Recently we were thinking about movies with some kind of financial lesson. The financial side of making films has always intrigued us. Historically the Oscars have always been proof that the biggest budget doesn’t always give the best ROI. In 2010, the lowest grossing Oscar winning film in history – The Hurt Locker – beat out the highest grossing picture in history – Avatar.
Here’s my list of the top 10 movies ever made that have a financial lesson inside of them.
1. Boiler Room (2000) – A college dropout gets a job and enjoys fast success at a brokerage house selling phony stock. However, the job turns out not be as legit as it sounds. This film is mix of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross thrown in. Although there’s no character here that can compare to Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko.
Lesson: Great morality lesson dealing with the desire to get rich quick, regardless of the consequences.
2. Wall Street (1987) – “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good”. This line by ruthless corporate raider, Gordon Gekko, summed up the business ethics of the 1980s, when greed, corruption and the predatory nature of the financial world was at its most conspicuous. The film charts the ascent of a young, ambitious stockbroker who’s taken under Gekko’s wing and struggles with whether it’s better to have money or integrity. Gekko is the embodiment of corporate malfeasance, but also portrayed as a business guru. His glamor and power probably inspired a lot of young men to enter investment banking over the last two decades. As Gekko said, “It’s all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation.”
Lesson: Greed is good. What’s worth doing is worth doing for money. Lunch is for wimps. If you need a friend, buy a dog. So goes the wisdom of Gordon Gekko, ruthless investor, legendary financier – and the star of one of the best movies ever made about money. This film also provides a great backdrop to the landscape that led to the financial crisis of 2008.
3. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) – Times are tough. This is the ultimate real estate high pressure sales environment film where making money is the bottom line. A desperate group of Chicago investment property real estate salesmen suffer in a down market, a sales contest is launched and anyone who fails loses his job.
Now that the property bubble has burst, some real estate offices may soon seem a little bit more “Glengarry”. There’s no room for losers, only ‘closers’ will get the good sales leads. Some regarded this film as a critique of the impact of Reaganomics.
Lesson: Too much pressure to succeed can boil over into tragedy with unforeseen consequences.
With the upcoming premiere of the film “Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps” it got me thinking about movies with some kind of financial lesson. The financial side of making filmshasalways intrigued me. This year’s Oscars were yet again proof that the biggest budget doesn’t always give the best ROI. In 2010, the lowest grossing Oscar winning film in history – The Hurt Locker – beat out the highest grossing picture in history – Avatar.
Here’s my list of the top 10 movies ever made that have a financial lesson inside of them.
4. Maxed Out. Hard times. Easy Credit. The Era of Predatory Lending (2006) – This documentary shows how the modern financial industry really works. It explores America’s love with credit and leveraged debt and tells us why the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer. When Hurricane Katrina ravaged America’s coast, it revealed that America was far from the world’s wealthiest nation. It also highlighted America’s crumbling beneath a staggering burden of individual and government debt. Maxed Out shows how predatory lending was out of control, including credit cards pumped to college kids who had no income. This is a great movie. It’ll make you feel different about your money.
Lesson: It delivers a great lesson on how to borrow and shows why you don’t want to live on credit. Credit is the devil. Do you know anyone who got into trouble because they didn’t borrow too much money? Maxed Out paints a picture of a national nightmare which is all too real for most of us – out of control spending and an irrational use of credit.
5. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) – Before Bernie Madoff, there were Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling who ran the Houston energy firm that was going to reinvent how energy was going to be done in America. Enron was highly profitable, had a great amount of cash flow and earnings and the stock price soared. Its executives cashed out options worth millions and told employees their best 401K option was Enron stock. Thousands lost all their retirement savings because they put all their bets on one company. Took Enron 16 yrs to from 10b assets to 65b assets, but it took them 24 days to go bankrupt. It won the Academy Award for best documentary.
Lessons: Have a financial plan, have a discipline. If you have a stock that looks too good to be true and it just keeps going up, up, up, it’s probably too good to be true. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
6. Working Girl (1988) – Melanie Griffith plays Tess McGill. Endearing 80s film. Ultimately she takes a job as a secretary but she wants to rise in investment world. Wants to rise to power, combines her business degree from night school w/ her street smart acumen & pulls of a mega-merger. Total fantasy. Prince charming happy ending w/ Harrison Ford. “I have a head for business and a body for sex.”, says Melanie Griffith’s character. Go back to night school, go back & get a degree. Go get educated, you’ll get leverage. No one can take your education away from you.
