Real Wolf Of Wall Street shares secrets in Singapore

Jordan Belfort, the disgraced trader portrayed by American actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Wolf of Street, which is based on Belfort’s own published memoirs. He now travels the world as a motivational speaker. -- PHOTO: FAST TRACK EVENTS
Jordan Belfort, the disgraced trader portrayed by American actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Wolf of Street, which is based on Belfort’s own published memoirs. He now travels the world as a motivational speaker. -- PHOTO: FAST TRACK EVENTS

Jordan Belfort, better known as The Wolf Of Wall Street, gave a three-hour seminar in Singapore on Sunday afternoon to an audience of around 400.

The man played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2013 Oscar-nominated film was there to share secrets of success "from both extremes - failure and success", according to the promotional materials.

Belfort fell from his position as one of the wealthiest men on Wall Street to a bunk in a prison cell after he was convicted of securities fraud and money laundering. He was jailed 22 months in 2004.

The seminar was billed A Day With The Wolf Of Wall Street, taking advantage of huge boost in fame given to Belfort by the film.

Several of the participants that Life! spoke to said they had bought tickets, costing between $188 to $388, to get practical techniques in sales and persuasion. In the film, Belfort is shown turning a team of sluggish low achievers into aggressive sellers. The celebrity factor was also a draw, a few participants said.

In the end, the talk, to an almost full house at the Garnet Room in Singapore Expo, focussed mainly on the "inner game" - the set of attitudes and motivations that propel a person to either success or failure.

He used himself as an example of what he dubbed his "straight line system" of success. He spoke about how to emerged from jail penniless, to achieve what he claimed was $100,000 in pay for a day of work, making him "the highest paid speaker in the world, I really am", he said.

"Maybe Bill Clinton gets more," he corrected himself after a pause.

Fuelled by what looked like several bottles of an isotonic sports drink, Belfort, 51, showed he was an expert showman, a speaker who maintained a high-energy patter for three hours without a break.

Occasionally, a salty term of speech would appear, uttered in his rapid-fire New York accent. Those who had come to see the master of the foul-mouthed turn of phrase were to be disappointed, however. Belfort's vocabulary on Sunday was nowhere as profane as depicted in the movie, which set a record for the number of times the f-word was used in a film - 506 times, as reported by trade magazine Variety.

He was also an expert pitchman for his own products, slipping in messages about his other longer, much pricier courses, for which sign-up desks were at the ready at the back of the room.

As he spoke, he paced the room occasionally ordering the participants to stand up to make blood-pumping proclamations such as "I want to be rich, I deserve to be rich", to remove self-sabotaging beliefs.

"To be rich is noble and wonderful," he said, but given that some in the room had paid $400 for his secrets of success, that statement seemed hardly necessary.

johnlui@sph.com.sg

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