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Home » How Not To Lose The Billion Dollars You Didn’t Know You Had: Sissi Goh (Transcript)

How Not To Lose The Billion Dollars You Didn’t Know You Had: Sissi Goh (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of author Sissi Goh’s talk titled “How Not To Lose The Billion Dollars You Didn’t Know You Had” at TEDxTanglin Road 2023 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


They say money doesn’t buy happiness. We’ve all heard that saying, right? So why don’t we believe it? Why don’t we live by that statement?

The Pursuit of Material Possessions

Every many of us truly believe the opposite, that money does buy happiness. I mean, how else can we justify the amount we spend on clothes every quarter, gadgets every month, or entertainment every week? What if we flip this well-known statement on its head? What if we say that happiness comes from money?

But I’m not talking about cash in the bank. I’m not talking about gold bars. Let me explain by telling you a story. Here are the pictures of my grandparents when they were young.

My Grandparents’ Story

They looked pretty good, right? Nice clothes, great hair. My grandparents were lookers. My great-grandfather owned a pharmaceutical company. He lived in a mansion in the central area of a metropolitan city. He didn’t just have a house. He had a nearby bungalow, too, where the people he hired to help the family stayed. My grandpa received very good education since a young age.

He became a Fulbright Scholar studying in the United States. Then he met my grandma, whose father also studied economics in a renowned university and working as a C3 executive in a bank. Everything was going well until my great-grandpa died in an accident. He fell down a staircase.

The Consequences of Poor Financial Planning

It was traumatic for my family, not just emotionally, but also financially. For a man as smart as he was, as well-off as he was, he had absolutely no financial planning at all, not even with Will. You could imagine what happened next. Everything went haywire.

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