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Moderator Note (Andy): Best of WSO - this post originally went up April 2012 and we thought it deserved to go back on the homepage for those who may have never seen it.

Fellow monkeys, I have a confession to make:

I am a hipster who wants to be an investment banker.

As I have lurked through these very boards, I've noticed that the hipster investment banker is a mythical creature that few of you have ever seen, or even spoken of. Some have argued that a few of WSO's most active members tend toward the obscure, but to call them hipsters would be a mode of extremeness that even the most trollish members of our community might not tolerate.

I am not, however, a full-blown hipster. I enjoy early-90s hip hop, the indie music scene in general, neo-noir movies, and intellectual conversations that always run in circles and never amount to much of anything. If available, I'll always choose an independent coffee shop instead of a Starbucks, not because I am a coffee snob (I don't even drink it often), but because the atmosphere is more appealing to me. I am infinitely more attracted to hipster girls than I am to sorority girls, and I wouldn't even utter "finance girls" in the same breath. I wear jeans that fit normally, casual dress shoes (think oxfords), and a non-plaid button down routinely, so I suppose that is another point of difference.

I'm a huge social liberal, but the classic hipster and I diverge on all issues economic, for good reasons (they're just wrong in the absolute sense). I'm not an Occupier, and I'm not a supporter of what liberal economic policies have become. I am also not here to start a political debate, so I'll leave that aspect of this post here.

Are there people like me out there in the finance world? If I had to pick my crowd, I'd much rather hang around a bunch of people who drink PBR and talk about random, sometimes geeky, shit than around your prototypical "models and bottles" investment bankers. Is this social lifestyle sustainable in IB (not a trick question, I know social lives go out the window anyway), or will the other folks just ostracize me as soon as they pin me as a closet hipster?

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Comments (88)

  • bfin's picture

    In b4 IP asks you on a date.

    The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

    WSO is not your personal search function.

  • Abdel's picture

    Yes, there are people like you out there : Flake

    He's from Romania.

  • In reply to Abdel
    Nouveau Richie's picture

    I think you have an oversimplified view of what it means to be a financier and you assume a lot of things about this archetypal "finance-bro" which I really have yet to observe in such a one-dimensional fashion.

  • In reply to Abdel
    OMS's picture

    Abdel:
    Yes, there are people like you out there : Flake

    He's from Romania.

    LMFAO u beat me to Flake. first thing that popped in my mind when i read the title.

  • In reply to Nouveau Richie
    DonVon's picture

    Nouveau Richie:
    I think you have an oversimplified view of what it means to be a financier and you assume a lot of things about this archetypal "finance-bro" which I really have yet to observe in such a one-dimensional fashion.

    I would completely agree with you, and my ulterior-motive for this thread was to have someone dispute the fact that the "finance-bro" is really the dominant dude in the show.

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

    Check out my blog!

  • In reply to OMS
    Nouveau Richie's picture

    oldmansacks:
    Abdel:
    Yes, there are people like you out there : Flake

    He's from Romania.

    LMFAO u beat me to Flake. first thing that popped in my mind when i read the title.

    If you guys think Flake is a hipster, it only means you have absolutely no idea what a hipster is.

  • UncleMilty's picture

    You certainly don't sound like a hipster, frankly.

    Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if you described a good portion of the less visible IB folks, no?

    "When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
    - Oscar Wilde
    "Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
    - RagnarDanneskjold

  • Ravenous's picture

    You sound like you're in the middle of the continuum between hipster douche and frat bro douche. Congratulations, you might be about as close to normal as anyone in finance gets.

    FWIW, most financiers don't constantly talk about models and bottles, only the ones who don't get it touched.

  • EngBanker's picture

    Wanna be hipster + wanna be banker. Nothing wrong with that.

  • RufioandHook's picture

    There are plenty of traditional geeks and nerds with whom you would might identify. The kind of kids who probably stayed up late arguing about Marcel Proust or something.

    In the book The Quants, one of the big quant traders liked to play guitar in subway stations and things like that. A lot of smart people have very eclectic interests.

    In fact, I'd say that someone who is actually cool in the traditional sense (good looking, funny) and in finance is relatively rare.

    That said, divisions like "hipster" and "bro" are a lot less evident out of college. I sat next to and thus befriended people who were not at all like my friends in college.

  • heister's picture

    Flake would be a homo before a hipster.

    Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

    Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

  • wolverine19x89's picture

    I've always thought that if you call yourself a hipster, you're not really a hipster.

    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 Nouveau Richie
    Abdel's picture

    Nouveau Richie:
    oldmansacks:
    Abdel:
    Yes, there are people like you out there : Flake

    He's from Romania.

