What You Weren’t Taught About Making Money | Sarah Potter | TEDxCollingwood

Translator: Tanya Cushman
Reviewer: Riaki Poništ My daughter just started kindergarten. So this is a really exciting time. It marks a time when me, as a parent, is going to hand my child over
to this education system and hope that she learns the skills
she needs to be successful in life. I’ve only dropped her off at kindergarten, and I’m already thinking
about high school. But really, when we drop off our kids at school, it kind of evokes a lot of deep
philosophical reflections about what we need in order
to be happy or to be successful in life and what our children will need. Now, one of these topics is something that I know that she’s really
not going to learn in school, as much as I wish she would. And oftentimes, this conversation
doesn’t actually happen at home. The topic that I want to talk
to you about today is this, and specifically:
“How do you make more of this?” Now, my experience with money
started very differently than most. I was in education; I was an educational consultant,
worked there for about ten years. And at the time, I was doing
my Masters of Education, and I had this hobby
called “trading in the market.” As you can imagine, when I first started,
I didn’t make a lot of this stuff. And what I decided to do
when I did my Masters of Ed was apply the things I was learning
about how we learn best with the skills of making money. It ended up working out really well. I left that full-time job, and now I do this for a living,
and it’s pretty fantastic. But it’s with this perspective
of both education and investing that I want to talk to you about today. When we think about money, many of us are very familiar
with the skills: “save more,” “spend less,” “budget.” Those are terms we use all of the time;
we throw them around, we know they’re things that we should do, and they’re really focused
on preserving what we have. Then on the other side of the coin, we have this idea of what it would be like
to make a ton of money. We have these ideas and notions
in our head when it comes to the market – that we think we need to risk it all
to make millions of dollars. This is Gordon Gekko, a very familiar character
when it comes to making money. We’ve probably all seen
the movie “Wall Street,” we might watch shows called “Billions.” This is the typical depiction of what we normally think about
when it comes to trading. This is me. (Laughter) Trading in a coffee shop
while my baby is sleeping on me. What we see and hear
when it comes to money-making is so far removed
from what it’s really like. So, if you have a bit of money saved, and we’ve done what we’re supposed to do, and we want to actually grow some wealth, many of us are trying to hit that other very traditional notion
of what it’s like to be in the market, the notion that’s actually more
appropriate for institutional investing or people who already have
millions of dollars trying to make more. Depictions of average people
are few and far between. If we actually want to do
something with our money, we are somewhere here in the middle,
and there’s a big knowledge gap. And so, no wonder it’s pretty
confusing for all of us. I mean, 76% of millennial women
find investing confusing. 71% of Americans find talking
to their financial planner scary. And get this: 44% of Americans find the most
challenging conversation you can have is about money. Even the topic of death
comes in second at 38%. So this is a real problem. We all work really hard for our money. We are all told to save our money. But what do we do if we want
to make a little bit more? What do we do if we’re somewhere
here in the middle? Most of us are probably handing our money
over to financial institutions because this is often
what we’re told to do. And when we do that, that’s fine for some. But unfortunately, we don’t really
get to see what they do, we definitely don’t get
to learn how to do it, and many of us don’t even know
the questions we should be asking about why are they making
the decisions that they are. And I don’t think
that this is really right. Many of us don’t even realize
that we actually have the technology to be able to log in
to your cellphone or your laptop, and to be able to trade
at any point in time during the day. Unfortunately though, the skill set that’s gone
along with this hasn’t really kept up, so many of us don’t really know. So what if we turned, then,
to the formal education system? This is where we would think about: “We need to learn to make money.” So, the latest term that we have here
is called “financial literacy.” This is supposed to help
all of our money woes. But if you look at the narrative about what it still being discussed
when it comes to financial literacy, we still are talking
about the same old, same old: “save more,” “spend less,”
“budget your money.” And I want you to think
about it for a second. If we actually took this idea and started helping people
to know how to make money, and then they started spending money based on the profits
that they actually made from money they earned, how would that change
the conversation about money? We need to help our students realize that when it comes to the markets
or the ability to make more money, this can be actually
very achievable for most of us, but we need to stop trying to make
millions of dollars and risk it all and start realizing that this is a skill that any of us can do
at any point in time. We need to take some of the skill sets
that kids already learn. So think about something like: “compare and contrast”
or “sorting” for that matter. In kindergarten, they’re starting to learn
