The Richest Man In Babylon

🔖How would I describe this book in 1 sentence?

Plain, simple, and timeless principles of managing personal finances

🗺️What was the role of this book in my journey?

First time I read the paper version in 2015. Some of the fundamental ideas had stuck in my head and I have been applying them since then to my personal finances.

In 2021 I had a chance to listed to the audio version in English and refresh the memory with its ideas. I also recognized some of my mistakes I did in previous years that could be avoided only if I would keep in mind all of the principles from the book.

💡Key Insights

  1. A small return but a safe one is far more desirable than risk
  2. “If I set for myself a task,” Arkad says, “I shall see it through. Should I say to myself, ‘For a hundred days as I walk across the bridge into the city, I will pick from the road a pebble and cast it into the stream,’ I would do it. If on the seventh day I passed by without remembering, I would not say to myself, ‘Tomorrow I will cast two pebbles which will do as well.’ Instead I would retrace my steps and cast the pebble. Nor on the twentieth day would I say to myself, ‘This is useless. What does it avail you to cast a pebble every day? Throw in a handful and be done with it.’ No, I would not say that nor do it. When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure.”
  3. Good luck can be enticed by accepting the opportunity
  4. Where the determination is — the way can be found
  5. If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend's burdens upon thyself
  6. The soul of a free man looks at life as a series of problems to be solved and solves them. While the soul of a slave whines "What can I do? Who am but a slave?"
  7. Work well done does good to the man who does it. It makes him a better man

🦅Key Principles

  1. Live for less than you can earn. Cut your expenses
  2. "Pay yourself" at least 10% of your income. Save it for future
  3. Make money work for you. Invest your savings to accumulate wealth
  4. Take the advice of only those who are competent in their field
  5. Protect your investment. Do not invest in high-risk endeavors
  6. Diversify. Make investments in parts into different channels
  7. Invest in a house
  8. Invest for your retirement
  9. Set clear tasks and do not skip tasks
  10. Do not set unpractical and difficult tasks
  11. Repay debts as soon as possible
  12. Continuously improve your professional skills. Cultivate your own powers. Study and become wiser. Become more skillful in your profession
  13. Take care of the family so the family thinks and speaks well of you
  14. Make a will of record to properly divide your property in case of passing away
  15. Have compassion and aid those in need
  16. Seize opportunities timely. Sometimes timing is crucial — if something available right now, in one hour it may be gone. Do not procrastinate
  17. Trust your instincts. If you feel from the beginning that the opportunity is profitable — take it
  18. Do not invest in people driven by emotions. Those who are driven by emotions are usually not a reliable investment
  19. When investing or lending money, always think of their ability to repay.
  20. If you want to help the friend in need, do it in a way to not take his burdens upon yourself
  21. Don’t spend more than 70% of the income on living expenses
  22. If you have debt, use 20% of the income on debt repayments
  23. Develop a positive attitude to work


7 Cures for a Lean Purse

  1. Start thy purse to fattening.
  2. Control thy expenditures.
  3. Make thy gold multiply.
  4. Guard thy treasures from loss.
  5. Own thy own home.
  6. Insure a future income.
  7. Increase thy ability to earn.

5 Laws of Gold

  1. Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.
  2. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.
  3. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.
  4. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.
  5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.