Quitting Investment Banking

Eddie Braverman's picture
Rank: The Pro | 21,203

Ask anyone who has been in the business awhile and he'll tell you that investment banking isn't all it's cracked up to be. The hours are long, the job security for the past four or five years has been pretty shaky, and there was that whole bailout thing in 2008 that basically turned investment bankers into lepers, conveniently blamed for all of society's ills. Some days you just want to throw in the towel.

Walking away from banking isn't common by any means. Let's face it: it's hard to get paid this much anywhere else, especially when you consider what it really is a banker does for a living. But sometimes the grind just gets to be too much, and some people just quit. I know, because I was one of them. Sure, things worked out for me in a big way before I bailed, but I'd promised myself before any of that happened that I'd pump gas for a living before I spent another year of my life trading.

I was 29 at that point, and had been in finance in one capacity or another for about six years. I happened to be in finance at a time when the game was rapidly changing thanks to the advent of the Internet, and I watched our once healthy margins disappear almost overnight. Suddenly I was being asked to work twice as hard for the same money. It's what prompted me to move from equities to commodities, where the information contagion had yet to spread.

Fast forward to today, and there's a whole new raft of issues forcing today's bankers to question whether they should consider something else. Case in point, I came across this article the other day. Its author is a 35-year old banker who is just fed up and throwing in the towel. He tells the tale of his early zeal for the business (he started in 2000), and how he worked his way into his dream job at a hedge fund. But then 2008 came along, and he now realizes that the job will never be enjoyable again. And most of his friends felt the same way:

Most of them had completely forgotten the joy of coming in to work. Anything stimulating or interesting was relegated to the past.

In time, I came to feel the same. I realised that I too didn't 'believe' any more. Knowing that we had reached a peak of product complexity prior to the crash and that new European rules would prevent the attainment of anything similar in future, my interest in financial services simply ebbed away.

Finally, and above all, I got fed up with the constant portrayal of bankers as society's villains. I've had enough. I'm turning the page. I'm not being pilloried any more. I'm off to do something different.

It seems the majority of our time here on WSO is spent trying to figure out how to get a job in finance. I'd submit to you younger guys that you might be careful what you wish for. There's no question that the money is great, relatively speaking. And I firmly believe that some guys are just born to be bankers, and are able to disconnect from the drudgery while they're at work. On some level I probably envy those guys. But for the non-robotic among us, the job often sucks ass.

I'd love to hear from guys who quit because they were fed up, but I doubt they spend much time here anymore. What do you guys think? Is this guy weak for bailing on banking? Or have you secretly considered it yourself? I was lucky enough to hit my walkaway number, but I'd have quit even if I hadn't. Does that make me a lesser trader? Or just a guy who realizes life is too short?

mod note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from February 2011. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

Comments (132)

Feb 2, 2011

One of my favourite fantasies is based around getting the big bonus (will probably be in 2012 - fucking HWMs!!!) watching it glide into my bank account and then walking into the managing partners office, telling him he's a fucking idiot and then walking out of the office. I get into the lift, pop my headphones on, fast forward to 'good vibrations' by the beach boys and then skip down the street dancing with everyone I meet.

414 days to go....

    • 1
Feb 2, 2011
samoanboy:

One of my favourite fantasies is based around getting the big bonus (will probably be in 2012 - fucking HWMs!!!) watching it glide into my bank account and then walking into the managing partners office, telling him he's a fucking idiot and then walking out of the office. I get into the lift, pop my headphones on, fast forward to 'good vibrations' by the beach boys and then skip down the street dancing with everyone I meet.

414 days to go....

from someone who's burned a few bridges before... don't do it.

Feb 2, 2011
mr_bigglesworth:
samoanboy:

One of my favourite fantasies is based around getting the big bonus (will probably be in 2012 - fucking HWMs!!!) watching it glide into my bank account and then walking into the managing partners office, telling him he's a fucking idiot and then walking out of the office. I get into the lift, pop my headphones on, fast forward to 'good vibrations' by the beach boys and then skip down the street dancing with everyone I meet.

414 days to go....

from someone who's burned a few bridges before... don't do it.

Agreed. Unless you absolutely despise this person, you never know how it could affect you.

Nov 3, 2012
samoanboy:

One of my favourite fantasies is based around getting the big bonus (will probably be in 2012 - fucking HWMs!!!) watching it glide into my bank account and then walking into the managing partners office, telling him he's a fucking idiot and then walking out of the office. I get into the lift, pop my headphones on, fast forward to 'good vibrations' by the beach boys and then skip down the street dancing with everyone I meet.

414 days to go....

well whats the plan?

Feb 2, 2011

I don't think there's anything weak about wanting to call time on the game.

Ignore the changing state of banking for a second: I think there has to come a point when you think to yourself, "Yes, I am earning a lot of money, but when do I actually get time to spend it all?" If I asked would you rather work 40 hours a week for 80k a year or 60 hours a week for 120k a year, I know what most people would say, but what about 80 hours for 160k or 100 hours for 200k? The starvation of personal time also forces you to make spending decisions where you end up paying a lot more for something just because it's quick while someone with more time on their hands can afford a better deal. Buying tickets for everything last minute is a lot more expensive than buying upfront; paying people to do your laundry and cook your food and clean your house; just taking the first good appartment you find rather than doing a little hunting. And did I mention higher-rate tax?
The more you earn - the less the marginal value of the dollar/pound/yen is to you and that money is your time.

That said, living in the UK at the moment, with the cost of living spiralling out of control and standards of service getting worse and worse, I often find myself wondering: how do people who don't work in finance even manage to live in London? Life must be pretty terrible.

    • 3
Aug 30, 2014

My sentiments exactly and I also live in the UK.

Feb 2, 2011

I have always seen finance as a springboard to something greater. Sure, people get trapped in the lifestyle. But I don't think it makes you a "lesser" person for hopping out of something you don't like. You have self respect. You want to do what you feel you should do, and sometimes that doesn't involve trying to make a bunch of money doing tedious work.

Personally, I'm trying to get into banking to go to an ivy for business/grad school. I'm at a nice PAC-10 school in LA, but thats not what I'm aiming for. I want to gain skills so I can branch off elsewhere, and either be an entrepreneur, or make people think highly of me, and be placed in a leadership position of a business. Ask a bunch of guys in wallstreet at banks and a lot are working towards exit opps. Whether thats VC, HF, PE, or something completely different is totally up to their interests and desires.

All in all, life IS too short. And walking away is respectable. I think anyone can agree with that. Unless you're a douche. Keep in mind two things : 1) I'm just about to get a SA position, so I'm not too experienced. and 2) I'm hammered right now.

    • 5
Feb 2, 2011

I quit this interviewing shit before I even started this mess - you know, to save myself the trouble and all.

Feb 2, 2011

Love being a banker. I'll walk away when I hit my number - 25 - but that'll take a while. I find the work really interesting and challenging. And i like surrounding myself with intelligent, entrepreneurial folk.
A lot of it has to do with whether the firm you're at is a good complement to your own strengths/needs. I'm fortunate to be at a pretty great shop.