how to sort things and build patterns. Those are skills that actually I use
in the market every single day. And, in fact, when I learnt how to trade –
and I trade for a living – a lot of the skills that I use
aren’t actually financial skills; they’re skills that I actually
learnt in other areas. So we need to help students bridge the gap between information
they’re already learning and tying that to conversations about money. The other piece that I want to talk
to you about is realistic expectations. Again, this is something
that can be very appropriate for students when we talk about this with them. When it comes to the market,
it’s not all or nothing. So, just for example here, about a week ago,
I got an email from someone. And he had $5,000, and he wanted to know how long I thought it would take
to go from $5,000 to $10,000. And that’s the problem. $5,000 to $10,000, that’s a 100% return;
that is doubling your money! Gosh, if everybody
could do that, wouldn’t we all? It’s all about our expectations. It would be far more realistic
for him to take his $5,000, trade with it, enjoy that, and take his family
out for dinner once a month as opposed to trying to double his money. There is nothing wrong with taking
a small amount of money that you have and only just focusing
on making some profits, and then spending those profits
on all the fun things that you love rather than trying to double your money It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. And let me tell you, I am not an ex-institutional trader. And by the way, just because
you are an ex-institutional trader doesn’t mean that you actually
know how to make money, or that it’s appropriate
for us as average people. I also want you to know that I am not a certified
financial planner. I do not have an MBA,
nor do I have a business degree. I am an average person. And when it comes to making money, I am no more capable of this than you are. Home Depot brought “do-it-yourself”
construction projects to the masses with the tagline: “We can show you how.” We need something like this for money-making skills, too,
for average people. We need to start seeing depictions
in media and entertainment that are actually
more realistic and focused on what most of us
can do with all of this. We need to stop idealizing these very fantasized versions
of trading in the market and [start] realizing
that this can be appropriate for all of us. So, there are three things that I really hope
you’ll walk away with today. And now that I do know how to make money, this is what I hope you will write down and you will continue
to tell other people. The first thing is that when it comes to making money, there’s this language to it. And there’s lots of complicated terms. And one term is often used
to define another term. So no wonder it’s confusing for all of us because none of us are using plain English when we start talking
about making-money skills, but particularly in the market. So let’s start asking
our financial planners, all of the media outlets to start talking about all this
in plain language so that we can actually understand. If you want to continue to invest
with someone else, that’s fine, but maybe we’ll have
better questions to ask about the decisions being made. And if you want to do that yourself, it’s even better. I also want you to know that the language shouldn’t be
the barrier for you to do this; you don’t need to know all of the words
to know how to make money. And vice versa: you can make money without knowing
all of the words in this industry. The second piece is that when it comes
to investing or trading or making money, it doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Now, I love this, and I have to say I’ve done this
part time, full time, and I started trading four days
after my second baby was born. You can do this as a hobby too. The best part about trading
and making money that’s more realistic is when you go to Starbucks
and you order a latte and it’s free. And you know why it’s free? Because I’m spending the profits that I made on a trade in Starbucks,
the stock, about a week earlier. That feeling is something
everybody can feel. If you have a little bit of money saved and you focus on spending it
on your indulgences, how does that change
your perception about money? The third thing that I want you to know
when it comes to making money is that it’s a skill. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that come to the market and think
that they are Olympic mountain bikers before they’re really ready
to take the training wheels off. So I want you to remember that when you first started
to learn to ride a bike, you probably started with training wheels. And you may have even fallen
a couple of times when you took them off, but you got up, and now some of you
might be Olympic mountain bikers, but others might just enjoy
a Sunday afternoon ride. And the same experience
can be true in the market. Just make sure that if you do fall down,
you can still get back up again, because it does get to a place
where it’s actually really fun to do. I’d like everybody
to think about Gordon Gekko. What Gordon Gekko [did] is risky, but it doesn’t have to be that way. And honestly, not knowing
about money-making skills is risky too. If we all ask more,
see more and hear more, we can learn to make more. And so this brings me back
to the beginning of our conversation when I dropped my child off
at school this morning, as many of you have as well. Are they really learning the skills
they need to be successful in life? And have the skills
that you learned about money helped you to get you
where you want to go? Thank you. (Applause)

