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 © 2007 Ed Bagley

(Editor’s Note: Part 1 dealt with A Man’s 5 Basic Jobs: 1) Defend his loved ones. 2) Protect his loved ones. 3) Provide for his loved ones. 4) Encourage his loved ones. 5) Lead his loved ones. Part 3 will appear tomorrow.)

A Man’s 5 Basic Tendencies

But, alas, women it is not to be. Here is where your dream world begins to fall apart.

Just as a man has 5 fingers on his right hand there are 5 creative tendencies a man must overcome to live out his life.

1) He believes he is indestructible. I know this is not rational, is silly and difficult to believe, however, it is tied to his ego and allows him to also do the five jobs his analytical mind tells him he must do.

It is because a man can be an extremely competitive creature that he can put his life on the line for his family when defending them and protecting them.

A man, especially when he is younger, can be exciting, dangerous and foolish. He will buy his dream sports car and drive it down the freeway as fast as he can to see how fast he can go, and sometimes with his loved ones in the car.

He will dive off of a 50-foot cliff to see if he can meet the water in the 10-foot space between the rocks below. Sometimes he will accomplish that feat, sometimes he will become paralyzed and sometimes he will kill himself in a fit of bravado.

Generally, somewhere around age 40 or 50 he will work in the yard all day Saturday and be totally stunned when he cannot get out of bed Sunday morning. This is the point in his life when he realizes he is not the man he used to be.

If he uses the brains God gave him he will not continue take risky chances. If he has learned anything from the experience, he will begin to live a more sane life.

2) He believes his reach should exceed his grasp. A man will try to do more than he is physically, mentally and emotionally capable of doing. He will set impossible goals and then prove he cannot achieve them.

He will set no limits on himself. He has an ego. He will work himself to death while ignoring his marriage, his children and the needs of his family, and he will justify this behavior because he can barely get past his third job: provide for his family.

He will justify his behavior in his mind because sometimes he is really escaping a situation at home that he does not want to face. Rather than face the music he is willing to play the music alone and suffer the consequences, generally divorce.

Couples can fight about money and how to raise their children, but when they end up in divorce court it is usually because of a lack of communication. How many times have you heard a woman say he just won’t talk to me?

When your man is not talking to you ladies, that is the first sign that your marriage is in trouble.

3) He believes he will live forever. No kidding. He actually believes he will live forever. It never really occurs to him that he will die someday. He has been told this more than once; he comprehends what is being said, but he really does not believe it.

Women do not share this problem. I expect because they become very aware of just how fragile life is when birthing a newborn.

It generally does not even occur to a man that he will die until he is well past 50. When this realization strikes him, it is like a bolt of lighting. Sometimes it occurs when his father dies, and then he realizes that he is next.

There are things that you will notice when his belief in this matter changes.

He will not leave home when the guys come by to go drinking and watch the game. He will become more aware about who he is with, where he is at and what he is doing. He now realizes that the meter on the taxi is running. He now understands that the alarm has been set on his clock, and it is ticking down.

4) Someone once said that every man needs someplace to go, something to do and someone to love. I believe that they are correct. Think about it.

A man needs someplace to go, this is the explorer in him. A man needs something to do, this is the automatic work ethic in him. He must be at work, or he could be a nuisance at home. A man needs someone to love because he needs acceptance.

You will notice that a woman who loses her husband at age 50 because he has worked himself to death can live another 30 years without a man in her life and be quite content. A man who loses his wife at age 50 will find another woman very soon or he will die, literally.

When a man loses his partner, he will make it his business to find another, and he will not make a career out of it because he already has a career. A man loses his woman and six months or a year later he marries again, usually to someone younger.

Many men do not wait to lose their wife. When they perceive they have lost something in a relationship, they simply dump their wife and find a younger model. I do not have to give women names; they can name on cue the men who have done so, both the famous and the infamous.

5) This is the most salient advice that I can give a woman about men: Listen carefully to what a man says but watch what he does, what he does is who he is. A man will always whisper sweet nothings in a woman’s ear but once he is out of bed he barely notices his conquest.

In today’s world young girls and young women have bought into the media hype that they need to walk around half naked and sleep with any guy if they want to date or have any shot at a relationship. They are being hoodwinked.

Our culture and society has become so liberal, so permissive, so pleasure seeking and so self-centered and self-absorbed that the mantra is all about me. Young girls have Paris Hilton, Britany Spears and Lindsay Lohan as role models.

What young girls and young women need to know is that after young boys and young men have had their way with them they will discard them like they would a hot dog wrapper at a baseball game.

When these same young boys become young men and think about marriage they will not be interested in used goods. Any girl or young woman who has been passed around and has slept with multiple partners will get less attention.

A man who is worth marrying and having children with has learned impulse control and has the ability to feel an urge and delay acting on it. A man who cannot or will not control himself is no better than the girls and young women he is indiscriminately sleeping with.

Someone arbitrarily decided that casual sex does no damage whatsoever to one’s psyche or emotional well being. They are, of course, dead wrong but too immature to realize it and calculate the damage.

