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Monkeys,

As year 1 closes in, I've begun struggling with what I suppose is some sort of quarter life crisis. For many of us in banking, life to this point has been a constant series of "successes"--do well in high school, go to a top college, break into a top group on Wall Street--with the next target being a coveted buyside gig.

Lately though, I've begun to seriously question what the point of it all is--sure we get paid a lot of money, but not enough to become independently wealthy anytime soon--we're still wage slaves busting our ass primarily for the benefit of some other dude's wallet. And on top of that, the work is more often degrading than it is challenging or engaging--which I'm reminded of every time I fill out a working group list or change the font size in a presentation. Even the more enjoyable parts of the job such as modeling are only so interesting once you've done them a dozen times.

Is the buyside really the promised land or just more of the same? I'm rapidly losing my interest in going into PE as all my friends a year or two ahead agree it is basically Banking 2.0. Are hedge funds really any better or will I just be a professional footnote reader making slightly more money for slightly less work?

And what's the cost of this relentless devotion to the rat race? We've all made pretty significant sacrifices to get where we are in life... soon I'll be 23 and I wonder how much of life I'm missing, 22 was spent behind a computer monitor becoming intimately familiar with powerpoint and excel. Is that really the wisest way to spend what is left of my youth?

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Comments (129)

  • heister's picture

    why dont you spice your life up by fucking some chicks?

    Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

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

  • Guest1655's picture

    Anal is the new black!

  • leveRAGE.'s picture

    its a pretty simple decision

    do you want to set yourself up for later in life by making 100k+ out of college

    or do you want to live in the moment and make 30k out of college and "not let life pass you by"

    (or you could go into trading and then get 100k+weekends...)

    id rather spend 3-4 years setting myself up for the rest of my life, personally. although i also took the trading route, mostly so i could still have some semblance of a life...

  • ctw930's picture

    From what I understand in trading you can make a lot more money, its a lot more interesting, and you actually have a life. Ever consider switching?

    oh and may I suggest getting laid cause that just helps with everything.

  • Ricqles's picture

    same thoughts here, have been wondering about what the heck i am doing wasting my youth behind excel and powerpoint (working out some DD list as we speak). If you work hard (60 hrs a week), you will still get 300k by the time you are in late 20s and early 30s.

    What happens after two years of banking, two years of PE, two year of Harvard? What are you going to do afterwards? Senior associate spots are scarce to come by and most people don't get the spots.

    If you end up going to corporate or start your own thing, why not do it now? the difference between 4 years of banking/pe and someone who works through his own firm/ go into the "easy" route after 1 to 2 years of banking is that two years of PE money (which is say..600k pre tax and 300k post-tax compared to someone who makes 100k post tax?).

    Of course, if you are genuinely interested in PE, then by all means go for it, but I truly believe most analysts don't find the idea of processing DD request and drafting up memos interesting

  • jimbrowngoU's picture

    Grass is always greener my man. Totally understand your thoughts here, I went through the same struggle (and, quite frankly, go through it daily). If you've tolerated it this long, you can handle it for another year. Summer analysts will make life a LITTLE better, and the new wave of first years will mean you're no longer the bitch. Life will improve (how much depends on the group), and it will get a little more tolerable. As to the answer of "buyside," if this is your thought process you need to drop the notion that there is only one way to go. If you end up at a place where you are a financial engineer (read: Excel slave), you're right: life will suck. But if you broaden your horizons and don't just think, "I want to go to the best place, ON PAPER, possible," you might have some luck. I think you need to think about it as the best place for you. What do you enjoy about your job? What do you hate? You need to try to apply this to your next job choice. If you fucking love modeling and could do it 24/7, go to a large buyout fund -- you'll do plenty of that. If you like hopping on the phone and chatting with clients all day, or sales interests you, go to a growth equity shop where sourcing is a component of the associates job. Hate banking but like the idea of business strategy (let's face it -- there's no strategy in banking -- it's just "let's get this deal done")? Go industry. Hate everything about banking and finance? Leave the industry all together.

    Thing is, lots of doors open from doing the two year stint, and it's not just in finance. Take a step back, think about what interests you (and you'll likely realize it's not the megafunds where lots of your friends go because it's the "next step"), and pursue.

  • In reply to Ricqles
    firefighter's picture

    Ricqles wrote:
    same thoughts here, have been wondering about what the heck i am doing wasting my youth behind excel and powerpoint (working out some DD list as we speak). If you work hard (60 hrs a week), you will still get 300k by the time you are in late 20s and early 30s.

