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The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason book summar

The Richest Man in Babylon is a 1926 book by George S. Clason that dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set 4,000 years ago in

 “The Richest Man in Babylon” book is written by “George Samuel Clason”, a best-selling author and speaker. His book has been translated into many languages. This book teaches the importance of building a large and successful business. George Samuel Clason was an American author.

He is most often associated with his book The Richest Man in Babylon, first published in 1926 by George S. Clason and dispensed financial advice through a collection of parables set 8,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. Here are the most important takeaways and how you can apply them to live your rich life (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason book summar

The Richest Man in Babylon introduces the reader to the secrets of wealth, as used by the ancient civilizations of the world. It deals with finances, how to plan financially for your life, how to deal with your wealth, and how that affects your life. 

Babylon is one of the most well-known cities of all time, it is known throughout history for being a hugely wealthy and influential city, yet one that was destroyed and has not risen. All of Babylon’s riches were self-made. The city did not have the natural resources one would expect a city so rich to have. Still, through the wisdom of its rulers, it rose above these constraints to become a prosperous empire that has never been forgotten by history. Money is governed today by the same laws which controlled it when successful men thronged the streets of Babylon six thousand years ago.

Money is plentiful for those who understand the simple rules of its acquisition.

1 – Start the purse to fatten

2 – Control the expenditure

3 – Make the gold multiple 

4 – Guard the treasures from loss

5 – Make of the dwelling a profitable investment

6 – Insure a future income 

7 – Increase the ability to earn

This book deals with the personal successes of all of us. Success means accomplishments as the result of our efforts and abilities. Proper preparation is the key to our success. Our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts. Outthinking can be no more intelligent than our understanding. Also, this book aims to offer those who are ambitious for financial success an insight that will aid them in acquiring money, keeping money, and making their surpluses earn more money.

Historical sketch of Babylon

In history, there was no city more glamorous than Babylon. Its very name conjures visions of wealth and splendor. Its treasures of gold and jewels were fabulous. It was located beside the Euphrates river in a flat, arid valley. It had no forests, no mines- not even stone for building. It was not even located on a natural trade route.

The rainfall was sufficient to raise crops. Babylon is an outstanding example of man’s ability to achieve great objectives, using whatever means are at his disposal. All of the resources supporting this large city were man-developed. All of its riches were artificial (The Richest Man in Babylon).

As a city, Babylon exists no more. The city’s site is in Asia, about six hundred miles east of the Suez Canal, just north of the Persian Gulf. The latitude is about thirty degrees above the Equator, practically the same as that of Yuma, Arizona. Today the valley of Euphrates, once a populous irrigated farming district, is again a wind-swept arid waste (The Richest Man in Babylon).

 In this, it is proved that 8000 years ago, the Sumerities, who inhabited Babylonia, lived in walled cities. They were educated and enlightened people. So far as written history goes, they were the first engineers, the first astronomers, the first mathematicians, the first financiers, and the first people to have a written language (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The city of Babylon was organized much like a modern city. There were streets and shops. Peddlers offered their wares through residential districts. Priests officiated in magnificent temples in the town was an inner enclosure for the royal palaces. The walls about this were said to have been higher than the city. The Babylonians were skilled in the arts. These include sculpture, painting, weaving, gold working, and manufacturing metal weapons and agricultural implements. Their jewellers created the most artistic jewelry.

Many samples have been recovered from the graves of its wealthy citizens and are now on exhibition in the world’s leading museums. The Babylonians were clever financiers and traders. So far as we know, they were the original inventors of money as a means of exchange, promissory notes, and written titles to property (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The man who desires gold

This first chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book; we are introduced to a chariot maker, Bansir, and his friend Kobbi, a lyre player. These two fellows are talking together as modern-day friends might, commiserating about their shared plight. Each man has spent his entire life working, working, but they have nothing to show for it. Kobbi finds Bansir sitting on a wall, daydreaming rather than finishing the half-made chariot in his workshop. He asks Bansir for a loan since it appears he must have plenty of money for his lack of industry (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Bansir tells his friend of his dream, where he had all the money he desired, enough to spend on everything his heart wanted. But he awoke and found himself in his dire condition, living hand-to-mouth, with no savings or investments to provide him with an income.

