Jordan Belfort stands for the type of market manipulation we still see today but in a different format. One could say he was the person who gave the pump-and-dump schemes on the stock market its name.
But what exactly did Jordan Belfort do wrong, why did he go to jail, and most importantly, what is today’s Jordan Belfort net worth? How does the Wolf of Wall Street make money today?
Who is Jordan Belfort
Jordan Belfort was born on July 9, 1962, grew up in New York and began his first business with a friend, where he sold Italian water ice desserts on a beach during the summer months between high school and college.
He then began to study biology and planned to enroll in dental school, which he stopped early after the dean of the University told students that this path was not the one to financial success.
After trying his luck as a door-to-door salesperson, he leaned towards stockbroking, which somehow triggered what happened later and led him to become the person he later pleaded guilty for.
When Jordan Belfort was 30, he founded his over-the-counter brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont, where he artificially inflated penny stock prices via pump-and-dump schemes.
It worked the way it still does today, when smaller groups of investors push a specific low-float penny stock on forums or social media with the intent to increase attention for it, triggering more and more buyers to come in and then sell the stocks during the upmove.
At the same time, the new investors later have massive problems getting out of the trade due to immensely low trading volume.
But instead of influencing people’s opinions online, where each trader at least has a realistic chance of deciding on his own what to do or not, he influenced the opinion of his clients with about 1,000 stockbrokers who worked for him, responsible for clients with a combined buying power of over $1 billion.
The stockbrokers called their clients and directly influenced their opinion by phone, which ended in pursuing legal action against Stratton Oakmont by the NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) and shutting down Jordan Belforth’s company in 1996.
In 1999, a judge sentenced him to 42 months in prison, which he was for 22 months before he got out of jail after agreeing to pay back $110.4 million to 1,513 former clients and investors.
Jordan Belfort Net Worth
Jordan Belforth’s net worth estimates range from about -$100 million, according to celebritynetworth.com, to a whopping +$134 million, according to business2community.com. That’s an immense net worth corridor of $234 million, so what to consider when calculating the correct Jordan Belfort net worth?
-$110.4 Million in 1999
When Jordan Belfort was sent to prison, the estimates were that his pump-and-dump scheme cost his clients $200 million, and he was ordered to pay back $110.4 million. As part of the restitution agreement, which got him out of jail after 22 months, he agreed to pay 50% of his income to the investors he to the investors he had defrauded.
Therefore, his starting balance was -$110.4 when he got out of prison.
-$100 Million in 2013
Until 2013, sources indicate that about $10 million was paid back so far, leaving the balance at negative -$100. Instead of continuing further paying 50% of his income towards restitution, he was now ordered to pay a minimum of $10,000 per month instead.
Jordan Belfort Net Worth Estimate 2023
No matter where you search, no media indicates that Jordan Belfort ever paid back everything he owed to his penny-stock-fraud victims. Under the assumption that he has paid back $10,000 per month since 2013, the overall Jordan Belfort Net Worth can be positive, but likely not that immensely in positive.
Some sources indicate that he made $200k here and lost -$300k in crypto there, but overall, it is unlikely that his net worth gained back to a massive plus.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Jordan Belfort wrote three memoirs – The Wolf of Wall Street, which came out in 2008, Way of the Wolf in 2017 and finally, The Wolf of Investing: My Insider’s Playbook for Making a Fortune on Wall Street in 2023.
The Wolf of Wall Street story got picked up by Hollywood and did exceptionally well in cinemas across the world. Martin Scorsese directed the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie.
The movie is one of the best-rated Wall Street movies ever – thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance, but also and if not even more, because of the fascinating story. The movie clearly shows that the American dream is possible in many ways, and becoming a Millionaire is only one idea away.
Sources indicate that Jordan Belfort received about $500,000 for the moving rights upfront. The theatrical performance in box offices worldwide indicates an income of nearly $400 million, plus $40 million in home market performance, but the exact income for Jordan Belfort is nowhere officially disclosed.
Jordan Belfort’s Yacht
If you’ve watched the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” you’re most likely aware of the yacht and its story. The movie features a scene of Belfort surprising his wife with a yacht that features her name on it. In the movie, her name is changed from Nadine to “Naomi.”
The interesting fact behind this scene is that it also happened in reality. Like in the movie, the boat referred to his wife as “The Duchess of Bay Ridge” and named his yacht after her out of love. However, the yacht, initially owned by Coco Chanel, sank off in the Mediterranean storm.
When this happened, Belfort made a bad decision, and he insisted on being the captain of the boat through a storm. It didn’t turn out as expected.
Furthermore, they had to push the helicopter off the top deck of the boat as well to make room for the rescue chopper so they could drop down an Italian Navy commando.
Jordan Belfort Today
The stories around Jordan Belfort continue to be as shiny as they were when he entered the business. He sees himself as a Wolf. How else could it be interpreted that all his books contain Wolf in the title? It is like a brand and the word that connects him as the person Jordan Belfort with everything you can read about him.
You can read about Jordan Belfort’s aversion to crypto, but find a New York Times story that indicates that he hosted a weekend-long crypto workshop in his house in Miami Beach, where he charged 1 Bitcoint per participant.
He still polarizes, as you can see from the youtube videos published in the last ten years and various media appearances.
Based on what we see from the outside, Jordan Belfort has a good life, with various rental properties, fast cars and various media appearances keeping his perception active. Jordan Belfort turned 61 on July 9, 2022, and it is unlikely that he will ever pay back the money he has stolen from investors.
Jordan Belfort has had a life full of adventures. He was involved in two marriages, had affairs and drug problems and was conducting fraud on investors. His actions led to him being imprisoned and paying atrocious amounts of money back to his victims, to which he still owes a lot of cash.
His story is featured in one of the best wall street movies, The Wolf of Wall Street. However, Jordan Belfort’s net worth is still enough to give him a good life. Many times, people look up at actors, artists and investment guru’s as some kind of Gods.
Now, it’s up to you to decide whether he’s someone to look up to for everything he’s done and overcome.