100 comments on “What You Weren’t Taught About Making Money | Sarah Potter | TEDxCollingwood”

  1. Brad Barber says:

    telling investors to sell as soon as they make a little profit and use the money to take their family on vacation is TERRIBLE advice. Keep the money invested, you future self will be thankful. Constantly buying and selling comes with so much friction cost. If you want to take a vacation save for it in your checking account then pay for it in full without using a credit card.

  2. Greg Brokaw says:

    No content whatsoever.

  3. edvandyke says:

    Stop calling it MONEY omg. You're a trader and you don't know what currency is.

  4. Won Burgandy says:

    I agree that money is not taught in school…. but there is nothing here that teaches anything…

  5. Clive Lindley says:

    Like most Ted talks, no useful content. Foolish to think you can trade like this. 90% loose 90% in 90 days.

  6. Andrew Huang says:

    The most useless talk I've ever listened to

  7. Anon Raccoon says:

    What a waste of 12 minutes. I could have given a better ted talk about this subject.

  8. Sreejesh says:

    Worst speech I ever heard. She talks "blah blah" for 13 minutes, no value addition, no useful information. Only the title looks attractive.

  9. continual-improvement says:

    Ah man, I wish I read the comments first!!

  10. TheYodaman22 says:

    Sooo, how do I actually make money?

  11. FRANCESCORE1982 says:

    Making more money doesn't make you happy… this is what you should teach to your kid :/

  12. MrSolwara says:

    so how about when you lose money trading? you will wish you were a teacher making a regular income

  13. Pharoh Costello says:

    Most of yall in the comments just dont get it the info being spit here, "No information provided, complete waste of my time" you know why? Because you were looking for an easy way to get rich and you were looking for that answer instead you of applying what she's talking about. This is why more than 70% of people struggle because they look for the easy way and expect a handout with no work put in

  14. matt cruz says:

    We need more information everywhere… provides no information. Yai yai, give me something I can use.

  15. Farran Deschamps says:

    Ah yes, trading! The art of taking out of a system without putting anything in. And her coffee wasn't free, she probably spent untold hours, and luck, getting that profit. You'll have my respect when the get something because you gave something.

  16. Stan Paslavski says:

    Ю waist our time.

  17. k9 ronin says:

    Generic, sweeping statements of no substance. What a crock!

  18. K says:

    Zero content.All gas.

  19. Latest Trending videos says:

    really boring and not as per expectation

  20. Ark Mantony says:

    This really seems akin to having a small-sum lottery winner on to talk about how to make money buying lottery tickets. Once you win just spend your earnings it's so great! She's benefited from trading in a bull market (long period of steady growth), but her only real information is to improve your financial literacy. Look pretty much anywhere else and you will find basically three tips:

    1. Track and control your expenses (i.e. don't live beyond your means, and avoid lifestyle creep)
    2. Pay yourself first (i.e. put a set % of earnings into savings / diversified investments)
    3. Diversify your assets (i.e. Split your investments across different sectors/markets/etfs/etc…)

    Of course all those apply to a passive investor, but I think that's who she's trying to target with this speech, people with relatively low financial literacy. For anyone trying to become an active investor (i.e. day-traders) there are way better resources out there.

