|Net Worth:||$ 100 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Businessman|
|Born:||July 9 1962|
|Country of Origin:||United States of America|
|Birth Name:||Jordan Ross Belfort|
|Height:||5 ft 7 in (1.70m)|
The spoils of a life of wealth are tantalizing – enormous homes, luxurious excursions, a private jet, yacht or helicopter, sports cars – possessions of the highest quality. Most people want to be rich. But no fantasy is without a price tag.
Such limitless decadence begs the question – what would you do to live like the top one percent of people? Many of those driven to break into the world’s exclusive society choose a career in the business world, and thrive on the thrill of trying to make a million dollars. Jordan Belfort is one of these people.
Consider this article your go-to resource on The Wolf of Wall Street.
Here, we’ll explore Jordan's life story. It is one of a devotion to a life of decadence, a story of a rise and fall. Belfort would never give up on his quest to make money – even after 22 months in jail – getting back on his feet as a motivational speaker, to inspire millions of people to live a more meaningful life.
What Is Jordan Belfort's Net Worth in 2020?
As of 2020, Jordan Belfort's net worth is estimated at between 100 million and 110 million dollars.
Keep reading this post to discover how Jordan Belfort's net worth grew so much despite serving 22 months in prison for securities fraud and money laundering.
Jordan Belfort: Early Life
Jordan Belfort was born into a Jewish family on July 9 1962, in New York City in the United States. He remained in the area for most of his early life, growing up in Queens New York before later moving to Long Island.
His father was an accountant. Perhaps this explains why, even in his early life in The Bronx, the future “Wolf of Wall Street” had a strong inclination to hustle and earn money on his own. Perhaps Belfort was born to be a success at making money in the stock market.
Before enrolling in college, in his high school days, Belfort and one family friend sold Italian water ice on the beach at grossly inflated prices, claiming to have made sums of money worth over $20,000 together.
Belfort left New York after high school and went on to receive a degree in biology from American University and had plans to use his water ice spoils to pay his way through dental school. He even went as far as enrolling in the University of Maryland’s dental school program.
Belfort dropped out before long, deciding to reorient his path towards a career which would see him make over 100 million dollars and leave his high school days in Long Island and Queens New York far behind him.
Finding his footing as a salesman
With no shortage of confidence, Jordan Belfort came to believe that through his own labor and intellect he could manifest his dreams of wealth. Belfort put one money making theory to the test in New York, as a door-to-door salesman of meat and seafood in Long Island.
With a team of several people moving thousands of pounds of product, Belfort laid the foundation for his strategical expertise, honing his selling skills over the course of several years at the helm of his own operation.
By the time Belfort was 25 however, his efforts began to crumble and the money dried up – he filed for bankruptcy. But Belfort did still want to be rich and would never give up on his dream.
With making as much money as possible and building a large net worth now his central motivation, Jordan Belfort turned his attention towards the stock market and sought to capitalize on the bull market and loose regulations of the 1980s.
Through the help of a family friend, Belfort was able to get an opportunity to work with the investment bank L.F. Rothschild in 1987 as a trainee stockbroker.
Unfortunately, his time at L.F. Rothschild was not a success – the company went bust just a year later, after a stock market crash. Belfort claims that his first day on the job was on “Black Monday”, which triggered the infamous stock market crash of 1987.
It was then that Belfort used his Series 7 license and resume to land a job at The Investors Center, a small investment company where he felt like a shark in a pond.
For Jordan Belfort and his quest to make money, the opportunity to become a stockbroker trainee ended up being a blessing in disguise.
Penny Stock Scam
Belfort discovered that, when pitching potential stocks to current and prospective investors, he could make the most money – a lucrative 50% commission – on securities known as Penny Stocks.
Penny Stocks are highly speculative investments, meaning that they are very risky, and are not the sort of investment any financial advisor would recommend to people in good faith as a place to put a large amount of their money. Jordan Belfort, however, was not a financial advisor. He was a salesman.
His chief interest was not providing value to clients of his new investment company, but procuring value for himself. And Belfort really did want to be rich, so a little thing like penny stocks fraud was not going to stop him.
Over the next two years, Belfort became The Investor Center’s top salesman and honed his persuasive abilities and sales tactics, such as the “straight line” method he would later write about in his book Way of the Wolf. His early life in Long Island and Queens New York seemed a long way behind him.
Becoming The Wolf of Wall Street
In 1989, Jordan Belfort founded his own investment company in New York – the firm Stratton Oakmont – with his business partner Danny Porusch.
He believed that his success pushing penny stocks had more to do with his persistence and abilities to persuade people than anything else, and that Belfort could train other people to replicate his methods and thus exponentially increase his earnings.
Over the next seven years, Stratton Oakmont employed over 1,000 stock brokers and investment personnel in what is known as a “boiler room” operation. A boiler room is a call center, where staff will make outbound sales calls pushing highly questionable investments on people, so called because these operations are usually hidden away down in the basement or boiler room of a building.
The company purportedly managed between 1 billion and 1.3 billion dollars worth of assets, and took over 30 companies public with IPO offerings.