Lessons: Your education, your smarts can’t be wiped out in a recession. Your earning power is rooted in your skills, in your education. Provides an entertaining reminder that if you have something to offer your co. & they don’t seem too interested, then take your skills elsewhere. If you are a super powerful earner at one job, you can make yourself a super powerful earner anywhere.
7. Treasure of the Sierra Madre. 1948. Classic western cautionary tale about how not to launch a venture. If you took everything that Howard Dobbs & Kutan did in this movie: “Get rich quickly without a credible business plan.” “Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges.” Don’t swing blindly, don’t come up w/ a get rich quick scheme, don’t do a pyramid scheme, don’t sell products from your house to your friends or recruit your friends.
Lesson: In life, as in baseball, you’re gonna strike out. You don’t want to strike out blindly while your pursuing a huge home run. You gotta know your business, know your partners, know where you are in all of this.
8. Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House (1948) – Was remade into The Money Pit, starring Tom Hanks & Shelly Long. Owning a home ain’t cheap. It can turn into a massively expensive ordeal. Home is really a money pit. Owning a home comes w/ a lot of responsibility, gotta have credit, gotta have a down payment, pay your bills, maintain the home, gotta know the risks up front. It’s expensive. You gotta know the worse case scenarios, all the risks, the downside.
Lesson: Shows how the American dream of owning a home can go terribly wrong. Home ownership is not for everybody and shouldn’t be promoted as such by the government.
9. Confessions Of A Shopaholic (2009) – About a chic who’s struggling with a debilitating obsession with shopping and has 12 maxed out credit cards. She unintentionally lands a job as a financial journalist and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur. Don’t buy a $400 watch because it quickly depreciates to nothing. I will buy a $4,000 Rolex – nothing less than a Rolex — because it can still be sold 10 yrs after you buy it for what you paid for it. You use credit to buy things of value: an education, a car to get you to work, (I prefer to buy 2-yr old used cars because it loses half its value up front when you drive it off the lot, but you can still get 50-60,000 miles out of it.)
Lesson: Only use credit for things that have value. Pay cash for everything else.
10. Brewster’s Millions (1985) – The ultimate spending spree is something that most of us have daydreamt about at some time. A minor league baseball player, Montgomery Brewster, (Richard Pryor) has to waste $30m in 30s days in order to inherit $300m; however, he’s not allowed to tell anyone about the $300m deal.
Lesson: How corruptible too much money can be and how difficult it can be to use it responsibly.
As a keen investor, you will know that the stock market is constantly changing. In 2008, it was estimated that the size of the world stock market was $36.6 trillion. It is ever growing and expanding, but also dipping and rising in value all the time.
These days you can invest in almost anything, from gold and silver on Bullion Vault to Real Estate. If you’ve invested in stocks and shares then you are going to want to check the stock market on a regular basis. We have found just a couple of the best stock apps about so you can track and manage your stocks right from your iPad.
This app by Value Prime, is a powerful stock analysis app which provides thorough analysis for a huge variety of stocks. In addition, it also helps you to judge stocks by providing statistics based upon risk, valuation and financial strength. The app has an archive of 6,700 stocks, and for each stock you are given a detailed overview of its state. The app is able to tell you everything about the stock, from its valuation rating and financial strength to its risk score and its sharpe ratio. It has a user-friendly interface which is loaded with tons of features.
Produced by Toughturtle LLC, StockWatch allows you to easily track your stocks from your iPad. It differs from StockGuru because this app is purely designed to help you track stocks you already own, rather than helping you make decisions on other stocks. The app was noted in Apple’s iTunes Rewind as one of the best apps of 2010. You can create portfolios and even make watch-lists so you never miss a thing. In addition, there is a news feed integrated in the app so you will always be in the know.
Are you looking to find a stock broker online? there are many different places that you can go with. but, who is the best? In this article, you will soon discover the information you need, to be able to get the best! Discover the information that can make all the difference in your trading! Read it right here!
There are all different ways to make money, and increase your capital. if you want to make some major growth with your spare cash, then you are going to need some better route than high yielding bank accounts, bonds, etc.
To increase capital, the best investment is stocks. Stocks outperform everything! but, online when you pick the right ones. So, what do you need, to be able to start trading stocks? first you need a good stock broker. Luckily there are many online, who can actually help you to purchase stocks. Remember, that there are some stock brokers online that do the work for you. You put the money in, they select stocks, then you simply say how much to buy or sell.
This is generally a more expensive option, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will make money. And it can work out expensive. However, there needs to be some other options, options where you can buy stocks that you like, and sell it when you want.
