8/20/15

Mod Note (Andy): #TBT Throwback Thursday - this was originally posted on 10/1/12.

I occasionally get PMed by people at colleges I've never heard of before, asking if they have a shot at IBD.

Folks, why IBD? The finance world is broad and varied, and there are a million ways to make a buck. Why pick the one that's going to be hardest for you in your situation? There are mutual fund companies, asset management companies all over the damn place. Hedge funds. Auxiliary businesses. Those folks will look beyond the name of your institution and your GPA in the hunt for quality. Why knock on the door of the one section of the industry that has built a massive recruiting machine designed to keep you out?

Time for me to share what is potentially the biggest career mistake of my life.

I'd been working for a small asset management company (~40 employees) during the school year in undergrad to pick up some spare dough. Reasonably laid-back place. Kind of place that's run by a bunch of guys from state schools and hires all sorts of strange people.

So I get a full time offer from the bulge bracket I've been angling for. I go to the owner of the little asset management shop I've been working at and say:

"Hey, [BB] offered me a full-time IBD analyst role. I like it here and the idea of moving to New York is not a big plus. What can you offer?"

Guy thinks about it.

"Okay, what are they gonna pay you?"

I say,

"$55k salary and about the same bonus"

Guy says,

"Like hell they will. You got no control over that bonus."

I say,

"I'll take my chances."

Guy thinks it over. Says,

"Okay, kid. I like what you've done for me so far. I'll pay you $75k."

I say,

"What's the bonus?"

Guy says,

"Kid, that's $75 guaranteed comp. I'll give you the same $5k bonus I give everyone else out of undergrad at the end of the year. And I'll let you buy an equity stake, up to a tenth of a percent. Now that's an offer I've never made any kid out of undergrad."

I say,

"I just told you I'm gonna make $110 next year in New York."

He says,

"New York? You're crazy, kid. You're gonna starve on $110 in New York. You work for me, you'll be in the same place financially in five years you would have been in New York , maybe better. Run the numbers. You stay here, you don't pay $2k in rent, you don't work 100 hours a week. In five years you'll be running your own chunk of the business. No bullshitting with clients or kissing banker ass. Sky's the limit on how much you can make."

I say,

"Well, I'm gonna be a managing director some day."

Guy says,

"You could also run this shop some day and do better than 90% of the managing directors at that shitty bank."

I folded my arms and waited....

Guy says,

"I'm done here. I just made you an offer that in my opinion is ridiculous for a kid still finishing up her senior year and I'm already starting to regret it. You want to go chase the name, go chase the name. Get outta here. I assume you'll let me know if you want to work for me."

I walked out. And I signed the bulge bracket IBD offer.

And honestly, I did it because I didn't understand the way the world worked. I didn't believe that some crazy guy from the middle of nowhere with a no-name education could build me as solid a career as the hallowed bulge bracket bank. I was worried he'd be out of business in a couple years. I wanted people to recognize the name of the firm I worked for. I wanted to be able to go to HBS. I wanted to do big deals that landed on the front page of the WSJ. (Ironically, my deals have had a history of never front-paging unless they die a grisly death and the front page is the death notice.)

That's not to say I'm displeased with how my career has unfolded, and of course, the ride would have been bumpy either way. Just saying the decision itself was based on shoddy assumptions.

A better decision metric would have been: Fuck prestige, get money.

Comments (106)

Best Response
10/1/12

Made more ROI from swing trading than I ever did in my semi-prestigious full-time job with a salary and variable bonus. Prestige never provided me with the capital to make my life-style come true, busting my ass at something less prestigious made me much more in the long-run.

MD at prestigious firm:
(9:00am - 8:00pm) - Clients bitching, divorcee calling about alimony, analysts fucking up pitch books, VPs fucking up pitch books, artery clogging steak dinner with bitching client, etc.

VS.

(8:00am): Shower after workout, go into home office, check current trades/set new ones.
(10:00am) : Finish monitoring trade executions, conference call with my VC partner on why they turned to more dilution instead of venture debt for the next round of pc's financing..
(11:30am): Lunch with my kid at her school.
(12:00pm): Call friend to play a quick '9'.
(3:30pm): Back in the home office to check trades.
(4:30pm - Whenever): Figure out some fun things to do, maybe book a quick flight to Cali for beach fun this weekend.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever."

10/1/12

You have an uncanny knack at negotiating. A college senior getting an equity share out of undergrad? Jesus...

In reply to SlikRick
10/1/12
SlikRick:

You have an uncanny knack at negotiating. A college senior getting an equity share out of undergrad? Jesus...

I bet b'rella was negotiating equity shares as early as 5th grade...

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

10/1/12
bankerella:

Fuck prestige, get money.

Damn Straight! There is eloquence in simplicity. Prestige is a fucking joke. It's some sense of keeping up with the Jones that we all want to do. Once you realize you don't need prestige, your better of. It makes it easier for you to focus on everything else that's important.

10/1/12

Why capitalize Chase in your post unless your too used to capitalizing JP Morgan Chase on all your documents. hmmm.. slip up or innocent mistake.

In reply to ladubs111
10/1/12
ladubs111:

Why capitalize Chase in your post unless your too used to capitalizing JP Morgan Chase on all your documents. hmmm.. slip up or innocent mistake.

WSO automatically capitalizes Chase under certain circumstances to link to company page.

