Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley
Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should so few men be able to acquire so much gold?
The answer is because they know how.
One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.
And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.
This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people of Babylon:
The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet
1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.
When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings, I got along just as well. I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.
2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary.
Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.
Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.
3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.
When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”
4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.
Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.
Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you are about to invest.
5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.
Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.
6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.
You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.
7) Increase your ability to earn. Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.
Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.
Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:
The 5 Laws of Money
If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:
1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.
2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.
3) Money clings to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise in its handling.
4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.
5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.
Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.
This ends the condensation.