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Mod note: Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 5/7/12.

"If you took all the heavy drinkers out of finance, you'd be left with like two bond analysts and an ATM machine."

I actually laughed out loud when I heard the above quote on last week's episode of Blue Bloods (great show, by the way). Detective Danny Reagan was questioning a couple of BSD's at what appeared to be a pseudo-boiler room over the ring death of a young associate in a boxing match they'd set up. He asked if the kid was a heavy drinker and that's what they told him.

It was certainly true in my day. We even had a semi-rigid drinking schedule worked out: Monday through Thursday you'd have a few drinks to calm down at get to sleep at night. I'd like to say a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, but we were always in the office for dinner. Friday was always a big day. Friday was the day you got annihilated after the close. The market closed at 1 in the afternoon in California, and we were in the bar by 1:30. Friday afternoons were all about blowing off steam by power drinking until you blacked out.

Saturday was the one day of the week that you were actually social. There would usually be a dinner of some kind with friends (although after awhile your only friends were other finance guys and their dates) followed by a party of some kind. The drinking that went on Saturday nights was a little more refined than the Friday blowout.

Sundays (at least at the beginning of my career) were spent at the park near my house with my dog, a blanket, a 6-pack, and whatever Napolean Hill-esque You'll-Be-A-Billionaire-Someday book I was reading that week. About 3 in the afternoon I'd start dreading the week ahead of me so I'd switch up to gin and tonic or rum and coke and then start the whole process over again.

I'm wondering if it's similar on the Street today. Is drinking a part of your everyday life? I've often thought that the bar for alcoholism needs to be raised for those working in finance. The rule of thumb seems to be that if you consistently have two units of alcohol per day (2 beers, 2 shots, etc...) that you're an alcoholic. I just don't think that's realistic for those in finance, at least not when I was doing it. Maybe five a day is a better number. Or maybe I'm just a drunk.

Of course, if you listen to Alcoholics Anonymous (who are no doubt shilling for new members) everyone is an alcoholic. Here is their 20-question test. If you answer just one of the questions in the affirmative, you might be an alcoholic. Two and you're probably an alcoholic; three and you're definitely an alcoholic (according to AA, anyway).

Has the boozy culture of Wall Street changed over the years? Do you guys still drink every night after work? How many drinks do you usually have in a week?

Comments (91)

  • UFOinsider's picture

    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Get busy living

  • Johnny Ringo's picture

    Sounds about right on the drinking....I dont know about you but the Blow is a little bit more pure now (so I hear)

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • Unforseen's picture

    a lot but I drank wayyyy more in undergrad...even more in highschool.

    I went from Grain Alcohol and spiritual drinks (actually made from indians) > Bacardi 151 > craft beer and watered down rum and cokes

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Oreos's picture

    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.

    .

  • Whgm45's picture

    Definitely drink 4-5 days a week, it seems to be part of the culture in finance. As long as you work out and don't get blackout, it's not too bad.

  • captainkoolaid's picture

    gucci

    Disclaimer for the Kids: Any forward-looking statements are solely for informational purposes and cannot be taken as investment advice. Consult your moms before deciding where to invest.

  • In reply to Oreos
    UFOinsider's picture

    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.


    Drink deep the koolade, kid

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Oreos's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.


    Drink deep the koolade, kid

    Do one with your kid shit! Get off your high horse, not everyone is unhappy, stop spreading your bum-out.

    .

  • Anacott_CEO's picture
  • In reply to Unforseen
    Johnny Ringo's picture

    Unforseen:
    a lot but I drank wayyyy more in undergrad...even more in highschool.

    I went from Grain Alcohol and spiritual drinks (actually made from indians) > Bacardi 151 > craft beer and watered down rum and cokes

    I bet you lost your virginity at 12 years old and are on pace to break Wilt the Stilts record.

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • In reply to Oreos
    UFOinsider's picture

    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.


    Drink deep the koolade, kid

    Fuck off with your kid shit! Get off your high horse, not everyone is unhappy, stop spreading your bum-out.


    (1) You're easily a decade younger than me and (2) I'm happier now than I've ever been. I was a heavy drinker for years and now that I've pretty much cooled it, I'm not so hellbent on taking over the world. I'm just thinking of finding a less hectic job, perhaps within finance, maybe not.

    I fail to see how's that's so bad? Cool your tits, buddy.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Oreos's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.


