Jordan Belfort Net Worth – Jordan Belfort is an author by profession, a motivational speaker, and a former stockbroker. He is famous for his conviction for money laundering and fraud after the FBI raided Stratton Oakmont (his brokerage house) and launched an investigation. People tend to think of Leonardo DiCaprio when the name Jordan Belfort is mentioned as DiCaprio has won several accolades for playing the character of Jordan Belfort in the 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” directed by Martin Scorsese.
Even after twenty years of his indictment, Jordan Belfort has managed to stay in the spotlight. He is also in the talks for hosting GameStop: The Wall Street Hijack. The documentary will be aired on Discovery+ and cover the present craze of meme stocks. Though highly controversial, Jordan Belfort seems the perfect person to talk about it as he was the mastermind behind the biggest pump-and-dump scheme of the 80s and 90s.
Some sources estimate that Jordan Belfort has a net worth of only 2 million dollars (2021). He currently earns revenue through his books, speeches, and courses, but can it make up for the 100 million dollars he owes?
Let’s see how the former stockbroker and convicted felon earned his fortune during the 1990s, smashed it in the 2000s, and used his life story to his advantage to create a personal brand in the 2010s. We bet everyone is curious whether Jordan Belfort ever built his wealth back through legitimate means or continues to be the fraudster he once was.
How did Jordan Belfort get rich initially?
If we go by the words in his book, Jordan Belfort was always a great salesman. He started making money at a young age by selling meat and fish door-to-door. But stock marketing was what made him wealthy and successful.
Belfort began by selling “penny stocks,” which are the almost worthless pink sheet shares of companies. They are outside the regulated NYSE and Nasdaq. By 1991, he had such a
name for himself in the field that even Forbes wrote a profile on him “Steaks, Stocks- What’s The Difference?”
From what we could put together and from scenes in the movie, Jordan Belfort used his firm Stratton Oakmont to sell stocks not listed on the big stock market. He collected the information and prices from the company documents and then added 50% of the cost for “services.” He then used cold calls to push the stock forward.
The services that cost half of the purchase price initially were only worth 1% to the buyer. Suppose they purchased a blue-chip stock from a reputed firm, they would only be charged 1% in the service fee, deeming the stock primarily worthless. But by adding 50% to the price, Belfort made it impossible for his customers to profit from them.
In addition to the above scheme, Belfort would also pump and dump the stock market. He would secretly own significant holding in a company being sold, then ask his brokers to inflate the prices of those stocks. He would sell them off at the ideal time to gain a profit. The customers purchasing from him would have to face all the loss as the company would return its trading to almost zero.
Belfort used numerous tactics (maybe even insider trading) to grow his firm and employ hundreds of people. He earned hundreds of millions in the process, which funded his luxury lifestyle. He was believed to have a net worth of $200 million in the 1990s.
He obviously lost all of it when the FBI charged him with money laundering and securities fraud. After his two-year stint in prison, Jordan Belfort gained moderate success but never reached the same peak.
His autobiography, which became a New York Times Bestseller, gives us an account of his escapades with drugs and women in the 1990s as he kept growing his wealth. It, however, failed to cover the history of what happened between his company, him, and the FBI. It is a wild fairy-tale ride of sex on planes, yachts…
Belfort’s tactic worked. He sold the rights to his book, which was followed by a bidding war between the top movie studios. Warner Bros and Leonardo DiCaprio eventually won the fight over Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt. (Net worth of Leonardo DiCaprio- $270 million and net worth of Brad Pitt- $300 million). Belfort sold the movie rights for a million dollars along with a $250,000 bonus when the movie was released. The movie’s success helped Jordan Belfort boost his second wave of luxury lifestyle, even though he didn’t earn the hundred million dollars.
Why did Belfort become so famous?
Jordan Belfort gained a name for himself in the business circles of New York for his success on Wall Street. Though people did not know it at that time, most of his success can be credited to his various illegal activities. He also became well known in the social circles for being over-the-top decadent, owning luxurious cars and houses, and allegedly sleeping with dozens (maybe even hundreds) of prostitutes. He admits it all in a congratulatory manner in his New York Bestseller book, The Wolf of Wall Street.
All of this has been portrayed in the movie, where we can see him partaking in various drugs and other innumerable experiences.
After his fraud was discovered, Jordan Belfort was sentenced with much coverage in the news and newspapers. But after his jail time, Martin Scorsese’s biopic, The Wolf of Wall Street, based on Belfort’s autobiography, threw him into the limelight again. It turned a fraudster into a pop-culture icon as the movie became Scorsese’s highest box-office gross at $392 million. DiCaprio used method acting to portray Belfort’s personality, which critics and audiences loved worldwide, even earning him an Oscar nomination.
It introduces Belfort to the broad mainstream movie audience, which he used to his advantage by giving his first motivational speech on how to showcase influence ad sales.
Belfort wrote another book after The Wolf of Wall Street, a sort of sequel called Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, which describes his life after his arrest. But neither Scorsese nor DiCaprio showed any interest in a movie sequel. In 2018, after almost nine years, he released The Way of the Wolf. The book is a guide fuelled by his own life experiences on becoming successful, rather than mentioning the drug-induced phase of his life. None of the follow-ups was successful. At present, Belfort’s podcast, The Wolf’s Den, is his most recent success.
