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Physicians and The Richest Man in Babylon

If you're a physician looking to transition into some form of business, do yourself a favor and read some of the business classics.

Like every career area, business has a collection of classic texts that many in the field have read and to which they often refer.

After seeing it listed in multiple business books recently, I finally sat down and read the famous finance book, The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.

Originally published n the 1920's, The Richest Man in Babylon explains how to build wealth and handle money through a series of parables.  While the language is sometimes stilted due to a less-than-modern style and wording, the principles ring true and are fundamental to basic financial health.  It has been a popular text for many years-- cited by multiple sources-- and has reportedly sold over 2 million copies since its original publication.

The book is not a long or difficult read.  Here are some of the basic principles and meaningful quotes:

  • "I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. And so will you."  (ie- pay yourself first and save your money)
  • "Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared."
  • "Which desirest thou the most? Is it the gratification of thy desires of each day, a jewel, a bit of finery, better rainment, more food; things quickly gone and forgotten?  Or is it  substantial belongings, gold, lands, herds, merchandise, income bringing investments?  The coins thou takest from thy purse bring the first.  The coins thou leavest within it will bring the latter."
  • "Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity"
  • "If thou desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend's burdens upon thyself."
  • "Better a little caution than a great regret."

If you're going to be getting into entrepreneurial pursuits, jumping into a business endeavor, or simply interested in better managing your finances, you really need to begin learning the principles contained in the business canon.  The Richest Man in Babylon is a business classic and contains timeless principles.  It's not a bad place to start your financial education.


Reader Comments (1)

Great basic book on investing! I have to agree that the language can be hard to get past, but the points made are timeless and form the bedrock of a solid investment knowledge. For a step up I recommend The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham. Another classic and, once read, will make you feel more comfortable in making investment choices.

Apr 20 | Unregistered CommenterMehul Sheth

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