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5/1/12

WSO, it is time to talk.

The new trend around here lately has been to post about how badly you hate your job (specifically in iBanking) and then act like a genius when you decide you want to leave. This needs to stop. It is not a shocking revelation that you don't like working 100 hours a week, getting fat, having bad skin, becoming a pale, unattractive, grease ball for the sake of working a job that, on the surface, pays you the big bucks, but when you get right down to it, gives you a diluted hourly right just slightly above minimum wage.

A lot of you need to wake the f*ck up and realize two, very important things:

Number 1:

The shittiest time of your life, work wise, is the time between graduating college and becoming 30. I don't care what anyone says about your 20s being a magical time in your life. Your early 20s are. The mid to late 20s are supposed to suck, bad. You come out of college, usually broke, with debt and start working at the bottom of the layer cake. You are a nobody, a nothing. The school you went to doesn't mean shit anymore. You are, in fact, completely replaceable. Wake up and realize you are not entitled to anything at this point in your life and no one, not even your parents, have sympathy for you being over tired or overworked. You just spent four years getting drunk, doing drugs and not doing shit for society.

Number 2:

The 80s are gone and with it is the Wall Street mentality. No longer is the norm getting in with a company and staying there for 30 years. Really working hard for the man to become wealthy. We are living in a time where a shitty little camera app gets bought by a company for $1 billion (after be talked down from 2). The days of getting in with a company and staying there to work your way up to the top are gone. Today's companies seek mobile employees. The people that have no problem moving from sector to sector, division to division, state to state, city to city and wearing multiple hats are the most valuable employees. You really need to get it out of your head that because you are an intermediate with excel and can do a DCF analysis, you are worth a shit. I can write a macro to do the work you do and have a chimpanzee insert the dumps to generate that report. You are not special.

Let's face the facts. A lot of you are getting into an industry that is shrinking. Not dying, shrinking. Today alone, BofA announced they are cutting 2,000 jobs from their investment banking and wealth management divisions. The industry is changing and it is changing with the new world we live in.

Back to my original point. The self-pity, hippie bullshit needs to end. In the past week there have been five topics like this and I have read more about people writing in their journal and giving the "be what you want to be" speech than I care to. Realize that success takes hard work and a result of hard work is typically money. Money may not be what causes happiness, but all that shit you like to do that makes you happy (golf, sailing, wife) requires money. So STFU, buckle down for your mid to late 20s and get it done. See my signature for further morale boosting.

Comments (137)

In reply to smalleights
Best Response
5/1/12
smalleights:

+1, truer words were never spoken.

All the best things in like are never easy to acquire, nor would I want them to be. Everyone that quits when they hit a bit of resistance is just a huge pussy and needs to sack up.

Lol... be sure to remember this when you miss a good friend's wedding because your VP wants to churn out another draft that no one will look at, especially not the client, and then ask yourself "Am I a pussy because I want to be there for one of the biggest days of my buddy's life?" It's very likely that you aren't... you're probably a good guy who is ambitious, works hard, and wants to be successful. I guess the silver lining could be that you are only missing a wedding and not a funeral, but I personally know people who have been in both predicaments, and lets just say that it's very easy for you to be on the outside calling anyone who doesn't want to work 100 hours a week a pussy, but that's just until you've had the taste of a 130 hour week and you realize that there is nothing heroic about working 130 hours for something that didn't even get accomplished.

I admire your enthusiasm, just don't get too big for your boots just yet, this job / industry delights in humbling the audacious.

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5/1/12
5/1/12

embrace the corporate drone lifestyle.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

5/1/12

LOL. Great post.

I'll be honest, I've enjoyed the string of "fuck banking" posts lately and you're right - the business is going through a major contraction that probably won't ease up for the next 40 years (if the last Wall Street extinction-level event is any indicator). Those who are trapped in banking already need to make the best of it, but those who aren't in the industry yet need to give some serious thought to doing something else. Hopefully these "fuck banking" posts are providing the necessary food for thought.

The fact is it used to be easy, guys. I'm no fucking genius. Back when I was slinging commodities the CPI was at an all-time low. Hell, crude oil was $11 a barrel. You'd have had to have been a fucking retard not to make money.

That just isn't the case anymore.

5/1/12

+1, truer words were never spoken.

All the best things in like are never easy to acquire, nor would I want them to be. Everyone that quits when they hit a bit of resistance is just a huge pussy and needs to sack up.

5/1/12

Great post. Finally from someone who has worked his way up in the industry. Not from someone in their early 20s who wants to join the hipster crowd. And I am definitely not interested in the "street-musician" route.

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

5/1/12

Welcome to the machine. All my life I hear people saying "these are supposed to be the best years of our lives". In 8th grade, then high school, then college, then 20's...listen, life isn't a fucking party. It's hard, REALLY HARD. Fucking get over it. I'm sick of entitled little rich punks whining about having to hold a fucking job. Get to work and shut the fuck up about it.

On another note: I'm glad you made the distinction between the industry DYING and SHRINKING. One number that I just saw said +/- 21,000 jobs. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Personally, I see things picking up much sooner than 40 years...I give it a decade, and I forsee companies hiring more starting in 2013. I'm timing my exit from MBA for 2016, just to be safe. But we still won't see anything like the 80's until we're all close to retirement.

As for the posts, the first dude can choke on it...one year??? STFU. The other posts are pretty legit though: one guy just got tired of this and the other is leaving to start his own company (my ultimate goal as well). I'm going to encourage these posts because finance is a short term move for 95% of the people rolling through the doors of a bank....it's good to have your eye on the prize, and these posts illustrate exactly what that prize can be.

As for hating on hippies: dude, do you even know any? OWS aren't hippies, they're anarchists. Aside from the work thing, hippies are chill as hell. Hipsters, not so much, but hippies are ok in my book.

Get busy living

5/1/12

Well said.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

In reply to UFOinsider
5/1/12
UFOinsider:

As for hating on hippies: dude, do you even know any? OWS aren't hippies, they're anarchists. Aside from the work thing, hippies are chill as hell. Hipsters, not so much, but hippies are ok in my book.

You see, this is why labels don't work. I'm an anarchist, and the fuckwads throwing bricks through the windows at Starbucks during a G-8 meeting are just losers looking for a handout.

5/1/12

+1! haha, Loved the part about the macro monkey.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

5/1/12

Awesome post brother. I agree with you 100%.

5/1/12

+SB, I was thinking the same thing. This is WSO, if you don't like finance, that's fine. There are plenty of other boards out there. Personally, I like my job - for the record.

5/1/12
5/1/12

As Bruce Wasserstein said "beware of false endings." Although the financial industry is shrinking, it is not dead. Anyone who believes that this money machine is over, must not believe in the business cycle.

The barbarians are just licking their wounds and waiting to storm the gates...

In reply to Human
5/1/12
Human:

Great post. Finally from someone who has worked his way up in the industry. Not from someone in their early 20s who wants to join the hipster crowd. And I am definitely not interested in the "street-musician" route.

I'm not really sure what you're referring to... at least 2 of the posts were from mid-level VPs, they've seen way more shit and have more right to comment on reality of banking currently, than an outsider who works in Corporate Finance for a F500 firm. None of these were "fuck banking" posts, and people who are viewing them that way are getting incredibly defensive, which is just further evidence that it is challenging some of their core beliefs. The fact that such innocent, self-reflective posts are triggering such a defensive, confrontational response "nut the fuck up" etc, is merely evidence that people feel the need to substantiate what they are doing, which to me alludes to insecurity.

Nefarious, I'm not sure of all the details of your background, but I'm assuming that you didn't work in banking, thus it's very difficult for me to assign a lot of credibility to your critique of honest self-reflection with respect to posts by Tier2Sta and TechBanking, they have just as much (likely much more) experience as you do, and have dealt with more than their fair share of shit. I can give you a slight benefit of doubt on providing some critique to the Stephen Ridley post, but even then it is mainly based on experience, but not necessarily wisdom.

It's just very difficult for someone who is currently working in the industry to lend a lot of credence to what you're saying. Sure, people theoretically know what they are getting into when they sign up to work in banking, but they don't really. Your criticism is a bit myopic and short sighted. TechBanking is leaving to work on what sounds to be a fantastic opportunity. You simply don't understand the industry quite as well as you think you do. You are an external observer judging based on peripheral anecdotes and truisms that no longer hold as much weight as they used to. The game has changed, as you mentioned and people frequently allude to, but with that, the benefits have changed, and in many cases are borderline nonexistant. People are simply upholding economic maxims by weighing the opportunity costs associated with their situations and choosing to make an INFORMED decision that it is time for the next chapter. These aren't "grass is greener" stories (with the exception of maybe the Ridley case, but even then it wasn't a 'fuck banking' everyone should leave), and to paint them as such does a massive disservice to the impressionable college contingent that makes up the majority of this forum.

Don't be so quick to view others' choices to seek happiness as an indictment of the financial services industry as a whole. I agree with you that times are tough and you have to put your head down and work when the occasion calls for it, but I disagree with you on other points. People are getting worked harder than they were before for less pay and the opportunities for alternatives are shrinking as well. I wouldn't be so critical of people who are choosing to seek a happier, more content lifestyle. Keep in mind that even though you may not think anything of an analyst from a bank that does 2-3 years, but putting in 2-3 years at a bank is like working 2-3x that in any other corporate setting, a fact which you are remiss to acknowledge.