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

10/1/12

You should be a lawyer Bankerella, you sound like that lady with the short hair who defends all those famous women...

10/1/12

Great point.

The sooner we stop fucking around, and call it "Vanity," the better. That's all it is, and the sooner anyone gets that through his head, the sooner will be successful.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

10/1/12

Thanks for sharing...no offense, but would this story go under your "douchiest moments" thread?

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

10/1/12

Come on guys. We're all victim to prestige, and when we fail, we just say, "Oh it wasn't that important to me anyways." Every thing we do is based on what other people will think of us. Am I the only one that would rather sacrifice years of my life to build my own wealth than win the Power Ball?

In reply to Tommy Too-toned
10/1/12
Tommy Too-toned:

You should be a lawyer Bankerella, you sound like that lady with the short hair who defends all those famous women...

Gloria Allred?

10/1/12

I'm not at all convinced that you made the wrong decision. You probably came across as entitled and arrogant, but for the first job out of college, you want to pick the one that gives you the most opportunities going forward. I actually think the first post-college job sets the stage for the rest of your career and could really mess you up if you can't get the right job. For instance, knowing what i know now,i gladly would take MBB consulting out of college rather than a job for a no-name firm that pays me 2 or 3 times as much.

10/1/12
bankerella:

Fuck prestige, get money

FUCK YOU, PAY ME -> about the same?

Get busy living

10/1/12

I applaud you for taking off. Even if it wasn't the right move in retrospect, at least you won't think back on what could have been.

Spot on with the investment banker analysis too. There are wayyyy to many fish in the sea for talented, educated people.

In reply to BTbanker
10/1/12
BTbanker:

Am I the only one that would rather sacrifice years of my life to build my own wealth than win the Power Ball?

This is not prestige. This is ambition and determination. Prestige is caring what other people think along the way.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

In reply to BTbanker
10/1/12
BTbanker:

Am I the only one that would rather sacrifice years of my life to build my own wealth than win the Power Ball?

Yes and that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

10/1/12

Pete? Where's Pete? Maybe this thread made him vomit on his keyboard......

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

10/1/12

you didn't make a mistake, you overcalculated the monetary value of said prestige. by definition, everyone who went MBB or BB has made this mistake. if they are honest with themselves they would admit that. i certainly made that mistake myself.

OP and i are at the age where we can pull this shit in focus.

In reply to TheLastCall
10/1/12
TheLastCall:

I'm not at all convinced that you made the wrong decision. You probably came across as entitled and arrogant, but for the first job out of college, you want to pick the one that gives you the most opportunities going forward. I actually think the first post-college job sets the stage for the rest of your career and could really mess you up if you can't get the right job. For instance, knowing what i know now,i gladly would take MBB consulting out of college rather than a job for a no-name firm that pays me 2 or 3 times as much.

O RLY?

10/1/12

I think this just goes to exemplify the argument that woman have attitude for brains.

10/1/12

After his last words there I wouldn't even have the heart to leave the place especially if I liked it. Anyways, even though I question the validity of the story, the point being made is great.

In reply to Babyj18777
10/1/12
Babyj18777:
BTbanker:

Am I the only one that would rather sacrifice years of my life to build my own wealth than win the Power Ball?

Yes and that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

Or you just have no work ethic or life purpose.

10/1/12

In this country, you gotta make the money first.

10/1/12

Bravo Bankerella.. I agree with you on these points.

Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

10/1/12
In reply to UFOinsider
10/1/12
UFOinsider:
bankerella:

Fuck prestige, get money

FUCK YOU, PAY ME -> about the same?

Not even close, actually, and interesting that you thought an obviously self-evident statement required further interpretation.

To clarify things a bit here, the first statement is a proposed guideline for maximizing the utility of your career. The second statement (yours) is something often heard in mafia movies and on rap albums, and is frequently followed by the intermittent discharge of firearms.

10/1/12

How has the firm done since then?

I agree that chasing prestige is a waste of time. I think it's something people coming out of school focus on much more than people who are established in their careers.

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

MY BLOG

10/1/12

how has the asset management firm fared since you left them?

In reply to oreos
10/1/12
Oreos:

Pete? Where's Pete? Maybe this thread made him vomit on his keyboard......

You're most certaintly right, payaso. I've been hurling for the last 20 minutes straight. Now my legs are shaking and I'm extremely dehydrated. My maid thought I had bulimia. I told her that everything is fine, I just saw some prestige bashing I couldn't comprehend and to get back to scrubbing.

Prestige leads to wealth which leads to more prestige which leads to more wealth, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. It's a reflexive relationship, but it starts with prestige.

In reply to Toronto
10/1/12
Toronto:

After his last words there I wouldn't even have the heart to leave the place especially if I liked it. Anyways, even though I question the validity of the story, the point being made is great.

Exactly how I felt while reading this.

10/1/12

I think he made you that offer because he knew you wouldn't take it.

MM IB -> Corporate Development

In reply to BTbanker
10/1/12
BTbanker:
Babyj18777:
BTbanker:

Am I the only one that would rather sacrifice years of my life to build my own wealth than win the Power Ball?