    Drink deep the koolade, kid

    Fuck off with your kid shit! Get off your high horse, not everyone is unhappy, stop spreading your bum-out.


    (1) You're easily a decade younger than me and (2) I'm happier now than I've ever been. I was a heavy drinker for years and now that I've pretty much cooled it, I'm not so hellbent on taking over the world. I'm just thinking of finding a less hectic job, perhaps within finance, maybe not.

    I fail to see how's that's so bad? Cool your tits, buddy.

    Dude I don't care about your drinking, I'm just pretty bored of every post of yours being an invite to the UFO pitty party, no one wants to hear it.

    .

  • In reply to Oreos
    UFOinsider's picture

    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.


    Drink deep the koolade, kid

    Fuck off with your kid shit! Get off your high horse, not everyone is unhappy, stop spreading your bum-out.


    (1) You're easily a decade younger than me and (2) I'm happier now than I've ever been. I was a heavy drinker for years and now that I've pretty much cooled it, I'm not so hellbent on taking over the world. I'm just thinking of finding a less hectic job, perhaps within finance, maybe not.

    I fail to see how's that's so bad? Cool your tits, buddy.

    Dude I don't care about your drinking, I'm just pretty bored of every post of yours being an invite to the UFO pitty party, no one wants to hear it.


    How about fuck you? Get some sleep and ease off on the coffee, tough guy. Or meet me at the corner of Wall and Broad at 5PM today so I can fuck you up.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Oreos's picture

    UFOinsider:

    How about fuck you? Get some sleep and ease off on the coffee, tough guy. Or meet me at the corner of Wall and Broad at 5PM today so I can fuck you up.

    Yea internet tough guys are the worst.....

    .

  • Frieds's picture

    Eddie - very heavily. I still drink very fucking heavily. It'll kill my liver but at the same time, come the 12th, I don't plan to drink much anyway until September. Somehow it works for me.

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    Out after work ~2 days a week (not including Fridays). Friday nights pretty well follow your description. Saturday nights are reserved for an event of some kind (horse race, football game, etc.) and drinking again on Sunday morning.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • In reply to Oreos
    UFOinsider's picture

    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:

    How about fuck you? Get some sleep and ease off on the coffee, tough guy. Or meet me at the corner of Wall and Broad at 5PM today so I can fuck you up.

    Yea internet tough guys are the worst.....


    Coward. I'm actually a block from there.

    See why I stopped drinking? I would have eventually murdered someone. Imagine that conversation after half a dozen shots of Jameson.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Oreos's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:

    How about fuck you? Get some sleep and ease off on the coffee, tough guy. Or meet me at the corner of Wall and Broad at 5PM today so I can fuck you up.

    Yea internet tough guys are the worst.....


    Coward. I'm actually a block from there.

    See why I stopped drinking? I would have eventually murdered someone. Imagine that conversation after half a dozen shots of Jameson.

    Once again you're making a light hearted finance site all about you and your problems...

    I live in Europe but, anytime you're around I'll take you for a lovely walk in our countryside and you can calm down a little. Of course this is dependent on you being sane enough to fly and not bloked by our passport control...

    .

  • In reply to Oreos
    UFOinsider's picture

    Oreos:
    a light hearted finance site

    Maybe you're confusing this with dealbreaker? People have real conversations here. You're not going to agree with everything, get over it.

    Get busy living

  • Johnny Ringo's picture

    Who dabbles in the bah-say, gutter glitter,base house, 8bal, basuco, candy caine, cat's pee, you know that champagne of all that is good? Who is chasing the dragon each day? Whose traveling down those dusty roads? who likes a little extra FLUFF...Do I have any AUNT NORAs here? Any fans of Jim belushi here?

    I need some California Cornflakes I NEED some Acapulco Gold

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.


    Drink deep the koolade, kid

    Fuck off with your kid shit! Get off your high horse, not everyone is unhappy, stop spreading your bum-out.


    (1) You're easily a decade younger than me and (2) I'm happier now than I've ever been. I was a heavy drinker for years and now that I've pretty much cooled it, I'm not so hellbent on taking over the world. I'm just thinking of finding a less hectic job, perhaps within finance, maybe not.

    I fail to see how's that's so bad? Cool your tits, buddy.

    Dude I don't care about your drinking, I'm just pretty bored of every post of yours being an invite to the UFO pitty party, no one wants to hear it.


