How much is Jordan Belfort worth?
|Date of Birth:
|July 9, 1962 (age 60)
|United States of America
|5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)
About Jordan Belfort
Jordan Belfort is a former stock broker and current motivational speaker who was famously convicted for securities fraud and money laundering after a major FBI investigation was conducted on him and his brokerage house, Stratton Oakmont. Though his name is recognizable, people often think of Leonardo DiCaprio when Belfort’s name is mentioned as DiCaprio famously played Jordan Belfort in the hit Scorsese movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
Jordan Belfort started making money young and from the words in his book he was always a fantastic salesman. Belfort started out selling meat and fish door-to-door. Apparently he would sell lots by pretending to have vehicle trouble in well to do neighborhoods and therefore offering his thawing meat and fish at a deep discount. It wasn’t until he started selling stocks, however, that he eventually became incredibly rich.
In the 90s, Jordan Belfort became well known around New York and among business people and socialites for the success that he was ostensibly having on Wall Street. Belfort was heralded as a stockbroking genius. However, at the base of his success was illegal activity; but very few knew that at the time, and every money-hungry stockbroker in New York wanted to work for him. Belfort was into the business of selling penny stocks; the often near-worthless “pink sheet” shares of companies outside the regulated Nasdaq and NYSE. By 1991, Forbes magazine did a profile on him, titled: “Steaks, Stocks — What’s The Difference?”
His firm Stratton Oakmont would sell stocks that were not good enough to get listed on the big stock exchanges. Instead, using information and prices directly off the company documents and then allegedly adding an additional 50% sum to the price of the shares for “services”, these stocks were then pushed via cold calls to unsuspecting members of the public. These added services that made up around half of the purchase price usually only cost the buyer around 3-8%, when purchasing stock from a reputable firm. Cleary, considering the high pressure sales tactics and the amount added to the stock, the buyers never stood a chance.
All the while, Belfort became famous for making incredible sums of money, as much as $50 million per year, buying audacious cars and houses, but also as shown off in the movie for allegedly sleeping with dozens, maybe even hundreds of women. He admits to taking different types of drugs and having all kinds of crazy drug-trip experiences, as he explains in an almost self-congratulating way in his book, The Wolf of Wall Street.
What’s worse, Belfort’s firm was involved in schemes to pump and dump stock. Pump-and-dump schemes involve brokers or others using various methods to artificially inflate stock prices. All the while a co-conspirator secretly owns stock in the targeted company usually purchased for a nominal price. As more people purchase stock in the company, supply and demand dictates that the stock price increases in value. 1 share for example that was purchased for $100 is now worth $200. At the ideal time the holder of the shares sells off a large amount, or even all, of their stock flooding the market with sell orders causing the stock to dump while earning themselves an incredible profit off the pump.
In the end, Belfort entered into a plea deal with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for running pump-and-dump scams that led to investor losses of approximately $200 million. He served 22 months of a four-year sentence at the Taft Correctional Institution in Taft, California. It wasn’t until Martin Scorsese’s lauded biopic, The Wolf of Wall Street, the movie adaptation of Belfort’s book of the same name, that his popularity increased and Belfort made somewhat of a recovery.
Not only did Belfort sell the rights to his book, but movie studios entered an outright bidding war and were fighting for the rights to make the movie. Warner Bros Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio, eventually won against Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt. Belfort sold the rights for over $1 million, but he also earned a $250,000 bonus when the movie was shot and released into theaters. Besides the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street was also adapted into an immersive experience in London; and while it’s clear he wasn’t earning the hundreds of millions revenue like he had done in the past. Belfort did begin experiencing a second phase of success.
The movie became the highest box-office grossing of any of Scorsese’s films, earning $392 million worldwide. It is also how the mainstream movie audience learned about Jordan Belfort in the first place. Though DiCaprio doesn’t look at all like Belfort, his portrayal of his supposed personality and actions won him an Oscar nomination for “Best Actor”. Belfort of course used all of this to his advantage, he even made a cameo appearance at the end of the movie where he introduces the on screen Jordan Belfort to the audience. It’s a bit cut from his first motivational speech, showcasing his methods of influence and sales, which is another source of income for him.
The Wolf of Wall Street isn’t the only book written by Belfort, either. A sequel of sorts, Catching The Wolf of Wall Street details his account of the events after his arrest, which leads to the possibility of a movie sequel. Ten years after the first book, Belfort wrote another book, The Way of the Wolf, released in 2018. The ad copy claims the book “reveals the step-by-step sales and persuasion system proven to turn anyone into a sales-closing, money-earning rock star.”
