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I saw this article "Careers That Hollywood Over-Hypes" on Yahoo earlier today and wanted to know how my fellow Monkeys felt about the description of being and investment banker.

Quote:
Over-Hyped Career #1: Investment Banker

Remember Gordon Gekko from "Wall Street" and his "Greed is good" mantra? Well, it certainly was for Wall Street giant Gekko, who wheels around in limos, watches South Hampton sunrises, buys and sells precious art pieces like trading cards, and makes more money in a day than most of us see in a lifetime.

Back to Reality: First, we should note that Gekko does end up in jail. So there's that. And according to the U.S. Department of Labor, most investment bankers enjoy less South Hampton sunrises than long days in the office, since according to the U.S. Department of Labor, they work long hours.

The Department of Labor also says these people travel extensively, especially to other countries. All that for an average annual salary, according to the Department of Labor, of $72,060 - slightly less than Mr. Gekko.

But if we haven't scared you away yet, here's what you'll need to do to start prepping for this type of work. Aside from needing a bachelor's degree, per the Department, investment bankers must also pass a series of exams to obtain a license with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Comments (51)

  • CountryUnderdog's picture

    I feel like the author of this article is trying to make his/herself feel better. Like really? Don't be a lawyer, that sucks -- you should be the lawyer's paralegal. Waste of time.

    "They are all former investment bankers that were laid off in the economic collapse that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have no marketable skills, but by God they work hard."

  • MFFL's picture

    And for the #5 on the list - what the hell is the difference between a Broker and a Personal Financial Advisor

    "Well that's even more than less than unhelpful." - Jack Sparrow

  • kyleyboy's picture

    They fail to take into account the fact that many of the people that go into investment banking are not looking to make a career out of IB specifically and are looking to use the experience to leverage into other opportunities. The other opportunities on the list are generally jobs you remain in for a long period of time. However the job description is mostly accurate im sure

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

    Don't know where they are getting those salary numbers from. 70k is base at almost every bank. Maybe they are looking at all series 7 license holders, which would include a ton of brokerage / PWM guys?

    The average starting lawyer salary is ~$76k, I believe. But 160k is the standard starting salary in BigLaw. How is that possible? Skewed (actually bimodal) salary distributions. Those average salary statistics are almost meaningless.

  • MFFL's picture

    I don't think this was meant to take a jab at IBD. The person pretty much just listed a number of prestigious careers and listed an alternative.

    Wouldn't have been surprised to see Doctor as overhyped and Physicians Assistant as underhyped. Same idea

    "Well that's even more than less than unhelpful." - Jack Sparrow

  • In reply to West Coast rainmaker
    kidflash's picture

    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Don't know where they are getting those salary numbers from. 70k is base at almost every bank. Maybe they are looking at all series 7 license holders, which would include a ton of brokerage / PWM guys?

    The average starting lawyer salary is ~$76k, I believe. But 160k is the standard starting salary in BigLaw. How is that possible? Skewed (actually bimodal) salary distributions. Those average salary statistics are almost meaningless.

    Lol I'm a stats major, and in my first stats class my freshman year, the first thing my professor said was the quote:'there's lies, damn lies, and statistics.'

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.

  • In reply to West Coast rainmaker
    rufiolove's picture

    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.

    Boiler Room was brokers... penny stock hawkers really...

  • In reply to rufiolove
    West Coast rainmaker's picture

    rufiolove wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.

    Boiler Room was brokers... penny stock hawkers really...

    Ah, my mistake. I somehow mixed up the title with a different movie. I shall repent by going to the Yahoo Finance board of an American Exchange-listed 20m market cap stock, and create a thread asking why it's a buy. Might as well make life easy for them.

  • SilvioBerlusconi's picture

    The number one hyped-by-hollywood career isn't i-banking; I can hardly think of any movies where i-bankers are (actually) portrayed.

    The most hyped career by hollywood is, by far, any police/detective work position. Much respect to our civil servants, but this portrayal of cops and detectives as 24-hour badasses kicking down doors and solving crimes by looking at shreds of clothing under a magnifying glass is total BS. The Wire got pretty close to showing how it really is by mentioning the bureaucracy and paperwork they have to deal with, but there still was a lot of unrealistic showboating.

    "Yes. Money has been a little bit tight lately, but at the end of my life, when I'm sitting on my yacht, am I gonna be thinking about how much money I have? No. I'm gonna be thinking about how many friends I have and my children and my comedy albums."

  • In reply to JohnBrohan
    SilvioBerlusconi's picture

    .