    What happens after two years of banking, two years of PE, two year of Harvard? What are you going to do afterwards? Senior associate spots are scarce to come by and most people don't get the spots.

    If you end up going to corporate or start your own thing, why not do it now? the difference between 4 years of banking/pe and someone who works through his own firm/ go into the "easy" route after 1 to 2 years of banking is that two years of PE money (which is say..600k pre tax and 300k post-tax compared to someone who makes 100k post tax?).

    Of course, if you are genuinely interested in PE, then by all means go for it, but I truly believe most analysts don't find the idea of processing DD request and drafting up memos interesting

    I think there's some security in the IB/PE path: if you took a normal job after college and got an MBA, your dream job after is doing banking or consulting. If you did 2 years at a top bank and 2 years at a top PE firm, that "dream job" of being an associate at goldman or morgan is suddenly your backup.

  • jimbrowngoU's picture

    firefighter: agreed, sort of. I think there's security in doing two years of IB, two years of PE if you really think you might be interested, because if you do it and love it, you're good to go. If you do it and hate it, it's a lot easier to go to MBA and hop into corporate development/pick-your-poison than it is to do corporate development, not love it and want to do IB/PE.

  • HerSerendipity's picture

    Ah, quarter-life crisis. I went through a serious bout last year (which seems to be ongoing). Unfortunately, I think this is what getting older / becoming an adult is all about. Glad other people feel the same way!

  • UFOinsider's picture

    Well for what it's worth, I look back at the age of 23 and wish it had been spent on the success track. I have found that it's exceedingly easy to become derailed and damn near impossible to break back in. I am not old yet, but I am not young anymore and I can offer this: bust your ass while your young so that you can relax a bit as you age. The grass is always greener, so unless you find something you want to do MORE than finance AND you are good at it just stick with it: you'll thank yourself when you get older.....and by older I mean 30 / 35.

    That and seriously, go out and get laid.

    Get busy living

  • alexpasch's picture

    I plan to fuck a 19 year old blonde tomorrow after work...say 6pm? I'm doing karaoke with friends on Wednesday, have another social gathering on Thursday, and have a date with a different girl on Friday (even hotter than tomorrow's). This is a typical week (btw I still work 60+ hrs a week, sometimes more, but I can mold my work around my social schedule, and that's the key).

    I couldn't go back to PE (nevermind banking, which I've never done) if you held a gun to my head...(and btw, I'm not making as much as in PE doing what I do now...at least...not yet; I def will at some point lol)

    I went through the same thing when I was your age...stuck at work thinking..."this isn't success, I don't care what anyone says, this path sucks". I had this picture in my head of what I wanted my life to be. I wanted to be my own boss, make shit happen, eat what I kill, and retire in my 30s. I decided that I would have that life, or die trying.

    Most people have zero balls when it comes to their careers. Well, I got news for you, life is what YOU make it.

    You're obviously not happy. Quit your job, take a couple months to discover what it is you truly want to do, and do it. I can't guarantee you'll make more money or be as "successful". But...I CAN guarantee you that, if you don't listen to my advice, many years from now, when you're dying in your bed, you'd give it all back for just one chance to follow your dreams, whatever they may be.

    Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

  • In reply to firefighter
    Ricqles's picture

    firefighter wrote:
    Ricqles wrote:
    same thoughts here, have been wondering about what the heck i am doing wasting my youth behind excel and powerpoint (working out some DD list as we speak). If you work hard (60 hrs a week), you will still get 300k by the time you are in late 20s and early 30s.

    What happens after two years of banking, two years of PE, two year of Harvard? What are you going to do afterwards? Senior associate spots are scarce to come by and most people don't get the spots.

    If you end up going to corporate or start your own thing, why not do it now? the difference between 4 years of banking/pe and someone who works through his own firm/ go into the "easy" route after 1 to 2 years of banking is that two years of PE money (which is say..600k pre tax and 300k post-tax compared to someone who makes 100k post tax?).

    Of course, if you are genuinely interested in PE, then by all means go for it, but I truly believe most analysts don't find the idea of processing DD request and drafting up memos interesting

    I think there's some security in the IB/PE path: if you took a normal job after college and got an MBA, your dream job after is doing banking or consulting. If you did 2 years at a top bank and 2 years at a top PE firm, that "dream job" of being an associate at goldman or morgan is suddenly your backup.

    you want to do banking as your backup? man you are a machine...