Give me a couple years and let's hope I still have the same sentiments.

Feb 2, 2011
AVPGuerilla:

Love being a banker. I'll walk away when I hit my number - 25 - but that'll take a while. I find the work really interesting and challenging. And i like surrounding myself with intelligent, entrepreneurial folk.
A lot of it has to do with whether the firm you're at is a good complement to your own strengths/needs. I'm fortunate to be at a pretty great shop.

Entrepreneurial folk?? Please dude, bankers are the most risk averse people out there and I would hardly call them entrepreneurial, and that's one of the reasons I am leaving banking. This post couldn't have come at a better time as I am leaving to go to an actual fast growing internet company, where I will actually learn a ton about running your own business and be asked to take on a lot of different important roles. Not stare at excel and powerpoint all day & night, where 85% of my work ends up being menial bullshit.

I understand the appeal for some people, but I am getting myself out to do something I am actually passionate about before I get used to those golden handcuffs as so many do. Yes, I am taking a nice pay cut, but being able to go to work everyday and actually care is much more important to me.

I look back and laugh at how hard I busted my ass to get a IBD job (went to a non-target) only to be so disappointed. So for all those prospective monkeys who are having trouble finding an IBD job...it's honestly not all that it's made out to be, especially by so many on this site, and there are plenty of other ways to make money, do something you like and have a better life.

Anyway, to make all you monkeys jealous, I have about 4-5 months till I start my next job, so I will be taking a nice backpacking trip through South America!

    • 2
Feb 2, 2011

Being a simple Midwesterner with a simple set of needs and never having understood the New York mentality of making $XK/year and spending nearly all of it.

Money in a democratic capitalist society is the closest thing to pure freedom that exists. Why would anyone ever want to spend more of it than they need to? If you have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, either retire or give some it to charity. Maybe take up a capital-intensive sport (IE: hang gliding). But dropping $16 on a glass of wine at the Hudson Hotel probably isn't the way to do it.

Feb 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Being a simple Midwesterner with a simple set of needs and never having understood the New York mentality of making $XK/year and spending nearly all of it.

Money in a democratic capitalist society is the closest thing to pure freedom that exists. Why would anyone ever want to spend more of it than they need to? If you have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, either retire or give some it to charity. Maybe take up a capital-intensive sport (IE: hang gliding). But dropping $16 on a glass of wine at the Hudson Hotel probably isn't the way to do it.

Gotta enjoy the finer things in life. What satisfaction does money sitting around give you?

Feb 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Being a simple Midwesterner with a simple set of needs and never having understood the New York mentality of making $XK/year and spending nearly all of it.

Money in a democratic capitalist society is the closest thing to pure freedom that exists. Why would anyone ever want to spend more of it than they need to? If you have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, either retire or give some it to charity. Maybe take up a capital-intensive sport (IE: hang gliding). But dropping $16 on a glass of wine at the Hudson Hotel probably isn't the way to do it.

Hah wow that one came out of left field - hang gliding is a capital intensive sport? What about golf? Or if you want to get really exotic you could sponsor a polo team, I forget what the number is but you have to own and maintain something like 20+ horses (don't quote me on that). Maybe I just don't know enough about hang gliding, but I'd imagine the only capital you're really putting at risk is human capital, i.e. your own life.

Feb 2, 2011
Otter.:

Hah wow that one came out of left field - hang gliding is a capital intensive sport? What about golf? Or if you want to get really exotic you could sponsor a polo team, I forget what the number is but you have to own and maintain something like 20+ horses (don't quote me on that). Maybe I just don't know enough about hang gliding, but I'd imagine the only capital you're really putting at risk is human capital, i.e. your own life.

Well, it costs about $10K for training and equipment, so it's not exactly cheap but it's not polo either. You meet a lot of middle class and blue collar folks who are really passionate about the sport as well as a lot of folks who own their own businesses or work in finance/law/medicine to whom $10K is a chunk of change but not life changing.

In NYC, hang gliding means you also need a car or access to a car.

Feb 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Being a simple Midwesterner with a simple set of needs and never having understood the New York mentality of making $XK/year and spending nearly all of it.

Money in a democratic capitalist society is the closest thing to pure freedom that exists. Why would anyone ever want to spend more of it than they need to? If you have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, either retire or give some it to charity. Maybe take up a capital-intensive sport (IE: hang gliding). But dropping $16 on a glass of wine at the Hudson Hotel probably isn't the way to do it.

I'm basically on the same page - money is useful to me inasmuch as it equates to freedom and security, not shiny toys. But I gather that many on this board (and in the industry) are rather more of the shiny toy afficionado variety.

Feb 2, 2011
dublin:
IlliniProgrammer:

Being a simple Midwesterner with a simple set of needs and never having understood the New York mentality of making $XK/year and spending nearly all of it.

Money in a democratic capitalist society is the closest thing to pure freedom that exists. Why would anyone ever want to spend more of it than they need to? If you have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, either retire or give some it to charity. Maybe take up a capital-intensive sport (IE: hang gliding). But dropping $16 on a glass of wine at the Hudson Hotel probably isn't the way to do it.

I'm basically on the same page - money is useful to me inasmuch as it equates to freedom and security, not shiny toys.

I couldn't agree with you guys more. I'd like to make a lot of money because that security allows a lot of freedom. I like the idea of taking a year off and traveling, just because I have enough saved up. Or, going back to school for a year/two and studying something like philosophy, computer science, and maybe even business. Most importantly, I'd love the money because it'd allow me to take some time off and start my own business, or join a startup, or try trading for a living, or any number of other professions/ventures that might make me incredibly happy.

Feb 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Being a simple Midwesterner with a simple set of needs and never having understood the New York mentality of making $XK/year and spending nearly all of it.

Money in a democratic capitalist society is the closest thing to pure freedom that exists. Why would anyone ever want to spend more of it than they need to? If you have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, either retire or give some it to charity. Maybe take up a capital-intensive sport (IE: hang gliding). But dropping $16 on a glass of wine at the Hudson Hotel probably isn't the way to do it.

agreed

Feb 2, 2011
Feb 2, 2011
tabthe:

Whats a walk away number?

30x my annual living expenses, including healthcare.

Or finding a better opportunity outside the industry.

from someone who's burned a few bridges before... don't do it.

100% agree. It's ok to fantasize, but it's never good to make enemies.

If you have a really nasty boss, nicely letting him know you've gotten an offer elsewhere and that you're leaving in three weeks is actually a pretty darned good feeling.

Aug 18, 2013

My walk away is 12.775. 1K a day, keeps the doctor away, for 35 years.

'Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That's Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize.'

Feb 2, 2011
tabthe:

Whats a walk away number?

The amount of money it would take for you to "walk away" from work. It is enough to live on.

Feb 2, 2011

I hated my associate and MD - got a nice chunk of equity in a startup that is benefiting from absurd valuations. I work 60% of the hours I worked, with some nice liquidity on the secondary market.

I actually loved the comraderie at the junior level - from eating dinners together or just going out to bitch about our associates. When you're married to the office, it means so much to enjoy the people around you in the trenches.

