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George Clason published, The Richest Man in Babylon, in 1926 to enlighten Americans with telling parables from the ancient city of Babylon. Surprisingly, the basic principles of gaining and maintaing wealth are the same today as they were in the lustrous city of Babylon many centuries ago before the birth of Christ. The acquisition of gold has tantalized man since the beginning of civilization for it has brought respect, honor, pleasure, safety, and security to many who have sought it. Even today, everyone must work to make a living. Each individual makes his share to spend, save, or invest. Making money is a means to survive in society, and it has been such since the beginning of cooperative society. Work is symbolized with the $ symbol, whether we like it or not.

In the book, Arkad, the richest man in babylon, explains his desire for wealth:

In my youth I looked about me and saw all the good things there were to bring happiness and contentment. And I realized that wealth increased the potency of all these. Wealth is a power. With wealth many things are possible. One may ornament the home with the richest of furnishings. One may sail the distant seas. One may feast on the delicacies of far lands. One may even build mighty temples for the Gods.

And, when I realized all this, I decided to myself that I would claim my share of the good things of life. I would not be one of those who stand from afar off, and enviously watching others enjoy. I would not be content to clothe myself in the cheapest raiment that looked respectable. I would be satisfied with the lot of a poor man. On the contrary, I would make myself a guest at the banquet of good things.”

If we all must work to make a living, why not work hard and smart. There is nothing wrong with hard work where the fruit of our labor is wealth. Arkad makes a great point by saying that he would not settle for less than what he was capable of. Every human being is capable and has the potential to do many great things with the infinite energy of passion, desire, and purpose. Money is an ends to a mean which makes life easier to lead without the clout of living bill to bill.

As being a Sikh, I am taught from religion and commonsense that money will not bring eternal satisfaction, contentment, happiness, or peace. It is but a trap of falsehood in the overall illusion of Maya, and I do agree with this point. However, Guru Nanak strongly believed that a spiritual life should not be led in isolation. It is important for a person to raise and care for family while working for an honest and truthful living. Hard work has never be denied nor looked down upon in Sikhism as long as the individual remains free of greed, attachment, or ego. Humility is the main ingredient to success in all aspects of life.

Socially, culturally, and mentally money plays a large role in the ease of life. It does not make life free of struggle, but a surplus of money makes it more bearable; many doors and opportunities swing open to the whims of wealth. Hence, it is in the interest of wise men to learn the fundamental laws of gold. Those who receive money without guidance or wisdom lose it quickly, because the source is not renewing. Wealth comes from an ongoing stream of funds from income, investment, and interest.

Arkad had five vital gold (wealth) laws :

The First Law of Gold – Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will save not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.

( One tenth or more of one’s income should be set aside for investment. A budget should be instated to constantly keep one dollar out of every ten for investments to ensure future security and wealth. It is extremely important to skip out on some of life’s appealing lures, in order to ensure a future of wealth gain. Discipline is the difference between a fat purse or a lean one.)

The Second Law of Gold – Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.

(The money saved must be working for you. It must become your working slave through investment. The principle will begin to multiply in sound investments giving rise to new generations of wealth who will also work with you to make more. Do not divert this wealth for spending until the money has become an army working for you. Each dollar created is one more dollar working to create more through effective measures. The stream must be large and fast enough to feed itself.)

The Third Law of Gold – Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.

(Invest with the advice of those who are successful and honorable. Trust is a shaky word, but let their checkbook do the talking for the man. An experienced man in any field will be the one to seek during times of investment. His advice is free and worth much money and future safety.)

The Fourth Law of Gold – Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in bussinesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.

(Do not invest in some area where you have no experience or prior knowledge, because loss will be your lesson. Stick with what you have learned and studied through experience. A man who studies the body for ten years, a doctor, should not invest blindly into making a new restaurant chain unless he is also a chief.)

The Fifth Law of Gold – Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers who trust it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

(Amazing returns and unbelievable profits are fit for disaster. Something that sounds to good to be true is probably just that too good to be true. Let the Madoff scandal during this year be a reminder not to fall for the stairs. Be safe and keep your money bound to consistency and security. Safer margins for growth are much healthier in the long run than blind faith in huge profits. Huge risk = HUGE LOSS or miraculous luck.)

Be smart with money, and let it work for you. Patience is the key along with the right eye to see opportunity when it comes knocking on the door. If you save that one tenth you might just have the capital it takes to take advantage of the lifetime opportunity when it comes.

Let ninety percent of your income be the chips unto which to enjoy and cherish the goods of life, and let the remaining ten percent go to work for the future wealth for yourself and the family. Make yourself a guest to the grand banquet of life, and enjoy all their is to offer by playing smart and wise with wealth or else be left watching others enviously. For myself, I am not the type to watch.

He predicted the collapse years before it happened, and he speaks with reason and logic. His prediction that gold may hit 2,000 dollars an ounce is a truly remarkable statement. Investing money must wait as the economy continues to spiral downward, because investing right now may be equivalent to deep losses. Although the times may seem tempting with shares dwindling in single digits, they are low for a reason. The market has fallen, but the problem lies in it still being in free fall. Many establishments and corporations shall fail. Just as the housing market collapsed along with the credit crises so shall the US dollar. Hold your money and wait for the bottom because it is still very far away from the lowest point. Gold may be the best investment in these times.

