Adults: The Richest Man in Babylon

This is a financial self-help book that is praised for its ideas. Some people say this book is too complicated and has outdated ideas, but I disagree. It is a unique book that takes you threw the basics of financial help through stories. This post will be in-depth on the book and it's ideas, to show you all of the book's teachings, but I highly suggest you read the actual book, too.


Notes and Key Ideas:

Foreword

-"Success means accomplishments as the result of our own efforts and abilities"

-"Our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts. Our thinking can be no wiser than our understanding.

-Acquire money, keep money, and make your surpluses earn more money.

-Babylon's citizens appreciated the value of money and practiced sound financial principles

A Historical Sketch of Babylon

-Babylon was extremely wealthy

-Though it was glamorous and possessed many treasures, it had no forests, no mines, little natural resources, and was located in a flat, arid valley.

-Babylon made use of what it had

-Two of Babylon's most important factors were fertile soil and water in the river. Babylonian engineers diverted the water from the river onto their crops through complicated irrigation systems. Abundant crops were the result of this.

-Babylon was also ruled by outstanding, wise, and compassionate leaders.

-Today, Babylon is gone and a deserted ruin.

-Archaeologists have found the remains.

-Babylon is one of the oldest cities that has a definite record.

-Another example of Babylon's achievements is that its engineers were able to use an elaborate drainage system to reclaim an immense area of swampland, which was located at the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

-Babylon produced a great harvest of wheat and barley

-Paper had not been invented, so they wrote on clay tablets, which took a lot of painstaking and strenuous work.

-Upon the clay tablets were history, poetry, royal decrees, laws, property titles, and more.

-Another one of Babylon's achievements is the huge walls surrounding the city. Queen Semiramis erected the first walls during the early history of the city. They are estimated to be about fifty to sixty feet high.

-Later walls were built and are believed to be ginormous, almost a hundred and sixty feet high. The length is estimated to be 9 to 11 miles.

-Babylon could handle many threats, such as invading armies

-Babylon was organized like a modern city. It had streets, shops, temples, and more.

-The Babylonians were skilled in sculpture, painting, weaving, gold working, and manufacturing.

-The Babylonians were clever traders and financiers.

-Babylon is no more, but its wisdom remains

- "Money is the medium by which earthly success is measured. Money makes possible the enjoyment of the best the earth affords. Money is plentiful for those who understand the simple laws which govern its acquisition. Money is governed today by the same laws which controlled it when prosperous men thronged the streets of Babylon, six thousand years ago."

The Man Who Desired Gold

-Bansir was discouraged and lived in a simple home. He lived among people dealing with poverty, and he was overshadowed by the rich people.

-He sat on the low wall surrounding his house gloomily, while his wife frequently glanced at him furtively, for he had an unfinished chariot in his workshop that he needed to complete and deliver so that he could earn money.

-His friend, Kobbi, a musician, asked to borrow money. Bansir said he had none to lend. Kobbi was very surprised that he was complaining about being poor but not doing any labor. He asked why.

- Bansir said that he had a dream he was rich, and could provide for his wife, and had so much money he could blissfully spend it and not work. When he woke up, he realized he was still poor.

-They both worked so hard, how come they had to dream about wealth to experience it?

-And for their sons and their sons and their sons and their sons, would they all continue to be so poor?

-Bansir made the finest chariots anyone could make and spent his days in labor. How come he wasn't rewarded for all this work? How come it wasn't paying off? Bansir wished for prosperity and was glad to work for it, but he was still poor, and therefore he expressed his sadness to Kobbi.

-Both Kobbi and Bansir spent their days in poverty and felt like they deserved more.

-They were both free men and not slaves. Yet they might as well have been. All they did was work.

-Bansir said perhaps there was a secret that they could learn from someone who knew it, like Arkad, who was extremely wealthy and their good friend. He was called the richest man in Babylon.

-And even though he had a lot of money, he also had a steady income of money, too. What good is a fat purse if you have no golden stream to refill it?

-They decide to ask Arkad how to become rich.

The Richest Man In Babylon

-In old Babylon, Arkad was known for his wealth and liberality. Yet each year, his wealth increased rapidly, more than he spent it.

-Old friends of younger days came to him and told him he could live in prosperity and wealth. They said he could dine elegantly, clothe himself in the finest garments, and enjoy all of life's other pleasures. Meanwhile, they struggled for existence.

-They said that once they were equal with him. They studied under the same master and played the same games, and he had never outshined him then. As far as they could tell, he wasn't a more honorable citizen, nor was he a harder worker. So why was he lucky enough to have good fortune and not them? Why did fickle fate single him out?

-Arkad replied and said that they had either failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth or else they had failed to practice them. He also said that Fickle Fate is a vicious goddess who either makes wanton spenders or greedy hoarders, both possessing unearned gold. Most of the rich people were like this.

- The friends asked how he became rich, and he replied and told a story.

-Arkad said that in his youth, he realized that wealth is power. With wealth many things are possible. And he wanted this power. Since he was the son of a humble merchant, and not being endowed, like they said, with superior powers or wisdom, he decided much study and time was needed in order to learn the secrets of wealth.

-Arkad continued the story.

-He said that for time, all men had it in great quantities. But they don't use it wisely.

-He found employment as a scribe, and though he worked many hours, for his earnings he had nothing to show.

-He made a deal with Algamish, a rich moneylender, that he copy the Ninth Law out for him by sunrise if he told him how to get rich. Algamish agreed. Akrad said that he worked hard, but by sunrise, the copy of the law was complete.

