An older friend recommended this book to me in 2004. I finally got around to reading it. I'm glad I did. It's a quick, although sometimes quirky, read...moreAn older friend recommended this book to me in 2004. I finally got around to reading it. I'm glad I did. It's a quick, although sometimes quirky, read.
It helps to realize that the book was really a collection of pamphlets distributed in the 1920's by banks and insurance companies. This explains a little bit of its bias, but I think the advice is still sound.
The book is set in ancient Babylon that begins with Bansir, a chariot maker, commiserating with his broke friend (a lyre player). They can't figure out how to get out of their living essentially paycheck to paycheck. The story follows him as he finds a wealthy person who shares his secrets with the him and the rest of the city.
The book has some timeless advice: always save at least 10% of your paycheck, have your savings earn good interest, pay your debts, etc.
Here are some of the other things that I highlighted in addition to what Wikipedia mentioned:
* "Thou makest me to realize the reason why we have never found any measure of wealth. We never sought it."* "A PART OF ALL YOU EARN IS YOURS TO KEEP. It should not be less than a tenth no matter how little you earn. It can be as much more as you can afford. Pay yourself first." * "Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having. 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." * "When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure." * "If a rich man builds him a new palace, is the gold he pays out gone? No, the brick maker has part of it and the laborer has part of it, and the artist has part of it. And everyone who labors upon the house has part of it. Yet when the palace is completed, is it not worth all it cost? And is the ground upon which it stands not worth more because it is there? And is the ground that adjoins it not worth more because it is there? Wealth grows in magic ways. No man can prophesy the limit of it." * "Then learn to make your treasure work for you. Make it your slave. Make its children and its children's children work for you." * "Seek the advice of men whose daily work is handling money." * "A small return and a safe one is far more desirable than risk." * "Enjoy life while you are here. Do not overstrain or try to save too much. If one tenth of all you earn is as much as you can comfortably keep, be content to keep this portion."
* "He must pay his debts with all promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay." * "He must make a will of record that in case God calls him, proper and honorable division of his property be accomplished." * "He must have compassion upon those who are injured or smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him."
* "In this tale we see how good luck waits to come to that man who accepts opportunity." (don't be Procrastinator)... "wisdom of making a payment immediately when we are convinced our bargain is wise." "Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity. "ACTION will lead thee forward to the successes thou dost desire. "Men of Action are favored by Good Luck." * "To take his first start to building an estate is as good luck as can come to any man. With all men, that first step, which changes them from men who earn from their own labor to men who draw dividends from the earnings of their gold, is important." * "Wealth that comes quickly goeth the same way." * "If thou desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend's burdens upon thyself." * "humans in the throws of great emotions are not safe risks for the gold lender." * "Many other merchants of Babylon have my confidence because of their honorable behavior. Their tokens come and go frequently in my token box. Good merchants are an asset to our city and it profits me to aid them to keep trade moving that Babylon be prosperous." * "I will no longer lend any of it where I am not confident that it is safe and will be returned to me. Neither will I lend it where I am not convinced that its earnings will be promptly paid to me." * "Be conservative in what thou expect it to earn that thou mayest keep and enjoy thy treasure. To hire it out with a promise of usurious returns is to invite loss." * "Better a Little Caution than a Great Regret" * "We cannot afford to be without adequate protection." * "Ill fortune! Wouldst blame God for thine own weakness. Ill fortune pursues every man who thinks more of borrowing than of repaying." * "no man can respect himself who does not repay honest debts." * "Where the Determination is, the Way Can Be Found" * "Therefore am I more determined than ever to carry through, being convinced that it is easier to pay one's just debts than to avoid them." * "Great is the PLAN for it leadeth us out of debt and giveth us wealth which is ours to keep." * "Babylon is an outstanding example of man's ability to achieve great objectives, using whatever means are at his disposal. All of the resources supporting this large city were man developed. All of its riches were man made."
All told, a nice book that reminds us of timeless truths.
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