Every cinema-enthusiast has a genre of choice. For some it’s action, for others it may be romance, comedy, thriller or even sci-fi. That said, in recent times a new genre of cinema has emerged– one that has all the makings of multi-faceted, tear-jerking potboilers– it’s finance, or financial, white-collar crime to be precise.
Each one of us has different learning styles. While some like to do a thorough reading, others like to watch documentaries and movies to learn about the common money mistakes to avoid. This genre is excellent and exciting enough to motivate a majority of viewers to get their finances together. For the rest of us- it’s just pure entertainment.
Whatever your reasons may be, we have listed ten movies that deal with everything finance that every investor should watch at least once! Go, grab your popcorn!
This movie adaptation of the non-fiction book, ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ by Michael Lewis tells the true story of the financial crisis of the U.S. housing market that occurred in 2007-2008 due to subprime mortgages. You don’t know what that is? Well, thanks to the incredibly talented director, Adam Mckay, the concept of subprime mortgages is brilliantly explained along with other key financial concepts of banking in this movie.
The movie tells the story of the hedge fund manager, Michael Burry who discovers that the U.S housing market is like a ticking time bomb that is bound to blow up the housing market in a matter of time. The plot follows his success in milking out some big money from the collapse.
The film highlights the very important fact about the 2008 financial crisis that it was completely avoidable, as are other money mistakes to avoid. It’s a solid money-centric drama that is a must-watch, especially with the fantastic ensemble of Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling.
The immortal phrase ‘greed is good’ is synonymous with the film ‘The Wall Street’, made famous by Gordon Gekko (played by Micheal Douglas). Even after 35 years of its release, several analysts, bankers, brokers, and traders use this Oliver Stone classic as a handbook for recruitment.
The movie makes the viewers aware of the money mistakes to avoid in insider trading and talks about the fine line between financial indulgence and criminal activity. Greed isn’t good, obviously, which is a lesson that the movie skillfully crafts by showing hedonistic pursuits associated with money like money disorder and accumulation of debt.
This documentary describes the rise and fall of Enron—one of the largest and most scandalous corporations in the U.S. The film is based on the bestseller with the same name and explores the dubious ways in which Enron underhanded its business dealings, as its executives misappropriated billions of funds, hurting the investment of thousands of employees.
The film records some critical money mistakes to avoid as it captures the story of Enron’s inception in 1985 until its peak in 2000. The documentary was nominated for an Oscar and is a must-watch if you want to learn about this specific niche in financial management.
This is a must-watch money movie if you want to understand the nitty-gritty of the 2008 crisis. The film’s plot takes place within the span of 24 hours at one of the largest Wall Street investment banks that is on the brink of collapse amid the 2007-2008 crisis. The film is an upfront portrayal of the greediness, fraud, and rash risk-taking actions of many reckless Wall Street companies.
The story is told by a senior risk analyst who tries everything to keep the firm from collapsing. This gripping drama shows the complex workings of derivative instruments that cause an impending catastrophe, insinuating common money mistakes to avoid.
The next one on our list is the true, inspirational story of Chris Gardner and his metamorphosis from a struggling, homeless single father to a successful, millionaire entrepreneur. The movie beautifully captures how Gardner uses his knowledge, charm, and tenacity to build his wealth and lands the most prestigious job in San Francisco’s brokerage firm. The film especially strikes a chord with the masses with its focus on a poor man who only wants a better life for his son.
Gardner is played impeccably by Will Smith who won an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his role. It is a must-watch for all you ambitious investors who want to live a rich life—by that, we not only mean money rich but also relationship rich.
This movie is a masterclass in budgeting. Billy Beane, played by Brad Pritt, must reinvent one of Major League Baseball’s teams within a tight budget. He cannot afford star players but analyzes statistical data to build a professional sports team.
Director Bennett Miller’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’ non-fiction bestseller—Moneyball delves into the basics of making a budget fit for any lifestyle. Even if you lack a steady income, you will learn a lot about common money mistakes to avoid.
Based on a true story, Rogue Trader tells the story of an ambitious Nick Leeson who single handedly bankrupts Britain’s most prominent and oldest Merchant bank—Barings Bank.
Leeson’s story serves as a moral for top money mistakes to avoid as he tries to hide his losses. However he is eventually caught by the authorities. The movie wonderfully captures Leeson’s opportunist behavior. He recklessly takes trade risks on the thriving Asian market but blows up as quickly as he rises to success.
Although this movie is a work of fiction, it offers some valuable lessons on the basic fundamentals of investments and money mistakes to avoid. The film tells the story of a trainee stockbroker, Seth Davis, a 19-year old who runs a successful, illegal casino in his apartment. When his father, an influential judge, discovers his deceit, Seth becomes a stockbroker to earn back his father’s respect. However, the firm he gets into has its own share of secrets.
It’s a must-watch for all investors who want to understand the shocking reality of pump-and-dump firms and the despair it brings upon their victims.
If you want to learn about the top investment mistakes to avoid this year, read our blog here!
Though this article is about the best movies, it is impossible to not include the series ‘Scam 1992’ in the top 10, considering the massive impact it has made. The series tells the story of the trade investor Harshad Mehta, and how he orchestrated the Indian Securities Scam of 1992. It is set in Bombay in the early 90s and takes you back to the days when trading took place in a ring, where large groups of jobbers made trades in a frenzy every day.
It brings to light the many loopholes that were present in the Indian stock market and the banking sector, and how Harshad Mehta took advantage of them to crash the Bombay Stock Exchange, hurting the savings of scores of people.
This Hindi film depicts the strong power-play between money brokers, industrialists, and politicians. It also uses hard-core stock market jargon and delves into complex ideas of insider trading and financial manipulation.
The plot unfolds as a small-town boy moves to Mumbai with the hope to work with a successful money lord. However, he soon gives in to the mesmerism of power and money of the stock market. A compelling story of greed, money, and power that highlights money mistakes to avoid.
Movies on money, financial gaffes, and the market leave great room for drama. They offer great lessons in hedonistic human behavior such as greed, sacrifice, catastrophe, and redemption. Our list of movies have all of that and more. So are you ready to up your finance game?
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