  21. Human says:

    Did you know even Warren Buffet started as a Day Trader until growing his $$$ bigger. Then he used his gains to also do longer time holds.

  22. arie besserman says:

    What a bunch of nonsense.
    I'm surprised TED is having this deluded misleading women here.
    Trading is very high skill activity. U don't understand why the word LOSS is not even mentioned….. Starbucks….😂

  23. Erodi nator says:

    Ahh man, I’m reading the comments as I watch this video…… I … must…. stop…. watching…. but ….. I just…… can’t … stop!!!!

  24. Nathic nature says:

    lol the comments are exactly what i was thinking..zero content

  25. Livon Diramerian says:

    All or nothing is disastrous.

  26. Eagle Grip says:

    money gives me happy feet. :0)

  27. Curran Kemp says:

    8:00 into the video and she says nothing of substance. At least Dave Ramsey gives sound advice.

  28. Timo de Lange says:

    Thank you this was exactly what I wanted to hear/learn. Despite all of the negative comments I found this really good if you never invested anything. The message you can do it too is very important. At least for me…now..thanks thanks keep up the good work

  29. Matt M says:

    Another Ted talk where they spend 12 minutes delivering a sentence worth of info. "if you want to learn to invest, start small."

  30. Nashrie Low says:


  31. Sukr Araci says:

    You didn't tell the skill that we need in stock market.

  32. edward nichter says:

    Day trade for lattes while my husband makes the money.

  33. Kay Suitter says:

    She still has a little to learn she doesn’t make money. She can only earn money. The central bankers make money.

  34. jaayeee24 says:

    This is the worst Ted Talk I've ever watched. This was literally a waste of time. I'm still waiting for her to start sharing some actual information.

  35. Life Present says:

    Great comment section everyone! Let's keep the fake in phony la la land!

  36. John Alchin says:

    The best advice she gave was that the financial industry should be using plain english and not financial jargon.

  37. KEITH KUHN says:

    I don't want lip service I want action.
    Keith Kuhn

  38. Richard P vancouver says:

    Day trading mostly works when markets are going up.Just like people who bought houses in major cities in the 60's and 70's are supposedly geniuses.

  39. Cheyenne Alvis says:

    1. Look up "Ethical Stocks" and invest in them.
    2. Get together with 5 friends and get a house close to a university/college. Section it out and offer it as rental space to students at less than campus price.

  40. Trey's SOH says:

    Title should say "what this lady doesn't teach you about money"

  41. alex berukoff says:

    this country is based on crime,,conmen,fraud,insider trading and ponzi schemes etc.etc.etc.

  42. Michael Weaver says:

    Ahh wasted 10 mins watching before realizing there was nothing.

  43. Sterling M says:

    Not only is there next to no information given about how to make money but the little bit of information that is there would likely prove disastrous for most new investors.

  44. Clark Kent says:

    see from 6:20, set the playback speed to 1,5….

  45. Romerryll says:

    Starts at kindergarten… Skips to how to invest. I think you skipped a few steps🤔

  46. Tomás Marques says:

    You don't make money from investing… If you want to get more money you either build a BUSINESS or get a BETTER JOB.

  47. Cayo Julio says:

    Nobody told me that "making money" was forgery! I should have tried to earn it.

  48. Logical Brain says:

    Make awesome returns and instead of letting it compound, spend it!
    Stupidest advice ever

  49. BigBlueRips says:

    I'd learn all I can about geometric financial growth from someone who actually puts it to practice.Someone should this someone should that Just make it happen.

  50. Jim Lamont says:

    This is horrible advice. First it assumes that trading means profits so “you can take your family out to dinner” with the profits. Most people who day trade lose money.

    Secondly, investing is not the same as trading. There is also something called capital gains. Taking your “profits” to buy coffee and calling it “free” is simply asinine.

