Following on from Part 1, I’ve now watched the last three episodes. For the email subscribers, some links:

Firstly, I have a question from the finale episode:

Who is this? And who gave her that title?

This question led me down a rabbit hole of internet weirdness, in which I discovered Shareen’s website and her TEDx talk, which ends with a room filled with slightly-awkward fake laugher (which then turns into real laughter at all the fake laughter, which was fun).

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.08.48 AM
“Africa’s largest and most successful Laughter Coaching Organisation”? Surely the only one…

Also, I learned that one can become a laughter professor by certification from the Laughter Yoga Institute, which is the brainchild of the self-proclaimed “laughter guru”, Dr Madan Kataria. In order to be eligible to train under Dr Kataria himself (who is a “medical doctor” apparently), here is a list of eligibility requirements:

Sounds like a cult
Sounds like a cult

I’m not entirely sure why Shareen was on here – but I like her. I definitely think that Laugher Yoga sounds like a spiritualistic exercise in network-marketing. But, you know, if you need someone to say “People think that money can buy them happiness, but it doesn’t” – then I suppose it makes sense to call on a Happiness Professor.

Other observations from the last three episodes:

  1. Maths. Come now – it’s fundamental. You don’t even need mental arithmetic – cellphones come with calculators.
  2. Yes, houses come with other costs.

Finally, my biggest take-away from this web series wasn’t actually the obvious “we need to save more and consume less and credit is expensive”. I think we know that already – it just sometimes needs to be placed front and centre of the purchasing decisions.

For me, I was most struck by the third episode (family business). Because I think that what we tend to forget is that, if you’re a saver, then you’re almost certainly going to be saving for more people than just yourself. Families come with liabilities – and when it comes down to it, you can’t just abandon family members to the streets because they’re in bad situations. I mean, you can – but most of us probably wouldn’t.

And I’m not sure that gets accounted for in the retirement plan…

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at