The Richest Man in Babylon (1926)

The secret to building wealth is to save and invest wisely.

Have you ever wondered why some people are better at acquiring wealth than others? Is it because they are thrifty and stuff every penny they save into their mattress, while others squander what they earn on all kinds of trinkets?

In fact, the secret of becoming wealthy lies somewhere in between these two extremes: to become wealthy, you must not just hoard money, but also know how to use it wisely.

Of course, the first thing you must do is save up money.

Obviously this means you can’t spend everything you earn, and must therefore live slightly below your means. Perhaps you can, for example, cut back on those little luxuries in life, like the city-weekend in Paris you had planned, or the quilted luxury toilet paper you buy – the regular stuff will get the job done just as well!

But saving up money in this way is not sufficient for you to become wealthy. You must also seek investment opportunities.

This is because the money in your mattress won’t increase in value. Even putting it into a bank will only generate a measly interest.

Instead, you have to invest your savings in something that will generate more wealth, like stocks, government bonds, or funding start-ups. If you do this right, your savings will increase in value with no extra effort on your part.

Whenever you do make an investment though, be sure to do so wisely: only entrust your savings to people who know how to use them.

For example, you shouldn’t give a lumberjack your money because he says he’s going to set up a business buying and selling diamonds. On the other hand, giving your money to a hedge fund to invest wisely can make sense; they probably know the market better than you.

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