  • In reply to alexpasch
    Ricqles's picture

    alexpasch wrote:
    I plan to fuck a 19 year old blonde tomorrow after work...say 6pm? I'm doing karaoke with friends on Wednesday, have another social gathering on Thursday, and have a date with a different girl on Friday (even hotter than tomorrow's). This is a typical week (btw I still work 60+ hrs a week, sometimes more, but I can mold my work around my social schedule, and that's the key).

    I couldn't go back to PE (nevermind banking, which I've never done) if you held a gun to my head...(and btw, I'm not making as much as in PE doing what I do now...at least...not yet; I def will at some point lol)

    I went through the same thing when I was your age...stuck at work thinking..."this isn't success, I don't care what anyone says, this path sucks". I had this picture in my head of what I wanted my life to be. I wanted to be my own boss, make shit happen, eat what I kill, and retire in my 30s. I decided that I would have that life, or die trying.

    Most people have zero balls when it comes to their careers. Well, I got news for you, life is what YOU make it.

    You're obviously not happy. Quit your job, take a couple months to discover what it is you truly want to do, and do it. I can't guarantee you'll make more money or be as "successful". But...I CAN guarantee you that, if you don't listen to my advice, many years from now, when you're dying in your bed, you'd give it all back for just one chance to follow your dreams, whatever they may be.

    I think you just inspired me to quit my job

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  • awm55's picture

    I'll say this one more time, S&T for the win.

  • HireUp212's picture

    Dude you just have to learn not to let the job define who you are. You work in banking - you don't have to be a banker tool. You hit the nail on the head when you said the worst part is the demeaning nature of the analyst position. You get treated like absolute shit - you're not worth the lint that's on your MD's Ferragamo suit. The hours, BS client service work and condescending associates only seek to reinforce this everyday. You probably had a blast senior year, graduating at the peak of your confidence - and now you're stuck with this? We've all been there.

    Just know that it gets better - and part of this is about you making it better. As a 2nd year, you will find yourself getting more respect. It is up to you to grab that respect by the balls and stop being a bitch. Just stop taking as much shit from people as you used to. They expect this from you - it's the higher-efficiency/more-respect trade-off of the analyst maturity curve. If you don't man up, you'll just keep getting walked all over. So your 2nd year will be much better when you're not getting dicked around as much and you're no longer being staffed on the BS projects that the first years are now getting.

    But banking is still banking - it can only get so much better. You gotta get the fuck out! Get that PE job that you came in here for. And then what ends up happening is that you will take your new 2nd year analyst attitude to an entirely new place where you won't have to deal with the client service shit and where you will see yourself getting more respect and responsibility. You're at the bottom of the bottle right now - it only gets better. You don't need to doubt your entire career choice just because you don't like banking - NOBODY likes banking. The analyst position fucking blows. It's all about paying your dues and moving on to bigger and better - and it does get better.

    And equally important to all of this is maintaining your social life/sanity. Make sure you live it up when you have the free time. Soon you'll be right there with me and the other 2nd years I know who are now officially checked out. I've been rolling in at 11:30, going to the gym for 2 hours per day in the afternoon and leaving at 6 if I have nothing to do - and I can't wait to get the fuck out.

    You'll be OK

  • rickyross's picture

    That whole "set yourself up for later in life" line is a crock of shit in my opinion. Unless you choose to be satisfied with a couple million you're not retiring at 30 or 35. Ever met someone really high up in finance that seems to love life? Hell no. They're too worried about all those bills they have to pay, mistress and/or wife's shopping addiction, mortgage on the vacation home(s), etc. Add on to that the fact that they'll hardly ever see their kids if they're really dedicated to their jobs, it's a lifestyle of misery man. People are too focused on buying and owning stuff they don't need to be happy. Eventually, that stuff ends up owning them.

