There are some fantastic financial TV shows in both the UK and the US.
All of them have something to offer anyone who wants to take control of their finances, get ahead in a career that involves finance, or achieve their goals in the world of business.
We’re going to take a look at a few of the best TV financial shows around.
#8 Shark Tank
Shark Tank is pretty much a legend in financial TV shows. There have been some very high-powered and influential personalities involved with the series. But perhaps the biggest draw for the show, and the reason why it continues, is the level of investment.
Over the run of the show (nine seasons and counting), it has managed to generate over $100 million in investment for entrepreneurial projects. This is what differentiates it from similar shows, which often struggle to raise investment for applicants.
You also have Mark Cuban, who is perhaps the most famous of the Sharks. A billionaire, he is the show’s true selling point. Outspoken and an ostentatious billionaire (rather than a low-key wealthy person), he brings colour and often a lot of drama to proceedings.
Upcoming episodes feature well-known tycoons such as Richard Branson, a man who has always flouted convention and worked hard to make his own personal brand the most important thing. He should fit in quite well with Mark Cuban.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” – Mark Cuban, Shark Tank
#7 Dragons’ Den
This show started on UK channel BBC2, way back in 2005. It has gone from strength to strength, and again it relies heavily on the personalities of the Dragons who decide whether or not to invest in the projects of would-be entrepreneurs.
Famous for having millionaires like Duncan Bannatyne (who has now left the show) who was largely unwilling to invest in anything, and self-made millionaire Peter Jones, charming but incredibly ruthless at the same time, the show has consistently pulled in huge ratings. Other Dragons have constantly traded on a hard-nosed image and it works well.
The best thing about financial TV shows such as Dragons’ Den are the ideas that are pitched. Sometimes they are ludicrous, and sometimes they are genius. The only way to find out is to watch it. Just listening to some of the financial advice the Dragons give is more than worthwhile.
“The thing I preach constantly is do your research; build your knowledge base. Don’t just go into business on a whim or a prayer – and don’t think ‘I’m an entrepreneur so I have to take risks’. Entrepreneurs don’t take risks. They take calculated risks; only the good ones.” – Theo Paphitis, Dragons’ Den
#6 Suze Orman, queen of personal financial TV shows
This basically includes anything with this lady on it. She’s a personal finance expert, and has built a career out of offering genuine, practical help to people who want to take control of their day-to-day spending. A legend in personal finance TV shows TV shows, she has carved out a following with other projects too.
Recently, she’s partnered up with the queen of TV, Oprah Winfrey, and become her go-to expert on all things finance. However, she has her own shows, including The Suze Orman Show, one of the best financial tv shows on money management and one of the best TV shows about money management there is.
“People first, then money, then things.” – Suze Orman, The Suze Orman Show
#5 Mad Money
This is less of a show, and more of a phenomenon. Jim Cramer is loud, energetic, and he knows exactly what you need to do with your stock picks. He’s been on CNBC with the show since 2005, but with the amount of respect he has in the world of finance, you’d think it would have been for fifty years.
However, one thing you must know about the show and Jim Cramer in general is that he feels that he is not there to give you stocks advice. Instead, he wants to change the way people think about money. So if you watch Mad Money, you’ll often find him branching off into topics around industries and personalities rather than actual stocks. In other words, he offers a lot of context on the markets. And with this, he does more than a good job.
He often talks about the cycles that companies go through, and has, on more than a few occasions, predicted downtime for major companies, as well as a financial crisis or two. That’s why he’s so respected, he simply knows money, and how it works. What’s more, he’s simply been there for a lot of investors during a financial crisis.
He’s recently branched out into podcasts and other media real estate with the same Mad Money brand. But anyone who knows him knows that he started on CNBC, and the show is the most important thing about Jim Cramer. He’s an institution in the business world, and is essential viewing for all, from the hedge fund manager to the guys on the trading floor.