The wise on the board know that life is about trade-offs and they are choosing now as the time to trade-off. If you understand anything about the current comp structure at many firms, you would almost be crazy to stay as a VP, as in many cases as much as 75-80% of their comp can be locked up for 3 years and in some cases as much as 8... but I'm sure it makes them stupid that they don't want to stick around another 8 years in a tumultuous industry in which their development as already plateaued, merely to have even more of their future comp deferred. They're called Golden Handcuffs for a reason, let's not get to preachy.

To the kids out there who are hungry to take the world by storm, I support it fully and still view my decision as a fruitful and prudent one. Just don't be surprised when you get here and realize that it's tougher than it was, and that a lot of what people were SB'd for advising you doesn't necessarily translate as well into your new reality as you thought it would.

5/1/12

What the fuck are you guys yacking bout?

5/1/12
5/1/12

+1 to everything rufio and eddie said.

Anyone who believes that this money machine is over, must not believe in the business cycle.

Nobody is saying it is. But the fundamental drivers for another boom aren't there yet. I'm looking for low Herfindahl and Gini indices. They probably won't be for at least another decade. If you want to spend ten years slaving away 90 hour weeks making less than you could working 1-2 levels below C-level at an F500 firm, be my guest. We'll all be in our thirties or forties then, and it will be too late for us to enjoy all the money we'll be making

Back to my original point. The self-pity, hippie bullshit needs to end. In the past week there have been five topics like this and I have read more about people writing in their journal and giving the "be what you want to be" speech than I care to. Realize that success takes hard work and a result of hard work is typically money. Money may not be what causes happiness, but all that shit you like to do that makes you happy (golf, sailing, wife) requires money. So STFU, buckle down for your mid to late 20s and get it done. See my signature for further morale boosting.

Sure, but the story is that a lot of the folks leaving HAVE been successful. They HAVE money. They're realizing that that's not what makes them happy.

I think what I'm really seeing here with OP's diatribe might be cognitive dissonance. You're seeing a number of veterans in an industry you're about to enter realizing they're happier elsewhere. But that doesn't say anything about OP's happiness. OP needs to figure out what makes OP happy. I'm glad for OP that he's happy with banking- otherwise he'd be going into a different industry rather than posting this. I'm just surprised that alternative views make him so angry.

5/1/12

DAAAAAMN

Life is not a "brief candle." It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations

5/1/12

I don't see any of this existential angst to be unusual. It's been happening when I was in banking in the 90s (and I'm sure before that -- there's always this "it used to be much better in the old days"). The whole "screw banking!" sentiment is normal, it comes with the territory of being an overworked peon at the bottom of the totem pole - in good times or bad; the only difference is that in good times, it tends to be about how much better whatever hot sector-of-the-moment is compared to banking. In bad times, it's about how crappy the whole industry is.

Most people (myself included) get into it, and realize it wasn't what we expected it to be. But we made a bit of pocket change, learned a lot about ourselves and priorities, and moved on to other things (most of us did anyhow).

5/1/12
In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/1/12
IlliniProgrammer:

I think what I'm really seeing here with OP's diatribe might be cognitive dissonance. You're seeing a number of veterans in an industry you're about to enter realizing they're happier elsewhere. But that doesn't say anything about OP's happiness. OP needs to figure out what makes OP happy. I'm glad for OP that he's happy with banking- otherwise he'd be going into a different industry rather than posting this. I'm just surprised that alternative views make him so angry.

I am currently working Strategy, Planning and Development for one of the largest defense companies in the world, so I am missing your point. The underlying messages of my post are:

1) Stop bitching about your job
2) Your 20s are not easy and are not meant to be easy
3) Anyone going into high finance and getting burnt out and then wondering why is a moron

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

5/1/12

Good points. The reasons you outlined are why I didn't say "fuck finance" after my first hundred hour week.

However, I think the posts you mentioned do have value. These boards are mostly used by college students, many of whom have likely not worked in finance. It is really easy to think, "If I have $XXX,XXX in my account, I will be happy." or "I want to work at [megafund] for the rest of my life!"

I was one of those people until I got a bit older. I thought that I could just grind my way through a 20-30 year career in banking/PE, but then I realized you need to like what you do. Work is a major part of your life, so you had better enjoy it.

If you like banking, good for you. You will make a ton of money if you are reasonably competent. But most people don't like banking. So I would just tell students to figure out what they like doing, and what it takes to get there. That path may or may not include banking. The value of these "hippy" threads is that they go against the popular consensus that "Banking>PE>Bschool>Greatness" is the "best" path. In truth, it comes down to personal preferences...no career is best.

In reply to Nefarious-
5/1/12
Nefarious-:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think what I'm really seeing here with OP's diatribe might be cognitive dissonance. You're seeing a number of veterans in an industry you're about to enter realizing they're happier elsewhere. But that doesn't say anything about OP's happiness. OP needs to figure out what makes OP happy. I'm glad for OP that he's happy with banking- otherwise he'd be going into a different industry rather than posting this. I'm just surprised that alternative views make him so angry.

I am currently working Strategy, Planning and Development for one of the largest defense companies in the world, so I am missing your point. The underlying messages of my post are:

1) Stop bitching about your job
2) Your 20s are not easy and are not meant to be easy
3) Anyone going into high finance and getting burnt out and then wondering why is a moron

1.) I don't think anyone is bitching about their job. They just realize that their utility is maximized elsewhere.
2.) Life isn't meant to be easy, and it only gets tougher after your 20s.
3.) I don't think anyone is wondering why they're burnt out. I don't think anyone is even surprised or feels bad for themselves. They're just realizing doing other things makes them happier.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/1/12
IlliniProgrammer:

the fundamental drivers for another boom aren't there yet. I'm looking for low Herfindahl and Gini indices. They probably won't be for at least another decade. If you want to spend ten years slaving away 90 hour weeks making less than you could working 1-2 levels below C-level at an F500 firm, be my guest. We'll all be in our thirties or forties then, and it will be too late for us to enjoy all the money we'll be making

Looking at Gini on a per-country basis is making less and less sense these days, due to globalization. Trickle down is working globally, just not for the American middle class who whine a lot but aren't really poor at all on a global scale.

5/1/12

Maybe this is less aimed at my post than some of the others, but I made my post primarily as a counter-point to the others. My post wasn't meant to be anything along the lines of screw this, it sucks, and I'm out.

I've had a great run in banking, and, as I said in my post, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I made it past the hard parts, and I wanted to provide a perspective that those (somewhat) hard times have brought me to the point that I can now do what I want.

I was hoping to provide an example to the college guys/junior analysts of what opportunity can lie on the other side of the steep hill that they are currently climbing.

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5/1/12

I don't see why there is so much rukus over this.
Whatever it is that you get into, just give it your honest effort and see how it goes.

1) If you leave after ~1 yr then be happy that you found out early, but don't go off telling people how their lives are gonna pan out if they stay in the industry. You don't have enough trophies to do that yet.

2) If you leave after ~5+ years, then you are in a sweet spot to slingshot into a different industry that you believe suit you better. YOURE NOT QUITTING ANYTHING. YOU ARE TRANSITIONING. There is a big differnce.

3) If you stayed for a career, then great! Most people have a need to experience change every few years, and you have to respect that. What is happening is just that... intelligent people feeling the need to diversify their portfolio of life experiences. Wish them luck and let them go.

As for the recent surge in 'i quit' posts, and their effects on impressionable college kids... if they feel swayed by these posts, they were on the fence already and had it coming.

In reply to TechBanking
5/1/12
TechBanking:

I was hoping to provide an example to the college guys/junior analysts of what opportunity can lie on the other side of the steep hill that they are currently climbing.

Thank you for your post. This part is all I wanted to hear.

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

In reply to justin88
5/1/12
dabanobo:

Looking at Gini on a per-country basis is making less and less sense these days, due to globalization. Trickle down is working globally, just not for the American middle class who whine a lot but aren't really poor at all on a global scale.

Sure, but the problem is that the trading game is ultimately about the assumption that the people who have money aren't smart enough to manage it efficiently. With higher ginis- with more wealth in generally smarter hands- there are fewer opportunities for that in the US.

There might be a lot of middle-class Chinese or Indian investors with funds to invest. But the US won't be their first destination.

In reply to rufiolove
5/1/12
rufiolove:

...when you miss a good friend's wedding because your VP wants to churn out another draft that no one will look at, especially not the client, and then ask yourself "Am I a pussy because I want to be there for one of the biggest days of my buddy's life?" It's very likely that you aren't... you're probably a good guy who is ambitious, works hard, and wants to be successful. I guess the silver lining could be that you are only missing a wedding and not a funeral, but I personally know people who have been in both predicaments

I have personally been in both situations, and trust me, it takes way more balls to tell a MD to piss off because you aren't going to miss a family funeral than to sit there and just turn the book/build the model.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/1/12
IlliniProgrammer:

We'll all be in our thirties or forties then, and it will be too late for us to enjoy all the money we'll be making

Wait, what?? How will it be too late in our 30s and 40s for us to enjoy the money we make? You realize that chances are this is when most people only start to make and are able to use good money, right?

