When I made my list of top ten money books, some readers questioned why The Richest Man in Babylon did not make the cut. I did consider adding George Clason’s timeless classic on personal finance but in the end I went with The Wealthy Barber instead because the latter has a more modern take on the same topic.
It turns out that The Richest Man is now in the public domain and you can download the book over at the Where Does All My Money Go? website.
If you can get past the slightly grating “thou” and “thy”, the book has some sensible advice such as this:
THE FIVE LAWS OF GOLD
I. 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.
II. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.
III. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.
IV. 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.
V. 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.