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How to learn about investing…by watching Netflix


Aug. 31, 2015 CNN Money

After the recent wild stock market swings in China, Europe and the United States, it can all feel even more bewildering. But it’s easier than you might think to “boldly go” where many others like famed investor Warren Buffett have gone before.

There are a lot of ways to learn about stocks, bonds, hedge funds, real estate and more. Many start by reading Buffett’s annual letters(he’s written 50 of them now) or picking up a copy of “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, a book first published in 1949 that is viewed as almost sacred advice. We also suggest checking out CNNMoney’s Money Essentials guide.

But you can also learn a lot about investing and economics by simply lounging around watching Netflix. The next time you’re in need of a late-night or weekend Netflix fix, consider these films:

1. “Money for Nothing” (2013)

This documentary is a crash course in Economics 101 and Investing 101. The focus is on what the heck happened to cause the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession. It’s a good reminder of what red flags to watch for when you invest. Perhaps the best part is hearing from a former Wall Street banker who lost his job in the crisis and now leads tours of famous financial landmarks in Manhattan. This punchy film will hold your attention for most of its one hour and 45 minute run-time.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 65%

2. “Something Ventured” (2011)

Ever wonder how Silicon Valley got started and what it was like before Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg arrived? “Something Ventured” takes you behind the scenes of the early days of tech and “venture capital” investing. You learn about the rise of companies like Intel, Atari and Apple. At only an hour and 25 minutes, it’s a must-watch documentary for anyone planning to start a company or buy tech stocks.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: Not rated (but audience score of 79%)

3. “Freakonomics” (2010)

If you have 15 minutes to burn, watch the opening of this documentary. It’s all about what you should know when buying or selling a house. Ever wonder if your real estate agent is really helping you out? Well, economist Steven Levitt looked at the data. If you hear his results, you’re likely to be much smarter when it comes time to make real estate decisions of your own.

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