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

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.

Mixed Bag

Copyright © 2015 Ed Bagley

(Ed’s Note: Regrettably, Grandview Gardens has since been purchased by a private party that is now living in the former bed-and-breakfast as a home. There may never be a place like it still operating in the Western Washington area. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.)

When it’s time to get away from all the things we might label as “life interrupts” moments—the noise, distractions, calls, email and text messages to mention a few—you might want to consider Grandview Gardens in Keyport, WA.

When you have lived for more than seven decades, you begin to really appreciate the value of silence. When you walk into a lot of homes today, the occupants are surrounded by noise; it’s as if they couldn’t exist without the distractions. Children are on smartphones or tablets, playing video games, texting or yacking, the adults are multi-tasking as the television is on with the volume up and no one watching or listening.

More than one person has realized the value of silence, or quiet time. An example is French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, who said “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”. It is clear that Pascal meant quietly without any interruptions or distractions.

The obvious connection between Pascal and Grandview Gardens? Silence. Pure, unadulterated silence. At Grandview Gardens silence is a welcome blessing to the onslaught of mixed-media and multiple distractions all begging for our attention.

We live in an over-communicated world in which never being out of touch means never being able to get away. We are swept along in the same rapid current as everyone else, a current that is swift but hardly deep. There is no room to unplug and learn to think differently from the crowd. In silence we will be able to experience life instead of information.

Grandview Gardens is a quaint, quiet, calm waterfront bed-and-breakfast setting that is inspected and approved by the Washington Bed & Breakfast Guild for quality, comfort, cleanliness and hospitality. If that doesn’t sound like an ad, it should, and it’s true.

Don’t come to Grandview Gardens for its name, it has a garden, but it is not a garden showplace. Come for the home atmosphere, the waterfront and your hosts, Tom and Jackie Lewis. Tom will be the quiet one; Jackie will be the personality. They are excellent hosts. They will not disturb your room, your space or your enjoyable stay. Jackie will cook you a great breakfast in you wish, or not. It’s your choice.

The beauty of Grandview Gardens for my wife and me included no time we had to get up, no appointments to keep, no clients to see, no phones to answer, and no disturbances to mess with our mind, heart, soul or spirit.

Grandview Gardens is exclusive in that there are only two rooms—the Cape Cod Room and the Northwest Coastal Room–both designed and decorated for patrons who value quality and taste. We chose the Cape Cod Room because for more than 20 years we traveled from Washington State to Cape Cod to vacation with our extended family since my wife grew up in Massachusetts.

The Cape Cod Room has a two-tone, greenish-blue teal color with a vaulted ceiling, white crossbeam, crown molding, whitewood wrapped windows, queen bed, two lighthouse-styled lamps with night stands, a round table with 4 chairs, a couch and rocking chair, all of the electronics with a generous storage spaces on a stand below, tasteful artwork featuring shells, starfish and sailboats, and a bathroom with a double vanity, tub and shower with rain shower water heads. The room is impeccable, from the oscillating fan to the clever door locks.

The spacious window offers up a large deck area on the first floor below and a waterfront view with a marina, dock and the serene waters of Port Orchard Bay, surrounded by waterfront properties across the bay with a backdrop of enormous evergreen trees lining the hillside of the Olympic Mountain Range. Time literally stands still as watercraft slowly move through the bay to and from the Puget Sound.

Grandview Gardens is located in Keyport, 3 miles east of the Bangor Naval Submarine Base in the North Central Area of the Kitsap Peninsula in Western Washington. Keyport has a population of 554 people. If you do nothing else, don’t miss lunch with hand-rolled, delicious pizza at the Keyport Mercantile Store, and dinner at the upscale Whiskey Creek Steakhouse on the main road in Keyport. 

We stayed five days and made a number of memorable side trips, including Port Orchard, Poulsbo and Port Ludlow.

Port Orchard was on my wife’s list because it is the home of Debbie Macomber, a #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling American author of romance novels and contemporary fiction. We had tea and lunch at Debbie Macomber’s Victorian Rose Tea Room, which is next door to Debbie Macomber’s A Good Yarn Shop, where she actually writes her novels on the upper floor of her office.

From my perspective, visiting the Victorian Rose Tea Room is not a guy thing, but it’s guaranteed that the woman in your life will be thrilled that you went with her and bought her the latest Debbie Macomber book with Debbie’s personal autograph. My wife hasn’t read all of Macomber’s 485 published works, but she has read enough that, with thousands of other women readers, she has helped Debbie Macomber become a very rich author who had donated a lot of money to community projects in Port Orchard.

Poulsbo proved to be an education of an enlightened city with a mission: relieve you of your money and have you almost thanking them for doing so. Our time in Poulsbo was that good. Poulsbo is called Little Norway and, if you are of Norwegian descent, this would be a great place to live. Driving into Poulsbo, a city of 9,500 population, it is evident that the entire community decided to be pro-business rather than anti-business.

