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Why are some people rich?

Why are some people rich? Why do most of us barely make ends meet? Is there some magic formula to wealth? How does one become rich?

George S. Clason, in his book The Richest Man in Babylon, reveals some of the greatest lessons ever compiled on acquiring wealth. His parables use the people of the ancient city of Babylon to relate these principles. The book isn’t new, but being reprinted over the years is a tribute to its popularity and its wealth of information. These great financial lessons are so profound, yet so simple and easy to understand, when looked at through the eyes of everyday people.

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Some of the secrets of financial success Mr. Clason gives are:

– Save one tenth of your earnings.

– Control your expenditures.

– Wisely invest your savings.

– Own your own home.

– Save for retirement.

– Increase your ability to earn.

The first lesson is related through a parable about a man named Bansir who, like many of us today, finds himself getting older every year, but not any richer. With the help of a friend suffering similar financial troubles, he comes “to realize the reason why we never found any measure of wealth. We never sought it.”

Together they go to Arkad, a childhood friend who, though he began with similar assets and abilities, is now the richest man in Babylon. Arkad tells them: “If you have not acquired more than a bare existence in the years since we were youths, it is because you either have failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth, or else you do not observe them.”

Arkad relates how he learned the laws that govern the accumulation of wealth. He, too, was frustrated with his poor lot in life. Arkad was a scribe, carving clay tablets for others. One day a rich man was angry because his order of clay tablets was not ready for pickup. Arkad told the rich man that he would stay up all night and carve the tablets if he would only tell him the secrets to wealth. They made the deal. The next day the rich man returned to pick up his order, and to reveal one of the greatest laws of financial success:

A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should be not less than a tenth no matter how little you earn . . . Pay yourself first.”

In other words, save one-tenth of your earnings for the future.

This and the other lessons in this easy-to-read book are timeless and invaluable, if only we would apply them.

From The Richest Man in Babylon ©1955 by George S. Clason. Signet, Penguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014. ISBN# 0-451-16520-9; $3.99 (pbk.).

Here’s to your business success.

Jerry D Ross

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