    "Yes. Money has been a little bit tight lately, but at the end of my life, when I'm sitting on my yacht, am I gonna be thinking about how much money I have? No. I'm gonna be thinking about how many friends I have and my children and my comedy albums."

  • In reply to West Coast rainmaker
    BTbanker's picture

    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

  • In reply to BTbanker
    West Coast rainmaker's picture

    BTbanker wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

    Wasn't Kevin Spacey also a trader?

  • lasampdoria's picture

    Read this "article" today. Pretty funny

    "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

  • In reply to West Coast rainmaker
    EtherBinge's picture

    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    BTbanker wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

    Wasn't Kevin Spacey also a trader?

    Kevin Spacey was MD/Head of Trading. It didn't seem like he did much besides raise morale for the traders.

    If Spacey was MD/Head of Trading, I wonder what Simon Baker's role was.

  • In reply to EtherBinge
    BTbanker's picture

    EtherBinge wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    BTbanker wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

    Wasn't Kevin Spacey also a trader?

    Kevin Spacey was MD/Head of Trading. It didn't seem like he did much besides raise morale for the traders.

    If Spacey was MD/Head of Trading, I wonder what Simon Baker's role was.


    He and the chick were c-level execs. Chief risk officers or something.

  • In reply to EtherBinge
    Stryfe's picture

    EtherBinge wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    BTbanker wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

    Wasn't Kevin Spacey also a trader?

    Kevin Spacey was MD/Head of Trading. It didn't seem like he did much besides raise morale for the traders.

    If Spacey was MD/Head of Trading, I wonder what Simon Baker's role was.

    Cool snip from wikipedia

    Quote:
    Kevin Spacey as Sam Rogers, Head of Sales and Trading.
    Paul Bettany as Will Emerson, Head of Trading.
    Jeremy Irons as John Tuld, CEO and Chairman of the Board.
    Zachary Quinto as Peter Sullivan, Senior Risk Analyst.
    Penn Badgley as Seth Bregman, Junior Risk Analyst.
    Simon Baker as Jared Cohen, Head of Capital Markets.
    Stanley Tucci as Eric Dale, Former Head of Risk Management.
    Demi Moore as Sarah Robertson, Chief Risk Management Officer.

    What would Zachary Quinton's character been promoted to? Associate? If he's a Senior Analyst it would make sense for him to be in line for promotion to associate anyway (since he transfered over and had a PHD I didn't get the impression he was just doing a 2 year stint)? Maybe a senior associate role of some sort?

    Sorry to de-rail the topic, but as long as we're talking about it.

  • In reply to Stryfe
    EtherBinge's picture

    StryfeDSP wrote:
    What would Zachary Quinton's character been promoted to? Associate? If he's a Senior Analyst it would make sense for him to be in line for promotion to associate anyway (since he transfered over and had a PHD I didn't get the impression he was just doing a 2 year stint)? Maybe a senior associate role of some sort?

    Definitely Associate. Considering how he pretty much saved the firm (and with Eric Dale gone), maybe even VP to get him to stay.

  • MFFL's picture

    What did Jason Bateman do in Horrible Bosses?

    "Well that's even more than less than unhelpful." - Jack Sparrow

  • In reply to MFFL
    Bobb's picture

    StryfeDSP wrote:
    EtherBinge wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    BTbanker wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

    Wasn't Kevin Spacey also a trader?

    Kevin Spacey was MD/Head of Trading. It didn't seem like he did much besides raise morale for the traders.

    If Spacey was MD/Head of Trading, I wonder what Simon Baker's role was.

    Cool snip from wikipedia

    Quote:
    Kevin Spacey as Sam Rogers, Head of Sales and Trading.
    Paul Bettany as Will Emerson, Head of Trading.
    Jeremy Irons as John Tuld, CEO and Chairman of the Board.
    Zachary Quinto as Peter Sullivan, Senior Risk Analyst.
    Penn Badgley as Seth Bregman, Junior Risk Analyst.
    Simon Baker as Jared Cohen, Head of Capital Markets.
    Stanley Tucci as Eric Dale, Former Head of Risk Management.
    Demi Moore as Sarah Robertson, Chief Risk Management Officer.

    What would Zachary Quinton's character been promoted to? Associate? If he's a Senior Analyst it would make sense for him to be in line for promotion to associate anyway (since he transfered over and had a PHD I didn't get the impression he was just doing a 2 year stint)? Maybe a senior associate role of some sort?

    Sorry to de-rail the topic, but as long as we're talking about it.