Oftentimes when they grow up they are unable to have a lasting relationship and they wonder why. This is true for both men and women. I do not have to postulate about this, the divorce rate, heartache and failed relationships prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If the fundamental basis of a marriage is great sex, you have a serious problem that is not going to go away. Marriage should be for a long time and great sex at some point may not survive the duties and responsibilities of living.

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: I made my first investment at age 11. I was wasting my life up until then.
(Ed’s Note: The first lesson of investing is patience. Start early and sit on your investment until it has time to hatch, it may take 20 or 30 years to hatch, but if you are in the right investment you will do very well. Do not keep moving your money into and out of different investments—all that does is make your broker rich at your expense.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffet’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)

“A Man for All Seasons” Demonstrates What Integrity Should Be in the Middle Ages and Now

 

A Man for All Seasons – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“A Man for All Seasons” poses the question: What would a man sacrifice for his principles?

When King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) seeks approval to divorce his aging wife Catherine of Aragon who could not bear him a son, and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn,
the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church stand
in his way.

Henry VIII’s new Chancellor of England and Cardinal–
Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield)—stands in his way as well. Henry VIII wants Sir Thomas More’s blessing in his action but does not
get it as Sir Thomas More, a good Catholic and Cardinal, will not go
along with such heresy.

More resigns as chancellor, seeking to live out his life as a private citizen, but Henry VIII will settle for nothing less than More’s public approval of his headstrong course. Sir Thomas refuses to either endorse or denounce the King’s action, and remains a man of principle.

Great effort is made to convince More to change his stance on Henry VIII’s action. One of More’s rivals, Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern); another religious, Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles); and The Duke of Norfolk (Nigel Davenport)
all take their turns at More.

One example is when More testifies before an inquiry committee and Norfolk attempts to persuade him to sign an oath of allegiance:

Norfolk: “Look, I’m not a scholar, and frankly I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not—but Thomas, look at these names! You know these men! Can’t you do as I did and come along with us for fellowship?”

More: “And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Heaven for doing according to your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing according to mine, will you come along with me—for fellowship?”

There are several lines by More that merit mention but there is not enough space to do so. Here is one of the best: “I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by
a short route to chaos.”

Sir Thomas More was a very smart and savvy—as well as principled—man.

Henry VIII gets every person of any consequence in England to sign his oath (the Act of Supremacy), endorsing his action, except Sir Thomas who will not sign, and remains silent as to the reason why he will not sign.

Cromwell is an English statesman and the chief minister to King Henry VIII. It is Cromwell who presides over King Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in 1533 and Henry’s subsequent break with the Roman Catholic Church.

When More proves himself to be loyal to King Henry VIII by not speaking out against him and also shows himself to be a loyal subject by not inciting rebellion, Cromwell appears to prosecute Sir Thomas out of personal spite.

In the end, Sir Thomas is the only person in England who will die for his principles, and commit himself to God for judgment. He is betrayed by an ambitious, lower level appointed attorney general, Richard (John Hurt), whose outright lie condemns Sir Thomas to be beheaded.

Sir Thomas More loses his head (no pun intended) but most importantly, not his soul. Sir Thomas is later canonized as Saint Thomas More by the Roman Catholic Church.

Henry VIII subsequently dies of syphilis, and the evil Thomas Cromwell who orchestrates Sir Thomas More’s tragic demise is himself judged a traitor to England 5 years later and is also beheaded. And what was the FINAL fate of More’s adversaries — Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey and The Duke of Norfolk? Only God knows.

The riff subsequently leads to England’s split from the Roman Catholic Church and the creation of the Anglican Church, the Church of England.

A Man for All Seasons does not deviate from the truth of Sir Thomas More’s stance, and as such provides a role model for acting with right thinking and right motives, even at the cost of one’s life.

What makes A Man for All Seasons even more impressive is that the plot for the movie is based on the true story of Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas More was a scholar and statesman who became the leading humanist of the Renaissance Era.

A Man for All Seasons is
a story about everything that is right in England and life (Sir Thomas More’s integrity to his principles) and everything that is wrong in England and life (greed, avarice, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, the corruption of power, and the corruption of religious leaders).

A Man for All Seasons was writer Robert Bolt’s greatest success, first as a play and then as the screenplay for its 1966 movie release following a successful Broadway run. Bolt’s 16th Century period piece has exacting details of the era.

A Man for All Seasons would win 6 Oscars at the 1967 Academy Awards: Best Picture (Fred Zinnemann), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Writing (Robert Bolt), Best Actor (Paul Scofield), Best Cinematography (Ted Moore) and Best Costume Design (Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge).

The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Robert Shaw) and Best Supporting Actress (Wendy Hiller as Sir Thomas More’s wife Alice).

In addition the movie garnered another 27 wins and 5 nominations, including Golden Globe wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Interestingly, Charlton Heston lobbied heavily for the role of Sir Thomas More, but was not seriously considered. Richard Burton was offered the part and turned it down.

The producers originally wanted Laurence Olivier as Thomas More and Alec Guinness as Wosley, but Director Fred Zinnemann insisted on Paul Scofield and Orson Welles in the roles. The rest is history. Zinnemann obviously knew how to direct a great film and create a huge box office success.