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The Richest Man In Babylon

The Richest Man In Babylon

By Jeffrey J. Fox

The Richest Man In Babylon is a very easy to read book about the very basics of personal finance. It's written partly in biblical style, part story, and part Socratic style. It wouldn't be a bad book to give to children/teenagers to teach them a bit about being financially conservative. That said, those knowledgeable about finance and investment won't find anything very new here.

A lesson reads: "For every ten coins thou placest within thy purse take out for 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." (Save 10% or more of your income. Don't forget to reinforce your suspenders.)

The book continues: "Make thy gold multiply.... put each coin to laboring 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." (Invest your money). Each coin produces little coins that can make more coins (compounding).

Of course, the opportunities for investment by a shield maker or spear maker were different than those for today's computer programmer or businessperson. But, the book explains, (with more thy's and thee's) that you probably shouldn't have the baker buy rare gems for you. Only invest in businesses run by people who know the industry. And, be industrious. If you've got a shield to repair that can earn you some coins, don't sit around on your purse bemoaning your lack of coins. Get off your duff and mend the shield. And, of course, increase your ability to create wealth by increasing your skills. Maybe, bigger opportunities like in chariot repair.

"The Wealthy Barber" is another good book with a somewhat similar style, but set in the modern world.

The Richest Man In Babylon
The Richest Man In Babylon

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