Jordan Belfort is a retired stockbroker and motivational speaker with a net worth of $ 100 million. The crazy life story of the Brooklyn-born man was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street” in 2013. When Belfort was worth $ 200 million at its peak, it experienced a massive crash.
Belfort was an entrepreneur from a young age. He started selling ice cream on local beaches during high school and college and made a cool $ 20,000.
After graduating from American University with a degree in biology, he landed in the door-to-door meat sales industry. Although Belfort was initially successful, the company inevitably filed for bankruptcy at the age of 25. After that, a family friend helped him get a job as an aspiring stockbroker at LF Rothschild, and the man we all know was born.
Unfortunately, his time at LF Rothschild did not last long. Belfort’s first day as a licensed broker was known as “Black Monday”, which triggered the 1987 stock market crash. LF Rothschild went broke and Belfort was soon unemployed again.
With his Series 7 license, he secured a job at The Investors Center, a small investment firm specializing in the promotion of penny stocks. Jordan spent hours cold calling and selling crappy penny stocks to mom and pop investors. Here he perfected the art of telephone sales. With a 50% commission on all sales, it didn’t take long for Jordan to make big bucks. Not happy making a few thousand a month, Jordan quit his job to start his own brokerage firm.
Jordan Belfort co-founded Stratton Oakmont with Danny Porush (played by Jonah Hill in the film). Stratton Oakmont was a brokerage firm promoting worthless penny stocks to illiterate investors.
For those less financially savvy, penny stocks are stocks that trade below $ 5 per share and are very risky investments. 90% of penny stocks are worthless and exist only so that shareholders can sell their shares at inflated prices. Those new to stock trading are drawn to the lure of making huge returns.
Belfort and his associates used aggressive selling tactics to raise the share price and later dumped the same shares for significant profits. Customers held the bag and suffered massive losses. The program was so successful that Belfort had a net worth of $ 200 million at its peak before the broker collapsed. Due to pressure from the SEC, Oakmont was closed in 1996.
While the brokerage firm was operating, it flourished and employed approximately 1,300 people. During this time, Jordan lived the high life, spending millions on fast cars, drugs, mansions, and even a yacht. He bought the yacht from Coco Chanel, but later sank it off the coast of Italy.
Jordan Belfort’s fortune explained
You may be wondering how can someone end up with a negative $ 100 million net worth! This is due to the fact that he was convicted of securities fraud and money laundering by the SEC in 1999. In addition to a 4-year sentence (22 months), Belfort was ordered to repay $ 110.4 million to the victims. With approximately $ 13 million paid back to date, Belfort still has a long way to go in terms of redress.
In recent years, Belfort has made little effort to repay investors. Still living the high life, he rents a beautiful oceanfront property in California and another five bedroom mansion on the shores of Lake Tahoe. The 58-year-old is only paying back $ 4,000-5,000 a month. At this rate, it will take 1,600 years to pay off the debt.
What is Jordan Belfort doing today?
Since his release from prison in 2006, Belfort has published three books: “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2007), “Catching the Wolf of Wall Street” (2009) and a self-help book, “The Way of the Wolf” (2017). A few days after its publication, he received a $ 500,000 advance payment for the first book. It seemed like he had a knack for making money.
The first book showed the popular film adaptation with Leonardo DiCaprio. Although the film grossed $ 392 million at the box office, Belfort sold the rights for just $ 1 million. Of the $ 1 million, only $ 21,000 went toward reimbursement payments, which somewhat confused his victims.
Belfort has consistently expressed its intention to repay former investors and has generated substantial income through motivational speeches. Travel the world teaching entrepreneurs the straight line persuasion system. Show how you can improve your sales by implementing various persuasion tactics. The Straight Line Persuasion course costs $ 500 online. Belfort boasts of having made more money in recent years than it has ever made at the height of its stock market career.
With Belfort making between $ 30,000 and $ 80,000 per talk, it’s easy to see how he can amass another fortune so quickly. He has also stated that he fully intends to use 100% of his US tour to fund his restitution package.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Belfort is a woman’s man and has been divorced twice. His first marriage to Denise Lombardo lasted six years and ended in 1991. Jordan met his second wife, Nadine Caridi, at a company party. The couple married in 1991 and had two children together before separating in 2008. Jordan was with Anne Koppe for 12 years and is now with Cristina Invernizzi.