The Richest Man In Babylon
In this chapter, Kobbi and Bansir met with Arkad.
Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, was known for his liberality, generosity, and wealth. Every year his wealth would increase rapidly.
Arkad’s friends were complaining that he is luckier than them. Even though Arkad and his friends received education from the same master from the same school, Arkad was the only person who became an honorable citizen between them. The question was Why? and How?
Arkad said that fate/luck is a dangerous thing that can bring no good to anyone.
According to him, people who gain wealth suddenly by luck , are not able to sustain that wealth for a prolonged period. For example, a person who wins a lottery, will not be able to sustain that wealth for a long time. He doesn't know how to save that and make that money work for him. This is why it is immoral to associate a man’s wealth to fate or luck.
Arkad said that wealth cannot bring happiness in a person’s life, but it can increase a man’s ability to purchase the goods he desires. Fulfilled desires can add an aura of happiness in one’s life.
Initially, Akrad failed to acquire wealth, but as time passed, he realized that to acquire wealth, one should use their time and knowledge intelligently.
During his time as a laborer, Arkad met a rich man whose name was Algamish. Arkad asked him the secret of his wealth, and Algamish suggested some tricks of acquiring wealth:
1.“A part of all I earned was mine to keep” - A minimum of 10% should be saved by us every month no matter what the circumstances are. This is the only way by which a person’s wealth can grow. If we spend more than what we earn,our wealth will not grow.
Wealth is like a tiny seed that needs time to grow. The more water you pour into a seed, the more it will grow.
2.“Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but take only what is worth having” -
Arkad kept saving every month for the next year but made a mistake. He took all of his savings and went to a brickmaker to invest his money in jewelry. The brickmaker took all his money and ran away.
The lesson here is that one shouldn’t seek advice in matters of money from a person who has expertise in another field. There is a probability that their guidance will not work properly for us, not because of their intentions, but because of their lack of knowledge.
Genuine advice comes from people who are experts in their respective fields.
As the chapter goes on, Arkad gives some more pieces of advice:
- Have the desire to prosper.
- Opportunity is a goddess and wastes no time for those who are unprepared.
- When you set a task for yourself, complete it.
- Do not set impractical tasks for yourself which you cannot complete.
- Insure an income stream for your future
- High rates are attractive, but a small rate of return is far more desirable than risk.
- Enjoy your life while you are here and do not over save. This will bring unnecessary burden.