Yes and that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

Or you just have no work ethic or life purpose.

no, it's "the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard" also... you know that winning the lottery doesn't mean that you have to quit your day job, right? Why not take the lottery winnings and start your own business or invest it in something? make your wealth grow even more? What you said makes no sense.

working for wealth is not the only possible life purpose... and having work ethic =/= you're retarded... which is what you would be if you turned down the lottery so you could build your own wealth

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

10/1/12
In reply to Prestigious Pete
10/1/12
Prestigious Pete:

Prestige leads to wealth which leads to more prestige which leads to more wealth, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. It's a reflexive relationship, but it starts with prestige.

It's called Keeping Up with the Jones. The Illusion of Prestige and Wealth are easy to flaunt. Neither go hand in hand, except when you want to have people buy into the illusion and forget that Prestige doesn't make you happy. Having "Stuff" and "Prestigious Things" doesn't mean you will be happy with your life. Prestige is a joke. Get used to it.

10/1/12

After becoming addicted to this site and letting the prestige-bug bite me, I had some time to wind down over the summer and spend a lot of time with my son, friends, and other family. And prestige really doesn't mean dick to me anymore (not that it ever really meant THAT much to me)... it would be nice, but I'll take $$ + family over everything. I had a great time just chilling in Metro-Detroit with my friends all summer, believe it or not. family + friends > everything.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

In reply to SirTradesaLot
10/1/12
SirTradesaLot:

How has the firm done since then?

Was about to ask the same question, I'd like to know too.

In reply to Frieds
10/1/12
Frieds:
Prestigious Pete:

Prestige leads to wealth which leads to more prestige which leads to more wealth, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. It's a reflexive relationship, but it starts with prestige.

It's called Keeping Up with the Jones. The Illusion of Prestige and Wealth are easy to flaunt. Neither go hand in hand, except when you want to have people buy into the illusion and forget that Prestige doesn't make you happy. Having "Stuff" and "Prestigious Things" doesn't mean you will be happy with your life. Prestige is a joke. Get used to it.

You babbling about wealth or prestige, payaso? I can't even tell muchacho! I bet you don't even know the difference! Tell me amigo, are you a gelong?

In reply to Prestigious Pete
10/1/12
Prestigious Pete:
Frieds:
Prestigious Pete:

Prestige leads to wealth which leads to more prestige which leads to more wealth, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. It's a reflexive relationship, but it starts with prestige.

It's called Keeping Up with the Jones. The Illusion of Prestige and Wealth are easy to flaunt. Neither go hand in hand, except when you want to have people buy into the illusion and forget that Prestige doesn't make you happy. Having "Stuff" and "Prestigious Things" doesn't mean you will be happy with your life. Prestige is a joke. Get used to it.

You babbling about wealth or prestige, payaso? I can't even tell muchacho! I bet you don't even know the difference! Tell me amigo, are you a bhikkhu or gelong?

Neither actually. I don't proscribe myself to any one path as it limits ones view on the world. I find value in many teachings, all of which cast much disdain on prestige.

10/1/12

So where can I find these Asset Management Firms & Mutual Funds?

In reply to Frieds
10/1/12
Frieds:
Prestigious Pete:
Frieds:
Prestigious Pete:

Prestige leads to wealth which leads to more prestige which leads to more wealth, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. It's a reflexive relationship, but it starts with prestige.

It's called Keeping Up with the Jones. The Illusion of Prestige and Wealth are easy to flaunt. Neither go hand in hand, except when you want to have people buy into the illusion and forget that Prestige doesn't make you happy. Having "Stuff" and "Prestigious Things" doesn't mean you will be happy with your life. Prestige is a joke. Get used to it.

You babbling about wealth or prestige, payaso? I can't even tell muchacho! I bet you don't even know the difference! Tell me amigo, are you a bhikkhu or gelong?

Neither actually. I don't proscribe myself to any one path as it limits ones view on the world. I find value in many teachings, all of which cast much disdain on prestige.

Oh amigo, you are so confused. Prestige is a part of every religion, it just takes different forms. You think a cardinal is as prestigious as an archbishop? You think a deacon wants to stay a deacon? No amigo, because they are not equally prestigious. Prestige is everything. Prestige is excellence.

10/1/12

I disagree - I think prestige has its value. Maybe you made the wrong decision in this particular example, but there are tons of guys who were raking it in at a no-name shop, had the rug get pulled out from under them, and then can't find a new job making anywhere near their old earnings. Ultimately I think it's about being 'long term greedy' as folks at GS would say. Every job opportunity is some combination of prestige, payout, stability, room for growth, and lifestyle. Exclusively basing your decision on prestige - obviously that doesn't make sense. But ignoring it altogether doesn't make sense either.

In bankerella's case, I actually don't even think prestige was the issue - it wasn't knowing what she wanted to do. Asset management is a completely different job than IBD - almost everybody in AM has a better lifestyle than a banker, and most senior PMs make more money than most banking MDs; that would have been true whether bankerella got her job offer at the no-name shop she interned at or if she'd gotten an offer from Wellington or Lone Pine. If you're comparing those two jobs on the basis of prestige, you're like one of those kids who says "gee, should I do banking or consulting?" That's acceptable when you're an undergrad (which of course bankerella was here), but once you've got more than 2 years of work experience, you should know that there's prestige within fields. And once you know what job you want to do, prestige within that field should definitely be a consideration (though not your only consideration).

