The Richest Man in Babylon is one of my favorites books in personal finance. It is short and to the point. One of the sections in the book talks about the five laws of gold. Let us have a look at these laws and how these timeless principles can be applied in today’s world.
The First Law of Gold
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.
This book was written in 1926 and this advice is still valid. There are so many things to dissect here. Autor George S Clason is saying – Pay yourself first. He also implies – Spend less than you earn! If you just follow this law, you wouldn’t have too worry about money.
This law also teaches us discipline, patience and delayed gratification. After all, you are putting money away for the future which could have been used for your instant whims and fancies.
So folks, save at least 10% of your income diligently.
The Second Law of Gold
Gold laboureth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.
So the author first wants you to save 10% of your income and then he wants you to invest it wisely. In ancient times, it may have been difficult to find an opportunity to invest your money. But in today’s paperless world of transactions, you can invest your gold at the click of a few buttons online.
The author also implies that you should become ‘wiser’ at investing your money. If you want to become wealthy, you should study money. Learn how to invest your money. This isn’t difficult either as there are many YouTube videos, blogs and books which will teach you this.
The Third Law of Gold
Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of wise men in its handling
This law elaborates on the second one. Clason says that invest under the advice of wise men is absolutely necessary. There are many scammers out there who would willingly loot your money if you are not careful in your investment decisions. Study the opportunity before you invest in it. Any investment which promises to double your investment in three months should be looked at with suspicion.
He also asks us to take the advice of brickmakers regarding bricks and moneylenders regarding the matters of money.
The Fourth Law of Gold
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.
The Fifth Law of Gold
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
The final two laws state the emphasis on protecting your gold. The idea of protecting your capital is key to investment decisions in the modern world. There are many people who would come to you with amazing schemes to rob you of your money. A wise investor would first study the opportunity and then only part with his money.
Legendary investor warren Buffet says that there are two rules of investing:
- Don’t lose money.
- Don’t forget rule no. 1
We can see that even in the 21st century, the advice contained in the book written almost a hundred years ago remain valid. Human nature does not change and so does the laws of accumulating gold and becoming wealthy.
What is your take on this books and the five laws? If you have not read the book yet, I would highly recommend you to read the book.