Indeed, it makes sense that the film industry is obsessed with money. They aren't just for pure entertainment. Movies provide us with valuable lessons that we can apply in our personal and professional life, as well as strategies that help us manage our money better.
The money world, and all its incarnations, makes for great cinema. Comedy, tragedy, ingenuity, catastrophe and redemption are all ever-present in the many finance-related movies that Hollywood has developed over the years.
While most of these movies depict financial professionals in a less than a gratifying light, the risk-taking, unbelievable stories of excess and greed make for compelling cinema are necessary for anyone, working in business or trying to shed some light on the ever-lasting money management problem.
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
In case you haven't seen the Scorsese's rise and the fall of a famous stock scammer, then you're missing out on some of the most outstanding performances of Jonah Hill's and Leonardo Dicaprio careers. The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the real-life story of the convicted white-collar criminal "Jordan Belfort" who turns market manipulation and securities fraud into a vulgar comedy through his investment company, "Stratton Oakmont". Long story short, the movie is about a man who makes a fortune by selling IPO stocks, penny stocks and blue-chip stocks. One of the many financial lessons this movie teaches us is that we should stop paying fund managers to invest our hard-earned money.
Many people don't really know how the stock market actually works. They overlook the fact that the "stock market," hire "professionals" like fund managers and financial advisors to manage their money.
Those looking to invest their money should typically opt for one of these options-either do detailed research or invest in passively managed index funds. That's way better than hiring an expert to decide what happens to your money.
2. A Perfect Murder
There is nothing scarier than debt. In "A Perfect Murder", Steven Taylor, starring
, gets in trouble by leveraging his wealth for a business deal. His deal fails, ending up on the verge of bankruptcy. His wife, an heiress of a multi-million-dollar fortune, is having an affair with another man and is planning on leaving Taylor. Already suspecting that his wife was cheating on him, Taylor looks into Viggo Mortens' past to find that out he has had some questionable dealings, which Taylor uses to blackmail Viggo into murdering his wife. This movie is all about an intricate plan that starts from an overleveraged investment plan and the crushing debt that resulted.
Indeed, there are definitely healthy forms of debt, as long as your financial circumstances can sustain them. A home mortgage and personal loans can be sorted out with a business loan calculator and found at promising interest rates nowadays, and both allow you to invest in your future. But other forms of personal debt- like charging a luxurious holiday to your credit card and leasing an unnecessary vehicle, are treacherous and potentially damaging.
3. Office Space
Contrary to what you might have heard, not all movies with money management lessons are downers. For instance, "Office Space" is a modern classic about a man who simply hates his job. Everything changes when Peter Gibbons, the main character, is hypnotized, but he never comes out of the spell. Suddenly, Peter lives a whole different life. He is being incredibly honest with everyone at the office, including his boss, and has no problem showing up late. Nice, so what's the lesson here?
There are several lessons in" Office Space." Firstly, a job should not be more than just a paycheck, and everyone should try to find a source of enjoyment in their chosen career. Secondly, a positive attitude, regardless of what you might face, is always a good thing, not an obligation.
4. Glengarry Glen Ross
In David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross," real estate salesmen spend their time pursuing people to buy an overly priced land in Florida. The theme is similar to "Wall Street" – you should do whatever you can do to get rich. One of the scenes in the movie shows them criticized by a Gecko-like character interpreted by
, who gives them the ultimate catch-22 of the film: You cannot sell real estate without the finest sales leads, but you don't get access to the best leads if you can't sell real estate. Mamet points out the way desperate men do what they have to do to fraud the weakest, and most frantic among us. But when simple tricking doesn't work, they conspire and turn on one another to get a leg in the battle to sales glory. In the end, the only character who has to deal with the penalties is Jack Lemmon's Shelly "The Machine" Leven who steals Glengarry's sales leads. Morale? An honest living, even when the rewards aren't remarkable, defeats illicit money-making scams any time.
The Big Short
Though millions of Americans try to forget the financial crisis of 2008, movies like" The Big Short" pictures how the housing field boomed and the consequences that followed them with a look into the greediness of the corrupted money lenders.
The movie is entertaining and exposes a lot from what actually happened behind the scenes that the public was not conscious of leading up to the downfall of many of the biggest financial organizations. "The Big Short" it's also a reminder that in every economy regardless of where you live, there are losers and winners.
The overall story is about baseball, but the central theme of the story is figuring out how to accomplish more with less. Based on Michael Lewis's book: "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game," the film portrays how the manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team developed a competitive team using an innovative strategy to choose players that challenged ordinary recruiting practice on a limited budget. The most important financial lesson we can take from this movie is how to avoid unnecessary expenses, and budgeting helps us fulfill our goals.