The Richest Man in Babylon should be required reading

Tanya Winch

There’s something mystical and thrilling about books – the excitement of choosing which new book you will get to sample, the smell of the paper, the feel of the pages in your hand, the new characters that become almost friends. If you are a Nook reader, it remains just as stimulating – an awakening  where you can gather knowledge and be transported to another world, all through the power of words! 

Books are my thing.  In general, I have approximately four books going at once:

  • For the spirit
  • Straight fiction (allowed only at the gym as motivation)
  • Some sort of self-help
  • To better my working financial knowledge. In all honesty, I have not been held particularly rapt by the last book category, not for lack of interest but because many of the books are simply difficult to digest. 

For that exact reason, I am writing a series on financial books, to help you pick some easy-to-read and really informative financial literature.  If you have already read the book I suggest, then GREAT.  Maybe even read it again?!  If you have not read it, I hope you’ll give it a try.

I believe that almost everyone age 14 or older will absorb a great deal out of The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason ©1926.  In fact, I feel it should be required reading in both high schools and universities.  My copy has large print and only 158 pages.  It is a quick read, with easy to understand suggestions and practical applications.  Additionally, it is entertaining in an almost cinematic way.


It is a book of parables set in ancient Babylon.  It focuses on two best friends (Bansir and Kobbi) who have worked hard but have nothing to show for it.  They ask a third friend (Arkad), who has accumulated much wealth and is a happy man, how he did it.   Arkad wisely instructs his friends, “no man may climb who cannot plant his feet firmly upon the first step” and proceeds to explain his “seven cures for a lean purse”.

“Start thy purse to fattening.”  A part of all you earn is yours to keep! Pay yourself first.

“Control thy expenditures.”  Otherwise known as living within your means.

“Make thy gold multiply.”  Allow your money to make you more money.

“Guard thy treasures from loss.”  Secure advice from those experienced with investments.

“Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment.”  Own your own home with pride and care.

“Insure a future income.”  Prepare for retirement!

“Increase thy ability to earn.”  Start small with simple and definable goals/desires and never stop learning!

The book also goes into the “goddess of good luck”, “five laws of gold”, and even touches on lending, debt and what it means to work.

Take Away

  • Learn to enjoy your work as it will pay you in spades.
  • Always make certain to pay yourself first.
  • Find what energizes you to make small steps toward wealth in order “to acquire confidence in thyself to achieve thy carefully considered desires.”

If you are pressed for time

Read the whole dang book anyway!  It is short and entertaining and will make you think.  It is also a great dinner table discussion with your kids.  In addition, it is simply uplifting and makes wealth accumulation very attainable.

In the words of George S. Clason, the book’s author and a map printer who created the first road atlas of the United States and Canada, “Cultivate thine own powers.”  After giving it a read, give Winch Financial a call for a financial checkup.  All of our knowledgeable financial specialists are here to help you with your seven cures!