11/4/12

I get this a lot from my brother (Geneticist turned Doctor) and many of my "smart" friends (actuaries, physicists, surgeons, biotech engineers, programmers and mining engineers)

"Finance is NOT complex, all you need to know is:
NPV/IRR; High Risk -> High return; Buy low, Sell high"

"All the other stuff you'll learn as you do - Petro-chemical engineering, becoming president, human stem-cell organ replication, ancient hieroglyphics, particle physics, understanding madarin and arabic, genetic algorithms, bettering Shakespeare, and signal processing with Kalman filters, giving birth is complex; not this finance stuff."

"I can easily replace you at the bank"

Please provide me with some good ammunition for retort!

Comments (120)

Best Response
4/4/12

pro football is easy

just catch the ball and run it into the endzone

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4/4/12

tell them to find an investment banking job

4/4/12

That's an idea!

My engineer mates keep saying that the number of engineers that seamlessly change industry to finance compared to the number of finance guys that change to engineering is a clear sign of where the difficulty and facility lies

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

Your brother and "smart" friends are correct in terms of the intellectual horsepower that's required to do the "grunt" job. Unless you're a quant, financial math is not terribly difficult (especially today with computers and Excel).

MM IB -> Corporate Development

4/4/12

The focus is dealmaking, not academia. Tell them you do theoretical math for fun. Who cares

Get busy living

4/4/12

Tell them go buy a Wall Street Journal. What does it say on top? "Wall Street, bitches!" Just kidding.

If someone ever ask you that again, just tell them straight in the face, "Do I give a fuck about what you think? No! Just look at the smirk on my face. Look, how happy I am."

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

In reply to CaliforniaAssociate
4/4/12

in order to

PanAfricanBanker:

easily replace you at the bank

you have to

CaliforniaAnalyst:

find an investment banking job

good luck!

4/4/12

I mean....they're right you know. lol

4/4/12

Ask him what his last paycheck was.

4/4/12

what's your point OP? They are right.

4/4/12

I'd wager most people at most of those jobs could beat a rain making MD on an IQ test. I'd also wager that those same people are much more likely to be socially retarded, or perhaps even lame as fuck.

4/4/12

The theory may be easy but the application can be quite hard eg valuing an oil company.
Requires more then just solid math or academics. Banking is an art and a science which is what makes it difficult.

In reply to swagon
4/4/12
swagon:

or perhaps even lame as fuck.

u mean lame at fucking?

4/4/12

Maybe you could stop being a little girl and letting it bother you to the point where you have to post a thread about it? Just a thought.

In reply to hopesanddreams
4/4/12
hopesanddreams:

The theory may be easy but the application can be quite hard eg valuing an oil company.
Requires more then just solid math or academics. Banking is an art and a science which is what makes it difficult.

yeah if u were to actually invest yourself, which bankers dont do.

In reply to swagon
4/4/12
swagon:

I'd wager most people at most of those jobs could beat a rain making MD on an IQ test. I'd also wager that those same people are much more likely to be socially retarded, or perhaps even lame as fuck.

whilst bankers who piss away their entire life fixing footnotes in pitchbooks are the coolest dudes on the planet, right.

4/4/12

Finance is really not complex because it is a natural human experience to buy sell and trade so I think they are right. Any complexity in the field is a result of intentional manipulation to make it so.

In short they are right, but did you really take up finance so that you would be regarded as the guy with the occupation that required the highest IQ?

4/4/12

in terms of intellectual difficulty they are probably right but i-banking requires more than just intellect, which is why it is difficult to get into. Being "smart" is always enough.

"It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous. "

In reply to UFOinsider
4/4/12
UFOinsider:

The focus is dealmaking, not academia. Tell them you do theoretical math for fun. Who cares

To build on that...deal making is the name of the game, the more i see the senior guys work the more i learn from their thinking...it's not easy to get a deal done with 5 different constituents.

On a junior level, valuation is not rocket science, but for it to be useful it has to be extremely analytical in nature. Several scenarios must be considered, assumptions must be strong.

With so much information around us sometimes you wonder where to start...so synthesizing and analyzing lots of dry and convoluted information is not everyone's cup of tea.

Do what you want not what you can!

4/4/12

The grass is always greener on the other side. Science is easy, all you have to do is memorize.

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

In reply to melvvvar
4/4/12
melvvvar:

pro football is easy

just catch the ball and run it into the endzone

Somebody give this man a Silver banana!

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

This is a sales job. Anyone who tells you otherwise does not understand the core of the business

4/4/12

I have a lot of respect for people in scientific fields. You shouldn't care what they think, though. If you enjoy what you do, then that's all that matters. You won't last long if you don't enjoy it, and same goes for them.

4/4/12

I'd argue the average IBer is just as smart as the average engineer (or smarter).

You'd be hard pressed to convince me that the average English major coming out of Dartmouth is less intelligent than the average engineer coming out of UC Irvine.

Of course, the average MS Engineer is a completely different class.

In reply to leveredarb
4/4/12
leveredarb:
swagon:

I'd wager most people at most of those jobs could beat a rain making MD on an IQ test. I'd also wager that those same people are much more likely to be socially retarded, or perhaps even lame as fuck.

whilst bankers who piss away their entire life fixing footnotes in pitchbooks are the coolest dudes on the planet, right.

puttin wordz in my mouf brah

4/4/12

Indeed astronomical brainpower is likely to be a surplus requirement in finance.

However, social aptitude and fortune that favours the bold are minimum requirements.

Perhaps more importantly, to many fellow monkeys, earning large sums of money is also a minimum requirement.

This may violate Herzberg's theory of Motivation but hey works for me.

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

I am only seeking some ego-resizing retorts for my amusement,

I am under no a illusions that my occupation is laden with inherent conceptually complexity.

However, I do benefit from leading others to believe that there is, in fact, significant complexity to justify my remuneration, if only to resize my ego upwards.