The city powers-to-be leveled their downtown waterfront area on Liberty Bay, developed a beautiful waterfront park with a generous parking area, and a series of quality restaurants with the waterfront view. Perfect for dining on a clear, sunny day on our August trip.

The adjacent main street above the waterfront is Norwegian themed and lined with boutiques and specialty shops for tourists and out-of-town guests. My favorite place at the Poulsbo waterfront was J.J.’s Fish House. We ate there twice and, even though I have paid a lot more for a seafood dinner at a fancier place, I have never enjoyed it more than I did at J.J.’s Fish House. From a businessman’s perspective, the cross-promotion and marketing materials by merchants in Poulsbo was exceptional.

Another favorite stop was The Fireside at the Port Ludlow Resort. Chef Dan Ratigan specializes in Northwest cuisine, has a habit of purchasing food locally, and then figuring out what to create with what he has bought. In a word, it’s amazing, especially the scallops.

We found our silence, away from the maddening crowd, at Grandview Gardens. We will be booking our reservations early for next year.  

I had some serious doubts about whether my first trip to Mexico would be a success. Now I can report that my first trip to Mexico was fantastic because I found a slice of heaven at Vida del Mar in Manzanillo (Mon-zah-knee-oh).

There are apparently some very famous places to vacation in Mexico, not the least of which are Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Acapulco and Cancun. Most of these destinations, to my knowledge, are resort areas with high traffic. Vida del Mar in Manzanillo is not.

Manzanillo, like Puerto Vallarta, is on the Pacific Coast, perhaps 150 miles south of Puerto Vallarta as the crow flies.

My first impression on landing at Manzanillo’s airport was that it was the smallest airport I have ever been in and also the cleanest. Vida del Mar is not a huge tourist area crawling with young adults looking for drinking holes and social action, but a perfect place for senior citizens to enjoy the beauty of the area in a quiet setting.

Vida del Mar is a gated, guarded, closed community of condo owners whose residences sit halfway up a mountainside looking onto a gorgeous bay. There is exactly one road in with a guard on duty 24/7. I felt safer there than in any major metro area in the United States.

We were staying with my son’s family in a condo owned by a couple whose children go to the same private Catholic school as my grandson does in Lacey, Washington. Their unit was on the corner of the second floor in 1 of the 13 condo buildings with 3 swimming pools in the development. The units faced south in the middle of well-manicured lawns and lush tropical gardens.

I thought sleeping at night might be a problem as the clear, sunny days were hot and there was no air conditioning. Imagine my surprise when night arrived, and we felt the cool breezes off of the Pacific Ocean by leaving our screened in patio doors open.

The coastline in Manzanillo lies more east to west than north to south, you can even get sea breezes during the day. Because the condos face south, the air rises up into the neighboring Sierra Madre Mountains, cools off at 14,000 feet, and at night comes gently floating back down to the sea, producing excellent sleeping conditions as the condos are above sea level.

Apparently condos at sea level in that area get what most resorts get, very little breeze at night and insects. Sitting high up the mountain is a distinct advantage to the condo owners.

Only a few minutes away from Vida del Mar is Club Santiago with the “Beach Club” that most condo owners join. Club Santiago is the most exclusive housing area in Manzanillo, with homes starting at $12 million pesos ($1 million in United States dollars). The beach at Club Santiago reminded me of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

The architecture in Mexico is excellent. There are no wood-frame homes, everything is built in cement, even the cushions for the furniture in the condo had a cement base. The doors have archways that are far superior to our rectangular American construction. The floors are all in tile, again, far superior to our American rugs and laminate wood floors.

The Hispanic architectural influence is also efficient, effective and downright utilitarian. Condos are space sensitive and creative use of the space available is a premium. I saw a washer and dryer in a single unit that fit to the inch in the space available within the designated laundry area. It was impressive use of space to say the least.

In the United States, everything that is bigger is supposed to be better. Careless and useless wasted space is not nearly as neat and tidy, not to mention just plain more ostentatious. The judicious use of built-ins for storage areas was also efficient, effective and helpful.

Vida del Mar also has one of the most romantic restaurants, La Recief, which is located on a cliff high above the Pacific Coast. Looking out to the Pacific Ocean, a halogen light at night beams light out to the waves as they come cascading into the shoreline below. The food is top notch and the servers are performance servers, preparing dishes at your table.

Given the choice of any romantic setting at a restaurant that I could find to impress my date, I would take her to La Recief.

Outside of the Vida del Mar complex, the local Manzanillo citizens are rarely bilingual, except for some restaurant owners downtown and a few of their servers.

On the second floor balcony of the unit, looking out to the surrounding bay, I thought that this is EXACTLY the sort of place that Ernest Hemingway would have retreated to when writing his next novel—low key, secluded, quiet and beautiful.

I almost selfishly thought about not writing about my trip to Manzanillo and Vida del Mar as word may get around and then everything that makes it a little slice of heaven might be less so in the coming years. Because Vida del Mar is what it is, I could not restrain myself.

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.)