The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon

Book - 1988
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Beloved by millions, George S. Clason's classic business book reveals the financial principles that hold the key to personal wealth-now with a new introduction by Suze Orman.


Countless readers have been helped by the famous "Babylonian parables," hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. In language as simple as that found in the Bible, these fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys. Acclaimed as a modern-day classic, this celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of-and a solution to-your personal financial problems that will guide you through a lifetime.

This is the business book that holds the secrets to keeping your money-and making more.May they prove for you, as they have proven for millions of others, a sure key to gratifying financial progress.
Publisher: New York : Signet, [1988]
ISBN: 9780451205360
Characteristics: x, 194 p. ; 18 cm.


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Mar 20, 2021

I'd say the beauty of this book is in its simplicity. Seldom does one come across a book that makes fairly obvious statements by narrating a passably unadorned story yet manages to relay the messages to the reader, and The Richest Man in Babylon is certainly one such book. The story is basically that of one Arkad, who's the titular richest man in Babylon, and his ideas and opinions on investing, financial planning, and growing rich. The story itself was written and published around 1926 as a series of pamphlets by George Mason, a businessman and cartographer who also published the first road map atlas of the United States. However, the parables are set in the ancient city of Babylon (of Hanging Gardens fame) and the language in the book is of that era as well. Why Babylon, of all? The last chapter of the book is entirely dedicated for answering that question, but in a line, it's because even though at the moment it's nothing more than a stretch of barren land in Iraq some 60 miles south of Baghdad and home to passing nomadic Arab tribes, it was the largest city in the world from 1770 ton1670 BC, and again  612 to 320 BC, and was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000. It was also, at various points, the center of learning, innovation, and of course business. But most importantly, I believe the author chose this because the city was entirely man-made, its riches man-created, and all that despite a hostile natural environment. And that highlights the power of human determination, which is a theme that is repeated over and over in the book.

Structurally, the book is divided into ten simple chapters, each introducing us to some secondary characters like Dabashir, while the primary character remains Arkad, the richest man in Babylon. The story in every chapter is very straightforward, and involves Arkad narrating an incident from his life, or asking questions to the seeker, and then delivers a moral or a strategy about investing. While most investment and financial planning suggestions mentioned are very basic, they still make sense, and are relevant to this day. I'll try to summarize the main points of each chapter below.

Chapter 1:
Consistency in what you do, whatever that might be. In the book, the example of Arkad simply throwing a stone into the river everyday is given.
Seek advice only from experts in the field.
Lost everything? Start over immediately, that's the only way.
Pay yourself first, ALWAYS. This means save something for yourself in whatever earnings you make.

Chapter 2:
First and foremost, one must REALIZE that he/she wants to get rich, and then act on it. Without the realization, one would neither seek riches nor act on it.
Acting on it involves learning from successful people.

Chapter 3:
If you want to "fatten your wallet", control expenditures, let your money make more money, safeguard what you've earned, let your dwelling (house etc) make you money, and more importantly, work on increasing your ability to earn (by the means of learning something, or creating something etc)

Chapter 4:
There is nothing called luck, and fortune favors the brave. The person with more luck is simply the person who acts on more opportunities. I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that during the discussion of how gambling works, the odds of a cube showing a number as a game is so well explained. I'm tempted to explain how the odds are ALWAYS in favor of the casino in the case of Blackjack, but limit it to saying that when you bust, you lose, even in the case the casino busts :) That's essentially the odds tilted in favor of the casino in Blackjack.

Chapter 5 and 6:Simple thoughts on wealth accumulation.

Chapter 7:Importance of safeguarding your accumulated wealth.

Chapter 8:My favorite of the lot - DETERMINATION is everything. With it, a way can always be found.

Chapter 9 is about the interpretation of the clay tablets by archeologists, and Chapter 10 concludes the story.

Overall, I think this was an

Dec 07, 2018

A great book to read about money management and investing. Enjoyed the stories within the book very much. A great read, will be recommending this book to friends and family.

Sep 05, 2018

Just finished up book. Good little lessons on how to handle money the common sense way. This book may have been written back in the 1920's of a story from the year 6000 BC but the same laws of money still are true to this day. This book should be mandatory reading for all high school kids, then just maybe people would not be a slave to the money lenders. If this was still the times of Baghdad some people would of been sold into slavery for not paying their debt to the money lender.

Money its a great servant but a bad master.

Jun 26, 2018

The content in this book is very basic but has value that could be presented in a 1 page bullet list. I skipped over most of the book focusing on the end of chapter messages which saved me from wasting my time reading the unnecessary and superfluous old English which was annoying and made reading difficult. This is a 1 star book at best.

acardona305 Feb 02, 2018

A great read for anyone who needs assistance getting their finances on track. The information is related through easy to understand parables that leave you motivated to make more money, save more money and invest more money. I highly recommend this book to teenagers just graduating High School and entering the workforce for the first time. I always wish I had read this at an earlier age.

shamras Feb 26, 2013

Awesome book! Loved it because of the language used. I am more confident in what I need to do on making money and keeping it around. Basic and simple knowledge everyone should be taught when it comes to money. My opinion.

Nov 13, 2012

Recommended by Jim rohn

Aug 07, 2012

Loved the book. Creatively written, well researched. TImeless money management wisdom intertwined with interesting parables to emphasize the importance. I would defintitely recommend this book.

lbehrman Jun 22, 2012

This book is filled with timeless money management wisdom. I liked the messages in the book, but the old English was a little annoying/tedious to read at times.


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Jan 26, 2020

dhsalguero thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 05, 2019

R1l3y thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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