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

Banking has PRESTIGE!!!

OP's friends need to watch the LSO video

4/4/12
PanAfricanBanker:

Please provide me with some good ammunition for retort!

The reason you're having such a tough time coming up with "some good ammunition for retort" is because there isn't any. Compared to the jobs that your smart friends have, banking is a joke (in terms of intellectual difficulty). If you can't admit to that, then your either 1. blinded by your excessive emotional attachment to banking, or 2. stupid.

4/4/12

Being a doctor/surgeon is definitely not much more intellectually challenging than investment banking.

As for your engineer friend, why argue with them? Just laugh it off and show appreciation for how hard his job is, he'll like you more.

4/4/12

The type of intelligence it takes to be a successful investor is way different than the kind you need to be a programmer. You can't even come close to comparing the two. Investing involves a great deal of social intelligence, game theory, attention to detail, pattern recognition, common sense, etc. In most cases it also involves putting your money where your mouth is (i.e. having a BSD), something you'd never see a programmer or a physicist or anyone else have to do on a regular basis. The smartest money managers in the world right now are very intelligent people, but most of what's made them remarkably successful is simply being able to adhere to logic and common sense, and to question everything around them. The type of thinking they have on their investment decisions is rarely something IQ-related. My point is it's just a completely different kind of thought process.

After your astrophysicist friends develop a groundbreaking new theory or something, tell them to go try and monetize it and maybe then they'll begin to understand there are different types of intelligence out there, not all as scientific as theirs.

But if we're limiting it to just investment banking - yeah, you're replaceable as fuck at the analyst level.

I hate victims who respect their executioners

4/4/12

Tell him that in his line of work, he doesn't draw the blind hatred of millions of people just by virtue of his job title. The fact that the majority of Americans hate investment bankers despite having a minimal idea of what they actually do should tell your brother loads about the kind of shit you put up with on the public relations front. I mean, there are actually people who would draw and quarter you without never having met you! Unless your brother is an abortion doctor, he does not have to deal with this level of vitriol on a daily basis from both the media as well as the mob.

4/4/12

tell them you have to have at least a 7 inch penis to do banking. That will rule out 95% of STEM people.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

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

4/4/12

^ Yourself included?

In reply to Beachbum89
4/4/12
Beachbum89:

Ask him what his last paycheck was.

This. Then ask him why he does harder work for less pay.

The WSO Advantage - Investment Banking

Financial Modeling Training

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IB Interview Prep Pack

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4/4/12

I must say wall street people are creative!

Much respect to the nominees for silver bananas:

  • CaliforniaAnalyst
  • melvvvar
  • swagon
  • leveredarb
  • bossman
  • BlackHat
  • Beachbum89

Any votes one who should get the banana?

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

Gotta add Connor to the list of nominees!

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

I'm an engineer reasonably fresh out of Uni, looking to move into the 'financial realm. I won't call myself an Aerospace Engineer or Theoretical Physicist but I have degrees in both, so I'm going to cautiously pass judgement in this instance.

First and foremost, I think something being easy/hard, simple/complex is a relative thing. Personally, I find differential calculus many times more simple than market analysis say. Your peers suggesting what you do being easy is a moot point unless they've walked a mile in your shoes. I would tend to remind them of this and leave it at that.

If you choose to engage, which I suggest you to refrain from with an Engineer (even if you're right, they'll never concede that is the case), you have to look at both fields from an objective standpoint and see one's job as a series of inputs and outputs. For a mathematician, there's one input and one output, for applied scientists there are more, but they're to some extend predictable, for financiers... forget it. For any one move there is infinite outcomes and it takes EQ (emotional quotient) in conjunction with IQ (and long hours) to work through these scenarios.

But I'm only 23, so what would I know.

The number of day traders on the Forbes Rich List is...zero

In reply to Adventure_Capitalist
4/4/12
lloydmof:

For a mathematician, there's one input and one output, for applied scientists there are more, but they're to some extend predictable, for financiers... forget it. For any one move there is infinite outcomes and it takes EQ (emotional quotient) in conjunction with IQ (and long hours) to work through these scenarios.

Wise words chap!

As for your venture into finance, how easy is it so far?
Do these fellows have a point?

swagon:

in order to

PanAfricanBanker:

easily replace me at the bank

you have to

CaliforniaAnalyst:

find an investment banking job

good luck!

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

Banking is not difficult because of the skill set required but because of the tenacity and the endurance required to pull off the job.

In reply to Dr. Strangelove
4/4/12
Dr. Strangelove:

Banking is not difficult because of the skill set required but because of the tenacity and the endurance required to pull off the job.

The folks working 16 hr shifts 7 days a week on Chinese assembly lines could say the same thing about their job too.

In reply to Amphipathic
4/4/12
Amphipathic:
Dr. Strangelove:

Banking is not difficult because of the skill set required but because of the tenacity and the endurance required to pull off the job.

The folks working 16 hr shifts 7 days a week on Chinese assembly lines could say the same thing about their job too.

Indeed, they can and rightly so

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/4/12

So it's already been said but for IB, you're friends are obviously right, it's not as intellectually complex (though it does require more social, sales, and EQ skills).

You're trying to show them up though, so just tell them that your job is to provide you're clients with optimized financial solutions. This often means analyzing valuations based on tried and true practices, like DCF, Comparable Company Analysis, and Precedant transaction Analysis. Tell them also though that the true movers and shakers in the industry are people who provide improved financial services. The stakes are high in this field, so it makes it very competitive. The private Equity field and LBOs became a big deal when people were able to rigorously prove that there was an optimum level of debt for companies to have, and than they looked at data to see where that level of debt is. To be a player like that in the industry, you have to be smarter than anybody else. No other field is as competitive as finance, because no other field has as high a demand for any useful innovations.