    People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

  • bossman's picture

    I've had those thoughts and ended up deciding that I'm my own man (hence this occurred around the time i set up an account here, thus, my name) and i will not be owned by a job. I do care about a career, so i thought very hard about not what the typical path is, but skills i will need in the future and where do i see myself. Working into 12am everyday does not make me happy and in fact makes me depressed if I think about young people having fun. I've sacrificed a lot, but I don't mean to be a slave to the job, so the goal is to develop the relevant skills that will make me valuable in the future. The supposed riches you attain are very often overestimated and highlighted by few rather than most, while shaded by ppl working long hours for just a middle class salary. Be your own man, find your priorities and realized that happiness is not about 10million or 1 million a year, it's about what you will do with your life, the variety of experiences, and enjoyment of family, etc. If to get to that 10million you spend 10 years like a slave...you might just stay even if you have an option to leave or you will become a slave to other things like your social circle (which you can't change over night). You will need to work hard if you want to succeed, but working hard does not mean not enjoying life.

    Do what you want not what you can!

  • futuretrader1999's picture

    NO, thats why I'm in trading

    Or, stop spending money on stupid shit---make the commute to hoboken to save money on taxes, and start putting shit aside (strict budgeting) so that in 10 years u can retire---

    thats the way I see it (if ur smart, u can place ur money as a lender in private money, securitized loans) and get an 11 % return,
    thats how my grandparents (one worked at macys as a purchaser, the mother a housewife) are able to put their 6 grandkids through private college) TV of money is on ur side----

    i think u can live off 200k a year (so save up 2 mill and enjoy life)

    IVY for Life

  • Pyropig CPhT's picture

    I don't know how to feel after reading this...... Like a complete loser for being nowhere near as succesful and spending my first 4 years of undergrad making mediocre grades trying to figure out what I even want to do. Or feel awesome that I'm 23, and while finishing undergrad and applying to grad school can say I've had a damn fun early 20's with many great experiences......hmmmmmmm.

  • thor1000's picture

    I know I'm going to regret not having more fun... but i'm just not that kind of person that could have a happy life knowing i didnt push my limits and reach my full potential... even in now i'm thinking back about highschool and wondering what a WASTE of time all that fun was... I dont care for those people anymore, no significant impact on my wellbeing now...
    Fun is like consumption... good now, no use later... a party is just a party, when its over you find yourself old 30 something, unable to party any more, no prospects... and 50 more years of life... whats gonna happen then? (unless youre silvio berlusconi, he's just a fucking animal)

    If i find myself in my 40's looking back and remembering all the fun i had and thats all i did, for me that would be off-a-bridge-jumping material.

  • In reply to alexpasch
    TheSquale's picture

    alexpasch wrote:
    I plan to fuck a 19 year old blonde tomorrow after work...say 6pm? I'm doing karaoke with friends on Wednesday, have another social gathering on Thursday, and have a date with a different girl on Friday (even hotter than tomorrow's). This is a typical week (btw I still work 60+ hrs a week, sometimes more, but I can mold my work around my social schedule, and that's the key).

    I couldn't go back to PE (nevermind banking, which I've never done) if you held a gun to my head...(and btw, I'm not making as much as in PE doing what I do now...at least...not yet; I def will at some point lol)

    I went through the same thing when I was your age...stuck at work thinking..."this isn't success, I don't care what anyone says, this path sucks". I had this picture in my head of what I wanted my life to be. I wanted to be my own boss, make shit happen, eat what I kill, and retire in my 30s. I decided that I would have that life, or die trying.

    Most people have zero balls when it comes to their careers. Well, I got news for you, life is what YOU make it.

    You're obviously not happy. Quit your job, take a couple months to discover what it is you truly want to do, and do it. I can't guarantee you'll make more money or be as "successful". But...I CAN guarantee you that, if you don't listen to my advice, many years from now, when you're dying in your bed, you'd give it all back for just one chance to follow your dreams, whatever they may be.

    One of the best post I have read so far. SB for you.

  • In reply to turtles
    econ's picture

    turtles wrote:
    money is always better than no money

    leisure is always better than no leisure.... ah, trade-offs...

  • Mr.'s picture

    A lot of my friends in IBD went through the same thing. Just suck it up. You're only one year in. At least finish your 2 years before leaving.

  • brooksbrotha's picture

    PE isn't the only option, nor is buy-side. Go to a hedge fund or a boutique shop. I know of one boutique shop that has less than 90 people, manages 10.5B in assets, and works with numerous other firms (p/e, hedge funds, com. funds, etc). They're really bearish (which is why their current returns are a dismal 2-5%) but even at that, that's 200-500 million they make for clients. They get 15% of that, so 30-75m respectively to split among the small work force. If you want to get rich, or as you put it, "independently wealthy" take that route.

