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Netflix Education: Best Finance Movies & TV Shows

Updated: 5 days ago

Would you like to find out how you could improve your personal finance without having to read piles of books? Well, Netflix has you covered! You might not even know it, but the world-famous streaming platform offers a lot more than teen dramas and blockbuster movies. You can also catch the best finance movies, shows, and documentaries that will teach you about:

  • Current economic situations

  • Cases of financial malpractice

  • How to invest and make smart passive income

  • What investments to avoid

  • ...and much more!

These shows portray the lives of financial professionals, their clients, the risks they take, their greed, and the implications of their actions. The financial world is given to excesses. Luckily, you can take a peek at all this from a safe distance!

Below, we have listed some of the best finance movies, TV shows, and documentaries on Netflix to help you grow your financial awareness. Enjoy! And while we're at it... Here's a great tip on how to save for a Netflix subscription without even lifting a finger!

best finance movies: watching a film

1. The Big Short (2015)

Remember the financial crisis of 2008? Well, there is a movie about it. This adaptation features Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell in the wake of the financial crisis. The crisis of 2008, which resulted from predatory mortgage lending and unregulated markets, is well depicted and broken down. The movie also features Selena Gomez, who explains synthetic CDOs, and Margot Robbie, who explains mortgage-backed bonds in a simple, easy-to-understand way.

Being one of the best finance movies, The Big Short does more than highlight the events preceding the crisis. It also shows the moral conflict of the men who foresaw the housing bubble burst.


2. The China Hustle (2017)

If you want to understand the world of financial fraud, have a look at this. This documentary follows the plotting between small Chinese companies and US-based Wall Street firms. These investment businesses took advantage of American investors by selling them the China growth story.

In a bid to recover after the 2008 financial crisis and improve their personal finances, investors rushed to join the party. However, these Chinese firms were either non-operational or operated at a lower scale than reported. The documentary reveals securities fraud performed by Chinese companies listed on the US stock market. It is a clear depiction of how capitalism rewards those who take advantage of others.


3. Billions (2016)

Some say all the best finance movies must involve some drama – if you agree, take a look at the dirty tricks hedge fund kingpin Bobby Axelrod performed in his pursuit for wealth. The show also includes the ruthless US attorney Chuck Rhoades as he strives to bring Bobby down. In fact, some of the storylines are pulled from real life. That's something that always makes a show better, isn't it?

The show’s primary focus is on the corruption of some Wall Street individuals, and the lengths to which attorneys will go to expose them.


4. Start-Up (2019)

Let us now turn your attention away from fraud and greed, and focus on hard work and success instead. If you don't mind reading subtitles (or know Korean!), this show will have you feeling better about your own entrepreneurial journey. Start-Up focuses on the life in tech start-ups, highlighting the story of a young Korean woman, her passion and ambition to become a successful start-up CEO.


5. Freakonomics: The Movie (2010)

If you want a career as a finance professional, you need to understand what drives people. Freakonomics will help you do just that. The movie was adapted from a popular book by Stephen J. Dubner. The power of incentive and the need for proper research and fact-finding is brought to light: Freakonomics explores human behavior and is based on case studies... but focuses on the lesser-seen side of things. Well, as the famous saying goes, things are not always what they seem!


6. Margin Call (2011)

Getting a margin call is never good news for any investor – but what exactly does it mean? Well, for example, an investor can open a margin account that holds securities bought with money borrowed from the investor's broker. As an investor, you are required to comply with a certain maintenance margin or the maximum percentage of the equity in the investment. Getting a margin call means that the value of your margin account has fallen below the brokers. This gives you two options: either deposit more money into your margin account, or close losing positions.

This movie depicts the above description on a large scale. It highlights the reckless risk-taking behavior shown by big firms. You are about to see just how bad a drop in the market can affect an entire company. Hold on tight.


7. Wall Street (1987)

Let's take a look at one of the best finance movies – a classic with a lasting message. This age-old film is a great way to learn about the dangers of insider trading. The movie follows a young man’s ambition to make it big and the repercussions of greed. The film depicts stock manipulation and challenges the value system that places profits above any other consideration.

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8. Dirty Money (2018)

It's a documentary series that unearths malpractices and fraud cases related to major brands across the world. It reveals the repercussions corporate greed imposes on unsuspecting Americans. Dirty Money follows the money, so to speak, and identifies links between large companies, extortion, drug cartels, kidnappings, and much more. It is a real-life depiction of the moral decline within the corporate landscape and the people or companies behind it.

These finance movies and TV shows are highly entertaining – if you're interested in financial topics, they will keep you glued to your screen for a long time!

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