In reply to ausenna
10/1/12
Austin.senna:

So where can I find these Asset Management Firms & Mutual Funds?

apparently Nevada

10/1/12

I thought you were going to say that IBD doesnt have prestige that it does. You work hours but hourly pay isnt as good as many jobs. Anyways, I personally couldnt be IBD simply because it isnt my desire. For those it is props to them, but it isnt as prestigious as making it as a trader or some other profession

In reply to Frieds
10/1/12
Frieds:
Tommy Too-toned:

You should be a lawyer Bankerella, you sound like that lady with the short hair who defends all those famous women...

Gloria Allred?

She's the girl. Glors and Rells would be unstoppable together

In reply to wolverine19x89
10/1/12
wolverine19x89:

After becoming addicted to this site and letting the prestige-bug bite me, I had some time to wind down over the summer and spend a lot of time with my son, friends, and other family. And prestige really doesn't mean dick to me anymore (not that it ever really meant THAT much to me)... it would be nice, but I'll take $$ + family over everything. I had a great time just chilling in Metro-Detroit with my friends all summer, believe it or not. family + friends > everything.

I agree that family+friends is the most important thing. After that though, prestige is pretty damm high on the list for me.

10/1/12

Hey Bankerella,

I'm curoius about your bankground and how it all worked out. Did you end up at HBS? What did taking the prestigious path do for your career?

10/1/12

It amazes me how stupid some people are on this board. Why did you take the more "prestigious" offer? Because you could talk, I mean brag, about it to people. It was because of what other people told you to do, not what you wanted to do. You had a great deal sitting on the table and a guy willing to lead you to the top but you were more concerned with being able to name drop and brag. Period. It's a pissing contest. To be so smart, it amazes me the lack of judgement and pure common sense some of you lack. What's the % of analysts becoming MDs? What about analysts going to B school then PE/HF? Very low for both. So what do you have as a back up plan? Nothing. Yall are so bottled up and focused on 1 thing that you are making very poor decisions as a result. I know more people that made it without IBD than who did. Going to wherever you feel is the biggest name doesn't do anything if you're shit. It's about gaining experience and working hard to move your career in the direction you want, not in the direction you think will impress people.

Bankerella learned a valuable lesson the hard way but she is in the 1% of this board. There will be 100s of you who makes this dumb decision in the coming weeks/months when you accept offers. Finance does not equal IBD or vice versa. There are a million different paths to getting wealthy. Open your eyes and realize that. I just sit back and laugh at the revolving door that is IBD when wide eyed idiots sign their life away every year only to be miserable a year later. The money you make is shit because it costs so much just to live in NY. I'm happy for those of you who truly feel this is what you want to do. Godspeed. But for those who are doing it because of outside influences, you will die a slow death. Find what you want to do in finance other than IBD because when you fall flat on your face, which you will, you will at least have a back up plan.

*Rant over

10/2/12

You, my friend, are a born loser. Always have been, always will be, regardless of the decision you would, have could, have should have made.

You're a true Roy Munson, but without the Hollywood redemption gold at the end.

In reply to Relinquis
10/2/12
Relinquis:

how has the asset management firm fared since you left them?

probably did well b/c she wasn't there

10/2/12

Monetizing the long term benefit of BB IBD on one's resume is difficult. But the reputational benefits associated with the career path you took last a lifetime, and exceed those that would have derived from your AM firm.

10/2/12

prestige doesnt mean shit

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

In reply to monaco1
10/2/12
monaco1:
Relinquis:

how has the asset management firm fared since you left them?

probably did well b/c she wasn't there

lolz this

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

In reply to cityknight
10/2/12
cityknight:

Monetizing the long term benefit of BB IBD on one's resume is difficult. But the reputational benefits associated with the career path you took last a lifetime, and exceed those that would have derived from your AM firm.

How do you know that? Becoming a PM for a lesser known AM firm is more "respectable" than some jobs that people get at BB IBDs... at least that's how I see it.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

10/2/12

the problem with OP's thesis is that it could have not panned out as well at the AM as she thought. after all, it was all just talk on the part of her first boss. anything could have happened; the firm might have gone tits up, there could have been a change in management, OP might not have the chops for the work at the leadership level, etc.

what if is a hard game to play.

10/2/12

How did that kid do that you fast tracked to a superday, did they get an offer?

10/2/12

N1cktm, good question. I need to check. Will try to add a PS to my next post and let you guys know.

10/2/12

Yeah I mean I think it's always easy to look back and say "oh, hindsight is 20/20, I shoulda done 'X'"...

But when it comes right down to it, you made the "safest" long-term decision -- great experience in IBD, BB name, good prospects for b-school, etc. If two friends started a business tomorrow and offered to make me a part owner in exchange for ditching IBD, no way I'd do it right now. If in 10 years they are the next Instagram, it'll be easy to say "oh, yeah, I chased prestige, stupid me". Extreme examples, but same logic applies.

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

10/2/12
In reply to BTbanker
10/2/12
BTbanker:

Am I the only one that would rather sacrifice years of my life to build my own wealth than win the Power Ball?

No, you're not. While I would be ecstatic if I won something for nothing, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying.

