14 insights about getting rich from a 90-year-old book on wealth that's still relevant today

Nearly a century ago, George S. Clason boiled down what it takes to get rich in his 1926 personal finance classic “The Richest Man in Babylon.” — and the steps are surprisingly simple.

He articulates the steps through a collection of amusing parables based in the wealthiest city of the ancient world: Babylon.

We scoured Clason’s pages to come up with some of his best insights about investing, success, and accumulating and growing your personal wealth:

The money you save and invest can earn even more.

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'Every gold piece you save is a slave to work for you. Every copper it earns is its child that also can earn for you. If you would become wealthy, then what you save must earn, and its children must earn, that all may help to give to you the abundance you crave.'

Pay yourself first.

'I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. And so will you.

'Impress yourself with the idea. Fill yourself with the thought. Then take whatever portion seems wise. Let it be not less than one-tenth and lay by it.'

Control your expenses, particularly when your income increases.

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'Now I will tell thee an unusual truth about men and sons of men. It is this: That what each of us calls our 'necessary expenses' will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary.'

Think long term.

'Which desirest thou the most? Is it the gratification of thy desires of each day, a jewel, a bit of finery, better raiment, more food; things quickly gone and forgotten?

'Or is it substantial belongings, gold, lands, herds, merchandise, income-bringing investments? The coins thou tamest from thy purse bring the first. The coin thou leaves within it will bring the latter.'

Make your money work for you.

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'The gold we may retain from our earnings is but the start. The earnings it will make shall build our fortunes.'

You have to be smart to keep the money you have.

'Without wisdom, gold is quickly lost by those who have it, but with wisdom, gold can be secured by those who have it not.'

You can't get rich quick.


'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.'

Procrastination can sabotage your goals.

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'The spirit of procrastination is within all men. We desire riches; yet, how often when opportunity doth appear before us, that spirit of procrastination from within doth urge various delays in our acceptance. In listening to it we do become our own worst enemies.'

Constantly self-educate.

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'The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded.'

Don't forget to enjoy the ride.

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'Enjoy life while you are here. Do not overstrain or try to save too much. If one-tenth of all you earn is as much as you can comfortably keep, be content to keep this portion. Life is good and life is rich with things worthwhile and things to enjoy.'

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