4/4/12

Despite a few rare circumstances such as a research oncologist for example, the only difference is that the doctors and engineers spent a lot more time studying in school and memorizing facts about biology -- once they go through their residency, the specialize in one area that has nothing to do with more than 90% they learned about in their education.

Where as an orthopedic surgeon makes a lot more money than a construction worker, they are practically doing the same job, just one can't afford to mess up the first time around.

High risk = high reward = high paycheck.

The key is being the best at what you do, and always striving to become better. If you're always trying to improve, nobody will give you shit for not being a part of a "complex enough" occupation.

In the war against you and the other qualified candidates out there, the best arsenal is to prove that you have outdone yourself.

In reply to Amphipathic
4/4/12
Amphipathic:
Dr. Strangelove:

Banking is not difficult because of the skill set required but because of the tenacity and the endurance required to pull off the job.

The folks working 16 hr shifts 7 days a week on Chinese assembly lines could say the same thing about their job too.

But that kind of menial labor would lead to death. Literally. Even Foxconn workers work only around 60~70 hours/week. Physical labor takes a far greater toll on the body than does an office job. 16*7 = 112 hrs a week would, without a doubt, lead to death in a matter of few months. If you didn't mean those numbers literally, my bad.

But yea, I do think that the other mentioned jobs are more difficult because of the sheer intellectual horsepower required for those jobs. But that doesn't necessarily mean banking is "easy."

In reply to VarmintCong
4/4/12
VarmintCong:

Despite a few rare circumstances such as a research oncologist for example, the only difference is that the doctors and engineers spent a lot more time studying in school and memorizing facts about biology -- once they go through their residency, the specialize in one area that has nothing to do with more than 90% they learned about in their education.

Where as an orthopedic surgeon makes a lot more money than a construction worker, they are practically doing the same job, just one can't afford to mess up the first time around.

High risk = high reward = high paycheck.

The key is being the best at what you do, and always striving to become better. If you're always trying to improve, nobody will give you shit for not being a part of a "complex enough" occupation.

I don't know anything about engineers, but medical doctors just memorize a shit-ton of information and protocols, and then have to spit it back out while working long hours (hell, the last thing I want my doctor to do is get creative...). The exception is those practicing MDs at hospitals that also do research in their own labs.

In reply to Dr. Strangelove
4/4/12
Dr. Strangelove:
Amphipathic:
Dr. Strangelove:

Banking is not difficult because of the skill set required but because of the tenacity and the endurance required to pull off the job.

The folks working 16 hr shifts 7 days a week on Chinese assembly lines could say the same thing about their job too.

But that kind of menial labor would lead to death. Literally. Even Foxconn workers work only around 60~70 hours/week. Physical labor takes a far greater toll on the body than does an office job. 16*7 = 112 hrs a week would, without a doubt, lead to death in a matter of few months. If you didn't mean those numbers literally, my bad.

But yea, I do think that the other mentioned jobs are more difficult because of the sheer intellectual horsepower required for those jobs. But that doesn't necessarily mean banking is "easy."

I just started reading the book "factory girls," its about female Chinese migrant workers, pretty interesting, written by former WSJ correspondent (that's why the thought came to mind). But from what I read so far, the most discussed in the book is 13hr days 7days a week, so its my bad.

4/4/12

throw reit or mlp 10-k and say you need a model in 5 hours with multiple upside case projections, GO, AND there cannot be a single error

guarantee you they fuck it up. When they do make them feel stupid and say how you thought they would have been smart enough to intuit what to do

4/4/12

Engineers are modern slaves. Why do you think they all want to jump in finance?

4/4/12

This thread is stupid.
The "technical part" in banking is really easy, unless you are a Quant-type trader or Quant analyst.

It doesn't mean that "banking" as a whole is easy.

4/4/12

Saying other people are ugly doesn't make them prettier

In reply to PanAfricanBanker
4/4/12
PanAfricanBanker:
lloydmof:

For a mathematician, there's one input and one output, for applied scientists there are more, but they're to some extend predictable, for financiers... forget it. For any one move there is infinite outcomes and it takes EQ (emotional quotient) in conjunction with IQ (and long hours) to work through these scenarios.

Wise words chap!

As for your venture into finance, how easy is it so far?
Do these fellows have a point?

swagon:

in order to

PanAfricanBanker:

easily replace me at the bank

you have to

CaliforniaAnalyst:

find an investment banking job

good luck!

Yes and no. It's a highly competitive industry to break into (seemingly consistent around the world) but there is almost no other profession with online support like financial services. I suppose it's no surprise that resources are so available in an industry with cash flying around like this one. So hats off to those who take the time to put these sorts of resources together. From an outsiders trying to break in, there is an odd imbalance between what you are on paper (ie. need to get in) vs how valuable you are to a firm (presumably how you would stay in). Someone from a technical and operational background would tend to have far more of the latter than the former. Either way, here's to hoping it's just a matter of time, hard work and diligence.

The number of day traders on the Forbes Rich List is...zero

4/5/12

Excuse me if this has been posted already:

Ask them to work 3 months without a day off and pull all-nighters not knowing whether you'll have to pull two more in a row before you can catch more than 4+ hrs of sleep.

AND THEN

To do everything perfect so you don't get ripped a new one.

4/5/12

It's true.

IB is easy.
All you need is to have s slaes-man mentality.
Let us not exaggerate how hard it is.
Once you are in IB you are for the ride.
It's doing monotonous crap over and over again.

Waiting for Zealots and fanatics coming out of the woodwork to talk about how long hours etc., will kill you. Well duh, doing repetitive crap and for many many long hours and kissing ass is the primary function of bankers. It's as old as PROSTITUTION.

Please let us not attach some aura of holiness to our profession.

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

In reply to Gate_Crasher
4/5/12
Gate_Crasher:

It's true.

IB is easy.
All you need is to have s slaes-man mentality.
Let us not exaggerate how hard it is.
Once you are in IB you are for the ride.
It's doing monotonous crap over and over again.

