Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Richest Man in Babylon

A friend lent me a book recently. She said, "Read it. It's a good book." I did, but was wondering why did she ask me to read that particular book. The first few pages were boring, but as I moved on the pages, it made sense. This is by far the best book I've read this year. Thank you dear, you know who you are.

These are some excerpts from the book.

The Richest Man in Babylon

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. – LA Times

Like the law of gravity, these laws of money are universal and unchanging.

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. This is the book that holds the secrets to acquiring money, keeping money, and making money earn more money.

Babylonian parables – hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth.

Money is the medium by which earthly success is measured.

Money makes possible the enjoyment of the best the earth affords.

Money is plentiful for those who understand the simple laws which govern its acquisition.

Money is governed today by the same laws which controlled it when prosperous men thronged the streets of Babylon, 6000 years ago.

Too often does youth think that age knows only the wisdom of days that are gone, and therefore profits not. But remember this, the sun that shines today is the sun that shone when thy father was born, and will still be shining when thy last grandchild shall pass into darkness.

The thoughts of youth are bright lights that shine forth like the meteors that oft make brilliant the sky, but the wisdom of age is like the fixed stars that shine so unchanged that the sailor may depend upon them to steer his course.

A part of what you earn is yours to keep. It should be no less than a tenth no matter how little you earn. It can be as much more as you can afford. Pay yourself first.

Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.

Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having. He who takes advice about his savings from one who is inexperienced in such matters, shall pay with his savings for proving the falsity of their opinions.

Learn to live upon less than you could earn. Next, learn to seek advice from those who were competent through their own experiences to give it. Lastly, learn to make gold work for you.

Say to yourself, a part of all I earn is mine to keep. Say it in the morning when your first arise. Say it at noon. Say it at night. Say it each hour of every day. Say it to yourself until the words stand out like letters of fire across the sky.

Impress yourself with the idea. Fill yourself with the thought. Then take whatever portion seems wise. Let it be not less than one-tenth and lay it by. Arrange your other expenditures to do this if necessary. But lay by that portion first. Soon you will realise what a rich feeling it is to own a treasure upon which you alone have claim. As it grows it will stimulate you. A new joy of life will thrill you. Greater efforts will come to you to earn more. For of your increased earnings, will not the same percentage be also yours to keep?

Then learn to make your treasure work for you. Make it your slave. Make its children and its children’s children work for you.

Insure an income for thy future. Look thou at the aged and forget not that in the days to come thou also will be numbered among them. Therefore invest thy treasure with greatest caution that it be not lost. Usurious rates of return are deceitful sirens that sing but to lure the unwary upon the rocks of loss and remorse.

Provide also that thy family may not want should the Gods call thee to their realms. For such protection it is always possible to make provision with small payments at regular intervals. Therefore the provident man delays not in expectation of a large sum becoming available for such a wise purpose.

Counsel with wise men. Seek the advice of men whose daily work is handling money. Let them save you from an error. A small return and a safe one is far more desirable than risk.

Enjoy life while you are here. Do not overstrain or try to save too much. If one-tenth of all you earn is as much as you can comfortably keep, be content to keep this portion. Live otherwise according to your income and let not yourself get niggardly and afraid to spend. Life is good and life is rich with things worthwhile and things to enjoy.

7 Cures for a Lean Purse

The First Cure: Start thy purse to fattening

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.

Deride not what I say because of its simplicity. Truth is always simple.

The Second Cure: Control thy expenditures

Confuse not the necessary expenses with thy desires. Each of you, together with your families, have more desires than your earnings can gratify. Therefore are thy earnings spent to gratify these desires insofar as they will go. Still thou retainest many ungratified desires.

All men are burdened with more desires than they can gratify. There are limits to your time. There are limits to your strength. There are limits to the distance you may travel. There are limits to what you may eat. There are limits to the zest with which you may enjoy.

Thy desires are a multitude and those that thou mayest gratify are but few.

Study thoughtfully thy accustomed habits of living. Herein may be most often found certain accepted expenses that may wisely be reduced or eliminated. Let thy motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for each coin spent.

Therefore, engrave upon the clay each thing for which thou desireth to spend. Select those that are necessary and others that are possible through the expenditure of nine-tenths of thy income. Cross out the rest and consider them but a part of that great multitude of desires that must go unsatisfied and regret them not.

Budget then thy necessary expenses. Touch not the one-tenth that is fattening thy purse. Let this be thy great desire that is being fulfilled. Keep working with thy budget, keep adjusting to it to help thee. Make it thy first assistant in defending thy fattening purse.

Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.

The Third Cure: Make thy gold multiply

The gold we may retain from our earnings is but the start. The earnings it will make shall build our fortunes.

A man’s wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse; it is the income he buildeth, the golden stream that continually floweth into his purse and keepeth it always bulging. That is what every man desireth.

To put each coin to labouring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse.

The Fourth Cure: Guard thy treasures from loss

Misfortune loves a shining mark. Gold in a man’s purse must be guarded with firmness, else it be lost. Thus it is wise that we must first secure small amounts and learn to protect them before the Gods entrust us with larger.

Every owner of gold is tempted by opportunities whereby it would seem that he could make large sums by its investment in most plausible projects. Often friends and relatives are eagerly entering such investment and urge him to follow.

The first sound principle of investment is security for thy principal. 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.

Guard thy treasure from loss by investing only where thy principal is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise men. Secure the advice of those whose experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.

The Fifth Cure: Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment

If a man setteth aside nine parts of his earnings upon which to live and enjoy life, and if any part of this nine parts he can turn into a profitable investment without detriment to his well-being, then so much faster will his treasures grow.

Own thy own home.

The Sixth Cure: Insure a future income

It behooves a man to make preparation 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.

Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.

The Seventh Cure: Increase thy ability to earn

He must pay his debts with all the promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay.

He must take care of his family that they may think and speak well of him.

He must make a will of record that, in case the Gods call him, proper and honourable division of his property be accomplished.

He must have compassion upon those who are injured and smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him.

To cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to act as to respect thyself.

If a man be lucky, there is no foretelling the possible extent of his good fortune. Pitch him into the Euphrates and like as not he will swim out with a pearl in his hand. – Babylonian proverb

To attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantages of opportunities.

Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity.

Men of action are favoured by the goddess of good luck.

The Five Laws of Gold

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 laboureth 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 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.

Better a little caution than a great regret.

In this day, behind the impregnable walls of insurance, savings accounts and dependable investments, we can guard ourselves against the unexpected tragedies that may enter any door and seat themselves before any fireside.

We cannot afford to be without adequate protection.

Where the determination is, the way can be found.

That man who keepeth in his purse both gold and silver that he need not spend is good to his family and loyal to his king.

The man who hath but a few coppers in his purse is indifferent to his family and indifferent to his king.

But the man who hath naught in his purse is unkind to his family and is disloyal to his king, for his own heart is bitter.

Therefore, the man who wisheth to achieve must have coin that he may keep to jingle in his purse, that he have in his heart love for his family and loyalty to his king.

Besetting a man like a whirlwind,
Driving him like a storm,
Whose course no one can follow,
Whose destiny no one can foretell.

2 comments:

Digital Pix88 said...

I read this book long long long time ago. A very good read. Thanks for the book summary :)

skyjuice7 said...

Indeed. You're welcome. I typed it from the book for my keepsake.