The Brooklyn native who’s crazy lifestyle was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, currently has a net worth of minus $100 million. Once worth millions, the former stockbroker experienced a massive fall from grace.
Made infamous through trading penny stocks throughout the ’90s and most notably the 2013 film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, Jordan Belfort co-founded Stratton Oakmont, along with his partner in crime, Danny Porush. Stratton Oakmont was a brokerage firm that promoted worthless penny stocks to uneducated investors. Belfort and his companions used aggressive sales tactics to increase share prices and would later dump the same stock for substantial profits, leaving customers with massive losses. The scheme was so successful that Belfort had a net worth of $200 million at his peak before the brokerage collapsed.
For those less financially savvy, penny stocks are shares that typically trade under $5 per share with a market cap of $50-$300 million. 90% of penny stocks are completely worthless and only exist so shareholders can sell their shares at inflated prices. Most of these stocks trade on the OTC Bulletin Board and don’t have to release any financial statements to the public. Penny stocks are a hunting ground for scammers looking to make easy money, those new to stock trading get suckered in with the lure of making explosive returns.
Jordan Belfort’s Net Worth Explained
You may be wondering how someone can end up with a negative net worth of $100 million! This is due to the fact he was convicted by the SEC for stock manipulation. As well as receiving a 4-year jail sentence (22 months served), Belfort was also ordered to pay back the sum of $110.4 million to the victims he defrauded. With approximately $13 million paid back to date, Belfort still has a long way to go in terms of his reparations.
Over the last few years Belfort has made little effort to repay investors. He continues to the live high-life, renting a beautiful property by the sea in California and another five bedroom mansion on the shores of Lake Tahoe. The 58 year old only pays back $4,000 to $5,000 per month, at this rate it will take 1,600 years to clear the debt.
What is Jordan Belfort up to Today?
Since his release in 2006, Belfort has gone on to publish 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). Receiving an advance of $500,000 for his first book just a few days after his release, it seemed like he couldn’t make money.
This initial book went on to see the popular film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and featured the same title. Despite this film making $392 million at the box office, Belfort sold the rights for a mere $1 million. Out of this $1 million, only $21,000 went towards his restitution payments leaving his victims a little bewildered. I wouldn’t be surprised if the con artist has millions stashed away in off-shore bank accounts. A lot of wealthy businessmen have their fortunes located offshore so the authorities can’t easily track their money.
Belfort has continuously stated his full intent to pay back his former investors and has been earning a substantial income through motivational speaking. Touring the world teaching entrepreneurs his ‘Straight Line Persuasion’ system, that reveals how to improve your sales by implementing various persuasions tactics. His ‘Straight Line Persuasion’ course, retails online for a mind-blowing $1,997. Belfort boasts he’ll earn more money in recent years than he ever did at the height of his stockbroking career.
With Belfort earning anywhere between $30,000-$80,000 per talk it’s easy to see how he could amass another fortune so quickly. He’s also stated that he fully intends on using 100% of his U.S. tour to fund his restitution package, already with $50 million sitting in an escrow account.
How Did Belfort Get Started?
Belfort was an entrepreneur at an early age, he began selling ice-cream in-between high school and college at a local beach with his childhood friend Elliot Loewenstern and made a cool $20,000.
After graduating from American University with a degree in biology he ended up in the surprising industry of door-to-door meat and seafood sales. Although Belfort experienced initial success, he inevitably filed for bankruptcy when he turned 25. This was his turning point as a family friend helped him gain a position as a trainee stockbroker at L.F. Rothschild and the man we all know was born.