Waiting for Zealots and fanatics coming out of the woodwork to talk about how long hours etc., will kill you. Well duh, doing repetitive crap and for many many long hours and kissing ass is the primary function of bankers. It's as old as PROSTITUTION.

Please let us not attach some aura of holiness to our profession.

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

You're planning to do an Engineering degree?!?!?!

Admittedly, it would be more meaningful and possibly mentally stimulating.

Good on ya for seeking for more mentally engaging material.

What type of engineering are you keen on?

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/5/12

They are right...
The work is easy,, The hours are hard! :)

You can teach an engineer to do finance, but you can't teach a financier how to do engineering!

In reply to swagon
4/5/12
swagon:

I'd wager most people at most of those jobs could beat a rain making MD on an IQ test. I'd also wager that those same people are much more likely to be socially retarded, or perhaps even lame as fuck.

Even though I love this website...what most people fail to understand is that most analysts being hired are socially retarded nerds as well. That's the point of the position. They don;t need to hire "talented" future rainmakers who are gonna kill it right away and change the world with his/her idea and pitch skills. There only needs to be 1 black scorpion in each group, and then support. Sorry, most ivy league 3.5 students in finance are "socially retarded" nerds.

4/5/12

Who cares how 'hard' someone's work is? Last time I checked if you both show up to the workplace... both get paid... the only real factor to measure success will be demonstrated in your bank account. Next issue please.

In reply to losttraveler
4/5/12
losttraveler:

Who cares how 'hard' someone's work is? Last time I checked if you both show up to the workplace... both get paid... the only real factor to measure success will be demonstrated in your bank account. Next issue please.

This is good ammo.

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/5/12
sxh6321:

P.S. When these guys (actuaries, physicists, surgeons, biotech engineers, programmers and mining engineers) don't get funding for what they want to do, burn it in their memory that it is us Wall Street guys who fuck them over. Look who is the BSD now, bitches.

Really bro?

4/5/12

I am trying to think of what is the best way to defend my choice in picking Finance? Then I realize that whatever point I come up with people are going to find ways to disapprove of it. In the end of the day, we all need to channel our frame of reference internally, rather than externally: stop caring/asking people opinions and focus on what you want for yourself.

And stop the craps about morality and contributing to the society argument. If that's what everyone wants, go work for non-profit and NGOs or even places like UN, IMF. Even people there will tell you that nothing is what it seems. Corruption runs everywhere even in those institutions and you are not really saving the world there either. A few years ago, a friend of mine sent me this quote:

"Don't try and make yourself useful in the world. Look at the natural order of things. What is the use of a tree? It has many uses, but it isn't TRYING to be useful. It's just doing what it wants and in the process of doing that it does its job in the natural order of things. The only way you are ever going to do an ounce of good in the world is to do what you want.

Look around you at the people who try hard to be useful. Are they really doing good things for people? Or, do they make everyone around them miserable with their self-righteousness and incessant busy-bodying? Everyone hates them for being insincere and treating others with inferiority.

The people who really do others some good are those who do what they like and don't care if they are being useful. These people are usually interesting and fun to be around. They inspire other people to figure out what it is that they want to do by example, thus causing more people to be interested in life and interesting to be around. These people have the most profoundly positive impact on us and thus make our lives richer in the most meaningful way."

~ based on an article from http://users.aristotle.net/~diogenes

If money is what you love, go for it. If you like to be a big swinging dick, go for it. Since childhood, we are taught not to be self-centered or selfish. But that's the wrong approach. You need to be aware of and be proactively thinks about your wellbeing in life. That's called being mature and being a man. Being a man means thinking proactively, what I need to be doing today to get to where I want to go tomorrow. And if you desire to save the world then, that should come from the deepest part of you where you want to give "freely" and "unconditionally". It shouldn't be because "I don't feel good about myself or my job, that's why I am donating xyz dollars, or doing community services". You cannot be truly giving selflessly when you expect a kick out of your charity.

I believe in Finance and in Investment Banking. My goal is not to become a MD at Goldman Sachs. Being in banking has helped me see the world in a different perspective. I begin to understand how everything is interconnected:

Top to bottom approach: top 1% with power > geopolitical strategy > global policy making > global economic impacts > global macro-trends > regional impacts > national issues > industry level > sector related > individual company > your job. On what level are you looking at the world? Time to rethink?

I realize that I need to understand the world better in order to provide myself financially. You are not going to have that exact same experience in any other career. Everything in the world revolves around controlling resources and two most important factors: finance and politics determine how resources should be allocated and controlled. Being on Wall Street has given me the front role seat in witnessing how inner workings of banks have reshaped politics and the entire business landscape. I am not interested in being an excel Monkey or working on pitch book.

What I learned from banking is to really understand what makes the world go around? Why people buy certain things the way they do? How politic impacts finance and what can you do to make money? For example, there is a country deep in poverty. People need jobs. From a finance perspective, how do we bring jobs? Who would want to invest in this country? What is the political situation of this country? How do you power broker among various stakeholders: politicians, foreign investors and local businesses to achieve what you want, perhaps running your own company? How do you talk to investors? How do you raise funds?

Perhaps I am side tracking a lot. But what I am trying to tell OP is that this is why I want to do banking and finance. This is my reason and my conviction. You need to spend time finding yours. And to me, that's what matter the most.

I don't really care if being a rock star is the hottest shit or being doctor is fucking awesome. To me, I really don't give a fuck. Because what I consider important to me is the most important thing. I have decided to take a stand for myself in term of career and this is what I am going for it without regrets, without looking back, without criticism and naysayers around me.

P.S. When these guys (actuaries, physicists, surgeons, biotech engineers, programmers and mining engineers) don't get funding for what they want to do, burn it in their memory that it is us, the Wall Street guys (those make it to the MD levels) who fuck them over. Look who is the BSD now, bitches.

