Over the years, the Hollywood film industry has focused on financial markets on various occasions by creating films about trading, financial crises and speculation in the markets.
If you are saturated with so much trading but want to take the opportunity to watch something relaxed and on the subject, these movies can be a good option. I have seen most of these films in my early days and I have made a compilation of the best.
It is important that you know that this list that I recommend below is not with an educational approach, but rather to understand and analyze those aspects that go beyond a sequence of quotes or systems. I hope you enjoy them and that you can learn a clear lesson from each of them.
The Wolf of Wall Street (The Wolf of Wall Street).
It is a 2013 film, based on true events, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and nominated for five Oscars.
DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who, after obtaining his broker’s license, becomes unemployed when in October 1987 the world’s stock markets plummeted in an episode known as Black Monday.
Later he decides to work in a small company that sells shares of small companies and manages to earn a lot of money quickly. Parties, Women, alcohol, drugs and great power soon become part of his day to day. The money continues to pour in and discretion was not one of Jordan’s and his wolf pack’s best qualities, so this quick get-rich begins to draw the attention of an FBI agent and trouble begins for Belfort.
Fraud, money laundering and an extravagant life mark Jordan’s life. In short, an entertaining and action-packed movie from start to finish that shows us the dark side of life when we don’t control our emotions.
The Big Bet (The Big Short).
This trading movie is an adaptation of the book “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis, released at the end of 2015 and considered one of the best finance movies. A story based on real events that occurred during the 2008 economic crisis. Nominated for five Oscars. and Oscar winner. for the best adapted screenplay.
The Big Short tells the story of Michael Burry, the Wall Street guru, who in 2005 predicted that the credit and housing bubble was going to collapse. When Michael Burry along with three other investors realize that the government, banks and media refuse to acknowledge the imminent collapse of the economy, they come up with something unusual: “The Big Short”. bet more than 1 billion dollars against the housing market to the downside, contrary to any logical criteria of that time.
Without a doubt, a film that I recommend you see to understand the bankruptcy of the real estate sector in the United States that caused the global economic crisis of 2008.
The Price of Greed (Margin Call).
Margin Call is a 2011 drama film that shows the dark side of the financial sector. It is based on real events in the life of eight workers of a powerful investment bank during the 24 hours before the start of the economic crisis of 2008.
This powerful investment bank (although not mentioned, you’ll quickly realize which bank it is) is making trillions of dollars selling high-risk investment packages to its clients, ignoring frequent warning signs of instability.
One night, the young analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) discovers that risk levels have broken the barriers of insurance and that the company is on the brink of bankruptcy, so they have little time to save themselves.
Summoned to a meeting in the middle of the night, company executives realize they have two choices: watch the company fall along with the rest of Wall Street, or hurry up and be the first to sell their assets before they’re gone. Their customers and the market will be ruined, but they will be able to survive. They will face a tense night in which they will have to make difficult moral and financial decisions before disaster strikes. The price of greed is a super entertaining film, yes, with somewhat technical language. A must in the world of finance and financial culture.
Now we are going with a classic from the 80s that is still valid. This film directed by the controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone and starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen, is about how ambition and the power of money motivate some ambitious people to reach the top no matter who they destroy on their way.
Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is an ambitious young stockbroker trying to make his way on Wall Street and become the best. On the other hand, we have investment mogul Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), whom Bud admires and will go to great lengths to meet and work with. To achieve this, Bud reveals to Gekko confidential information that would raise the price of the shares of the airline where his father works, so Gekko decides to hire him.
Bud soon realizes that his admired idol is an ambitious and unscrupulous man who only cares about money and is capable of anything to achieve his goals.
The outcome of this story shows us the consequences you can face if you allow greed to guide your steps to reach the top. Well known in the world of the stock market and finance in general.
Inside Job, also known as Dirty Money, is an excellent documentary film from 2010 about the economic crisis of 2008. Directed by Charles Ferguson and winner of the Best Documentary Oscar Award in 2011. Inside Job shows us an aAnalysis of the situations that gave rise to the global economic crisis of 2008, based on interviews with senior government officials, senior business executives, journalists, and academics.
Ferguson tries to decipher the role that the interviewees played in the 2008 economic crisis. Inside Job’s message is more than clear: There is systematic corruption in the financial system of the United States and despite the new financial regulations, this story tends to to be repeated because the system has not changed. Another gem to understand in a pleasant way how the economy and markets work.
Rogue Trader, known in Spanish with two different names “El Gran Farol” and “El Estafador”, is a 1999 film that is based on true events in the life of trader Nicholas Leeson, better known Nick Leeson, famous for causing the bankruptcy of Baring Bank, the oldest bank in the UK based in London. The movie was based on the book written by Leeson himself Rogue Trader.
Rogue Trader tells the story of young trader Nick Leeson, an employee of Baring Bank who, after a successful start at the bank’s London headquarters, is sent to Singapore to work in the futures market. After his first successes that allowed him to get huge bonuses, Leeson’s luck changes very soon when he makes some mistakes that lead him to lose large amounts of money.
To hide his losses, Leeson created the error account 88888, but this would be the start of a financial catastrophe that would make him sink deeper and deeper into a sea of lies. Leeson would continue to use this account to hide losing trades from him and went from hiding a mistake of a few thousand dollars to embezzling exorbitant amounts. Of course, he led the company where he managed into an insurmountable financial situation.
The film is a great example of how we should not manage losses in trading and also teaches us how excessive leverage can destroy our capital.
Bad News (Too Big to Fail).
Bad News is a 2011 film that is based on the Best-Seller by The New York Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, Too Big to Fail, and that tells how the economic crisis of 2008 broke out. Nominated for 3 Golden Globes and 11 Emmy Award nominations.
The film focuses on the actions of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (William Hurt) and Federal Reserve System Chairman Ben Bernanke (Paul Giamatti) to contain the crisis. Bad News analyzes how these powerful characters acted in the face of the outbreak of this economic crisis and how they tried to justify it. This financial drama highlights from start to finish the differences between the White House and Wall Street.
Unlike the previous ones, Billions is an American television series that was released in 2016 and whose plot is based on investment funds.
Billions chronicles the life of Bobby Axelrod, a fund manager from New York, who despite being very charitable and generous in public, has achieved his success thanks to certain illegal and immoral practices such as bribery and insider trading.
These practices do not take long to arouse the interest of agents of the United States government, especially the New York District Attorney, Charles Rhoades, who has a particular interest in ending his career. Highly recommended.
And for you: What is the best trading movie or series in the world of trading?
Leave your answer in the comments.