Top 5 Documentaries All Financial Advisors Should Watch

Bryn Evans
Bryn Evans • Posted on Aug 2, 2018

Documentaries are a very valuable source for learning about a range of topics that typically needs a lot of research. The finance industry is an excellent example of that and media companies are willing to get to shed light on serious issues and educate people on the industry. Although some have gained a reputation recently for having a biased point of view depending on who has made the film, the majority contain simple facts that you can apply to your knowledge about finance. Here are the top 5 documentaries financial advisors must watch.

there are excellent documentaries for financial advisors to learn from

Inside Job

Widely considered the best finance documentary ever released, Inside Job is a fascinating piece of work that dives in the 2008 financial crash at a whole new angle. A timeline is described on how flawed the economy is, how the housing bubble grew so drastically, how it burst and who’s fault it was. This is helpful for a range of different advisors; if you are just starting out and want to know what not to do in finance this describes it well. Also, if you are very experienced and think you know all there is to the crash, this documentary will find new details for you. A deserved Oscar-winner in 2011 and a must-watch for financial professionals.

Inside job is considered one of the best finance documentaries ever made

The Ascent of Money

Many documentaries on the finance industry will focus on the most recent 20 or 30 years or so and not really touch on anything before that time period. The Ascent of Money looks way back in history to how debits and credits were created, how the Renaissance changed finance and 18th century Europe. The documentary is like watching building blocks putting together the idea of finance and how it became what it is today. This would be more popular with experienced advisors who have a grasp on the modern climate and want to learn about its history.

The Ascent of Money takes a historical perspective


Trader takes a more biographical approach with this documentary as it follows Paul Tudor Jones who is an expert investor and hedge fund manager. Jones predicted the economic slump in 1987 by using a number of different tools such as Elliot Wave graphs. An interesting perspective taken is the role of luck in financial investments and this is where Jones gets his superstitious trait from. There a number of tips for advisors on how to handle investments, while showing a nicer side too. Jones also helps out New York inner city kids which gives a positive outlook on the character.

Life and Debt

This documentary takes a look at international financial crises such as Greece and Portugal and how the European Union tried to deal with their drastic situations. The way the IMO and World Bank handle international economic meltdowns is explored as well. This is a very helpful documentary for advisors abroad or with international clients.

Life and Debt is a documentary for internationally inclined advisors

The Warning

Another intriguing biographical approach to this financial documentary, The Warning describes how avoidable the financial crisis was in 2008. The leader of the Commodity Futures Trading Academy, Brooksley Born created a plan that meant tighter regulation would be in place for derivatives. She presented her works to some very powerful men such as Larry Summers and Alan Greenspan but was ignored countless times. The documentary ends with the bitterly ironic conclusion of Long Term Capital Management sinking because of those exact derivatives.

All 5 of these documentaries add something new and interesting to a financial advisor’s knowledge base. They bring a new perspective to the traditional money-making ideology that is engrained in a number of professionals. Watching these could spark some new ideas to improve your practice.


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