Whether you’re an aspiring trader, a seasoned professional or are just interested in
the ins and outs of the financial industry, the unbelievable stories of excess, risk taking, and of course, greed all make for compelling cinema and engaging learning opportunities. Take a peek behind the curtain and discover our top 5 favourite trading films.
1. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The Martin Scorses-helmed biopic details the rise and fall of real-life stock scammer
Jordan Belfort. The film chronicles how Belfort’s firm, Stratton Oakmont engaged in
rampant corruption and fraud on Wall Street in the form of pump and dump schemes
that helped IPO several large public companies during the late 80s and 90s.
Featuring brilliant performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, this action packed satire is worth a watch.
2. The Big Short (2015)
Based on the nonfiction book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by
Michael Lewis, ‘The Big Short’ follows Wall Street guru Michael Burry as he
discovers a housing bubble that will eventually trigger the 2008 financial crisis. The
movie gained traction for its unique way of breaking down complicated financial
jargon in an easily digestible and entertaining way by using popular celebrities such
as Margot Robbie explaining mortgage-backed bonds in a bathtub with champagne.
3. Margin Call (2011)
‘Margin Call’ is a thriller that takes place over a 24-hour period at a large Wall Street
investment bank as it scrambles to avoid falling into the first cracks of the financial
crisis. Gripping and chock-full of terrific performances, the movie exposes how large
financial institutions operate and the motivations of the people who work within them.
4. Inside Job (2010)
Brilliantly narrated by Matt Damon, the ‘Inside Job’ is a documentary that provides a
detailed examination of the elements that led to the global financial crisis of 2008,
identifying key financial and political players. Director Charles Ferguson conducts a
wide range of interviews and traces the story from the United States to China to
Iceland and several other global financial hot spots.
5. Wall Street (1987)
This Oliver stone classic is a fan favourite among many financial practitioners. Set in
the 1980s, the film follows a hot-shot young Wall Street trader willing to do anything
to get to the top, as he gets lured into the illegal and lucrative world of corporate
espionage by his mentor. This drama will have you on the edge of your seat from
start to finish.
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