The Richest Man in Babylon


I recently read the book The Richest Man in Babylon. I had seen it around and heard of it before, but just never bothered to make an effort to acquire it. Oh how I wish I had read it years ago!

The little book is truly a very inspiring piece of work. It is essentially a compilation of stories, which are all somewhat related, set in the ancient city of Babylon, that all contain lessons of the principles that are foundational to wealth building. In each story, a character who has managed to acquire vast amounts of wealth is found in a position to impart these principles to the common man who would love to have the secrets to riches.

Here are some of the principles taught in the book. I post these not for the sake of trying to make reading the book redundant, as what I place here is no substitute for the book. But this is to help reinforce in my mind these important points while imparting some of the lessons to you.

Probably the most fundamental point stressed throughout the book, is to set aside at least one tenth of your income just for savings. This should not be touched for living expenses or luxury spending. Rather, this should be saved and eventually used to make investments. We must find a way to live only on 90% of our income. The 10% allocated for savings must not be compromised.

As stated above, the savings you accumulate should eventually be used to make investments. But be very cautious with the money and where it is being placed. Seek advice from those who have the specialised knowledge to guide you in your decisions. I could have saved a lot of money had I followed this.

While we’re on the path to achieving wealth it makes sense to hone our skills which we use to attain an income. Becoming better generally means more opportunity to increase our income, which would accelerate our progress, as we would be able to save more and therefore invest more.

We should be willing to work hard and do a good job. Again this will open up opportunities, as we become respected. It also contributes to our personal growth, making us better people, which will serve to empower us on the path to true wealth.

Do not procrastinate in doing what is good for you. Sometimes we get the chance to make very good investments, but because we delay in making a decision, the opportunity passes us by. Be cautious, yet be bold!

Finally (for now), debt must be seen as an enemy to be conquered. It must not rule us. So avoid debt, and when in it, taken firm measures to get out of it.

What I summed up above, is not the totality of lessons and principles taught in the book. But they are key to building lasting wealth.

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