The money was great, but as someone who isn't risk averse - for me there was no risk in banking, which made it a lot less challenging. To me - it was just slaving away for a pretty good paycheck for a 22 yr old - but no true risk/reward factor which I craved (and why a startup was a better fit for me). I also never realized why PE was all the rage - having some friends in mega funds and MM shops to clear that up for me helped, since I started out like most, hoping to jump to the buyside.

The work in banking can be very exciting, but that usually represents only 10-15% of your day job from analyst to VP. That was enough to make me feel like Ron Livingston in Officespace.

Feb 2, 2011

Walkaway number = PS400-500k... will walk away a long time before I have that liquid, money isnt all its cracked up to be.

Feb 2, 2011
samoanboy:

Walkaway number = PS400-500k... will walk away a long time before I have that liquid, money isnt all its cracked up to be.

You say that, but considering that financial advisors tell folks retiring at 65 to live on 4% of their savings, that's only PS20K/year, including healthcare- if you were retiring at 65. If you are retiring at 30-40, more conservativism is required. Hence, you're looking at more like 3-3.5%. So your walkaway number will only produce about PS17K/year in income.

For genuine retirement, I think you might need double that if you want to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.

Feb 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:
samoanboy:

Walkaway number = PS400-500k... will walk away a long time before I have that liquid, money isnt all its cracked up to be.

You say that, but considering that financial advisors tell folks retiring at 65 to live on 4% of their savings, that's only PS20K/year, including healthcare- if you were retiring at 65. If you are retiring at 30-40, more conservativism is required. Hence, you're looking at more like 3-3.5%. So your walkaway number will only produce about PS17K/year in income.

For genuine retirement, I think you might need double that if you want to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.

Walking away does not necessarily mean retirement - just leaving finance...

Feb 2, 2011
Edmundo Braverman:

It seems the majority of our time here on WSO is spent trying to figure out how to get a job in finance.

...and then later wanting to quit. QWSO.com anyone?

Feb 2, 2011

I'll quit the minute I feel any of the following:
- I've compromised my morals
- I cannot continue to work and still feel that I'm living a fruitful life
- I hit my walkaway number

Until then, I'll suck it up and deal with just about anything that comes my way.

Feb 2, 2011
A Posse Ad Esse:

I'll quit the minute I feel any of the following:
- I've compromised my morals
- I cannot continue to work and still feel that I'm living a fruitful life
- I hit my walkaway number

Until then, I'll suck it up and deal with just about anything that comes my way.

Nice. We say we just have a number that motivates us to stop slaving away, but there are so many other factors that should come into play.

Feb 2, 2011

It depends on where you are in your career--obviously if you're still relatively young you have greater opportunity to move around and try some different things. Nobody stays at the same firm for their entire career. After I left my last internship (because most of the people there were jerks), my dad told me, "Look son, I've worked for like nine or ten different firms since 1980. You've got some catching up to do!"

Just a college senior here, so it's easy for me to say this without any experience, but my philosophy is: if you hate it, then it's time to get out.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

    • 2
May 13, 2016

Agreed. But I think its just easy to say that, "If you hate it, then it's time to get out", what is the exit opportunity though

May 13, 2016
HryvnaZV:

its the lifestyle which is pushing me to leave. Not so much the workload even, but more so the inefficiencies and expectations from senior bankers that drive the 80-90+ hour weeks (ex: sending a deck around at 10am, twiddle thumbs for a few hours, receive load of comments at 10pm - need to turn "ASAP").

lol seems like you have a decent gig, you're gainfully employed, i'm sure you're compensated.

but, you're b*tching about twiddling your thumbs for a few hours while you're getting paid because it inconveniences you? Deal with it. You're an analyst.

Welcome to IB. You didn't know what you signed up for or something?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

May 13, 2016

Maybe you should switch to IB DCM or ECM, or just go to B school.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

May 13, 2016

DCM and ECM aren't any different man. The only reason why the work week is 60-70 hours a week is because you're slammed the entire time. No twiddling your thumbs at all. Every second you're on the desk you're doing work or answering phone calls (the phones literally never stop ringing) unless your shop has shitty deal flow. I think OP is living in fantasy land, and needs to realize that making a lot of money requires a 60+ hour work week.

Best Response
May 13, 2016

LOL at the butthurt bankers downvoting OP in this thread. Nowhere did I see OP say that he expects to make bank while working better hours, and I'm sure he realizes the tradeoff between money and hours worked, especially in finance. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a decent life after a couple years grinding away at banking, and the OP was fairly reasonable in what he stated.

It seem like 75% of the bankers I know turned into fat, unhealthy and/or depressed pieces of shit, and the ones who are still in it seem to think that's some kind of badge of honor. Like "yea, I know I have three chins, my cholesterol is through the roof and I haven't seen my penis or the inside of a gym since college, but check out my bank account bro!"

    • 5
Feb 2, 2011

Quit Finance and do what ? Lets assume I hit the jackpot and retire at 35 - in 10 years, assuming life expectancy of 65, what would I do for 30 years ? I can only post on WSO so much. I think its better to find something I'm really passionate about - clearly Finance isn't it - and pursue that instead.

    • 1
May 13, 2016

Spongebob1683, shame nobody has responded. Maybe one of these topics will help:

  • Is investment banking not as prestigious as most people think? Are kids that break in sub-par? cutting out the middle man People keep talking about exit ops for IB and I keep wondering what the hell ... doesn't pay as well as it used to when you adjust for the cost of living, but is it still prestigious and ... above average level of talent. Let's be honest, the reason 90% of people think investment banking ...
  • Investment Banking to Private Equity- 6 Things You Should Know a boatload of reasons why people leave IB. It's a tough gig as a junior. Committing to do the A to ... 1. Why not just try to start with a PE firm? There are PE firms that hire juniors out of ... seat is completely different. 2. Why not try to become an associate at the IB you're at? There are ...
  • Non-Target to MM IB: My Advice about their family, hobbies, background. It's not an interrogation; enjoy yourself and have ... people are better equipped to help if they know what you want. Understand the differences between IB, ER, ... banks. Enjoy what you're doing. Remember that this is not just a time for the bank to assess you, ...
  • IB: Can't get foot through door- am I just lousy? I've read about the first screening round for interviews (CL doesn't matter, it's all in the ... uni's investment/ trading club in the UK and was chosen to pitch to BlackRock- CFO of small not for ... interview offer so far despite passing all online assessment tests (no feedback from IBs about tests so took ...
  • Quitting time- views on how to leave your job not enough. You want the formal offer letter, you want it signed by you and you want confirmation that ... appreciate it. No one likes it when someone ups and leaves and everyone else has to sort out the shit they ... where they are going until they start the new job. It's likely people at your current work will ask ...
  • Goldman's New Policy for Investment Banking Analysts- 3 Reasons Why it Won't Stop the Bleeding to the Buyside bunch...and here are my three main reasons why: 1. It's More Than Just Immediate Pay While this direct ... I'm just not convinced that this will move the needle enough to retain the most talented of the ... promotion will reduce the pay gap between pre-MBA PE associate positions and the third year at an investment ...
  • Why are we Obsessed with "Work/Life Balance"? it's a topic that I encounter more often on this board than just about anywhere else, so I thought it ... it. I chatted with my coworkers about it and occasionally mentioned it to my friends. I was the ... I started to realize that my friends in more "traditional" jobs complained just as often about ...
  • More suggestions...