10/3/12
bankerella:

A better decision metric would have been: Fuck prestige, get money.

you are leading your non-target school audience to an oasis. you make it sound as if prestige and money are inversely related. obviously the opposite is true.

your mantra should be revised to "Fuck prestige, get money...if you encounter the wildly unlikely scenario in which you will assuredly make a lot more money at a no-name firm than a prestigious one."

better advice would simply be: bust your ass for the best job you can get but don't lose hope if you don't get one and need to look adjacently or elsewhere entirely. after all, most highly successful/wealthy people are from non-target schools and their success was a function of meeting one specific mentor at some random low-prestige job early on...or a career path that they stumbled into by happenstance. like those guys you just might be one of the many, many exceptions to the rule so don't kill yourself just yet.

In reply to Relinquis
10/4/12
Relinquis:

how has the asset management firm fared since you left them?

Yes, do tell?! Had you stayed, what would likely have happened? Did you keep in touch with anyone and how did they do?

Get busy living

10/7/12

what bb is 55k

In reply to Press0
10/7/12
Press0:

what bb is 55k

All of them used to be, once upon a time.

  • triplectz
  •  10/7/12

Here's the thing: if this firm went belly-up then next year, or bankerella was terrible and got laid off, or whatever...getting that next job would be tough as hell. There's a reason you want the name when you're starting out: it lends your career credibility. If you have "Goldman Sachs," or "Harvard," or whatever at the top of your resume, people will get on the phone with you when you're looking for your next job. Which is pretty often when you're 22 years old and your contract is good for 2 years. Sure, if you have a great network, or you're confident you can get that job at BigName later, go for it. But I don't see anything wrong with taking the "safe" choice when you're starting out.

You want to chase the money, the equity in the company, whatever, when you're OLDER and you've already established your name and have contacts, and can recover if you fuck up. When you're young, no one's going to take you seriously if they don't associate you with a good school, or company, or whatever. It's called "Signaling", people.

10/7/12

Next, she'll be telling us to accept full rides at state schools over 200K in debt to HYPS.

10/7/12

How about: do what you like and you are good at, working with the people you enjoy - if you put in the IBD type hours and efforts in other areas of business and finance you will make comparable money over the long run and will be a lot happier

In reply to ILOVENYGUY
10/8/12
ILOVENYGUY:

if you put in the IBD type hours and efforts in other areas of business and finance you will make comparable money over the long run and will be a lot happier

Essentially, yes. It's not that you will make comparable money over the long run if you put in similar effort in other fields, it's more that you're fairly likely to do so. But you're correct that the cost/benefit of that trade looks better even if you come in at a mere 75% or 80% of what a banker makes.

That was a tough effect for me to observe in the wild at age 21, but I've seen it plenty of times now.

10/8/12

Wow.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

10/8/12

What are your future plans, Bankarella? You trying to stay in IB? Trying to stay with a big name? Trying to go back to a firm like the one that was mentioned in your OP? It seems like you've done some "growing" since you got into IB, so I guess it'd be nice to see what you think about all of this now even though I have no intent on going for IBD whatsoever. Unless I get a taste of PE that literally makes me schwing.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

10/8/12

Yeah Rells, where's the next stop gonna be? Is it Google for you?

We gonna miss u :(

10/21/12

Resurrecting the thread because I disagree.

What does Goldman or McKinsey on your CV tell me:
1. you were top of your class (so presumably you are smart, maybe even intelligent)
2. you can get things done, well and fast, under tough conditions; more things than the % extra I have to pay you represents
3. you have high standards (and you will try to live up to the high esteem you have of yourself as "Goldman quality")
4. you can learn things fast
5. you are probably pleasant to work with and have an accurate sense of your own abilities (or will develop it with a couple months exposure to reality)
6. if I have to fire you, I've covered my ass - "he was from Goldman IBD! I couldn't let that CV go by!" - and we will probably still hire the next Goldman guy thinking you were just a bad apple.
7. if things go well, I might hire some more people from your network. This is a huge plus as unless I am myself a brand, I will have trouble getting through to your branded colleagues when they get bored of the sell side.
8. most normal people seem to agree with me and will respect you more and are more likely to listen to your 25 year old self. Goes both ways of course, if you screw up, they will attack you with glee as "proof that these McKinsey folks are useless and overpaid".

In most places I have worked for, in positions where technical expertise (read: engineering hard knowledge) was not required for the job, a brand on the CV always got a certain amount of awe and respect. You can get experience later - those 2 year programmes are really not that much time "wasted". Most importantly, brands like Goldman and McKinsey are respected globally, so should you want to spend a year in Singapore and another in Sao Paulo or even Paris, you will find the doors open faster than with a lesser known name, even if you got more done there. Most of the world is less meritocratic than the US and more respectful of brands.

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/21/12
EURCHF parity:

Resurrecting the thread because I disagree.

What does Goldman or McKinsey on your CV tell me:
1. you were top of your class (so presumably you are smart, maybe even intelligent)
2. you can get things done, well and fast, under tough conditions; more things than the % extra I have to pay you represents
3. you have high standards (and you will try to live up to the high esteem you have of yourself as "Goldman quality")
4. you can learn things fast
5. you are probably pleasant to work with and have an accurate sense of your own abilities (or will develop it with a couple months exposure to reality)
6. if I have to fire you, I've covered my ass - "he was from Goldman IBD! I couldn't let that CV go by!" - and we will probably still hire the next Goldman guy thinking you were just a bad apple.
7. if things go well, I might hire some more people from your network. This is a huge plus as unless I am myself a brand, I will have trouble getting through to your branded colleagues when they get bored of the sell side.
8. most normal people seem to agree with me and will respect you more and are more likely to listen to your 25 year old self. Goes both ways of course, if you screw up, they will attack you with glee as "proof that these McKinsey folks are useless and overpaid".

