This book, first published in 1926, is a classic for those in the personal finance world. The text tells lessons about how to become wealthy, but through a narrative story of a young man approaching a rich older man. The book can be a little hard to follow in its original text, because it is full of a "hast" and "thou" style of writing. Ultimately it gives sound financial advice throughout. It can also be read in less than a few hours for those willing to sacrifice the time.
Tackled in the book include home ownership, savings, controlling your expenditures, having your money work for you, guarding yourself from poor investments and much more.
This is a really good book for anyone that is just starting their personal finance journey with their first job out of school. Personally, I wish I would have gotten into personal finance more as a 20 year old rather than a 30 year old. Lessons like the ones found in "The Richest Man in Babylon" would probably have made me even more money than I have. The story is more about discipline than anything really.
What Did I Learn?
1. The lessons in this book are a little more fundamental (i.e. save 10% of your income) than what you see in books such as Rich Dad Poor Dad or The Millionaire Next Door. Like I said above the story is better serving for those starting out, but there are some lessons for the veterans of the personal finance world.
2. The book doesn't get into the stock market by any means, but it does talk about the difference between a wise and an un-wise investment. One could take this information and apply it to stocks.
3. Unlike a number of other books this book focuses in on home ownership. This story promotes ownership of a home, where more modern books kind of volleyball that point back-and-forth vs. renting.
4. One of my favorites was the Sixth Cure: Insure for a Future Income. This is where retirement and investment accounts fall into the equation. Like most modern beliefs such as The 4% Rule are examples of this.
5. I learned that what I am doing is not a bad plan. My biggest obstacle would probably be increasing my income level. The important thing to take away is not allowing for lifestyle creep when I do get an increase, which is something everyone should be careful of.
About the Author
Andy Rupert is a Penn State (B.A. John Curley Center for Sports Journalism 08') and a Southern Miss (M.S. Sport Management 09'). He has spent his whole career working in sports and tourism digital marketing and metrics.