There are many more online stock brokers that permit this. You simply open an account, then load money into the account, then you actually can start to trade stocks. this is great! And if you haven’t traded stocks before, then I suggest that you get started! How do you find these stock brokers? there are actually some routes that you can go with.
I have found that investing magazines, stock magazines, and others that deal with the finances, you will find some kind of advertisement that deals with stock trading, and being able to trade stocks online.
This can take time to find a magazine, buy it, then go through the process of selecting the best option.
If you really want to find the best option, then you are going to need more options! Luckily you can find them. And there are many to choose from! Online, you can find directly, all different options for opening a stock trading account. You can actually save a lot of money with this, as there are trading fees, and commissions.
With some charging more, while others charge less, you can rest assured that you can find the best!
The first thing that you want to do, is to look through the features, and charges, and see which is the best option for your needs. Then you can move forward and start trading successfully!
* Excluding one client, firm had $4.7 bln net new assets
* Daily average trades were 512,700, up 17 pct from April
* one client withdrew $29.5 bln in may and $22 bln in June
* Shares fall 2.9 percent to $15.85
by Joseph A. Giannone
NEW YORK, June 14 (Reuters) – Discount brokerage Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.N) said customer trading surged 17 percent in May from April, but total assets plunged on a steep downturn in stocks and a $29.5 billion withdrawal by one client.
Schwab clients withdrew a net $24.8 billion last month,including $29.5 billion by a mutual fund clearing services firm transferring their assets to its in-house platform. Excluding that one client, Schwab had $4.7 billion in net new assets.
The market took a bigger chunk out of the firm’s client assets, generating $74.5 billion of losses, Schwab said in a monthly market activity report released on Monday.
Total client assets fell by 7 percent — or nearly $100billion — to $1.41 trillion in may from April. The number ofclient accounts were little changed over the same period at7.87 million.
Total assets at Schwab were up 16 percent from may 2009.
Schwab disclosed that the mutual fund clearing client withdrew an additional $22 billion in June as it completed the asset transfer.
Client trading was exceptionally active in may, with dailytrades averaging 512,700, up 17 percent from April.
The major stock market indexes all fell by 8 percent last month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped more than 10percent from its April 23 high, in what is technically known asa market correction. (Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Richard Chang)
Many of you who use “Think or Swim” (TOS) as an online broker are familiar with the free Options seminars hosted by TOS affiliate “OptionPlanet”. Yet how many of you have attended one of these Trading Options seminars rather than just think about it?
On Saturday August 15th, 2009 I made sure to see first hand what these were all about and whether or not they truly taught you the process of learning how to trade options. I attend the Options for Traders presentation. The seminar itself is a 7 hour ordeal, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Joe Mazzola, a man in his early thirties, presented the seminar. Mr. Mazzola who has been trading options for twelve years, ever since he was twenty-one, also runs “SwimCoach”. Another TOS tool focused on teaching investors complex option strategies and answering live position related questions, for a small monthly fee of $50. With a bachelor degree in Economics and an MBA in finance Mr. Mazzola takes a more fundamental approach when entering option positions, rather than a technical one.
The class began with an overview of the current market situation, specifically the S&P 500. In Mr. Mazzola’s opinion the S&P 500 is a little overbought for the time being considering the comparatively weak economic data and easy to beat earning targets. He proceeded to explain to the folks who are inclined to believe in a coming inflation to follow the CPI (Consumer Price Index) and PPI (Producer Price Index) as they are direct rejections of inflation. We then began to get into the meat of options trading. We skipped the explanation of calls and puts and dove right into the world of vertical spreads. Stressing the benefits of limited losses and limited gains, Mr. Mazzola went on to explain that buying options was inferior to selling them, “This is because you want to benefit from “time decay” he explained. He recommended trading highly liquid securities, minimum volume of 400-500 and 1 million a day for options and stock respectively. This is because the bid/ask spreads are often tighter and you are more likely to be able to get a fill in-between the two. Another word of advice was to sell the spreads 30-45 days prior to expiration, due to an accelerating time decay, and to buy them back 4-10 days prior to expiration, in order to avoid an expirations weak disaster.
Probability of success was another key theme. Although TOS provides a tool for calculating the percentage of an option expiring at least .01 in the money successfully, he explained another simple equation which would merit results for selling positions successfully. Max loss divided by the difference between the two strikes. “When selling options you want a percentage between 55%-75% of success, no more no less. This is because the greater the percentage the smaller the payout or vice versa” he said. Example: -1 @ 12 Strike = +$.60 +1@ 13 Strike = -$.25 Credit = .35 Max loss = .65 Probability of Success is = (.65)/(1.00) or 65%.
