Last Updated on January 4, 2021
Who Is Jordan Belfort?
Jordan Ross Belfort is an American author, motivational speaker, and former stockbroker.
Belfort is infamous for engaging in a string of fraudulent activities through his Stratton Oakmont firm, where he was convicted of defrauding gullible investors upwards of $200 million. He has since served a 22-month jail term for his crimes but still owes his victims millions in reparative damages.
|Full Name:||Jordan Ross Belfort|
|Popular Name:||Jordan Belfort|
|Birth Date:||July 9, 1962|
|Parents:||Max Belfort and Leah Belfort|
|Birth Place:||The Bronx, New York City, New York|
|Education:||Bayside High School, American University, and the University of Maryland School of Dentistry|
|Marital Status:||Married. Previously married to Denise Lombardo (from 1985 until their divorce in 1991) and Nadine Caridi (from 1991 until their divorce in 2005)|
|Children:||Chandler Belfort and Carter Belfort (from his second marriage)|
|Net Worth:||USD 100 million (as of November 1, 2020)|
|Source of Wealth:||Author, Motivational Speaker, and Entrepreneur|
|Height:||5′ 7″ (1.7 m)|
|Weight:||67 kg; In pounds: 147 lbs.|
Early Life and Career Information
Jordan Belfort was born on July 9, 1962, in The Bronx, New York City, New York, to Max Belfort and Leah Belfort.
After completing high school, Belfort engaged in a series of income-generating activities. He teamed up with his childhood friend Elliot Loewenstern in distributing Italian ice from Styrofoam coolers to their clients, most of whom were local beach tourists. The duo reportedly earned $20,000 from these endeavors.
Jordan Belfort eventually proceeded to American University, where he graduated with a degree in biology. After graduating from American University, Belfort intended to use the money he had earned distributing ice to pay for a dental school. He joined the University Of Maryland School Of Dentistry but dropped out after hearing some not-so-motivating sentiments about the dentistry course from the dean of the school.
After leaving the University Of Maryland School Of Dentistry, Belfort became a door-to-door salesman on Long Island, New York, focusing on meat and seafood. His meat business was a success, as Belfort could sell up to 5,000 pounds of meat every week.
Thanks to a family friend, Belfort was able to land a job at L.F Rothschild, working as a trainee stockbroker. However, he was later fired from Rothschild when the company suffered financial problems.
Armed with the experience he had amassed working at Rothschild, Belfort established Stratton Oakmont as a subsidiary of Stratton Securities. He later bought out Stratton’s original founder, gaining full control of the company. Stratton Oakmont primarily functioned as a penny stocks marketer, working in a boiler room setting.
Unfortunately, Stratton defrauded investors millions of dollars using its ‘pump and dump’ investment strategy. The company became a target of law enforcement authorities over the years, culminating in Belfort’s indictment for money laundering and securities fraud in 1999.
The jury slapped him with a 4-year sentence, out of which he served 22 months in exchange for a plea bargain where he testified against his partners in crime. Even so, the court ordered him to pay back $110.4 million in restitution money.
The Stratton Oakmont scam has been the inspiration behind two Hollywood blockbusters – Boiler Room (2000) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
Jordan Belfort’s Net Worth
As of November 1, 2020, Jordan Belfort had a net worth of negative (–) 100 million dollars. Belfort earned millions working as an investor and stockbroker, before he lost it all in restitution.
Although he is still heavily indebted to his fraud victims, Belfort has been trying to mount a comeback since he left prison and turned over a new leaf. He has since authored two memoirs – The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street – both of which are available in more than 15 languages across 40 different countries.
The Wolf of Wall Street, in particular, has been a commercial success as Belfort received half a million advance from Random House to publish it. The memoir has also been made into a movie by the same title and Belfort reportedly earns handsomely from it in movie rights.
In addition to book royalties and film rights, Belfort also earns from his motivational speeches. He runs his speaking engagements through his own business, Global Motivation Inc., and charges between $30,000 and $80,000 per engagement speaking.
As a motivational speaker, Belfort began by focusing on motivation and business ethics before shifting his attention to entrepreneurship and sales skills. He has since embarked on a live seminars tour of Australia, titled The Truth Behind His Success. Additionally, Belfort runs sales seminars entitled Jordan Belfort’s Straight Line Sales Psychology.
Life Lessons from Jordan Belfort
1. Untamed ambition is a dangerous thing
Jordan Belfort was ambitious enough to establish one of the most lucrative stock brokerage firms. But then he became a bit overzealous and presided over the company’s well-choreographed schemes to defraud its clients.
2. Accept your mistakes
Belfort, through his infamous company Stratton Oakmont, is a classic manifestation of what corporate greed looks like. However, the former stockbroker has since made peace with his conscience and regrets losing people’s money.
3. Every cloud has a silver lining
After Belfort was slapped with a jail term and fined over $100 million, it would have seemed as though that was the end of the road for him. But he took advantage of his sentence to author The Wolf of Wall Street, which would become one of the most popular memoirs today.
Famous Quotes by Jordan Belfort
“Act as if! Act as if you’re a wealthy man, rich already, and then you’ll surely become rich. Act as if you have unmatched confidence and then people will surely have confidence in you. Act as if you have unmatched experience and then people will follow your advice. And act as if you are already a tremendous success, and as sure as I stand here today – you will become successful.”
“Successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny, they’re not creatures of circumstance; they create circumstance. If the circumstances around them suck they change them.”
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
“When you live your life by poor standards, you inflict damage on everyone who crosses your path, especially those you love.”
“You don’t choose who you fall in love with, do you? And once you do fall in love—that obsessive sort of love, that all-consuming love, where two people can’t stand to be apart from each other for even a moment—how are you supposed to let a love like that pass you by?”
Jordan Belfort’s life prior to conviction will forever be used as a classic case of how easily a person can fall from grace, despite how strong their reputation is. But his life after prison will serve as a constant reminder of how possible it is to rise from the ashes if you only have the willpower to do so.