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.

When I think of things Irish I think of “the running of the green” and my friend Mary O’Donovan.

The running of the green refers to Ireland’s three great world-class milers—Ron Delany, Marcus O’Sullivan and Eamonn Coghlan. They are as much a part of Irish folklore as leprechauns, but are also legends in running circles around the world. All three of them ran for Ireland in the Olympic games, and all three of them ran for the legendary track coach Jim “Jumbo” Elliott at Villanova.

Mary O’Donovan is Irish to the core—she was born, bred and educated in her homeland before coming to America and becoming a Senior Director at BioMarin, a biotechnology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Near as I can tell, I am only 15% Irish, but it would be the best 15% of me. I know I am Irish because my last name is Bagley, I am a writer by trade, I drink Jameson whiskey, and green is my favorite color

When I think about having fun, I think about being Irish, which reminds me of the famous line—there are only two kinds of people, those who are Irish, and those who wish they were Irish!

St. Patrick’s Day (Saturday, March 17) will find me at O’Blarney’s Irish Pub in Lacey, Washington, eating a corned beef sandwich and washing it down with several shots of Jameson Irish whiskey. O’Blarney’s is legend where I live; it has been voted the Best Burger place for 14 of the last 16 years. I suspect the two years it was not voted the best was because too many patrons had too much to drink to remember to vote.

O’Blarney’s also reminds me of Rose, an 87-year-old woman who just graduated with her bachelor’s degree and was asked to speak at the college football banquet. She got up to give her speech, spilled her 3×5 notecards on the floor, and then said, “Oh, what the hell, I’ll just wing it. I must confess that I am nervous because I gave up my Irish whiskey for Lent, and now the beer is driving me crazy.”

My St. Patrick’s Day celebration is off to a great start this year as Mary O’Donovan was kind enough to share with me these thoughts floating around the Internet about what it means to be in an Irish family:

You will never play professional basketball.

You have never hit your head on a ceiling.

You swear very well.

At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, funeral home owner or holds a political office, and you have at least one aunt who is a nun or an uncle who is a priest.

Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Mary, Catherine or Eileen, and there is at least one member of your family with the full name of Mary Catherine Eileen.

You are, or know someone, named Murphy.

If you don’t know Murphy then you know Mac. If you don’t know Murphy or Mac, then you know Sully, and you probably know McMurphy.

Many of your childhood meals were boiled. Instant potatoes were a mortal sin.

“Irish Stew” is a euphemism for “boiled leftovers”.

You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer.

Childhood remedies for the common cold often included some form of whiskey.

You learned to drink at an early age, and saw no reason to stop.

You’re strangely poetic after a few beers.

There wasn’t a huge difference between your last wake and your last keg party.

You think you sing very well. You may not know the words, but that does not stop you from singing.

You have no idea how to make a long story short!

You can’t wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start talking.

You’re not nearly as funny as you think you are, but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.

Someone in your family is very generous. It is more than likely you.

You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.

Your skin’s ability to tan . . . not so much. (Only in spots!)

There’s no leaving a family party without saying goodbye for at least 45 minutes.

Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past generations.

There isn’t a big difference between you losing your temper, or killing someone.

You have Irish Alzheimer’s—you forget everything but the grudges!

At this very moment, you have at least two relatives who are not speaking to each other. Not fighting, mind you, just not speaking to each other.”

My thanks to Mary O’Donovan for reminding me about what it is to be Irish. May I wish you all an early “Happy St. Patrick’s Day”, and may you find an O’Blarney’s Irish Pub in your neighborhood.

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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.)