“Beloved by millions, this timeless classic holds the key to all you desire and everything you wish to accomplish. This is the book that reveals the secret to personal wealth.
The Success Secrets of the Ancients—
An Assured Road to Happiness and Prosperity
Acclaimed as a modern-day classic, this celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of—and a solution to—your personal financial problems that will guide you through a lifetime. This is the book that holds the secrets to keeping your money—and making more.”
The Richest Man in Babylon teaches the following “Seven Cures For a Lean Purse” through stories or parables – with references to “Purse” or “Gold” meaning “Money” or “Wealth” as we’d consider it today. The parables are told by a fictional Babylonian character named Arkad, who was a poor scribe, but became the “Richest Man in Babylon” by following this advice for himself.
The 1st Cure: Start thy purse to fattening…
Arkad advises saving 10% of your income to start building up your purse (money or wealth): “For every ten coins thou placest within thy purse take out for use but nine. Thy purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in thy hand and bring satisfaction to thy soul”.
The 2nd Cure: Control thy expenditures…
Arkad advises against luxury expenditures that ultimately become confused as necessities: “The gold we may retain from our earnings is but the start”, and, “What each of us calls our ‘necessary expenses’ will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary”, and, “Confuse not the necessary expenses with thy desires”.
The 3rd Cure: Make thy gold multiply…
Arkad advises to invest and to compound the investment return from these savings: “The earnings it will make shall build our fortunes. Learn to make your treasure (money) work for you. Make it your slave. Make its children and its children’s children work for you”.
The 4th Cure: Guard thy treasures from loss…
Arkad advises against taking a risk of loss and investing in get-rich-quick schemes: “Is it wise to be intrigued by larger earnings when thy principal may be lost? I say not. The penalty of risk is probable loss. Study carefully, before parting with thy treasure, each assurance that it may be safely reclaimed. Be not misled by thine own romantic desires to make wealth rapidly”.
The 5th Cure: Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment…
Arkad advises buying versus renting your principal residence, and using your residence to establish a business: “I recommend that every man own the roof that sheltereth him and his”, and, “Nor is it beyond the ability of any well-intentioned man to own his home”.
The 6th Cure: Insure a future income…
Arkad advises on having a pension and future retirement income: “Therefore do I say that it behooves a man to make preparations for a suitable income in the days to come, when he is no longer young, and to make preparations for his family should he be no longer with them to comfort and support them”.
The 7th Cure: Increase thy ability to earn…
Arkad advises to keep developing your own skills to increase your investing wisdom and also to increase your earnings power: “The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn”, and, “That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded”.
The Richest Man in Babylon teaches the following “Five Laws of Gold” through stories or parables – with references to “Gold” meaning “Money” or “Wealth” as we’d consider it today. The parables are told by a fictional Babylonian character named Arkad, who was a poor scribe, but became the “Richest Man in Babylon” by following this advice for himself.
The 1st Law of Gold… “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.” – Arkad’s advice here is very similar the First Cure, which is that saving is the start to building wealth.
The 2nd Law of Gold… “Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.” – Arkad’s advice here is very similar the Third Cure, which is that these savings can themselves grow and compound your wealth.
The 3rd Law of Gold… “Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling. – Arkad’s advice here is similar the Fourth Cure, which is about being patient and having a long-term view.
The 4th Law of Gold… “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 skilled in its keep.” – Arkad’s advice here is about investing in what you know about and understand.
The 5th Law of Gold… “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.” – Arkad’s advice here is about avoiding get-rich-quick or very aggressive wealth creation strategies.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Arkad’s financial advice includes the “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse” (being broke); and the “Five Laws of Gold” (how to protect and invest money). Critical components of Arkad’s advice is to always “pay yourself first”, “living within your means”, “investing in what you know”, the importance of “long-term savings”, and “home ownership”.
I LOVE this book for the lessens it teaches about “Gold”, which references can be taken to mean “Money” or “Wealth” as we’d consider it today. These lessens are available for quick view above, but don’t let this ease of access in any way allow you to cheat yourself out of the pleasure of actually reading this book. The brilliance is in the telling of each stories.
The 4th Cure: Guard thy treasures from loss…
The 4th Cure for a Lean Purse (Guard thy treasures from loss) still comes to mind each time I consider purchasing another distressed property for rehab into a rental. I think, “am I putting my treasure at risk?” – on this property.
After reading this book, I started paying myself first, by automatically diverting at least 10% of all income (business and personal) to alternate accounts, and running things on the remainder.