Top 10 Movies That Will Teach You To Be Rich

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Top 10 Movies That Will Teach You To Be Rich

VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb
It's all about the benjamins, baby! For this list, we'll be looking at movies that contain important lessons about business and money, with maybe a secret or two about making some! Our countdown includes “Goodfellas”, “The Big Short”, “Glengarry Glen Ross”, and more!
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Top 10 Films That Will Teach You To Be Rich


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Films That Will Teach You To Be Rich

For this list, we’ll be looking at movies that contain important lessons about business and money, with maybe a secret or two about making some!

What movie did you learn some important financial tips from? Any we missed? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Boiler Room” (2000)

Movies about the stock market are typically littered with techniques and motivational phrases used in high-pressure sales environments. Things like “Act As If”, “Motion Creates Emotion” and “Always Be Closing”. The crime drama “Boiler Room” is no exception. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the exorbitant wealth that’s thrown around, but the film also act as a warning about greed, similar to Martin Scorcese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”. There are many lessons to take away from “Boiler Room”. But perhaps the most important is to avoid the trap of instant gratification. Be very wary about where you invest your money. Everyone out here is trying to make a quick buck.

#9: “Goodfellas” (1990)

Business is business, which is why we can learn so much from movies about crime families. Martin Scorsese’s biographical crime film is the perfect example, showing the importance of thinking strategically and being people-focused. You’re only as good as your word and the ones you keep around you. Just like in “The Godfather” too, remember: don’t make promises you can’t keep. An empire isn’t made by one man, but many. While you shouldn’t live for appearances, you have to make your clients and workers feel special. And make sure you have a sense of humor, otherwise, you might not pass the vibe check.

#8: “The Untouchables” (1987)

Be prepared, but don’t get cocky! During Prohibition in the 1920s and 30s, some American gangsters decided to take advantage of the sudden gap in the market. Making money is like playing chess, you have to think a few moves ahead. Blessed with this skill, Al Capone was able to keep the police away from his business. However, the thing that brought Al Capone down was not paying his taxes. You’d be surprised by the number of superstars and wealthy business people who get caught out because they haven’t done their tax returns right. Get an accountant! Or at least make sure that you understand how taxes work. Otherwise, it will bite you in the ass.

#7: “The Founder” (2016)

The story of how McDonald’s became a household name isn’t a clean one. The creation of the “Speedee System” is pretty impressive! The McDonald brothers teach you to be data-driven, focus on the customer’s problems, and be innovative. But the man who expanded the fast-food pitstop into the worldwide conglomerate was Ray Kroc, and it’s from his involvement you can learn the darker side of the business. Through his networking, he was able to think big, work with the right people, and apply fresh perspectives! The most important takeaway comes at the end: always get everything in writing! It’s a handshake deal that ultimately leads the brothers to lose everything they built.

#6: “The Social Network” (2010)

We get a lot of information from the biggest social media company on the planet, but we can learn even more from its origins. Each lawsuit that Mark Zuckerberg finds himself in teaches us different things. First, the Winklevoss twins sue Mark over stealing their idea. Eduardo Saverin sues Mark over reducing his stake as his partner, feeling like Mark betrayed him. While you could take away that you shouldn’t betray your friends, the real business lessons are a bit harsher. Things can happen quickly and you need to be present, something Eduardo didn’t account for. And despite what the twins say, it’s not always about who has the idea. It’s also about the execution.

#5: “Moneyball” (2011)

The Oakland A’s lose their star baseball players in the lead-up to the 2002 season. So Billy Beane, the general manager, desperately looks for a fresh perspective. As a former player, he knows that selecting a team based on gut instinct isn’t enough. That’s when he comes across Peter Brand, a young economics graduate who’s boiled down players' value into data and numbers. This method upsets the old-heads of the industry, but turns the team into a force to be reckoned with. What this film shows us is that a fresh perspective and innovation can change everything. Even if everyone thinks it’s a bad idea, seeing it through is the only way you can prove them wrong.

#4: “The Big Short” (2015)

The Big Short is an extraordinary story of how a few groups predicted the housing crash of 2007. But the main focus of the movie is highlighting how corrupt the financial market can be. The biggest con was how banks were giving out loans for unreliable mortgages, packaging them up, and selling them in the form of Collateralized Debt Obligations. As we dive deeper into the growing bubble of the impending financial crisis, we learn a dark lesson. In the money world, there are systems in play larger than we can comprehend. So to avoid disaster, always pay attention to the finer details.

#3: “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006)

This biographical drama is one of the most inspirational films to have graced the big screen. The reason this heartwarming true story resonates with so many is that Will Smith’s character could be any of us. After failing at multiple careers and desperate to provide for his son, he decides to apply for an unpaid internship as a stockbroker. He’s hit rock bottom, but from there the only way is up. Perseverance is one of the most important traits anyone can have. It’s never too late to start. True happiness and success come from loving what you do and having a reason to do it.

#2: “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)

Based on a Pulitzer Prize–winning play, this film about cutthroat real estate salesmen is a cult classic. “Glengarry Glen Ross” rises above the rest because of how clearly it spells out sales tips on screen. Of course, the most memorable of these come during Alec Baldwin’s famous speech. They include “Always Be Closing”, and “Attention, Interest, Decision, Action”. If you’re just starting to sell, watch this film. Not only will it get you in the right mindset, it’ll also pump you up to close, close, close!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Wall Street” (1987)
Money Never Sleeps But Ambition Needs to Be Tempered with Humanity

“Catch Me If You Can” (2002)
Confidence Can Change Everything

“American Hustle” (2013)
Pay Attention to the Details or It Could Cost You

“Joy” (2015)
Grit & a Good Idea Can Go a Long Way

“The Banker” (2020)
If the System Doesn’t Serve You, Make a New One!

#1: “Trading Places” (1983)

The victim of a callous social experiment, Dan Aykroyd’s well-mannered managing director is left homeless, while Eddie Murphy’s street hustler is given his job. It’s a grim reminder of the control powerful people have over other people’s lives, but there are ways to learn from this 1983 comedy. Yes, the people at the top run the system and, to some extent, decide our fortunes. But don’t underestimate the power of resourceful, determined underdogs putting their heads together either. Ultimately, by anticipating plans, and taking advantage of blind spots, both Dan Aykroyd’s character and Eddie Murphy’s come out on top. Now get out there and make some money!
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