7 Best Stock-Market/Finance Movies You Must Watch

Flabia Maharjan

Whether you are a professional investor or a trader, a beginner in the field of finance or a student of the subject, gathering knowledge has to be the primary objective. One of the fun ways to gain understanding regarding the subject of money is to watch related movies or documentaries. These movies express deep insights about the working mechanism and psychology of market, how excessive risks leads to the eventual collapse, how the markets are manipulated and average investors are enticed into a scam.

Here, we have listed seven best movies related to finance and stock market. Feel free to enjoy them.


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Must Watch Stock Market/Finance Movies

1. The Big Short (2015)

An Oscar-Winning film based on Michael Lewis’s non-fiction book, ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ revolves around the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis. It explains the housing bubble in the USA and the ability of American finance professionals to make profits before the housing bubble burst in 2008 which had resulted in a credit crisis.

Most of the leading characters take short positions on mortgage-backed securities in anticipation that the real estate boom is bound to collapse which will drive down the prices. When you short sell a security, you borrow and sell it in the market with a hope to buy it back later when the prices fall, making a profit from the differences. To no surprise, the prediction comes true, and the characters make millions of dollars.


2. Margin Call (2011)

An American financial thriller written and directed by J.C. Chandor centers around the steps taken by employees in an investment bank, over a 24 hour period, prior to the 2008 financial crisis. An unnamed over-leveraged investment firm believed to be based on Lehman Brothers gets a margin call. So, what would one do when an investment incurs enough losses that the margin account goes below the margin requirement and the broker keeps asking to repay the money it lent? The movie depicts the fragility of the financial system when fear instigates in the market which has the potential to cause massive destruction.


3. Inside Job (2010)

Inside Job is a documentary film that comprehensively analyzes the roots of the financial crisis in 2008 that led to millions of job and home losses and pushed the American economy into a deep recession.  Narrated by Matt Damon, it received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011. The film not only identifies the key financial and political players but also explores how changes in policy framework and banking practices gave rise to the financial meltdown. In gist, it summarizes the systemic corruption by the financial services industry in the United States and the consequences that followed due to that systemic corruption.


4. Wall Street (1987)

Directed by Oliver Stone, the movie is set in the 1980s on Wall Street. The story centers around Bud Fox, a young and impatient stockbroker who is ready to adopt any measure to reach the top, including illegal insider trading. He comes across a greedy corporate raider named Gordon Gekko who becomes his mentor and guides him in his journey of insider trading. Greed is the main theme of this non-fiction film but unlike what we usually hear, Wallstreet Player Gekko advocates, “Greed, for the lack of a better word, is good”.


5. Boiler Room (2000)

If you are an early investor, you should not miss this work of fiction as it acquaints you with the pump and dump schemes in the stock market. Pump and dump schemes are devastating for the victims as it results in huge losses in their investment. Thus, Boiler room warns early investors to stick to fundamentally strong companies while investing and live by the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”.


6. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street is a true story that comes from Jordan Belfort’s 2007 memoir of the same name. He spent 22 months in prison for defrauding investors in massive security scams. Leonardo DiCaprio who stars as Belfort starts as a small stockbroker then goes on to become one of the wealthiest guys on Wall Street in few years. But the process of becoming one was not in a legal way. The main character is found guilty of securities fraud and money laundering. The movie depicts the rise and fall of a stockbroker and involves crime, corruption, and the federal government.


7. Too Big to Fail (2011)

Too Big to Fail encompasses the vulnerability of the US banking system during the 2008 financial crisis. Directed by Curtis Hanson, this movie shows how interconnected financial institutions and the economic system are, whereby a failure in financial institutions can result in a distressed economy. Too big to fail is a financial term that refers to big institutions that are essential for an economy to function and therefore, should not be allowed to collapse. The movie centers around financial leaders, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and American economist Ben Bernanke as they make efforts to protect the staggering US economy.


From The Author:

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