Or maybe the following WSO members have something to say: @overpaid_overworked @Accrual King @lucianstone

Hope that helps.

Feb 2, 2011

Eddie:

Are you seriously going to tell me that banking money is great for anyone other than an MD in New York?

Come on....

Teachers in Kansas make more on an a purchasing power/hourly basis.

Unless someone is hell bent on living in Manhattan and comparing it to a another Manhattan salary, that's the only way you could actually say that I'm earning more "all-in" without respect to hours.

But that comparison only goes so far.

Econ: start your own business. If you can break into banking, you can run a successful business... and no, that biz does not need to be the next earth-shattering innovation. I got out of banking at a young age and starting a really shitty biz-- and after a year had more than enough money in savings to live comfortably while getting a PhD for fun.

Now that school is done I started a new business and it has really taken off. I enjoy it and make loads more than my friends who are now VPs and even some MDs at banks.

Eddie: Banking sucks and the ROI only makes sense if you are super talented or you if think that having a net worth of 1 million at age 40 with a mediocre apartment and disappointing marriage is impressive.

And all the NY bragging about restaurants and culture. I am still within distance of NY and have eaten at all 5 of the 5 star restaurants several times, drunk Petrus and all that crap. It's not that special and worth sacrificing your life and family for some salt, fat and grapes.

Econ: Did you do a PhD? Send me a PM. I like the tone and scrappiness of your posts and might be hiring.

I rich, smarts, and totally in debt.

    • 2
Feb 2, 2011
MrDouche:

Eddie:

Are you seriously going to tell me that banking money is great for anyone other than an MD in New York?

Come on....

Teachers in Kansas make more on an a purchasing power/hourly basis.

Unless someone is hell bent on living in Manhattan and comparing it to a another Manhattan salary, that's the only way you could actually say that I'm earning more "all-in" without respect to hours.

You've got a point, but when it comes to saving money for retirement, a thrifty person who's good at investing his own money can't do much better than Manhattan. You work 70 hours/week so you don't have time to spend it, but you get paid like you spend everything you make.

If you can save 30% of your income working in NYC and intend to retire elsewhere, the picture starts to change. A schoolteacher in Manhattan might make 50% more than one in Kansas, and if both can save 30% of their incomes, the one working in NYC can retire 5-10 before the one working in Kansas if he/she is willing to move back there.

There's also geographical arbitrage. For someone who doesn't work in IBD, nobody is saying you can't work in Manhattan but live in New Jersey or Brooklyn or even 5% income tax Connecticut.

Eddie: Banking sucks and the ROI only makes sense if you are super talented or you if think that having a net worth of 1 million at age 40 with a mediocre apartment and disappointing marriage is impressive.

And all the NY bragging about restaurants and culture. I am still within distance of NY and have eaten at all 5 of the 5 star restaurants several times, drunk Petrus and all that crap. It's not that special and worth sacrificing your life and family for some salt, fat and grapes.

Econ: Did you do a PhD? Send me a PM. I like the tone and scrappiness of your posts and might be hiring.

I don't disagree with you, but if I can retire at 35 back in IL (or better yet, Holland, MI) and shave 10-15 years off of the work I'd have to do at Google or Microsoft, working as a quant doesn't seem all that bad. And if I'm getting 5% alpha on my personal investments over the entire economic cycle, earning my money early counts for even more than it does the average individual.

One day I will move back to Chicago or maybe the west coast of Michigan. But the money in NYC is still pretty darned good, and when I can probably make 7% above inflation on my investments during our current secular bear market, what's the harm in saving some more?

Secular bear markets- like the one we've been in for the past 10 years and likely will stay in for at least another 5 if you buy into the 35-year-cycle- are the perfect time to save, save, save. Because there's a bull market coming just around the corner that you need to be prepared for.

May 13, 2016

Sorry for your situation OP...but oh God why do you have to word your post like this ...you're gonna get slammed here, buddy. Some comments:

  1. Lighten up on the emoticons
  2. Why bother censoring when you swear?
  3. "I'm not bitching" = yes you are
  4. Ask a question in the actual body of your post
  5. Don't end your post with "Idk"

I think you may need to work on the personality you project.

May 13, 2016
  1. haha true. just noticed that.
  2. oh i thought people get blocked for swearing? i was blocked in another forum thats why...
  3. seriously though. what now?
  4. ok
  5. edited
May 13, 2016

what experience do you have on your resume? can't really write that much at this moment but perhaps get something during the fall semester to beef up your resume and really work on your modeling, interviewing, etc. skills. that's a bit short on the advice; someone else will probably fill in the gaps

May 13, 2016

Never give up. I never did even when I was languishing in BO & filing documents.

May 13, 2016

Did a christmas internship at a MM boutique (4 weeks ish). Was M&A focused. pitch books, research etc. This was in my home country.

Did a summer internship (last summer) at an unknown boutique in another country. DCF models, pitch books, industry analysis etc. Worked on on IPO type transaction too.

Completed BIWS financial modelling training last summer also.

I return to university in September 2012 btw (Im studying in the UK).

May 13, 2016

What type of firms are you targeting? That may be your problem if you're aiming too high. Not saying lower your standards, just go after a broader range including MM and boutiques

May 13, 2016

uh ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

May 13, 2016

All aboard the WAHHHHmbulance.

As stated, never give up. If you consider giving up, you probably don't want to do it that badly. Anyone that is smart, capable, and reads WSO should be able to make it -- it's in your hands.

May 13, 2016

Ive targeted known boutiques, not-known boutiques, any firm that offers practically anything related to finance/corporate finance/anything similar, big corporation finance departments, research positions at random firms, even applied to completely random stuff like marketing intern and literally everything i could. No luck at all. The only interviews I get are IB related.

Vontropnats - its easy to say don't give up but 3 straight years of rejections - one needs to think about what your doing. No point banging your head on the wall in the same way over and over and expecting different results.

May 13, 2016

What UK uni?

May 13, 2016

Target one - think Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial

May 13, 2016

If you are failing on the resume screen and you have a good background (which it seems you do), then you aren't networking enough. Just shooting off applications without making contacts at banks / referrals at banks = a much lower shot at passing the resume screen.

Secondly, keep chugging away at those interviews. If you want it badly enough, you'll get it. You say its easy to give up after 3 years, but frankly speaking I probably got rejected far far more times than you. I didn't get any IB internships or any FT offers (despite MANY interviews; I even ended up in BO for a year before I could make the jump). I definitely questioned the logic of "banging your head on the wall in the same way over and over and expecting different results" but kept at it and eventually got to what I wanted...

