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.

Forrest Gump – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Forrest Gump” begins with a feather being lifted through the air by a breeze that brings it to the feet of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), who is sitting at a bus stop in Savannah (GA). Gump picks it up and puts it in a “Curious George” children’s book. He then begins to tell the story of his life to the first of several people who are waiting with him for the next bus.

Some of the people are great listeners and others are not, but make no mistake about it, Gump is a master storyteller. He is simple, unpretentious, honest, not bright and full of integrity. For such a humble person, his story is almost unbelievable.

Forrest wears braces on his legs to walk in childhood, eludes the bullies who taunt him, makes friends with Jenny (Robin Wright Penn) who he will pursue his entire life, meets Elvis Presley, meets three Presidents—John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, and receives the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam, where he saves Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise) and loses his friend, Private “Bubba” (Mykelti Williamson).

At an anti-war rally in Washington, DC he briefly reunites with Jenny, whose life is a mess after searching for fame and pursuing a hippie lifestyle. Forrest starts a table tennis craze and becomes a nationally-known ping-pong whiz, using the money he earns to start a very successful shrimp boat business with Lt. Dan, who invests their money in Apple stock and both become wealthy in the process.

He then inspires people to jog, helps an entrepreneur create the smiley face stickers, and faces the loss of his mother (Sally Field), who tells him he must work out his own destiny. Through it all, Jenny and love eludes him. Forrest lived in turbulent times.

If you are dizzy just imagining all of this, so was I. After seeing Forrest Gump the first time I was appreciative of the film’s merit, but overwhelmed by how one person could accomplish so much and be around so many famous people. After watching Forrest Gump 3 more times, I got over it and now only sing its praises.

Eventually Jenny sees Forrest running on television and writes him a letter to come see her. When he does, he discovers that Jenny has a son and is very sick. She asks Forrest to marry her, and soon after he does, she dies. He learns that he is the father of her child, and commits to raising him. When young Forrest gets on the bus for his first day of school, the white feather falls from the Curious George book he is carrying, is caught in the breeze and drifts skyward.

If you are wondering about the feather, it was real, but its performance in the movie was computer-based. The feather is important because it raises the question of whether we are all floating around accidental-like on a breeze, or if we each actually have a destiny. Forrest surmises that perhaps it is both.

Everything that happens to Forrest Gump is worth seeing, and much of what happens teaches us important lessons in life. This is a love story, a story of relationships and the story of one person in a very big world that is sometimes almost impossible to understand. All that is good and much that is bad is covered in the film.

To appreciate where Forrest Gump is coming from, learn from these memorable lines in the film:

1) Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: “Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?” Forrest Gump: “I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.”

2) Forrrest Gump: (describing Vietnam) “We was always taking long walks, and we was always looking for a guy named Charlie.”

3) Jenny Curran: “Have you ever been with a girl, Forrest?” Forrest Gump: (nervously) “I sit next to them in my Home Economics class . . .”

4) Jenny Curran: “His name’s Forrest.” Forrest Gump: “Like me.” Jenny Curran: “I named him after his daddy.” Forrest Gump: “He got a daddy named Forrest, too?” Jenny Curran: “You’re his daddy, Forrest.”

5) Jenny Curran: “Do you ever dream, Forrest, about who you’re gonna be?” Forrest Gump: “Who I’m gonna be?” Jenny Curran: “Yeah.” Forrest Gump: “Aren’t—aren’t I going to be me?”

6) Forrest Gump: “I’m not a smart man . . . but I know what love is.”

7) Forrest Gump: “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” This line was voted 40th among the Top 100 Movie Quotes by the American Film Institute. In 2007, The AFI rated Forrest Gump as the 76th Greatest Movie of All Time.

8) Forrest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Tom Hanks patterned his accent after young Forrest (Michael Conner Humphreys, who actually talked that way).

Forrest Gump was an immensely successful film, with a production cost of $55 million and a worldwide gross of $677+ million. After its release in 1994, it became the fastest grossing Paramount film to reach the $100 million, $150 million and $200 million marks, and passed $250 million in 66 days.

Even more important, Forrest Gump won 6 Oscars at the Academy Awards—for Best Picture, Tom Hanks for Best Actor, Robert Zemeckis for Best Director, Eric Roth for Best Screenplay based on Winston Groom’s novel, Arthur Schmidt for Best Film Editing, and Ken Ralston, George Murphy, Stephen Rosenbaum and Allen Hall for Best Visual Effects.

Forrest Gump also picked up another 7 Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Gary Sinise), Best Original Musical Score (Alan Silvestri), Best Set Decoration, Best Cinematography (Don Burgess), Best Makeup, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing.

Among its other 32 wins and 38 nominations were 7 Golden Globe nominations and wins for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture.

As is true with just about any other award-winning production, many famous professionals passed on the opportunity to be part of the success. Terry Gilliam and Barry Sonnenfeld were offered the chance to direct the film. Bill Murray was considered for the role of Forrest, Chevy Chase turned down the role of Forrest, and three others turned down the role of Bubba—David Alan Grier, Dave Chappelle and Ice Cube.

Tom Hanks said that he would make the film only if all the events that took place were historically accurate. For example, when Gump calls to report the Watergate burglary, the security guard on duty answers the phone by saying, “Security, Frank Willis.” Willis was the actual guard on duty that night who discovered the break-in that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation from the Presidency.

Tom Hanks is one incredible, bankable actor. While Forrest Gump grossed $677 million and is far and away his biggest box office success, he has been involved in 19 other films grossing $100+ million, and he ranks 3rd among all actors appearing in films with $3.3 billion generated.

Forrest Gump was directed by Robert Zemeckis, with the screenplay written by Eric Roth based on Winston Groom’s novel. I really liked Forrest Gump and I think you will too. If you have seen it before, revisit it again and relive the magic moments of hope, courage, patience, love, understanding and compassion—all of which give special meaning to our life.

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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.)