Whether you’re looking for a thriller, compelling drama, or simply educating yourself about the financial markets, this is the ultimate list of movies you got to check out!
Without further ado, let’s get to the point:
5. Rogue Trader – never put risk management in second place!
To kick off our list, we'll begin with a drama at number 5 – Rogue Trader. Inspired by true events, the movie features Ewan McGregor, who plays Nick Leeson, a young British broker working at a major investment bank. Sent to Singapore, Leeson starts taking advantage of the rising Asian market to place numerous risky trades. Before long, his losses pile up, and he decides to hide them. The movie’s boiling point comes when Leeson opens a short straddle position on Japan225, leading him to ruin.
4. Wall Street – the trading movie everyone’s talking about.
On the 4th place of our list sits comfortably the movie that won Michael Douglas an Oscar back in 1988. Still vivid in the collective memory of finance professionals, trader wannabees or simple cinema-lovers, Wall Street serves as a warning about the danger of greed in a world where morals and ethics lost their true meaning and purpose.
Movie Synopsis: Wall Street tycoon Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) teaches a young stockbroker named Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) the less than ethical ways of Wall Street. Soon enough, things get ugly, leading to unforeseen events with devastating repercussions for both parties involved.
The film is directed by Oliver Stone, famous for many productions such as Platoon, Natural Born Killers, JFK or Nixon. Stone also directed the sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which failed to match the original’s brilliance.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street – when DiCaprio perhaps should have won an Oscar.
This cult movie chronicles the rise and fall of a famous stock scammer, Jordan Belfort, masterfully portraited by Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s not just about Leo, though, since the movie is star-packed, featuring the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Margot Robbie as well, among others.
Like Rogue Trader, The Wolf of Wall Street is also based on real-life events, depicting the pump and dump scheme* that Belfort used to help several companies launch IPOs in the '80s and '90s.
*Pump and dump schemes involve inflating a stock's price through misleading, positive statements to sell it at an artificially augmented price.
2. Boiler Room – the golden age of pump and dump.
Boiler Room is another film depicting the notorious pump and dump scheme. After watching this piece, you will realize much harm these pump-and-dump companies caused to their victims and how easy it was to set such scams into motion (up to a point, that is).
Additionally, Boiler Room serves as a warning for people looking to invest in the financial markets. Always stick to transparent, solid companies based on sound fundamentals. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
If not for anything else, watch this movie to see a young Vin Diesel with some (very little) hair.
1. Margin Call – giants can fall as well.
The most intense movie from our list, Margin Call, takes place over 24 hours in the life of a Wall Street company on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis. What sets this movie apart is its informative, realistic look at ignorant, reckless, and greedy Wall Street, packed in a fast-paced, thrilling drama, with top-notch performances from Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Irons.
In case you’re wondering when you trade on margin (borrowed money), a margin call happens when your account balance drops too low, causing you to be overleveraged. When this moment occurs, your broker will require that you deposit more money or more securities in your account.
What other movies related to the financial markets do you know? Feel free to write to us on F.B. & Twitter!
Sources: investopedia.com, thebalance.com, Wikipedia.com.
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