Since 1984, the TED non-profit organization has been providing powerful, 18-minute (or less!) talks in a way in which “technology, entertainment, and design converge.”1 Today, they offer a range of topics in over 100 languages across the globe that can be viewed on their website or via popular video streaming services like YouTube. Below are five compelling TED talks about personal finance we think are worth a watch.
Talk #1: “Saving For Tomorrow, Tomorrow” with Shlomo Benartzi
The desire to want to spend money as soon as we make it is simply human nature. In fact, when it comes to preparing for retirement, economist Shlomo Benartzi says spending instead of saving is one of the biggest obstacles our future retirement faces. How do we find a solution for saving quicker and spending less? Benartzi tackles this difficult question in his TED Talk “Saving For Tomorrow, Tomorrow.”
Talk #2: “Why the Secret to Success Is Setting the Right Goals” with John Doerr
Venture capitalist John Doerr knows a thing about success. As chairman of of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins in Silicon Valley, John famously led them to invest in Google in 1999, transforming a $12.5 million dollar investment into billions when Google went public in 2004. In his Ted talk, “Why the Secret to Success is Setting the Right Goals.” Doeer discusses how many of us set ourselves up for failure from the get-go, simply because we set the wrong goals from the outset. However, by implementing a goal-setting system, Doerr argues that you’re putting yourself in a greater position to achieve and that setting the right goals can be the difference between success and failure.
Talk #3: “The Future of Money” with Neha Narula
What happens when the way we buy, sell, and pay for things changes, perhaps even removing the need for banks or currency exchange bureaus? Neha Narula is the director of research at the Digital Currency Initiative and in her talk “The Future of Money,” she discusses the idea that money isn’t a concrete, objective 'thing'. Going into greater detail, Narula provides her take on what the future of money will look like. In particular, she touches on the recent popularity of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and how these impact the way we exchange and value money. She goes on to discuss “programmable money,” and how the power of money can be returned to the individual.
Talk #4: “How to Buy Happiness” with Michael Norton
Most of us have heard the phrase “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” In his TED Talk titled, “How to Buy Happiness,” social science researcher Michael Norton discusses this phrase in detail. In thinking about how to utilize wealth to create happiness, Norton describes the idea that pro-social spending can positively impact you, your work, and others. In doing so, you are, essentially, buying happiness (just not in the way the original phrase intended).
Talk #5: “Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals” with Tim Ferriss
Often what we need to do the most are the things we fear. With that in mind, how do we overcome our fears and take action despite our doubts and worries? Entrepreneur, author, and podcaster Tim Ferriss discusses the idea of “fear setting” in his TED Talk, “Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals.” This practice is designed to help viewers thrive better in stressful situations while identifying what can be controlled versus what can’t.
TED Talks are known for their brief, yet engaging presentations that leave you feeling inspired and motivated. When it comes to discussing finances, this can make them an especially appealing option. Whether it’s for the enjoyment of yourself or a loved one, consider giving these quick videos a watch.