Back in 1926, George S. Clason wrote a dandy little book on
wealth creation. Titled The Richest Man in Babylon, the book
offers the rules for obtaining financial independence. Nothing
fancy here. Just the tried and true; easy to understand, but
harder to do. To wit: pay yourself first (save for investment the
first 10% of all your income), control your expenses (live on 90%,
or less, of your income), invest your savings wisely and prudently
(buying lottery tickets is gambling not investing and trying to
generate out sized returns is speculating not investing), own your
own home (free and clear sooner rather than later), reinvest the
proceeds from your investments (don't eat your seed corn), and
"cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to
become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself."
Not rocket science. Just a discipline that could easily be
taught, but generally isn't. As Clason says:
"Arkad," spoke the king, "is it true that thou are the richest
man in Babylon?"
"So it is reported, your majesty, and no man disputes it."
"How becamest thou so wealthy?"
"By taking advantage of the opportunities available to all
citizens of our good city."
"Thou hadst nothing to start with?"
"Only a great desire for wealth. Besides this nothing."
"Arkad," continued the king, "our city is in a very unhappy
state because a few men know how to acquire wealth and
therefore monopolize it, while the mass of our citizens lack
the knowledge of how to keep any part of the gold they
"It is my desire that Babylon be the wealthiest city in the
world. Therefore, it must be a city of many wealthy men.
Therefore, we must teach all the people how to acquire
riches. Tell me, Arkad, is there any secret to acquiring
wealth? Can it be taught?"
"It is practical, your majesty. That which one man knows
may be taught to others."