Book Review: The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Money Habit Muse 5 Star

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.
The Richest Man in Babylon

Some might say advice in the book is all common sense but I have to say I wish I had come across this book in my late teens and followed everything to a T.

What difference it would have made!

If you have your financial affairs in order and you have always been good with money, hey, why are you here? ha.

But if you aren’t unsure of how you’re supposed to accumulate wealth and desperately need a guideline, grab this book.

Like. Right. Now.

It’s going to be the cheapest and yet the most valuable investment you’ll ever make!

For those who have a debt to pay off (like me) or struggle with bad money habits, do yourself a favour.

Buy this book and start working to build wealth.

I wish every school recommend (or teach!) this book to students before they venture out into the real world.

What Is It About

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason is a book of wisdom that contains timeless messages about creating wealth that can be applied today as it was back in 1926 when first published.

It lays out fundamental principles to build wealth.

The book contains parables of stories told by several characters.

It’s very easy to read and relatable even if they were narrated by ancient Babylonians in various trade.

Stories are passed on to generations to generations in Babylon.

Much as it’s been passed on to you and me today.

It starts off with the seven basic principles on saving and investing money, how to pay off debt, how to attract luck, the value of hard work and so on.

For such a short book, it’s gem packed with priceless wisdom.

I especially loved how the story began.

Kobbi, a musician, comes to visit his friend Bansir, a chariot builder, to borrow money only to find his friend in his own pity party, lamenting why he doesn’t have much to show for despite years’ labour.

Both decide to seek out the richest man in Babylon, their childhood friend Arkad, for his advice.

They ask Arkad why they are poor while he is rich although they work harder than him.

I love this part because I could empathise the frustration of the men.

I also loved the fact they actively sought out to learn.

Fun Fact

When I came across a familiar phrase “Pay for Yourself First” in the book, I thought, “isn’t it really a timeless phrase to have been used in ancient times as well?”

Later, I learned that the author was actually credited to come up with this phrase first!

Takeaways

The richest man in Babylon Arkad imparts “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse” to build wealth.

  1. Start thy purse to fattening – pay for yourself first: Keep10% of your earnings.
  2. Control thy expenditures – don’t confuse essential expenses with your desires. Know your wants and needs.
  3. Make thy Gold Multiply – Invest and compound your investment.
  4. Guard thy treasure from loss – don’t take a risk of loss and avoid get-rich-quick schemes.
  5. Make of thy dwelling a Profitable Investment –  own your home.
  6. Insure a Future Income –  be prepared for old age or unexpected events with pension and retirement income.
  7. Increase thy Ability to Earn – Increase earning potential by developing and acquiring skills. Keep learning.

The book continues with various parables and teaches us “The Five Laws of Gold” and more.

Pro

  • Despite it’s written in 1926, it was surprisingly easy to read.
  • Each parable is laid out in an engaging way.
  • Each important message is succinctly delivered.
  • Very relatable characters (and their sufferings) despite in different time and trade.
  • It’s a short (and VERY engaging) read (124 pages on Kindle).

Con

  • If you don’t like the old English language, you may not like the book. e.g thee, thou, thy and so on.

Money Habit Muse 5 Star

Final Thoughts

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason is a must-read personal finance book.

With a broad sense of financial advice, you’ll learn to draw your own roadmap to build wealth.

There are no complicated data to understand.

And it’ll kick your rear end to do something about paying off debt, creating your wealth and achieving financial freedom!

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