Jordan Belfort biography and net worth

Jordan Belfort - Toolshero

Jordan Belfort (Jordan Ross Belfort, 1962) is an American author, motivational speaker, and former stockbroker. In 1999, Jordan Belfort pleaded guilty to fraud and crimes related to stock market manipulation and running a boiler room as part of a penny stock scam. For these crimes, he spent 22 months in prison as part of an agreement. He testified against numerous partners and subordinates in his fraud scheme. In 2007, he published the memoir The Wolf of Wall Street, which was later adapted into the 2013 film of the same name.

Jordan Belfort biography

Early life & career

Jordan Belfort was born in Queens, New York. Jordan is the son of an accountant. He grew up in a small appartment. At a young age, he already had a natural talent as a salesman and operated a meat and seafood company in the 1980s on Long Island.

Between completing high school and college, Belfort and his childhood friend, Elliot Loewenstern, earned $20,000 selling Italian ice cream from Styrofoam coolers to people on a local beach.

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Belfort graduated from the American University with a degree in biology. With the money he earned from the ice cream sales, he intended to pay for dental school. He also enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

He would not stay there for long, since the dean of the school had told him on his first day: “The golden age of dentistry is over. If you’re here just because you want to earn a lot of money, you’re in the wrong place.”


In 1987, after his company went bankrupt, Belfort started selling shares. In 1989, he ran his own investment operation, Stratton Oakmont.

This made him notorious for his role in scamming investors out of millions of dollars by using pump and dump schemes. The Securities Exchange Commission attempted to stop these activities in 1992.

Belfort became a wealthy man from defrauding hundreds of investors. He lived a life accordingly; buying expense sports cars, mansions and other expensive items. During his years of fraud, he started using drugs and found himself in several accidents. He once crashed a helicopter in his garden and sank his own yacht.

Belford encouraged this dangerous behaviour with his employees. Countless testimonials referred to the office environment, where substance abuse, sex and gambling were the norm. An assistant of the company later declared to have shaved her head for five thousand dollars.

First wife and spouse of Jordan Belfort

Jordan’s first wife was Denise Lombardo, whom he divorced in the period he led his company Stratton Oakmont. After his divorce, he married Nadine Caridi, a model born in England. The couple met at a party, and had two children. The two divorced after Nadine accused Jordan of domestic violence and claimed the violence increased because of his drug addiction.

Finally, in 1999, Belfort pleaded guilty to securities fraud and money laundering. In 2003, he was sentenced to four years in prison, but served only 22 months. The judge also ordered him to pay 110 million USD back to the investors.

Belfort published his first memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street, in 2008. A year later, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street was released. Learn more about Jordan Belfort here.

Today, Belfort is mainly active as a motivational speaker. He lives in Los Angeles, California, which is close to his two children Chandler and Carter, from his second marriage with Nadine Caridi. He has his own company that provides sales training. He is also a frequent guest speaker on the BBC, SkyNews, and CNN.

Belfort wrote two memoirs: The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street. In 2008, his book was given the same title as his self-proclaimed nickname: The Wolf of Wall Street.

The sales of the book were impressive (especially in the financial world). A year later, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street was released. The books have been translated into 18 languages and published in around 40 countries.

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Jordan Belfort as the real Wolf of Wall Street

Belfort’s life story was later turned into a film: The Wolf of Wall Street. The film was directed by Martin Scorsese. The writer the movie is Terence Winter. With Leonardo Dicaprio as the lead, and after having been filmed for a little over a year, the film was released on 25 December 2013.

Key takeaways about Jordan Belfort

  • Belfort was accused of profiting from the story telling about his white-collar crimes.
  • Belfort is a former trader on Wall Street who has pleaded guilty to several crimes.
  • Belfort is the founder of Stratton Oakmont, the firm he lead when he was arrested.
  • Belfort was sentenced to four years in prison, but was released after 22 months.

Jordan Belfort Neth Worth

Belfort’s net worth in 2023 is estimated to be roughly $100 Million. He is currently traveling the world anbd runs a motivational speaker company.

Jordan Belfort quotes

  1. “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.”
  2. “When you live your life by poor standards, you inflict damage on everyone who crosses your path, especially those you love.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “Without action, the best intentions in the world are nothing more than that: intentions.”
  5. “No matter what happened to you in your past, you are not your past, you are the resources and the capabilities you glean from it. And that is the basis for all change.”
  6. “I want you to back yourself into a corner. Give yourself no choice but to succeed. Let the consequences of failure become so dire and so unthinkable that you’ll have no choice but to do whatever it takes to succeed.”
  7. “Winners use words that say ‘must’ and ‘will’.”
  8. “The easiest way to make money is -create something of such value that everybody wants and go out and give and create value, the money comes automatically.”
  9. “I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?”
  10. “They were drunk on youth, fueled by greed, and higher than kites.”
  11. “I had considered changing my phone number, but I was so far behind on my phone bill that NYNEX was after me too.”

Books and other publications

  • 2017. Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success. Simon and Schuster.
  • 2014. The wolf of wall street. Metropolitan Filmexport [éd.].
  • 2011. The wolf of wall street. Hachette UK.

How to cite this article:
Sari, J. (2019). Jordan Belfort. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero:

Published on: 07/22/2019 | Last update: 11/28/2023

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Jessie Sari
Article by:

Jessie Sari

Jessie Sari is a content writer at ToolsHero. Jessie studies Trade Management in Asia at the Hogeschool van Rotterdam. As part of her education, she focuses on building fundamental skills, including marketing, importing and exporting products and services in Asia, economy, finance, management, consultancy and project management.


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