Sharing the dream, both men wonder aloud how some people eventually move beyond the situation they find themselves in. They’ve hoped that hard work alone would be enough to magically transform their lives into leisurely ones (The Richest Man in Babylon).

As they talk, they realize that most men are born into similar circumstances – they even observe a line of enslaved people being driven to work carrying water to the king’s gardens, noting that they could just as quickly have traded fortunes with any one of them. Likewise, they discuss the great fortune of their old friend Arkad, who is known as the richest man in Babylon. How does Arkad have such a great fortune, yet they have nothing? Together, they finally decide to learn how to provide themselves with a fortune is to talk with their friend, Arkad, the wealthy merchant (The Richest Man in Babylon).


● To guide yourself on the path to wealth, it is essential to learn from those who have experience in achieving wealth.

● Main Idea While almost everyone concedes that money isn’t everything and that there are some things money cannot buy, it is also a fact that money is the medium by which worldly success is measured. From this perspective, wealth is a scorecard by which people measure themselves (The Richest Man in Babylon).

● Money represents success only through its ability to provide freedom to do things. It is not an end in and of itself – only a means to an end. The possession of sufficient amounts of capital makes possible the enjoyment of the very best services and goods the world has to offer.

● Many people have convinced themselves money has a way of avoiding them like the plague. This belief is usually based on their experience in which they are consistently cashing short and scrambling to pay bills. In actuality, however, money is plentiful for anyone who understands the laws which govern its acquisition.

● To secure significant amounts of money, it is probably better to spend less time lamenting the bad luck of the past and more time focusing on the laws of acquisition of capital (The Richest Man in Babylon).

● A far better approach is to believe that money can be attracted and governed by set laws and principles and to focus on learning and applying those laws to reap the rewards.

The richest man in Babylon

 So Bansir and Kobbi, among other friends in similar situations, ask their friend Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, to share the secret of his great fortune. In answer, Arkad shares his story.

As a young man, Arkad was in the same boat as Bansir, Kobbi, and the others – working, working, working, and never getting anywhere financially. Then, through his job, he became acquainted with a money lender, Algamash, who Arkad decides to ask the same question of him now – how to become a rich man (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Algamash provides Arkad with the first lesson: part of all you earn is yours to keep. This is that age-old saying we’ve heard often – Pay yourself first. It’s simple enough, but if you don’t put it into practice, you won’t know the vast benefit of such a habit. As Arkad learned, paying oneself a tenth of everything he earns teaches a man to live just as well with the remaining 90% (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Later on, Arkad has gotten into the habit of putting away that tenth. We learn the second lesson. Arkad built up a bit of money and decided to take the advice of his friend, the bricklayer, to invest in some gemstones. Algamash points out the folly of taking advice from a bricklayer about gemstones, as Arkad learns by losing all his savings. Lesson two from Algamash: take advice only from those that are experienced in the matter of your questions.

After a time, Algamash returned to check on Arkad. He had learned from his mistake and invested on the advice of businessmen who dealt in the goods and earned nice dividends. When asked what he had done with the earnings from his savings, Arkad proudly told Algamash of the feast he had given, the clothing he had purchased for his wife, and his plans to buy a donkey for himself to ride upon.

At this news, Algamash admonished Arkad – if you take the children of your gold and make the children produce children, you’ll enjoy many a rich banquet without regret. The third lesson: take advantage of compounding of returns (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Anyone with a desire to accumulate wealth and put it to good use requires two things:


In fact, everyone has time in abundance, but only a few use it to make themselves rich. Instead of looking for constructive, valuable ways to apply the resource of time, many people fill their lives with diverse activities that help them pass the time (The Richest Man in Babylon).


Two kinds of learning are helpful to anyone seeking to generate wealth – learning about specific subjects and learning how to find out what is not commonly known about any topic. Both kinds of learning are helpful and valuable (The Richest Man in Babylon). 

