this read i feel is a basis for any monetary exchanges and management. This isn't just advice for the well off but for those who have little to nothing. Like the chariot builder, and the richest man in Babylon, these individuals had nothing but they made it into something.