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 © 2006 Ed Bagley

The next time you go borrowing, and your friendly banker smiles as you walk into his office, be aware that you may be snookered by someone not worthy of your trust. If your banker is an attractive woman, then you are even more susceptible.

I have grown over the years to appreciate a certain breed of bankers as one of the lower life forms that inhabit planet Earth. What I am about to share with you is even more true of certain mortgage brokers, secondary lenders and financial predators. They operate as sleazy parasites under the guise of helping the least creditworthy consumers who have virtually no savvy in financial matters.

Rather than pick on the worst of this collection of lenders who will help relieve you of your money without any conscience, I have targeted bankers. Before the banking industry was deregulated there were many people who considered bankers worthy of some trust and admiration. Those days are over.

Bankers still enjoy the best reputation (such as it is) among these lenders, but they have no problem patting you on the shoulder while picking your pocket and telling you how much they have helped you. I do not intend to indict the entire lending industry, just 95% of it. Here is an example:

My 24-year-old son wanted to refinance his first mortgage and was about to go to a leading lender in the market to look at its loan proposal. I decided to tag along because I know how lenders operate, especially when dealing with younger clients and senior citizens who have not handled the finances in their family.

His present loan had a principal balance of $123,773 with 7.458% interest at a 30-year fixed rate. The proposed re-fi was for $134,999 with 9.9% interest (10.28% APR) at a 30-year fixed rate. The re-fi would cover the $123,773 principal balance due and provide a $10,409 home equity loan. The lender was actually smiling when he outlined what a good deal this was for my son.

I had coached my son to simply listen to the proposal, commit to nothing, take the paperwork with him, and tell the lender he would study the proposal and let the lender know if he wanted to proceed.

Once away from this flytrap I took my son to lunch, and we discussed the great deal he was given.

First, I had him look at the 3% discount fee on the Good Faith Estimate of the closing costs. (The discount fee is the amount you are paying for the privilege of getting the loan.) The discount fee was listed at $312.

What the lender was not telling him was that the 3% discount fee was figured on the $10,409 home equity loan and not on the $134,999 for the total loan which was $4,050, a slight difference of $3,748 in their favor.

If you called the lender on this discrepancy, he would probably say, “Oh, you’re right, that’s a mistake. That’s the figure for the home equity loan. Jeez, I’m sorry.”

When the day comes to close the loan, you see the bloated figure and object, and then the lender multiplies the $134,999 loan times 3% and viola, it comes up correct. You are dazed and confused, feel under pressure, want to get this over with and sign on the dotted line. This happens every working day in America when loans are closed.

Long after you are gone, the lender is quietly snickering, counting up the additional funds he will earn, and welcoming the next dumb bunny who comes through the door while you will be stuck with making payments for 360 months on a lousy loan.

For the uninitiated, there are more real surprises at loan closings in America than when opening gifts on Christmas morning. One client of mine went to a loan closing and learned that $10,000 had been added to the loan closing costs without prior notice; he thankfully got up and left.

Always remember that for every liability you have, you are someone else’s asset. For every liability—such as a mortgage, credit card, car loan or school loan—you are an employee of the company lending the money.

If you take out a 30-year mortgage loan, you have become a 30-year employee of the company which lends you the money. This is a very sobering thought when you are paying attention, as you should be. I am not talking about anything important in this article, just your financial health.

Part 2 of this article will take the financial details of the loan apart and show how not taking the loan will save my son $157,495.

Leave a Reply

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.)