If you’re looking for movies about stock trading, stock market crash movies, trading movies, high frequency trading movies or any stock market related movies, then this list is for you. This is a great reference if you’re looking for entertainment related to the stock market and there may even be a little learning too!
Below, we’ve listed the best investing and trading movies along with the reviews and movie trailers so you can preview what the movie is about. Happy watching!
Comment at the bottom of the post and let me know which of these you loved (or hated) and if there are any stock trading movies we have missed).
“The Big Short” is about how several traders and hedge fund managers made fortunes because they saw that the housing market’s decline would cause a collapse of bonds contrived from sub-prime mortgages. The big Short demonstrates some of the psychological pressures traders can experience and how managing outside money changes the psychological game of trading. Definitely worth watching!
‘Rogue Trader’ is a film depicting the life of Nick Leeson, a former derivate broker based out in Singapore. The story is inspired by real-life events that shook the global financial system and led to the collapse of the world’s second-oldest merchant bank named Barings Bank based out in England. A great illustration of how deception, excess, leverage and greed can take control of traders if you are not careful. On a corporate scale this can bring down companies, on an individual scale this can lead to bankruptcy and ruin. This movie is pretty old now, but worth watching, I really enjoyed it, but I am a bit of a trading nerd 😉
The Trading Places movie is my absolute favourite light hearted movie about trading and the financial markets. What is the movie trading places about? It is an awesome illustration of how inside knowledge, market manipulation, ego and emptions can impact the markets (and a trader’s livelihood). The market also provides a fascinating glimpse into the past with pit trading and highly inefficient markets and where big traders could manipulate the markets… much of this has changed, but this is still a stock trading movie every trader should watch when they need a light hearted view into the markets.
“Margin Call” depicts the emotion, panic and action of a Wall Street, as the deadly certainty sweeps up the executive ladder at an investment firm that disastrous speculation in the mortgage markets is leading to the firm’s collapse. This is a great movie about the financial crisis of 2008 – Smart and really well done.
Some financial companies are so big and so interconnected that pulling them out of the system would lead to the collapse of the system itself. Such firms were termed ‘Too Big To Fail’. Economists believe that if the TBTF’s feel they will be insulated against pressures of the market they will not self-regulate and resist any outside attempts to do so.
As a trader, you have probably heard about short selling, where you make money by betting that the stock price of a company will go down. “Betting on Zero” is a docu-film about a short side campaign on a whole different scale – A trade worth over a billion dollars and an associated campaign to ruin multi-level marketing firm Herbalife by billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. This film provides a pretty fascinating insight into large scale trades, the human impact and the occasional challenges and conflict between hedge fund managers on the opposite sides of a large trade. Fascinating!!!
Have you ever wondered what large scale corportate crime and investor deception looks like in major markets like the United States? You need to watch this film – it is not a political documentary, it is really a crime story. The greed of people with inside knowledge and power can truly be despicable – “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” will make you mad. It tells the story of how Enron rose to become the seventh largest corporation in America with what was essentially a Ponzi scheme, and in its last days looted the retirement funds of its employees to buy a little more time.
Inside Job is an enthralling documentary about how the reckless actions of Wall Street lead to the near collapse of the financial sector and subsequently the deepest recession since the 1930s. This provides a great insight into the recklessness and greed that runs wild inside some Wall Street firms. This is not a film about trading, but it is a view on the markets which is useful as context for the private trader. Boom and collapse are a fact of life in the markets – prepare for this in your own trading and you can do very very well!
Entertaining, confronting and even unsettling… it seems these are common traits of movies about Wall Street. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is an entertaining stock trading movie about the markets, but you are probably not going to learn anything valuable for your own trading here… just be entertained about human greed, emotion and relationships and how they are impacted by large amounts of money and ethical lines. Worth watching.
Basically when I watched “The Wolf of Wall Street” my reaction was one of total disgust. It was entertaining, but so much of what was depicted in the movie was just a revolting display of humanity at its most greedy. I don’t like to recommend this movie because I think it gives traders and the markets a bad name… It is not a high frequency trading movie, but is does give you an insight into the broker side of the markets and how over the counter stocks and dodgy brokers operate (or did in the past). If you want a flashy movie about the markets and are prepared for some pretty rotten displays of the failings of human ethics then this movie might be for you.