I'm not sure this is your point, but I hate it when people act like you're useless at age 50, which is when most people are at their intellectual primes and the top of their careers. On an unrelated tangent, I also hate it when people say "I want to have kids when I'm young, like 25, cause I want to be able to do stuff with them when they're growing and not be too old." Newsflash - unless you plan on rock climbing or performing Olympic events with your children, and even then in some cases, you will still be able to function as a human being at age 50. My dad had me when he was 40 and he was more than able to throw a ball and run at age 50 and still is more than able to today in his sixties. If you're anticipating not being able to move in your 50s, well I'm really sorry for you. Sheesh.

5/1/12

I know at least one of them is a troll.

5/1/12
Nefarious-:

WSO, it is time to talk.

It is not a shocking revelation that you don't like ...becoming a pale

glad u brought this up. ever since twilight, lots of chicks like the mysterious pale look on dudes these days. i would rock that look except i'm naturally very dark.

point is, yes in IB u might look like a vampire, but use it 2 your advantage. hang outside movie theaters and hit on the 37 y/o soccer moms looking for a younger thrill b/c life has become so mundane for them they've resorted to teenage vampire romance novels/movies to "feel young again."

i'm so jelly of u bankers who can pull that off. obviously i can't. my record label is always doing concerts on the beach so i get even darker from the tan.

In reply to swagon
5/1/12
swagon:
Nefarious-:

WSO, it is time to talk.

It is not a shocking revelation that you don't like ...becoming a pale

glad u brought this up. ever since twilight, lots of chicks like the mysterious pale look on dudes these days. i would rock that look except i'm naturally very dark.

point is, yes in IB u might look like a vampire, but use it 2 your advantage. hang outside movie theaters and hit on the 37 y/o soccer moms looking for a younger thrill b/c life has become so mundane for them they've resorted to teenage vampire romance novels/movies to "feel young again."

i'm so jelly of u bankers who can pull that off. obviously i can't. my record label is always doing concerts on the beach so i get even darker from the tan.

dump some glitter on yourself. you'll be in like flynn.

In reply to swagon
5/1/12
swagon:

My record label is always doing concerts on the beach so i get even darker from the tan.

Understandable.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

5/1/12

that's not at all the point of these "fuck banking" posts. The majority of members here are go to sleep thinking about IB, dream about models and bottles, and wake up with a boner brought on by the word prestige. They have no idea what they are in for and the idea of 100 hours a week is something that they have heard and read about so often that it goes in one ear and out the other.

After reading your post I really don't understand why anyone would want to pursue IB... it's a shrinking field (both in numbers and pay) that offers a terrible life with few of the benefits that got us interested in the first place.

If you are miserable for 100 out of 168 hours a week but can afford a new tv at the end of the day then what;s the point?

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/1/12
IlliniProgrammer:

Sure, but the problem is that the trading game is ultimately about the assumption that the people who have money aren't smart enough to manage it efficiently. With higher ginis- with more wealth in generally smarter hands- there are fewer opportunities for that in the US.

If that has any effect, it would pale in comparison to market structure changes within the past generation (penny quotes, internet brokers, etc.).

In reply to Faddy
5/1/12
Faddy:

If you are miserable for 100 out of 168 hours a week but can afford a new tv at the end of the day then what;s the point?

i think most kidz up in this bish will answer "exit opps." but if i was a young guy gonna do banking, the reason 4 me wood be the sex-it opps.

i know ive enjoyed the "benifits" if u know what im sayin, of bein a successful record label owner, so i dont blame any1 4 being attracted to the bishes who flock 2 u when ur in banking, or at least thats what i been gleanin' from reeding this site.

In reply to TechBanking
5/1/12
TechBanking:
rufiolove:

...when you miss a good friend's wedding because your VP wants to churn out another draft that no one will look at, especially not the client, and then ask yourself "Am I a pussy because I want to be there for one of the biggest days of my buddy's life?" It's very likely that you aren't... you're probably a good guy who is ambitious, works hard, and wants to be successful. I guess the silver lining could be that you are only missing a wedding and not a funeral, but I personally know people who have been in both predicaments

I have personally been in both situations, and trust me, it takes way more balls to tell a MD to piss off because you aren't going to miss a family funeral than to sit there and just turn the book/build the model.

I hear you and I've done it... not with a funeral, fortunately, but for my cousin's wedding. I think he appreciated the balls it took to step up and say how important it was to me and the maturity to line up sufficient coverage so that it didn't create an issue.

I definitely appreciated the hell out of your post and think you would have been a good dude to work for, which is why I felt compelled to say something... the prior tone of the thread was way to negative and shortsighted toward the recent posts, which I felt was unwarranted. Please keep me apprised of your future pursuits, and hopefully they are fruitful and exciting.

In reply to Faddy
5/1/12
Faddy:

that's not at all the point of these "fuck banking" posts. The majority of members here are go to sleep thinking about IB, dream about models and bottles, and wake up with a boner brought on by the word prestige. They have no idea what they are in for and the idea of 100 hours a week is something that they have heard and read about so often that it goes in one ear and out the other.

After reading your post I really don't understand why anyone would want to pursue IB... it's a shrinking field (both in numbers and pay) that offers a terrible life with few of the benefits that got us interested in the first place.

If you are miserable for 100 out of 168 hours a week but can afford a new tv at the end of the day then what;s the point?

I agree with the first part. They don't know what they'll be getting into. Anyone getting into banking because of models and bottles is an idiot. I also think that way too many people get into it thinking "I'm doing it to lateral to PE in two/three years and I'm gonna make bannnnkkkk." Well, do you like PE? Do you like the kinds of things that are involved in PE? How do you know you'll make it to PE? In the end, I think that it amounts to people trying to plan their lives too far in advance with too many unknown variables; the reality is that most people don't have a clue where they'll be in three years (unless they're freshmen in school, etc). That being said, that's why I do think that those going into Capital Markets and S&T for the sake of going into Capital Markets and S&T, not lateraling in a few years, have a better chance of enjoying themselves because of the somewhat shorter hours and the immediate chance to see what they'll be doing in a few years (the same thing). That way, they can make an informed decision as to whether they like the work rather than just promising themselves it'll pay off and sucking it in as they do in IBD.

5/1/12

Amazing post. + SB.

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.
5/1/12

I understand that investment banking is not the road to salvation. But it appears to me that it is one of the many tried and tested routes among college students. There is an existing infrastructure to train you. There is a need for the service. There is a route that has been tried. Yes, the industry is changing, and it is noticeably shrinking. Within a couple of years, investment banking might no longer exist the way we are currently seeing. Yes, I hear the "think outside of the box" notion that has been thrown out there, even though most people on the forum are clueless about where else to go and what else to do.

My question is this. Other than the normal IBD > B School > PE/HF route, what are other routes? I want solid answer for alternatives. Come on!!! Yes, I am not going to settle for "follow your passion" answer. That's totally BS. Or things like "you have to look deeper into yourself to figure that out". That is definitely not a value added answer. That kind of answer just shows that you don't know what you are talking about at all. What I want to know is given all the skill sets that you have learned from banking, what are the other routes that you can pursue? How can you leveraged your skill sets to get the next best possibly paid gig?

To all the older guys complaining about banking, so is this your route?
Banking > Quit > Do Something Random
Banking > I don't know what the fuck I will do > I still don't know

Personally, the only thing I can think of is similar to what TechBanking said:
TechBanking: IBD > Startup

Most common routes that I have seen:
IBD > Corporate Development within industry covered previously
IBD > Corporate Finance within industry covered previously
IBD > Management of the companies previously covered
IBD > Fund raising role for funds investing in sector previously covered
IBD > Career Coaching (see: M&I, Analyst Exchange, WSO)

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

In reply to justin88
5/1/12
dabanobo:

If that has any effect, it would pale in comparison to market structure changes within the past generation (penny quotes, internet brokers, etc.).

Sure, but what's the fundamental economic value created behind trading? Why do we have mutual funds? Why is money actively managed? Why do we need publicly traded corporations?

As ginis go up, all of those "Whys" start to make trading- especially actively managed funds- look less essential to a well-run economy. When you had a bunch of middle-class investors with 100 IQs and money to invest, we NEEDED mutual funds. Even with the mass affluent class, we need hedge funds. When you lose the mass affluence class; when the smart money is ALL the money, there is no need to hire people to manage money for you, because you're probably better at it than what's on offer, or you're at least good enough that you're only willing to pay a good manager 50 basis points, not 2 + 20. Likewise, there's also less money to be made off of efficient market-making and other market agnostic strategies, simply because smart guys drop less change.

Ultimately, if Gini coefficients continue to rise, we won't need corporations anymore, and we certainly won't need banks. The whole idea behind a publicly traded corporation is to organize very large groups of people to capitalize businesses because you can't find a small group of people who all know each other that have the money to do it on their own.

Here is when the trading business has bottomed: when guys like ANT are saying the libertarians have gone too far and that the rich have gotten too rich. :D

5/1/12

*Golf clap*

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.