Next options strategy was, The Iron Condor. This is a strategy that benefits from range based trading and sideways movement. He explained that an Iron Condor was nothing more than selling a put spread as well as a call spread to create a range in-between to profit from. He stressed the fact that this strategy should not be used on volatile stocks such as AAPL, but on sideways ones such as WMT. We went through different scenarios for using this method and how to adjust it, if it begins to go wrong.
Overall I found the seminar to be decent and give you a good solid base on the processes involved in trading options. I would recommend it to new options traders who are not yet familiar with the TOS desktop platform, nor complex options strategies.
If you are interested in trading some financial securities online, you may need to obtain the service of a good online-stock-broker. If you are new to online-stock investment programs and schemes, you will definitely need a lot of guidance if you’re going to get high returns on your investments. even if you are an experienced online-stock trader, you will still need an online-stock broker to help you with complicated researches among other things. The truth is online brokers play a vital role in opening online trading accounts, as well as offering you a wide array of services all geared towards helping you to make higher returns on your online stock trades. If you are not too certain as to what to look for in a good online stock broker, there are a few things that we will look at.
A Good Broker Offers Low Brokerage RatesFor every occasion that you buy or sell through your online account, you will be charged a rate, called a brokerage fee. The key to making money from online trading of securities is to lower your costs and maximize on your profits from a trade. with that said, you may need to compare the brokerage rates of several online brokers, before you choose an online-stock broker. Remember to carefully read the fine prints on the contract and make note of the brokerage fees. The lower the brokerage charge the greater your chances of making higher profits.
A Good Online Stock Broker Offers Low Account FeesWhen you are going to hire an online stock broker do proceed with caution by looking out for hidden high fees in the terms and the conditions of the account contracts. Beware of online brokers that offer extra fees to transfer money out of your online account. Again, you should carefully read your contract and look for these fees which should be listed when you are opening your online stock account. If you can avoid as much of these fees as possible, you should be well on your way to making lots of money with a good affordable online stock broker.
A Good Broker Has Access To a PhoneWhen you are going to choose your broker, you should bear in mind that a good broker must have access to a phone. this is because there will be times when the online services go down for hours. There may also be interruptions to the broadband connection, computer problems and power outages, which will prevent you from getting information about the market. In these cases, you will need to use a phone to contact your online stock broker. Don’t even bother to consider a broker does not offer to be contacted via telephone.
A Good Broker Allows You Access To your MoneyFinally, a good online stock broker will offer you the chance to have instant and immediate access to your money, even though it is in a cash account that is controlled by the broker. this immediate access to your cash will give you a sense of feeling that’s more comfortable to know that your money is not tied up over the internet limiting you quick and easy access to your cash.
When it comes to choosing an Online Broker or online brokerage service, I believe customer satisfaction and top ratings have to be near the top priority. With the internet vastly expanding, many people no longer need the ability to call a broker to invest and trade in stocks. Frankly anyone who still calls a broker and pays those excessive fees has to be crazy with the simple setup these sites have today. Two clicks now and I can make a trade, on my iPhone!!! Anyways, getting back to the point, customer satisfaction does play an imminent role in cashing out, making transfers, and the little day-by-day operations of running your investment portfolio. So now lets narrow down the options by first asking yourself a few basic questions about what you need in an online broker. How much do I have to Invest? The more you have, the more options you’ll have. Though I would advise for those of you with smaller portfolio values to take cheaper fee based brokerage services such as Zecco, Wells Fargo, Trade King, eTrade, Charles Schwab.
What kind of investments do I want? Every online broker will give you access to the most commonly traded stocks, but you won’t necessarily have access to thinly traded issues or every mutual fund on the planet. If you want access to IPOs, options trading, forex trading, etc… you need to choose either Interactive Brokers or OptionsXpress.
How often will I trade? Big question as if you are more of an investor rather than a trader then you might choose higher fees for more amenities. For those of you only doing several trades a year, I would advise using any of the following: eTrade, Fidelity, Scottrade, or TD Ameritrade.
How much help do I need? Many discount online brokers offer advice these days, yet some clearly stand out more than others. For advice on stocks, IRAs, ETFs, Mutual Funds, etc look at: Fidelity or TD Ameritrade.
So now when you consider signing up with an online broker service consider these few questions above. Best advised to take your time in choosing an online broker as it will become a crucial part of your success.