    Oh by the way, you have to be a Rock Star to get in (despite their horrible performance).

  • bfin's picture

    brooksbrotha wrote:
    PE isn't the only option, nor is buy-side. Go to a hedge fund or a boutique shop. I know of one boutique shop that has less than 90 people, manages 10.5B in assets, and works with numerous other firms (p/e, hedge funds, com. funds, etc). They're really bearish (which is why their current returns are a dismal 2-5%) but even at that, that's 200-500 million they make for clients. They get 15% of that, so 30-75m respectively to split among the small work force. If you want to get rich, or as you put it, "independently wealthy" take that route.

    Oh by the way, you have to be a Rock Star to get in (despite their horrible performance).

    HF or Boutique shop aren't buy-side?

    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.

  • alphaSledge's picture

    i've thought, and continue to think, about this very thing every day. I don't work in investment banking, but slaving away at a desk cranking out excel and ppts....is not fun. In fact, I don't even find finance all too interesting anymore. alexpasch said it best, and I might just have to consider his thought.

  • awm55's picture

    All you newbies take this thread as a warning that going into IBD over S&T is a very very dumb idea. My colleagues and I don't have to have the existential discussions about life and self fulfillment because our jobs are more interesting, more fun, and provide a far better lifestyle.

  • In reply to awm55
    thor1000's picture

    awm55 wrote:
    All you newbies take this thread as a warning that going into IBD over S&T is a very very dumb idea. My colleagues and I don't have to have the existential discussions about life and self fulfillment because our jobs are more interesting, more fun, and provide a far better lifestyle.

    u sound like a prozac commercial

  • In reply to thor1000
    awm55's picture

    thor1000 wrote:
    awm55 wrote:
    All you newbies take this thread as a warning that going into IBD over S&T is a very very dumb idea. My colleagues and I don't have to have the existential discussions about life and self fulfillment because our jobs are more interesting, more fun, and provide a far better lifestyle.

    u sound like a prozac commercial

    some of you guys should probably be on prozac

  • thor1000's picture

    Yea indeed I am on Prozac as are my friends and family. I feel like a new person, full of life and joy. Even my dog likes me more. I've been getting laid 78% more often and get paid 13% more than before. With Prozac you'll be feeling just as great as I am.

    Disclosure: Long Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY)

  • Mfsl27's picture

    Alexpasch, you are my favorite member of this site, just saying... You rarely say something not banana worthy. Touché.

  • UFOinsider's picture

    Two years of life to be in the top 1% of earning ON EARTH? How the fuck is this a tough decision. Suck it up and do it.

    Tell you what: I'll trade jobs with you

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Ricqles's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    Two years of life to be in the top 1% of earning ON EARTH? How the fuck is this a tough decision. Suck it up and do it.

    Tell you what: I'll trade jobs with you

    The same exact thoughts went through my head when I was a senior recruiting. Funny how things change so quickly

  • In reply to Mfsl27
    alexpasch's picture

    Mfsl27 wrote:
    Alexpasch, you are my favorite member of this site, just saying... You rarely say something not banana worthy. Touché.

    Thanks!!!! I go on this site a lot because working from home can get a little lonely, so this site is a decent substitute for the lack of office banter in my life.

    Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

  • thor1000's picture

    can you set yourself hours anyway you want?

  • In reply to Ricqles
    UFOinsider's picture

    Ricqles wrote:
    UFOinsider wrote:
    Two years of life to be in the top 1% of earning ON EARTH? How the fuck is this a tough decision. Suck it up and do it.

    Tell you what: I'll trade jobs with you

    The same exact thoughts went through my head when I was a senior recruiting. Funny how things change so quickly


    Seriously - give my resume to your boss and then quit. I'll do it.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Ricqles's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    Ricqles wrote:
    UFOinsider wrote:
    Two years of life to be in the top 1% of earning ON EARTH? How the fuck is this a tough decision. Suck it up and do it.

    Tell you what: I'll trade jobs with you

    The same exact thoughts went through my head when I was a senior recruiting. Funny how things change so quickly


    Seriously - give my resume to your boss and then quit. I'll do it.

    I dont think we would hire someone who is going through full time recruiting and still cannot find a job, so it doesn't matter if I quit or not.