May 13, 2016

I have spent months and months emailing out through linked in and on personal emails to speak over the phone. Some replied. Most - and I'm not over-exaggerating - say that I'm at [name of uni], ill be fine. Or my background/resume is strong so ill be fine. Yet I'm not fine. This is the main problem. It never goes beyond that. When I show people my resume and say I am still trying to break into a BB they think I'm lying/joking.

At a couple of banks, I had contacts/referrals. Funnily enough, I wasn't even interviewed for those couple of places. Really don't know what happened there. I did follow up though....

Also - im in the UK - and a lot of the interns I know about (this year and last year - I have had many friends with offers) got in through purely applying online and no networking... So Im not sure whats happening there.

I would keep chugging away at interviews but Im starting to think that if I'm failing a first round interview - for 'thinking through a couple of questions' rather then spitting out the answer immediately - then thats just stupid. There must be another reason for rejection imo. Maybe Im not suited? Maybe my skill set matches something else. I want to keep an open mind and not keep doing the same thing over and over. Trouble is they provide such crappy feedback that Im left even more confused then before.

Im not in a competition of how many applications were sent but in year 1 I sent close to 100 (2 interviews, 1 internship). Year 2 I sent close to 250 (1 interview, 1 internship). This year I sent close to 500+ tailored applications and many many more work wide also. Its just getting more and more ridiculous and demotivating (about 3 interviews, 0 internships).

May 13, 2016

Post your CV. I'm in the UK and have just gone through recruiting and have an offer from a BB in London. Might be able to see something you're missing.

May 13, 2016

Okay sent via PM.

May 13, 2016

You say that you've faced 3 straight years of rejection, but in that time you've had 2 internship experiences...which is it?

May 13, 2016

Yeah rejections from BB's/known boutiques/anywhere that leads to a FT job haha.
The internships - as mentioned above - were in small unknown places.

May 13, 2016

If it is meant to be then it will be. Keep trying hard and improve your interview skills, read more, and think about what you want to do. Remember than luck plays a large role in life.

May 13, 2016

If your stats are as high as you say they are (a target uni, some relevant internships at small boutiques, good grades, good EC's) there really shouldn't be a reason why you aren't getting interviews at halfway decent shops when we've seen on this board people do the same with far less. There must be something you're not doing (or doing wrong).

When you say you've networked - how many places and people have you reached out to, and what do you typically do? "Reaching out" can mean a number of things, but what you do (and don't do) can make the difference between it being not getting a reply and getting one. How often do you go back to the places that didn't respond to you the first time around (and the second or 3rd time around)? If you tried a bunch of places/people once and didn't follow up - you could very well be losing out because a lot of times people are just busy and you need to follow up.

[I've gotten emails from random people before - but I have noticed that most people make horrible mistakes (grammar/spelling, lack of social grace - randomly try to add me on linkedin or emails that don't give proper introductions to oneself, slang, underlying assumption that just because I'm an alumni that I will likely help them...). I've been nice and despite the mistakes I would as least respond by email and provide advice - I chalk those things up to naivete, but things like that will still be in the back of my mind - first impressions matter. Conversely, if some kid where to show he/she's: eager/hungry/interested (without being a pest/linkedin stalker), smart, and humble - that wins bonus points. And even if they were to make minor mistakes in interviews, so long as they're not dealbreakers, interviewers that like you will look for reasons to pass you on to the next round.]

You should post your resume up on WSO - don't just get it checked by alumni or some HR people, because they may not have the time or put in the same amount of effort for you. They could very well just gloss through and think 'this kid's at XYZ school, he's fine, he just needs 10 seconds of help'. Conversely, there are a ton of posters here with experience looking at nitty gritty detail.

Follow up with the places you got interviews with and got rejected from. If you developed any rapport with any of the interviewers, try and keep in contact with them and you may be able to try again.

Have you looked at some of your peers that managed to get interviews and internships and get an understanding of what you've done differently? Look at their CV, cover letter, interview approach, networking methods - get them to help you with mock interviews. It could be how you're coming off in interviews - maybe you're not showing enough interest? Maybe you're coming off as boring or unsure? It could be a lot of things - but I'll have to tell you, having been on the other side of the table - fit, alongside technicals, matters a lot.

May 13, 2016

If you made it to interviews and the comment was "seems confused" you need work on your interview skills. You won't need to change your resume constantly if you nail the interviews. Maybe try the WSO guide?

May 13, 2016

Agreed miamimonkey - I have no luck with these things.

Kanon:

My stats are 100% real. Yes - I must be doing something wrong - but I cant figure it out. Hence I'm on here. Haha

Networking. I mostly cold email. Request a call. I call them. Chat about their experience. They normally ask for my resume. Say 'oh your at [name of uni] you will be fine'. I also networked with bankers and HR through society events (that I set up). Funnily enough, those were the bankers that dinged me with no interview (well 4/5 of the banks anyway). I did land one interview that way so I cant suck that much. Haha I did get my networking email etc checked also by a professional recruiter guy. I do mention I got their contact info off linkedin though - because that's where I get the names from...

Yes I do follow up. I check I've passed the tests by calling HR. If my application is pending, I contact whoever I know from that place again. I follow up with HR usually every 2 weeks. Mostly no luck.

I prefer to PM my resume because of previous bad experiences. Feel free to PM me for a copy. FYI I did show an online recruiter also. Haha

I do follow up from the places I was interviewed and rejected. They always provide useless feedback. If I get 1 technical question wrong, I'm technically weak. If I get them all right, then I took 'too long'. If I answer straight away then I don't show depth. If I work through the problem them I'm not quick enough. Basically I'm just never good enough.

Yes I have seen my peers CV's etc. Most don't network at all. Most throw together a CV in a week, apply on the deadline, somehow get through, get several questions wrong during interviews but laugh about it with me after, get the offer.

Yeah it may be technical's or it may be fit. But I get really random useless feedback - like give immediate answers to what happens to the value of a bond when the IR increases rather then think it through. Tbh I don't think that's the truthful feedback but hey I'm no one to judge. I did get interview coaching but still managed to flop the next interview I had. Awaiting feedback from that place.

May 13, 2016

The comment wasn't phrased 'seemed confused' exactly. I phrased it that way.

First interview said that I answered without depth to the what happens to bond prices when IR increases. I said bond prices fall. And asked shall i explain why and they said its okay. Second interview I was asked the same question. I explained like in 2 lines why and said thats why bond prices fall. Interviewer said correct (rather enthusiastically) yet I was dinged. Don't get it.

Yup I wont need to change my resume constantly if I GET interviews. LOL

I have the WSO guide already :D

May 13, 2016
hopesanddreams:

And asked shall i explain why

Had you known better, you would have answered along the lines of "Bond prices will fall because they're chasing the returns" or something to that effect. Asking the interviewer if they want more info on something like that will only work against you. This is a behavioral issue that can been pretty easily and quickly learned, as it seems you have a firm understanding of the technicals.

Many things are communicated by implication in finance: this is a (mostly) anonymous blog and we all speak off the cuff, but interviews are tricky...and it seems you had them and didn't nail them. My impression is you would benefit from looking at an interview as more of a conversation than a quiz. The point is to sell yourself, and a lot of it is behavioral as in they are looking for a very specific format to how things are discussed: you need to focus on that.

