The Millionaire Fastlane Equation
Escape the Rat Race and Become Financially Free
“There is a hidden road to wealth and financial freedom, a shortcut of blistering speed where you can achieve wealth in youthful exuberance over elder entropy…” — MJ Demarco
If you believe this photo… you’ve been lied to.
In the book The Millionaire Fastlane, author MJ Demarco proposes the idea that there are only 3 different paths we all take on our financial journey.
One path that will lead you to poverty.
One path that will lead you to a comfortable retirement in your 60s.
One path that will lead you to passive income and millions of dollars.
He calls these the Sidewalk, the Slowlane, and… the Fastlane.
In this article, I will expose the biggest financial lie of our generation, show you an alternative to old-age retirement, and give you the real equation (Yes, actual numbers) you can use to create your dream life.
The Biggest Financial Lie of All Time
After reading this book it’s become very clear:
We’ve been lied to.
Lied to by our parents, lied to by the media, and lied to by finance ‘gurus’ who claim that the “true path to wealth” is by pinching pennies and taking a few hundred dollars a month and putting it into the S&P500. It’s bullshit.
Don’t even get me started…
Let’s take me for example. I’m a data analyst at a big tech company and I’m paid pretty well.
Assuming I make $102,000 per year…
Assuming a 20% tax rate (I wish)…
But that’s not the crazy part!!!
Assuming I can diligently save 10% of my after-tax earnings…
Here are the saving timelines for some other career paths…
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 Occupational Wage Estimates. *Rounded.
If you believe that any substantial compound interest is going to accumulate from your tiny 401k, you’re OUT OF YOUR MIND.
Let’s, once again, take me as an example:
Assuming I make $102,000 per year…
Assuming a 20% tax rate (again, I wish)…
Assuming I can invest 10% of my after-tax earnings per month (~$650)…
ASSUMING I get a decent market return of 6.5% over 35 years…
Via Nerdwallet Compound Interest Calculator
If I start investing at 25 years old… after 35 years of penny-pinching… I’ll finally be a millionaire… at age 60. And that’s if everything goes perfectly.
This isn’t horrible. This is… The Slowlane.
“I just signed up for my company’s 401k. But I’m afraid I won’t be able to run that far.”
The Slowlane is the path that most people follow.
Working for someone else, saving a portion of your income, and investing it in the stock market or real estate. The Slowlane is a long and arduous journey that requires decades of hard work and discipline and offers no guarantees of success.
But given inflation, global financial instability, and all the cigarettes I smoked in college… I sure as hell don’t want to wait til I get the senior discount at Golden Corral before I can become a millionaire.
Lucky for us, there’s another road…
Welcome to the Fastlane
If you’ve made it this far… I know you want the juicy details.
So let’s dive in.
You’re here because you’ve seen beyond the pale and know there has to be a way to gain wealth before you’re too old to enjoy it.
You’re correct — Welcome to the Fastlane. Buckle up.
What is the Fastlane?
The Fastlane is a metaphorical road that represents a faster, more efficient way of creating wealth than the traditional “Slowlane.”
According to DeMarco, the Fastlane is characterized by these 4 principles:
The Fastlane is based on the principle of leverage, which means using other people’s time, money, and resources to create wealth. This involves building systems and processes that can operate independently of your direct involvement. Leverage can take many different forms, such as outsourcing certain tasks, partnering with other businesses, borrowing money to invest in assets that generate income, or using automation and technology to streamline operations. Detaching your time from your money is absolutely critical.
Creating value is a crucial principle for achieving financial success via Fastlane. Value is defined as the solution to someone’s problem, pain, or need. To create value, entrepreneurs need to identify a need or gap in the market and then create a product or service that fulfills that need in a unique and effective way. This requires a deep understanding of the target market and its pain points, as well as a willingness to innovate and take risks. Look at your world. What sucks? Fix it. Sell it. Market it.
The Fastlane is based on the principle of execution, which means taking action and implementing ideas. You’ll need to overcome fear, procrastination, and other obstacles that may prevent you from taking action. In plain English: You need to be able to f*cking grind.
You need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and a well-defined plan for how to get there. Set specific, measurable, and achievable goals, and break them down into smaller, actionable steps that can be taken each day. This is a sprint, not a marathon. Do you want to be rich in 5 years or in 30 years? Your velocity of execution is what decides.
The Law of Effection is based on a simple equation:
Your success is equal to the number of people you affect multiplied by the degree to which you affect them. In other words, the more people you positively impact with your actions, and the greater the impact you have on their lives, the more successful you will be. In the Fastlane, scalability is king. This means creating businesses or investments that have the potential to grow exponentially by leveraging technology, automation, and other tools to increase efficiency and productivity in order to “effect” as many people as possible.
