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Essential Finance-Related Movies

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

One fun way to ease your way into the application process in building your industry knowledge is to watch movies surrounding the financial industry. I have listed some of these below, with a brief description and the industry related to the movie.

Wall Street (1987): A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing. Acting as a mentor and teaching Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) how to get rich playing 'the game', Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is widely regarded as the most notorious fictional Wall Street villain. Famous for its 'greed is good' speech, ", this classic is a must-watch for all aspiring finance professionals.

Tags: Private Equity, Stockbroking, Corporate Raiders

The Big Short (2015): Account of events based on the financial crisis of 2008-09. Wall Street guru Michael Burry realizes that a number of subprime home loans are in danger of defaulting. Burry bets against the housing market by throwing more than $1 billion of his investors' money into credit default swaps. His actions attract the attention of banker Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), hedge-fund specialist Mark Baum (Steve Carell) and other greedy opportunists. Together, these men make a fortune by taking full advantage of the impending economic collapse in America.

Tags: Financial Crisis, Investment Banking, Hedge-Funds, Credit-Rating Agencies

Billions (2016): This series is loosely based on the activities of Preet Bharara (Chuck Rhoades in the series), the former U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his legal battles with hedge fund manager Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors (Bobby Axelrod and Axe Capital respectively in the series). An insight into the world of insider-trading and bribery that has previously plagued hedge-funds.

Tags: Hedge-funds, Law, Private Equity, Sales & Trading

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013):

In 1987, Jordan Belfort takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. By the early 1990s, while still in his 20s, Belfort founds his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Together with his merry band of brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, while Belfort and his cronies partake in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs and thrills, the SEC and the FBI close in on his empire of excess.

Tags: Stock-Broking, Sales & Trading, SEC, Financial Crime