May 13, 2016

I didn't quite get your first paragraph.... so don't ask if they want more details?

Trouble is - when I answer and 'sit there' then I'm gunned down for not 'engaging the interviewer' and asking 'do you want more info, shall i explain that a bit more' etc. After that feedback, I started saying these lines esp when I'm asked how to calculate the return on equity for the WACC formula. CAPM is the answer. instead of just saying the formula i ask if they want any of the terms explained and stuff. usually its a no or they ask about beta or something. that makes it flow imo.

thing that makes no sense is they said 'very good' or 'yes' or 'correct' or something very enthusiastically - which then i smile to or sometimes comment (once i said ive done my homework and the analyst cracked up - needless to say i received a tick from him!). but i still don't make it through...

i do look at it as a conversation and tbh the more i do the more shocked i get when rejected because i genuinely think the last 2 have been much much better then my previous ones. i honestly left thinking i scored the job. weird thing is in feedback they always say stuff about being personable, a good fit, want to work with, nice etc but if this is more important then technicals then why don't i get through. tbh my first technical interview was over the phone and i got stuck on so many questions because i wasn't expecting them. the analyst said that i was intelligent enough to pick up the technicals so she wasn't worried and therefore i got through to the next round. something then just goes wrong.... like the 'curse of the second round +' lol

yup i use the STAR format for the behavioural ques. thats what i was told to use anyway...

May 13, 2016
hopesanddreams:

curse of the second round

As in, you need work on your interviewing skills. Your stats are good, you have experience, you got to the interview....and then you got dinged. I'm not sure what else to tell you?

May 13, 2016

which target and what's your gpa

May 13, 2016

No worries UFOinsider - appreciate your comments.

WSJ123 - PM'd you

May 13, 2016

These topics always really puzzle me.

I've interviewed at pretty much every BB as well as a handful of boutiques and MM firms.

Over the entire recruiting process I've landed 2BB offers, 2MM offers, 1 boutique offer.

I pretty much know after every single interview how it went and whether i'll get the job. The only surprise i ever got was at GS. (but retrospectively i answered a lot of the questions wrong, just didn't know it at the time lol).

I'd be more than happy to help you, send me a PM, I'd be interested to see what it could potentially be that's letting you down.

May 13, 2016

Thanks - I've PM'd you.

Generally speaking though - what do I do this summer? I've literally got nothing. Network and hit the gym? lol

May 13, 2016

What do I do this summer apart from network?

Its too late to apply for summer school etc right? What else can I do thats worthwhile.

Thanks!

Feb 2, 2011

Finance is dull, theres no two ways about it. The things that you think will be exciting when you start out, sitting with a senior partner at a top PE house thrashing out a deal and then going for drinks to celebrate etc become mundane extremely quickly....

Teaching and having 8 weeks of holiday per year and feeling like you are contributing something is incredibly appealing to me at the moment...that and cocaine smuggling.

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May 13, 2016

Would you also like a cappucino with your order sir ;)

"LIVING THE DREAM 24/7 ON http://THEALLNIGHTER.BLOGSPOT.COM"

"LIVING THE DREAM 24/7 ON http://THEALLNIGHTER.BLOGSPOT.COM"

May 13, 2016

compensation at hedge funds is less standardized than at banks...

what do you want to do at a hedge fund? trade? biz dev?

May 13, 2016

I want to be an anlyst either helping someone who has a part of the protfolio pick stock or having a part allocated to me.

May 13, 2016

Why don't you check out efinancialcareers.com

May 13, 2016

Just looking for salary for a first year with 2 years experience. On a small fund about 500 mil and a bigger fund with 1bln. Both base and expected bonus.

Feb 2, 2011

I think that as Humans we get tired of doing the same thing over and over again, unless we truly enjoy it (Marriage, our favorite hang out spot/restaurant, etc). Once you peak in finance, unless you love it, there is nothing else you can really do. For example, if you slave all through school (like me) and hoping for a shot and you get one and become a trader. Than you transition into HF. Then you do that and you work your way up as high as you can go. Unless you start your own fund (what I am planning to do), then you are basically stuck at the top. The Golden Handcuffs. Now if you enjoy trading and managing money, etc, then you are good and can live happy and spend money like crazy. If you DONT love it, you will probably at some point quit and do something else..That's just how it goes..

Feb 2, 2011
ibdafuture257:

I think that as Humans we get tired of doing the same thing over and over again, unless we truly enjoy it (Marriage, our favorite hang out spot/restaurant, etc). Once you peak in finance, unless you love it, there is nothing else you can really do. For example, if you slave all through school (like me) and hoping for a shot and you get one and become a trader. Than you transition into HF. Then you do that and you work your way up as high as you can go. Unless you start your own fund (what I am planning to do), then you are basically stuck at the top. The Golden Handcuffs. Now if you enjoy trading and managing money, etc, then you are good and can live happy and spend money like crazy. If you DONT love it, you will probably at some point quit and do something else..That's just how it goes..

I really think you're underestimating two things in your example. For one, it takes (or usually takes) a long time to get to the point that you have 'no where else to go'. Not to mention the fact that you have to have significant drive and ability to reach that point which facilitates even more doors opening down the road. The notion of 'peaking' in finance is also an extremely difficult term to define. Sure there are big names that we all know but those people are far and away the exception. Realize too that MD's at GS can still 'strive' to be C-level execs.

I don't disagree with your premise though but there are almost always ways to move 'up'. It just becomes a matter of diminishing return and motivation.

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

Feb 2, 2011
happypantsmcgee:

Realize too that MD's at GS can still 'strive' to be C-level execs.

That's my whole point of coming here: 2-7 years experience in banking = 10-20 years of corporate finance experience. SO, I shave 10+ years off the treck to F500 CFO. [that's the plan at least....] PLUS you get more connected out the wazzoo more quickly than you can imagine. A lot of guys come to NYC to get their creative inspiration and the funding for it....Bloomburg is the most obvious illustration of this goal.

I left a very simple, happy existence to come to the city, and in ten years I WILL be gone....hopefully richer than when I came, and hopefully I'll make a few friends along the way.

Feb 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

There's also geographical arbitrage. For someone who doesn't work in IBD, nobody is saying you can't work in Manhattan but live in New Jersey or Brooklyn or even 5% income tax Connecticut.

How feasible/desireable is this as an option? I am currently living in London but am heading to the states soon to work in NYC. Is it worth adding the extra time to my commute to escape paying NY tax and NYC resident tax?

Feb 2, 2011
British:
IlliniProgrammer:

There's also geographical arbitrage. For someone who doesn't work in IBD, nobody is saying you can't work in Manhattan but live in New Jersey or Brooklyn or even 5% income tax Connecticut.

How feasible/desireable is this as an option? I am currently living in London but am heading to the states soon to work in NYC. Is it worth adding the extra time to my commute to escape paying NY tax and NYC resident tax?

Extremely doable. My girl's dad lives in NY and takes a boat to Manhattan every morning which allows him to be 'live' or working starting at about 6 am. He works close to 80 hours a week.

