In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

Copyright 2009 by Ed Bagley

Almost every athlete who attends the annual U. S. National Track & Field Outdoors Masters Championships has had their day in the sun. Maybe it was in high school, college, or on the professional circuit, but almost all of these men and women have experienced success at some level of competition.

It is why more than 1,000 masters and senior runners returned to the 2009 National Championships in Oshkosh (WI), to step back on the track or field once again and test themselves. To try and catch a firefly in a Mason jar on a hot summer night.

Ed Burke is one of those athletes. Burke was a standout at San Jose State University from 1960 to 1962, setting a school record with a throw of 192-feet-3.5-inches in 1962 that would stand for 16 years.

He competed for the United States in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and 1968 Mexico City Olympics, and then retired. After 12 years, he came out of retirement and failed to make the U. S. team that was boycotted from the 1980 Moscow Olympics. In 1984, at the age of 44, he made the team for the Los Angeles Olympics.

It had been 20 years since his first Olympic competition in Tokyo, and perhaps more important, Burke was selected by the U. S. team captains to carry the American flag during the opening ceremonies. It was truly an Olympic moment that Burke will never forget.

His personal record of 243-feet-11-inches was thrown at Stanford in 1984, and remains as the American record for the 40-44 age group.

After retiring a second time, Ed Burke is back at it again. In his first competition in 21 years, he threw the hammer 175-09, breaking the world and American records for the 65-69 age-group. Burke, now 69, won the hammer throw at this year’s National Track & Field Masters Championships in Wisconsin.

Burke is from Los Gatos, California. I flew from Lacey, Washington to Midway Airport in Chicago, was met by my best friend John Shaw of Davison, Michigan, and we drove to the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh for the meet. John and I have been friends for 49 years.

We both ran cross-country and track for Flint Central High School and Michigan State University. John is the former cross-country and track & field coach at Goodrich High School, where he experienced a lot of team success and produced some great college talent.

We blew into Oshkosh and, after cruising around a bit, pretty quickly determined that the best place for dinner the night before the meet was Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant on the scenic Fox River. With a microbrewery, boat dock, live music and outdoor dining, it was THE place to be in Oshkosh.

Having been born and raised in Michigan my first 21 years, it did not take me long to remember my Midwest roots. The people of Wisconsin were friendly, casual, confident and purely Midwest.

You remember the Midwest. It was the same place that gave us Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway, Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Buffett, Paul Harvey, Charles Schultz, Carl Sandburg, James Dean, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Qunicy Jones, Ronald Reagan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Johnny Carson, the Wright Brothers, Benny Goodman and Bob Newhart. No wonder the Midwest is a special place; some call it the salt of the Earth.

We liked Fratellos so well we returned 4 consecutive nights for dinner. On the last night, we were chatting with our food server Jon, a recent University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh grad looking for a job, and Ed Burke strolled in alone. Burke overheard our conversation (turns out Jon was a runner in high school), and asked if he could join us.

We had never met Ed Burke before, but he was clearly a masters competitor, especially when you found out he threw the hammer, saw the size of his hands, and checked out the Olympic ring on his finger, which could have easily been mistaken for a Super Bowl ring.

Both John and I had a great time swapping war stories with Ed Burke. We talked a lot about the great San Jose State track coach “Bud” Winter, who coached Burke and earned San Jose State the nickname “Speed City”. Winter developed Olympic medalists and social activists Lee Evans, John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Carlos and Smith are perhaps best remembered for giving the raised fist salute from the medalist’s podium during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

We also talked about how growing old is not fun, that getting into shape to compete and recovering from injury at our age takes so much more time. A high school athlete can get into great shape in 12 weeks; it takes us at least 12 months to achieve the same kind of progress.

As we talked and consumed more liquid refreshment, the sun began to set above the Fox River. John and I were celebrating his silver medal in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, but our after-dinner time spent with Ed Burke reminded us again just what the U. S. National Meet was really all about—camaraderie. You come for the competition and stay for the camaraderie.

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Sid Miller Wants to Know: What are you voting for?


That moment when someone says, “I can’t believe you would vote for Trump”

I simply reply “I’m not voting for Trump.”

I’m voting for the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech.

I’m voting for the Second Amendment and my right to defend my life and my family.

I’m voting for the next Supreme Court Justice(s) to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for the continued growth of my retirement investments and the stock market.

I’m voting for an end to America’s involvement in foreign conflicts.

I’m voting for the Electoral College & the Republic we live in.

I’m voting for the Police to be respected once again and to ensure Law & Order.

I’m voting for the continued appointment of Federal Judges who respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for our jobs to remain in America and not be outsourced all over again to China, Mexico and other foreign countries.

I’m voting for secure borders and legal immigration.

I’m voting for the Military & the Veterans who fought for this Country to give the American people their freedoms.

I’m voting for the unborn babies that have a right to live.

I’m voting for continued peace progress in the Middle East.

I’m voting to fight against human/child trafficking.

I’m voting for Freedom of Religion.

I’m voting for the American Flag that is disrespected by the “mob.”

I’m voting for the right to speak my opinion & not be censored.

I’m not just voting for one person, I’m voting for the future of my Country.

I’m voting for my children and my grandchildren to ensure their freedoms and their future.

What are you voting for?

About the Source: Sid Miller is the Commissioner of Agriculture in the Great State of Texas.

(Ed’s Note: The current 2020 Presidential Election has been reduced to a choice between our “constitutional republic” form of government and creeping into a “socialist” form of government in America. We should not allow any political party in America to bring advancing socialism—example: The Green New Deal—under the guise of improving our constitutional republic. Every form of socialism as a government in history has failed to advance the welfare of the citizens therein. Smart people know that socialism does not secure our rights as citizens but rather reduces our personal rights to the point where we have none and ultimately end up as a dictatorship.)

Financial Thoughts
on Investing
by Warren Buffett

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying.
(Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffett’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)