In most places I have worked for, in positions where technical expertise (read: engineering hard knowledge) was not required for the job, a brand on the CV always got a certain amount of awe and respect. You can get experience later - those 2 year programmes are really not that much time "wasted". Most importantly, brands like Goldman and McKinsey are respected globally, so should you want to spend a year in Singapore and another in Sao Paulo or even Paris, you will find the doors open faster than with a lesser known name, even if you got more done there. Most of the world is less meritocratic than the US and more respectful of brands.

Agree sir.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/21/12

EURCHF parity:
Resurrecting the thread because I disagree.

What does Goldman or McKinsey on your CV tell me:
1. you were top of your class (so presumably you are smart, maybe even intelligent)
2. you can get things done, well and fast, under tough conditions; more things than the % extra I have to pay you represents
3. you have high standards (and you will try to live up to the high esteem you have of yourself as "Goldman quality")
4. you can learn things fast
5. you are probably pleasant to work with and have an accurate sense of your own abilities (or will develop it with a couple months exposure to reality)
6. if I have to fire you, I've covered my ass - "he was from Goldman IBD! I couldn't let that CV go by!" - and we will probably still hire the next Goldman guy thinking you were just a bad apple.
7. if things go well, I might hire some more people from your network. This is a huge plus as unless I am myself a brand, I will have trouble getting through to your branded colleagues when they get bored of the sell side.
8. most normal people seem to agree with me and will respect you more and are more likely to listen to your 25 year old self. Goes both ways of course, if you screw up, they will attack you with glee as "proof that these McKinsey folks are useless and overpaid".

In most places I have worked for, in positions where technical expertise (read: engineering hard knowledge) was not required for the job, a brand on the CV always got a certain amount of awe and respect. You can get experience later - those 2 year programmes are really not that much time "wasted". Most importantly, brands like Goldman and McKinsey are respected globally, so should you want to spend a year in Singapore and another in Sao Paulo or even Paris, you will find the doors open faster than with a lesser known name, even if you got more done there. Most of the world is less meritocratic than the US and more respectful of brands.

the point was that she had a good enough path set up that she didn't have to impress recruiting heads in the future. she could have made her career completely with her dinky small town shop.

In reply to ivoteforthatguy
10/21/12
ivoteforthatguy:

the point was that she had a good enough path set up that she didn't have to impress recruiting heads in the future. she could have made her career completely with her dinky small town shop.

Two things there:
1. as aforementioned, probability adjusted, the equity and compensation offer from the small shop probably did not cover the risk vs the sure-fire learning experience and added brand prestige of BB. Think with a lower discount rate... of course taking just one anecdote where the small firm succeeded skews your perception of the probability of success of such opportunities.
2. her CV would not have gone through my HR. Even if it hard, if I was hiring junior, it would be hard for me to justify taking her over a Goldman "first quartile".

Don't get me wrong - I love experience, and I think it is a much better guide to performance than brand. But early stage in one's career, few people have it, and brand is phenomenally important.

Here's another comparison: if you do not go to an Ivy/Oxbridge, you can still break into high prestige jobs. But it will be harder, much harder. On balance, I don't know many people who will admit "I should have gone to Loughborough instead of Christ Church Oxford". But there will always be some guy who will happily tout a Loughborough success story as example that "the domination of Oxbridge in management and entrepreneurship is over" and that "today's best managers come from smaller places because of X, Y and Z, here are 2 anecdotes to "prove" my point".

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/23/12
EURCHF parity:
ivoteforthatguy:

the point was that she had a good enough path set up that she didn't have to impress recruiting heads in the future. she could have made her career completely with her dinky small town shop.

Two things there:
1. as aforementioned, probability adjusted, the equity and compensation offer from the small shop probably did not cover the risk vs the sure-fire learning experience and added brand prestige of BB. Think with a lower discount rate... of course taking just one anecdote where the small firm succeeded skews your perception of the probability of success of such opportunities.
2. her CV would not have gone through my HR. Even if it hard, if I was hiring junior, it would be hard for me to justify taking her over a Goldman "first quartile".

Don't get me wrong - I love experience, and I think it is a much better guide to performance than brand. But early stage in one's career, few people have it, and brand is phenomenally important.

Here's another comparison: if you do not go to an Ivy/Oxbridge, you can still break into high prestige jobs. But it will be harder, much harder. On balance, I don't know many people who will admit "I should have gone to Loughborough instead of Christ Church Oxford". But there will always be some guy who will happily tout a Loughborough success story as example that "the domination of Oxbridge in management and entrepreneurship is over" and that "today's best managers come from smaller places because of X, Y and Z, here are 2 anecdotes to "prove" my point".

To a great extent, i too firmly believe that prestige/brand/BB will only help one succeed.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/23/12
EURCHF parity:
ivoteforthatguy:

the point was that she had a good enough path set up that she didn't have to impress recruiting heads in the future. she could have made her career completely with her dinky small town shop.