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

Feb 2, 2011

How feasible/desireable is this as an option? I am currently living in London but am heading to the states soon to work in NYC. Is it worth adding the extra time to my commute to escape paying NY tax and NYC resident tax?

Everyone has a different answer on that. For me, I work 60 hours/week, and the extra 20 minutes on my commute is not really a big deal and saves me $10-20K/year after tax. If you are working more than 80 hours/week, it probably makes more sense to live within walking distance of work.

Feb 2, 2011

I think that certain areas of finance are definitely fascinating and worth going all-out to get jobs working in those areas. That said, I believe you have to enjoy life. I made the decision to go to a state school ranked 60 places lower than the one I had the opportunity to go to because I like the location of the one I chose. It's the "soft" parts of life that make it worth living. Shit, if I'm working 80 hours or more per week, I want to be able to walk outside and take in a panoramic of snow-capped mountains, I don't know how you guys handle the steel jungle that is NYC

Feb 2, 2011

UFOinsider, if that's your goal then you really need to go read the thread by a guy named Harvardgrad08. He was in a rotational program at a F500 and gave some fantastic insight to the process and promotions etc.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/the-other-ro...

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

Feb 2, 2011

I think it's all about striving to a higher goal. I guess in finance, there's always a higher goal. IB analyst-> associate -> PE/HF. There's always a next step. Untill you've made it partner at GS there will always be something better, unless your goal is something different ofcourse. I can imagine people having enough of all the striving and just quit.

Feb 2, 2011

Yes, but I think there needs to be a balance between dreaming about the next step and paying your dues.

Dreaming doesn't get you into a role as an associate. Staying until 5AM to build that prospectus or getting paged at 3AM to fix some pricing issue for the CFO's office or going over that 10K and catching some minute footnote is what it takes. And then you just have to make sure you've marketed it.

Feb 2, 2011

I get a good laugh when people come into threads like this who have never worked a day in their lives talking about "you just need to strive to be better. You need to focus on getting to that HF and starting your own shop."

Look, dawg...you need to realize that there is a decent chance that you straight up won't even like this shit at all. I work in PE, which is fucking worshiped by prospective monkeys, and it's honestly more boring than my old IBanking job in many, many ways, and that was boring as shit, too.

For real, I struggle with this every day, for so long I've lived my professional life as a set path with exit opps. That shit needs to come to an end quickly. The only true exit opp in life is death, so I'm starting to feel like there's no real point to sticking this out.

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Feb 2, 2011
TheKing:

I get a good laugh when people come into threads like this who have never worked a day in their lives talking about "you just need to strive to be better. You need to focus on getting to that HF and starting your own shop."

Look, dawg...you need to realize that there is a decent chance that you straight up won't even like this shit at all. I work in PE, which is fucking worshiped by prospective monkeys, and it's honestly more boring than my old IBanking job in many, many ways, and that was boring as shit, too.

For real, I struggle with this every day, for so long I've lived my professional life as a set path with exit opps. That shit needs to come to an end quickly. The only true exit opp in life is death, so I'm starting to feel like there's no real point to sticking this out.

Would love to see a post from you detailing the differences you've experienced firsthand.

Feb 2, 2011
TheKing:

I get a good laugh when people come into threads like this who have never worked a day in their lives talking about "you just need to strive to be better. You need to focus on getting to that HF and starting your own shop."

Look, dawg...you need to realize that there is a decent chance that you straight up won't even like this shit at all. I work in PE, which is fucking worshiped by prospective monkeys, and it's honestly more boring than my old IBanking job in many, many ways, and that was boring as shit, too.

For real, I struggle with this every day, for so long I've lived my professional life as a set path with exit opps. That shit needs to come to an end quickly. The only true exit opp in life is death, so I'm starting to feel like there's no real point to sticking this out.

I don't understand why people in your situation don't quit. And, yes I have worked an FT job where I contemplating jumping out the window every day. But I quit.. and am now a prospective monkey. banking and pe should grant you the opportunity to save up and move on to something else.... as in something where you feel alive.. Is it just a fear of the unknown ? there are so many spectacular things to do and experience, I guess I don't understand why people are caught up in a vicious circle where no number is ever enough..

Feb 2, 2011

^^^ Hence why I believe in a higher power. :D

In any case, that's a classic quote which is going in my sig. Let me know if I'm taking you out of context and/or if I can use your username.

Feb 2, 2011

"But the money in NYC is still pretty darned good," Illini: Are you serious. I'm completely unimpressed with someone pulling in 300k at 29 or 100 at 22. It might look good in Kansas, but its a joke in NYC.

Are there people who think these numbers are impressive?

Sure there are a few super stars who breezed through Harvard at 20 but the top 1% of people in investment banking/trading are not realistic examples. Just use your average schlub you barely got into a BB (or quelle horreur a boutique) and then went to somewhere like Penn for an MBA, which isn't too competitive. I don't see the makings of a PMD at Goldman living on the upper east side... just some guy with a mediocre house in CT who lives month to month and has to postpone having children so by the time his kids are in high school he's already 60.

I rich, smarts, and totally in debt.

Feb 2, 2011
MrDouche:

"But the money in NYC is still pretty darned good," Illini: Are you serious. I'm completely unimpressed with someone pulling in 300k at 29 or 100 at 22. It might look good in Kansas, but its a joke in NYC.

Well, again, whoever said those were my numbers and whoever said I was going to retire in NYC?

Sure there are a few super stars who breezed through Harvard at 20 but the top 1% of people in investment banking/trading are not realistic examples. Just use your average schlub you barely got into a BB (or quelle horreur a boutique) and then went to somewhere like Penn for an MBA, which isn't too competitive. I don't see the makings of a PMD at Goldman living on the upper east side... just some guy with a mediocre house in CT who lives month to month and has to postpone having children so by the time his kids are in high school he's already 60.

Or somebody who lives in Jersey City and scrimps and saves to sock away 40% of his income at the age of 25 so he can own his own farm in Kansas (or in this case, Wisconsin or Michigan) at the age of 35 and go be a missionary or whatever early-retired people in the Midwest do.

I'm not pretending it's impressive. I will say it's a heckuvalot better than how I could have done at IBM or Microsoft and that by the standards of the world, I'm incredibly blessed. But some people will do better and some will do worse. All I know is that when the average person in Africa is starving, I consider myself incredibly lucky to make the kind of money that puts a roof over my head, food on the table, and keeps me insured. And in the end, everything turns to dust anyways.

Feb 3, 2011
MrDouche:

Sure there are a few super stars who breezed through Harvard at 20 but the top 1% of people in investment banking/trading are not realistic examples. Just use your average schlub you barely got into a BB (or quelle horreur a boutique) and then went to somewhere like Penn for an MBA, which isn't too competitive. I don't see the makings of a PMD at Goldman living on the upper east side... just some guy with a mediocre house in CT who lives month to month and has to postpone having children so by the time his kids are in high school he's already 60.

First, how is Wharton not too competitive?? Second, I think it's silly for you to make it seem like only 20 year old Harvard graduates can achieve success on the level of PMD at Goldman. Everyone else is just mediocre, right. Or I just don't get the joke.

