Beating A Dead Horse When the World Thinks It’s Alive

Most Americans believe that becoming a millionaire is a long-shot.  In fact, according to a ABC/CNBC, the actual number is 61%.

And since most Americans also believe that “jobs, 401(k)s, mutual funds and the stock market” is the correct road to becoming a millionaire, I’d have to agree with them on their longshot assertion.

I’ve beaten this horse to DEATH but then again I ask, is the horse really dead when the world maintains it’s alive?

The evidence is out there.

Not a week goes by when I don’t read another article highlighting the struggles of people near retirement age.

They’ve followed all the rules, played the game how they were taught, and now, in the twilight of their life, they can’t retire and have to continue working. These people have been sold a 50 year financial lie that costed them their youth, and now, their retirement.

I spoke to a retired man the other day and while I’m not privy to the exact details of his financial situation, he told me that he recently liquidated a Vanguard stock mutual fund which he funded with $63K back in the mid 1990’s.

He told me he hasn’t touched it in years, or added to it, and it was meant to be apart of his retirement fund.

He volunteered a cold reality that face most retirees today:  Today it is worth $32K.

He lost nearly 50% of his money in the vehicle championed and recommended by every “financial expert” out there – a vehicle that, unquestionably, is going to make us all rich someday!

Consider this:  While I may be a multimillionaire, I’m not uber-rich.  I don’t have houses all over the world or a stable full of exotic cars.  Aside from a fairly large house and a Lamborghini that I rarely drive, I live like everyone else with one primary difference: I don’t have to work.  And, if I don’t succumb to lifestyle improvement (I need 4 Lambos!  I need a bigger house!  I need $1,000 shoes!) that will probably never change.

So HOW did my story of financial freedom become possible?  The irony of the dream I live has NOTHING to do with the stock market, NOTHING to do with mutual funds, NOTHING to do with 401(k)s, or NOTHING to do with a good paying job.

Absolutely NOTHING!

And yet the message you’re continually brainwashed to follow, without question, doubt, or pause?  Trust your life to these vehicles and one day, they’ll pay off.

Depend on Wall Street!

Depend on the job market!

Depend on the housing market!

Depend on 8% a year (when banks are selling 1/2 percent a year)!

Yes, co-dependence will someday make you rich! Do this for decades, and one day, retirement will be all shuffleboarding and trips to the S. Pacific.

What a freaking joke.

Fact: The biggest financial losses I’ve incurred in my life have never come from my business decisions, or from my failed business ventures.  They’ve always come from the same exact place…

The stock market.

And yet, the world continues to ride the same old horse, despite the evidence showing us that the horse cannot be trusted.

If you want to become a millionaire, and do it young, here’s the eye-opening truth:  Dependence isn’t a financial strategy.

The irony of “millionaire advice” coming from non-millionaires is that the advice is often wrong, and just carbon-copy doctrine unquestionably passed from one generation to the next.

As crazy as it may seem, some people would rather take advice from people who WANT to be millionaires, versus from people who ARE millionaires.

If you want to become a millionaire, and perhaps have a few decades of life remaining so you can enjoy your millions, you must escape co-dependence!  If your financial future is codependent on the job market, the stock market, and the housing market, yes, I don’t think the odds are in your favor, especially since you cannot leverage, nor control the variables that can change the odds!

Fastlane entrepreneurship is about breaking co-dependence and becoming independent by creating  business structures were the mathematics work for you, instead of against you.

The reality?  I don’t use the markets to create WEALTH, I use them to create INCOME.

In my next post, I will show you how:  Never Work Another Day in Your Life: The Passive Income Portfolio In A Yield-Starved Environment.

~ MJ



  • MJ;

    I don’t agree with your basic premise that the best way to
    make millions is build something that can scale to infinity and earn you money
    even when you’re sleeping. I’m all on board with that notion. I think pretty
    much everyone in the internet age is.

     But one of my biggest
    disagreements with your book is this whole “work a job, buy a house, and put
    money in your 401K” is lie.

    Do you have any real statistics to back that up? For most
    people, I really believe that their best chance at retiring with a comfortable
    income is doing exactly what you say is a lie. Most people aren’t entrepreneurs.

    My parents are both prime examples of how this “lie”
    actually isn’t a lie. My mom was a school teacher my dad was a civil servant.
    My parents bought a house in 1974 for $80K and sold it in 2005 for $1.4
    million. They both get social security and pensions from their job. My dad’s
    pension is pretty large, my mom’s not quite so good. They both invested a bit
    in the stock market on their own so they have that income, too.  Sure they got a little lucky with the housing boom,
    okay, but that same house is still worth $1m. And they’ve got enough different
    income sources by just doing what you say is a lie that a disruption to one
    still wouldn’t put them in the poor house.

    I look at my friends, around 40 years old, and many of them
    are living the “lie” too. But I can see they’re basically doing the things my
    parents did, building equity in their house, putting money in their 401K plan,
    and investing in the stock market. And you know what? They’re going to be in
    just as good a shape as my parents are.

