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.

 A Christmas Story – 4 Stars (Excellent)

A Christmas Story is arguably the best Christmas movie ever.

There is no doubt that the 1984 version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge is a worthy contender for the honor. Since I have not seen Fanny & Alexander (1983), I remain a huge fan of A Christmas Story.

Can there be anything greater than Santa coming to your house on Christmas Eve with the perfect gift of your choice? I think not, especially if it is a genuine Red Ryder 200-Shot, Carbine-Action BB Gun for a 9-year-old named Ralphie living in Northern Indiana in the 1940s.

Imagine Ralphie’s dismay when his mother, his teacher at Warren G. Harding Elementary School and ultimately even Santa Claus at Higby’s Department Store tell him “you’ll shoot your eye out.”

A Christmas Story is about much more than whether Ralphie gets the Red Ryder BB Gun he covets. It is about a Midwest family with two boys, Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and Randy (Ian Petrella), who encounter the normal struggles of growing up.

Ralphie and his friend Schwartz (R. D. Robb) badger their friend Flick (Scott Schwartz, not to be confused with R. D. Robb who plays the role of Schwartz) into pressing his tongue against a steel post to see if it will stick.

Flick, who realizes that he might be wrong in saying his tongue will not stick, is left with no alternative when Schwartz whips a “triple dog dare” on him. To save face, Flick learns a very hard lesson and this film gets some great footage in the process.

Both the boys and the girls watching this drama unfold are horrified at the result and the boys have no problem abandoning Flick when the school bell rings. Flick is left frozen to the post. When their teacher Mrs. Shields (Tedde Moore) confronts them about who is responsible for Flick’s condition, they clam up, realizing “it’s always better not to get caught.”

All of the boys also must deal with the terrifying Scut Farcas (Zack Ward) and Grover Dill (Yano Anaya), the schoolyard bullies. They get pummeled on a daily basis and act like cowards until Ralphie sees Santa at Higby’s and gets another dose of “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

Ralphie is so agitated with rejection over his Christmas wish that when he is next confronted by the bullies he flies into a fit of genuine rage, charging the much larger Scut knocking him down and pounding him repeatedly in the face. Scut ends up with a bloody face and 100 times the embarrassment of being beat up. This event would forever after be known as the Scut Farcas Affair.

I love A Christmas Story because the exact same thing happened to me growing up in the Midwest. I was small for my age and was constantly picked on by bullies until I learned how to fight back no matter what the odds.

When the Parker family goes out to buy their Christmas tree they encounter a flat tire on the way home. Mrs. Parker (Melinda Dillon) encourages Ralphie to help his father (Darren McGavin) fix the flat.

Ralphie manages to lose the lug nuts during the tire change, and, in fit of fright, utters the dreaded F-word to the shock of his parents. Mrs. Parker demands to know where he learned the word and Ralphie, desperate to come up with an acceptable choice shoots out a name of a friend.

Ralphie, of course, has heard his father cuss time and again, quoting that his father could “weave a tapestry of obscenities that is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.” When their furnace in the basement acts up, Ralphie says “my father dabbled in profanities like an artist dabbles in oils.”

This cussing incident so resonates with me because I grew up in the same kind of environment. I often believed my stepfather had a 200-word vocabulary and at least 50 of those words were cuss words. I probably heard the F-word 10,000 times before I graduated from high school. I used to tell my friends I could speak 5 foreign languages if I got mad enough.

A Christmas Story is loaded with other real life events, including Ralphie’s day-dream about being blind from having to suck on soap for cussing, his father winning a prize lamp shaped like a woman’s leg that he displays in their living room window for all to see, and the secret decoder Ralphie gets by eating Ovaltine for breakfast.

There is also Aunt Clara’s gift of a pink bunny costume that Ralphie is forced to model on Christmas morning, the neighbor’s dogs getting into the house and eating their Christmas turkey, and the surprise on Christmas morning after all of the gifts are opened.

A Christmas Story is based on Jean Shepherd’s book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Shepherd does a superb job of narrating this film about his childhood. The film is so well done, so authentic to its 1940s time period, so believable and likeable that it gets my excellent rating without qualification.

Director Bob Clark is uncanny in his ability to orchestrate this timeless story. Peter Billingsley is a 13-year-old actor playing the role of 9-year-old Ralphie and does so with incredible facial expressions. Young Billingsley is in the moment and totally professional.

A Christmas Story, a low budget film that was not expected to do well, was released just before Thanksgiving in 1983. By Christmas the film had been pulled from theaters because it was thought to have been “played out.” It was only because of complaints from moviegoers that it was brought back to life.

The film celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2003 with release of a two-disc special edition. There are fans all over the world that treasure A Christmas Story and will not let it die, and I am one of them. I have lived so many parts of A Christmas Story that I feel it could also have been the story of thousands of other young boys growing up in the Midwest.

A Christmas Story is on my personal Top 10 all-time list of favorite movies because it exemplifies family values and the joy of living those few precious moments that define us for the rest of our lives.

A Christmas Story is an amazing film that teaches some of life’s great lessons, including determination, courage, patience, struggle, victory, self-esteem, love, acceptance and belonging. This is truly a classic movie that only those who have lived these experiences will appreciate the most. I am blessed to be one of those people.

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.)