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.

Copyright 2006 by Ed Bagley

(Ed’s Note: I originally wrote this post in 2006, 14 years ago. What I share with you about shopping online today is even more true today, only the prices are higher. Some people will lay down thousands of dollars for an offer online. I was only a newbie when I attacked “Traffic Swarm” like a honey badger on a bee hive. I would not surf Traffic Swarm today, I’m a little wiser, and you can be too.) 

Any newcomers to Internet Marketing who would like to gather a little field intelligence on the landscape and competition need only to surf “Traffic Swarm,” which bills itself as “the fastest and easiest way to instantly increase traffic, visitors and sales to any website, product or service.”

Well, that claim is certainly debatable as there are more than a hundred offers on the Internet today that make the same claim with a straight face. Be that as it may, Traffic Swarm also lets you know instantly that its service is automated, targeted, cheat-proof, proven and “viral marketing” (a heady term that makes one think that he might now indeed be in possession of cyberspace), all five of these claims are Internet Marketing buzz words more common than a thousand bees making small talk at the entrance to their hive.

The uninitiated would learn that you can join Traffic Swarm free, post an advertisement of your own, and then surf (look at) other marketer’s ads to earn credits, which you can in turn spend to draw traffic and visitors to your own offer. It is a very nice little package for beginners which, even if it does not bring you sales of your product or service, does give your website or offer page exposure and presence on the Internet.

Traffic Swarm is where I surf to find out what is going on in the world of Internet Marketing offers. There are dozens of other sites that could provide me with the same fodder, but Traffic Swarm has, in my experience, proven to be as good as any other at what it does.

My message has nothing directly to do with Traffic Swarm; it has to do with the users of Traffic Swarm, who hawk their goods like any merchant in a loud, noisy marketplace with vicious, unrelenting competition for your hard-earned dollar.

All of which brings us to the Latin phrase “caveat emptor,” which means let the buyer beware. The New Oxford American Dictionary (we bow to the King’s English) says this about caveat emptor: the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made. Herein lies the problem with online purchasing: we cannot examine the goods before we commit to buying whatever it is a person may be selling.

This fact of purchasing works in the seller’s interest, and the seller, not the buyer, will do anything to keep it that way, including, but not limited to, exaggerating claims, playing upon your emotions, using psychological ploys to move you to the action they want you to take, pressuring you into making buying decisions with no opportunity to see what it is you are purchasing, and being disingenuous in an attempt to relieve you of your money.

I have begun to examine Internet Marketing ads online very closely, not to determine the legitimacy of any particular offer, but rather to determine the quality of language used in supporting the legitimacy of the claims made in any particular offer.

An e-mail that came to me this morning offers an example. It uses this opening sentence to hook you into linking to their sales page: “As incredible as it may sound you’re about to discover a system how you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website at $0 cost to you!”

(The hoped for reader reaction might be: My God, this is an answer to prayer, a system that can finally drive traffic and business to my website so I can make my first sale in 24 months as an Internet Marketer after indiscriminately spending hundreds of dollars on useless offers.)

As I analyze this opening sentence, remember the use of the words “incredible” (as in I am so lucky to find this offer, today, on the Internet), “discover” (my god, this is totally new and I could be the first one in and make a killing) and “$0 cost to you” (and to think, all of this without any expense to me).

As a newcomer to Internet Marketing I hit the link to the promised land, and the sales page greets me with this: “I’m Revealing My Secrets I Personally Use To Drive Thousands Of Potential Customers To My Websites!” This is coupled with the reassuring phrase “you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website and $0 cost you!” Again, remember the reference to “$0 cost to you.”

The most powerful word in this opening is “secret” (as in only this very successful person and I are going to learn the secret). The word “secret” and “guru” in Internet Marketing go together like matching bookends.

There is, really, no big secret; there really is just one-upmanship in thinking there is. Literally hundreds of other marketers are successfully using the same secret. The inexperienced buyer simply has not yet apparently acquired the knowledge, applied the knowledge and profited from the experience. The reader is then reassured that “This works for any product, website or affiliate website” (as in it can work for you too).

Then there is an invitation to “Join my Marketing Tips Newsletter and I will show you free marketing tips – worth $500” (wow, what I deal for me). Once signed up, you will in most cases be immediately put into an autoresponder, which bombards you with e-mail messages on a timed basis (like every other day for the next 400 days). You can opt-out of these messages at any point in most cases, but most newcomers do not figure this out until they become very annoyed with the process.

This entire sales page takes a sharp left turn here, the idea being to get the person on a mailing list in case they are not buying into the for real paid offer that follows (remember, we started with “discover a system how you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website at $0 cost to you!” (as in free).

Prior to learning the actual price point that is coming (as sure as there is handwriting on the wall) is this claim: “I absolutely guarantee that if you use these tactics, you will get substantially higher rankings” (in search engines).

This, of course, is an asinine statement to make as the author of the statement controls neither the search engines or their ranking of websites. At best, the author could only guarantee to return the buyer’s purchase price should he or she feel dissatisfied with their particular results in using the tactics offered.

The bottom line is if you really want the advertised information the discounted price ends up at $49.97, with the admonition that it will be raised to $79.97 on December 1 (so it is a Limited Time Offer and you better act now or be left out). These ads invariably pressure for immediate action.

One could argue that the statement “discover a system how you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website at $0 cost to you!” is literally true, what is not being said up front, however, is that it is going to cost you $49.97 to get the “secret information package” that would allow you to do so.

Given a more than cursory view of the offer, you must now decide how credible the offer is, and whether you will act immediately in your own best interest, because there is no doubt that the author of this ad is acting in his own best interest.

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These Are Possibly the 5 Most Accurate Sentences You Will Ever Read

Copyright 2020
by Ed Bagley

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working, another person must work without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

America is getting perilously close to losing its four most important freedoms:

1) A republic form of government based on law and order to ensure a civil and livable society.

2) The right to choose your own path in life, to speak freely and assemble freely without control from a government hell bent on becoming a socialist society that will control our means of production and jobs, seek to limit our source of information in the media and in our educational system and provide us with a substandard, universal healthcare system that will go broke, just like every other government program since the beginning of time.

3) The right to keep arms to protect us from a government that becomes too big and greedy in its control over us, moving into socialism and then morphing into a communist or totalitarian system with a dictator, controlling every aspect of our lost freedoms, taking our property and assets, destroying our family, raping our women and killing us when we object.

4) The right to free and fair elections to determine who will represent us without government officials fixing elections to elect the candidate of their choice, to protect our borders from criminal actors and elements that threaten our safety and security, and career politicians who can be bought and sold by special interest groups, including businesses making money and creating jobs, and minority groups littered with victims who have little interest in working within the existing system to get ahead and prosper and seek government control and government handouts while complaining and whining voraciously while achieving nothing.

America is the freest country with the greatest opportunity on the face of the Earth. Clearly, the underachievers who are unhappy in America are out to change our system rather than themselves. The do not understand this reality: When you blame others you give up your ability to change. Albert Einstein said it best: The difference between ignorance and intelligence is that intelligence has a limit.

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.)