    On the flip side of that, I have friends who are trying to
    run their own businesses (some without a lot of success) aren’t building equity
    in their house, aren’t putting money into a 401K plan, and don’t have any

    And I have some friends who are working a 9-5 job, hate it,
    and aren’t building equity in a house or putting money in their 401K plan.

    Among my friends I’m betting on the first group of slow laners.
    Sure the slow laners who fritter their money away aren’t going to have anything
    when they retire. But that’s not a function of the slow lane it’s a function of
    their poor decision making.

    My examples certainly aren’t statistically significant, but that’s
    been my experience.

    I would be curious to dig a little deeper into the guy who
    lost 50% of his stock portfolio and see if there aren’t some other serious
    issues with his strategy. Again, I look around at the people I see and it’s
    usually not one bad decision that landed someone in a bad place, it’s a series
    of bad decisions.

    One of the biggest mistakes I think you make is assuming
    that everyone who works a job hates it and pines for something more. This is
    just not the case. My mom loved teaching. In fact at 72 she’s actually trying
    to figure out a way she can go back and continue to teach a few classes part
    time. She just loves learning and teaching and she has absolutely no ambition
    to be a millionaire.

    At one point in your book you mention how you were in your
    room working on a Friday night while all your friends were across the street
    drinking at a bar. To me that’s the main difference between you and most people.
    You wanted to get ahead and make money so you put in the time to do so. Most
    people, despite what they might say, don’t really want to get ahead that badly.
    People are what they do not what they say. And that’s what got you to where you
    are today. You happened to take the so-called “fast lane” but that’s not the
    only road to freedom or happiness.

    I get your “fast lane” and I think it’s great as ground work
    for a lot of people, hopefully including myself, but it’s not for everyone. And
    it’s not that the slow lane is a “lie,” it’s that the people who are using it
    aren’t always making good decisions within it.


    • Jay

      The reason the slow lane is a lie is because it is what the majority of the mainstream of people were conditioned to do. It is not necessarily “poor decision making” not everyone knows there is an alternative to the slow lane, some people are only doing what they were conditioned to do. (The Slow Lane) The difference between the 99% and the top 1% is the lane they drive. How long it take your parents house to be worth 1 mill? Almost 30 years? That is prime example of the slow lane.

    • I don’t want to wait 30 years just to get $1 million. By the way, $1 million won’t make you rich.

    •  Ashley,

      As some of the others mentioned, my message isn’t for “happy Slowlaners” and you are incorrect that I *assume* everyone is dissatisfied in the job – people satisfied with their job (and the Slowlane strategy) hopefully are NOT here … why would they?  People read my shit because they are searching (READ: NEED) an alternative that aligns with more how they want to live their life.   Just like some people are perfectly fine (and happy) with the Slowlane strategy, many ARE NOT.  My message is for people who want to *unplug* from what is considered normal and won’t be satisfied with either a job, or millions in their 70’s.   As for the *lie* — that is more intune with the hypocrites who preach Slowlane dogma and yet are worth millions because of Fastlane mathematics.  Thanks for stopping by and for the detailed opinion. =)



    After typing up that whole thread I realized my opening sentence was missing an important “dis”! It should start out…

    I don’t DISAGREE with your basic premise…


  • William

    That was a good post and thought provoking. Thanks for your investment of time.

  • Itslegal

    I disagree with Ashley, he is just repeating slow lane philosophy. I think  Ashley needs to re-read the millionaire fastlane again. I am now on my second reading and taking notes, and probably will read it a third time.  I have a great example of fastlane to share. A friend of mine made a record twenty years ago, a commedy album, not music.  My friend didnt want to compete with all the rock stars, and chose a simple niche in the music business. His album went platinum and turned out to be one of the best selling commedy albums ever. He retired off that one deal, and has income from his invested money.  As MJ said, it only takes one good idea, and that one met all the fast lane requirements. It was not  easy to enter, there obviously was a need, he was in control,  and it had scale.  My parents slow lane path is almost identical to the path Ashley described, and they are comfortable, moderately well off financially, have no debt, a paid for house and car.  The kicker, they are both 90 years old.  Ashley failed to point out that the slow lane may get you there just fine, but you will be too old to enjoy it.

    •  Awesome example, thanks for sharing it!

  • I think people are seriously missing my point.

    Why can’t we live in a world where the slow lane works for
    some people and the fast lane works for other people? My issue with MJ on this
    point is that he’s so adamant that the slow lane is a lie. It’s not a lie. It
    works very well for a lot of people. My parents (slow laners) are quite happy
    with the lives they’ve lived and are living a very comfortable life. And what’s
    wrong with that? The slow lane worked for them, so it’s not a lie. And I think
    for most people it’s the best plan because most people don’t want to do what it
    takes to run their own fast lane business – which is not a sin.

    I’m not sure what television shows, newspapers, or books
    everyone is reading but I don’t know of anyone who’s saying you’ll get rich
    with the slow lane. That’s not the point of the slow lane. The slow land leads
    to a comfortable life if you implement it properly. That’s it. No more no less.

    If you like your current job, are smart, diligent, and work
    hard and do NOT want to take on the responsibility of running your own business
    the slow lane is a great way to live our life.