5/1/12

+1

The Four E's of investment
"The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet

In reply to Nefarious-
5/1/12
Nefarious-:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think what I'm really seeing here with OP's diatribe might be cognitive dissonance. You're seeing a number of veterans in an industry you're about to enter realizing they're happier elsewhere. But that doesn't say anything about OP's happiness. OP needs to figure out what makes OP happy. I'm glad for OP that he's happy with banking- otherwise he'd be going into a different industry rather than posting this. I'm just surprised that alternative views make him so angry.

I am currently working Strategy, Planning and Development for one of the largest defense companies in the world, so I am missing your point. The underlying messages of my post are:

1) Stop bitching about your job
2) Your 20s are not easy and are not meant to be easy
3) Anyone going into high finance and getting burnt out and then wondering why is a moron

so you're not working on wall street and you never have.

5/1/12

your mid to late 20s are supposed to suck?

That's bullshit. Is that what your dad told you?

5/1/12

So you don't work in "high finance" as you call it, and you are giving those of us who do a condescending rant? On a subject you clearly know nothing about... seems legit.

Also you make the assumption that all the "fuck banking" posters quit because they couldnt hack it, which is patently false. They proved they could hack it more than you can, but they also realized that other things make them happy. Who the fuck are you to tell them they're wrong. You only live once and if someone has the balls, yes the balls, to quit this fucking rat race and actually enjoy life and do what they want, then i'd have to say they are much braver than your or I.

In the end, noone will give a fuck what job you had, and if banking doesnt make you happy then fuck it. Who are you or I to judge? Get off your high horse, your obnoxious. Pretty much think this is one of the more ignorant posts ive seen on here.

5/1/12

Ok guys calm the F down. Everyone is getting a bit too emotional.

-Why are ppl leaving the industry? They believe their skills can be used in a more productive place. ie TechBanking This industry is a great jump start for newly graduated students. The learning curve is huge. Some like to stay for the long term. Some want the experience and want out. Everyone is different

-At the moment is the industry brutal? Yes, everyone is getting grilled and getting paid quite low. However, like every other industry its going through its business cycle. The firms will have to reinvent themselves.

-Reinvent itself? BB or boutiques have to cut down on their costs. They cant sustain themselves at the current rate. Plus many 'rain makers' are leaving their firms to start their own or joining others. As you folks know, this is a relationship driven business. Hence, in my opinion I do see more boutique firms starting up. Good news: more potential opportunities. Good news/ bad news: BB might loose quite a few 'stars' and will have to hire more analyst. (turnover is high in this industry) A lot of talent will move around and settle down where it seems profitable; supply and demand.

Conclusion: the industry will be volatile for the coming years. However, it will start to make progress in the long term. People joining the industry as well as the ones leaving it will always appreciate what it has to offer. Make the most of it and create something bigger and better out of it. Perfect example: TechBanking.

Case Closed, have a nice day.

5/1/12

An articulate, eloquent, and much-needed rebuttal, Nefarious.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

In reply to analyst-therapist
5/1/12
analyst-therapist:

Also you make the assumption that all the "fuck banking" posters quit because they couldnt hack it, which is patently false.

Forgive me if I missed a very obvious point, but I couldn't seem to see where the OP suggested those who quit could'nt hack it.

In reply to ronnie22
5/1/12
ronnie22:
analyst-therapist:

Also you make the assumption that all the "fuck banking" posters quit because they couldnt hack it, which is patently false.

Forgive me if I missed a very obvious point, but I couldn't seem to see where the OP suggested those who quit could'nt hack it.

He might not have said they couldn't hack it, but the post was incredibly condescending. Also, you can't just write a macro to replace our jobs, that's asinine. If it could have been done, it would have by now, so in addition to a tone of condescension we have a clear misunderstanding of why so much work is done. There is an undeniable human element to this industry at all levels and to imply that a computer program could fully replace that is laughable. I'm not saying that the work is incredibly difficult or is changing the world, but things are constantly in need of update in real time, on the fly, and there is a necessity for analytical, quick on their feet types.

I'm sure that the condescending nature of the post struck a chord with a lot of readers, as it was designed to do. I am all supportive of a "wake up call" when it is needed, but it is important to be mindful of the audience. A few VPs who are leaving banking because they have accomplished what they sought out to and the benefits no longer outweigh the costs are not the right target for the speech. Also, it's just weird to have someone who has never done what you've done tell you to sack up and do it better. If I told Kobe to stop being tired and whining about getting fouled because he should know that he's going to get fouled, Kobe would just tell me "fuck off son, I run this shit, you don't think I know?" and I would look like an idiot. I'm not saying that this is what's happening here, but it's not wildly off. It's best to leave the lectures to people who have done this, or you risk having no credible leg to stand on. I think that was the general point of the post above.

In reply to rufiolove
5/1/12
rufiolove:
ronnie22:
analyst-therapist:

Also you make the assumption that all the "fuck banking" posters quit because they couldnt hack it, which is patently false.

Forgive me if I missed a very obvious point, but I couldn't seem to see where the OP suggested those who quit could'nt hack it.

He might not have said they couldn't hack it, but the post was incredibly condescending. Also, you can't just write a macro to replace our jobs, that's asinine. If it could have been done, it would have by now, so in addition to a tone of condescension we have a clear misunderstanding of why so much work is done. There is an undeniable human element to this industry at all levels and to imply that a computer program could fully replace that is laughable. I'm not saying that the work is incredibly difficult or is changing the world, but things are constantly in need of update in real time, on the fly, and there is a necessity for analytical, quick on their feet types.

I'm sure that the condescending nature of the post struck a chord with a lot of readers, as it was designed to do. I am all supportive of a "wake up call" when it is needed, but it is important to be mindful of the audience. A few VPs who are leaving banking because they have accomplished what they sought out to and the benefits no longer outweigh the costs are not the right target for the speech. Also, it's just weird to have someone who has never done what you've done tell you to sack up and do it better. If I told Kobe to stop being tired and whining about getting fouled because he should know that he's going to get fouled, Kobe would just tell me "fuck off son, I run this shit, you don't think I know?" and I would look like an idiot. I'm not saying that this is what's happening here, but it's not wildly off. It's best to leave the lectures to people who have done this, or you risk having no credible leg to stand on. I think that was the general point of the post above.

While I agree with your that the OP is a bit condescending, I think he still made some fairly good points generally. He pointed out that the first few years are going to suck and people should know better when they decide to get into investment banking. You're right that humans can't be replaced by a computer program, but he is not far off in suggesting junior people are so easily replaceable. There is always an endless supply of top students from targets dying to get into those junior positions, and what the analysts do are not exactly rocket science. The same can even be said about the quant-heavy trading team - I had an internship on a team trading highly structured/complex products, and all the traders told me 'anyone with half a brain can do it'. Although it's a slight exaggeration, but you see my point about junior people are deemed replaceable in this industry anyway.

I don't know who the OP is addressing and have no idea about the VPs posts, but from OP's profile he is a 3rd year Associate, which I suppose he wouldn't be in a ridiculously stupid to comment on this topic? It's not like he's still a college junior or something.

5/1/12

Seemed to me that he was implying that those people in banking who complain about it and leave are some how "hippies" and have too much "self-pity". To me that reads, you guys are pussies you cant make it in banking.

And yes ruffiolove the general point is that the OP sounds like an ignorant dick. Monday quarterbacking at its finest. Or perhaps your just pissed cause you couldnt break into finance? either way I dont much like the tone of the post, and I have a ton of respect for the guys who get out and do what they are passionate about.

I feel like the OP completely missed the point of all the "i left banking posts". These guys are telling all of us caught up in this rat race that there does not need to be some set path to success. In fact most of us, myself included, I would be willing to bet got into the ibd>pe track because we want to be successful and this is the least scary way to do it. Its not all that risky, lets be honest, and its tried and true. Tough to say we're all trailblazers and finance gods. We've all had a "path" set up for us since kindergarten. and when we see the real world approaching without another "path" to success we freak out and jump on this finance track because its there and its a path and it should make you successful.

TO me these guys werent complaining about their jobs, so much as deciding to say fuck this path, I'm gonna do this my way and if I fail so be it but i tried and i won't regret it. That takes more balls than "Shutting the fuck up, buckling down and getting it done". That takes a willingness to fail and a drive to succeed far greater than pretending you can create some macro to do a job you know jack about.

In reply to analyst-therapist
5/1/12
analyst-therapist:

Seemed to me that he was implying that those people in banking who complain about it and leave are some how "hippies" and have too much "self-pity". To me that reads, you guys are pussies you cant make it in banking.

And yes ruffiolove the general point is that the OP sounds like an ignorant dick. Monday quarterbacking at its finest. Or perhaps your just pissed cause you couldnt break into finance? either way I dont much like the tone of the post, and I have a ton of respect for the guys who get out and do what they are passionate about.

I feel like the OP completely missed the point of all the "i left banking posts". These guys are telling all of us caught up in this rat race that there does not need to be some set path to success. In fact most of us, myself included, I would be willing to bet got into the ibd>pe track because we want to be successful and this is the least scary way to do it. Its not all that risky, lets be honest, and its tried and true. Tough to say we're all trailblazers and finance gods. We've all had a "path" set up for us since kindergarten. and when we see the real world approaching without another "path" to success we freak out and jump on this finance track because its there and its a path and it should make you successful.

