I generally judge a book by it’s cover (throwing conventional wisdom to the wind) - and this one looked like a typical buy-my-book-and-make-me-rich-quick-scheme… But I also judge a book by the number of 5 stars on Amazon. 86% of all reviewers gave it 5 stars, which puts it in the same league as Harry Potter!
I must admit it was a page turner - some good advice written with a no-BS flair.
The first half deals with the different “lanes” on the financial road of life. There are a lot of examples and stories elaborating the points but here’s a nice summary of the different types of people characterised by their view on financial topics. (Which category do you relate to? Do you recognise your friends or family? :) - Note that your world-view is unrelated to how much income you receive)
|Primary Income Source||Whatever gig pays the most is what I will do. I chase money baby! It’s all about the Benjamins!||My job is my sole source of income.||I earn income via my business systems and investments.|
|Responsibility & Control||Everything bad happens to me. The man is keeping me down. I am a victim. It’s someone else’s fault.||It’s my responsibility to provide for my family although for that plan to work I have to rely on others, including my employer, my financial adviser, the government, and a good economy.||Life is what I make it. My financial plan is entirely my responsibility and I choose how I react to my circumstances.|
|Debt Perception||Credit allows me to buy things now! Credit cards, consolidation loans, car payments—these supplement my income and help me enjoy life today! If I want it now, I’m going to get it now.||Debt is evil. It must be religiously attacked, even if that means working overtime for life.||Debt is useful if it allows me to build and grow my system.|
|Time Perception||Time is abundant and I spend money like there’s no tomorrow. Heck, I could be dead in two weeks, and you can’t take it with you!||My time is abundant and I will gladly trade my time for more dollars. The more hours I can work, the more I can pay off my debt and save money for retirement at 65.||Time is the most important asset I have, far exceeding money.|
|Education Perception||I finished school when I graduated, hooray!||Education is important because it helps me earn a bigger salary.||The moment you stop learning is the moment you stop growing. Constant expansion of my knowledge and awareness is critical to my journey.|
|Money Perception||If you got it, flaunt it! Why save for a rainy day? I spend every dime I earn and most of my bills are paid on time; isn’t that being fiscally responsible?||Money is scarce and every dime and dollar must be accounted for, budgeted, and perilously saved. If I want to retire by 65 with millions, I have to ensure I don’t squander my hard-earned money.||Money is everywhere, and it’s extremely abundant. Money is a reflection of how many lives I’ve touched. Money reflects the value I’ve created.|
|Wealth Perception||He who dies with the most toys wins!||Work, save, and invest. Work, save, and invest. Repeat for 40 years until retirement age... 65 years old or, if I’m lucky and the markets return 12% yearly, maybe 55!||Build business systems for cash flow and asset valuation.|
|Life Perception||Live today, to hell with tomorrow. Life is too short to plan any further than 30 days out. You can’t take it with you! You’re only young once! Besides, I’ll hit it big someday.||Settle for less. Give up on big dreams. Save, live frugal, don’t take unnecessary risks, and one day I will retire with millions.||My dreams are worth pursuing no matter how outlandish, and I understand that it will take money to make some of those dreams real.|
|Destination||What destination? I live for today and I can’t be bothered about tomorrow.||A comfortable retirement in my twilight years.||Lifetime passive income, either through business or investments.|
The book starts with a story of meeting a mythical car - a Lamborghini Coutach and dream of the lavish lifestyle it represented. From the title and blurb you would think that MJ’s view of “wealth” would be the typical materialistic accumulation of exotic cars, beach houses and private jets. And yes, that was part of it, but I related more with his other definitions:
Society has conditioned us to believe that wealth is an absolute construct perfected by material possessions.
We have become a nation of undisciplined spenders and consumers. Where unfettered spending and material extravagance write our obituaries in the ink of stress. Americans once loyally proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Now we just say, “Give me.”
Wealth is not authored by material possessions, money, or “stuff”, but by what I call the three fundamental “F’s”… Family (relationships) Fitness (health) Freedom (choice).
And this one sounds a lot like my own view in “Free by 40”:
…finally, wealth is freedom and choice: freedom to live how you want to live, what, when, and where. Freedom from bosses, alarm clocks, and the pressures of money. Freedom to passionately pursue dreams. Freedom to raise your children as you see fit.
The rest of the book goes through more detail on the fastlane and the principles to apply to get there. A lot of it is theoretical, rather than practical, but it does inspire one to explore the ideas further.
I did find MJ a bit obnoxious, but few self-made millionaires aren’t :) He is at least honest and says it as it is. I really enjoyed this book and think its a great guide to breaking out of the rat-race, accelerating your life out of the Slowlane and cruising the Fastlane.