Reading Corner: A Review of The Richest Man in Babylon
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This week’s post is short and sweet…
When I first heard of The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, I wondered how a story set in ancient Babylon could possibly be relevant to our would today. I was very curious to read it and finally got my hands on the book this month. It didn’t disappoint either. In fact, it’s one of my favorite books I’ve read so far in this Reading Corner series. Read on below to see why that is and how to win a copy of the book for yourself.
The book is divided into short stories, each detailing a person or aspect of life in Babylon and culminating in a financial lesson. There’s Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, who grew rich by saving a portion of all his earnings and then making his money grow for him. There’s the story of how the city’s walls held up against invaders, just as there is protection for our money today in the form of investments and savings accounts.
A few other takeaways:
- Save a portion of all you earn. The portion frequently mentioned in the book is one-tenth or 10% of your earnings.
- Increase your ability to earn, meaning develop your desires to improve your life and take action on them. Develop your skills to increase your earning power as well.
- Good luck comes to those who take action.
What I most like about this book (and think you will too) is that it’s easily digestible. It’s divided into short chapters, each with a story and lesson, and the entire book can be finished in a few hours. The lessons are stated in a practical way too, just like the takeaways above.
One thing that detracts from the book is that there is some repetition of the lessons as the chapters progress. That’s probably due to the fact that these stories were originally published as brochures and complied into book form later. But that repetition is easy to overlook given how much good content is in the book.
The stories in this book take place thousands of years ago. The stories were written in the early 1900s. The lessons in it are still relevant today. How often can you say that about the books we encounter today? This one is well worth the read.
If you’re read The Richest Man in Babylon, what did you think about it? What other essential financial lessons would you add to the ones in the book?
Since we’re coming to the end of the year, I’ve decided to have a giveaway for several of the books in the Reading Corner series and a few other favorites. The contest is for seven personal finance and related books:
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
- Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
- Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
- Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau
- The 10X Rule by Grand Cardone
Updated (12/14/17): The giveaway has ended. Stay tuned for next year's giveaway!