TO me these guys werent complaining about their jobs, so much as deciding to say fuck this path, I'm gonna do this my way and if I fail so be it but i tried and i won't regret it. That takes more balls than "Shutting the fuck up, buckling down and getting it done". That takes a willingness to fail and a drive to succeed far greater than pretending you can create some macro to do a job you know jack about.

As far as the path goes, I agree but think that more people fall into this trap who end up going to law school. I also don't know if IBD to PE is the "tried and true" path, I didn't even know what PE was until I was a sophomore in college, it may be a path that results in success but clearly it's not something that the general public understands. The "tried and true" path in America seems to be that you enjoy your college experience, start thinking about what you want to do when you're a junior, get a job in something that interests you, try your best, and go from there, ultimately resulting in multiple career changes sometimes. If you're talking about among high finance, I guess you could say IBD to PE is tried and true, but it's hard to name tons of people you know off of the top of your head, family friends and what not, who are even in PE in the first place, let alone started by doing IBD, and I think that we're told "if you do IBD you go to PE" while the reality is much more complicated than that. To me it still seems like a relatively obscure plan that most people aren't familiar with, I almost think that we perceive it as being much more tried and true than it really is.

Also, I love your user name, Tobias Funke.

In reply to analyst-therapist
5/1/12
analyst-therapist:

In fact most of us, myself included, I would be willing to bet got into the ibd>pe track because we want to be successful and this is the least scary way to do it. Its not all that risky, lets be honest, and its tried and true. Tough to say we're all trailblazers and finance gods. We've all had a "path" set up for us since kindergarten. and when we see the real world approaching without another "path" to success we freak out and jump on this finance track because its there and its a path and it should make you successful.

Wise words for soon-to-be college graduates.

There is no path. We are all cutting our way through the jungle and sometimes it's tough to see ahead.

In reply to rufiolove
5/1/12
rufiolove:
ronnie22:
analyst-therapist:

Also you make the assumption that all the "fuck banking" posters quit because they couldnt hack it, which is patently false.

Forgive me if I missed a very obvious point, but I couldn't seem to see where the OP suggested those who quit could'nt hack it.

He might not have said they couldn't hack it, but the post was incredibly condescending. Also, you can't just write a macro to replace our jobs, that's asinine. If it could have been done, it would have by now, so in addition to a tone of condescension we have a clear misunderstanding of why so much work is done. There is an undeniable human element to this industry at all levels and to imply that a computer program could fully replace that is laughable. I'm not saying that the work is incredibly difficult or is changing the world, but things are constantly in need of update in real time, on the fly, and there is a necessity for analytical, quick on their feet types.

I'm sure that the condescending nature of the post struck a chord with a lot of readers, as it was designed to do. I am all supportive of a "wake up call" when it is needed, but it is important to be mindful of the audience. A few VPs who are leaving banking because they have accomplished what they sought out to and the benefits no longer outweigh the costs are not the right target for the speech. Also, it's just weird to have someone who has never done what you've done tell you to sack up and do it better. If I told Kobe to stop being tired and whining about getting fouled because he should know that he's going to get fouled, Kobe would just tell me "fuck off son, I run this shit, you don't think I know?" and I would look like an idiot. I'm not saying that this is what's happening here, but it's not wildly off. It's best to leave the lectures to people who have done this, or you risk having no credible leg to stand on. I think that was the general point of the post above.

I guess you are right since I cannot write a macro to make powerpoint edits.

On a more serious note: You are making the incorrect assumption that I am 23 working my first job. Although I have never worked on wall street for a BB, I do have prior banking (boutique) experience.

As ronnie22 eluded to, my WSO identification badge indicates 3rd year associate, which in CF would translate (at least in my mind) to a manager position, which is what I am: a manager in the strategy, planning and development division of a top aerospace and defense company.

It seems to me the people that are really butt hurt about my post are 1st and 2nd year analysts in IB. Not shocking as you are taking this post to heart and as a personal attack. The purpose of this post was to help people stay the course of hard work and to understand that it will pay off. Not to wake up at 24 and decide to be a street musician. I want to give you a piece of wisdom that was passed down to me when I first start working: Be the guy that knows what needs to be done, not the guy responsible for doing it.

You guys are gripping on to defense mechanisms at this point and worrying too much about my current position not with a BB on wall street. The fact of the matter is, I have a more powerful and respected position than you. I make more than you and I do it in half the amount of time put in during the week. I have plenty of time to do things like play golf, go to the gym, own a dog. I also live on the beach in Florida. So you can attempt to knock me as much as you want for not currently working in banking, but the fact of the matter is, when we stack our lives up against each other, you are losing.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

5/1/12
Nefarious-:

You guys are gripping on to defense mechanisms at this point and worrying too much about my current position not with a BB on wall street. The fact of the matter is, I have a more powerful and respected position than you. I make more than you and I do it in half the amount of time put in during the week. I have plenty of time to do things like play golf, go to the gym, own a dog. I also live on the beach in Florida. So you can attempt to knock me as much as you want for not currently working in banking, but the fact of the matter is, when we stack our lives up against each other, you are losing.

I have a secret man crush on you. It's not secret anymore.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

5/2/12

so again, you have never worked a real job on wall street (barring your little internship).

work sucks in your 20s. well no shit, it sucks for everyone, but in IBD it sucks in EVERY way that the starting years of your corp fin job sucked AND a lot more. you presuming to understand this is like the college kids here saying that they understand 100-hr weeks without ever having done one.

and who cares if your comp and hours are "better" than some junior staff in banking. how does that give you any cred? i know some senior engineers who have basically retired on the job and are raking it in giving that they do about 30 minutes of real work a week. should i have them come on and lecture the young bankers about sacking up?

your original post was actually 100% on point. junior level anything sucks. and the industry is shrinking. it's a great message. too bad that you undermine it by being so terribly unqualified to deliver it.

5/2/12

excellent words of wisdom, i'd say. i might get pummeled for this but who cares: how about all the language on this site? WSO is really cool as a community and all, and i guess that's part of the schtick, but won't employers look at how you act on this site just like they mine other online profiles for psych indicators? sure, i'll throw a few f-bombs here and there, but anyways that's one thing i've noticed about us WSO'ers is that we sure do like four letter words. everyone knows good and well that the crass language isn't tolerated in a professional environment

at any rate, nefarious is spot on in his admonition of our entitled crap

"Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait."
-Thomas Edison

In reply to WreckEmFinance
5/2/12
WreckEmFinance:

excellent words of wisdom, i'd say. i might get pummeled for this but who cares: how about all the language on this site? WSO is really cool as a community and all, and i guess that's part of the schtick, but won't employers look at how you act on this site just like they mine other online profiles for psych indicators? sure, i'll throw a few f-bombs here and there, but anyways that's one thing i've noticed about us WSO'ers is that we sure do like four letter words. everyone knows good and well that the crass language isn't tolerated in a professional environment

at any rate, nefarious is spot on in his admonition of our entitled crap

So this 'profile mining' really happens? I understand that HR can google your name and look you up on pipl.com and facebook, but mining through forums and such seem a bit extreme. Perhaps a naive question... but I'm curious.

In reply to Nefarious-
5/2/12
Nefarious-:
rufiolove:
ronnie22:
analyst-therapist:

Also you make the assumption that all the "fuck banking" posters quit because they couldnt hack it, which is patently false.

Forgive me if I missed a very obvious point, but I couldn't seem to see where the OP suggested those who quit could'nt hack it.

He might not have said they couldn't hack it, but the post was incredibly condescending. Also, you can't just write a macro to replace our jobs, that's asinine. If it could have been done, it would have by now, so in addition to a tone of condescension we have a clear misunderstanding of why so much work is done. There is an undeniable human element to this industry at all levels and to imply that a computer program could fully replace that is laughable. I'm not saying that the work is incredibly difficult or is changing the world, but things are constantly in need of update in real time, on the fly, and there is a necessity for analytical, quick on their feet types.

I'm sure that the condescending nature of the post struck a chord with a lot of readers, as it was designed to do. I am all supportive of a "wake up call" when it is needed, but it is important to be mindful of the audience. A few VPs who are leaving banking because they have accomplished what they sought out to and the benefits no longer outweigh the costs are not the right target for the speech. Also, it's just weird to have someone who has never done what you've done tell you to sack up and do it better. If I told Kobe to stop being tired and whining about getting fouled because he should know that he's going to get fouled, Kobe would just tell me "fuck off son, I run this shit, you don't think I know?" and I would look like an idiot. I'm not saying that this is what's happening here, but it's not wildly off. It's best to leave the lectures to people who have done this, or you risk having no credible leg to stand on. I think that was the general point of the post above.

I guess you are right since I cannot write a macro to make powerpoint edits.

On a more serious note: You are making the incorrect assumption that I am 23 working my first job. Although I have never worked on wall street for a BB, I do have prior banking (boutique) experience.

As ronnie22 eluded to, my WSO identification badge indicates 3rd year associate, which in CF would translate (at least in my mind) to a manager position, which is what I am: a manager in the strategy, planning and development division of a top aerospace and defense company.