    LMFAO u beat me to Flake. first thing that popped in my mind when i read the title.

    If you guys think Flake is a hipster, it only means you have absolutely no idea what a hipster is.

    o really, u4e told me that Flake was a gypsy

  • In reply to wolverine19x89
    swagon's picture

    i saw this really, really pretty hispter girl on the train the other day. I asked myself, "swagon, why does this perfectly hot - gorgeous, honestly - girl WANT to be part of some idiotic culture? Why doesn't she turn her swag on and be a normal hot girl?" She had the most outrageous 1960's glasses you can imagine and an outrageously conspicuous weird-ass poof in the front of her hair...swagon was saddened, but also confused because swagon thought the whole point of subculture is that you don't have what it takes to succeed in the mainstream so you join a bunch of losers in a subculture? But this girl was naturally beautiful? wtf?

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  • chris_g's picture

    Jeans that fit normally?!? Then no worries, you're no hipster.

  • In reply to swagon
    Abdel's picture

    swagon:
    i saw this really, really pretty hispter girl on the train the other day. I asked myself, "swagon, why does this perfectly hot - gorgeous, honestly - girl WANT to be part of some idiotic culture? Why doesn't she turn her swag on and be a normal hot girl?" She had the most outrageous 1960's glasses you can imagine and an outrageously conspicuous weird-ass poof in the front of her hair...swagon was saddened, but also confused because swagon thought the whole point of subculture is that you don't have what it takes to succeed in the mainstream so you join a bunch of losers in a subculture? But this girl was naturally beautiful? wtf?

    ''tonyperkis: pics or it didn't happen''

  • In reply to chris_g
    swagon's picture

    chris_g:
    Jeans that fit normally?!? Then no worries, you're no hipster.

    true dat. they always wearin them baggy-ass jeans hangin below they butt wit they undawear stickin out. mayne, pull up yo pants son cause yo pants on tha ground! damn hispterz!!
  • In reply to Abdel
    swagon's picture

    Abdel:
    swagon:
    i saw this really, really pretty hispter girl on the train the other day. I asked myself, "swagon, why does this perfectly hot - gorgeous, honestly - girl WANT to be part of some idiotic culture? Why doesn't she turn her swag on and be a normal hot girl?" She had the most outrageous 1960's glasses you can imagine and an outrageously conspicuous weird-ass poof in the front of her hair...swagon was saddened, but also confused because swagon thought the whole point of subculture is that you don't have what it takes to succeed in the mainstream so you join a bunch of losers in a subculture? But this girl was naturally beautiful? wtf?

    ''tonyperkis: pics or it didn't happen''


    I don't take pics of people on the subway. But really, this girl was very, very pretty.
  • john2's picture

    I enjoy early-90s hip hop, the indie music scene in general, neo-noir movies, and intellectual conversations that always run in circles and never amount to much of anything.

    You sound like a pretentious pseudo-intellectual. I wouldn't want to work next to you for 90hrs/wk.
  • In reply to swagon
    Abdel's picture

    swagon:
    Abdel:
    swagon:
    i saw this really, really pretty hispter girl on the train the other day. I asked myself, "swagon, why does this perfectly hot - gorgeous, honestly - girl WANT to be part of some idiotic culture? Why doesn't she turn her swag on and be a normal hot girl?" She had the most outrageous 1960's glasses you can imagine and an outrageously conspicuous weird-ass poof in the front of her hair...swagon was saddened, but also confused because swagon thought the whole point of subculture is that you don't have what it takes to succeed in the mainstream so you join a bunch of losers in a subculture? But this girl was naturally beautiful? wtf?

    ''tonyperkis: pics or it didn't happen''


    I don't take pics of people on the subway. But really, this girl was very, very pretty.

    ''tonyperkis: so.....it didn't happen?''

  • In reply to john2
    DonVon's picture

    john2:
    I enjoy early-90s hip hop, the indie music scene in general, neo-noir movies, and intellectual conversations that always run in circles and never amount to much of anything.

    You sound like a pretentious pseudo-intellectual. I wouldn't want to work next to you for 90hrs/wk.

    Actually you would, I have an outrageous amount of fun at work and generally don't take myself too seriously. I guess I do like a lot of "pseudo-intellectual" stuff, and I'm not one to talk about NCAA football 24/7 (or at all basically), but I don't think I'm all that bad of a co-worker.

    <3

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

    Check out my blog!

  • In reply to john2
    Boothorbust's picture

    john2:
    I enjoy early-90s hip hop, the indie music scene in general, neo-noir movies, and intellectual conversations that always run in circles and never amount to much of anything.

