Investor trust is a precious, but fickle, thing. According to the recent Edelman/CFA Institute Investor Trust Study, 61 percent of retail investors consider financial services firms trustworthy, up from 50 percent three years ago (of course, an extended positive run in the stock market may go a long way in this regard). Even so, investors are basing their trust on greater transparency from firms around fees and lack of conflicting incentives, according to the survey: “Among retail investors, the most important actions from an investment firm are that it fully discloses fees and other costs and has reliable security measures. These even surpass protecting their portfolio from losses.”
But, just as trust seems to be making a comeback, along comes Hollywood with yet another tale of investment professionals screwing over the little person: the recently released George Clooney/Julia Roberts film Money Monster. It joins a long list of Hollywood films that portray financial professionals with ethics just this side of a Russian mobster. Here’s a look at some of the most striking portrayals of financial advisors in film over the last 30 years and some thoughts on how they may reflect society’s view of the industry at the time of their respective releases.