Before reading this book, my understanding of personal finance can be summerized as: bank balances should exceed credit card debts. Given my limited prior knowledge, This book is mind-blowing. In short, the author talks about the psychological and mathematical aspects of retiring young.

There are a lot of information in this book and I will only briefly touch a few points in this post.

Firstly, the author considers three road maps of getting rich, which he calls

  • the sidewalk
  • the slowlane
  • the fastlane

The sidewalker lives from paycheck to paycheck and hopes some event suddenly brings wealth, the slowlaner relies on a stable job and investments aiming retirement at age 65, and the fastlaner builds a business system which creates passive income.

The author also provides detailed portraits of the mindposts of people on these three road maps. Comparing to these portraits, I was probably half way between sidewalker and slowlaner.

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. — Henry David Thoreau

Secondly, the author points out that wealth is not about the amount of money one has, and his definition of wealth consists of three parts:

  • Family (relationships)
  • Fitness (health)
  • Freedom (choice)

I find it to be a nice definition. If a paycheck requires one to work overtime a lot, sacrifice health and family, it doesn’t appear worthwhile.

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life. — Henry David Thoreau

Then the author moves on to describe business models that could be a fastlane, which is the major part of the book. There are really a lot of information on this. For example, he provides calculations about the expected income based on the desired life style at retirement.

He defines the so-called five fastlane commandments (NECST)

  • Need: is there a need?
  • Entry: is it hard to copy?
  • Control: do you have full control?
  • Scale: does it scale?
  • Time: is it passive?

He points out five business models that generate passive income

  • rental systems
  • computer systems
  • content systems
  • distribution systems
  • human-resource systems

He also talks about topics such as decision making, time management, education, risks, customer service, etc.

Overall I enjoyed the reading and got myself educated in how to reach financial freedom. There is one point I would like to add. Obviously, the author is an advocate of retiring early as a millionaire running successful businesses. It may be inspiring to see couples with more conventional jobs who also manage to retire early. Two examples are as follows