  51. Chris Marz says:

    cant understand the negative comments on this, for me it was a good one. I am a hobby trader and it changed some things about the most important field. Mindset. Thanks.

  52. There are many usernames but this one is mine. says:

    I prefer for the Robert Kiyosaki method even though I don't always practice it.

  53. Shawn Babbitt says:


  54. David Wong says:

    Agreed. Just because you make profits doesn't mean you should go buy coffee or go out to dinner. According to more experienced money mangers you should budget your spending and investing. Investing monies are for investing. Re-invest your profits and continue growing your holdings. That disposable income is for coffee and dinners at the restaurants. However, once that money is exhausted, one must wait til the next month or replenishment of those funds.

  55. Kenn Tollens says:

    Risk 1% on a trade to make 3%. Look for the trading patterns like iron condor to know when to start the trade. Set the stop loss so you lose the 1% or trade out at 3% gain. Its that easy.

  56. Asfandiar The Great says:

    what is the key point of this talk ? …. she was talking rubbish !!!!!…. giving general facts ???

  57. M VS says:

    Not sure I understand all the negative comments. It's a TED talk its meant to be superficial and a bit motivational.she gave areally good insights school does not teach you how to make money,but more how to save it and manage it.

  58. Words, words, words. says:

    there wasn't too much concrete info here but I still found value in it. just the overall idea that it can be done and it doesn't have to be all or nothing was motivating. good job girl!

  59. Tanya Ma says:

    This is brilliant! Thank you and I have recommended this talk in my women financial literacy company Finesse Finance

  60. Toys r Choice says:

    Investing money is a risk. Investing time is also a risk, so I took the risk and wasted 13 minutes of my LIFE watching this [email protected]!G video.

  61. Jerry Michael Crowe says:

    Sarah makes some excellent points to consider. She makes sense and it right on target with how the so-called teachers of investing are not getting the job done. Her credibility is outstanding.

  62. L.M. Green says:

    i DIDNT FIND THIS HELPFUL.MAYBE IT IS TO High School Students. Not to Adults.

  63. Mr. White says:

    The only people who "make money" work at a mint.

  64. Not Steve says:

    Is she related to Sylvia Potter? And success is overrated.

  65. Alex Sharoiko Александр Шаройко says:

    I want to see her speech 5 years later ))

  66. chooselife3000 says:

    If people aged 11 to 21 learned and or were taught the skill set to trade in a small way then they would not have to become hopeless wage slaves.

  67. chooselife3000 says:

    It is a normal human nature to ask, how long does it take to "double your money", very normal question.

  68. Ron Midwest says:

    Title baiting. Complete waste of time.

  69. Potomac Sun says:

    This speaker's presentation is naive. Americans un general aren't in control of their consumerism, aren't in control of budgeting skills, and aren't in control of their use of credit.
    Without even that background mastery, you ask them to comprehend the elasticity of money in a brokerage account.
    Most will not be able to sustain the losses, will get panicked by losses, and won't understand even how to read the stock charts.
    The book Random Walk on Wall Street is as good a starting place as any.

  70. The Implacable Authoritarian says:


  71. Jasta85 says:

    why didn't I read the comments first 🙁

  72. Andrzej Jablonski says:

    The title should be "What you weren't taught about making money you won't find here ".

  73. timtamothy21 says:

    "Me as a parent" – maybe she should go back to school 😂

  74. Masterdrao22 says:

    scarlett johansson?

  75. josefa1212 says:

    Damn you're gorgeous

  76. Lee Moe says:

    So the way to make money is by not to do and to confine on the least while trying to enjoy it? Thank you! I am fine with my 9-5 job.

  77. preben nielsen says:

    Funny how this woman deeply thinks the purpose of life is to "make money", especially through investments. I understand the many downvotes.

  78. J STEELE says:

    Don't waste your 13 minutes.. she says nothing that's helpful..

