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Top Trading Documentaries Every Trader Must Watch

  • 6 mins read
trading documentaries

Unlike fictional trading and stock market movies, finance documentary films can better capture the daily lives of traders and small parts of financial markets in general. Some of these movies focus on being a trader, while others show the complexity of the global economy and global trade.

Regardless, trading documentaries are a great way to dive into the trading world, expand your knowledge, and form your own opinion. So, in the post, we will share our top 10 trading documentary films.

10 Best Finance and Trading Documentary Films to Watch

Below, you can find our top picks for trading documentaries. So let’s check them out. 

1. Four Horsemen

Personally, this documentary film is one of our favorites. The Four Horseman is not a well-known film, but it definitely should be.

The cast includes some of the world’s leading thinkers and financial professionals (sort of the philosophers of our times) – Noam Chomsky, Joseph Stiglitz, and more – to discuss the problems of the financial systems and solutions for economic inequality, the capitalistic system, and the connection between political corruption to the global economic system. 

Directed by Ross Ashcroft, the 2012 British award-winning film is not the best way for you to find ‘entertainment’.

However, watching this movie will undoubtedly help you expand your knowledge and form an opinion about how our financial system works. The film, essentially, is a series of four chapters exploring social inequality, escalating violence, debt and poverty control, and environmental disasters caused by the capitalistic system. 

By the way, if you are keen to watch the Four Horseman film, you can find the entire movie on YouTube.

IMDb Score:  7.7

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Our Verdict: Don’t miss it!

2. Inside Job

Inside Job is one of the best trading documentary films of all time. The American film, directed by Charles Ferguson, exposes the corrupted US banking industry that led to the 2008 market crash.

This fantastic documentary is narrated by Matt Damon and reveals how the unregulated financial sector before 2008 caused millions of people to lose their jobs and created the biggest crisis since the great depression in 1929. 

IMDb Score: 8.2

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Our Verdict: A must-watch documentary movie!

3. Gaming Wall Street

Gaming Wall Street is a new HBO 2-part documentary film exploring the GameStop historic short squeeze in 2021 and the widely discussed battle between Reddit users and Wall Street.

For those unfamiliar with the story, in early 2021, the GameStop stock spiked sharply after Reddit traders began buying the company’s stock, trying to win the battle versus several hedge fund managers that were shorting the stock. 

IMDb Score: 7.3 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Our Verdict: Watch it, today!

4. The Ascent of Money

If you really want to understand the concept of money and its role in our lives, you should definitely read the book The Ascent of Money and watch this fascinating documentary film.

In this docu-series, the British historian Niall Ferguson explores the history of money and the origins of the financial system, including credit and debt, bubbles, and the trade war between the United States and China. 

IMDb Score: 7.9 

Rotten Tomatoes Score:

Our Verdict: Best docu-series to learn about money and the financial system

5. The Corporation – Part 1 and Part 2

The Corporation is an iconic documentary film that has made headlines worldwide. Released in 2003, the award-winning documentary film presents the concept and morality of corporations in our modern society. It also examines large corporations’ good and bad impacts on today’s financial system. 

The New Corporation, released in 2020, is a sequel to the first film and has gained positive reviews. Much like the first documentary film, The New Corporation film examines the influence of corporations on the global economy and modern society and focuses on companies’ attempts to portray an image of being socially responsible while they intentionally damage the environment. 

IMDb Score: 8 / 7

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89% / 77%

Our Verdict: A bit boring… but, you can learn a lot

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6. Floored

Floored is perhaps the most accurate and realistic trading documentary film that shows what the life of a floor trader in the Chicago stock exchange looks like. The movie essentially indicates the end of trading pits and Floor traders’ necessity to adapt to the new world of electronic trading screens. 

It’s also a great movie with an insight into floor trading and the thoughts and feelings of traders. Floored is also available on YouTube. 

IMDb Score: 6.7

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Our Verdict: New traders must watch this movie

7. Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street

Another excellent must-watch trading documentary film is The Alchemists of Wall Street, which was released in 2010 and is still one of the few films out there that shows how the global financial market is becoming more and more dependent on algorithmic trading.

Whether you decide to automate your trading or not, this movie is a must-watch movie for you to understand the impact of algorithmic trading on market liquidity. 

IMDb Score: 7.1

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Our Verdict: You need to watch it!

8. Freakonomics

Freakonomics is a sophisticated American documentary film based on the bestseller book written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Frankly, the reviews on this movie were mixed, most likely because of the high expectations from the book it’s based on.

Nonetheless, if you are interested in behavioral economics, this movie perfectly examines human behavior in different case studios and can help traders to define their trading strategies and develop an effective decision-making process. 

IMDb Score: 6.3

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66% 

Our Verdict: Watch it but only if you are into exploring behavioral economics issues

9. Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It

Whether you like the idea of cryptocurrencies or not, you must watch one documentary film about Bitcoin. And ‘Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It’, is in my opinion, one of the best movies to understand how bitcoin works and what the bitcoin community thinks about this coin and the technology behind it. It’s short and precise, and you can watch it on YouTube. 

IMDb Score: 6.9

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Our Verdict: You have to watch it… I mean it’s Bitcoin! It’s the future, right?

10. Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King

Recently released on Netflix, the Hunt for the Crypto King is a fun docu movie to watch that shows how fragile and unregulated the cryptocurrency market is.

The film shows the remarkable story of a geeky guy who founded a cryptocurrency exchange and died unexpectedly while taking with him the private keys of all the exchange’s clients. Long story short, fun film to watch.

IMDb Score: 6.3

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38%

Our Verdict: Fun film to watch

Wrapping Up

In a nutshell, trading documentary films are an excellent way to expand your knowledge and understand how financial markets work. Unlike some of the best stock market movies, which usually aim to present the dilemmas of an individual or an organization, trading documentaries provide insight into the life and thoughts of traders and investors.

What’s more, watching these financial documentaries may help form your own ideology and opinion of how financial markets work and which economic system is the best of all.

Other highly recommended documentary films to watch include 25 million pounds about the story of Nick Leeson (Rogue Trader), Wall Street Warriors, Million Dollar Traders, Trillion Dollar Bet, Trader (1987), and Bulls and Bears. 

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