There are several basic principles that apply to the acquisition of wealth:

Live on less than you earn. Most people labor to pay their bills. They feel successful when they can get to the end of the month and spend all their accounts and obligations. Yet, at best, this is just treading water from the perspective of building wealth. A fundamental change in attitude comes when a person commits to pay themselves first each month before anyone else. It can be as much or as little as thought-wise, just so long as the amount saved is one-tenth or more. The vast majority of people are accustomed to spending everything they have available (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Therefore, if a person pays themselves first and then lives on the remainder of their income, their lifestyle will adjust accordingly. Before long, the person will not even be aware they are living on less, and their capital reserves will gradually increase. There is a tremendous feeling of pride, self-control, and progress which comes from the establishment of a regular savings program. In everyone’s lifetime, a lot of money passes through their hands over the years. If a person keeps just a tiny proportion of that money, they will eventually have a sizeable pool of capital available (The Richest Man in Babylon).

These seven secrets or seven ways of filling your bag are:

1. Start thy purse to fattening – Start filling your bag. Of every ten coins you earn, spend only nine of them. You will see how your bag starts filling quickly. You will know that you can arrange it anyway with this income, and you will be earning money quickly. Save at least 10% of your income (The Richest Man in Babylon).

2. Control thy expenditure – Control your expenses. What we call obligatory expenses to grow in proportion to our income if we don’t do something to avoid this. Make sure to distinguish your desire from your needs. Budget what you will need to buy based on 9/10s of your income.

 3. Make thy gold multiply- Make your gold fructify. Make your gold work for you, then its sons and the sons of this sons. Investing your gold: Loans, opportunities. Gold multiplies fast. Make sure that your money is working for you (The Richest Man in Babylon).

 4. Guard thy treasures against loss – Protect your gold from any loss. If you have gold, you will be tempted to invest in an attractive project. Assure your capital. It’s not true romantics make a fast fortune. Ask the wise people about what they know. Ensure that you are investing in safe ventures, and ask for advice from clever people about how to invest. 

 5. Make your house a profitable investment – Make your property a rental investment. If you can eat grapes from your vineyard and have a lovely house, it inspires you to finish your duties. Own your own home (The Richest Man in Babylon). 

6. Insure a future income – Assure future incomes. Foresee some income for your old age and your family. For this purpose, you can buy land and houses. To provide for your own getting older and looking after your family.

 7. Increase thy ability to earn – Increase your ability to acquire goods. The more knowledge you have, the more money you make. So always seek to learn more and become wiser, which will help you financially (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Meet the Goddesses of good luck

In this chapter, Arkad addresses the king’s chosen 100. He is talking about luck, as he is asked if it is possible to encourage chance in life as everybody harbors a desire to be lucky. Arkad starts by talking about gambling – he says that while it is unlikely yet possible to win a large amount of money in this way, he wonders whether this way of earning money really will bring good fortune with that money (The Richest Man in Babylon).

He says he knows not a rich man who has started being rich this way. He says that his view is that good luck instead comes to people who do not procrastinate but rather accept opportunities when they reach their way. Those who hesitate, procrastinate, and fail to take chances do not attract good luck. Still, the goddess of good luck favors people willing to jump into opportunities. Arkad once again reiterates to the men that they should invest at least 1/10 of what they earn (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Main Idea Good luck comes to the person who accepts the opportunity. Supporting Ideas Everyone hopes to attract good life in their business careers. The desire to be lucky is universal. Unfortunately, some people believe luck is entirely in the lap of the Gods and that nothing one does can possibly influence the amount of luck one enjoys. In reality, however, many people have excellent opportunities presented to them, which they fail to take full advantage of because of procrastination.

To attract good luck, a person must take advantage of every opportunity. The person of action, who can jump at whatever business propositions are presented, is in a stronger position to attract good luck than the type of person who sits back and waits for everything to be delivered on a plate (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The gold lender from Babylon

The king has given Rodan fifty gold pieces in exchange for his magnificent spears. As Rodan walks away from the palace, he wonders to what end he should use his gold. Several days pass and Rodan is still trying to figure out what to do with his gold. His sister has approached him and asked for a loan so that her husband can become a merchant. However, Rodan is still determining if this would be the best investment of his money, so he decides to seek the advice of Mathon, the gold lender (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The walls of Babylon

Bazar was a warrior who guarded the passageway to Babylon. Bazar was the first person to tell of news when the city was besieged; we find Banzar holding counsel during an attack on Babylon. Many villagers ask Banzar for information, and Banzar consoles each of them in the personal way they need to hear. Bazar kept guard day and night and watched the enemies of Babylon try to break into the city. After three weeks and five days, the town’s defenses proved how good they were, and the attackers were defeated (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Bazar keeps watch over all of this, and when the enemies are defeated, he uses this to prove to the citizens who had been asking for counsel from him that he had been proved correct and that Babylon had been strong enough to withstand the force of all the armies of the enemy. Bazar uses this to illustrate the city’s strength and the following message to the citizens: “we cannot afford to be without adequate protection.”