    You sound like a pretentious pseudo-intellectual. I wouldn't want to work next to you for 90hrs/wk.

    This
  • Angus Macgyver's picture

    Man. I hate hipsters. One of my best friends is a hipster and I rag on him all the time about it.

    I think Wolverine's right about hipsters not calling themselves hipsters, though. Unless... you're such a hipster that you're too cool for the regular hipster crowd, so you call yourself a hipster to differentiate yourself, which makes you even more hipster, which... wait, what

  • In reply to Angus Macgyver
    swagon's picture

    Angus Macgyver:
    Man. I hate hipsters. One of my best friends is a hipster

    interesting
  • she_monkey's picture

    first reaction upon reading the subject line: lolwtfwhyareyouhereagain

  • In reply to swagon
    wallstreetballa's picture

    swagon:
    i saw this really, really pretty hispter girl on the train the other day. I asked myself, "swagon, why does this perfectly hot - gorgeous, honestly - girl WANT to be part of some idiotic culture? Why doesn't she turn her swag on and be a normal hot girl?" She had the most outrageous 1960's glasses you can imagine and an outrageously conspicuous weird-ass poof in the front of her hair...swagon was saddened, but also confused because swagon thought the whole point of subculture is that you don't have what it takes to succeed in the mainstream so you join a bunch of losers in a subculture? But this girl was naturally beautiful? wtf?

    Rollin around with Daddys Credit Card = 50% of dumbass beautiful hipster girls in the world #fact

  • In reply to wallstreetballa
    swagon's picture

    wallstreetballa:
    swagon:
    i saw this really, really pretty hispter girl on the train the other day. I asked myself, "swagon, why does this perfectly hot - gorgeous, honestly - girl WANT to be part of some idiotic culture? Why doesn't she turn her swag on and be a normal hot girl?" She had the most outrageous 1960's glasses you can imagine and an outrageously conspicuous weird-ass poof in the front of her hair...swagon was saddened, but also confused because swagon thought the whole point of subculture is that you don't have what it takes to succeed in the mainstream so you join a bunch of losers in a subculture? But this girl was naturally beautiful? wtf?

    Rollin around with Daddys Credit Card = 50% of dumbass beautiful hipster girls in the world #fact


    No doubt. But most hipster girls are not hot, am I right? As in, there's a lower proportion of hot hipster girls than in a similar female age/income bracket, right? I honestly haven't seen enough to make a definitive judgement, but that's what logic tells me. Joining the hipster crowd is a way for a fugly chick to fit in somewhere, but why would a hot chick want to make herself look retarded???
  • LA_Duc's picture

    Shave that beard. Make sure the Kings of Leon doesn't put you to sleep when you're in the office late at night... and have a suit that isn't plaid and linen. Then you may or may not be fine.

  • optimus_prime's picture

    You don't sound like a hipster; you just sound like a pretentious douche.

  • MrDiCaprio's picture

    What cut of Urban Outfitters suits do you recommend?

    "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
    -F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • ST Monkey's picture
  • In reply to ST Monkey
    wolverine19x89's picture

    ST Monkey:
    hipsters scares me

    They shouldn't, they're humongous pussies. Unless you're terrified of being looked at condescendingly, you have nothing to fear.

    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.

  • gamenumbers's picture

    If you take a job in banking, you'll still be yourself. Wearing a suit to work doesn't change your identity. Stop being so petty - your entire post is about what kinds of brands you prefer and what kind of clothes you wear. Those are meaningless factors when you are considering banking as a career. Your definition of investment bankers seems to be quite shallow.

    There is one hipster on my floor and he's not over the top. But super skinny pants and dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up above his elbows. He works in IT.

    Also a question: You said you are a hawk in the workplace. How do you know this given you haven't likely ever had a white collar job before? Or are you just making shit up?

  • SaucyBacon85's picture

    A very presumptuous post.

    Contrary to what CNN has told you about the banker archetype, it is a career full of different people.

    My first supervisor was a brainy Welsh MILF by the name of Molly. Molly was gregarious & fun-loving. Life of the party & overall great gal. But Molly could never be found outside office hours. Molly had a terrible secret you see....Warhammer 40k!

    And there's Jeff Simpson and his 13 dogs.
    Kuvani Gupta, the hippy, and her endless collection of B&W arty movies & painting hobby.
    David Chang and his vitamin-popping yoga/health fetish.
    [all not real names but close enough....God I hope you guys arent on WSO]

    __________

  • In reply to SaucyBacon85
    swagon's picture

    SaucyBacon85:
    A very presumptuous post.

    Contrary to what CNN has told you about the banker archetype, it is a career full of different people.

