Monday, September 12, 2016

Must Read Series: The Richest Man In Babylon

Hello all! This is the second of my "Must Read" category, and I am excited to share this content with you.
What I would like to do with my "Must Read" page is two things:

1) Provide you a list of investing books that I personally have read and think ARE VERY VALUABLE for you to read as well.  I want this list only to be on books that are definitely worth your time reading.

2) Give you an overview of KEY TAKEAWAYS so that if you don't have time to read it, you will be much smarter after reading this post.

To continue this series, my second recommendation is The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason.  I have read this book from cover to cover at least three times (lost count!) and think it is a must read if you want to get serious about building wealth.  Difficulty score: 2/10.

There almost isn't an easier book out there to read on finance than this one. Perhaps Automatic Millionaire, but The Richest Man in Babylon is a very easy, but powerful 95 pages told mostly in a short-stories format.  Some of the language is 'old school', such as "thy and thou", but apart from that, very easy.

So, what I would like to do is give 13 of the best quotes from this book to help summarize the book to you, the reader of this post, and also to give you the key takeaways that will ultimately make you a better investor.  Here we go:

1) "If you have not acquired more than a bare existence in the years since we were youths, it is because you either have failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth, or else you do not observe them."

Re-read that again.  It's all about two things: first, your observance of the laws of wealth building, and second, your system that ensures you are following those laws!

2) "I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep."

That's what it's all about. The quote above is the main statement upon which the entire book is crafted.  Memorize it.

3) "A PART OF ALL YOU EARN IS YOURS TO KEEP. It should not be less than a tenth no matter how little you earn. Pay yourself first. Do not buy from the cloth maker and the sandal maker more than you can pay out of the rest and still have enough for food and charity and penance to God."

4) "This then is the second remedy for a lean purse.  Budget thy expenses that though mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenth of thy earnings."

5) "This then is the third remedy for a lean purse, to put each coin to laboring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse."

...Sound like dividends, anyone??

6) "I tell you, my students, a man's wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse; it is the income he buildeth, the golden stream that continually floweth into his purse and keepth it always income that continueth to come whether thou work or travel."

7) "Guard thy treasure from loss by investing only where thy principle is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental.  Consult with wise men. Secure the advice of men experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy from unsafe investment."

8) "Therefore do I recommend that every man own the roof that sheltereth him and his. Own thy own home."

9) "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.

10) "Good luck follows opportunity. Action will lead thee forward to the successes thou dost desire. Men of action are favored by Good Luck."

11) "Wealth that comes quickly goeth the same way. Wealth that stayeth to give enjoyment and satisfaction to its owner, comes gradually, because it is a child born of knowledge and persistent purpose.  To earn wealth is but a slight burden upon the thoughtful man.  Bearing the burden consistently from year to year accomplishes the final purpose."

12) "The more gold I accumulate. the more readily it comes to me and in increased quantities. The gold which I save earns more, even as yours will, and its earnings earn more." 

The one above reminds me to stay diligent! It takes time, but eventually it gets easier and easier and the amounts get larger and larger!

And finally,

13) "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...

"Then learn to make your treasure work for you. Make it your slave. Make its children and its children's children work for you."

Thanks and I hope you enjoyed this second book review.  If you've read The Richest Man in Babylon or found this article interesting please comment below.  If you're interested in purchasing this book from Amazon, you can do that here.

Passive Income Dude


  1. I like this book too PID. I like your number 6 the best as I think it really related to dividend growth investing. That lesson and the lesson from Roch Dad Poor Dad about accumulating Assets really put things into perspective. It's almost too easy :)

    Nice summary. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Adam, it really is a classic, well worth the read. I try to pull out the best lines from each book I review, but I'm finding with these summaries that they really do not do the book justice without the rest of the context and detailed explanation, etc. Hopefully the reader of these posts can recognize the wisdom and be intrigued to actually read the book itself instead of simply the top 10 or so quotes.

    As to your point about accumulating assets, I agree that it is 'simple' but easy, maybe not. I've been trying to accumulate assets since I was 18, and though I think my system is about to really pick up steam, it has taken a lot of diligence to get to this point. Once you're "on track" it is easy - you just have to stay on track!

  3. #13
    “Money makes money. And the money that money makes, makes money” Ben Franklin.

  4. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention PID, I will give it a read.