The lesson: In this case, there are two lessons –

protection is something that must be planned to meet the needs of the situation.

In our financial lives, we plan security in many ways: through insurance for life, health, and property; with the diversification of our investments; and by choosing investments with risks appropriate to our ability to absorb losses, among other things (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The second lesson comes from Old Bazar himself. Having experienced many battles upon those walls and therefore being in the position to know that the defense was up to the task, he was able to reassure the citizens that all would be well. Much the same as the citizens of Babylon, we often hear day in and day out of the terrible things going on with the markets, the economy, and so forth (The Richest Man in Babylon).

It is helpful to have an advisor or mentor who knows how the “defenses” work in our times of need. This experienced person is in a position to know what is going on and to help reassure us that all will be well. Know what is going on, and help soothe us so that all will be well (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The camel trader from Babylon

In this chapter, we are introduced to Tarkad, a young fellow who has fallen upon hard times. He owes money to everyone he knows and can not even come up with enough money to buy a simple meal to keep from starving. He considers stealing some food, but his forays into theft in the past have taught him the lesson that that is not the way to go.

So he finds himself hanging around outside an inn, hoping to see a friendly face among the folks coming in to dine at the inn. Instead, he finds Dabasir, the wealthy camel trader to whom Tarkad owes a small amount of money (The Richest Man in Babylon). 

Debaser asks Tarkad for the repayment, to which Tarkad explains he has suffered much misfortune and, as such, does not have the money to repay him. Debaser rebukes his excuse but then invites Tarkad to join him in the eating house so that he might tell him a tale.

The tale, boiled down, is of how Dabasir had once been subject to slavery in his youth. Then, through wanton spending and living for the day, he became so heavily in debt that he could not only not pay the debts, he could no longer support his wife. So she left him and went back to live with her father (The Richest Man in Babylon).

After a time, Dabasir could find no gainful employment and take to a life of robbery. As you might expect, his success was short-lived, and he was caught and enslaved. It might not seem so, but this is where good fortune shone on young Dabasir; he happened to be sold to a man who required him to attend to his wife’s camels (The Richest Man in Babylon).

This wife, Sira, notices that Dabasir is not like the other slaves, much the same as she was not like the master’s other wives. Sira then approaches Dabasir with a life-changing question: “Do you have the soul of a slave or the soul of a free man? If a man has within him the soul of a free man, will he not become respected and honored in his city despite his misfortune?”

Pondering these words, Dabasir becomes determined to face up to his debts, become respected and honored, and truly live the life of a free man. Fortune worked in his favor again, as Sira helped him escape his slavery – but his journey back to his homeland was arduous. Many times he wanted to give up and die (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Over and over, he told himself that the soul of an enslaved person would give up and allow the winds of circumstance to direct him – but a free man would stand up for himself and, through sheer determination, make his way through the difficulties to get back to Babylon and face his debtors (The Richest Man in Babylon).

So, of course, he did, and over time paid off all of his debts and became a respected and honored man in his own country. The details of how Dabasir paid off his debts are covered in the book’s next section.

Lesson: Self-pity and allowing the circumstances to direct your life are the actions of a man or woman with the soul of an enslaved person. Taking charge of those circumstances in your life, and taking action when action is needed, are the ways of a man or woman with a free soul. The only way to make yourself successful is to take on the mantle of the free man’s soul, having the courage and determination to be accountable and, eventually, honored and respected (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The clay tablets from Babylon

Here the five tablets that contain the secret to wealth are discovered in Mesopotamia five thousand years after they were written. Alfred Shrewsbury, an archaeologist, reported the findings on the tablets to Professor Franklin Caldwell. This chapter deals with the letter he wrote and what the pills contained. The tablets told the story of Dabasir’s return to Babylon and his plan to repay his debts and start his life over again (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Alfred writes to Professor Caldwell and tells him that he and his wife have started to follow the lessons detailed in the tablets. Even though the tables were thousands of years old, he found the lessons helped him in life, and he says, “There is more pleasure in running up a surplus than there could be in spending it.”