It seems to me the people that are really butt hurt about my post are 1st and 2nd year analysts in IB. Not shocking as you are taking this post to heart and as a personal attack. The purpose of this post was to help people stay the course of hard work and to understand that it will pay off. Not to wake up at 24 and decide to be a street musician. I want to give you a piece of wisdom that was passed down to me when I first start working: Be the guy that knows what needs to be done, not the guy responsible for doing it.

You guys are gripping on to defense mechanisms at this point and worrying too much about my current position not with a BB on wall street. The fact of the matter is, I have a more powerful and respected position than you. I make more than you and I do it in half the amount of time put in during the week. I have plenty of time to do things like play golf, go to the gym, own a dog. I also live on the beach in Florida. So you can attempt to knock me as much as you want for not currently working in banking, but the fact of the matter is, when we stack our lives up against each other, you are losing.

Let's see how arrogant you act when your funding gets pulled due to wars winding down.

In reply to WreckEmFinance
5/2/12
WreckEmFinance:

excellent words of wisdom, i'd say. i might get pummeled for this but who cares: how about all the language on this site? WSO is really cool as a community and all, and i guess that's part of the schtick, but won't employers look at how you act on this site just like they mine other online profiles for psych indicators? sure, i'll throw a few f-bombs here and there, but anyways that's one thing i've noticed about us WSO'ers is that we sure do like four letter words. everyone knows good and well that the crass language isn't tolerated in a professional environment

at any rate, nefarious is spot on in his admonition of our entitled crap

I must have missed the memo about including all of my online user names on my resume. What the fuck are you talking about? And have you ever worked before? Pretty sure no one really minds profanity here and there.

In reply to blastoise
5/2/12
blastoise:
Nefarious-:
rufiolove:
ronnie22:
analyst-therapist:

Also you make the assumption that all the "fuck banking" posters quit because they couldnt hack it, which is patently false.

Forgive me if I missed a very obvious point, but I couldn't seem to see where the OP suggested those who quit could'nt hack it.

He might not have said they couldn't hack it, but the post was incredibly condescending. Also, you can't just write a macro to replace our jobs, that's asinine. If it could have been done, it would have by now, so in addition to a tone of condescension we have a clear misunderstanding of why so much work is done. There is an undeniable human element to this industry at all levels and to imply that a computer program could fully replace that is laughable. I'm not saying that the work is incredibly difficult or is changing the world, but things are constantly in need of update in real time, on the fly, and there is a necessity for analytical, quick on their feet types.

I'm sure that the condescending nature of the post struck a chord with a lot of readers, as it was designed to do. I am all supportive of a "wake up call" when it is needed, but it is important to be mindful of the audience. A few VPs who are leaving banking because they have accomplished what they sought out to and the benefits no longer outweigh the costs are not the right target for the speech. Also, it's just weird to have someone who has never done what you've done tell you to sack up and do it better. If I told Kobe to stop being tired and whining about getting fouled because he should know that he's going to get fouled, Kobe would just tell me "fuck off son, I run this shit, you don't think I know?" and I would look like an idiot. I'm not saying that this is what's happening here, but it's not wildly off. It's best to leave the lectures to people who have done this, or you risk having no credible leg to stand on. I think that was the general point of the post above.

I guess you are right since I cannot write a macro to make powerpoint edits.

On a more serious note: You are making the incorrect assumption that I am 23 working my first job. Although I have never worked on wall street for a BB, I do have prior banking (boutique) experience.

As ronnie22 eluded to, my WSO identification badge indicates 3rd year associate, which in CF would translate (at least in my mind) to a manager position, which is what I am: a manager in the strategy, planning and development division of a top aerospace and defense company.

It seems to me the people that are really butt hurt about my post are 1st and 2nd year analysts in IB. Not shocking as you are taking this post to heart and as a personal attack. The purpose of this post was to help people stay the course of hard work and to understand that it will pay off. Not to wake up at 24 and decide to be a street musician. I want to give you a piece of wisdom that was passed down to me when I first start working: Be the guy that knows what needs to be done, not the guy responsible for doing it.

You guys are gripping on to defense mechanisms at this point and worrying too much about my current position not with a BB on wall street. The fact of the matter is, I have a more powerful and respected position than you. I make more than you and I do it in half the amount of time put in during the week. I have plenty of time to do things like play golf, go to the gym, own a dog. I also live on the beach in Florida. So you can attempt to knock me as much as you want for not currently working in banking, but the fact of the matter is, when we stack our lives up against each other, you are losing.

Let's see how arrogant you act when your funding gets pulled due to wars winding down.

This statement shows you don't know a lot about my industry.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to jos.a.bankhard
5/2/12
jos.a.bankhard:
WreckEmFinance:

excellent words of wisdom, i'd say. i might get pummeled for this but who cares: how about all the language on this site? WSO is really cool as a community and all, and i guess that's part of the schtick, but won't employers look at how you act on this site just like they mine other online profiles for psych indicators? sure, i'll throw a few f-bombs here and there, but anyways that's one thing i've noticed about us WSO'ers is that we sure do like four letter words. everyone knows good and well that the crass language isn't tolerated in a professional environment

at any rate, nefarious is spot on in his admonition of our entitled crap

I must have missed the memo about including all of my online user names on my resume. What the fuck are you talking about? And have you ever worked before? Pretty sure no one really minds profanity here and there.

You are not as anonymous as you would like to think you are.

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

5/2/12

not sure what this thread is about, but Layer Cake is an awesome movie

In reply to Nefarious-
5/2/12
Nefarious-:

I guess you are right since I cannot write a macro to make powerpoint edits.

On a more serious note: You are making the incorrect assumption that I am 23 working my first job. Although I have never worked on wall street for a BB, I do have prior banking (boutique) experience.

I never assumed that you are 23, or that you are working your first job. I merely mentioned that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what we do, which is evidenced by your comments about writing a macro that could replace our entire job. I guess I missed the part where working in Corporate Finance was so much more complex and less repetitive than banking. I guess I have more of a misunderstanding of FP&A / Strategy roles than I initially thought (I spent the better part of a year working for an F100 company in Corporate Finance prior to banking so I must have just missed this).

Nefarious-:

As ronnie22 eluded to, my WSO identification badge indicates 3rd year associate, which in CF would translate (at least in my mind) to a manager position, which is what I am: a manager in the strategy, planning and development division of a top aerospace and defense company.

Okay, so you work as a finance manager at Lockheed Martin / Boeing / Raytheon, that's cool... it's a good job with a great work-life balance.

Nefarious-:

It seems to me the people that are really butt hurt about my post are 1st and 2nd year analysts in IB.
You guys are gripping on to defense mechanisms at this point and worrying too much about my current position not with a BB on wall street. The fact of the matter is, I have a more powerful and respected position than you. I make more than you and I do it in half the amount of time put in during the week. I have plenty of time to do things like play golf, go to the gym, own a dog. I also live on the beach in Florida. So you can attempt to knock me as much as you want for not currently working in banking, but the fact of the matter is, when we stack our lives up against each other, you are losing.

Here is where I guess I lose the crux of your point. I guess I feel bad that you need to try to prove that your position is more powerful or respected than mine. I never said anything negative about your job, mine, or anyone else's. Regardless of my skepticism of the compensation of a finance manager at Lockheed exceeding that of a top performing experienced analyst at a top investment bank, I guess I just find it a little troubling that you feel that need to belittle the work of others in such a confrontational way. In addition to the fact that you would be hard pressed to prove that your position is more powerful and respected (especially on a forum such as this whose primary membership has already voted on that issue by the focus of their efforts), it really just comes across as a statement of immaturity, which is in direct conflict with the perceived value of your original post (one which contained many points with which I agreed and only a handful of conceited backhanded points with which I did not). I dont know what "defense mechanisms" I was / am clinging to, as I merely noted that a lot of information and external perspective on what we do was wrong (which it was), but I find it ironic that when your point of view was questioned (with respect to an industry that you don't work in), that you resorted to trying to disparage and compete with someone who has much less experience than you as a means of winning an argument.

I made fairly irrefutable point - that the tone of your post was incredibly condescending. There isn't much denying it. You chose to address what most would interpret to be a fairly reasonable observation of your tone with even further defensiveness and condescension.

I guess ultimately, if you need to keep score with someone who as you clearly mentioned is several rungs down there ladder from where you perceive yourself to be, you are actually the one who is losing, irrespective of the fact that I will not be spending my entire life "turning powerpoint comments" as you put it. Not that financial compensation provides any credible way to win an argument, (despite your efforts to prove otherwise), but the private equity opportunities that my friends and I are currently reviewing would likely double my current compensation and halve my hours, but of course this was done over the span of a year or two, not several as is necessary in a corporate finance structure.

I'm sure there are numerous finance managers working at top aerospace and defense companies out-earning those in private equity, while working the same hours. I guess you are right... there is no way that I will be able to own a dog, go to the beach, or work in a position that is well respected. Banking is why I can't have nice things.

To address your statement that we are "butt-hurt" about your comments:

Nefarious-:

You really need to get it out of your head that because you are an intermediate with excel and can do a DCF analysis, you are worth a shit. I can write a macro to do the work you do and have a chimpanzee insert the dumps to generate that report. You are not special.