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

In reply to PetEng
4/5/12
PetEng:
sxh6321:

P.S. When these guys (actuaries, physicists, surgeons, biotech engineers, programmers and mining engineers) don't get funding for what they want to do, burn it in their memory that it is us Wall Street guys who fuck them over. Look who is the BSD now, bitches.

Really bro?

rofl ws dominates the world? lmao

In reply to BlackHat
4/5/12
BlackHat:

The type of intelligence it takes to be a successful investor is way different than the kind you need to be a programmer. You can't even come close to comparing the two. Investing involves a great deal of social intelligence, game theory, attention to detail, pattern recognition, common sense, etc. In most cases it also involves putting your money where your mouth is (i.e. having a BSD), something you'd never see a programmer or a physicist or anyone else have to do on a regular basis. The smartest money managers in the world right now are very intelligent people, but most of what's made them remarkably successful is simply being able to adhere to logic and common sense, and to question everything around them. The type of thinking they have on their investment decisions is rarely something IQ-related. My point is it's just a completely different kind of thought process.

+1
"smart" can mean so many different things, it 's not fairly measurable. Is Warren Buffet smart? Sure. But does he suck at physics? Likely.

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman

4/5/12

Best response would be that yes it is easier, but it pays better. So while you sit on a tight budget crunching multi variable calculus in your head, I'll be retired at 45 with a house in the Hamptons.

In reply to Abdel
4/5/12
Abdel:

Engineers are modern slaves. Why do you think they all want to jump in finance?

What you mean to say is that 99.5% of the population are modern slaves.

But really, being a slave in 2012 is probably the most ideal time to be a slave. Has there ever been a better time to be a 50th percentile human being?

In reply to Gate_Crasher
4/5/12
Gate_Crasher:

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

English? Practical? Seriously?

Edit: Might wanna work on your English before you do any further 'planing' for that English degree...

I hate victims who respect their executioners

In reply to BlackHat
4/5/12
BlackHat:
Gate_Crasher:

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

English? Practical? Seriously?

Edit: Might wanna work on your English before you do any further 'planing' for that English degree...

Quoted for posterity.

In reply to pitbul13
4/5/12
pitbul13:

They are right...
The work is easy,, The hours are hard! :)

You can teach an engineer to do finance, but you can't teach a financier how to do engineering!

this is key, its something that annoys me about students of pseudo intellectual disciplines (most of the liberal arts except for philosophy). A mathematician could study English literature, an English lit major could not study mathematics

In reply to PetEng
4/5/12
PetEng:
BlackHat:
Gate_Crasher:

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

English? Practical? Seriously?

Edit: Might wanna work on your English before you do any further 'planing' for that English degree...

Quoted for posterity.

In reply to Abdel
4/5/12
Abdel:

Engineers are modern slaves. Why do you think they all want to jump in finance?

And analysts who live to turn books at 2am are the cream of high society.

Yes, the individual tasks in banking are easy. There are just a lot of them.

Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

4/5/12

Being a biotech engineer or an actuary doesn't require a high IQ. You study your ass off to pass exams and do well in classes. They learn facts and formulas, which is inherently different from IQ.

Speaking with an archaelogists who know all sorts of random facts about shit no one cares about doesn't make him "smarter" than your average joe banker.

In reply to BlackHat
4/5/12
BlackHat:
Gate_Crasher:

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

English? Practical? Seriously?

Edit: Might wanna work on your English before you do any further 'planing' for that English degree...

He may have meant Engineering when he said "Eng"

But hey, If English rocks your boat, by all means follow your bliss.

I do often feel like an English major when I edit pitch books repeatedly
Albeit an overpaid one

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/5/12

Severe misunderstanding of what engineering/technological development entails if you think it is all facts formulas and theories. All you have to do is look around at any object in your immediate vicinity, in the world at large or anything that permits the comfort of lifestyle we live and try to fathom the thousands and thousands of hours it took to develop. Even the simplest products have been engineered and refined through countless iterations. Now imagine trying to develop a 14 nano meter transistor or a commercial airplane made out of carbon fiber. There is no formula or theory to find the cure to terminal illnesses or develop a platform like Facebook or Amazon.

4/5/12

This is nonsense. First, the framing is ludicrous. The idea that the totality of the discipline called "finance" is easy, simply represents the unsophisticated understanding of what exactly finance entails. They may be inclined, for whatever reason, to focus on the lower-tiers of investment banks, but that is an incredibly small portion of finance- in fact, it's much closer to advertising or client services, than the actual practice of finance. Much of finance doesn't involve pitching ideas to clients, but rather the assessment of the value of assets and whether or not to buy. This is an extraordinarily difficult task evidenced by the relatively small number of people who can do it profitably on a consistent basis. I suppose David Einhorn, George Soros, or Paul Tudor Jones are just average-Joes who got lucky. Are you friends saying, for example, that understanding and subsequently profiting from the interaction of interest rates of India and China and determining whether they may or may not affect the profitability of a South African mining firm with substantial holdings in Namibia is trivial?

A Wall Street axiom- "Buy low, sell high" seems easy enough conceptually. Why is it that the vast majority of people, including those whose profession is finance, don't get fantastically wealthy using this basic formula? Sure, entry-level analysts and maybe some mid-tier management are easier jobs with relatively high pay. But making millions and not being in front of a camera or playing a sport is nearly always an intellectually taxing activity. Blanket dismissive statements these days are all the rage- simplifying entire concepts to one pithy comment may be amusing, but is no substitute for critical evaluation.

The answer may simply be that they don't know enough about finance to comment on its difficulty- just as I don't know enough to comment about Bose-Einstein condensates.