    I thought he was already an associate (based on age and degree) figured next stop would be VP atleast

    MFFL wrote:
    What did Jason Bateman do in Horrible Bosses?

    "Sales" Not sure if they ever specified

  • In reply to MFFL
    yeahright's picture

    MFFL wrote:
    What did Jason Bateman do in Horrible Bosses?

    He was also an M&A lawyer in that bodyswap movie with Ryan Reynolds.

    edit: title = change-up

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • Oreos's picture

    Oh no! You have to pass exams to be an investment banker, arrrggg, the horror.... make it stop!!!

    .

  • In reply to Bobb
    ozymandias's picture

    Re: Jason Bateman in Horrible Bosses

    Thought he worked at a PE firm. Or maybe that was that terrible Paul Rudd / Steve Carell movie...

    "It doesn't matter where you are or where you came from: it's about where you're going."

  • In reply to EtherBinge
    APAE's picture

    EtherBinge wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    BTbanker wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

    Wasn't Kevin Spacey also a trader?

    Kevin Spacey was MD/Head of Trading. It didn't seem like he did much besides raise morale for the traders.

    If Spacey was MD/Head of Trading, I wonder what Simon Baker's role was.

    Kevin Spacey played a product head (in charge of all trading). Simon Baker played Head of Capital Markets, division head. Paul Bettany was a senior trader on the desk. Zachary Quinto was in risk management.

    Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

    Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

  • OkComputer's picture

    The guy in Dinner for Schmucks was in PE, right?

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." --Abraham Lincoln

  • In reply to Bobb
    Stryfe's picture

    Bobb wrote:
    StryfeDSP wrote:
    EtherBinge wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    BTbanker wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Actually, I don't think I have ever seen an actual M&A banker in a movie outside of American Psycho. So how is it "hyped" at all?

    Gekko was some sort of corporate raider, and Bud Fox was a broker. I don't like talking about Wall Street 2, but Le Boeuf was a HF guy there. Boiler Room was trading. Arbitrage was a hedge fund. Trading Spaces was commodities trading. Margin Call was (mostly) trading.

    Oh, I forgot this was Hollywood. Anyone who works in finance is a "banker", including your financial advisor at MSSB.


    La Boeuf was a prop trader, and the guys in Margin call were Risk Management. Paul Bettany was the only trader in that movie.

    Wasn't Kevin Spacey also a trader?

    Kevin Spacey was MD/Head of Trading. It didn't seem like he did much besides raise morale for the traders.

    If Spacey was MD/Head of Trading, I wonder what Simon Baker's role was.

    Cool snip from wikipedia

    Quote:
    Kevin Spacey as Sam Rogers, Head of Sales and Trading.
    Paul Bettany as Will Emerson, Head of Trading.
    Jeremy Irons as John Tuld, CEO and Chairman of the Board.
    Zachary Quinto as Peter Sullivan, Senior Risk Analyst.
    Penn Badgley as Seth Bregman, Junior Risk Analyst.
    Simon Baker as Jared Cohen, Head of Capital Markets.
    Stanley Tucci as Eric Dale, Former Head of Risk Management.
    Demi Moore as Sarah Robertson, Chief Risk Management Officer.

    What would Zachary Quinton's character been promoted to? Associate? If he's a Senior Analyst it would make sense for him to be in line for promotion to associate anyway (since he transfered over and had a PHD I didn't get the impression he was just doing a 2 year stint)? Maybe a senior associate role of some sort?

    Sorry to de-rail the topic, but as long as we're talking about it.

    I thought he was already an associate (based on age and degree) figured next stop would be VP atleast

    That's what I thought too since I'm 95% sure they refer to them as associates at one point. Maybe in this fictional world the positions are a bit different, Penn Badgley stated that he made a little under $250k, and unless I'm incorrect that seems a bit much for a junior analyst?

  • flonkkertiin's picture

    Yeah Dinner for Schmucks was PE "focusing in distressed assets" as Paul Rudd says. But to be honest its kinda murky because it seemed like they wanted to get into asset management for the big European guy. So they must have been some sort of firm that did both? Or maybe they wanted access to the European guy's cash so they had more capital to work with? Not really sure.

  • SilvioBerlusconi's picture

    "Yes. Money has been a little bit tight lately, but at the end of my life, when I'm sitting on my yacht, am I gonna be thinking about how much money I have? No. I'm gonna be thinking about how many friends I have and my children and my comedy albums."

  • In reply to rufiolove
    Tony Snark's picture

    Matrick wrote:
    [in reply to Tony Snark"]

    Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

    BatMasterson wrote:
    [in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

    Sensible advice.

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