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The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon

George Clason

Summary in 100 words or less


The Richest Man in Babylon is a long-time book about money published over a century ago. The principles are simple but still relevant today. To grow wealth, 1) save at least 1/10 of your income and invest the money on areas you know, 2) do not procrastinate, and 3) never stop learning.

My Highlights

If you have not acquired more than a bare existence in the years when you are young, it is because you either have failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth, or else you do not observe them.

Every gold piece you save is a slave to work for you. Every copper it earns is its child that also can earn for you. If you would become wealthy, then what you save must earn, and its children must earn, that all may help to give to you the abundance you crave.

Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having.

You first learned to live upon less than you could earn. Next you learned to seek advice from those who were competent through their own experiences to give it. And, lastly, you have learned to make gold work for yourself.

A man’s wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse; it is the income he built, the golden stream that continually flows into his purse and keeps it always bulging.

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. Study carefully, before parting with your treasure, each assurance that it may be safely reclaimed. Be not misled by your own romantic desires to make wealth rapidly.

A man owning his own house greatly will greatly reduce his cost of living, making available more of his earnings for pleasures and the gratification of his desires. This, then, is the fifth cure for a lean purse: Own your own home.

Desires must be simple and definite. They defeat their own purpose should they be too many, too confusing, or beyond a man’s training to accomplish.

Procrastinator, he accepts not opportunity when she comes. He waits. He says I have much business right now. Opportunity, she will not wait for such slow fellow. She thinks if a man desires to be lucky he will step quick.

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.

How can you call yourself a free man when your weakness has brought you to this? If a man has in himself the soul of a slave will he not become one no matter what his birth. If a man has within him the soul of a free man, will he not become respected and honored in his own city in spite of his misfortune?

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