With over 2 million books sold, a title that is frequently touted as one of the ‘must reads’ in any self-respecting businessman, investor or entrepreneurs’ library this one has been on my ‘to-read’ list for a long time.
In fact, if I am honest, over a decade ago, I recall trying to remember it’s title and I ended up reading King Solomons Mines accidentally, waiting for the nuggets of financial wisdom to reveal themselves to me in the completely wrong book!
The Richest Man In Babylon, published first in 1926, holds investment advice that is no doubt as true today as it was 92 years ago. It tells a series of parables and stories of conversations between interested parties and wealthy, self-made (fictional) Babylonians.
Of course, even though these stories are all fiction, the messages are clear. Clason promotes a system of saving and investing that begins with putting aside 10% of all that you earn, before you do anything with it. This 10% is then, over time, to be invested with people who know about what they are investing in. Do not trust the bricklayer to invest in gems for instance.
On top of this are a number of strategies and discussions pertaining to the getting of luck and discussions surrounding the topics of self-made men Vs. those who happen across great fortune.
It is a concise and interesting discussion of how to budget effectively with the assistance of a plan, as well as being an interesting look at whether self-made people are lucky or merely better at spotting and taking advantage of opportunities.
A good collection of home-spun, sensible fiduciary wisdom, that makes a lot of sense, even though it puts the onus on individuals to do the work, save, make sensible investment decisions and delay procrastination in order to best take up opportunities as they present themselves.
It is a far cry from the believe it and it will be so crowd of books that touts manifestation and visualisation ahead of hard work, discipline and relentless pursuit of being your best. I prefer the kind of cold, hard facts of doing the right work and being sensible to achieve great things over time, but that is simply my preference!
All in all, I believe this would actually be a great book for teenagers to read and discuss, as the habits it speaks to forming would be well suited to those who are on the beginning of their earning/working journey.
Not overly long, at only a couple of hundred pages with a pretty large typeface, if you see this book for sale cheap or at an op-shop etc, I would recommend giving it a read over a weekend and seeing if there isn’t something in there to prevent you making excuses and inspire you to prepare for the future rather than simply living in the hedonistic present.
If you have read it, or do read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Josh Reid Jones - Founder of The Just Be Nice Project and Odin Sports