Over the course of the firm's short lifespan, both the investment company and Jordan Belfort himself grew a reputation for being outlandish and drew the ire of federal investigators.
Stratton Oakmont and Securities Fraud
Jordan Belfort ‘s company focused much of its efforts on pushing large volumes of stock to investors by any means necessary. Effectively, the company functioned as a boiler room.
‘Strattonites,’ as employees of the firm Stratton Oakmont would come to be known as, spent the overwhelming majority of their time not managing portfolios of investors, but calling prospective investors, and trying to sell them whatever security the company was trying to push at the time and became warped by unethical practices.
With only the sale in mind, Strattonites often exaggerated the value of the security, withheld crucial information from people, or otherwise acted dishonestly when conversing with potential investors – any scheme to make money.
As a result, without much of a care for the actual value of any given stock they were selling, Strattonites were continually misinforming investors about the securities they were purchasing. Belfort was not only aware, but encouraging his people to do this.
To make their actions even more felonious, Stratton Oakmont would utilize the ‘pump and dump’ strategy to fill their coffers.
Over the course of the firm’s seven year lifespan, Stratton Oakmont took over thirty companies public.
The stocks of these companies were often the focus of Stratton Oakmont's efforts to convince investors to purchase securities. By relentlessly pushing the stock, they dramatically increased it’s demand, and as a result, drove up it’s prices artificially – also known as a pump and dump scheme.
Once the stock price had been sufficiently inflated, Stratton Oakmont employees would then dump their own shares into the open stock market, and reap the benefit of their efforts to push the stock in the first place.
When Jordan Belfort and the employees of Stratton Oakmont would dump their shares, the price of the stock would decline or completely collapse as a result, and investors outside of the firm, who had been duped into buying the stock in the first place, lost substantial sums of money due to Stratton Oakmont's pump and dump scheme.
At his investment company, Jordan Belfort sought to build an army in his own image. The wolf would source new recruits and lure the hungry young sales people to his firm with promises of $100,000 commissions, and indoctrinated them in his teachings and lifestyle.
A common doctrine at the company was that to be a success in sales, you “don’t hang up the phone until the customer buys or dies”. It’s not a stretch to say there was a ruthless devotion to making profits amongst the people who worked at the company, and that Belfort sought to compel them to be like that.
The vast majority of employees were implicated in the unethical practices Jordan Belfort had taught them to embrace, and it’s easy to look at the clear fraud taking place and wonder why most people failed to leave the firm or speak out against it.
The simple and most accurate explanation is the lifestyle their relentless pursuit of wealth afforded them. The “Wolf of Wall Street” knew this, and harnessed those raw desires and embedded the fruits of those fantasies into Stratton Oakmont’s way of life.
There are near endless stories of brash and obscene partying at the company. In the workplace, prostitution and the abuse of drugs became normalized, and the general horseplay and debauchery became severely intertwined with Stratton Oakmont’s identity.
At his peak, Belfort is believed to have made 50 million dollars in one single year and reportedly once banked 12.5 million in only three minutes. So it's easy to see why his net worth is now estimated at between 100 million and 110 million dollars, even despite his troubles.
The Wolf of Wall Street and his followers scammed their way to living out their fantasies, all in the name of getting as rich as possible by any means necessary.
Demise of the Wolf of Wall Street
Stratton Oakmont, and particularly the name Jordan Belfort, was high on the agenda for United States federal law enforcement, for pretty much its entire existence. The SEC investigated their trading practices, which included stock market manipulation tactics like the pump and dump, and eventually unravelled the whole illegitimate money making operation.
They would net their first catch in 1994 when The Wolf of Wall Street’s company was ordered to pay $2.5 million in a civil securities fraud case that also ousted Belfort from the company.
Two years later, Stratton Oakmont closed its doors thanks to the efforts of the National Association of Securities Dealers. But prison for fraud was still a few years away for Belfort.
In 1999, Jordan Belfort was arrested by the FBI for securities fraud and money laundering. Initially sentenced to 4 years in prison, Belfort cooperated with law enforcement in a plea deal, agreeing to many of their conditions – including having to pay back money amounting to over $110 million to the fraud victims that he swindled – and ultimately served just under two years (22 months) in prison at the Taft Correctional Institution in California.
While in prison for money laundering, Belfort famously shared a cell with Tommy Chong, of Cheech & Chong fame. Belfort credits Chong with encouraging him to become a motivational speaker. The pair remain firm friends after bonding during that spell of 22 months together in jail.
While Jordan Belfort's net worth is purportedly around $100 million, the accuracy of this estimate has been contested and considered to be inaccurate, due to the over $110 million Belfort was required to pay back to unfortunate investors and various other fines and penalties that ultimately affect his net worth negatively.
Some say Jordan Belfort has a negative net worth due to the fact that he has only paid back $11 million at the very most, of the restitution he was ordered to pay back at his sentencing, meaning he still owes around 100 million dollars.
Life After Fraud and Prison
Belfort the Best-Selling Author
It was in prison that Jordan Belfort hit the drawing board again, ever committed to raising his profile and his net worth. Belfort decided to write a tell all memoir of his experiences, eager to tell his life story as he saw it, and capitalize on his notoriety.