This chapter is composed of several letters back and forth between an archeologist digging up the ruins of old Babylon and his colleague at St. Swithin’s College of Nottingham University. The subject of the letters is a collection of clay tablets that the archeologist has delivered to the college – supposedly the record of our friend old Dabasir’s financial affairs. In these clay tablets, we find the details of how Dabasir worked his way out of debt (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The surprising thing, to both Dabasir and later the professor at St. Swithin’s, was that getting along on 70% of his earnings was not as difficult as he thought it would be. Soon enough, the debts were disappearing in both cases, and the savings were accumulating. In due time, both men retired all of their obligations, had increased protection, and learned to live on much less than they earned. These are keys to financial success (The Richest Man in Babylon).

In the letters, the professor at St. Swithin’s is telling his colleague, the archeologist, that the details written on the clay tablets have opened his eyes to a new way to deal with his financial affairs and then in a subsequent letter, he explains that the formula used by old Dabasir has changed his life.

Here is the lesson:

If you find yourself dealing with a debt situation that’s out of control, the only way to “fix” it, is to organize your information and start attacking the problem..

Old Dabasir details on the clay tablets how he used the first rule, saving one-tenth of all his earnings, to build up his savings. Then, he made a list of all his creditors, including the amounts owed (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Next, he took this opportunity to visit each individual, explaining that he could not pay off the debt. Finally, he took his list of debts to show them and explained to each that this debt would be serviced by two-tenths of his earnings, each debt in proportion.

Some of his creditors rebuked him – saying they needed all the money returned immediately. Others were happy to hear that he was getting out of debt. In the end, all had no choice but to accept his offer, which he attended to religiously. Each time he earned money, one-tenth went into his savings, two-tenths was split among his creditors evenly, and the remaining seven-tenths he and his wife used for food, clothing, and other needs (The Richest Man in Babylon).

There’s no magic to it, but those particular proportions work well for some reason and provide success to anyone who undertakes the plan. Very important to the success of this plan is to write down your debts and to talk to your creditors to explain your project (The Richest Man in Babylon).

Take advantage of this step, as you’ll either cause problems for yourself when the creditors need help understanding or underestimate the size of your debt. Writing it down will put you in a position to track your progress as you begin retiring the debt, as well, which can be very helpful to keep you motivated through the process. Sticking to the plan and having the discipline to carry it out is all that remains for you to succeed (The Richest Man in Babylon).

The luckiest man in Babylon

Here we meet Sharru Nada, traveling with his partner’s grandson, Hadan Galu. Sharru tells Hadan that he was once enslaved and counted himself as hugely lucky as he was sold to a baker, and he was so happy to learn the trade of a baker.

He told Hadan that his grandfather had also been enslaved but was close to buying his freedom. When Sharru and Arad, Hadan’s grandfather, met next, Arad was freed, and Sharru was sold to another master. Finally, Arad bought Sharru’s freedom, and this story touched Hadan’s heart. Hadan, from that moment on, decides that work is the only key to his future success (The Richest Man in Babylon). 

In a nutshell, the grandfather and Sharru Nada had each found themselves in dismal financial straits. But, learning from one another and listening to the successful people around them, each applied the lessons discussed throughout the book.


 This book deals with the personal successes of all of us. Success means accomplishments as the result of our efforts and abilities. Proper preparation is the key to our success. Our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts.

We always dream about being rich.we don’t do anything that we actually should be doing so that our dream of getting reached. some essential tips for dreams come true:-

1 – You can never be rich if you spend everything you earn, save at least 10%, and invest it.

2 – Always take the advice of experts in that field.

3 – Do is not cutting the tree of your savings before the fruit comes.

Till it reaches a point where spending doesn’t make a difference 

Wealth is just like a tree. The seeds of which are like saving for us. Only when we show that seed today. It will grow into a tree for tomorrow, and one day this tree(wealth) will increase so much that we will enjoy life with fruits.



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Education Learn Solution - Best Platform to Explore Books.: The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason book summar
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason book summar
The Richest Man in Babylon is a 1926 book by George S. Clason that dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set 4,000 years ago in
Education Learn Solution - Best Platform to Explore Books.
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