Has Belfort paid back his investors money?
Perhaps for a minute in the ’90s Belfort was incredibly wealthy. Belfort was possibly earning as much as $50 million a year at that time. Fast forward a few years though and not only had all of his assets been seized, he was in debt $110 million for restitution payments to his victims and the U.S. government was (are) serious about collecting. They now have first rights on 50% of every dollar he earns.
Through the earnings from The Wolf of Wall Street books and movie, as well as the spinoff sales trainings and events and seminars, it had been estimated that Belfort had paid off as much as $25 million dollars. However that seems to be entirely untrue because that would make Belfort’s after-tax income $30 million dollars since being released from prison. Around $10 million of the debt was paid off through the forfeiture and sale of his properties. Belfort seems to have paid off less than $2 million aside from that and the government are apparently having a hard time collecting. Belfort earned at least $9 million in speaking engagements between 2013 and 2015 but pocketed it all, they say.
So, how much money is Jordan Belfort worth today?
That depends on how one chooses to look at it. On the one hand, Belfort has a massive liability because he still owes a debt of an estimated $98 million to the U.S. government. That’s restitution payments to people he ripped off through his firm. However, the stipulations are that he pays back only half of his earnings, and there have been claims that he isn’t even doing that. Still, it is not true to life to say that Belfort walks around with a -$98 million dollars net worth, although he is in debt that amount but still can accrue half of his taxed income as per the agreement. Therefore his net worth would likely be around $2 million.
Did Jordan Belfort’s yacht really sink?
Many people want to know if The Wolf of Wall Street was a true story. Could it all have been real? Or how much of it was was fiction? For example, is it true that he did so many drugs, had such wild parties in the office and most of all, did he really sink his $20 million dollar yacht? It turns out that yes, in real life, Jordan Belfort’s 167-foot yacht, originally owned by Coco Chanel, did sink off the coast of Italy.
The exact facts are of course unknown, but as the story goes, Belfort was high on drugs at the time and insisted that the captain take the boat through a storm. The rest is history.
Was the Wolf of Wall Street a true story?
The Wolf of Wall Street was a true story which was dramatized in the Martin Scorsese movie. It was an adaptation of a biography written by Jordan Belfort himself. The book, also called The Wolf of Wall Street, was written by Belfort in 2007 and he claims that it is a true account of his life and crimes. The Lamborghini story is also said to be true, it just wasn’t a Lamborghini, Jordan Belfort says “in real life it was actually a Mercedes-Benz.”
What made Belfort successful?
More than anything, it seems that Belfort knows when to strike. He is an opportunist. In the past he saw an easy way to the top by tricking people and making a fortune. Yet Belfort can use his smarts legally, as well. Even after his stint in jail, Belfort capitalized on his sensational, almost fantasy-like past when he wrote The Wolf of Wall Street, and he knew how to play two competing movie companies against each other sensationalizing the event and earning a higher profit.
The movie rights may not have even been bought if the book didn’t go into such great lengths and detail about Jordan’s life at the time. According to The Guardian Belfort has said that the Oscar-nominated film based on his memoir “had no need to exaggerate the sex and drugs”. However there is the unfortunate side effect of fans who just want his jet-set lifestyle and completely misunderstood the movie. Not fully understanding what the consequences of the past actions of those like Belfort’s bear.
During his sentencing, Jordan Belfort was ordered to pay $110 million in restitution, the terms of which force him to pay half of what he earns against the debt. Therefore, today he has an estimated net worth of $2 million dollars. Still, a successful autobiography, a movie adaptation in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays you, and a solid job as a motivational speaker with two million in the bank isn’t bad going considering his conviction and crimes.
Currently, Belfort is attempting to sue the producers of The Wolf of Wall Street for $300 million. The co-founder of the production company Red Granite, Riza Aziz, became under investigation by the US Department of Justice in September 2015. Initially, they were investigating property transactions carried out by Riza but soon he was named in the FBI’s “1MDB lawsuit” which, according to Reuters, claims that “tens of millions of dollars in funds diverted from 1MDB were used to produce the 2013 Martin Scorsese film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street”.
In March 2018 The U.S. Justice Department demanded Red Granite Pictures pay $60 million to settle claims relating to the financing of the Wolf of Wall Street, and two other films. Belfort says he was told Red Granite was financed by legitimate high-net-worth individuals and companies, including Goldman Sachs, and is suing Red Granite because he feels he cannot maximize the rights acquired from his contract. Red Granite’s lawyer called Belfort’s lawsuit “desperate.”