The movie Wolf of Wall Street starring the dynamic Leonardo Dicaprio is a popular cult classic, primarily due to the outrageously true story it tells about the former Wall Street mogul Jordan Belfort. He quickly jumped through the ranks of brokers at Wall Street to attain the golden NYC dream of a large mansion and even larger bank account.
“…I been getting dirty money Jordan Belfort, stacking penny stocks while I’m flipping these birds..”
These words accurately reflect the glorified lifestyle of the high-riding, bank account-breaking Wall Street broker. He eventually faced downfall when he became complicit in his power as a wealthy businessman, believing he could do no wrong.
Although the Wolf of Wall Street may have acquired his wealth through ahem illicit means— as all legends have their pitfalls— he left behind some key lessons on financial management that we can all appreciate.
Roomi delves deeper into the lessons from Jordan Belfort that open the door to better personal finance choices, cash flow and financial freedom.
Follow along for tips on how to save money while living in the city and ensure prime financial management, inspired by the Wolf of Wall Street himself.
1. Have a healthy relationship with your bank account
“When it’s all said and done, it’s the energy we send out into the universe that often comes back to us. That’s a universal law, love.”Jordan Belfort
One of the primary lessons on personal finance we can learn from the film is to have a good relationship with your money. As the saying goes, the more you take care of your money, the more it will take care of you! If the numbers in your bank account stress you out and financial management feels like the hill you will die on, remember financial planning help is always around the corner.
Personal finance apps are a great way to keep track of your cash flow. Financial freedom is a slow and steady process.
2. Avoid initial public offerings (IPOs) and shady investment opportunities!
“OK, first rule of Wall Street. Nobody – and I don’t care if you’re Warren Buffet or Jimmy Buffet – nobody knows if a stock’s going up, down or sideways, least of all stockbrokers, but we have to pretend we know.”Mark Hanna
Jordan Belfort enjoyed the fruits of his financial scams via fraudulent IPOs (initial public offerings) and “pump and dump” schemes. It is important to remember that stock brokers or financial representatives do not keep your financial freedom or personal finances in mind when making deals. The end goal and business model for these companies is to reward the seller, more than you, the buyer. Your financial planning is your own first priority.
If the investment scheme offers returns that seem too good to be true, steer clear! Greed leads to bad decision-making and never bodes well for financial management. When investing, take calculated risks that won’t hurt your bank account and cash flow in the long run.
3. Create a core set of values for your personal finance
Wolf of Wall Street’s company Stratton Oakmont had a core value“Seize the day!”
Financial planning doesn’t have to be hard. Grab a journal, sticky note or write it on your mirror! Create your own personal golden rules for financial management. This could be as easy as a note on your fridge “Take out only on Fridays!” or a reminder to spend on that Starbucks drink only on the first Monday of the month. Small reminders in addition to tracking your expenses each week can help you stay on top of your personal finances and focus on keeping a regular cash flow.
4. Seek out new opportunities and be open to learning
“So, you listen to me and you listen well. Are you behind on your credit card bills? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! Is your landlord ready to evict you? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! Does your girlfriend think you’re a worthless loser? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich!Jordan Belfort
This is a great lesson in persistence, and being open to whatever opportunities are out there when financial management is tough and you need the extra cash flow. Don’t shy away from new jobs, or small part-time gigs that might help your bank account and gain some financial freedom.
5. Remember it’s okay to make mistakes!
“If you want to be rich, never give up. People tend to give up. If you have persistence, you will come out ahead of most people. More importantly, you will learn. When you do something, you might fail. But that’s not because you’re a failure. It’s because you have not learnt enough. Do it differently each time. One day, you will do it right. Failure is your friend.”Jordan Belfort
Belfort experienced a major downfall when his illegal investment schemes came to light, and was ordered to repay close to $200 million that he had earned, as reported by Reuters. He gradually helped return all the money through financial advising and business ethics lectures.
The lesson: don’t give up on your personal finance goals. With proper financial planning, a little bit of strict financial management, it won’t be long before you stop looking for “tips to save money”. Learn from your past mistakes- identify transactions on your bank account statements where you spend the most money and rectify as you go. Don’t be afraid to set goals for yourself, and try again when you fall short. Trying your best till you succeed is the true secret to financial freedom.
We end our short guide with some final Wolf of Wall Street wisdom:
I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich!
(or just be better financial management, whatever floats your boat!)