6 Movies that should be on every finance professional’s watch list

Here is a list of movies that you should watch as a finance professional

Movies every finance professional must watch

Finance professionals in movies are usually depicted in sharp suits, with ambitions that run higher than the sky and an insatiable greed for money and power. While this portrayal is not the exact truth, it does make for compelling cinema.

Over the years, there have been a lot of movies with the world of finance as its backdrop. If you are associated with the money world, here’s a list of movies you should feel inspired to watch: 

1) Trading Places

This 1983 comedy stars Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd in lead roles. While Murphy plays the role of a street con-artist, Aykroyd plays the snobbish managing director of a commodities trading fund. A modern-day spin on the Prince and the Pauper story has the two literally trading places. While Aykroyd languishes in jail trying to exonerate himself of thievery and drug-dealing charges, Murphy uses his smarts to make a success of the business and enjoy the perks of a high-flying lifestyle. The film shows that in addition to your fancy degree, you also need street-smarts to make it big in the finance world.

Related: A beginner’s guide to capital markets 

2) Boiler Room

The American crime drama draws the focus to chop stock brokerage firms that use slick sales talk to create an artificial demand for speculative stocks. They dupe innocent investors of their hard-earned money and eventually have the FBI hot on their heels. Boiler Room serves as a reminder that one should invest only in fundamentally sound businesses and carry out strong due diligence before investing.

3) Margin Call

This gripping Wall Street drama is set during the initial stages of the 2007-08 global financial crisis. The story takes place within a 24-hour window. It revolves around greed and investment fraud resulting from over-leveraging the investment firm’s assets. The firm looks to cover its tracks overnight by dumping its toxic securities in the market and setting up a few employees as scapegoats to take the fall. The movie brings to light how some organisations focus on their personal success at any cost.

Related: Money lessons you only learn in your twenties 

4) Wall Street

The iconic finance movie pits its two central characters with wealth and power against simplicity and honesty. The movie shows the dark underbelly of insider trading; a competitive and hedonistic work environment where morals and laws have been completely discarded. The archetypical portrayal of success in the movie has inspired many people to literally pursue stock-broking as a career.

5) Glengarry Glen Ross

The film is an adaptation of a prize-winning play of the same name. It showcases the lives of four real-estate agents and their desperate bid to save their jobs after the head office brings in an executioner in the guise of a motivational trainer. The movie portrays the immense pressure and arm-twisting that a lot of employees have to deal with, which in turn leads them to use unscrupulous means to keep the wheel turning.

Related: Guess who said these Bollywood money quotes? 

6) The Wolf of Wall Street

This biographical dark comedy revolves around the life of a broker who uses the art of hard-selling and deceit to rise from a small broker to become the Wolf on Wall Street. His organisation uses the pump-and-dump method to defraud investors. Success comes at a price as the decadent lifestyle, drugs, and sex start taking a toll on the protagonist. His life starts to fall apart and the law catches up with him.

Related: 5 Mistakes to avoid while investing in a bull market 

While some of these movies are mere exaggerations of the creative mind, others are inspired by real-life incidents. They give an insight into the human psyche and behaviour, and how the truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

These kinds of movies have the power to send across a strong message and also entertain in their own ways. See what do Guru, Titanic and The Wolf of Wall Street teach us about money?

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