The Richest Man in Babylon

Even a rich man’s pocket will become empty as he spends. The best way to measure wealth, therefore, isn’t by how much someone has saved, but by their incomes. All of this, in turn, depends on one’s attitudes and mindset.

My name is Seiiti Arata, founder of Arata Academy, and today, I’m sharing with you the annotated summary of George Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon. This is a very personal interpretation of the book. I’ve purposely left out passages that I don’t agree with very much, and given a greater emphasis to the points that I identify with. Click on this link to access the free e-book available from the Arata Academy email list.

If you want to find out about a surprise that I’m offering, and would like more information on the e-book, keep watching this video until the end.

The beginning of the book introduces us to two characters who decide to learn how to become wealthy. They go straight to Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, looking for advice.

What’s interesting is that eventually, they became friends with Arkad. They studied together, played together. At no point did Arkad appear to be smarter or more skilful than the two characters. When they looked back at the time they spent with Arkad, they couldn’t remember seeing him, the richest man in Babylon, working any harder than anyone else. So, what was his secret?

Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, begins to share his story. Before coming to the answer, there are three initial assumptions that need to be taken into account – take a minute to write them down.

First assumption. To enrich, it’s necessary to understand and practice the universal laws of enrichment.

There are two types of people who don’t accumulate wealth: those who don’t understand the laws of enrichment and those who, despite their understanding, don’t respect these universal laws. It doesn’t matter what you know, what’s important is what you do with the information you have. Knowledge without action is useless. That’s why in our financial enrichment course, Truly Wealthy, we teach practical concepts that’ll help you to change your behaviour.

Second assumption. Wealth is good

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Wealth is a catalyst for life. When you’re wealthy, it’s easier to experience life more fully. I usually say that wealth is like an amplifier. People with good intentions will do more good things. People with evil intentions, unfortunately, do evil. So, for good people, it’s good to get rich.

It’s necessary to see the positive potential that we could achieve if we were wealthy, in order to set the goals that’ll make us wealthy. I mean, you have to. Without a clear intention, nothing will fall into your lap. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Third assumption. It takes time and study

Everyone has time. It’s a matter of how you prioritise it. When I mention study, I mean you need to know how to look for information.

How did Arkad study the laws of becoming wealthy? Through a master.

As the story goes, Arkad wasn’t rich at first. He had nothing, just like the two friends who asked him for advice. To be able to pay his bills, he got a job as a scribe and the work was just enough to pay for his food each day.

One day Algamish came along. He was a very rich man who asked for an impossible service to be carried out on time. Arkad agreed that he’d work all night long to deliver the project, and in return, Algamish would tell Arkad how to become wealthy as well.

Make a note of the advice that the richest man in Babylon received in exchange for his work:

Out of all the money that you earn, a part of it is YOURS to keep.

This is the advice he received from Algamish and, with it, Arkad became the richest man in Babylon. Of all that you earn, one part is yours. To save.

But wait a minute, what do you mean? If I get my monthly salary, isn’t it technically all mine? No. Because a big chunk of it goes straight on rent: the money belongs to your landlord. A part of your salary goes towards paying for a health plan, and so the money belongs to the administrator of the plan, to the doctors. One chunk of it is spent on clothes and hence the money is not yours, it belongs to the shop owner. One part goes towards the financing of your car, so the money isn’t yours, it belongs to the dealership.

To become wealthy, we need to save a part of what we earn.

Under no circumstances, therefore, spend more than you earn. In fact, the richest man in Babylon suggests that you save at least 10% of everything you earn. If possible, save more than 10%.

If every year I can save 10% of what I earn … how much would I have after ten years?

Some might say that I’d have the equivalent of a year’s salary. But that’s not true. We can make money work for us. We can invest. Over the ten years, our savings will multiply.

Now … be careful!

When it comes to investing, trust your money in the hands of those who understand things. In the first year of his investments, Arkad gave all his money to a friend who was BRICK MAKER. He planned to travel through Phenicia to buy jewellery and resell it. It seemed like a good plan, but there was one downfall: the brick maker didn’t understand anything about jewellery at all. He was conned by the Phoenicians, who gave him pieces of stained glass in return for their savings. They lost everything.

Have you ever heard of a similar story in our day and age? About someone who ventures into an area that they know nothing about, and they end up losing everything?

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At least Arkad had already gotten into the habit of spending less than he earned. For the next twelve months, he continued to save and found a better investment: buying brass for a shield manufacturer.

We can clearly see how Arkad’s wealth has progressed: First, he saved a portion of what he earned by at least 10%. Then, he found a good investment. But there’s still an important piece of the puzzle that’s missing.

The profit that Arkad made from investing in bronze was being spent on lavish banquets, drinks and clothing. He was wasting all of his profits. His mentor, Algamish, scolded him and Arkad quickly learned that the fruits of his work could be planted to produce even more fruit.

Isn’t it simple?

To get rich, you must first want to. Then, you have to put everything you’ve got into learning and, finally, practice what you’ve learnt.

Why do we have to learn and practice? If you have access to our financial enrichment course, Truly Wealthy, you’ll have seen that we have over 30 specific classes with interactive activities to help change your behaviour, and therefore reap better results. The Richest Man in Babylon is just one of the hundreds of references we used to produce the Truly Wealthy course for you.

So, in today’s simple video about The Richest Man in Babylon, I want you to at least understand something very basic. The three commandments. Write down: Three commandments.