  • In reply to futuretrader1999
    Apocalypse Meow's picture

    futuretrader1999 wrote:
    NO, thats why I'm in trading

    Or, stop spending money on stupid shit---make the commute to hoboken to save money on taxes, and start putting shit aside (strict budgeting) so that in 10 years u can retire---

    thats the way I see it (if ur smart, u can place ur money as a lender in private money, securitized loans) and get an 11 % return,
    thats how my grandparents (one worked at macys as a purchaser, the mother a housewife) are able to put their 6 grandkids through private college) TV of money is on ur side----

    i think u can live off 200k a year (so save up 2 mill and enjoy life)

    Pretty solid response....just wondering how do you get into private lending? I realize that's a bit vague/open ended unfortunately I don't have any further knowledge to formulate a more targeted question

  • Dr Barnaby Fulton's picture

    I ask myself if the analyst stint is worth it all the time. Is spending you're early 20s in front of a monitor rather than going out and meeting people, while getting decent pay and learning a lot really an effective way to develop talent? I'm not sure it is...Even if it is, hundreds, if not thousands of kids are taking this path, how do they distinguish themselves when everyone else they're competing with has the same experiences/skill set?

    I probably could have networked and hustled a little more to land an analyst spot in IB. But when I was offered a spot in a corporate/commercial training program while I was still interviewing with IBanks, I thought, why not take this job where I'll have a decent work/life balance, learn a lot and lateral into a different role down the road? At the end of the day, I'm not convinced throwing away your earlier 20s pays off enough to make it worth it.

  • In reply to Ricqles
    CREAM's picture

    Ricqles wrote:
    alexpasch wrote:
    I plan to fuck a 19 year old blonde tomorrow after work...say 6pm? I'm doing karaoke with friends on Wednesday, have another social gathering on Thursday, and have a date with a different girl on Friday (even hotter than tomorrow's). This is a typical week (btw I still work 60+ hrs a week, sometimes more, but I can mold my work around my social schedule, and that's the key).

    I couldn't go back to PE (nevermind banking, which I've never done) if you held a gun to my head...(and btw, I'm not making as much as in PE doing what I do now...at least...not yet; I def will at some point lol)

    I went through the same thing when I was your age...stuck at work thinking..."this isn't success, I don't care what anyone says, this path sucks". I had this picture in my head of what I wanted my life to be. I wanted to be my own boss, make shit happen, eat what I kill, and retire in my 30s. I decided that I would have that life, or die trying.

    Most people have zero balls when it comes to their careers. Well, I got news for you, life is what YOU make it.

    You're obviously not happy. Quit your job, take a couple months to discover what it is you truly want to do, and do it. I can't guarantee you'll make more money or be as "successful". But...I CAN guarantee you that, if you don't listen to my advice, many years from now, when you're dying in your bed, you'd give it all back for just one chance to follow your dreams, whatever they may be.

    I think you just inspired me to quit my job

    Ditto.

  • someotherguy's picture

    The real question is, what makes YOU happy? Where do you really want to be?

    I think I am doing it right- I lived most of my 20's to the fullest, and have now landed at a new hedge fund, making 2-300k per year, probably a great deal more if we do well. There are a lot of people on here that are all "millions a year or bust" and I think most of them are really optimistic about their future prospects. Even in NYC, 200k is a lot of money. Sure you can be one of those guys that starts proclaiming the world ends at the Hudson and East rivers, but right over the river that money goes damn far, and above 90th street it seems to go even farther.

    I am a bit different in that I grew up in the area as well. I have family and friends in the area, so a personal life was more important to me. If I transplanted from more than a few hundred miles away and didn't have anyone here except a few shallow friends I made along the way, the workaholic route would have been more attractive. "Stuff" doesn't make me happy. In fact, the older I get, the more unencumbered I want to be. I find I am happiest when I am around friends. That's what makes me happy. Some people, many who are on this board, like to throw their money around, and buy flashy stuff. I think the stuff ends up owning you. If your friends are sitting on your X thousand dollar couch w/ red wine and your blood pressure is rising because they are drunk and might spill it- you don't own that couch, that couch owns you.

    Maybe you want the couch and some giant house or apartment on fifth. If so, keep your head down, and keep on banging out those power point edits. If not, remember its ok to leave at 7 to meet friends sometimes, or even to just go sit in the park on a warm evening.

    I personally would rather sit on a plastic lawnchair in my buddy's backyard and drink some budlight with friends who aren't afraid to let loose than hang out at some charity event rubbing shoulders, with society, but that's a choice you have to make.

