The trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street was released on Monday. If you haven’t watched it yet, you need to right now before you do anything else, because it is awesome.
Leo DiCaprio plays the role of Jordan Belfort, a Wall Street magnate who earned as much as $50 million in a single year playing the stock market during the booming ’90s. I immediately wondered if the character was based on a real person, as I had never heard the name before. He is real, in fact, and after he spoke with News.com about the movie, his experiences, and what he’s currently doing with his life, we’re now able to learn a little bit more about the man, the real “Wolf” of Wall Street.
Belfort’s rise to the top wasn’t always a glamorous one, or even legal — he served jail time after developing a wretched drug addiction and being convicted of manipulating shares, or more particularly, for crafting a pump-and-dump scheme that filled his pockets, but resulted in $200 million in investor losses, $100 million of which he had to pay back. He served 22 months in federal prison.
Belfort, now sober for the last 12 years, spends his days touring and sharing his wisdom via inspirational speaking. He shares his methods of persuasion, or “selling” yourself, speaking on topics like: how to get hired, how to ask for a raise, building rapport, and first impressions.
By comparison, his life now seems rather pedestrian and tame. I mean we’re talking about a guy who navigated his luxury yacht Nadine into the treacherous waters off the east coast of Sardinia in the Mediterranean in 1997, against the pleading of his captain. He pushed on, into the dangerously high winds, and probably coked off his gourd. His yacht sank. I doubt he cared.