“I wish it grew on trees, but it takes hard work to make money.” – Jim Cramer, Mad Money
#4 Fox Business Bulls and Bears
Here’s another legend in Wall Street focused financial TV. It’s hard to pick any one show on the network that exemplifies what Fox Business does. It’s probably easier to talk about the number of people the Fox Business network reaches.
Currently, in the US alone, financial TV shows on the network reach well over 75 million people. It’s influential, but perhaps one of the biggest shows on the huge lineup is Fox Business Bulls and Bears, which has regularly pulled in record numbers of viewers since its debut back in 2008. It’s particularly known for its coverage of topics in investment banking.
#3 Squawk Box
Even with its ‘interesting’ name, this financial TV show has, since 2005, proven to be a real winner for anyone who is thinking about making a foray into investments and trades in the business world. It is well known for having some seriously influential people on the show, which runs on CNBC.
Bill Gates has been on the show, for example. And one of the most respected investors of all time, Warren Buffett, has sat on the Squawk Box couch more than once. It’s a pre-market show, which means it airs in the morning before markets open up.
It’s the kind of show that becomes addictive, and this is mainly because there is a real sense of important people being on-camera who know what they’re doing with money. Watch it for key insights on Wall Street that should help you navigate even the rockets of financial climates. There’s nothing better than learning from people who have genuinely made a lot of money through sound investments and market knowledge.
#2 The Profit
This is an interesting show, and it has a very interesting person right at the centre of it. Marcus Lemonis is an investor, and he spends each episode of The Profit aiming to find small businesses to invest in. With investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s a major cash boost for each small business.
There’s a catch of course. Lemonis wants a stake in any business he invests in. So it follows the same kind of fundamental idea in Shark Tank and Dragons’ Den, but involves one man, who goes to find a successful investment for himself.
Lemonis has offered investment to businesses in a wide variety of industries and niches. From auto dealerships to pie-makers, part of the fun of the show is that he simply finds businesses he likes. This allows for some very entertaining TV and not a little suspense, as audiences wait to see if he will offer investment, or if he loses interest.
At this stage in 2018, Lemonius has invested millions of dollars in small businesses across America. One of the shows gained nearly 2 million viewers. So he’s doing a good job all round.
“The only thing I did well was learn how to make money.” – Marcus Lemonis, The Profit
#1 The Apprentice
You’ve all heard of this one, not least because the US version featured the current President of the United States. But both versions are great examples of gripping TV. It’s fair to say that the still-running UK version is very different to what it used to be (less cut-throat business tutorial, more reality show with bizarre people in it) but at their finest, both versions told you all you need to know about business.
Sir Alan Sugar helms the UK version, and he’s the consummate businessman. Ever since he started in business he’s had a nose for profit, and The Apprentice has excelled when it’s had him personally teaching the contestants how to make people buy stuff.
If you want to learn how to pitch, too, this is one of the best shows to watch.
There are regular episodes dealing with pitching to real brands and businesses, with Sir Alan constantly reminding contestants how they are doing things wrong. And the advice is solid. Sugar made his fortune well before the Internet selling satellite dishes, so he knows how to build a business empire without using the Web and social media and so on.
The contestants on this financial TV show are often young, and often look for shortcuts.
He knows you don’t have to be ‘Internet famous’ to run a successful business. The guy on the other side of the pond, Donald Trump, hasn’t always met with success in business. He’s had a few businesses fail, actually. But perhaps that’s why he’s so good at giving advice. The consummate marketer, he spent his run on the show telling contestants how to build an image, a brand that sells.
And look at him now.
The shows are also, crucially, very insightful about the economy in both countries. Too many businesses never get started because people are afraid of the financial climate. Both of the versions of this show regularly tackle this issue, and the pointers they give for everyone, from the hedge fund manager to the guys and girls on the trading floor, are priceless.
It’s essential stuff.
“If you nod your head any longer I’m going to put you on the back seat of my bloody car.” – Alan Sugar, The Apprentice UK
All of the financial TV shows above have something to offer anyone who is interested in finance and money in general. They’re great for aspiring traders, or people who just want to look after their money a little better.