    I think its important to remember that even when you "fail" and don't get MD, or VP by 30, or whatever, you are still killing it on an absolute scale.

  • In reply to someotherguy
    TheSquale's picture

    someotherguy wrote:
    The real question is, what makes YOU happy? Where do you really want to be?

    I think I am doing it right- I lived most of my 20's to the fullest, and have now landed at a new hedge fund, making 2-300k per year, probably a great deal more if we do well. There are a lot of people on here that are all "millions a year or bust" and I think most of them are really optimistic about their future prospects. Even in NYC, 200k is a lot of money. Sure you can be one of those guys that starts proclaiming the world ends at the Hudson and East rivers, but right over the river that money goes damn far, and above 90th street it seems to go even farther.

    I am a bit different in that I grew up in the area as well. I have family and friends in the area, so a personal life was more important to me. If I transplanted from more than a few hundred miles away and didn't have anyone here except a few shallow friends I made along the way, the workaholic route would have been more attractive. "Stuff" doesn't make me happy. In fact, the older I get, the more unencumbered I want to be. I find I am happiest when I am around friends. That's what makes me happy. Some people, many who are on this board, like to throw their money around, and buy flashy stuff. I think the stuff ends up owning you. If your friends are sitting on your X thousand dollar couch w/ red wine and your blood pressure is rising because they are drunk and might spill it- you don't own that couch, that couch owns you.

    Maybe you want the couch and some giant house or apartment on fifth. If so, keep your head down, and keep on banging out those power point edits. If not, remember its ok to leave at 7 to meet friends sometimes, or even to just go sit in the park on a warm evening.

    I personally would rather sit on a plastic lawnchair in my buddy's backyard and drink some budlight with friends who aren't afraid to let loose than hang out at some charity event rubbing shoulders, with society, but that's a choice you have to make.

    I think its important to remember that even when you "fail" and don't get MD, or VP by 30, or whatever, you are still killing it on an absolute scale.

    Another great post. Definitely a fantastic thread, maybe a must read for eveyrone who want to break into finance. Money can't buy everything and social status isn't what will make you happy at the end of the Day, at least not for everyone.

  • thor1000's picture

    Following this thread really makes me think but as much as i'm trying to understand the point alexpasch and others are making, I just cannot.

    I understand why you feel this way about life, and I'd like to have that but I cant and many others cant. You just don't get how privileged you are living where you live, not just because of a generally high standard, but loads of opportunites everywhere. And this sort of casual attitude and "just live life" are in my view a consequence of being spoiled and having everything in abundance (relative abundance).

    I get it, you can say fuck you to your boss and still have a great life. Good for you. Try doing that in a place where GDP is 20% of USA average, people are still communists and the best you can do with a finance degree is get a government job with an average wage (starting salary is 11k per year srsly), so maybe one day when your parents die you can finally live with your wife alone and IBD is your ONLY ticket out. No prospects, no future, no nothing. A fucking depressing place. So i'm willing to give up my 20's as much as i hate to, but its ok as long as i can stay in London...

    your thinking reminds me of lord byron... aristocracy with time to think about how awful life is if you spend it on doing work and how tragic it is not hanging out with friends.

  • qbison's picture

    I think it's worth it if you can put your 2 years in, work hard, and then grab a HF or Corp Dev. role. That or go straight to b-school and lateral that into one of those roles with a better work/life balance.

  • zeropower's picture

    Great thread everyone.

    thor1000 brought up a valid point that nobody else did - Are you really bitching about how, ohhh nooo...youre making 100-200k doing mindless IBD jobs, yet this still isn't good enough because you wont be able to retire at 30?

    This is not a difficult situation, more like a high value problem. Akin to having 2 girls on your arm and having to choose which one (only one) to sleep with - the choice is yours, and why bother saying 'what if?'

    Live in the moment, nobody is forcing you to stay anywhere. However, being your own boss and making the big bucks another way doesn't come easy as well.
    Dont like IBD? Theres trading. Cant trade? Theres some corporate level jobs which love ex-IBDers. Nothing there either? Start your own thing, be your own boss, decide your own hours, and make it big. Or die (not) trying.

  • In reply to TheSquale
    Stan the Monkey's picture

    TheSquale wrote:
    someotherguy wrote:
    The real question is, what makes YOU happy? Where do you really want to be?