  79. Xavi Roch says:

    Great stock market advertising. Instead of lerning ingeniering, medicine and others subjects profitable for society, much better if all of us learn how to get profit from markets!

  80. guybravo says:

    Money saved is more important than money earned. Invest only in dividend paying stocks. Start saving and investing now.

  81. Philip Martin Hammond says:

    Pure nonsense

  82. bruce pennycook says:

    Nothing to learn here if you want to learn how to invest buy the financial times guide's to investing it's written in layman's language that anyone can understand or rich dad poor dad good luck

  83. Cal Commercial Insurance says:

    Don't quit your day job honey. Speaking is not your gift and your message is more watered-down than Coors light.

  84. Edwin Laarz says:

    If she understood the lie that is money she couldn't stand on that stage. Money is supposed to represent resources, investors think they add resources, yet they walk away with more money (resources) than they put in. Something from nothing betrays the most basic laws of the universe, and yet people choose to believe the lies those that 'have' spew.

  85. russ burton says:

    as a woman she only offers her used up pu$$y,illigetimate child and mental issues MGTOW boys best advice i can give. i like how she says the man should pay for the dinner = you wanted equality baby

  86. kirthguntaghl says:

    What a boring talk on a super boring subject.
    Making money while doing what you love is fun, but making money just to make money as your goal is a pitiful way to spend your life on.

    This Ted Talk was a waste of time.

  87. Wade Suhr says:

    No practical information I guess.

  88. Kuuryo says:


    "when you go to Starbucks and it's free!"

    And that is why no one should take financial advice this person.

  89. Odeeyu says:

    TEDx ruined TED Talks.

  90. jeremie a says:

    7 years thats all it takes just as Cramer

  91. Ana F says:

    Omg! All these comments! The message was that anybody can learn the skill needed to trade. That the language is needlessly complicated. It's like you can't be your own lawyer because the system is setup that way as to complicate every little thing. But it doesn't have to be that way. That's the message. I felt it was more directed at women, especially the ones that stay at home with their kids. It spoke to me.
    Anyway, the title , as I understood it, 'what you weren't taught about making money' – is that it's simpler and more attainable than you feared.

  92. Dano1947 says:

    Be born into the right family, meet the right people, you'll do just fine.

  93. Colton Pickett says:

    The school system teaches you the basics, then they tell you to go work for the rest of your life like the average person. School teaches you to be average and nothing g about money.

  94. Adam Nilsson says:

    Thank you for identifying the problem, now what is the solution?

  95. Michael Lowe says:

    If everyone could do it, no one could. If everyone could make money without doing labor, no labor would get done and no wealth would be created. Someone has to do the work to make the things we buy with the money.

  96. Propósito Azul says:

    Waste of time, a video about nothing saying nothing

  97. Tonikaku Jay says:

    Awesome Ted Talk by Sarah Potter, she broke down the concept of money making into the base components to inspire me to understand that making and earning money isn't somethign to be afraid of rather to be encourage and looked at with an eye of exploration and curiosity, thanks Ted talks!

  98. Beautiful Roofer says:

    Always….ALWAYS read the comments as soon as you click.

  99. Ahmad Sankar says:

    so basically I was listening to an introduction about the topic, not the topic itself, wasted my time

  100. James Forinash says:

    Thank you for the great information. School hasn't been targeted to drive children towards success. It is more accurately driven children to conformity in society. Very rarely does a school with class sizes of 20+ have the resources to teach 20 different learning styles and avenues for financial success, unless people want to pay a lot more in taxes/tuition. This has, and for the foreseeable future, will land on the parents' plate of responsibility. It is one reason why the wealthy get wealthier and the poor stay poor. I only learned about wealth because my father was a real estate agent and worked for wealthy people. I continued my own education by taking Finance in college. It takes a lot to learn how to make money and how to make your money make money. The stock market is one way for sure, but there are others that aren't even touched on in the talk (real estate, business investment, micro loans, etc.).

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