My only word of caution would be that you may want to be cognizant of the condescending attitude toward "DCF Monkeys" because when you hit the ceiling in your current job at a Corp 100 juggernaut, and you will... you will likely move to a private firm where they will pay you a premium for your "incredible expertise in writing macros that replace others jobs," at which point your entire firm will be subject to the mercy of one of the aforementioned "DCF monkeys" at a PE shop, discussing the personnel retention plan and the value add of your job. The "unskilled monkeys" you seem to believe add no value, could very well end up determining whether you have a job some day... but you knew all that already... you work in Strategy.

Have fun winning.

5/2/12

What company do you work for Nefarious

5/2/12

do the (think x,y,z)

In reply to Kenny_Powers_CFA
5/2/12

Get busy living

5/2/12

Interesting to note that the whiny quitters worked in unpreftigious groups though. Piano boy worked in Corporate broking. That's like the back office of front office.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/2/12
IlliniProgrammer:
dabanobo:

Looking at Gini on a per-country basis is making less and less sense these days, due to globalization. Trickle down is working globally, just not for the American middle class who whine a lot but aren't really poor at all on a global scale.

Sure, but the problem is that the trading game is ultimately about the assumption that the people who have money aren't smart enough to manage it efficiently. With higher ginis- with more wealth in generally smarter hands- there are fewer opportunities for that in the US.

There might be a lot of middle-class Chinese or Indian investors with funds to invest. But the US won't be their first destination.

As with most of what IP writes, this is completely made-up nonsense that comes from his imagination as opposed to reality. Do you really think the money being made in China is being managed by only Chinese people? How about the massive accumulation of wealth by foreign sovereign wealth funds? If I was allowed to send you the investor list of the hedge fund I work for you would see that this money is a boon to the business of trading in the states and in london.

I dont feel like giving you a lesson in global money flows, but you should know that when the US runs a trade imbalance with a place like China that has a peg to USD this ends up being reflected in a large FX reserve buildup at the country's central bank unless the Chinese companies that make USD just put it under their mattress which they dont. That money must be pushed outside the country or else money supply will explode within the country and the peg would break (which the central bank doesnt allow)...this is an accounting identidy that has nothing to do with the choices of the middle class in these countries.

Where do you think places like SAFE, GIC, etc invest their money? Do you even understand that they cant keep that money in the country without massive problems? Seriously dude stop talking about things you dont understand. When the currency is managed trade flows must equal investment flows or else there will be massive inflation....if individuals dont invest abroad then the central bank does it for them by purchasing foreign assets.

In reply to NewGuy
5/2/12
NewGuy:

Interesting to note that the whiny quitters worked in unpreftigious groups though. Piano boy worked in Corporate broking. That's like the back office of front office.

You're out of your mind if you think he worked in Corporate Brokering after getting a first in PPE from Oxford.

wait, what's 'corporate broking'?

In reply to Bondarb
5/2/12

LOL, Bondarb, take a look at things in the extrema. If Ginis go to 1, there is no need for trading. Hell, there's no wealth to transfer since one person or a very tiny group of people have it all. And whatever system was in place to give them that wealth is going to overwhelm the world's smartest trader. High GINIs stacked on top of low consumer savings rates are inherently bad for trading. It means fewer average people have money that could be managed better.

Looks like someone got pissed off by my views. Life is too short and us friendly quants have seen too much to do anything but grin wisely when someone calls our views and experience "made-up nonsense", lol.

Back to my rusty honda and hang gliders.

PS: CIC probably isn't investing with Fidelity or PIMCO for that matter. And when they do buy, a lot less of the volume is going banks than it was five years ago and a lot more is going directly to the market. Of course, China's trade surplus is starting to turn into a deficit due to the demise of the US middle class consumer. (Increased ginis).

5/2/12

I disagree pretty strongly with the whole "companies want mobile employees" idea, but maybe it's a banking thing.
But anyway, if you took a job and stuck around long enough to have the need to cry about it and quit in spectacular fashion, then you're the dumbass who made a stupid career decision, don't blame the job or the industry or anybody but yourself. If you can't handle it, just admit you're a pussy and bail out. If you don't like it, then just respectfully leave. You're definitely right about the "leaving banking" posts being annoying and played-out though. They aren't inspiring and they don't make me question anything other than the orientation of the poster.

I hate victims who respect their executioners

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/2/12
IlliniProgrammer:

LOL, Bondarb, take a look at things in the extrema. If Ginis go to 1, there is no need for trading. Hell, there's no wealth to transfer since one person or a very tiny group of people have it all. And whatever system was in place to give them that wealth is going to overwhelm the world's smartest trader. High GINIs stacked on top of low consumer savings rates are inherently bad for trading. It means fewer average people have money that could be managed better.

Looks like someone got pissed off by my views. Life is too short and us friendly quants have seen too much to do anything but grin wisely when someone calls our views and experience "made-up nonsense", lol.

Back to my rusty honda and hang gliders.

PS: CIC probably isn't investing with Fidelity or PIMCO for that matter. And when they do buy, a lot less of the volume is going banks than it was five years ago and a lot more is going directly to the market. Of course, China's trade surplus is starting to turn into a deficit due to the demise of the US middle class consumer. (Increased ginis).

I dont think you get it. When the currency is pegged the dollars they get through trade must be sent back abroad. CIC doesnt have to invest in a fund run by PIMCO or Fidelity (although they do invest billions in funds like this), even by setting up their own trading desk and buying US Treasuries they are sending that money back offshore to the States or elsewhere which they must do in order to maintain the peg. You make it sound as if the trade imbalance means that that money is "invested" China...it is not and it by definition cannot be except if the central bank wants to create inflation or let the currency float.

I am not offended by anything except you talking about something so ignorantly....you make it sound as though unless some Chinese guy decides to invest in a US hedge fund the money that goes over to China via our trade imbalance stays there. It doesnt and in fact it really cant.

5/3/12

You make it sound as if the trade imbalance means that that money is "invested" China...it is not and it by definition cannot be except if the central bank wants to create inflation or let the currency float.

No, I don't think I said that the money stays in China anywhere. If you read my comment on CIC again, what I'm saying is that the fewer the players, and the smarter the players, the fewer opportunities there are for outperformance and the less money that goes through financial intermediaries.

Oh well, I find it pretty darned funny that you think this conversation is worth your time but at the same time feel the need to throw out ad-hominems. Meanwhile you're still either ignoring or completely missing the income inequality dimension I originally pointed out as the main driver of a fundamental reduction in the need for people to work in trading. Fewer people with smarter money and more automation-> less aggregate value provided by traders.

Oh well, back to my rusty honda.

In reply to ronnie22
5/3/12
ronnie22:
NewGuy:

Interesting to note that the whiny quitters worked in unpreftigious groups though. Piano boy worked in Corporate broking. That's like the back office of front office.

You're out of your mind if you think he worked in Corporate Brokering after getting a first in PPE from Oxford.

wait, what's 'corporate broking'?

Durham, not Oxford.

And google it, brother. Corporate Broking is a UK thing.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/3/12
IlliniProgrammer:

You make it sound as if the trade imbalance means that that money is "invested" China...it is not and it by definition cannot be except if the central bank wants to create inflation or let the currency float.

No, I don't think I said that the money stays in China anywhere. If you read my comment on CIC again, what I'm saying is that the fewer the players, and the smarter the players, the fewer opportunities there are for outperformance and the less money that goes through financial intermediaries.

Oh well, I find it pretty darned funny that you think this conversation is worth your time but at the same time feel the need to throw out ad-hominems. Meanwhile you're still either ignoring or completely missing the income inequality dimension I originally pointed out as the main driver of a fundamental reduction in the need for people to work in trading. Fewer people with smarter money and more automation-> less aggregate value provided by traders.

Oh well, back to my rusty honda.

Do you have anything to back this up? Trading in financial markets had its best years at precisely the time income inequality was rising in the US. It's called a credit-fueled boom. The relationship between income-inequality and trading/investing is a whole lot more complicated than you are making it out to be. I'm generally in favor of more equality vs. less but I can't think of anything to substangiate your assertion that inequality stifles the need for trade.

5/3/12

Do you have anything to back this up? Trading in financial markets had its best years at precisely the time income inequality was rising in the US. It's called a credit-fueled boom. The relationship between income-inequality and trading/investing is a whole lot more complicated than you are making it out to be. I'm generally in favor of more equality vs. less but I can't think of anything to substangiate your assertion that inequality stifles the need for trade.

Sure, but didn't a lot of that have to do with leverage? Risk adjusted, we didn't do all that well in the last decade compared to the '80s or '90s. In 1985, Ivan Boesky ran into trouble getting much more than 3:1 or 4:1 leverage on equities. In 2006, it was pretty darned easy to get 10x leverage on those same equities from most prime services desks.

There's a lot of factors at play, but I don't think we should be counting on 10% haircuts on stock lending anytime soon.

5/3/12

The 80s and 90s were pretty brutal on the middle class. I think in the short-run, credit booms are good for traders and indirectly end up hurting the middle class. There's a correlation there but I don't think you can establish a causal link between equality and the success of traders, save that they may dependent variable on credit creation.

A propos, I don't know if you've heard of this book coming out by Edward Conard: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/magazine/romneys...
I can't tell whether the guy is just intellectually dishonest or suffered blunt trauma to the head as a child. His estimate of investor returns being passed on to the public x20 sounds pulled out of his butt. And crapping on lawyers for not being risk-takers when you did HBS -> Bain -> Wasserstein Perella -> Bain Capital... Priceless.