Bene qui latuit, bene vixit- Ovid

4/5/12

Practiced at their highest levels- both engineering and finance are intellectually taxing. The engineering and technological marvels we experience everyday must be conjured by creative, technical minds- and funded by visionary financiers. That is why many of the best financiers have deeply philosophical minds, strong grasp of history, and an uncanny ability to anticipate how three or more variables will interact, though they have never before witnessed it-- sounds similar to another discipline...

Bene qui latuit, bene vixit- Ovid

4/5/12

^manus manum lavat

In reply to rls
4/5/12
rls:

This is nonsense. First, the framing is ludicrous. The idea that the totality of the discipline called "finance" is easy, simply represents the unsophisticated understanding of what exactly finance entails. They may be inclined, for whatever reason, to focus on the lower-tiers of investment banks, but that is an incredibly small portion of finance- in fact, it's much closer to advertising or client services, than the actual practice of finance. Much of finance doesn't involve pitching ideas to clients, but rather the assessment of the value of assets and whether or not to buy. This is an extraordinarily difficult task evidenced by the relatively small number of people who can do it profitably on a consistent basis. I suppose David Einhorn, George Soros, or Paul Tudor Jones are just average-Joes who got lucky. Are you friends saying, for example, that understanding and subsequently profiting from the interaction of interest rates of India and China and determining whether they may or may not affect the profitability of a South African mining firm with substantial holdings in Namibia is trivial?

A Wall Street axiom- "Buy low, sell high" seems easy enough conceptually. Why is it that the vast majority of people, including those whose profession is finance, don't get fantastically wealthy using this basic formula? Sure, entry-level analysts and maybe some mid-tier management are easier jobs with relatively high pay. But making millions and not being in front of a camera or playing a sport is nearly always an intellectually taxing activity. Blanket dismissive statements these days are all the rage- simplifying entire concepts to one pithy comment may be amusing, but is no substitute for critical evaluation.

The answer may simply be that they don't know enough about finance to comment on its difficulty- just as I don't know enough to comment about Bose-Einstein condensates.

should have taken a class with Lieb or Haldane. they'll tell you all about BECs.

In reply to BlackHat
4/5/12
BlackHat:
Gate_Crasher:

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

English? Practical? Seriously?

Edit: Might wanna work on your English before you do any further 'planing' for that English degree...

Dear Lord.

Eng. means Engineering.

You may wanna learn to up your comprehension skills before quipping.

In reply to rls
4/5/12
rls:

This is nonsense. First, the framing is ludicrous. The idea that the totality of the discipline called "finance" is easy, simply represents the unsophisticated understanding of what exactly finance entails. They may be inclined, for whatever reason, to focus on the lower-tiers of investment banks, but that is an incredibly small portion of finance- in fact, it's much closer to advertising or client services, than the actual practice of finance. Much of finance doesn't involve pitching ideas to clients, but rather the assessment of the value of assets and whether or not to buy. This is an extraordinarily difficult task evidenced by the relatively small number of people who can do it profitably on a consistent basis. I suppose David Einhorn, George Soros, or Paul Tudor Jones are just average-Joes who got lucky. Are you friends saying, for example, that understanding and subsequently profiting from the interaction of interest rates of India and China and determining whether they may or may not affect the profitability of a South African mining firm with substantial holdings in Namibia is trivial?

A Wall Street axiom- "Buy low, sell high" seems easy enough conceptually. Why is it that the vast majority of people, including those whose profession is finance, don't get fantastically wealthy using this basic formula? Sure, entry-level analysts and maybe some mid-tier management are easier jobs with relatively high pay. But making millions and not being in front of a camera or playing a sport is nearly always an intellectually taxing activity. Blanket dismissive statements these days are all the rage- simplifying entire concepts to one pithy comment may be amusing, but is no substitute for critical evaluation.

The answer may simply be that they don't know enough about finance to comment on its difficulty- just as I don't know enough to comment about Bose-Einstein condensates.

This is what I was looking for!

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

In reply to adapt or die
4/5/12
adapt or die:

^manus manum lavat

Indeed, the great value of investment banking and perhaps most financial services is:
via the allocation of capital (in a relatively optimal fashion) other (generally primary) industries grow

Similarly, if Anglo-American and Exxon-Mobil grow resource operations, those that provide them with financial services grow in tandem.

Thus, for high-growth industries to exist we need great ideas (from engineers, doctors, programmers, etc.) and investors who understand the potential and know how to realise it (Bankers, Institutional investors, etc.)

So with some brevity:
manus manum lavat

For the linguistically impaired:
"manus manum lavat" is latin for "one hand washes the other"

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/5/12

truth

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
J. Paul Getty

4/5/12
PanAfricanBanker:

I get this a lot from my brother (Geneticist turned Doctor) and many of my "smart" friends (actuaries, physicists, surgeons, biotech engineers, programmers and mining engineers)

"Finance is NOT complex, all you need to know is:
NPV/IRR; High Risk -> High return; Buy low, Sell high"

"All the other stuff you'll learn as you do - Petro-chemical engineering, becoming president, human stem-cell organ replication, ancient hieroglyphics, particle physics, understanding madarin and arabic, genetic algorithms, bettering Shakespeare, and signal processing with Kalman filters, giving birth is complex; not this finance stuff."

"I can easily replace you at the bank"

Please provide me with some good ammunition for retort!

Maybe your friends have a point...

As Jack Welch himself said, "People always overestimate how complex business is. This isn't rocket science -- we've chosen one of the world's most simple professions."

Now, just because something is not as complicated as physics, engineering, etc. doesn't make it any less valuable, fulfilling, etc. And, to be honest, all those "hard" disciplines are not as complicated as many people like to believe.

4/5/12

Do you guys really have such small penises to actually care???

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

In reply to WalMartShopper
4/5/12
WalMartShopper:

Do you guys really have such small penises to actually care???

Just because you have a small penis, doesn't mean we all do. If you don't have better things to say, fuck off.

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

In reply to WalMartShopper
4/5/12
WalMartShopper:

Do you guys really have such small penises to actually care???

