How useful is George Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon?

Nate Chai reveals if you should read George Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon.

After seeing this book on a number of “top x books for wealth” lists I thought I should give George Samuel Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon a look. Incredibly the book was written in 1926 and just goes to show how long we’ve known how to gain wealth.

The narrative is framed as several tales from the ancient city of Babylon demonstrating how people in Babylon became wealthy. More specifically, those in Babylon with less wealth learn from those with more wealth about how to achieve a greater amount of gold.

The narrative really helps you to zip through the book, although at 144 pages it shouldn’t take you too long to read anyway. As I was reading it, I felt like I was reading a prototype for Rich Dad Poor Dad as many of the teachings are the same, and told through stories.

The lessons are all simple truths that are easily understood, for example, the first third is titled “seven cures for a lean purse” and states:

  1. Save one tenth of all your income
  2. Make a budget so you don’t spend too much
  3. Of the money you save buy assets that bring you money
  4. Only invest in things that you trust and have researched
  5. Buy a house
  6. Prepare for retirement
  7. Create goals that will increase your ability to earn

Obviously, I’m paraphrasing, and the only really contentious issue (for you Rich Dad acolytes) is “Buy a house”, the rest is sound century old tidbits of solid financial wisdom.

The rest of the book as some great advice as well, with lessons that are relatable and explained in an easy to understand manner. If you’ve already read Rich Dad Poor Dad and you’re looking for a reminder of the lessons, but with a historical edge, pick it up.

Verdict: Read it (it’s public domain), you’ll be reminded of  financial lessons valuable to you




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