Summary of The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

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  • Post last modified:November 16, 2022

Part 4: Mediocrity: The Slowlane Roadmap

Chapter 10: The Lie You’Ve Been Sold: The Slowlane

While the sidewalk sacrifices tomorrow for today, the slowlane sacrifices today for tomorrow.

Sidewalkers consciously save every penny that they invest in the stock market and hope to retire rich at 65 (if they live until then).

The problem of the slowlane is that you rest on variables you do not control:

  • having a job
  • the stock market going up
  • not dying before 65

Slowlaners’ path usually goes like this:

  • Go to school
  • Get good grades
  • Graduate
  • Get a job
  • Work overtime
  • Save everything you make
  • Retire after 40 years

The financial equation of the slowlane is:

Wealth = Job as Primary Income Source + Stock Market as Wealth Accelerator

-> Wealth = Intrinsic Value + Compound Interest

-> Intrinsic Value = Hourly Wage X Hours Worked = Yearly Salary

The slowlane is insane. You sell your soul Monday to Friday to be free Saturday and Sunday.

It is the equivalent of giving €5 and getting €2 in return.

Slowlaners exchange time for money, and at the end of their lives, are left with neither.

You when you realize what the slowlane really is.

Chapter 11: The Criminal Trade: Your Job

If you want to escape the slowlane, you need to give up your job.

Jobs suck because you have limited leverage and limited control.

6 reasons why a sound financial plan can’t include a job

1. Trading time is trading life.

A job is selling your freedom (Monday-Friday) to get freedom (Weekend) -> it’s dumb.

Your time is all you have in this world.

You need more than one hundred years of working a job to save $1 million today -> you won’t get rich with a 9-5.

-> what you want is getting paid regardless of whether you are working or not.

image 123
The boss of the factory gets paid everyday. The employees only get paid when they come to work.

2. Limitation of Experience

If you become irrelevant in the market because a robot (or a Chinese) took your job, you are toast.

3. No Control

You can’t control the direction your company takes nor the willingness of your boss to keep you.

4. Linda’s Bad Breath

Office politics are the same everywhere. To run the office, you have to be the boss -> you have to own the company.

5. A Subscription to Pay Yourself Last

“Pay yourself first” is a slowlane doctrine, but with taxes and everything else, it’s impossible.

6. A Dictatorship on Income

You are the one creating the value, but you don’t decide how much you earn for it.

Chapter 12: The Slowlane – Why You Aren’t Rich

You’ll never get rich in the slowlane because it is rooted in Uncontrollable Limited Leverage (ULL).

To get rich, you need to attract vast sums of money -> you need control and leverage.

The problem is that you have neither with a job.

Your salary = Hourly Rate Pay X Hours Worked

-> you only have 24 hours in a day -> time has no leverage.

image 44
Time has no leverage.

But what about the stock market?

It’s the same thing.

The stock market (when it doesn’t crash) grows by 7% a year. You won’t get rich with 7% growth from savings from a salary.

For compound interests to be effective, you need three things.

  1. Time: measured in years, not centuries.
  2. Yearly Investment Yield
  3. Invested Sum

Compound Interest = Invested Sum X (1+ Yield)years

To become a millionaire, the stock market would need to yield 10% each year for 40 years.


What you want isn’t 10%.

It’s 10 000 000%.

The slowlane is a plan of hope -> hope you won’t get fired and that the stock market will not crash.

You don’t want hope. You want control.

Chapter 13: The Futile Fight: Education

The only way slowlaners think they can make their money is by raising their intrinsic value -> so they go back to school.

The problem with education is that it costs both time and money.

The idea that in order to get rich, you need a degree, is a myth.

The degree in fact commoditizes you and makes you like everybody else. It teaches you specific knowledge which decreases the size of the pool where you can get a job.

Chapter 14: The Hypocrisy of the Gurus

The problem with the financial gurus is that they are victims of the paradox of practice.

The paradox of practice is the idea that they didn’t get rich by following what they preach (save $100 every week).

They got rich by preaching and selling books about getting rich!

-> you can’t (and shouldn’t) follow their advice.

Look at what people do, not at what they say!

Take financial advice from people that got rich other than by giving financial advice (the notion of “skin in the game” if you want to explore this principle further).

Chapter 15: Slowlane Victory…A Gamble of Hope

The slowlane is a dangerous path for seven reasons.

1. The Danger of Your Health

What if you die before 65, and become tragically unhealthy?

2. The Danger of the Job

To succeed, you must avoid layoffs, politics, firings, bad job markets, and replacements by AI or robots.

3. The Danger of Your Home

Real estate markets are cyclical. You can’t rely on the value of your home.

4. The Danger of the Company

If your pension, job, or stocks are invested in one company, you hope the company survives.

5. The Danger of Your Lifestyle

You can’t own the car you want to (Ferrari) nor live in the country you want to.

6. The Danger of the Economy

The slowlane hopes that the stock market yields 8% each year and that it doesn’t crash.

7. The Danger of the Sidewalk

When your 100k invested in the stock market crashes to 40k after a crisis, a lot of people give up and become sidewalkers.

-> the slowlane is slow and risky.

-> the slowlane is predisposed to mediocrity because what everyone does is always mediocre.

But then, why do we hear about slowlane millionaires?