Two things there:
1. as aforementioned, probability adjusted, the equity and compensation offer from the small shop probably did not cover the risk vs the sure-fire learning experience and added brand prestige of BB. Think with a lower discount rate... of course taking just one anecdote where the small firm succeeded skews your perception of the probability of success of such opportunities.
2. her CV would not have gone through my HR. Even if it hard, if I was hiring junior, it would be hard for me to justify taking her over a Goldman "first quartile".

Don't get me wrong - I love experience, and I think it is a much better guide to performance than brand. But early stage in one's career, few people have it, and brand is phenomenally important.

Here's another comparison: if you do not go to an Ivy/Oxbridge, you can still break into high prestige jobs. But it will be harder, much harder. On balance, I don't know many people who will admit "I should have gone to Loughborough instead of Christ Church Oxford". But there will always be some guy who will happily tout a Loughborough success story as example that "the domination of Oxbridge in management and entrepreneurship is over" and that "today's best managers come from smaller places because of X, Y and Z, here are 2 anecdotes to "prove" my point".

To a great extent, i too firmly believe that prestige/brand/BB will only help one succeed.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

10/23/12

.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

11/5/12

Completely agree with the OP. Don't chase prestige, let it find you.

11/5/12
BiotechBanker:

(8:00am): Shower after workout, go into home office, check current trades/set new ones.
(10:00am) : Finish monitoring trade executions, conference call with my VC partner on why they turned to more dilution instead of venture debt for the next round of pc's financing..
(11:30am): Lunch with my kid at her school.
(12:00pm): Call friend to play a quick '9'.
(3:30pm): Back in the home office to check trades.
(4:30pm - Whenever): Figure out some fun things to do, maybe book a quick flight to Cali for beach fun this weekend.

This sounds like living the dream to me. However, I was under the impression that swing-trading was speculative. If this is not just a full-time gambling gig, then I would love details on how to get into the game. Honestly, I just want to make enough money to live a lifestyle like this (just maybe substitute the quick '9' for some time at the batting cages)

I'm a recent graduate, and don't have much knowledge or experience yet, so I apologize if this comes off ignorant or rude. That was truly not my intention.

EDIT 11/5/2012: I just finished reading "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator," and would like to formally retract my statement. Apologizes to the traders out there

"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." --Aldous Huxley

In reply to Babyj18777
11/17/12

no id do that too. cause when your vacationing with your earned money - it feels helluva lot better than being $$$ handed to me.

Babyj18777:
BTbanker:

Am I the only one that would rather sacrifice years of my life to build my own wealth than win the Power Ball?

Yes and that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

"...the art of good business, is being a good middle man, putting people togeather. It's all about honor and respect."

In reply to eac697
11/17/12
eac697:

Completely agree with the OP. Don't Chase prestige, let it find you.

@eac697 - I agree.

That said, I do want to point out the accidental irony of WSO having automatically associated the word "chase" (n.b., I did not capitalize the "c") with JPMorgan Chase.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

11/25/12

Who cares about prestige if you burn out along the way working with a- holes? What you guys don't get is that the vast majority of you BB/boutiques/PE will be gone from the industry in about 5 years time many of you will be let go, but many will be sick and tired of finance, not unlikely because you didn't work with the people who appreciate you. And just so you know, if you are any good after 10 years no one really looks at your resume because you better have a track record to stand on (fees, p and l, returns, commissions)

In reply to TripWest
11/28/12

TripWest, my apologies for just replying, busy month..

Glad to see you read "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator". My suggestion is to borrow money if you really want to increase your ROI payout.

Be humble at it while first attempting it, you will confront mistakes, so learn cautiously. In a matter of time, you will be able to substitute my 'quick 9', for those batting cages.

PM me if you ever need some trading advice.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever."

12/16/12

Great post, bankerella.

I also like how you ignored the questions of how the AM firm has fared.

5/23/13

Where is Bankerella?

Bourbon all day.

In reply to EtherBinge
5/23/13

EtherBinge:

Great post, bankerella.

I also like how you ignored the questions of how the AM firm has fared.

Yeah, ever follow up on them? (many years later)

I'm not concerned with the very poor
-Mitt Romney

5/23/13

Prestige is a funny thing and in many ways I think it is far stronger from the outside (mainly undergrads). By high prestige the majority of people on here are referring to GS, MS, Blackstone etc

What I have realized is that the real prestige actually lies in the small firms, that almost no one outside the industry has heard of who actually control the money. Family offices and SWFs in particular have bankers running around after then with their tongues out desperate to speak with them.

5/23/13

If you guys don't want your prestige and lotto winnings I'll gladly take them off your hands! haha

5/23/13

I was just in nearly the same situation. Left my FT gig at a no-name AM firm for a lateral to a BB PE firm. Lifestyle at the AM firm was awesome. 8-5, 3 weeks vacation, can leave early, come in late, etc. I'm probably not getting paid THAT much more at the PE firm I'm going to and will be working much more.

I thought about this post as I was contemplating the offer, funny that it resurfaced again.

In reply to labanker
5/23/13

labanker:

UFOinsider:
bankerella:

Fuck prestige, get money

FUCK YOU, PAY ME -> about the same?

Not even close, actually, and interesting that you thought an obviously self-evident statement required further interpretation.

To clarify things a bit here, the first statement is a proposed guideline for maximizing the utility of your career. The second statement (yours) is something often heard in mafia movies and on rap albums, and is frequently followed by the intermittent discharge of firearms.