The book, one of several best-sellers written by Belfort, was unsurprisingly titled The Wolf of Wall Street.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” has been widely praised for both it’s storytelling chops and the unbelievable stories it reveals – of lavish purchases, insane parties, drug-and-sex-fuelled adventures (both in and out of the office) and of the fraudulent activity Belfort shamelessly engaged in and encouraged.
In the novel readers gain a clear picture of both how Jordan Belfort sees himself throughout his tumultuous journey.
Jordan Belfort's second memoir was called Catching the Wolf of Wall Street and sought to capitalize on the success of his rising notoriety. Catching the Wolf of Wall Street continued to build the legend of Jordan Belfort, and also served as part of the inspiration for the movie based on his life.
After the success of Catching The Wolf, Belfort wrote a third best-selling book, titled Way of the Wolf: Become a Master Closer with Straight Line Selling. In Way of the Wolf, Belfort teaches people the art of a sales technique known as the “straight line system”. Belfort describes Way of the Wolf as a “self help” book, in keeping with his new image as a motivational speaker.
Belfort the Motivational Speaker
While much of Jordan Belfort’s net worth, currently estimated at between 100 million and 110 million dollars, is from the success of his books and the film based on his life, Belfort continues to work as a sales trainer and motivational speaker.
Belfort has offered his services as a motivational speaker in a variety of capacities since the release of his memoir, and is highly sought after for his selling skills.
On JordanBelfort.com, those interested can enroll in one of his training programs, watch video seminars, and even book him for in person motivational speaking appearances – if they can foot the bill.
The name Jordan Belfort is also familiar to YouTube viewers these days, as he now has a popular channel and podcast where he hosts popular entrepreneurs and investors, such as Grant Cardone and Tai Lopez.
Pop Culture Portrayal
The book served as the primary inspiration for the beloved Martin Scorcese movie of the same name, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie.
The film largely glorifies and exaggerates his experience at the helm of Stratton Oakmont and was a huge success. It went on to earn nearly 400 million dollars at the box office, earning Leonardo DiCaprio a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.
In January of 2020, Jordan Belfort opened a lawsuit against the producers of The Wolf of Wall Street for $300 million, claiming that he has been locked out of reaping the full benefit the sharing of his life story has garnered those involved in the film. Thus far, the lawsuit has largely been dismissed as a publicity stunt for Belfort, presuambly designed to sell more books or to drum up further motivational speaking business, but it has yet to come to a conclusion.
This is not the first legal issue to come about as a result of the Wolf of Wall Street movie, either. In 2016, even Leonardo DiCaprio was summoned to case that saw one former employee of the Stratton Oakmont firm, Andrew Greene, sue for defamation over his portrayal in the movie.
Jordan Belfort's Wife and Personal Life
Jordan Belfort divorced his first wife Denise Lombardo while at the helm of Stratton Oakmont. His marriage, already troubled by his lust for wealth, became increasingly unsustainable with the company’s rise.
Jordan Belfort not only encouraged the partying lifestyle of his company – he led it and embodied it. His exploits with drugs – particularly cocaine and quaaludes – began to develop into a full blown substance abuse and addiction, and his extramarital affairs became frequent and unabashed.
After splitting from Denise Lombardo, Belfort met and eventually married British-born actress and model Nadine Caridi, affectionately known as the ‘Duchess of Bay Ridge.’ The couple had two daughters together, and held together a troubled marriage for much of the time before Jordan Belfort went to prison. Together, they had two daughters – Chandler Belfort and Carter Belfort – and tried their best at having a happy marriage.
During their marriage, Jordan Belfort’s egregious behavior spiraled out of control.
He sunk his luxury yacht, formerly owned by one Coco Chanel, off the coast of Italy while under the influence of drugs in 1996 (unfortunately, one of many unbelievable stories) and shortly after became abusive.
Jordan Belfort's wife Nadine Caridi took their children and separated soon after. The two were officially divorced in 2005, with substance abuse, infidelity and domestic violence being cited.
Today, Jordan Ross Belfort lives in Los Angeles, California in the United States, and it seems he has learned some life lessons, putting his time in prison for money laundering and stock market manipulation well behind him. That said, Belfort continues to seek to capitalize from his infamy and natural talents as a salesman and as a motivational speaker.
His current partner, Anne Koppe – a business woman whom Jordan has been with since 2008 – manages his motivational speaker career.
Jordan Ross Belfort made his first one million at the age of 26 but found himself in prison just ten years later, having been found guilty of securities fraud and money laundering.
A gifted, intelligent, and charismatic man, Belfort was born in New York on July 9 1962. He grew up around Queens and Long Island and earned a degree in biology from American University, but chose instead to use his selling skills to pursue wealth by any means necessary – including illegal pump and dump schemes – with little regard for the people around him or those he swindled along the way.
While his stories are endlessly entertaining, to the point of a box office hit movie being made about them, The “Wolf of Wall Street” earned himself a stay of 22 months in prison for his behavior. These days, his money laundering days are behind him and his net worth is on the road to recovery, earning money as a motivational speaker.
Jordan Belfort's net worth is currently believed to be between 100 million and 110 million dollars.