1 or 2 million is actually easy to get if you work for 40 years.

But it doesn’t make you rich at all.

Today, you need at least $8 million.

Part 5: Wealth – The Fastlane Roadmap

Chapter 16: Wealth’s Shortcut: The Fastlane

The fastlane is a business and lifestyle strategy characterized by Controllable Unlimited Leverage which creates an optimal environment for wealth creation.

1. Controllable Unlimited Leverage (CUL)

Maximum control and maximum leverage.

image 45
A scalable business gives you leverage.

2. Business

You own a business and control your income.

3. Lifestyle

The fastlane is a lifestyle, a commitment to beliefs, processes, and actions.

4. Rapid Wealth Creation

The fastlane enables you to create massive wealth in a short amount of time -> it’s not for everyone -> but is it for you?

The fastlane mindset is made out of the following pillars.

  • Debt: useful if you can make more money out of it.
  • Time: time is the most important asset, far exceeding money.
  • Education: the moment you stop learning, you die.
  • Money: money is everywhere. The money you have = the value you created for society.
  • Primary Income Source: business system and investments.
  • Primary Wealth Accelerator: creating assets, or buying and growing assets.
  • Wealth Perception: Build business systems for cash flow and asset valuation.
  • Wealth Equation: Wealth = Net Profit + Asset Value
  • Strategy: the more I help others, the richer I become in time, money, and personal fulfillment.
  • Destination: Lifetime passive income through business or investments.
  • Responsibility%Control: Life is what I make out of it.
  • Life Perception: My dreams are worth pursuing no matter how outlandish, and I understand that it will take money to make some of those dreams real.

If you want to see what real-life fastlane stories look like, check this out.

The main difference between the fastlane and the two other lanes is that fastlaners do not spend their time…selling it at a job.

The fastlaner builds a system that after a couple of years will make him money regularly.

If getting rich is the equivalent of going to China, the slowlaner will walk there and hope to arrive within 1 year.

The fastlaner will spend the first month building a bike, and will be in China two months later.

image 124
These are the three roads. Which ones will you choose?

Chapter 17: Switch Teams and Playbooks

Winning teams use winning playbooks. Forget your losing slowlane playbook and switch teams.

That means: stop consuming and start producing.

  • Don’t buy on TV -> sell on TV
  • Don’t dig gold -> sell shovels
  • Don’t take a class -> teach a class
  • Don’t borrow money -> lend it
  • Don’t take a job -> hire people

-> shift your mindset from consumption to production

The best way to produce is with a business.

Not a small business that enslaves you while giving you mediocre pay!

A business that uses leverage to create massive wealth.

image 46

Chapter 18: How the Rich Really Get Rich

The rich become rich because they have Controllable Unlimited Leverage (CUL).

Net Profit = (Units Sold) X (Unit Profit).

Eg: you have a website that sells leads. You make $4 per lead and sell 1000 leads per day.

-> 4k per day -> 1 460 000 per year.

Raise the price of the lead to 5 and suddenly, you make 1 825 000.

Asset Value = (Net Profit) X (Industry Multiplier)

Imagine your lead selling company makes now 4 million a year in profit, and you are in an industry with an 8X multiplier.

4 million X 8 = 32 million -> become rich “overnight” through a liquidation event (when you sell your company and transform paper money into real money).

Rich people use this equation and create immense wealth.

If they want to get richer, all they need to do is to increase the number of units sold, or the profit on the unit -> the sky is the limit + you have control.

If a slowlaner wants to make more money, he needs to ask for a raise -> no control + no leverage.

Millionaires are millionaires because they spend their time and money on building assets or buying them.

These assets are appreciable and controllable: businesses, apartments, patents, stocks, etc while slowlaners buy depreciable assets (like cars).

Fastlaners have unlimited leverage.

Slowlaners have none.

Chapter 19: Divorce Wealth From Time

When you have an asset that is making you money, you can be sick at home for two weeks and still earn an income.

Your wealth is divorced from time.

Not all businesses are like that. Businesses based on your special skills, franchises, and businesses that don’t scale aren’t fastlane.

They’re jobs.

There are five types of fastlane money trees.

1. Rental Systems: the most passive.

Real estate, royalty payments from books, movies, patents, pictures, etc…are rental systems.

Book royalties is a rental system.

2. Computer/software systems: the second most passive system.

Computers don’t complain and run 24/7. The marginal cost of unit replication is near zero.

Eg: when the code is written, it’s written!

This is why the Internet has made more millionaires in 10 years than there were in the previous century.

image 125
Hostinger is a web hosting company. Computers do all of the work.

3. Content systems

Online: blogs, Youtube channels, courses on Udemy, e-books, etc.

Offline, it can be writing books.

image 1 is a content system. People read the blog when I am sleeping.

4. Distribution Systems

Distribution systems can be leveraged to sell a product you invent.

Eg: Amazon, the AppStore, etc.

Franchising your business is another distribution system.

image 127
TikTok is a distribution system.

5. Human Resource Systems

It’s basically all other companies that need employees to grow.

These are the least passive, most complicated, and most expensive businesses to run.

But don’t let that scare you. You can’t do everything yourself, so you will likely have to hire employees at some point.

image 128
Starbucks is an HR system. Scaling is possible, but costly.

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