What makes Jordan Belfort Net Worth so high?
The one thing that stands out about him is that he never quits. We’ve at least got to respect that about him. Even if the entire world stands against him, he keeps on working on his following scheme or idea, which always seems to work.
On top of that, Jordan Belfort is an opportunist. He knows when to strike and make the best of a situation. Before he was sentenced, he tricked people to help build up his fortune. It may seem like an easy way out to some people, but it requires quite the cunning to fool the number of people Belfort did. But after his jail time, he used his genius legally and capitalised on his fantasy-like past to write his autobiography “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
After his book became a bestseller, he played competing movie houses against each other in a bidding war to earn a higher profit.
Belfort’s exaggeration in his book helped start a bidding war and thus the sale of the movie rights. The entire thing turned out great for business, with a significant side effect. People completely misunderstood the movie and just wanted his lifestyle full of luxury and drugs. They didn’t see the consequences of Belfort’s actions and the suffering of his customers, which wasn’t well portrayed.
Has Belfort paid back his investors?
In the 1990s, Jordan Belfort was one of the wealthiest men around, with a net worth that reached a peak at $200 million. He was at least earning $50 million per year and maybe even $12 million in three minutes at a point in time.
But after a few years, he was indicted, he lost all of his assets and was in debt of $110 million to the US government. Now they claim dibs on 50% of every dollar Belfort earns.
Some sources estimate that Jordan Belfort has already paid off 25 million dollars (by 2021) using the money he earned from his autobiography “The Wolf of Wall Street”, the following movie rights and the spinoff books. But this seems to be a far off speculation as there is no chance that he is paying off more than 50% of his earnings. If he actually cleared a debt of $25 million, that would put his earnings above $50 million after being released from jail.
Belfort has most likely paid off only $13 million, and the government is still finding it challenging to collect it all. Belfort is believed to have pocketed all of the $9 million he earned between 2013 and 2015.
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What is Jordan Belfort’s net worth today?
It all depends on our perspective. Logically, Jordan Belfort’s net worth should be minus $97 million. But as stated above, he is entitled to half of his earnings. So, after all this, we can conclude that his net worth is $2 million, with a lot of debt remaining.
Did Jordan Belfort’s yacht truly sink?
People want to know whether all the things shown in the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street is true, which also includes the sinking of Jordan Belfort’s $20 million yacht. Did he indulge in all those drugs and throw wild parties in his office?
At least the sinking of the Jordan Belfort’s 167-foot yacht can be confirmed. It sunk off the coast of Italy and was initially owned by Coco Channel. The exact facts are unknown, but apparently, Belfort was high on drugs and asked the captain to steer the yacht through an incoming storm.
So, was the Wolf of Wall Street based on a true story?
The Wolf of Wall Street was based on the autobiography of Jordan Belfort. Belfort wrote the book with the same name in 2007, and he claims it contains actual incidents. But the Martin Scorsese movie dramatized it to appeal to a broader audience. Even the Lamborghini story is true, the only difference being that it was a Mercedes-Benz in real life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 Is Stratton Oakmont still in business?
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was created in response to Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co. So as of December 1996, Jordan Belfort’s firm is defunct.
Q2 Who ratted on Jordan Belfort?
It is quite the opposite of what you might believe. It was Jordan who ratted out his at that time partner Porush, along with others. He did it to receive a reduced sentence and thus spent only two years of jail time. He shared his cell with Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong.
Q3 Did the Nadine sink?
Yes, the Nadine sank off the coast of Palma in June 1997. The yacht reportedly caught it in a bad storm, and the Italian coast guard rescued everyone on board.
Q4 Did Jordan Belfort’s plane explode?
Jordan Belfort’s helicopter did not explode but nearly crashed in his lawn as he was stoned. He was using various drugs during that period, like morphine, Xanax, Lemmon 714s, etc. In the movie, it was later showed that Jordan (DiCaprio) hit his wife.
Q5 Does Jordan Belfort have a negative net worth?
At present, Jordan Belfort’s net worth is -$100 million. It is all due to the damages he needs to pay for the fraud case of his firm.
Jordan Belfort had to pay $110 mn for fraud and money laundering after he was arrested. Its terms include that he has to pay the government half of whatever he earns now. So at present, Jordan Belfort’s net worth is just $2 million. It still seems like an outstanding achievement after being a convicted felon. He has written a bestseller and sold its movie rights in which his character is played by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio and is also a motivational speaker.
Check out his Instagram profile.
The middle-class lifestyle is not up to Jordan’s choices as he in the process of suing the producers of The Wolf of Wall Street for as large as a sum as $300 million. Belfort believed that legitimate companies financed the production company legitimately, but its co-founder was arrested for money laundering in 2019. So he believes that he has not maximized the rights of his movie, thus suing the production company Red Granite. Red Granite finds his actions desperate, but the move may seem legitimate from Belfort’s perspective.