The Richest Man in Babylon: What I learnt

Hello friend, Welcome to my blog where I talk about what I am learning. In this post I’ll be writing about a book I found interesting and knowledgeable, The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.

This book talks about how to acquire money, keep money and also making money earn more to become rich and wealthy. The book is a great read for me, as it open my eyes to some key facts about money. So I’ll giving the summary of what I learnt below.

Please note that, Everything you’re about to read is my thoughts on what I learnt and jotted down, the main purpose of this write-up is for me to journal it down so that I can always come back to read it whenever I forget a point or I needed to get back on track. The below summary is entirely my thoughts, while they may be more content and more lessons not mentioned here, you may decide to get the book and read yourself to gain more insight.

The Richest Man in Babylon Summary

  • A man’s wealth is not in the purse he carries. A fat purse quickly empties if there be no golden stream to refill it.
  • 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.
  • He who takes advice about his savings from one who is inexperienced in such matters, shall pay with his savings for proving the falsity of their opinions.
  • 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 you.
  • Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.”
  • I advise that you take the wisdom of Algamish and say to yourselves, ‘A part of all I earn is mine to keep.‘ Say it in the morning when you first arise. Say it at noon. Say it at night. Say it each hour of every day. Say it to yourself until the words stand out like letters of fire across the sky. “Impress yourself with the idea. Fill yourself with the thought Then take whatever portion seems wise. Let it be not less than one-tenth and lay it by.

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

1. Start thy purse to fattening

For every ten coins thou places within thy purse take out far use but nine. Thy purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in thy hand and bring satisfaction to thy soul.

2. Control thy expenditures

Each of us calls our ‘necessary expenses’ will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary. Confuse not the necessary expenses with thy desires.

Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.”

3. Make thy gold multiply

The third cure is to put each coin to labouring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse.”

4. Guard thy treasures from loss

“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.”

Before thou loan it to any man assure thyself of his ability to repay and his reputation for doing so, that thou mayest not unwittingly be making him a present of thy hard-earned treasure.”Before thou entrust it as an investment in any field acquaint thyself with the dangers which may beset it.

Therefore, do I advise thee from the wisdom of my experiences: be not too confident of thine own wisdom in entrusting thy treasures to the possible pitfalls of investments. Better by far to consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit

Consult with wise men. Secure the advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.”

5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment

“To a man’s heart it brings gladness to eat the figs from his own trees and the grapes of his own vines. To own his own domicile and to have it a place he is proud to care for, putteth confidence in his heart and greater effort behind all his endeavours. Therefore, do I recommend that every man own the roof that sheltereth him and his family.

6. Insure a future income

Therefore do I say that it behoves a man to make preparation for a suitable income in the days to come, when he is no longer young, and to make preparations for his family should he be no longer with them to comfort and support them. “Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.”

7 Increase thy ability to earn

Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Thy desires must be strong and definite. General desires are but weak longings. For a man to wish to be rich is of little purpose. For a man to desire five pieces of gold is a tangible desire which he can press to fulfilment. After he has backed his desire for five pieces of gold with strength of purpose to secure it, next he can find similar ways to obtain ten pieces and then twenty pieces and later a thousand pieces and, behold, he has become wealthy. In learning to secure his one definite small desire, he hath trained himself to secure a larger one. This is the process by which wealth is accumulated: first in small sums, then in larger ones as a man learns and becomes more capable.

“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.

The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. If he is an artisan, he may seek to learn the methods and the tools of those most skillful in the same line. If he laboureth at the law or at healing, he may consult and exchange knowledge with others of his calling. If he be a merchant, he may continually seek better goods that can be purchased at lower prices.

Many things come to make a man’s life rich with gainful experiences. Such things as the following:

A man must do if he respects himself:

  • He must pay his debts with all the promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay.
  • He must take care of his family that they may think and speak well of him.
  • He must make a will of record that, in case the Gods call him, proper and honourable division of his property be accomplished.
  • He must have compassion upon those who are injured and smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him.

Meet the Goddess of Good Luck…

  • “If a man be lucky, there is no foretelling the possible extent of his good fortune. Pitch him into the Euphrates and like as not he will swim out with a pearl in his hand.”
  • Dost agree with me that no man can arrive at a full measure of success until he hath completely crushed the spirit of procrastination within him
  • To attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities. Therefore, in the future, I shall endeavour to make the best of such opportunities as do come to me.
  • Good luck, we do find, often follows opportunity but seldom comes otherwise.
  • Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity.
  • Those eager to grasp opportunities for their betterment, do attract the interest of the good goddess. She is ever anxious to aid those who please her. Men of action please her best. “Action will lead thee forward to the successes thou dost desire.”


The Five Laws of Gold

“Just so it is with the sons of men. Give them a choice of gold and wisdom—what do they do? Ignore the wisdom and waste the gold. On the morrow they wail because they have no more gold.
“Gold is reserved for those who know its laws and abide by them.”


  • Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that or his family……. The gold which I save earns more, even as yours will, and its earnings earn more, and this is the working out of the first law.”
  • Gold laboureth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field……”Gold, indeed, is a willing worker. It is ever eager to multiply when opportunity presents itself. To every man who hath a store of gold set by, opportunity comes for its most profitable use. As the years pass, it multiplies itself in surprising fashion.”
  • Gold clings to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling….”Gold, indeed, clings to the cautious owner, even as it flees the careless owner. The man who seeks the advice of men wise in handling gold soon learn not to jeopardize his treasure, but to preserve in safety and to enjoy in contentment its consistent increase.”
  • Gold slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep……Therefore, the inexperienced owner of gold who trusts to his own judgment and invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar, too often finds his judgment imperfect, and pays with his treasure for his inexperience. Wise, indeed, is he who invest his treasures under the advice of men skilled in the ways of gold.”
  • Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

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.
  • I will tell it to thee for thou shouldst know that to borrowing and lending there is more than the passing of gold from the hands of one to the hands of another.
  • If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend’s burdens upon thyself….better a little caution than a great regret.

That’s all for now…Thanks for reading…….

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