Films inspire, thrill, and entertain us. However, they also offer important lessons that you can apply to your professional or personal life, including strategies that can help you handle your finances the right way. As a matter of fact, documentaries or films based on money and the stock market will help you understand everything about the financial markets. Here are some of the best movies about money, investing, and the stock market you can’t miss.
1. The Big Short (2015)
The Big Short is a drama film based on a book by Michael Lewis. The movie is directed by Adam McKay and written by an American screenwriter Charles Randolph and McKay. The film explains complex financial concepts, such as collateralized debt swaps, subprime mortgages, and credit default swaps in layman’s terms to you. It features cameo appearances by celebrities like Richard Thaler, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez, and Margot Robbie to explain these concepts. All in all, the movie skillfully weaves drama and finance into an enthralling film that captivates you.
2. Wall Street (1987)
Wall Street, which is co-written and directed by Oliver Stone, tells the story of a junior stockbroker Bud Fox who is willing to do anything to make his way to the top. He wants to work with an unscrupulous rich Wall Street raider Gordon Gekko, and spy on well-known companies to impress him. However, when Fox gets to know about Gekko’s evil intentions, he resolves to bring him down.
3. Trading Places (1983)
This 1983 movie stars Eddie Murphy as Billy Ray Valentine, a homeless man, and Dan Aykroyd as Louis Winthorpe III, a managing director of a commodity brokerage firm, Duke & Duke Commodity Brokers. Brothers Mortimer and Randolph are the owners of this commodity brokerage firm. The Duke brothers make a bet based on their conflicting views about the debate around nature and nurture and decide to carry out an experiment. The callous millionaire brothers decide to use Valentine and Winthorpe for their experiment.
They manipulate a chance encounter between Valentine and Winthorpe that changes their lives forever. However, when Valentine eavesdrops on the details of the plan, he and Winthorpe team up to bankrupt the Duke brothers. By discovering the brothers’ plan for insider trading, Winthorpe and Valentine use the information against the duo, eventually ruining them while simultaneously getting rich.
4. Boiler Room (2000)
Boiler Room is a drama film directed and written by Ben Younger. The movie narrates the story of a 19-year-old college drop-out who works at an investment firm J.T. Marlin. He notices some suspicious activities at the firm and he ultimately helps the FBI agents take down the co-founders of the brokerage firm.
Boiler Room details a pump and dump scam in which the price of the owned stock is artificially increased through exaggerated, misleading, and false statements. The movie is a clear warning to investors that they should favor companies that are transparent in their strategies and business operations.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street is written by Terence Winter and directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the book of the same name, written by Jordan Belfort. Leonard DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who makes money by selling IPO stocks, blue-chip stocks, and penny stocks. The movie details the fall and rise of an unscrupulous and intelligent stockbroker who ends up in jail for money laundering and securities fraud.
6. Margin Call (2011)
Margin Call is a thriller movie directed and penned by J. C. Chandor. It was released back in 2011. The movie follows important individuals at a Wall Street bank over a 24-hour period during the initial stages of the financial crisis of 2008.
It follows what unfolds as a young risk analyst Peter Sullivan uncovers information that could lead to the downfall of the investment bank.
7. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2005 American documentary film that examines the fall of the energy trading company Enron Corporation. The firm is associated with a host of illegal schemes. In a cut-throat competitive environment, Enron traders turn to all types of unethical dealings to make money fast and hold onto their high-paying jobs. The film is based on the book of the same title by an investigative reporter Peter Elkind and an American journalist Bethany Lee McLean. It features interviews with former California Governor Gray Davis, reporters, stock analysts, former Enron executives, Elkind, and Bethany Lee McLean.
8. Rogue Trader (1999)
Rogue Trader is a British drama film directed and penned by James Dearden. It is based on Nick Leeson’s book Rogue Trader. Nick Leeson was a former derivatives broker for Britain’s merchant bank Barings Bank. The movie depicts how Leeson contributed to the fall of Britain’s oldest investment bank.
Huge investment bets by Leeson in the derivatives market along with a poor regulatory environment, a lack of strong oversight by head office, and the unanticipated event of the Kobe earthquake led to the trader losing $1.3 billion, and the bankruptcy of Britain’s oldest investment bank.
9. Banking on Bitcoin (2016)
Banking on Bitcoin is a documentary movie that highlights the birth of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. As a matter of fact, this film is perfect for you if you want to learn more about bitcoin, blockchain, and decentralization.
The movie features interviews with Bitcoin and BlockChain enthusiasts. According to its makers, Banking on Bitcoin took three years to make. It has detailed coverage of important players in the space, such as Alex Winter, Nathaniel Popper, Barry Silbert, Cameron, and Charlie Shrem. These people share their ideas and opinions on how cryptocurrency technology will shape our lives.
10. Inside Job (2010)
Inside Job is a documentary movie directed by Charles H. Ferguson. The movie delves into what caused the 2008 financial crisis. Plus, it features interviews with former IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, investor and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, and economist Nouriel Roubini. Inside Job also won the award for the best documentary film in 2010. The 2008 financial crisis caused many people to lose their savings and jobs, and it almost resulted in a worldwide financial collapse.
11. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a real story. The film stars Will Smith as Chris Gardner, a San Fransisco salesman trying to earn enough money to provide for essential needs and look after his child. Fortunately, Gardner gets a fiercely competitive internship in a stockbroker training program.
Gardner and his kid go through many difficulties as Gardner pursues a career as a stockbroker, expecting to make his and his kid’s lives better. Ultimately, Gardner overcomes all kinds of hurdles and goes on to become the owner of a multi-million dollar brokerage company.
12. Edison, the Man (1940)
Edison, the Man is a biographical movie detailing the life of Thomas Edison, an American businessman and inventor. In the leading role, Spencer Tracy plays Thomas Edison.
He causes a sensation throughout the world with his inventions and start-ups, particularly in the electric supply sector. Edison had been involved as a shareholder in several firms, including General Electric.