    How about fuck you? Get some sleep and ease off on the coffee, tough guy. Or meet me at the corner of Wall and Broad at 5PM today so I can fuck you up.

  • Buddyfox's picture
  • Bobby Digital's picture

    For me personally, an average week would be: black out at a bar on Weds, recoup on Thurs, severe black out at a (possibly strip) bar on Fri, drink all day and black out again on Sat, maybe a few beers on Sun, recover on Mon & Tues. Wash, rinse, repeat. For some reason it works for me.

  • In The Flesh's picture

    Only a couple of beers spread out over the week after work, though I like to kill more than a few with friends from time to time.

    Oh, and Happy Hours with Frieds and the rest of you, of course. :)

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • sick_willy's picture

    Drink way more frequently than I did in college but less heavily, generally. I think I probably have some kind of alcohol 4-5 / 7 days of the week, even if it's just a drink or two on the weeknights.

    ---------------------------
    BossMode

  • streetwannabe's picture

    I'm not sure if it's something to do with my heritage or what, but if I had a choice, I'd probably be drunk 24/7. There is nothing nicer to me than waking up and drinking right away and drinking throughout the day. Unfortunately, life must go on.

    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius's picture

    Couple of gin tonics 2-3 days a week, total blackout on friday, drink saturday evening (after 5-6pm) at a friends house, or Hyde Park or smth without getting smashed, and same on sunday.

  • AndyLouis's picture

    I can hold my own, one night of drinking (beer) a week, some malbec/cab w/ dinner the other nights

  • trailmix8's picture

    I was usually so burned out after work on Fri, that I would just keep it low key and get a lot of sleep. Then would go out to clubs/bars on Sat. So I guess one day a week.

    I guess I did most of my drinking in college/high school. Nowadays its just a glass of wine or 2 with dinner once or twice a week, and the Saturday night.

  • Johnny Ringo's picture

    Who does Blow and how often?

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • In reply to Johnny Ringo
    Unforseen's picture

    Johnny Ringo:
    Unforseen:
    a lot but I drank wayyyy more in undergrad...even more in highschool.

    I went from Grain Alcohol and spiritual drinks (actually made from indians) > Bacardi 151 > craft beer and watered down rum and cokes

    I bet you lost your virginity at 12 years old and are on pace to break Wilt the Stilts record.

    Nah I was too busy getting drunk to think about fucking.

    These days is all about being focused on career progression. I don't drink much anymore (granted, I went to Mardi Gras 2 and a half months ago and drank enough for the rest of the year) and I barely go out clubbing. Surprisingly girls dig my focus and ambition.

  • mb666's picture

    Charlie Sheen said that AA does not work... I trust his judgment.

  • In reply to Unforseen
    Johnny Ringo's picture

    Unforseen:
    Johnny Ringo:
    Unforseen:
    a lot but I drank wayyyy more in undergrad...even more in highschool.

    I went from Grain Alcohol and spiritual drinks (actually made from indians) > Bacardi 151 > craft beer and watered down rum and cokes

    I bet you lost your virginity at 12 years old and are on pace to break Wilt the Stilts record.

    Nah I was too busy getting drunk to think about fucking.

    These days is all about being focused on career progression. I don't drink much anymore (granted, I went to Mardi Gras 2 and a half months ago and drank enough for the rest of the year) and I barely go out clubbing. Surprisingly girls dig my focus and ambition.

    Lets break this down.

    1. You were too busy getting drunk to think about fucking?
    --------> You can't get girls and would be the drunkest guy at the party/bar because you can blame it on the goose for not getting puss.

    2. You didn't go to Mardi gras, Stop lying.

    3. You're more focus now? and Girls dig that?
    ----------> they don't dig your adderall induced focus, they dig your paycheck ( although you probably havd $0.00 money cause you are in debt cause you drank like 1000 beers one night in college).

    4. How bout blow? Molly?

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • go.with.the.flow's picture

    My tolerance now is pretty low, I usually have to eat a heavy meal if I have to keep up with the heavy weights. I usually end up amusing everyone by getting kicked out of the club/bar. I drink socially and stick to either Guinness or Sam Adams. Also, I don't drink alone; seen my uncle pouring whiskey at night and popping antidepressants.

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    I am now trying to cut back. I think drinking contributes to my stress rather than relieves it. Exercise is good; alcohol is good in moderation. Light beers are a good way to trick yourself into consuming less alcohol in aggregate. Finding activities outside the city is also a good way to help moderate drinking.

