Business World features The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon

Business World features The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon

In Events
Oct 13, 2014

Thank you Luther Aquino for your article on the launch of and my latest book The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon. I wish to share said article, which came out in The Wealth Manager section of Business World.


Business World, The Wealth Manager section
Business World, The Wealth Manager section

From birth,

kids can build their wealth

by Raymund Luther B. Aquino, Business World


Not everyone can say they’ve had a bank account since birth, or that they made their first investments with the cash gifts they received on their baptism – but then again, not everyone has seasoned bankers for parents.

That’s exactly the kind of thinking, though, that, author and columnist Rose Fres Fausto wants to change with her new pursuits, after a rewarding career in investment banking.

On her 50th birthday celebration last September 28, Ms. Fausto launched The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon, a story and activity book for “kids from 1 to 92.” The storybook, based on George Samuel Clason’s 1926 work The Richest Man in Babylon, is targeted primarily at children – but it’s also for adults who need a refresher on the basics of financial management, Ms. Fausto shared.

Chatting with BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the event, Ms. Fausto seemed amused about the almost accidental – or, perhaps, serendipitous – nature of her newfound vocation as a financial literacy advocate.

Raising Pinoy Boys, her first book launched in 2011, was a book on parenting that covered a wide range of topics, but it had one chapter in particular that intrigued Ms. Fausto’s readers. Ms. Fausto is a mother of three and is married to Fund Managers Association of the Philippines board adviser and former BDO Unibank, Inc. chief investment officer Marvin V. Fausto.

“After that [parenting] book came out, the sixth chapter on money matters became the readers’ favorite.” Ms. Fausto recalled.

“[The readers] were surprised – grade school students were already maintaining balance sheets,” she shared with a laugh, referring to her three sons’ financial habits, which she instilled in them early in life. “Then when I would get invited to parenting talks, it started having a financial literacy focus.”

Ms. Fausto’s books draw from her experiences as a homemaker. The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon, for example, carries the same nuggets of truth Ms. Fausto and her husband would share to their children over the dinner table.

In such a household, Ms. Fausto’s three sons – one a recent graduate and two still in college – may have well taken to heart the three laws of money explored in her new book: “pay yourself first,” “get into a business that you understand, and “make your gold or money work for you.”

“Some of my readers would comment, ‘Rose, it’s easy for you to [instill financial literacy in your children], because you and Marvin are both in finance,” Ms. Fausto shared. “But the more closely I look at their growing up years, the more I’m convinced that it’s possible even if you’re not a finance person.”

“When you teach your children about money, it’s not just a regular set of skills. It’s a value system, and values are best taught by parents,” she said.

Everybody should be in the business of investing, not just the rich.” Ms. Fausto asserted, noting that everyone would need to prepare for retirement. And for her, beginning early on in life is only sensible.

“From the very start, when [my sons] were born, we immediately opened them savings accounts,” Ms. Fausto said. “When I’m asked when I started the financial journey of my children, I tell them: as soon as they were born.”

There were gifts from baptism, their first birthdays – all those, we put in their savings accounts. Their money was immediately set aside,” she recalled.

When there was enough, we invested it. Then when our sons were growing up, we taught them how to invest in stocks – the stocks that they knew, like Jollibee,” shared Ms. Fausto. “They had their own portfolios as they were growing up.”

Ms. Fausto wishes for this kind of smart and early decision-making on money and investments to become a norm in the country, and she sees her new book – plus her new website, also launched in the same event – as her contribution in this regard.

She may very well see her wish come true, though, with her husband sharing some promising developments in his remarks during the book and website launch.

“As part of the advocacy of Rose to spread the word on financial literacy, we are now in a project with the Department of Education,” Mr. Marvin Fausto said. “We are working on a nationwide program to have the book available in all public schools and libraries, so it can reach the far-flung areas of the Philippines.”

He added that a Filipino translation of the storybook is in the works.

“That’s the big project,” Mr. Fausto said, “We will make it available to everybody.”

And that’s all in the interest of families across the country, noted Ms. Fausto.

“At home over dinner table money wasn’t a taboo subject,” she shared. “And when you raise your children with financial literacy or high FQ, you’re arming them with economic self-defense.”