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This is part of our book summary series! We are reading through the most popular finance books and summarizing them here! We find that most finance books are either repetitive or sales-driven and so our goal with the summaries is to only showcase the useful or interesting content from the book. I have you enjoy! 

Table of Contents

1.  Ratings
3.  TL;DR
4.  Full Notes

The Richest Man in Babylon Summary



How difficult: Entry Level
How useful: For entry-level, quite useful.
How annoying: A bit repetitive, but the stories make for a quick read.



“Like the law of gravity, these laws of money are universal and unchanging.”

“Our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts. Our thinking can be no wiser than our understanding.”

“Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.”

“When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure.”

“Give them a choice of gold and wisdom—what do they do? Ignore the wisdom and waste the gold. On the morrow they wail because they have no more gold.”

“If a man has in himself the soul of a slave will he not become one no matter what his birth, even as water seeks its level?”

“Ill fortune pursues every man who thinks more of borrowing than of repaying.”

“The soul of a free man looks at life as a series of problems to be solved and solves them, while the soul of a slave whines, 'What can I do, who am I but a slave?”



  • Save 10% of what you earn and make it work for you (invest it).

  • Only invest in what you know. 

  • Only take advice from those who are versed in the topics you are inquiring about (never trust a baker to buy good jewels). 

  • Seek to improve your skills so you can better serve those who are paying you.

  • Good luck is showered on those who are prepared for an opportunity and take action.

Full Notes

Full Notes

  • This is another ‘Start Here’ book. This could be the first book you ever read about investing. 

  • Written in 1920! This is a collection of parables, so it reads differently than most finance books.

  •  Story summary 1: Seven Cures for a Lean Purse 

    • 1: Save 10% of earnings so that you can invest it. 

    • 2. Only buy what you need, not what you desire. Sit down, be humble.

      •  Abbreviated quote: Some earn more and some earn less, how is it that you are all still poor? Your spending is out of control. You will never satisfy all desires. Learn to properly budget your paycheck. 

      • If you have debt: live on 70%, use 20% to pay off debt, and invest the other 10%.

    • 3: Make your savings work for you. Invest that shit. 

    • 4. Study what you invest. If you are investing emotionally, you are taking far too high a risk. 

      • Invest in what you know and love. 

      • Only take advice from successful individuals and only take advice from experts in their industry (you wouldn't go to the baker to value jewels).

    • 5. Turn your expenses into investments. (buy a house which will appreciate value)

      • Rent is a necessary expense. If you are smart about what property you buy, it can serve as an investment of sorts. 

    • 6. Plan for retirement 

    • 7. Seek to increase your skills so you can better serve those who pay you. Cultivate thy own powers. 

  • Meet the Goddess of Good Luck

    • “To me she is a goddess of love and dignity whose pleasure it is to aid those who are in need and to reward those who are deserving.”

    • Gambling is a game designed for the house. You will never find luck in a casino.

    • The goddess of good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunities. “Men of action please her best.”

    • Position yourself to be adjacent to opportunity. 

    • Every man must master his own spirit of procrastination before he can expect to share in the rich treasures of Babylon.”

  • Commentary on Socialism

    • In parable fashion, the author makes the following two statements:

    • The king was thoughtful for some time. Then he asked, "Why should so few men be able to acquire all the gold?"
      "Because they know how," replied the Chancellor.
      "One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability."
      “We should teach the poor how to manage their money.” 

    • “He (those with adequate wealth) must have compassion upon those who are injured and smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits.”


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