“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” – Gordon Gekko I can’t say I agree with Gordon Gekko, but this “Wall Street” certainly was one of the most influential movies on the stock market. It’s definitely a must watch!
Boiler Room depicts a story of a high pressure brokerage firm with highly questionable ethics who make their money deceiving investors. This is another example of a movie that gives Wall Street a bad name… maybe it is right, but as private traders all we need to do is trade profitably, we don’t deceive or hurt people – Unlike the brokers in Boiler Room. The movie portrays the average consumer’s lack of understanding of trading (exactly why systematic stock trading gives you such an advantage in the markets). High paced, edge of your seat stock trading movie. Highly Entertaining!
‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ is a heart-warming movie based on a true story. This movie is about a struggling single father who takes custody of his son. Crippled by a bad investment in a medical device company, the broke and homeless father pursues his dream of becoming a stock broker despite harrowing odds. The movie is a tear jearker, but provides a rare uplifting perspective on pursuing your dreams and life in the financial markets. Based on a true story and absolutely worth watching!
This movie is about a guy named James Garner who was once a paperboy and became a big CEO in NYC. When Johnson is confronted with a costly project that appears to be doomed, he chooses to avoid shareholder backlash by attempting to obtain the funds necessary to purchase the firm himself. It may have worked at first, but when other money sharks started to get a smell of potential profit, the bidding battle begins.
‘Equity’ is a financial thriller movie that’s about a senior investment banker who is threatened by a financial scandal and is determined to redeem her professional record in the male-dominated financial industry she works in. Quite refreshing in the eyes to see women in action since Wall Street is famously dominated by men. An exploration of successful, driven women in finance.
This film is about a Wall Street fund manager’s fraudulent activities such as a Ponzi scheme involving the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other major financial media outlets. A very insightful movie since it mostly focuses on how one investigator spent ten years trying to expose Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme that scammed an estimated $18 billion from investors.
This film shows how a new financial revolution is catapulting India and China, the world’s two most populous countries, from poverty to prosperity in a single generation which is an economic change unmatched in human history. A perfect watch for those who wants to understand the deep financial history of the world. It gives finance professionals a greater perspective and understanding of how the finance world operates.
This is a documentary on the rise of Bitcoin and the battle / struggle between mainstream capitalists and this groundbreaking new technology called blockchain. Starting to date but certainly some interesting discussion and worth watching if you are looking for a cryptocurrency movie.
‘The China Hustle’ is a documentary about investing in Chinese companies that have promising market growth. An unsettling, mind blowing and eye-opening Wall Street horror story about Chinese companies, the American stock market, and the opportunistic greed behind the biggest heist you’ve never heard of.
It’s a documentary about how these “Quants” people design and create computer programs and sell them to American, European, and Asian financial companies such as banks. Their programs make huge incomes for those companies but even the quants themselves cannot guarantee the stability of their models. An excellent documentary that outlines the use of technology to exploit opportunity. This is a high frequency trading movie that is absolutely worth watching.
A documentary of how these floor traders struggled to keep their jobs against computers that can do their jobs more effectively and more efficiently. Time is evolving and so is technology, so how did floor traders survive or evolve with the advent of electronic trading? Watch ‘Floored’ to find out!
This movie is about a 60 years old multi-billionaire named Robert Miller who runs a hedge fund with his daughter Brooke Miller and is planning to sell it for a large profit. It portrays the volatility in the Hedge fund business. Great movie! Tons of suspense and surprises!
A fascinating documentary about a $200 Million Bitcoin scam. The movie is about a young founder of a collapsing cryptocurrency exchange dying unexpectedly, and then irate investors suspecting that there’s more to his death than meets the eye. A must watch indeed!
Thanks Adrian for sharing. Some really good ones there and I’m lookiing forward to see the ones I’ve missed.
Hi Ola! Thanks for taking the time to comment, let me know which ones you enjoy most!
I loved the Big Short and the Wolf of Wall Street but havent watched many of the others. One that isnt trading related per se but applicable to systematic trading is Moneyball about american baseball and how one coach employed a statistician to systematically pick his players using past performance data rather than use the traditional talent scouts that utilised emotion and gut feeling. To me this is exactly what we do as systematic traders.
Thanks for commenting Jamie – Let me know which are your favorites as you work down the list!