-Algamish said that he would tell him a secret, but if he failed to grasp the truth that he told him, he would think that his night's work had been useless and in vain. Algamish said that a part of what he earned was his to keep.

-Akrad said to his friends that he was surprised and expected more. He said that he told Algamish that all he earned was his to keep.

-Algamish said that did he not pay to the garmentmaker, the sandal maker? Did he not pay for food? He had labored for others and let other people take his money instead of paying himself first.

-A part of all you earn is yours to keep, and should not be less than a tenth, no matter how much you are paid.

-Akrad thought about it and gave it a try. Each time he was paid, he would take one of the ten copper pieces and hide it away. As his hoard began to grow, he was very tempted to spend it, but refrained.

-Algamish returned after twelve months and asked if he had paid himself not less than one-tenth he had earned for the past year. Akrad replied that he had. Algamish said that was good, and what did he do with the money? Akrad told his friends that he said to Algamish that he gave it to Azmur, the brickmaker, who would buy jewels from the Phoenicians and sell them and they would both split the earnings.

-Algamish was displeased. Algamish said that you don't go to the brickmaker for his knowledge of jewels. You go to the jewel merchant. Advice is freely given, but make sure you only take the advice that is worth having. He told Arkad to try again.

-And Algamish was right because the Phoenicians sold Azmur worthless bits of glass that looked like gems.

-But Arkad tried again, and saved away a tenth of what he earned.

-Twelve months later, Algamish asked what progress had he made. Arkad said he had paid himself and he entrusted his savings to Agger, the shield maker, and every four months would pay him the rental.

-Algamish said that was good, what did he do with the rental?

- He said that he has a great feast and bought himself a fancy tunic and wants to buy a donkey to ride on.

-Algamish asked him how did he expect a steady income? Make your money work for you. Make your money your slave, and it's children your slave, and it's children your slave, and it's children your slave. Then Algamish left.

- Algamish returned two years later. He was an old man. Arkad was very close to achieving all that he desired, and Algamish was proud of him. He learned to live upon less than he earned, seek advice from those who are competent through their own experiences to give it, and how to make his money work for him. Aglamish, therefore, said that he was ready to give Arkad a responsible position because Algamish was getting old. He wanted him to go Nippur and look after his lands there, and he would make him his business partner and share in his estate.

-So Arkad said to his friends that he went to Nippur and because he understood wealth, he was able to greatly increase the value of Aglamish's properties.

-And so Arkad finished his story. After he had told it, one of his friends told him that he was very fortunate that Aglamish made him an heir. Arkad said that he was only fortunate because he had the desire to prosper even before he met Aglamish. For four years he had learned the principles Aglamish had taught him. Opportunity only awaits those who are prepared. Another friend said that he was very unusual in the sense that he had strong willpower to start again even after he lost his first year's savings. Arkad said that that was nonsense. If you set yourself a task, you see it through. If you walk over a bridge each day for a hundred days, and as you are passing by you toss a pebble into the stream, and make a point to do it each day, if you forget one day, you don't toss two pebbles the next day. You turn around and toss a pebble in. Nor do you say that this is pointless and let me just toss in all the pebbles at once.

-Another friend asked what did he advise them to do, and Arkad said that they should follow Aglamish's advice and set aside one-tenth of all you earn. Enjoy life and spend as you like, but remember, a part of what you earn is yours to keep. Pay yourself first.

-His friends thanked him and went away. Some didn't understand, some thought Arkad should just give them some of his money, but a few understood the importance of Arkad's story. Here was a man who had found a way out of darkness into light. They frequently visited Arkad over the years, seeking more wisdom. He assisted them in their investments so that they could earn a profit. Their lives had changed once they realized the truth that Aglamish passed to Arkad, and Arkad passed to them.

-A part of all you earn is yours to keep

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

-Babylon was not always wealthy, it was the result of its people's wisdom

-King Sargon had a situation: The people of Babylon were unable to support themselves because they did not know how to make money. Only a few rich people in the city possessed money.

-The king asked Arkad if he could teach how to accumulate wealth, and Arkad said he would.

1st cure:

-Everybody has a stream of income.

-Take aside one tenth each time you get paid and put it away, until your hoard grows bigger and bigger.

-This sounds simple, but it does wonders.

2nd cure:

-You have to decide what's necessary and what's not. If you say you can't set aside one-tenth because you need everything to live, take a careful look at your expenditures. Work with your budget.

3rd cure: Make your gold multiply. If you make profitable investments, your wealth will continue to rise. You should have steady stream of gold flowing into your purse.

4th cure: Your money should be guarded with firmness. You must first learn how to secure small amounts before you are entrusted with larger. It is not wise to be intrigued by larger sums if your principal can be lost. Study carefully before parting with your money, that it can be reclaimed.

5th cure: Own your home, and make it a profitable investment, and buy your principle residence rather than rent it.

6th cure: You should insure a future income so that you a prepared for the days to come, when you are no longer young. Plan ahead to provide for the needs of your growing age and the protection of your family.

7th cure: Preceding accomplishment is desire, you have to have the strong desire to earn more. Desires should be simple and definite, you can't just say I want to be rich. You need to first want to earn five dollars, then ten, then twenty, and so on. Increase your ability to earn by working harder and getting better. The man that seeks to learn more about his craft will be richly rewarded. Work to be the top in whatever you do.


These are only the notes for the first few chapters. I will post the rest if people request a part two, but for now I am going to focus on writing reviews for other books.

Bye for now,

Dilan