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.

Cinema Paradiso (Paradise Cinema in English) – 4 Stars (Excellent)

In my search for films that are not well known but tell a great story with an excellent presentation, I discovered “Cinema Paradiso” by Italian Director Giuseppe Tornatore.

Tornatore intended the film to be an obituary for traditional movie theaters (like Paradise Cinema) and the movie industry in general, but after the film’s critical acclaim and box-office success, he changed his mind and apparently never publicly mentioned the demise of films again.

Many critics credit Cinema Paradiso with reviving Italy’s movie industry, which would later produce “Mediterraneo” and “Life is Beautiful”. Tornatore deserves even more credit than his directing effort; he also wrote the story and screenplay with some collaboration from Vanna Paoli.

Giuseppe Tornatore joins a very select group of writer/directors who have been able to create great films in a dual role. Most writer/directors fail miserably in their effort. I would elevate Tornatore to the same level as Tim McCanlies in “Secondhand Lions” and Kirk Jones in “Waking Ned Devine”, both excellent pictures. It takes a lot more than gumption to create an excellent film, it also takes enormous talent, heart, sensitivity and maturity.

So just how successful was Cinema Paradiso? Among its 19 wins and 12 nominations for excellence was the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, and Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cinema Paradiso will capture your heart when you see 6-year-old Salvatore “Toto” Di Vita (played by Salvatore Cascio) become captivated by the local cinema in his small, native Sicilian Village. He misses his father, who becomes a World War II victim, and through guile and a high interest level, convinces the cinema projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) to mentor him.

There are three “Totos” in the film—the younger (Salvatore Cascio), the teenager (Marco Leonardi) and the adult (Jacques Perrin). Perrin is a real-life film producer. Cascio steals every scene he is in with his incredible facial expressions, inquisitive mind and indomitable determination to learn how to be a projectionist.

Along the way, he gets into a lot of trouble. He loses his mother’s trust by spending money he is given to buy bread for the family on an admission fee to see a film at the theater. He cons Alfredo the projectionist into giving him some film that causes a fire in his home and threatens his sister’s life. He causes Alfredo to break his promise to Toto’s mother that he will no longer let Toto into the projectionist’s booth.

Ultimately, the flammable film also causes a fire and destroys the Cinema Paradiso and, in a harrowing act, Toto saves Alfredo’s life but Alfredo loses his sight in the disaster. After the Paradiso is rebuilt as the Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (New Paradise Cinema), Toto, who has learned to be a projectionist, is hired as a child to do so because he is the only one in the village who knows how.

The bond between Alfredo as a surrogate father to Toto will only grow deeper when Toto enters his teenage years. He will seek out Alfredo for advice on life when he falls in love with the beautiful Elena (Agnese Nano), who comes from a rich family and enters into a forbidden relationship with Toto.

Alfredo will encourage Toto to leave his village for Rome and never return if he is serious about a career in the movie industry. Toto will eventually grow up to become a famous movie producer in Rome.

Cinema Paradiso starts when Toto learns that his beloved Alfredo has died. Toto has not been back to his village and to visit his mother and sister in 30 years. The question is: Will he return for the funeral? After reliving his life in flashbacks during a sleepless night, he boards a plane home to find himself again. The total story is too good to reveal much more here.

Cinema Paradiso is all about relationships. The relationship of a mother to her son, of a surrogate father to a son, of a boy to a girl, of a young romance, of a village’s citizens to its theater, and of intergenerational gatherings among the villagers.

The release of Cinema Paradiso in 1988 proves the adage that if success was easy every film would achieve critical acclaim and would be a box-office smash. The original version released in Italy was 155 minutes (2 hours, 35 minutes) and had a poor response. After shortening the film to 123 minutes (2 hours, 3 minutes), it became an instant success.

I saw the 123-minute version that was released in the United States and was disappointed that there was no indication of what ultimately happened in Toto’s relationship with Elena. I have since learned that Director Giuseppe Tornatore released a 173-minute version (2 hours, 53 minutes) in 2002 that contains exactly what I wanted to see. Find and watch the longer version if you can, it just adds to an already excellent film.

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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.)