    I think I am doing it right- I lived most of my 20's to the fullest, and have now landed at a new hedge fund, making 2-300k per year, probably a great deal more if we do well. There are a lot of people on here that are all "millions a year or bust" and I think most of them are really optimistic about their future prospects. Even in NYC, 200k is a lot of money. Sure you can be one of those guys that starts proclaiming the world ends at the Hudson and East rivers, but right over the river that money goes damn far, and above 90th street it seems to go even farther.

    I am a bit different in that I grew up in the area as well. I have family and friends in the area, so a personal life was more important to me. If I transplanted from more than a few hundred miles away and didn't have anyone here except a few shallow friends I made along the way, the workaholic route would have been more attractive. "Stuff" doesn't make me happy. In fact, the older I get, the more unencumbered I want to be. I find I am happiest when I am around friends. That's what makes me happy. Some people, many who are on this board, like to throw their money around, and buy flashy stuff. I think the stuff ends up owning you. If your friends are sitting on your X thousand dollar couch w/ red wine and your blood pressure is rising because they are drunk and might spill it- you don't own that couch, that couch owns you.

    Maybe you want the couch and some giant house or apartment on fifth. If so, keep your head down, and keep on banging out those power point edits. If not, remember its ok to leave at 7 to meet friends sometimes, or even to just go sit in the park on a warm evening.

    I personally would rather sit on a plastic lawnchair in my buddy's backyard and drink some budlight with friends who aren't afraid to let loose than hang out at some charity event rubbing shoulders, with society, but that's a choice you have to make.

    I think its important to remember that even when you "fail" and don't get MD, or VP by 30, or whatever, you are still killing it on an absolute scale.

    Another great post. Definitely a fantastic thread, maybe a must read for eveyrone who want to break into finance. Money can't buy everything and social status isn't what will make you happy at the end of the Day, at least not for everyone.

    those words from alexpasch is great!
    someotherguy brings out the point of how to enjoy life. the freaking commercial just washes our mind and value. it's a kind of inception thing. i think those are huge traps chasing all those running around in the wild. we might get tired and follow their rules to be happy. just hate the way they packaging things : cars/ houses/ jobs/ boats/ girls*.

    it doesn't need to be expensive to be good, it doesn't need to be expensive to live a good life. *price is what you pay, value is what you get *

  • In reply to zeropower
    Stan the Monkey's picture

    zeropower wrote:
    Great thread everyone.

    thor1000 brought up a valid point that nobody else did - Are you really bitching about how, ohhh nooo...youre making 100-200k doing mindless IBD jobs, yet this still isn't good enough because you wont be able to retire at 30?

    This is not a difficult situation, more like a high value problem. Akin to having 2 girls on your arm and having to choose which one (only one) to sleep with - the choice is yours, and why bother saying 'what if?'

    Live in the moment, nobody is forcing you to stay anywhere. However, being your own boss and making the big bucks another way doesn't come easy as well.
    Dont like IBD? Theres trading. Cant trade? Theres some corporate level jobs which love ex-IBDers. Nothing there either? Start your own thing, be your own boss, decide your own hours, and make it big. Or die (not) trying.

    hopefully, i can tell whether it feels good to have 2 girls on your arms one day. at this point, i think it only works in those MV with bling bling*. if you are getting too busy, how can you enjoy and have the real taste of it?

  • someotherguy's picture

    This is for the guys who are saying "well I can just give up my twenties."

    Here is something I didn't bring up in my previous post- you only get to live your 20's once. And I think right now is probably the best time to be in your 20's well... ever. It used to be- and still is in the south and I am sure other areas- that by 25, you were expected to be married, with kids popping out. Now, it is accepted if not expected that you won't be doing that until you are 30 or so, so really for the first time that I am aware of in history, its acceptable to just do your own thing while you have freedom, relatively few obligations other than paying rent, and have a bit of spending money to play with. Females are still looking hot and wanting to have fun but both the hotness and willingness to hang out in bars starts sloping off pretty quickly after 25. Not to mention that hangovers start getting way worse around 30.

    And your friends are in the same boat. The best times of my life were in my early- late 20s hands down. People will tell you that when you have kids, its great and all, and I am sure it is in its own way. But I haven't shared laughs with my married friends, and even more so my married w/ kids friends, like I have when we were all single together without mortgages.

    Don't discount your 20s one bit. If you asked those MDs you are aspiring to be if he would trade in all the money he has to be 20 again, I bet he would.

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