The world of finance is such an important part of our society that it influences everything we do. Not only does the financial market control our economic systems but it has also made its way to our popular culture. Countless books have been written about trading and investments, and we’ve listed the best trading books for your convenience. However, there is also a long list of trading movies that we encourage everyone to watch.
Which are the Best Trading Movies?
- Wall Street starring Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox and Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko must be the most iconic investment movie to have ever been recorded. Oliver Stone’s classic investment movie still serves as a major inspiration to aspiring stockbrokers, investment bankers, and analysts to this day. And that is despite the fact that the plot was written to showcase the downsides of insider trading. Let’s just say that if you haven’t seen it yet you’re missing out, and don’t forget to watch the sequel called Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
- The Big Short was released in 2017 and has an impressive cast, to say the least with Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, and Ryan Gosling in the lead. We follow a group of bankers as they discover the housing bubble that eventually resulted in the economic crash of 2008. The movie is based on the book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis.
- The Wolf of Wall Street is based on real-life events surrounding the infamous stockbroker Jordan Belfort. Michael Scorsese directed this epic movie and Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill offer some of the best performances of their careers. It was released in 2013 and has already become an iconic trading movie classic.
- Margin Call, like many other movies on this list, follows the events leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. A magnificent cast with Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, and Demi Moore takes you on a 24-hour journey in one of the largest investment banks on Wall Street just before the crash happened. The movie is based on true events and offers a sober insight into what led to one of modern time’s worst economic collapses.
- The pursuit of Happyness is based on true events from Chris Gardner’s journey from being homeless to being the founder and CEO of a major stock brokerage firm based in Chicago. The movie stars Will Smith, and it’s often overlooked when important investment movies are discussed. You won’t learn anything specific about trading from it, but it still serves as a good inspiration to never give up.
- American Psycho might not be the most inspiring movie, but it sure is one of the best Wall Street movies to this day. Christian Bale plays a serial killing investment banker in his everyday life trying to outperform his colleagues during the day while killing prostitutes at night. The movie is set in the absurd world of the elite investors of our society and showcases the disconnect they have with the “real world.” We also recommend that you first read the book with the same name.
- The Wizard of Lies was released in 2017 and stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. The movie follows Bernard Madoff (De Niro) as his $65 billion Ponzi scheme (the biggest in history) fell apart during the 2008 financial crisis. It’s a great movie with incredible acting, and it is a definite much watch for every up and coming trader.
- Boiler Room is a fiction movie that can teach us a few good lessons about trading and how to stay safe in any market, especially the cryptocurrency market. The movie is set in and around New York City and follows a pump and dump scheme set up on the Long Island Expressway. Boiler Room stars several famous actors, among them Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck.
- Rogue Trader is a name used to describe employees that are allowed to make trades for their employees in a legal grey zone. In this movie, we get to follow Nick Leeson who used to work as a derivatives broker for Barings in Singapore. However, Leeson’s career soon came to an abrupt end when he was busted and sentenced to prison. His case eventually resulted in the collapse of Barings which at the time was the oldest merchant bank in England.
- Trading Places is a 1983 iconic trading movie starring Eddie Murphy and is the only comedy on this list. The storyline follows the relationship and success that an elite commodities trader and a homeless hustler achieved. Trading Places was a big hit and got nominated for a Golden Globe and several awards at the British Academy Film Festival.
The Bottom Line about Trading Movies
We think most would agree that these are the 10 best trading movies right now and we suggest you try to see them all. In addition, there is an even longer list of important trading and financial documentaries that have been released that we also recommend you check out.
Looking for something to read? Then take a look at our list of the 10 most important trading books!