    Life is too short; your twenties are too short to spend them drinking all the time.

  • mb666's picture

    In college I drank during the weekends... now I drink during the week. Sad.

    Anyway nothing like a nice beer on the LIRR on my way home... makes it so easy to go to bed.

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    allaboutthefight's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    Oreos:
    UFOinsider:
    The less I drink, the more I consider the long term, and I don't see Wall Street in that future. Lately I haven't been drinking at all and I consider becoming an accountant, being a part time financial advisor, and spending weekends hiking. Who knows, I might actually have time for friends and family.

    I might even get a dog.

    Dude, you're the biggest bum-out on WSO.


    Drink deep the koolade, kid

    Fuck off with your kid shit! Get off your high horse, not everyone is unhappy, stop spreading your bum-out.


    (1) You're easily a decade younger than me and (2) I'm happier now than I've ever been. I was a heavy drinker for years and now that I've pretty much cooled it, I'm not so hellbent on taking over the world. I'm just thinking of finding a less hectic job, perhaps within finance, maybe not.

    I fail to see how's that's so bad? Cool your tits, buddy.

    ~yep i dont drink or smoke at all. I work out and I go to school. I agree ufo you gain clarity and start worrying about the long term rather than short happiness. Discipline and self control take you far in life.

    "death is nothing, but to live defeated is to die everyday" ~Napolean Bonaparte

  • Frabjous's picture

    I basically don't drink anymore.

    Never been a heavy drinker, but I definitely used to drink during the BSc/MSc.
    Nowadays (just 6 months after...it's not like I am old and grizzled), I drink one day per week in boring weeks (which is, when I am not away for the weekend)

    disclaimer: mbb, not finance.

  • cheese86's picture

    Drink hard Fri and Sat, sometimes Thursday, and Sundays during the NFL Season...usually keep it to a glass or two of wine/beer on other weeknights if at all.

  • Johnny Ringo's picture

    Come on dewey, join the party!

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • drexelalum11's picture

    If I'm not at work, I'm probably drinking. If I'm at work on the weekend or late on a Friday, I'm probably drinking. If it looks like I'll get out of work before midnight on a weekday, I'll probably go out drinking, after drinking at the office to get ready. If I get home especially late, I'll probably have a drink to chill out. If I go out for lunch (rather than eat at my desk), I'll probably have a drink.

    The advantages (and disadvantages) of well-compensated grunt work.

  • cheese86's picture

    My problem is that I really suck at working out hungover or working out after I have drank that day. So, basically any happy hour or hard night out sabotages at least one workout which makes the staying in shape thing difficult by drinking too much.

  • In reply to drexelalum11
    duffmt6's picture

    drexelalum11:
    If I'm not at work, I'm probably drinking. If I'm at work on the weekend or late on a Friday, I'm probably drinking. If it looks like I'll get out of work before midnight on a weekday, I'll probably go out drinking, after drinking at the office to get ready. If I get home especially late, I'll probably have a drink to chill out. If I go out for lunch (rather than eat at my desk), I'll probably have a drink.

    The advantages (and disadvantages) of well-compensated grunt work.

    haha, impressive.

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • Nobama88's picture

    I used to drink heavily. Usually I would start the night with 8-10 red bull cans, maybe a shot of a 5 hour energy drink, and the cheapest handle or 5th of vodka. I would then hit up the bar and blow loads of cash on as much alcohol as possible for my friends and me. Very little socializing, just drinking.

    I went to the doctor one day and he told me my liver was already showing signs of alcohol poisoning, which I think was bullshit but I dont know (I went back to a different Dr for a full physical and blood work 2 months later, and everything came out perfect). Mind you I am only in my mid 20s now. I have virtually quit drinking since as I realized how much stupid money I was blowing and how bad I was treating my body. I also do not enjoy drinking at all, as in the only time I will have a glass of alcohol is if I plan to get fucked up. Having a beer at dinner does not interest me. I had a ton of fun times though. Now I really only drink on special occasions, like a get together with old friends, going to vegas, that type of thing.

  • aempirei's picture

    Pretty much just a weekend warrior drinker. Don't have time to drink during the week.

    My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

  • Johnny Ringo's picture

    Cacaine doesn't give you a hangover

    Eventus stultorum magister.

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