Actually it was just Ray Liotta talking about how some schlub club owner just got into a deal with someone that he would regret one day because they'd have to torch the place for insurance money.

"Now go get your f'n shinebox!"

5/23/13

Forgoing an $80k all-in per year job (even if coupled with a tiny equity stake) at an asset management complex in the middle of nowhere hardly seems like the career blunder of a lifetime. I like the focus on making money but it's non-obvious to me that your decision was a mistake, let alone a huge one.

5/23/13

bankerella:
Folks, why IBD? The finance world is broad and varied, and there are a million ways to make a buck. Why pick the one that's going to be hardest for you in your situation?.....Why knock on the door of the one section of the industry that has built a massive recruiting machine designed to keep you out?

This x1000. It's not even the pain in the ass of "breaking in" that gets me, as much as the fact that I know it wouldn't stop there. I could absolutely see being like 5 years deep, going for an interview at a new place/ promotion/ etc, and getting the good ol' "I see you went to XYZ and did very well, why didn't you just transfer to ABC?"... or the always popular "you went to XYZ, why should we choose you over guy from ABC?". These questions are douchey and irrelevant as fuck fresh out of school, let alone years down the road... I'll pass

In reply to SkyfallFox
5/23/13

SkyfallFox:

I was just in nearly the same situation. Left my FT gig at a no-name AM firm for a lateral to a BB PE firm. Lifestyle at the AM firm was awesome. 8-5, 3 weeks vacation, can leave early, come in late, etc. I'm probably not getting paid THAT much more at the PE firm I'm going to and will be working much more.

I thought about this post as I was contemplating the offer, funny that it resurfaced again.

So why did you take the BB PE offer? To each his own but I would have stayed put judging by what you're saying...

Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

In reply to alexpasch
5/24/13

alexpasch:

SkyfallFox:

I was just in nearly the same situation. Left my FT gig at a no-name AM firm for a lateral to a BB PE firm. Lifestyle at the AM firm was awesome. 8-5, 3 weeks vacation, can leave early, come in late, etc. I'm probably not getting paid THAT much more at the PE firm I'm going to and will be working much more.
I thought about this post as I was contemplating the offer, funny that it resurfaced again.

So why did you take the BB PE offer? To each his own but I would have stayed put judging by what you're saying...

I went back and forth about it for about a week, finally I decided I was better off with the PE firm because my current commute sucked (Long Island -> Westchester) and the long term growth prospects at the PE firm are much better. Plus, coming from a non-target in 2011, along with a relatively unknown AM firm, the branding will help down the line if I decide to go somewhere else.

7/26/13

TonyPerkis:

prestige doesnt mean shit

It can. What's even the argument throughout this thread? The correct answer is "It depends."

"Mr. Perkins poses an extreme risk to the market when drunk."

1/3/14

You know... I don't think you've made a poor decision unless your income at the smaller firm would be significantly greater than your current role. I'm talking at least 25% more. What you lost in income, you've made up in "Prestige" (whatever that's worth... although rubbing in superiority is always a pleasurable feeling, so it must be worth something... then again, it's easily nullified by someone who says they earn more), and far greater exit opportunities (including MBAs or whatever). If things didn't turn out well in the smaller firm, and it goes belly up, you may have a far more difficult time finding something else vs. one day deciding to say "fuck it" to the BB and going elsewhere. The "brand image" of the prestige may be useless right now, but it could be extremely valuable down the road.

However I did want to show you something I came across (http://portal.idc.ac.il/en/main/research/caesareac...). It's research done by the University of Mannheim, where they say that CEOs of prestigious companies earn, on average, 9% LOWER than their less prestigious counterparts.

So how valuable are prestige, exit opportunities, and any other intangible I may have neglected to mention? Would you pay 9% of your income for it?

I would... but the truth is I can't sell my soul to myself...
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blackknight.asp

1/5/14

false counterfactual conditionals... easy to get caught up in them. who knows what the outcome would have been?

In reply to eac697
1/5/14

eac697:

Completely agree with the OP. Don't chase prestige, let it find you.

This and @bankerella sum the lesson for me. Good post.

1/6/14

In my so far relatively limited experience hiring, prestige has the single biggest correlation with expected market rate for the person. Ivy League graduate? Worked at brand name big company? Boom, I have to fork up at least 50% more. I don't (initially because I couldn't afford it, then because I realized I didn't need connections, so no point paying for them). I've hired Marines, dropouts, state school graduates, third world country geniuses instead, and they do great work. It's a connection economy, not a meritocratic one (outside trading and some limited pockets of IT).

This is probably magnified when you try and raise money in the Valley, which is one of the most connection-driven places in the world (didn't use to be that way).

Edit: some light reading: http://www.quora.com/Silicon-Valley/What-is-it-lik...

In reply to Frieds
8/20/15
Frieds:
bankerella:

: Fuck prestige, get money.

Damn Straight! There is eloquence in simplicity. Prestige is a fucking joke. It's some sense of keeping up with the Jones that we all want to do. Once you realize you don't need prestige, your better of. It makes it easier for you to focus on everything else that's important.

Great post. Another relevant quote could be %^#$& prestige, get a wide range of experiences. You just strengthened my resolve to try applying to boutique or middle market firms.

8/20/15

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