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.

Copyright 2009 by Ed Bagley

The 2009 U. S. National Track & Field Championship meet came and went with hardly a notice by its fan base and the nation’s press. This happened because basically there is no fan base of marketing value, and the nation’s traditional media (newspapers, television and radio) can hardly keep their doors open for business by covering a nonevent.

America used to be all about sports, and still is in some sports, but not track and field. Track and field is the orphan no one wants to adopt and nurture, mostly because its professionals are overpaid, underperformed and often dependent on banned substances (the fancy way of saying illegal drugs).

The American runners who used to dominate the world track scene have become so few and so lame as to be almost nonexistent. Our middle distance runners could muster only 1 of 36 possible medals from 800 meters to the marathon in last summer’s 2008 Beijing Olympics. We can’t even dominate the sprints anymore. Usain Bolt and the “Jamaica Me Fast” crowd has taken over track’s sprint world.

Apparently, the most covered events of the recent national championship meet revolved around LaShawn Merritt, Sanya Richards and Dwight Phillips. To wit:

LaShawn Merritt took the 400 in 44.50. Merritt won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, beating rival Jeremy Wariner, then ranked No. 1 in the world. Wariner did not compete in the nationals this year. Wariner is apparently waiting for the right moment to sneak up on Merritt and run by him. Despite Merritt’s success, he is far off of Michael Johnson’s world and American record of 43.18 in 1999.

Sanya Richards won the 400 in 50.05, far off of her American record of 48.70 set in 2006. Richards holds the American high school record of 50.69 set in 2002. In other words, her victory at the nationals this year was 64 one-hundredths of a second faster than 7 years ago. You decide how much progress is being made.

Dwight Phillips won the long jump with a leap of 28-01.50 (8.57m). Phillips won the Gold Medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and is chasing Mike Powell’s world record of 8.95m set in 1991.

Hazel Clark won the 800 in 2:00.79. The American high school record is 2:00.07 by Kim Gallagher in 1982. The American record of 1:56.40 is held by Jearl Miles-Clark, set in 1999.

Lopez Lomong won the 1500 in 3:41.68, a time that pales next to Hicham El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26.00 (1998) and Bernard Lagat’s American record of 3:29.30 (2005). Alan Webb, the American record-holder in the mile at 3:46.91 (2007), qualified in the 1500 prelims at 3:42.35, but apparently did not run in the finals. Webb could not even qualify for the U. S. team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A high schooler—Andrew Springer—has run 3:45.46 for the 1500 this year.

Enough examples of what is not happening. American track and field is not drawing any attention and media coverage because its athletes cannot compete at a level deserving of more attention and coverage.

If the performances by our athletes get any more underwhelming, track and field will not only enter a low point in American history, but may camp out there in the extended future.

One thing is for sure: Jeremy Wariner and Alan Webb have talent and conditioning but no one will ever figure that out unless they step onto the track to compete and, once there, believe they can win again.

Watching track and field in America right now is like giving the barn a fresh coat and then watching the paint dry. Even worse, track and field right now has the personality of an ashtray, and will soon be the butt of too many jokes among world’s elite performers.

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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.)