The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason: Summary and Notes

The Richest Man In Babylon summary “Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you only take what is worth having.”

Rating: 9/10

Related Books: The Richest Millenial in BabylonThink and Grow RichRich Dad Poor DadThe Intelligent Investor

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The Richest Man In Babylon Short Summary

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason is an all-time classic on how to get rich. Clason offers wealth tips from Babylon, the richest and most prosperous city of ancient times. It turns out that creating wealth today is no different from how the people of Babylonia did it and the book offers excellent relatable lessons. Everyone should read this book.

The Man Who Desired Gold

Wealth is power. With money, you can accomplish a lot. You can feast, travel, and experience a much richer life. The ways of making money are the same as they were thousands of years ago. They were pioneered in Babylon and if you follow them faithfully, you can also become insanely rich. Unearned money will bring you to ruin. It is important to earn what you get. The first law of building wealth is to pay yourself first. No matter how much or how little you earn, always make sure that at least 1/10 of your earnings go towards paying yourself. Every coin that you save will go towards working for you. The second law is to live within your means. Don’t spend what you don’t have. The third law is to seek advice from those who are competent to give it. If you want advice about jewels, go to a jewel merchant, not a brick maker. When you set a task for yourself complete it.

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

To build a fortune, start by utilizing the wealth you already have. Your necessary expenses will always grow to equal your income unless you do something about it. Do not confuse your necessary expenses with your desires. Budget for all your necessary expenses.

“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.”

The seven cures of a lean purse:

  1. Pay yourself first. Say to yourself, “a part of all I earn is mine to keep”. This should be at least 10% of all your earnings
  2. Control your expenditures. Budget for your expenses so that you don’t run into debt
  3.  Multiply your gold through investments
  4. Secure your investments. There is no point in saving and later investing if you are going to lose everything
  5. Lower your living costs by buying or building your own house
  6. Provide for your needs as you age. Plan for retirement
  7. Learn. Become more skillful and wiser and your income will grow

Meet the Goddess of Luck

The more you work, the luckier you get. Gambling is always rigged in favor of the gamekeeper. In other words, the house always wins. Opportunity waits for no man. Seize it as soon as it comes your way. A procrastinator is someone who waits as opportunities pass him by. Trust your first judgment in the face of opportunities. Just as you cannot allow a thief to rob you of your riches, don’t allow yourself to miss opportunities that could lead to wealth.

“To attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities.”

The Five Laws of Gold

“Gold is reserved for those who know its laws and abide by them.”

The five laws of Gold:

  1. Comes easily and in increasing quantity to someone who puts at least 10% of his earnings into his future and that of his family
  2. Gold will earn you even more gold if you invest it wisely
  3. Will stick to the owner who seeks counsel from wise men who know how to handle it well
  4. Gold will slip away from you if you invest in purposes that you are not familiar with
  5. Gold will slip away from you if you force it to impossible earnings such as gambling
“Who can measure in bags of gold, the value of wisdom? Without wisdom, gold is quickly lost by those who have it, but with wisdom, gold can be secured by those who have it not, as these three bags of gold do prove.”

The Gold Lender of Babylon

“Gold bringeth unto its possessor responsibility and a changed position with his fellow men. It bringeth fear lest he lose it or it be tricked away from him. It bringeth a feeling of power and ability to do good. Likewise, it bringeth opportunities whereby his very good intentions may bring him into difficulties.”

If you seek to help others, do so in ways that will not make your burden theirs. Don’t lend your money to someone who is in emotional turmoil. Their actions are unpredictable. Lend to people who intend to use the money for purposes that bring more money back to them. If they borrow because of their indiscretions, you may never see your money back. Money lent unwisely is hard to get back. But money wisely lent can even double in its earnings. Money borrowed unwisely can lead to a bottomless pit and many years of sorrow. Gold should only be borrowed for a wise purpose.

The Walls of Babylon

The walls of Babylon stood guard against invaders for thousands of years never once failing to protect the city. You can also build a financial wall to help you against unexpected tragedies in life. Such a wall should include sound investments, saving accounts, and insurance.

The Camel Trader of Babylon

Debts are your enemies and ill fortune will follow any man who thinks more of borrowing than repaying his debts. He who spends more than he earns is sowing the seeds of self-indulgence and soon trouble and humiliation will follow. A man with the soul of a free man will seek to be respected and honored in his own city despite his misfortune. Such a man will honorably pay his debts. The soul of a free man sees life as a series of problems to be solved and solves them while the soul of a slave whines. A man who has money to spend on his purse is good to his family and loyal to his king. A debt paying strategy from Babylon:

  • Save 10% of your income no matter what
  • Commit seventh-tenths of all your earnings to meeting all your needs
  • Commit two-tenths of all your earnings to paying your debts in equal measures

The Luckiest Man in Babylon

Treat work like a friend and make yourself like it. Decide on what you want to acquire and work for it. Work will bring you great friends and earn you a decent life.