How much do you know about Jordan Belfort?
“The Wolf of Wall Street” was part of the glitz of the Oscars this year, but who was the real man behind the Hollywood story?
DiCaprio was nominated for best actor in a leading role, thanks to his depiction of Jordan Belfort, the former banker who was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering in the hit movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Despite the profanity, extravagance, and crazy lifestyles portrayed in the movie, Belfort’s real life was no less dramatic.
Take a look at how Belfort started his own firm, how his scheme ruined many investors’ businesses, and what he is doing right now. Next
Childhood and education
Jordan Belfort was born and raised in Queens, N.Y., in 1962. In 1984, Belfort headed to dental college after he overslept for his medical school entrance exam. He later learned from the dean at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery that “the golden age of dentistry is over” and that “if you’re here simply because you’re looking to make a lot of money, you’re in the wrong place.” He decided to drop out of dental school.
Source: Jordan Belfort memoir— “The Wolf of Wall Street” Next
Dipping toes into Wall Street
After leaving dental school, Belfort became a meat and seafood salesman, working for a distributor. He later found out that an old acquaintance had gone to work on Wall Street and was being paid well enough to charter yachts off the Bahamas and drive a Ferrari. “I was the most talented salesman in the world,” Belfort wrote in his second memoir. “My mistake was I picked the wrong product to sell.”
Jordan Belfort memoir—”Catching the Wolf of Wall Street” Next
Making a fortune
Belfort created a brokerage called Stratton Oakmont. He hired young, hungry brokers. Some hadn’t even graduated from high school. He invented the classic “pump and dump” which involved inflating a company’s public stock through false research and selling the cheap stocks at a much higher rate. As owner and founder, Belfort employed more than a 1,000 stockbrokers, and the firm handled stocks issues totaling over $1 billion.
Meeting his second wife
The role of “Naomi,” played by Margot Robbie, is based on Belfort’s real-life second wife, Nadine, to whom he was married for seven years and with whom he had two children. They met at a Hamptons pool party in the late 1980s.
Source: CNBC Next
”Heading to San Francisco to celebrate one year of being engaged to the most gorgeous, amazing woman in the world,” wrote Jordan Belfort on his public Facebook account. Next
Appearance in the movie
After his conviction in 2003, Jordan Belfort was ordered to pay back $110 million to his victims in restitution payments, $11.6 million of which he has already paid. Belfort, who also has a cameo appearance at the end of the movie, released a statement through his Facebook page that all of the profits he receives through his book and movie deals are going back to his victims.
Source: Businss Insider Next
Relationship with Steve Madden
One little known fact lies in Belfort’s relationship with Steve Madden. Belfort held responsibility for raising Steve Madden’s equity and increasing their sales revenue. At one point, he even served as COO of Steve Madden; he managed to transform Steve Madden from a small time shoemaker into a popular consumer brand. However, Madden, like Belfort, served time in prison for 41 months for participating in the Stratton scheme. Next
Belfort said he flew his own helicopter while high, sank his 167-foot yacht (once owned by Coco Chanel) in the Mediterranean while high, drove with his 3-year-old daughter unbuckled beside him though a garage door while high. Next
Influence of drugs
Belfort says at the height of his drug problem, he was taking 22 different medications: 20 quaaludes a day, balanced out by cocaine, the morphine, xanax, valium, etc.
Source: CNBC Next
Targeted by FBI
After all of his success, Belfort felt comfortable enough to depart his company and retire in peace. However, his public controversies made him a target for the FBI. By 1998, Belfort faced federal charges on securities fraud and money laundering. He eventually served 22 months in a federal prison.
Source: CNBC Next
Belfort earned just shy of $20 million through the success of his two memoirs, which have been published in 40 countries and translated into 18 languages. He also works as a motivational speaker and sits on the board of several public companies.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek Back to the beginning
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