But before we talk about how to build your passive income machine, you need to know why you’re doing this. The Fastlane isn’t without its tolls and you need to know what you want and when you should hit your turn signal, pull off, and exit.
Mapping Your Dream Life
“Now boarding flight A123 from Rat Race to Financial Freedom…”
If you’re setting out to achieve your dreams, you better be damn sure you know exactly what those dreams entail and how much that lifestyle costs.
What do you want?
Personally, I embarked on the Fastlane lifestyle because:
I don’t want to wait until I’m 65 years old to enjoy my life
I want to travel the world while my body is healthy
I want to be able to drop what I’m doing and learn new skills on a whim
I want to be able to visit my family whenever I want
I know working for the weekend is a shitty deal
I refuse to spend the best years of my life in a rat race
Make a list of all the reasons you’re doing this and everything you want.
Then take your dream life and break it down into what your monthly expenses would be for this lifestyle. (Excluding taxes. We’ll deal with this later.) Here’s what mine looks like right now:
Now you’re going to take the total monthly amount…
and add $4,000.
This is your allowance and it's used to cover basic expenses such as food, housing, transportation, and other necessities. Adding this to your monthly expenses gives you your Gross Cost of Living.
The idea behind this approach is to keep your basic expenses low, avoid lifestyle inflation, and maximize your net income so that you can save and invest more money. By living frugally and prioritizing value over luxury, you can accelerate your path to wealth and achieve financial freedom faster. So, when calculating your gross cost of living, be sure to add the $4,000 allowance to cover your basic expenses and keep your living expenses under control.
Net Cost of Living
Time to pay the tax man.
Take your Gross Cost of living and divide that value by .60, this should account for any taxes. Here’s the equation using my example:
This is your Net Cost of Living and it’s your monthly target number. Achieving this number each month means you’re able to live your dream life. (Taxes, healthcare, and fancy food included!)
Option 1: The Escape Number
Now that you know how much money it takes to live your dream lifestyle for a month, you need to figure out how much money it takes to break away from work and live free… forever.
You have 2 options for making this happen.
The first option is your Escape Number and it’s the exact dollar amount it takes to retire forever by having a lump sum invested in the stock market so you can live purely off returns or interest. Here’s the equation:
(Net Cost of Living * 12 Months) / 0.05 = Your Escape Number
It works by finding your Yearly Net Cost of Living and dividing it by 0.05 (a very reasonable return from stocks, interest, and other investments). Here’s what it looks like with my Net Cost of Living plugged in:
($21,666 * 12 Months) / 0.05 = $5,119,840
Knowing this number is incredibly important to your financial freedom but the issue with taking this approach first… is that most of us don’t have a casual 5mil in our back pocket and a lump sum of this size would take too long to save up. The way to get around this is the Business System Target.
Option 2: The Business System Target
Since you didn’t inherit millions, you can’t exit the rat race just yet.
As we talked about earlier, a salary won’t be enough to reach your escape number. This leaves you with one other option: Starting a business.
Your goal should be working to create a business that makes enough passive income to hit your Business System Target. Let’s take a look at the math:
(Gross Cost of Living * 5) = Your Business System Target
By creating a business that generates 5 times your Gross Cost of Living, you’ll own a system that can support your dream lifestyle (20%), taxes (40%), and funding to keep growing your business system (40%).
Again, here’s what the equation looks like using my Gross Cost of Living:
( $13,000 * 5 ) = $65,000 = Business System Target (per month)
Of that $65,000:
20% covers my $13,000 cost of living,
40% covers $26,000 in taxes for myself and the business
40% remaining gives you $26,000 to put back into the business (or to save towards hitting your escape number)
This approach is incredibly powerful because it allows you to experience your dream lifestyle without having 5 million dollars in the bank. You can live like a king while you’re still building your castle.
All roads come to an end. The Fastlane is no exception.
The only difference is that this road ends with you never having to work another day in your life.
Selling Your Business System
Being able to save enough of the profits from your business system to reach your Escape Number would allow you to exit the Fastlane and live the life of your dreams but it’s not the only way to escape the rat race.
You can exit the Fastlane by selling your business system.
Once your company reaches a sufficient level of size and annual revenue, you have to option to sell out— assuming your company is worth the same value as your Escape Number. You can hand over the reins and spend the rest of your life sipping Piña Coladas on the beach, making art, and watching your kids grow up.
Alternatively, you can keep putting money back into the business system until you’ve hit your Escape Number while retaining control of your money system. This allows you to keep growing your business or even pass it on to your children or to a charity/foundation.
You’ve taken the Fastlane to wealth and retired while you’re still in the prime of your life. This is what it looks like.
For you reading this, you now have the exact numbers you need to hit to achieve your dream life. Take this info and go build a business system that will set you free. Good luck on the Fastlane — drive safe!
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