I’ve been in the midst of a move, job change, and it all happened QUICK. As things begin to settle down, Jack and I will be back posting more and we are looking forward to ending the year strong, and beginning 2019 even stronger.
With that being said, I have continued my growth of knowledge by reading to help with keeping sane through the move! I found the below passages so moving that before heading to bed it felt right to share. Let me know what you think.
From Chapter 1, the Richest Man in Babylon. This story was a reflection from Arkad, who at the time was approached by two gentlemen who had recently become interested in building wealth. They were wary due to having worked their whole life with intense labor, yet not being able to enjoy the finer things from that hard work. Because of this, they decided to ask Arkad how to become wealthy, who then tells the story of his own path to wealth.
‘Algamish, you are a very rich man. Tell me how I may also become rich, and all night I will carve upon the clay, and when the sun rises it shall be completed.’
“He smiled at me and replied, ‘You are a forward knave, but we will call it a bargain.’
“All that night I carved, though my back pained and the smell of the wick made my head ache until my eyes could hardly see. But when he returned at sunup, the tablets were complete.
” ‘Now,’ I said, ‘tell me what you promised.’
” ‘You have fulfilled your part of our bargain, my son,’ he said to me kindly, ‘and I am ready to fulfill mine. I will tell you these things you wish to know because I am becoming an old man, and an old tongue loves to wag. And when youth comes to age for advice he receives the wisdom of years. But too often does youth think that age knows only the wisdom of days that are gone, and therefore profits not. But remember this, the sun that shines today is the sun that shone when thy father was born, and will still be shining when thy last grandchild shall pass into the darkness.
” ‘The thoughts of youth,’ he continued, ‘are bright lights that shine forth like the meteors that oft make brilliant the sky, but the wisdom of age is like the fixed stars that shine so unchanged that the sailor may depend upon them to steer his course.
” ‘Mark you well my words, for if you do not you will fail to grasp the truth that I will tell you, and you will think that your night’s work has been in vain.’
“Then he looked at me shrewdly from under his shaggy brows and said in a low, forceful tone, ‘I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. And so will you.’
“Then he continued to look at me with a glance that I could feel pierce me but said no more.
” ‘Is that all?’ I asked.
” ‘That was sufficient to change the heart of a sheep herder into the heart of a money lender,’ he
” ‘But all I earn is mine to keep, is it not?’ I demanded.
” ‘Far from it,’ he replied. ‘Do you not pay the garment- maker? Do you not pay the sandal-
maker? Do you not pay for the things you eat? Can you live in Babylon without spending? What have you to show for your earnings of the past mouth? What for the past year? Fool! You pay to everyone but yourself. Dullard, you labor for others. As well be a slave and work for what your master gives you
to eat and wear. If you did keep for yourself one-tenth of all 26you earn, how much would you have in ten years?’
“My knowledge of the numbers did not forsake me, and I answered, ‘As much as I earn in one year.’
” ‘You speak but half the truth,’ he retorted. ‘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.
” ‘You think I cheat you for your long night’s work,’ he continued, ‘but I am paying you a thousand times over if you have the intelligence to grasp the truth I offer you.
” ‘A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should be not less than a tenth no matter how little you earn. It can be as much more as you can afford. Pay yourself first. Do not buy from the clothes- maker and the sandal-maker more than you can pay out of the rest and still have enough for food and charity and penance to the gods.
” ‘Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.’
“So saying, he took his tablets and went away.
“I thought much about what he had said to me, and it seemed reasonable. So I decided that I would try it. Each time I was paid I took one from each ten pieces of copper and hid it away. And strange as it may seem, I was no shorter of funds, than before. I noticed little difference as I managed to get along without it. But often I was tempted, as my hoard began to grow, to spend it for some of the good things the merchants displayed, brought by camels and ships from the land of the Phoenicians. But I wisely refrained.
“A twelfth month after Algamish had gone he again returned and said to me, ‘Son, have you paid to yourself not less than one-tenth of all you have earned for the past year?’
“I answered proudly, ‘Yes, master, I have.’ ” ‘That is good,’ he answered beaming upon me, ‘and what have you done with it?’
” ‘I have given it to Azmur, the brickmaker, who told me he was traveling over the far seas and in Tyre he would buy for me the rare jewels of the Phoenicians. When he returns we shall sell these at high prices and divide the earnings.’
” ‘Every fool must learn,’ he growled, ‘but why trust the knowledge of a brickmaker about jewels? Would you go to the breadmaker to inquire about the stars? No, by my tunic, you would go to the astrologer, if you had power to think. Your savings are gone, youth, you have jerked your wealth- tree up by the roots. But plant another. Try again. And next time if you would have advice about jewels, go to the jewel merchant. If you would know the truth about sheep, go to the herdsman. Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having. He who takes advice about his savings from one who is inexperienced in such matters, shall pay with his savings for proving the falsity of their opinions.’ Saying this, he went away.
“And it was as he said. For the Phoenicians are scoundrels and sold to Azmur worthless bits of glass that looked like 28gems. But as Algamish had bid me, I again saved each tenth copper, for I now had formed the habit and it was no longer difficult.
“Again, twelve months later, Algamish came to the room of the scribes and addressed me. ‘What progress have you made since last I saw you?’
” ‘I have paid myself faithfully,’ I replied, ‘and my savings I have entrusted to Agger the shieldmaker, to buy bronze, and each fourth month he does pay me the rental.’
” ‘That is good. And what do you do with the rental?’ ” ‘I do have a great feast with honey and fine wine and spiced cake. Also I have bought me a scarlet tunic. And some day I shall buy me a young ass upon which to ride.’ “To which Algamish laughed, ‘You do eat the children of your savings. Then how do you expect them to work for you? And how can they have children that will also work for you? First get thee an army of golden slaves and then many a rich banquet may you enjoy without regret.’ So saying he again went away.
“Nor did I again see him for two years, when he once more returned and his face was full of deep lines and his eyes drooped, for he was becoming a very old man. And he said to me, ‘Arkad, hast thou yet achieved the wealth thou dreamed of?’
“And I answered, ‘Not yet all that I desire, but some I have and it earns more, and its earnings earn more.’
” ‘And do you still take the advice of brickmakers?’
” ‘About brickmaking they give good advice,’ I retorted.
” ‘Arkad,’ he continued, ‘you have learned your lessons well. You first learned to live upon less
than you could earn. Next you learned to seek advice from those who were competent through their own experiences to give it. And, lastly, you have learned to make gold work for you.
” ‘You have taught yourself how to acquire money, how to keep it, and how to use it. Therefore, you are competent for a responsible position.
The chapter ends with more knowledge of how the old gentlemen then gave his estate over to Arkad, who became rich because of it. Yet still, he reminded the two who had approached him of his 4 years of sacrifice to learn the principles to be trusted with the estate.
Jack and I are hoping to achieve the same by utilizing the advice from those who are great investors. By heeding their advice, we can buy great companies at value prices, mix in index funds for diversity and ease, and continuously receive the gold they send our coffers each month.
Here are a few articles from the past that can help demonstrate this philosophy.
- Investment: A King and Queen Make Dinner at Home
- Introduction to our investing philosophies
- Become an owner of your own personal YourCorp, a business conglomerate
I’m looking forward to getting back into DoD as a priority in my life, and can’t wait to give you all a few updates in detail in the future (paying off a student loan, paying off my car, and living in an HCOL city yet decreased monthly expenditures).
For now, its Hasta Luego – take care!