We have a great piece here highlighting some books you can read to further your financial knowledge, but sometimes you don't have to be so studious to still learn a thing or more. So I did some digging and came up with 9 movies to get your fiduciary gears spinning with the quickness. With enough humor and drama to make your financial education feel a little less stuffy and jam packed with enough info to have you finessing and flexing in your next conversations, in no particular order here's 9 movies to get you pumped about money:
The Big Short
With a star studded cast this film follows the lives of a few smart guys who got hip to the impending financial disaster and decided to make a fortune by betting against the what everyone else thought was a sure thing. Based on a true story.
Glengarry Gary Ross
What happens when an New York City office full of real estate salesmen is given the news that all but the top two will be fired at the end of the week, but they all need their jobs, and some more desperately than others. "Always Be Closing" is a salesman's mantra garnered from Alec Baldwin's riveting performance.
This critically acclaimed Matt Damon narrated documentary points out the key players and events that would the 2008 financial crisis and the onset of the Great Recession.
Capitalism a Love Story
Filmmaker Michael Moore travels all around the country examining the effects of corporate greed and the ensuing global economic meltdown in this enticing and revealing documentary.
Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room
This documentary pulls up the curtain and shows just how Enron rose and fell and reveals all of its underhanded dealings, corrupt practices, and illegal actions as they robbed from the poor and gave to the rich.
The Wolf of Wall Street
A young Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his merry band of miscreants make millions by defrauding wealthy investors out of their fortunes, but the SEC and the FBI are looming to take them in and take it all away.
Giovani Ribisi, Vin Diesel, and Nia Long star in a film where you can enter the Boiler Room as an ambitious 20 something and become a millionaire overnight. This movie has it all - fast cars, mansions, luxury toys, all while trying to stay one step ahead of the law.
Real life father and son Martin and Charlie Sheen play father and son in this definitive 80's classic. The younger Sheen plays Bud Fox, an ambitious stockbroker desperate to make it to the top. He falls under the guidance of his idol Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglass) and soon finds himself entangled in a web of greed, deceit, and underhanded tactics that end up threatening everything around him - including the livelihood of his father.
Catch Me If You Can
Follow Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) elude FBI Agent Carl Hanratty as he becomes the master of disguise becomes the most successful bank forger/ robber in U.S. history in this Steven Spielberg masterpiece.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.