• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Former Stratton Oakmont employee made nearly $30,000 in one month

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

Former Stratton Oakmont employee made nearly $30,000 in one month

Former stock broker Dwayne Jackson has revealed whether the eye-watering pay cheques he earned made it worth working on Wall Street.

Dwayne doesn't deny what first enticed him into the world of Wall Street - it's what appeals to the majority, if not all, employees who choose to work there - and that's money, of course.

But how fragile were the lavish lifestyles led by Jordan Belfort and his employees - which were most notably portrayed in the 2013 hit The Wolf of Wall Street? What happens when you have more cash than you know what to do with?

Loading…

After leaving high school, Dwayne ended up joining the Army Reserves, completing eight months of training before coming home, taking to playing basketball in the park as he wondered what to do with his life.

While playing a game with a friend he knew from high school, Dwayne spotted their new BMW three series - the result of a career as a stockbroker.

Immediately hooked, Dwayne trawled the newspapers, applied for roles and Stratton Oakmont 'just happened to be the company to call [him] back'.

Dwayne Jackson worked at Stratton Oakmont when he was 20 years old. Credit: lucky-photographer/ Alamy Stock Photo
Dwayne Jackson worked at Stratton Oakmont when he was 20 years old. Credit: lucky-photographer/ Alamy Stock Photo

Despite only being 20 years old and very new to Wall Street, after a year of climbing the ladder to the role of a stock broker - initially starting as a cold caller on $100-$400-a-day (£80-£320) - Dwayne was quickly catapulted into a world of fast-paced money-making.

He tells LADbible: "We got paid gross commission once a month on the 15th. So if I did, let's say $50,000 (£40,000) gross and commissions, half goes to the firm, I keep half and then all my expenses come out of that - whether it be taxes, any cold calls that I've hired - I paid them [around] $200 (£160) a week.

"My biggest month I think I did $60,000 (£48,600) or $70,000 (£56,700) gross. So my check was somewhere in-between $25,000 (£20,500) and $30,000 (£24,300)."

Typically, Dwayne would earn 'an average of $7,000 (£5,600)' a month - still a staggering amount compared to most 20 year olds.

Dwayne's biggest check was between $25,000-$30,000 while working at Stratton Oakmont. Credit: RM Images/ Alamy Stock Photo
Dwayne's biggest check was between $25,000-$30,000 while working at Stratton Oakmont. Credit: RM Images/ Alamy Stock Photo

However, Dwayne explains employees were encouraged to 'spend the money' as quickly as they made it.

"I remember there was a guy who had a Ferrari, but he was sleeping on his mother's couch," he says. "The key to keeping salespeople working is to keep them broke."

"They weren't teaching us how to be money managers or how to get rich, they just taught us how to how to sell stock over the phone. And in order to keep that machine going we had to be broke and create bills."

Stuck in a toxic cycle, Dwayne soon realised an influx of money comes with an immense cost to one's mental wellbeing.

Dwayne says employees were encouraged to spend the money they made quickly. Credit: Sandra Baker / Alamy Stock Photo
Dwayne says employees were encouraged to spend the money they made quickly. Credit: Sandra Baker / Alamy Stock Photo

He explains: "There was so much pressure, so much stress. I was making money, and my whole world had changed. I had a girlfriend [who] broke up with me. I didn't feel safe anywhere. Not even at work.

"I had a friend in college, I went down to stay with him. Oddly enough, his roommate pulled me aside. He says, 'Hey, man, how long have you known him?' I said, '15 years'. He was like, 'Well, before you came down here, he told me he got this friend [...] and we're gonna use him to eat and pay for everything'.

"He says, 'I don't know you [...] but I don't want you to to be used by them'.

"I just melted down. I couldn't take it anymore. [...] The more I made, the more miserable I got. [...] I just felt alone."

Dwayne subsequently decided to leave Stratton Oakmont having learned that 'money doesn't make you happy'.

Dwayne soon realised money doesn't make you happy. Credit: The Great Adventures of Dwayne Jackson/ YouTube
Dwayne soon realised money doesn't make you happy. Credit: The Great Adventures of Dwayne Jackson/ YouTube

The now-actor and comedian resolved: "I saw a lot of guys making a lot of money and they were miserable. They did drugs, everything, prostitutes every day, all the time.

"When you don't come from money, you think money is the answer for everything. [But when] you make a little bit of money, you start to realise, 'Oh, wow, this is not what it's all cracked up to be'."

"The lack of concern for the customers the lack of concern for me [...] I learned a valuable lesson that you have to do what drives you. You can't do things just for money. Because if there's no passion involved, you'll end up hating your life."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in mental health crisis, help is available through Mental Health America. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741.

Featured Image Credit: The Great Adventures of Dwayne Jackson/ YouTube / PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

Topics: US News, Money, Leonardo DiCaprio, TV and Film

Poppy Bilderbeck
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Sport

Hulk Hogan 'can’t feel anything’ from the waist down after back surgery

15 minutes ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Sam Smith sparks debate about age restrictions over raunchy new music video

2 days ago