On his first day, Jordan is told by Jerry that his job is to make phone calls to connect Jerry with wealthy business owners until he passes his Series 7 exam:

Jerry: Now just so you know, last year I made over $300,000. The other guy you'll be working for, he made over a million.

Jordan: A million dollars? I could only imagine what a douchebag that guy must be.

Why did Jordan dislike the millionaire?

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    Isn't that just a way to say: "this guy would do anything (anything) to make money."? Even if that means doing the worse things or using the worse tricks?
    – OldPadawan
    Dec 22, 2023 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


Based on the source novel, it's that he thinks that Scott (Jerry in the film) is a yuppie arsehole. By definition, Scott's superior must be an even bigger arsehole.

I bit my lip and said nothing. The year was 1987, and yuppie assholes like Scott seemed to rule the world. Wall Street was in the midst of a raging bull market, and freshly minted millionaires were being spit out a dime a dozen. Money was cheap, and a guy named Michael Milken had invented something called “junk bonds,” which had changed the way corporate America went about its business. It was a time of unbridled greed, a time of wanton excess. It was the era of the yuppie.

As we neared his desk, my yuppie nemesis turned to me and said, “I’ll say it again, Jordan: You’re the lowest of the low. You’re not even a cold caller yet; you’re a connector.” Disdain dripped off the very word. “And ’til you pass your Series Seven, connecting will be your entire universe. And that is why you are lower than pond scum. You got a problem with that?”

“Absolutely not,” I replied. “It’s the perfect job for me, because I am lower than pond scum.” I shrugged innocently.


We reached Scott’s desk and he offered me the seat next to his, along with some kind words of encouragement. “Look at the bright side,” he quipped. “If by some miracle you don’t get fired for laziness, stupidness, insolence, or tardiness, then you might actually become a stockbroker one day.” He smirked at his own humor. “And just so you know, last year I made over three hundred thousand dollars, and the other guy you’ll be working for made over a million.”

Over a million? I could only imagine what an asshole the other guy was. With a sinking heart, I asked, “Who’s the other guy?”

“Why?” asked my yuppie tormentor. “What’s it to you?”

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

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    This is the answer, it's much more specific than just "doing anything to make money" - it's saying that if he makes 300K and is that much of a douchebag, the guy who makes 1M must proportionally be an even bigger douchebag.
    – Prometheus
    Dec 22, 2023 at 16:20
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    Even without the source novel, I think this is clear just from the dialogue quoted in the OP. It's "what a douchebag that guy must be", indicating that the speaker doesn't know the guy but assumes based on extrapolation. Dec 23, 2023 at 12:29

He didn't dislike him. It's just a way to say: "this guy would do anything (anything!) to make money." No matter the cost, he'll do it. No moral limits or obstacles. No feeling of guilt (no guilt at all?). That makes you a kind of douchebag, a contemptible or despicable person (to keep the words light). According to Larry Ellison:

If you do everything that everyone else does in business, you're going to lose.

This doesn't mean that you need to be a heartless and insensitive SOB (not an initialism of Start Of Business, the other meaning), but that you won't make more money, or even succeed. You'll be falling behind your competitors.

Ambition, on Balance: Jordan Belfort tells students what not to do:

The biggest trap people fall into is believing unethical behavior is a one-time action. There's no middle ground with ethics and integrity, not in business and not in life. You're either doing it right or wrong and, no matter how much rationalizing you do, deep down you know which it is.

To illustrate that doing more (worse?) and going further than your competitors, and doing what they won't dare doing, is one key to success, I love this quote from Verbal Kint, in the Usual Suspects (1994 script - page 91):

One story the guys told me - the story I believe - was from his days in Turkey. There was a petty gang of Hungarians that wanted their own mob. They realized that to be in power you didn't need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn't.

But the last word should be from the "wolf" himself:

I lost my soul as much as a person can and still be walking around.

In this interview, the real "Wolf of Wall Street", Jordan Belfort, describes the first time greed got the better of him, the moment he learned he was selling a scam, cheating innocent people out of millions of dollars of savings.

The film is a reminder that while the pursuit of wealth can be tempting, it’s important to do so in an ethical and legal manner. The film shows how greed and corruption can lead to devastating consequences, both for the individuals involved and for society as a whole. The Wolf of Wall Street: A Lesson on the Dangers of Greed and Fraud

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    Didn't downvote because many people lionise movies like Wolf of Wall Street while forgetting they're ultimately cautionary tales and that's always worth pointing out, but most of this answer isn't really an answer to the question, and the sentence that does answer it is essentially wrong.
    – Prometheus
    Dec 22, 2023 at 16:34
  • Thanks for the feedback. I think I have it covered by explaining the "hidden" meaning of the expression, as interviewers or Belfort himself describe the immoral sense that possessed traders at that time. I can't think of better words or sources.
    – OldPadawan
    Dec 22, 2023 at 16:38

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