The Real World

I'm deviating a bit from my thematic postings today to focus on a few observations of adulthood that I'm curious to hear your input on WSO. It's funny - we all grow up a significant amount in college, but I feel that I've grown more in my single year out of school than in my previous twenty-two having lived on this planet. And what fascinates me even more is that there's still an entire life of learning ahead of me.

When did you "get" finance?

When did you first "get" finance? I know this is kind of a silly question, but it struck me as a good discussion topic the other day as I was plowing through an LBO model. We learn an absurd amount in school, and the majority of it ends up floating away because it has little or no relevance to our careers. But for the things that do stick, when did you find that you were actually able to apply that knowledge, draw conclusions from it, and add value?

The Strength of Weak Ties

The power of networking never ceases to amaze me - especially out here in the Valley. I can't speak for other cities/other regions of the world, but the fact that I was able to get my roommate an internship this summer by drunkenly chatting up someone at a hole in the wall bar says...something. The networking out here is shameless - young, old, entry level, C-level - it doesn't matter. It genuinely seems like people want to see each other succeed, and as a kid who came from a small town in Florida, I can say the environment is wholly unique.

What's Your Personal WACC?

It's a well-known fact that the vast majority of us finance types can do amazing things with other people's money while consistently shitting the bed with our own. I was inspired to write a post addressing this topic today because I was trying to decide what to do with my car loan this weekend.

Everybody's working for the weekend!

The inspiration for today's post came from a crazy new experience I had this weekend. Apparently this is a "thing" in the Bay Area, but it was all new to me. I went oyster shucking at Tomales Bay, and it was awesome! A couple of my friends dragged me along to go, and it was a nice break from the normal weekend routine that we (my roommates and I) have.

Then this got me thinking - the funny thing about life after college is how quickly you find yourself falling into routines. I'm not talking about your work routine, but rather the things you do outside of work. In my experience at least, my friends and I seem to gravitate to and subsequently cycle through one of four phases: rage mode, workout mode, travel mode, or exotic experience mode. Allow me to elaborate in a (somewhat) tongue in cheek fashion

PE vs. Banking - Boy was I in for a Surprise...

Hey guys - I'm back to more of a practical post today. I've just hit the three week mark at my new job in Private Equity, and I have some observations that I'd like to share now that I have a moment to catch my breath! The time has absolutely flown by, and needless to say I've been working my brains out. In a nutshell, I'm doing 1000x more work than I ever did in banking, but the work is 1000x more engaging. Read on to find out more...

Product Management - The New Exit Op?

Product Management intrigues me. I had always understood it to be a highly interdisciplinary role drawing on elements of engineering, finance, marketing, and (obviously) management, but I hadn't done any in-depth analysis. I've recently given the field a closer look, however, as the trend out here on the West coast seems to be to jump ship from Analyst gigs one year in to take up PM roles at startups. In fact, two good friends of mine left their Analyst roles (one at a BB and one a former colleague) to do just that. Both left after a single year in banking, and both couldn't be happier at their new jobs. What seems to be the incredible appeal?

Why NOT to do Venture Capital

Ah venture capital - the end all be all for some, a ticket to celebrity for others, and a chance to "invest in the future." Recent fund returns aside, VC seems like the place to be - you enjoy a better work/life balance than banking, you get to work with exciting technology (often shiny new toys as well if your fund has a hardware focus), and there's always that 1 in 1000 chance that you could source the next Facebook!

With all these perks, why isn't everyone clamoring to jump to venture capital as opposed to the hedge fund or buyout shop route? For all its positives, venture capital may not be all that it's cracked up to be.

SVS #3: The Job Hunt

Hey guys, sorry I missed my post last week, but I have a valid excuse...I made the jump to the buy side! That's right - I've got a much-needed week off, and then I'll be diving into the thick of things.

Why did I make the move after only a year? Well, it's a combination of 4 factors:

SVS Part 2: The Rise of the Facebook Mafia

I was inspired to write this post due to a certain IPO that occurred in my neighborhood last week...

An interesting facet of the start-up scene out here is the rise of "mafias" built upon the financial success of a select few companies. The "original" mafia was formed around PayPal, which "lumped together incredible minds to form one of the world's most important companies and whose alumni are now founders and/or financiers of some of the most disruptive new technology companies today." In this spirit, success tends to breed (and fund) success.

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