Taking the GMAT purely to get into IB

Hey there,

I am considering taking the GMAT purely to get into Investment Banking, i.e. only to put it on my CV. I am already in a masters program, GMAT's are not used where I am doing my masters.

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BIG NEWS: 2014 WSO Compensation Report is OUT!

Dear WSO Community,

I'm pleased to announce the release of the 2014 WSO Compensation Report! We had another great year with even MORE entries than last year (over 5,000)! It took many months of hard work and finally, it's here ...and it's still free :-)

Yes, that's right, access to the FULL 155 page 2014 WSO Compensation Report is 100% free. (up from 108 pages last year). This report contains thousands of data points across investment banking, private equity, hedge funds and management consulting.

The report cuts the data numerous ways including division, city, AUM and company type and can help you know if you are getting paid enough. In the 2014 version, we even have data on target vs. non-target schools, race, GPA and major. Where else can you find interesting insights like that?

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What exactly happened to all the fired analysts/bankers in 2008?

As someone entering finance soon, it is growing interest to me. From what I remember and how it was seemingly perceived in the media, banks were letting people go like they were nothing. Did they go into different fields (corp fin, consulting) and/or cities, or did they just sit in unemployment till things mellowed out a few years later? Sorry if this is an incredibly stupid post. I obviously wasn't in the finance scene when this all went down, and I didn't really follow the developments of it, but it really interests me. Thanks for any help.

Mid-Market PE Valuations: Where Up is Down

With U.S. stock markets near record highs, and M&A activity on-track for another big year, there has been much commentary about whether markets have once again detached from intrinsic value. By and large, the labour market has returned to normality, the housing market has recovered, and consumers are spending again. However, what's missing is any obvious catalyst for accelerating economic growth to drive corporate profits, and thus, boost markets any higher. This is all relatively common knowledge, but underneath this picture is the activity in the middle-market of private companies; an area that has some surprising facts of its own.

Traditionally, middle-market firms tend to be laggards of their public market brethren. This is often the result of their smaller size (which suggests greater risk), and liquidity discounts (because an owner cannot quickly dispose of their interest like an owner of a public company can). Recent experience by our team has turned this notion on its head.

Over the past few months, we were involved in a competitive sale process to acquire a niche-market retail company. This company had been able to carve out a segment of their industry that left them with few true competitors and subsequently had experienced consistent growth. Despite this growth, the company was still a regional player and thus had annual revenues of around $20MM, and EBITDA of approximately $2MM.

What does it take to be a competent investment analyst?

A competent analyst is one who has an above-average ability to generate satisfactory investment returns (well know examples will include Ben Graham, Walter Schloss, Warren Buffett etc.).

While I am too young into the industry to be passing pronouncements on 'what it takes to be a competent investment analyst', I have written this post to focus on things that I have learnt from those more experienced and accomplished than I am. Hopefully, this post will help other young analysts in setting their priorities:

The first and most important requirement is a passion for learning and for business/economics. While obvious, it is worth reiterating that an absence of this trait is enough to guarantee failure while a presence of this trait alone can take you a good deal towards success.

Rewind - Is an MBA worth it for you? + Q&A

In case you missed our April 28th webinar entitled Is an MBA worth it for you?, have no fear. The full recording of the webinar can be found below (free for only 24 hours and then it goes into our video library). Do you want to a 1 on 1 mentoring session with Alex? Click below:


All rewinds will be available everyday at 8am ET.

And, as always, if you want to sign up to hear about upcoming webinars before they happen, sign up inside the post...

Why is Stern disliked so much, but Wharton praised?

From all the research I've done, they really seem to be much more similar than they are different. Both very finance/wall street focused, recruited heavily, competitive, selective admissions. Other than the Ivy League tag, the financial aid (Penn definitely has better aid if you need it than NYU), and the 'lack of a campus' (even though Penn really does not have very much of a core campus aside from the main quad. It's pretty urban. Not as much as NYU obviously, but it's up there), there really seems to be no difference.

Recommended reading management consulting

Hi fellas, will be applying for summer internships next year in management consulting (London) and looking for a few good books to read to understand the logistics of the industry and also prep for interviews.

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