    Now if you want to get rich by all means jump on the fast
    lane. Read MJ’s book and execute his ideas. He’s living proof that it can work.

    I want to pose a question:

    What percent of the people who read MJ’s book and make a
    genuine effort to implement it will end up being millionaires? 1%? Maybe.  I would probably put it at like 1 in 1000 at
    best, so 0.1%. I have no statistics I’m just using my gut here.

     What percent of the
    population who implements the slow lane will be able to retire with enough
    money and assets to live comfortably for the rest of their life? I’d say it’s
    probably 80% or higher.

    Certainly we can all agree that just on a purely odds basis
    more people are going to succeed with the slow lane then with the fast lane.
    Right? So can the slow lane really be a lie when it works for so many people?

    There are some things in MJ’s book that I really like and I
    think are really important for people who want to make money quickly.

    The whole idea of building a business that isn’t tied to you
    trading hours for dollars is great advice. As someone who makes money online it
    has helped me hone some of my projects. That’s all great information. I love
    the part in the book where MJ talks about his decision to NOT buy the limo
    service he was working for because he realized that it wasn’t a scalable / fast
    lane business. That made me stop what I was doing, literally, and really
    evaluate the projects I was working on. So thank you MJ for that.

    MJ’s  message about
    personal responsibility is something everyone, slow laners, side walkers, and
    fast laners can all benefit from.

    The stuff about building a business that the market needs,
    not one that you want to provide is fantastic advice for anyone who’s thinking
    about starting a business.

     The chapters on his decision
    making paradigm is all great stuff.

    But by spending so much time trying to convince us that the
    slow lane is a lie, when it’s not, is seriously detracting from the overall
    message of the book, which is very valuable.

    Is the slow lane the best road for everyone? Of course not.
    But the fast lane isn’t the best lane for everyone either.

    • Shakur

      The slow lane is a lie for those who do not want to be the richest in the retirement home. This is the critical point of the slow lane. Sure you can retire comfortably when your 60 or 70 but that is if you are still alive . You are gambling with your life if you are not controlling the steering wheel. Your parents got lucky with the house but do not forget that your parents did not control the value or equity on the house. They trusted  the housing market and they trusted the banks advice. What if the housing market lost control of the steering and crashed and your parents where in the passenger seat would it be relevant or irrelevant to how they are living now.

      The slow lane is a lie if you have hopes, the slow lane is a lie when you have no control and the slow lane is also a lie if you want to enjoy your money with grey hair and other symptoms.

    • I can completely understand where Ashley is coming from, but I also understand where MJ is coming from.

      There’s something on the book that MJ mentions very briefly, but when he does, it stayed in my mind:


      You’re happy teaching every day and having enough money to pay your bills? GO FOR IT. You’re happy working on a bank every day, obeying a boss and going home after that? GO FOR IT.

      Could they get fired without any notice, and stay without a job for a while and not know how to pay the bills? Of course! But the thing is: THEY ALREADY KNOW THIS, and are willing to pay that price, save a small percentage of the salary, then the markets, the holy 401k, etc etc. Call it what you will. But they are willing to pay that price, and they’re ok with it!

      Now. What is MJ doing? He’s approaching all of us who ARE NOT OK WITH A JOB and want freedom of time, and be rich enough TILL WE’RE COMFORTABLE. He’s teaching us to THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX, and he’s teaching us that THERE’S MORE!

      You want a NET INCOME of $20k/month? A job won’t do it for 99.9% of us. A business could.

      Let me say it this way: THERE’S ROOM FOR EVERYONE in this world! That’s all it is!
      Are Ashley’s relatives happy? They totally are! Is MJ happy? Of course he is! (My brother is ok with the Slowlane. I’ve talked to him about the Fastlane for quite a while, and he’s just not willing to pay the price. AND he’s ok with a job, going home and enjoying 2 days a week. Surprised? Don’t be).


      My $0.02. Cheers everyone!

      •  Thanks Abraham, you said it perfectly.

  • C.

    MJ, I don’t think your beating a dead horse, this is great info IMHO. I think most people keep buying into these BS stats on how many businesses fail, therefore, even entrepreneurs believe success is not probable due to these doom and gloom stats and ‘perceived’ high odds.

  • C.

    Also, Ashley…the fast-lane is not for everyone, I completely agree. 99% of people will never choose this path, and only a portion of 1% will.  However, its interesting when you compare the 99% to the 1% isn’t it? OWS and all.   People who strive for a life of freedom where they can do great things, IMO, are those who will benefit the most from his wisdom;  those fine with being in the 99% and living average, well they don’t really need a book for that, just get a job or something.

  • Jayrice

    Agreed MJ, the fastlane is not with the 401k,  You’ve done an excellent job in  your book laying this out.  Also true that most financial advisors are getting rich on trading in and out of investments and not on their own investments!  I saw this firsthand working at stock brokerage firms in the 90’s.  By the way, just a small wording change.  I wish we could clean up our figures of speech in the USA.  Nobody wants to ‘beat a dead horse’ but nobody should want to beat a live one either..  Perhaps just ‘debate this subject again’  or ‘go down a path we’ve already worn out’.. etc..  I think more about words as I raise two children.

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