If you’re smart enough you can learn from just about anything. Movies are no exception. While many movies simply entertain some can teach us important lessons about important subjects. One thing we can learn about from the movies is an investment and its crazy world. Here are 9 great movies all about investment and finance.

The big short

The Big Short is a movie based on the 2008 financial crisis. It is a must-watch because of the way the filmmakers go out of their way to simplify complicated concepts to explain how the crisis was started and how things came to a head. The movie will appeal to those seasoned in finance and investment and equally to those who are not. The start-studded affair will help make simple sense of how many things work in the investment world.

Barbarians at the gate

This made for TV film is based on the book of the same name which tells one of the most interesting stories in the business world of recent times. It unravels the events connected the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco which famously caused a lot of fuss after CEO Ross Johnson intended to take the company private due to the impending failure of one of its products that could doom the company to implosion.

Glengarry Glen Ross

This film takes us into the world of real estate with a very interesting setup. When the corporate head office of a real estate company sends a trainer to an office and the real estate salespeople are informed that in a week only two of the entire team will retain their jobs. The film follows the exploits of four salespeople in this company as they attempt to save their jobs.

Rogue trader

The 1995 collapse of the British bank Barings bank was a very big issue. The movie Rogue Trader is based on a book by former derivatives broker Nick Leeson almost singlehandedly caused the collapse. It details the story of his rise to prominence, his appointment to the Singapore trading floor as a manager and how he hid the losses made on poorly researched trades and positions that eventually sunk Barings Bank.

Trading places

Trading Places is a comedy film that puts the question of nature versus nurture into focus. While light-hearted and comical the movie does pose some interesting questions. After watching an altercation between one of their senior managers and a street hustler, brother Randolph and Mortimer Duke who own a commodities brokerage firm wage a bet as to whether nature or nurture determines success. Through their considerable resources, they engineer a swap in places between the two individuals to put the question to the test.

The wolf of wall street

The wolf of wall street tells the story of the rise and fall of stockbroker Jordan Belfort. The movie lays bare the culture that is infused into the high flying fast life of Wall Street stockbrokers. After losing his job at LF Rothschild Belfort finds employment in a call centre that sells questionable shares. Through hard-selling tactics, he orchestrates a massive pump and dump scheme which tricks unsuspecting people into buying shares by inflating their price then selling off at high prices based the trend leaving those who bought with shares that will eventually fall.

Boiler room

In the Wolf of Wall Street, Belfort finds work in a call centre that cold-calls would-be investors to sell them questionable stocks. These are known as Boiler Rooms or Boiler Room brokerages. The movie Boiler Room takes a deeper dive into these as a college dropout who is a disappointment to his wealthy father is roped into a boiler room brokerage which participates in massive pump and dump schemes.

Margin call

Margin call tells the story of the actions of management and some employees in an investment bank in the lead up to and in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. An employee on the verge of discovering the investment bank is over-leveraged in its positions which are mortgage is fired among a host of others all of a sudden. It has a star-studded ensemble cast to go with the thrilling story.

The Hudsucker proxy

The Hudsucker Proxy is a 1994 comedy film that tells a story that reveals a few elements of the business world. The CEO of plastics manufacturing company Hudsucker commits suicide during a meeting. The members of the board connive to bring down the price of Hudsucker by appointing a newly employed mailroom clerk to run the company into ruin. As the company share price collapses, they plan to buy up all the shares of Hudsucker then resurrect the company when they have full ownership. But things don’t quite go to plan.