The Richest Man In Babylon

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One of the books I give as a gift to a lot of people, particularly the younger people I meet or work with, is The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason. The stories are written in an ancient, Biblical style, which has the added effect of giving greater clarity of the principles of finance, compound interest, etc.—as, for example, in the following quotation about savings:

For every ten coins thou placest within thy purse take out for use but nine. Thy purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in thy hand and bring satisfaction to thy soul.”

If you are saving some of the money you earn, not only does it do your finances a lot of good, it also makes you feel happier and more secure. The quote also suggests that by not spending all of your money, something changes in your psychology: It is as if you are telling nature that you have more than enough money for yourself, and as a result, you seem to attract more of it.

The same applies to charitable giving. The phenomenon of giving money away, and as a direct result receiving more back, is known as ‘tithing’. At Efficient Portfolio, we have set up ‘The Efficient Charitable Portfolio’. This is a Community Foundation Trust that contains various charities, which are selected by the Efficient Portfolio team and our clients. The idea is that, as a company, we can put a slice of what we make towards a number of good causes that are close to our and our client’s hearts. I believe this has helped us become as successful as we currently are. We also allow clients the option to contribute to the fund, if they wish. Just as we build them a diverse investment portfolio, we also build them a diverse charitable portfolio. They can then direct a monthly amount or a lump sum towards the fund, or leave some money towards it in their Will, knowing that we will continue to select charities that are current and appropriate in the years ahead.

One of the principles covered by The Richest Man in Babylon, and also discussed in Secrets of a Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, is managing money-on-a-month by month basis. This changes when you retire, but not as much as you would think. In order to manage your money effectively, you need to divide your money on a monthly basis.

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