The world of finance in all its forms is a great film. Comedy, tragedy, ingenuity, and even redemption are all featured in the numerous financial films Hollywood has made throughout the decades. While the majority of these films depict finance professionals in a less pleasing light, the awe-inspiring stories of risk-taking, excess, and, of course, greed, make for captivating cinema and should be required watching for anyone who is thinking about or working in the industry.
It is always a good idea to be aware of the financial world so that you can make informed investment decisions. You should also be aware of the economic context that will impact your investment choices.
Many people are too busy to read a book about the subject of finance, numerous films and movies were made that are entertaining as well as instructive.
Here are the top ten films on markets or finance that every investor must watch at least once in their lives.
10. The Big Short (2015)
Based on the non-fiction novel “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” written by Michael Lewis, this movie follows a handful of traders when they learn–before anyone else of the bubble in housing that caused the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
The film is famous for its unique approach to deconstructing complex financial instruments, such as for instance the inclusion of Selena Gomez explaining what synthetic CDOs are while at the table of poker as well as having Margot Robbie talk about mortgage-backed bonds inside a tub with champagne.
9. Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
A TV movie that was centered around Leveraged Buyout (LBO) was the case with RJR Nabisco.
While the film takes some liberties with the way it portrays the real-life events, viewers will be shocked and entertained at the greed and incompetence that Nabisco’s chief executive F. Ross Johnson and the undercover negotiations and the scheming about this infamous LBO.
8. American Psycho (2000)
A thought-provoking and violent thriller set against the backdrop of finance. Christian Bale plays a wealthy investment banker who has a dark secret in the adaptation of The Bret Easton Ellis book. While there’s very little actual financial information in the movie, American Psycho does shed some light on the spooky financial world that is inhabited by the elite, and the total gap they’ve created between themselves and reality.
7. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
A critically acclaimed big-screen version of the David Mamet play, this infinitely quotable film focuses on the downtrodden team of real estate salesmen whose morals and ethics have been severely damaged by the many years working for a fraudulent business.
The film demonstrates the insanity and deceit that salespeople are exposed to, along with the pressure that salespeople are put under by their supervisors.
The entire cast is excellent The performance of performance of Alec Baldwin’s “motivational speech” steals the entire film, and exposes the most harrowing and gratifying face of working under tremendous pressure.
6. Rogue Trader (1999)
The film tells the story of Nick Leeson, a trader who caused the total insolvency of Barings Bank, the world’s second-oldest commercial bank. An emerging superstar at the Singapore trading floor, Leeson blew up as fast as he rose to the top, concealing massive losses from his supervisors in carefully secret accounts, leading to the most infamous of failed trades on a strangle trade on Nikkei and having a significant sigma movement.
While the film is entertaining Leeson’s story is an excellent lesson on risk management and financial supervision.
5. Trading Places (1983)
This modern-day version of “The Prince and the Pauper” is a comedy that stars Eddie Murphy as a streetwise con artist who is conned into becoming the head of a trading company that deals in commodities and then, unknowingly, replacing his predecessor as a blue-blooded boss played by Dan Aykroyd.
While the actual trading is put on the back burner to the characters who are transitioning into their new environment The final 15 minutes of the film is a precise representation of a frenetic trading session inside the pits for futures trading in orange juice. Without giving too much away the scene is worth the cost to watch, however, the support actors, the nostalgic 80s and the great performances by the lead actors make this a must-watch.
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
If you’ve not seen this film by Scorsese that chronicles the development and demise of the famous stock fraudster, Jordan Belfort, then you’re missing some of the finest performances of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill’s careers.
Similar to “Barbarians'” pump and dump, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on real-life incidents (though this time with a significant interpretation of dramatics) in the context of the notorious Stratton Oakmont, an over-the-counter brokerage company, as well as an infamous pump-and-dump scheme which assisted in helping IPO many major public companies in the 90s and late in the 80s.
3. Boiler Room (2000)
In contrast “Barbarians at the Gate” is set in the glitz and glamour of a company Boardroom “Boiler Room” is located on the lowest level of the ladder of financial success is the scheme of pump and dump. Although “Boiler Room” is a story of fantasy, pump and dump businesses are very real and so is the suffering and pain they inflict on the victims of their schemes.
“Boiler Room” serves as an alert for anyone who is beginning to invest in stocks to stay with honest, solid companies that are based on solid fundamentals and to follow the rule of thumb: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
2. Margin Call (2011)
Perhaps the most financial-accurate film of the bunch, “Margin Call” takes its place over 24 hours of the daily life of the Wall Street firm on the edge of failure (modeled very closely on the massive wide brackets with bulges).
“Margin Call” does little to conceal its disdain for the risky behavior taken of certain of the largest banks prior to the financial crisis of 2008 including trading complicated derivative instruments they themselves had not known about. A poignant scene from the film features two main characters arguing among themselves about the imminent catastrophe which is set to strike on their bank as well as the uninitiated financial world as a janitor sits in the middle, completely uninvolved in what’s happening.
1. Wall Street (1987)
Surprise The most popular finance film that professionals must watch must be the Oliver Stone classic that got thousands of college students to repeat the immortal line “Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel” when they were rushing to their Series 7 examinations. The original intention was to showcase how much hedonism and excess are that is associated to finance “Wall Street” still has a tremendous impact as a recruitment tool for brokers, traders analysts, and bankers more than 30 years after the film was released.
The film does inform us about the risks that come from insider trading be honest that who wouldn’t like to become Bud Fox or even Gordon Gekko (legitimately naturally) and indulge in our own greedy ways since the way Gekko might declare, “Greed is good.”
The films are essential for anyone who is considering becoming a financial professional, however, even if you don’t plan to pursue an occupation in this field These films may provide some information about the complicated and sometimes bizarre financial world. But, as the old saying is, “truth is stranger than fiction,” and the recession of 2008, the fall of Enron, as well as Madoff’s scandal Madoff scandal, have proven that real life is much more bizarre than any story Hollywood can conjure.