1. Spend less than you earn. At a minimum, save 10% of what you earn. If you can, save more, but don’t forget to still enjoy your life. It’s all about finding a middle ground. If you try and save all of your money, you’ll end up giving up halfway.

To control our spending, we have to understand that desires are infinite. It’s only natural that as we earn more, our expenses increase: we want a better car, a bigger house, better clothes, to go to better restaurants. This behaviour will lead anyone to ruin, no matter how rich they may be. Why is that? Because desires are infinite. There’s always going to be something new, more expensive, that we’re going to want to buy. Before you buy anything, always think of the rule of spending less than you earn. This is how we set the spending for our desires, and also content ourselves with living a life in which desires might not be fully satisfied.

There is a type of expense that falls into a special category – mortgages. A piece of advice is to try and own your own home, so that you don’t end up spending your life paying rental fees.

This piece of advice is something that needs to be evaluated carefully, as it’s not an absolute rule. Firstly, there’s no point in taking out a mortgage if the interest rates are ridiculously high. It might make more sense to rent for longer until you find a fair price. Here’s another thing to take into consideration: more and more new generations want mobility. Buying the first property they see might stop them from being able to meet new opportunities in their lives.

On the other hand, when the property is well chosen, usually in an area that is lacking in infrastructure and benefits, and therefore has a good potential for greater urbanisation, it’s a type of investment that tends to value a lot. A well-maintained property can be a valuable financial asset.


2. Make good choices. Just consider counsels of people who know what they’re talking about. From experienced and well-meaning people.

Don’t waste your money. As you become wealthier, you’ll come across a lot of “unmissable” opportunities. Instead of being enchanted with the possibility of incredible gains with a high amount of risk, choose lower risk opportunities. Although they might offer smaller gains, at least they’re certain. Investments with good liquidity are those that you can drop out of when you need to.

You know, in life, we will be exposed to many opportunities. Do you know what a PROCRASTINATOR is? A procrastinator someone who puts things off, someone who spends their time doing less important things in order to avoid the most important ones. They let opportunities pass, leaving them for later. They tell themselves that they don’t have the time to do them.

The Richest Man in Babylon teaches us a really interesting lesson about productivity. One of the biggest setbacks in our finances is our lack of decision-making abilities. There are opportunities that don’t come around often: we need to know how to analyse them and grab them before our circumstances change. Not deciding anything is also a decision… and it might just be the worst decision out of all of them.

Without having absolute control of our habit of procrastinating, we fail to master this enemy. Let’s think: no-one leaves the front door open on purpose and invites thieves into their homes. Right?

So why is it that often, we’re happy to waste our time with uselessness? Doing things today that’ll only cause us problems tomorrow … and leaving things that could begin today for another day? This is a question that we need to reflect on.


Invest your savings so they bring results. Replant the fruits. Choose low risk investments that provide definite profits. Avoid losing money in risky operations, scams that offer astronomical gains with little effort. Avoid investing in things that you don’t understand. First, acquire knowledge.

Building on the idea of ​​spending less than you earn, there’s another idea that I like a lot. Increase your ability to earn more.

One of the most direct ways to do this is to seek excellence. Whatever your job, it’s always possible to examine the results of other colleagues’ work and to understand which are reaping the best results. Usually, they’re those who work harder, with more passion, more persistence, more curiosity, more interest, more ethics, more concentration. The commitment to these factors is rewarded over time and allows for greater recognition and more fruit to harvest.

Look … It’s always possible to improve the quality of our services, the price of our products, the speed at which we deliver results, the affection and respect we show our customers, or your dedication to the work that’s expected by your employer, by their teammates. We can always improve and for this we need to be humble. To be open to criticism.

Another way to invest well is in knowledge. If I have money in my pocket today, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll still be there tomorrow. Good knowledge helps me to earn more consistently. Mainly knowledge of finance, entrepreneurship, professional qualification, communication. This will all help me through life. Invest in knowledge.

Note that this usually bears fruit slowly but consistently. They say that what comes easy, goes easy. In fact, what comes effortlessly or without knowledge goes easy because knowledge is going to help keep the fruits around.

I don’t recommend investing in areas you don’t know much about. But even no knowledge is a starting point: if I save at least 10% of my earnings, how will I invest them? Acquiring knowledge.

This knowledge doesn’t need to be merely theoretical, quite the opposite actually: the more practical, the better. Therefore, an important form of wealth growth is volunteering. This means approaching profitable areas and offering to help for free, in exchange for the experience. Experience is worth more than money. This will greatly advance your experience and profit potential.

One of the golden rules from The Richest man in Babylon is to invest money under the guidance of people who know what they’re doing. My personal comment is that it’s no use for a man to be wise, he must be reliable. In different places around the world, there are people left, right and centre who push pyramid schemes on you, full of false promises. Even respected banks have financial products filled with administration fees and other items that suck money out of your account instead of providing you with a net profit.

Let’s review the three principles:

Spend less than you earn

Make good choices

Invest to reap the best results

This was a very quick video, but here’s the link to download the e-book that I promised at the start. Click on this link here to not only access the e-book – and here’s the secret I promised you: there’s also a bonus class! This bonus lesson isn’t available on YouTube and it’s exclusive to those who download the e-book. Hope you like it! I’m Seiiti Arata from Arata Academy, and this was our video summarising and commenting on the classic book The Richest Man in Babylon.

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