Just because you have a small penis, doesn't mean we all do. If you don't have better things to say, fuck off.

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

4/5/12

Finance isn't complex. Doesn't make it easy. Ask them what their annual returns are.

In reply to BlackHat
4/5/12
BlackHat:

The type of intelligence it takes to be a successful investor is way different than the kind you need to be a programmer. You can't even come close to comparing the two. Investing involves a great deal of social intelligence, game theory, ATTENTION TO DETAIL, PATTERN RECOGNITION, common sense, etc. In most cases it also involves putting your money where your mouth is (i.e. having a BSD), something you'd never see a programmer or a physicist or anyone else have to do on a regular basis .

ok cock, tell this to bill gates and let me know what his response is. BSD (sitting in your cubicle til 2am writing shitty excel macros because your boss told you to) right there...

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

In reply to Kenny Powers
4/6/12
BlackHat:

In most cases it also involves putting your money where your mouth is (i.e. having a BSD), something you'd never see a programmer or a physicist or anyone else have to do on a regular basis .

The irony, of course, is that many programmers and physicists have quit their jobs to start their own company...

4/6/12

Only semi-related, but Emanuel Derman makes a comment in this podcast about finance being more difficult than physics: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/03/derman_on...

4/6/12

investing is difficult, investment banking (M&A that is) itself is a joke.

In reply to Gate_Crasher
4/6/12
Gate_Crasher:
BlackHat:
Gate_Crasher:

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

English? Practical? Seriously?

Edit: Might wanna work on your English before you do any further 'planing' for that English degree...

Dear Lord.

Eng. means Engineering.

You may wanna learn to up your comprehension skills before quipping.

You may still want to brush up on your spelling.

And "Eng." means English to everyone apart from Engineers.

"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

4/6/12

I agree with the guy above who talked about having to build an accurate model of an MLP / REIT or any other complex business with multiple scenarios and without fucking it up in 5 hours.

Would love to see your engineer friends try that. As a skillset, it's true that just learning the basic skills of IBD is pretty easy and not too technically challenging. People add value in this business because knowing when and how to apply your skillset is actually incredibly difficult.

It's hard for engineers to grasp this concept because there are no real gray areas in science -- particular equations and formulas are either relevant or they aren't. It's one of the reasons you often find that science profs who never expanded to become entrepreneurs etc tend to be some of the most boring and intellectually narrow people in the world - when you're used to everything fitting perfectly into your little box, you start to believe everything will always fit into a little box. And then they cry when all the business people they tell their brilliant ideas of how to improve businesses they know nothing about (but can 'theorize' about) act condescending and tell them to go fuck themselves.

4/6/12

Investment Banking has always been a field were no matter how good you are sometimes the market can still hurt you.
This has been evidenced in the recent 40k (annualised) GS bonuses

Fortunately for some Medical/IT/engineering folk they may not be so heavily hit by the market.

Unless, of course they work for General Motors.

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

In reply to leveredarb
4/6/12
leveredarb:

investing is difficult, investment banking (M&A that is) itself is a joke.

This. IBD is an easy job from an intellect standpoint. It's tough in other areas.

In reply to Gate_Crasher
4/6/12
Gate_Crasher:
BlackHat:
Gate_Crasher:

I am planing to do an Eng. degree just to learn something practical and mentally simulating rather than rote and speculative in nature.

English? Practical? Seriously?

Edit: Might wanna work on your English before you do any further 'planing' for that English degree...

Dear Lord.

Eng. means Engineering.

You may wanna learn to up your comprehension skills before quipping.

Hey dumbass, 'planning' is the correct spelling. Dumbass.

4/6/12

promise their girlfriends all the riches in the world, bang them, drop them, tell your friends that you slept with their significant others.

either that or when they say that "investment banking is easy", retort with something that proves high intellectual achievement e.g. "your mom is easy"

Rich enough to have your own jet. ... A player. Or nothing

4/6/12

I think you should just challenge them to a game of trivia. Winner takes all...

4/7/12

look it's one thing to say that it requires more intellectual grunt and a complete other thing to say that they are more successful, more respected or engage in more interesting work. As much as people go on about how we don't add value to the economy, that is absolute horsesh** and they need to do economics 101 all over again. The world simply would not function like it does without capital to get ideas off the ground. Like anything in life, it is just as hard as YOU make it. finance quants are top notch math wizzes. Even though Black-Scholes momentum theory was taken from engineering haha

4/7/12

The labour requirement is certainly a great point.

Unless they're doctors and of course may programmers/Traders actually do more work in their nine to seven jobs than many investment bankers to in a 9AM-11:59PM job.

However, this might be quite amusing:

addicted2STARBUCKS:

promise their girlfriends all the riches in the world, bang them, drop them, tell your friends that you slept with their significant others.

either that or when they say that "investment banking is easy", retort with something that proves high intellectual achievement e.g. "your mom is easy"

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/7/12

My GF is a former scientist who got her degree from an Ivy and worked in medical research; she is now finishing an MBA and doing a PE internship. She tells me that it is not nearly as difficult, but that what she has problems with mostly is talking a lot - she gets A's on all her tests, but so much of the grade is based on participation. She can do all the work, but participation grades are always given to people who make mindless comments, which dont focus on learning anything new, where as she gets everything and doesnt feel the need to make similarly base questions/comments.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

- Schopenhauer

In reply to seabird
4/7/12

From what I've heard about entry level IBD, its just mudane work on a massive scale (>80 hours a week) as opposed to a physicist/engineer who may work on more stimulating stuff for a 40 hour workweek.

It may be easy in terms of intellectual difficulty, but getting the job takes resillience and intelligence, and working that many hours a week would surely take physical and mental strength.

seabird:

She can do all the work, but participation grades are always given to people who make mindless comments, which dont focus on learning anything new, where as she gets everything and doesnt feel the need to make similarly base questions/comments.

