Because it’s the Holidays, we’ve decided to go slightly off topic from the usual script. Today we’re delivering our list of the best trading movies ever made. This list has been vetted several times by both physical and financial traders of commodities. If you’re looking for something inspirational to watch or need some help explaining what trading is to friends or family, this is the list to share!
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Only The Best🎞️
Trading Places (1983) - Watch on Amazon
Probably the most iconic trading movie ever made. Trading Places is a must see for both new entrants to the space as well as the financial literate. Trading Places centers around commodities broker Louis Winthorpe, played by Dan Aykroyd, and street hustler Billy Ray Valentine, played by Eddie Murphy. Their lives are swapped as part of a sick wager between the Duke Brothers, Louis Winthorpe’s employer. Eventually Winthorpe and Valentine realize the game being played on them and take their revenge on the Duke’s using inside information regarding a USDA report to manipulate the price of commodity futures.
TLDR - Trading Places is a well written comedy centered around commodity futures trading during the 1970’s to early 1980’s. Did we mention it is also a top Christmas flick as well? 🎄
Wall Street (1987) - Watch on Amazon
Wall Street is a top pick on our list giving viewers an inside look into what 1980’s Wall Street high finance was all about - greed, envy, and vanity - to name a few. The film centers around stockbroker/trader Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen. Bud’s desire to get to the top of the financial pyramid lands him in a precarious position. Utilizing illegally obtained inside information, Bud Fox trades this information in the market, profiting handsomely for himself and his idol, Gordon Gekko. The film continues in this regard until a rift grows between Bud and Gekko, with Bud having to choose between good and evil at a hefty price.
TLDR - Wall Street for equities and high finance is what Trading Places is for commodities. It is a serious film and gives a glimpse at what the center of the financial universe was like in its heyday.
The Big Short (2015) - Watch on Amazon
Based on the book written by Michael Lewis, The Big Short takes us back in time to the 2000’s US residential bubble and crash. The story revolves around several hedge funds who realize that an unsustainable bubble has emerged in the US residential sector. Realizing that the bubble was about to pop, the hedge funds utilized financial derivatives to profit billions at the expense of banks who would be bailed out later by the US taxpayer. What this film does better than most trading films is explain very dense financial topics in layman’s terms, making the film that much more enjoyable for the masses.
TLDR - The Big Short is immortalized as one of the best movies regarding the 2000’s subprime residential crisis. With an all star cast and helpful financial literacy along the way, it gives viewers an inside look at how billions were made during the crash.
A 1987 documentary produced by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) gives an inside look into one of the best traders - Paul Tudor Jones (PTJ). ‘Trader’ is a more advanced documentary for traders who already have a background in trading but are curious on how PTJ views markets and his risk management style. Although this film is a favorite amongst traders, it’s hard to come by as PTJ has bought up almost all copies that exist. You can’t seem to find it online either, and if you do, it’ll be offline at the request of PTJ and his associates within hours.
TLDR - Inside look into Paul Tudor Jones’ trading and risk management style. Well worth a watch, if you can find it…
Floored (2009) - YouTube
Floored is the documentary about open outcry futures trading in Chicago. The documentary interviews traders who made it in the pits financially, but could not adapt to electronic trading. What we like most about this documentary is that it takes us back to a world that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. The world we live in today continues to move into the digital realm. Using the pits as an example, we can only imagine what industry or profession is next to go this route.
TLDR - Best open outcry futures trading documentary that exists. Floored details the switch from pit to electronic trading for those who can and cannot make it.
We understand that not every film could make the list, so we kept it short. If you have a movie recommendation or clip, feel free to post it in the comments section below and don’t forget to subscribe! Thanks!
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Other People's Money (1991) starring Danny DeVito isn't about trading, but is the only Hollywood movie based on a leveraged buyout
Thank you for the movie list. Those are some great classics.