In reply to GoodBread
5/3/12
GoodBread:

The 80s and 90s were pretty brutal on the middle class.

Really? From what I remember from history, the late '70s were brutal on the middle class and the '80s and '90s made almost all Americans better off. I'm not exactly calling your claim bullshit, I'm just wondering, where is your evidence for that statement? How did the '80s and '90s screw over the middle class any more than any other period in the 20th century?

In reply to bulge_bracket
5/3/12
bulge_bracket:

Really? From what I remember from history, the late '70s were brutal on the middle class and the '80s and '90s made almost all Americans better off ... How did the '80s and '90s screw over the middle class any more than any other period in the 20th century?

Google "three wedges of wealth". The 80's and 90's saw a rise in absolute wealth but a sharp increase in income disparity that continues today. I'd argue that increases in technology and trade increased the net wealth, but the highly centralized nature of those advances dramatically increased the divide between those in charge and those who are not.

Perfect example: Apple. Jobs died a billionaire and a few shareholders were rich beyond their wildest dreams. The average person got a cool new piece of technology. Is it right? Is it fair? Is it sustainable? I don't know or care to go there, but the trend remains, and is unlikely to change.

Get busy living

In reply to bulge_bracket
5/3/12
bulge_bracket:
GoodBread:

The 80s and 90s were pretty brutal on the middle class.

Really? From what I remember from history, the late '70s were brutal on the middle class and the '80s and '90s made almost all Americans better off. I'm not exactly calling your claim bullshit, I'm just wondering, where is your evidence for that statement? How did the '80s and '90s screw over the middle class any more than any other period in the 20th century?

Have you even seen American Psycho? In the 80's, innocent members of the middle and lower classes were ruthlessly murdered by the 1%.

In reply to GoodBread
5/3/12
GoodBread:

The 80s and 90s were pretty brutal on the middle class. I think in the short-run, credit booms are good for traders and indirectly end up hurting the middle class. There's a correlation there but I don't think you can establish a causal link between equality and the success of traders, save that they may dependent variable on credit creation.

Maybe. But the markets were in the sweet spot of still relatively low ginis and deregulation.

I'm happy to admit there's a lot of factors that can easily shift things around. But a lot of the big factors, like opportunities to further deregulate, opportunities to leverage, and less sophisticated money in the markets don't bode that well for net trading revenues by hedge funds and financial intermediaries. Also tack on that automation is reducing the demand for human traders.

I think that as everyone adjusts to the post-service economy, there will eventually be more trading opportunities.

I can't tell whether the guy is just intellectually dishonest or suffered blunt trauma to the head as a child. His estimate of investor returns being passed on to the public x20 sounds pulled out of his butt. And crapping on lawyers for not being risk-takers when you did HBS -> Bain -> Wasserstein Perella -> Bain Capital... Priceless.

I'm not arguing too strongly for income equality or income inequality here. If everyone had the same income, traders wouldn't be that motivated by money. I'm simply noting that 20 years ago, you were sitting at the poker table with 20 players and anybody with a college degree could pick out the ten suckers at the table. As ginis increase, fewer people sit at the table, they're all much more sophisticated, and there are fewer opportunities to intermediate between them.

In reply to swagon
5/3/12
swagon:
bulge_bracket:
GoodBread:

The 80s and 90s were pretty brutal on the middle class.

Really? From what I remember from history, the late '70s were brutal on the middle class and the '80s and '90s made almost all Americans better off. I'm not exactly calling your claim bullshit, I'm just wondering, where is your evidence for that statement? How did the '80s and '90s screw over the middle class any more than any other period in the 20th century?

Have you even seen American Psycho? In the 80's, innocent members of the middle and lower classes were ruthlessly murdered by the 1%.

It was just a dream dude

Get busy living

5/3/12

You guys forget that there's a difference between delta and displacement; you're all focusing on the delta.

Yes, the middle class did not keep up with the rich in the 1980s and 1990s like they did in the 1950s and 1960s. My point simply is that we had a bigger middle class back then. One that was earning money and saving ~10% of it per year:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_since_WWII.svg

Yes, Gini coefficients increased during the 1980s and 1990s. But they weren't above 50 like they are now. Other factors like deregulation from 1980 to 2000 and then leverage from 2000-2008 easily made up for relatively small increases in Gini coefficients between 1980 and 2007. It's the size of the middle class, not the rate of growth, that matters for how much average money you have getting invested. Now there's not a whole lot of room left to deregulate and we're probably not going to releverage anytime soon.

So the one opportunity that we have for recovery and growth in net trading revenues is average money beginning to re-enter the market. And for that, we need a large middle class. It doesn't matter whether that middle-class is growing or shrinking; just that it's big and that it's saving money. I think the catalysts for a recovery in the middle-class are still at least five or ten years out and then it will take another 5-10 years for them to ramp up savings.

In reply to UFOinsider
5/3/12
UFOinsider:
swagon:
bulge_bracket:
GoodBread:

The 80s and 90s were pretty brutal on the middle class.

Really? From what I remember from history, the late '70s were brutal on the middle class and the '80s and '90s made almost all Americans better off. I'm not exactly calling your claim bullshit, I'm just wondering, where is your evidence for that statement? How did the '80s and '90s screw over the middle class any more than any other period in the 20th century?

Have you even seen American Psycho? In the 80's, innocent members of the middle and lower classes were ruthlessly murdered by the 1%.

It was just a dream dude

I wish it was...but the hard truth is there's nothing that can bring those victims back.

In reply to UFOinsider
5/3/12
UFOinsider:
bulge_bracket:

Really? From what I remember from history, the late '70s were brutal on the middle class and the '80s and '90s made almost all Americans better off ... How did the '80s and '90s screw over the middle class any more than any other period in the 20th century?

Google "three wedges of wealth". The 80's and 90's saw a rise in absolute wealth but a sharp increase in income disparity that continues today. I'd argue that increases in technology and trade increased the net wealth, but the highly centralized nature of those advances dramatically increased the divide between those in charge and those who are not.

Perfect example: Apple. Jobs died a billionaire and a few shareholders were rich beyond their wildest dreams. The average person got a cool new piece of technology. Is it right? Is it fair? Is it sustainable? I don't know or care to go there, but the trend remains, and is unlikely to change.

See, I just don't buy this line of thinking. If you actually look at some of the income disparity data, it shows that a good percent of those who were previously rich fell into the middle class or dropped, while over 50% of those who were previously poor became middle class or rich. So while the super rich get richer and the income disparty widens, I just can't believe for a second that the '80s and '90s didn't make most Americans way better off, even if they just got an iPod like you said. A perfect example is my father, who was the first in his family to go to college, grew up in an Irish-Polish household, went to a small catholic school that no one's ever heard up, and became a lowly social worker right out of college in the '70s. Later, he became a financial consultant at Smith Barney and then went to A.G. Edwards in the '90s. In the '80s, he and my mother (who also was the first to go to college in her family) were considered "yuppies" even though they didn't have prestigious degrees and at the end of the '90s, my dad was making over $200k a year. I know this is just one anecdote, but I still thoroughly believe, regardless of your partisan leanings (because the era covers Regan, Bush, and Clinton) that the average American family became vastly better off during the expansion in the '80s and '90s. Did the super-rich become relatively better off percentage-wise? Sure. But when would they not? When would the super-rich gain a little bit when the middle class gains a lot? That really shouldn't happen because the super rich and educated are smarter with their money and investments when overall economic exapansion leads to middle-class prosperity, so of course they're going to make more.

As a side note, I'm not referencing trickle-down with that last point, I'm just saying that rich people are usually going to make smarter investments and make more returns on their money than middle class people.

5/3/12

I think the biggest issue is people got sold into uber materialism. If you look at middle class people historically or recent immigrants you see very clearly how they gain wealth and assets. They work, live below their means and save their money. They are also very conservative, keeping cash or buying businesses and being self employed.

If you buy a modest house, put 20% down and have a fixed rate mortgage you will be fine. Work, save and build wealth not debt.

Now compare that to our current situation. You see consumers getting brainwashed on spending to the point of a negative savings rate. People bought more home than they needed, with no money down, with variable rate loans and cash out paper equity to buy more things. This rabid consumerism led to their downfall. So in essence net worth has not declined, they simply shifted future consumption to present consumption.

The rich will always get richer because they have low cost capital to invest when times are opportune. They can be debt free, consume when prices are lowest and have their money work for them. Over leveraged poor and middle class cannot do this because they have over consumed and used debt.

I don't know how you can solve this other than teaching delayed gratification and personal finance skills. This forum continually has discussions about people massively in debt from school when they have countless options to reduce this debt, but choose not to for one reason or another. Just like people who get more apartment than they need or a bigger car than they need, etc. You cannot control people consuming and not saving.

IP is a perfect example of someone who can control his consumption desire and knows how to accumulate assets instead of debt. Almost everyone can do this, but it ultimately comes down to a personal choice. You will be surprised how fast assets grow once you are debt free and consistently live below your means. Unfortunately the society we live in makes this self control very tough. In the end it is personal choice which drives this.

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