A review on Amazon:
Timeless Financial Advice for Everyone.
By Mark Hiatton
January 18, 2001
Twenty-five years ago, I sold radio advertising and had a client who seemed to have it all. Owned two of the town’s best restaurants, drove a Porsche and a BMW, the hot cars then, was always taking a week or two off to go skiing or something and was only one year older than me. I’d spent a lot of time with the guy–he wasn’t a great brain, terribly clever or witty. But he knew how to handle money.
After calling on him for a couple of years, I figured I knew him well enough to ask him how he did it. I expected to hear he was deeply into commodities trading, or had an uncle who worked on Wall Street, a wealthy family or something like that, but he said it was really very simple. Once a year, he read The Richest Man in Babylon, and the rest of the year, he tried to apply it in his daily life.
Well, you know how it is with people who Get Relgion. I wasn’t in a place where I could accept that something so simple as reading a hundred and fifty pages of Ye Olde Storey could actually turn my financial life around, but I bought a copy. And about a year later on a rainy Saturday, I started reading it and couldn’t put down. I know that’s a phrase you see repeated in countless Amazon.com reviews, but it was true. The characters from the book reached out across thousands of years and grabbed me by the lapels and shook some sense into me.
I have tried to re-read the book at least once per year, every year since then. Something else: I’ve tried to give away two copies per year, to people I know and love who I feel can benefit from not making the same mistakes I made in my mispent youth.
There aren’t any magic formulas in this book. There is nothing about options or day trading or investing new whatever the latest new technology is. It’s almost math-free. Kind of ironic, when you turn the pages of the average business best seller and try to figure out the charts and graphs and algebra.
This is a book that ought to be used in our schools. It’s written in a wonderful old-world style and the characters are real heroes, grapling with many of the same issues we struggle with today–they’re just doing it without cable-TV and the internet. You want a new Lexus? These folks talk about how hard it is to survive without one of the newest-model chariots. It’s the same thing, really.
Do yourself, your spouse, your children, your neighbors a favor. Buy a few copies of this one. Keep one for yourself, and give away the rest. Mark yours up. Underline it. Make notes in the margins. Try to re-read it whenever you feel yourself being tempted to pop for ADSL or new cellular phone or a ski trip or the latest and greatest widget.
Read a single financial book, and you get a few good ideas. Read two and you get a few more. Read several and you start to get very little new information. I’ve read dozens of titles, from Andrew Tobias to Martin Zweig. But I’d recommend you start right here. If you never read another book on money, you will have a very sound basis for a very good life, after spending a day in ancient Babylon and watching how they learned to handle money thousands of years ago. This is the money book to buy if you’re only buying one.
I agree with Mr Hiatton 100%. Do yourself a favor. Read, or re-read The Richest Man in Babylon.