Im starting college in the US this fall and I've been told that in order to get those participation marks, you almost have to interrupt the teacher to get noticed? While I havent had the fortune of experiencing first hand yet, and although it ensures people pay attention, it seems like a bad system.

Damn you Rodger!

My WSO Blog

4/7/12

I will never understand why people give a shit when someone tries making the argument that THEIR profession is harder/better/cooler/whatever than someone elses job. Who cares.

Just blow these clowns off or tell them to shut up. Oh, while you are at it, tell them that mining coal is hard work, you just do easy work and get PAID. The size of your paycheck is all that matters, the rest is just noise.

4/7/12

One's definitely more mentally engaging, while the other is more physically strenuous (you work 90+ hours a week, which takes a toll on your health). I wouldn't even bother arguing, because they're right. My finance courses are a joke to me compared to computer science

4/7/12

of course finance people cant go become doctors, computer prgrammers, or engineers...these are skills that require training. I also cant show up an auto body shop and get a job as a mechanic or find work repairing HVAC units. Who cares?

If you are looking for the profession that requires you to be the smartest then Wall St is not for you...one of the good things about this business is that you can be very successful with only hard work and scrappiness (and a bit of luck).

4/7/12

there are some positions on the buyside that actually require smarts that far exceed what you need to be even an above average doctor or engineer. think jim simons and his boys.

In reply to TNA
4/8/12
TNA:

I will never understand why people give a shit when someone tries making the argument that THEIR profession is harder/better/cooler/whatever than someone elses job. Who cares.

Just blow these clowns off or tell them to shut up. Oh, while you are at it, tell them that mining coal is hard work, you just do easy work and get PAID. The size of your paycheck is all that matters, the rest is just noise.

That's the spirit

- Ostende Mihi Pecuniam -

4/8/12

This is pathetic. Whether you are an investment banker, a plastic surgeon, a particle physicist, the bum who smells like rotting cheese on the subway, or one of those auxiliary cops who aren't even allowed to carry guns, in the end you are very dead. Your intelligence plays no role in such affairs. If you surround yourself with people who disagree, find new friends because your current ones suck.

And just to make it clear I think investment banking is a horribly boring job at the analyst level which most of you are at in your careers, but nothing pissed me off more in college than hearing biology majors talk about how they were God's gift to humanity because they wanted to be physicians. I get annoyed just typing about it. However, nothing was so refreshing as seeing the same assholes crash and burn on their MCATs. My guess is the OP is surrounded by people I just described.

In reply to JDimon
4/8/12

JDimon:
So it's already been said but for IB, you're friends are obviously right, it's not as intellectually complex (though it does require more social, sales, and EQ skills).

You're trying to show them up though, so just tell them that your job is to provide you're clients with optimized financial solutions. This often means analyzing valuations based on tried and true practices, like DCF, Comparable Company Analysis, and Precedant transaction Analysis. Tell them also though that the true movers and shakers in the industry are people who provide improved financial services. The stakes are high in this field, so it makes it very competitive. The private Equity field and LBOs became a big deal when people were able to rigorously prove that there was an optimum level of debt for companies to have, and than they looked at data to see where that level of debt is. To be a player like that in the industry, you have to be smarter than anybody else. No other field is as competitive as finance, because no other field has as high a demand for any useful innovations.


More is good, all is better

In reply to VarmintCong
4/8/12
VarmintCong:

Despite a few rare circumstances such as a research oncologist for example, the only difference is that the doctors and engineers spent a lot more time studying in school and memorizing facts about biology -- once they go through their residency, the specialize in one area that has nothing to do with more than 90% they learned about in their education.

Where as an orthopedic surgeon makes a lot more money than a construction worker, they are practically doing the same job, just one can't afford to mess up the first time around.

High risk = high reward = high paycheck.

The key is being the best at what you do, and always striving to become better. If you're always trying to improve, nobody will give you shit for not being a part of a "complex enough" occupation.

spoken like a true idiot.
the "complexity" comes from designing solutions.
Construction workers and IB analysts do not design solutions. They follow a preset template to carry out orders.
Orthopedic surgeons (and research scientists) create the templates (n their respective fields), but orthopedic surgeons also tend to be the ones to carry them out, whereas in IB/trading the template creator gets monkeys to plug in the numbers.

More is good, all is better

In reply to Bernankey
4/9/12
Bernankey:

Being a biotech engineer or an actuary doesn't require a high IQ. You study your ass off to pass exams and do well in classes. They learn facts and formulas, which is inherently different from IQ.

Speaking with an archaelogists who know all sorts of random facts about shit no one cares about doesn't make him "smarter" than your average joe banker.

this has got to be the stupidest shit i've read on this site, even beats the previously quoted guy.

you sound like a receptionist bitching about how "stupid" her boss is lol

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
4/9/12
Argonaut:
Bernankey:

Being a biotech engineer or an actuary doesn't require a high IQ. You study your ass off to pass exams and do well in classes. They learn facts and formulas, which is inherently different from IQ.

Speaking with an archaelogists who know all sorts of random facts about shit no one cares about doesn't make him "smarter" than your average joe banker.

this has got to be the stupidest shit i've read on this site, even beats the previously quoted guy.

you sound like a receptionist bitching about how "stupid" her boss is lol

I bet he thinks nuclear physicists just "learn facts and formulas" too

4/9/12

I wonder where these "facts and formulas" come from that scientists and engineers have to learn. Did they come from Jesus?

In reply to melvvvar
4/9/12
melvvvar:

I wonder where these "facts and formulas" come from that scientists and engineers have to learn. Did they come from Jesus?

Newton. Close enough

Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

4/10/12

You can't compare all those examples your brother and your "smart" friends gave to finance, or in this case IBD, because they are completely different areas of study and intellectual capacity.

4/11/12

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4/11/12

__________

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