    My first supervisor was a brainy Welsh MILF by the name of Molly. Molly was gregarious & fun-loving. Life of the party & overall great gal. But Molly could never be found outside office hours. Molly had a terrible secret you see....Warhammer 40k!

    And there's Jeff Simpson and his 13 dogs.
    Kuvani Gupta, the hippy, and her endless collection of B&W arty movies & painting hobby.
    David Chang and his vitamin-popping yoga/health fetish.
    [all not real names but close enough....God I hope you guys arent on WSO]


    yeah we r both on WSO reading ur post rite now. i am Kuvani, my real name as u know is Kuvanya, and Molly is Mandy...we just read ur post. u r n trouble, sux 4 u
  • technoviking's picture

    i remember seeing a UK recruiting video for one of th BB's a few years ago. One of their star employees had a "Flock of Seagulls" haircut.. let that be inspiration enough

  • Anacott_CEO's picture

    Seeing as hipsters don't believe in personal hygiene, I'm not sure anyone would want to hang with you in the workplace.

  • In reply to gamenumbers
    DonVon's picture

    gamenumbers:
    Also a question: You said you are a hawk in the workplace. How do you know this given you haven't likely ever had a white collar job before? Or are you just making shit up?

    I've been out of school for quite a while and have held a white collar job, just not in finance.

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

    Check out my blog!

  • In reply to swagon
    SaucyBacon85's picture

    swagon:
    SaucyBacon85:
    A very presumptuous post.

    Contrary to what CNN has told you about the banker archetype, it is a career full of different people.

    My first supervisor was a brainy Welsh MILF by the name of Molly. Molly was gregarious & fun-loving. Life of the party & overall great gal. But Molly could never be found outside office hours. Molly had a terrible secret you see....Warhammer 40k!

    And there's Jeff Simpson and his 13 dogs.
    Kuvani Gupta, the hippy, and her endless collection of B&W arty movies & painting hobby.
    David Chang and his vitamin-popping yoga/health fetish.
    [all not real names but close enough....God I hope you guys arent on WSO]


    yeah we r both on WSO reading ur post rite now. i am Kuvani, my real name as u know is Kuvanya, and Molly is Mandy...we just read ur post. u r n trouble, sux 4 u

    Ex-employer but jeez dude...you almost got one of the names correct & had me going for a second there.

    __________

  • In reply to she_monkey
    UFOinsider's picture

    she_monkey:
    first reaction upon reading the subject line: lolwtfwhyareyouhereagain

    ^^^

    Thread fail XD

    Get busy living

  • anaismalcolm's picture

    You aren't really hipster, but I can see compared to frat lax-bro's you would be. I am also not really "hipster," but stereotypical sorostitutes might label me as such. I think you would be surprised at how many share our sensibilities...basically we are the in-between of being complete hipster douches (looking like homeless people) and the models-and-bottles assholes.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TOHhLYTUps

  • In reply to anaismalcolm
    DonVon's picture

    anaismalcolm:
    You aren't really hipster, but I can see compared to frat lax-bro's you would be. I am also not really "hipster," but stereotypical sorostitutes might label me as such. I think you would be surprised at how many share our sensibilities...basically we are the in-between of being complete hipster douches (looking like homeless people) and the models-and-bottles assholes.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TOHhLYTUps[/quote]

    Haha great video, and I think you and I are pretty much on the same page in a lot of ways.

    For the record, I wasn't operating under the assumption that everyone in banking is a lax-bro, it's partly funny to think about whether or not it's true, and partly funny because it's mostly untrue. Most of my friends at BBs are just driven people who want to get somewhere in life, and don't really belong to one sub-culture or another.

    But I'll thicken the plot a little bit: I'm located in the Southeast (not NYC, where I imagine the scene is a lot more diverse). This might be a game-changer.

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

    Check out my blog!

  • Human's picture

    "I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

  • shorttheworld's picture

    warhammer 40k ftw

    but on the real if ur a hipster we wont be seen together @ fuqua. ill disacknowledge your existence even more so than the typical MBA does to the MMS there :|

  • DonVon's picture

    Short, I'm not a tried and true hipster man! I wouldn't be caught dead in vintage Levi's, Tom's shoes, with unkempt hair.

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

    Check out my blog!

  • In reply to DonVon
    bfin's picture

    Vontropnats:
    Short, I'm not a tried and true hipster man! I wouldn't be caught dead in vintage Levi's, Tom's shoes, with unkempt hair.

    Tom's are some of the most comfortable shoes known to man...granted I only wear the boots but still don't bash Tom's just cause you like your indie rock and hole in the wall coffee shops..

    The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

    WSO is not your personal search function.

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