I have been infatuated by gold investment opportunities since I was a very young boy. I fell in love with the lustrous precious metal as soon as my mother showed me an ounce of gold she had to bought to make jewelry. My love for gold began as soon as I set my eyes on it. The golden tint of the metal’s malleable surface engulfed me for years to come. I began to avidly watch gold prices dip in the late 90s and proposed to invest with my parent’s help. My first business pitch was a complete disaster as my father cited the gold price collapse of the eighties and its unstable value. However, I pleaded that it was the cheapest price in years. The exact price I used to prove my point was $280 dollars. I felt it was a bargain, but I had no investment money and was silenced by the forces that be.

Any adults who would lend me their ears were driven close to insanity by my obsessive gold investing propositions. I was visiting my aunt in Canada that year. Due to my crazy antics and excessive passion on gold trade, my aunt, who is extremely generous, surprised me with a gold chain and a gold pendent of Guru Nanak. My grandma bought me a gold chain as I focused my efforts to persuade my dad’s side of the family too. It fueled my thirst to one day successfully invest in gold. My goal of persuasion was obviously not to receive gifts of empathy, but to encourage investment and great return for my family. I advertised my strong investment opinion around my neck  with one too many gold chains. My father would not invest in gold, and he thought my gold obsession was overboard and unwarranted.

Ten years later, I feel frustrated that my efforts and lobbying skills were not up to par. Gold rose three times the value of that in the late 90s during my proposals. It peaked at $1000 dollars per ounce and now sits comfortably in the arena of about $730 dollars. People please take note that sometimes kids are not as crazy as you think. I went as far as trying to gather enough party money to buy an ounce of gold bullion, but I did not know where I could locally buy it. I was a young boy and my resources were limited and my Internet knowledge minimal. My mother told me that she would give me a gold ounce of hers, but that was not satisfying for I wanted a real investment from my parents. I wanted my father to invest thousands so the profit would be that much greater.

Looking at the numbers, I can say that I was a financial wizard at the age of 13. If my father were to have bought a single one kilo bar of bullion gold (32 ounces) during that time he would have paid about $8,600 dollars. He could have sold that very gold kilo bar for $32,000 during the gold peak or for $23,000 dollars today. The only problem with gold investing is the vast amount of liquid capital needed to invest. One needs a lot of cash to convert paper currency into gold. However, the money that gold returns in the future of inevitable cyclic economic unrest makes it a perfect investment. It becomes a beacon of stability in times of turmoil and economic unrest. For centuries, civilizations have secured their strength and wealth in the precious commodity of gold. In retrospect, I am sure my father would agree that it would have been a much better investment than putting money into the stock market. However, life goes on and one cannot win on every turn.

With the American economy weathering harsh times and the world teetering on a global economic recession, gold is most probably going to rise in value. People distrust currency in times of turbulence. The price may reach well over a thousand dollars in the near future, but speculation now is just too risky as liquid capital is scarce. The current price leaves a small margin for profit, and the potential for gold prices to decrease may cause a loss of monetary value for decades to come. As the economy spirals downwards new opportunities will lead capitalism to find money elsewhere like in alternative energy. Money is still to be made, but a lot could have been minted during the slump in gold prices.

I have promised myself that I will never invest a penny in the stock market as long as I live. I will either invest in real estate, a personal business, or gold when the time is right. Investment opportunities are forever present in a rapidly changing financial world, and gaining the insight to make the right moves at the right times can make life a lot easier and more comfortable in the long run. My income as a physician will rest in secure but fluctuating asset management portfolios. I will deposit my extra cash in gold assets instead of the banking system. Gold collection is a personal fad of mine, and I would love to fill up a vault with gold bullion. It also makes one’s wealth transfer easier to the next generation without the invasion of tax. Hopefully gold prices will not dip when the time comes to build a house, office, send my kids to college, pay for their weddings, or buy a prospective property. The risk of monetary investments only lies in a dependence of increased profit to maintain high living. If one can maintain a lifestyle properly without depending on intended investment return than no risk exists at all. Fluctuating assets are better than stagnant interest rates building money at a snail’s pace. If I had the money today I would buy commercial properties in the midst of recession, rental units during a time of foreclosure, and gold during prosperous times. I wish I had a billion dollar portfolio for investment, but I am sure I will one day by working hard.

        I am a little embittered due to Apple’s pernicious timing to reveal its new Macbook lineup. I just bought my Macbook Pro for college about three months ago. I paid a high price for its valuable service and could not be happier, because the Macbook Pro has been and still is the best in the field of laptops. The ultimate luxury jetliner of all mobile computing and creativity to say the least. However, the new change comes amidst the Christmas season. I bought my Pro a few months ago brand new for a high sticker price, and no later than a month or so I am typing on a museum relic. The constant change and performance of Apple in all its products creates an uncertainity and unstability within the consumer who is faced with high prices and the inevitable change of model and service. 

     The new Macbook Pro is a little faster and more compact with a better graphics card which is great. On the contrary, it looks like an enlarged Ipod Touch, and the black keys take away from the overall slick silver look. I still believe the previous model which I currently own wins the distinct character award. I am still an Apple addict now and will probably continue to be, but I just think that models need to last a little longer than six months before being replaced by stronger models. That is my technology rant for the day, but one thing is certain; I will never buy a PC.

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