The richest man in Babylon – the main points

The work of George Samuel Clayson “The Richest Man in Babylon” appeared in 1926 in the form of brochures, and a year later was published in the form of a book. The author used cuneiform tablets of the Mesopotamia from the Babylonian era, as source materials.

This book is a series of financial parables that are dedicated to the principles of personal finance management. Each story takes place in Ancient Babylon and concerns ordinary people. The main character is Arkad. He has gone from a clerk to a millionaire and is now transferring knowledge to descendants.
The best seller does not cease to be relevant. The strategies collected by Clayson and processed into a story art book can be used by everyone.

“The wiser we get, the more we earn. A man striving to improve his work will surely find recognition ”.

Seven rules of enrichment or healing for a skinny wallet

packs of money

In one of the parables, Arcad speaks of methods of enrichment at the request of the king. He divides the lessons into seven days..

1. Refill your wallet

The wallet will be full if you regularly leave one tenth of the income there (one coin out of ten). Spend nine coins on life, a tenth coin – invest.

A simple example with a basket of eggs: lay one out of ten eggs in a separate basket, and it will never be empty.

Many of Clayson’s stories are devoted to the consequences of life without savings. For example, the camel merchant Dabazir was forced to flee from creditors, ceased to be a craftsman, turned into a drover and almost died in the desert. The Benzir chariot master couldn’t buy himself a good house, although he made good money.

2. Control expenses

Rich people differ in that they live more modestly than their income level. Plan spending, fight impulsive desires and leave only the necessary goals. Do not buy lightly, even when you have a lot of money. Be economical. Never spend a tenth coin on needs and entertainment. When you buy something, you make another person rich.

3. Increase the accumulated

Money should not remain idle. They should work. Invest Savings to Increase Capital.

When the young Arkad studied with an experienced money-lender Algamish, he entrusted part of the savings to Aggir, the master on the shields, to buy bronze and pay him rent.

But when Algamish asked what the young man does with rent, it turned out that he was arranging holidays, buying expensive clothes and cattle. The moneylender chided the hero and said that money “should give rise to their own kind”.

4. Beware of losses

At this point, the author of the book warns against thoughtless investment and bad advice. Money needs to be kept safe and profitable..

At the beginning of the journey, Arkad made a serious mistake and gave the money to the mason Azmur, who went to search for jewelry. The friends planned to sell them profitably. But Azmur did not understand anything in the treasures. He was deceived and he brought ordinary glass from a trip.

5. Buy a property

From your home you can make a profitable investment. Arkad argues that not only the rich mansion’s completed palace has value, but also the lands around it and under it. Home loan is considered by the author as an acceptable type of personal debt.

To buy a house, there is nothing impossible for those who set themselves such a goal – says Arkad.

6. Think about the future.

Save for retirement yourself, so that your old age is guaranteed. As soon as possible, think about the well-being of the family after death. Make a will, and fairly distribute the money among the heirs.

7. Improve your skills

Invest in education: this does not guarantee success, but it will definitely raise the level of self-esteem and help to find additional sources of income.

Arkad argues: everyone has the opportunity to make money, because any craft and occupation is a golden trickle. Only the skill level determines the strength of this flow..

“Make each coin work so that it reproduces itself like cattle in a field and directs constant streams of wealth into your wallet”

Five Laws of Wealth

money is pouring in

Letting his child go into independent life, Arkad gives his son a bag of gold and a plate with the laws of enrichment. But the young hero wastes the inheritance. He pays attention to laws at a critical moment in life. Following them, for 10 years he has been collecting capital three times more than his father’s.

1. Gold goes to those who care about the future

This means that you need to put aside one tenth of earnings and wisely invest the accumulated. The law states that gold is drawn specifically to such a person. The more money you save, the better they work for you and multiply.

2. Gold satisfies the owner only if he finds a profitable business for investment

A wise man makes money work. Nomazir, son of Arcade, calls participation in the development of tin and copper for the new and strong city gates of Babylon the first successful investment.

3. Gold requires protection from a careful owner

Save money using the advice of experienced people. Invest carefully, consider risks, look for more information about financial instruments.

In the chapter “Walls of Babylon”, the old warrior Banzar, until the last days of the siege, was sure that the fortress of the city would survive and the enemy would not enter Babylon. He was not mistaken.

Clayson leads us in this part of the book to the conclusion that the desire for protection – including financial – lies at the heart of the natural principle of man and helps him avoid any tragedies.

4. Gold will elude the one who invests it in affairs in which it is insufficiently informed

This rule follows from the previous one: money will not work in a business that is unfamiliar to you. Do not invest in what you do not understand.

The heir to Arcade managed to spend money on dubious trade deals and horse racing, to which he was prompted by the scammers he met in Nineveh.

5. Gold will disappear if invested in risky affairs or adventures

Everything that seems ill-conceived and seduces due to naive ideas about investments should be avoided. Do not invest in something that promises to bring big profits in a very short time.

In the book, the Babylonian master Rodan receives a valuable recommendation from the moneylender Maton. He tells the parable about the ended friendship of a compassionate donkey and a lazy bull. He says that it’s not worth giving loans even to relatives if there is no guarantee for a refund..

“The wealth that quickly comes is just as fast and leaves. Wealth, which brings real joy and satisfaction to its owner, comes gradually, and is based on its strong knowledge and hard work. “

What else is said in the book “The Richest Man in Babylon”?

man puts up money

Do not borrow money if you can’t repay it, but if you take it back, repay it on time

Debt should be a planned part of your financial plan. In Clayson’s stories, heroes often end up in a credit hole when they consume without measure or make spontaneous financial decisions. To repay debts, the author suggests spending 20% ​​of what they earn every month on them..

Do not dream about instant money

You need to be able to manage money. It takes time. What you get is not yours, if it fails to save and increase.

“Some people hate working. They see the work of the enemy. But it’s better to treat her as a friend, to love her. Do not be afraid of hard work. After all, building a house for yourself, you don’t think about how hard it is to carry bricks, and when dragging water, you don’t pay attention to how far the well is. ”

By working hard, you create more opportunities for good luck. Listening to the voice of laziness, we become enemies for ourselves.


The book “The Richest Man in Babylon” is made for a wide range of readers. It contains obvious things about money management, which are presented at the level of fairy tales. It is suitable for those who just want to learn something about financial literacy. Many principles are idealized, but able to increase financial discipline..

Similar entries:
  1. Simple tips on personal finance that are available to everyone.
Similar articles
Rate article
Tips on any topic from experts
Add comment

By clicking the "Submit comment" button, I consent to the processing of personal data and accept privacy policy