Feb 3, 2011
LeveragedFiend:
MrDouche:

Sure there are a few super stars who breezed through Harvard at 20 but the top 1% of people in investment banking/trading are not realistic examples. Just use your average schlub you barely got into a BB (or quelle horreur a boutique) and then went to somewhere like Penn for an MBA, which isn't too competitive. I don't see the makings of a PMD at Goldman living on the upper east side... just some guy with a mediocre house in CT who lives month to month and has to postpone having children so by the time his kids are in high school he's already 60.

First, how is Wharton not too competitive?? Second, I think it's silly for you to make it seem like only 20 year old Harvard graduates can achieve success on the level of PMD at Goldman. Everyone else is just mediocre, right. Or I just don't get the joke.

I think the username speaks for itself...

Feb 3, 2011
LeveragedFiend:
MrDouche:

Sure there are a few super stars who breezed through Harvard at 20 but the top 1% of people in investment banking/trading are not realistic examples. Just use your average schlub you barely got into a BB (or quelle horreur a boutique) and then went to somewhere like Penn for an MBA, which isn't too competitive. I don't see the makings of a PMD at Goldman living on the upper east side... just some guy with a mediocre house in CT who lives month to month and has to postpone having children so by the time his kids are in high school he's already 60.

First, how is Wharton not too competitive?? Second, I think it's silly for you to make it seem like only 20 year old Harvard graduates can achieve success on the level of PMD at Goldman. Everyone else is just mediocre, right. Or I just don't get the joke.

I agree with LeveragedFiend -- how is Wharton even remotely note "too competitive." News flash to everyone - you are not as smart as you think you are! There are people out there in this world just CRUSHING it every day in all different walks of life. Government, Not-for-Profit, Energy, Chemistry, Medicine, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Astrology, and Linguistics, the list goes on and on. There are people in each of these fields that would make all of us look like chumps. Too many people think their IB/PE/whatever job entitles them to a spot at a top school before they've even put their name on the application. As someone who has done the IB/PE thing and is sitting on a 99th percentile GMAT waiting to hear from H/S/W, I'm scared to death that I won't even make the cut to get an interview.

Feb 2, 2011

Illini, we've had some disagreements in the past, but I'm glad you like the quote. You are definitely not taking me out of context, though I'd prefer it if my user name was not used.

Ben Bernanke, I've been contemplating writing a post dispelling the myth of PE and think I just might do that when I have time over the next week or two. Too many people literally masturbate to the thought of getting into it, many with little understanding as to what is REALLY involved in the job.

Papeete, I agree with your post. I don't think i'm going to be doing this for too long, but you also don't want to leave when a decent bonus is nearly in your hands. There are smart ways to quit a job.

Feb 3, 2011

Papeete, I agree with your post. I don't think i'm going to be doing this for too long, but you also don't want to leave when a decent bonus is nearly in your hands. There are smart ways to quit a job.[/quote]

I hope you find what you are looking for.

Feb 2, 2011

congrats man - make sure to hit cruz del condor and machu piccho in peru - both are unreal. if you're a simon & garfunkel fan, touring the colca valley and hearing the original folk tune that inspired 'el condor pasa' is pretty sweet too

Feb 2, 2011

soccerz30, if you are coming through Buenos Aires, send me a PM when you know your dates and we'll grab a drink. Already partied and made an ass of myself with another fellow WSOer a few months ago.

Feb 2, 2011

A wise man once said.. find something you like to do and the money will come.

I get/buy the whole exit opp story but how valuable was the experience? Knowing what you do now, would you do it all over again? Perhaps some of you can comment on this.

Feb 2, 2011
kimbo:

A wise man once said.. find something you like to do and the money will come.

I get/buy the whole exit opp story but how valuable was the experience? Knowing what you do now, would you do it all over again? Perhaps some of you can comment on this.

I haven't started my job yet.. But I feel like in a few years the most valuable experience will be my grasp on personal investing and recognizing value. I think these skills will be extremely useful regardless of my future jobs

Feb 3, 2011
kimbo:

A wise man once said.. find something you like to do and the money will come.

I heard Mark Cuban say that the other day in an interview, when asked "What advice would you give millionaires trying to become billionaires?"

Feb 3, 2011
Edmundo Braverman:

Ask anyone who has been in the business awhile and he'll tell you that investment banking isn't all it's cracked up to be. The hours are long, the job security for the past four or five years has been pretty shaky, and there was that whole bailout thing in 2008 that basically turned investment bankers into lepers, conveniently blamed for all of society's ills. Some days you just want to throw in the towel.

Walking away from banking isn't common by any means. Let's face it: it's hard to get paid this much anywhere else, especially when you consider what it really is a banker does for a living. But sometimes the grind just gets to be too much, and some people just quit. I know, because I was one of them. Sure, things worked out for me in a big way before I bailed, but I'd promised myself before any of that happened that I'd pump gas for a living before I spent another year of my life trading.

I was 29 at that point, and had been in finance in one capacity or another for about six years. I happened to be in finance at a time when the game was rapidly changing thanks to the advent of the Internet, and I watched our once healthy margins disappear almost overnight. Suddenly I was being asked to work twice as hard for the same money. It's what prompted me to move from equities to commodities, where the information contagion had yet to spread.

Fast forward to today, and there's a whole new raft of issues forcing today's bankers to question whether they should consider something else. Case in point, I came across this article the other day. Its author is a 35-year old banker who is just fed up and throwing in the towel. He tells the tale of his early zeal for the business (he started in 2000), and how he worked his way into his dream job at a hedge fund. But then 2008 came along, and he now realizes that the job will never be enjoyable again. And most of his friends felt the same way:

Most of them had completely forgotten the joy of coming in to work. Anything stimulating or interesting was relegated to the past.

In time, I came to feel the same. I realised that I too didn't 'believe' any more. Knowing that we had reached a peak of product complexity prior to the crash and that new European rules would prevent the attainment of anything similar in future, my interest in financial services simply ebbed away.

Finally, and above all, I got fed up with the constant portrayal of bankers as society's villains. I've had enough. I'm turning the page. I'm not being pilloried any more. I'm off to do something different.

It seems the majority of our time here on WSO is spent trying to figure out how to get a job in finance. I'd submit to you younger guys that you might be careful what you wish for. There's no question that the money is great, relatively speaking. And I firmly believe that some guys are just born to be bankers, and are able to disconnect from the drudgery while they're at work. On some level I probably envy those guys. But for the non-robotic among us, the job often sucks ass.

I'd love to hear from guys who quit because they were fed up, but I doubt they spend much time here anymore. What do you guys think? Is this guy weak for bailing on banking? Or have you secretly considered it yourself? I was lucky enough to hit my walkaway number, but I'd have quit even if I hadn't. Does that make me a lesser trader? Or just a guy who realizes life is too short?

edmundo - I dunno it seems like people here talk about banking/drudgery vs. somethingelse/quality of life.
iit's almost like you are so accustomed to risk-reward tradeoff that it's somehow warped into this other tradeoff between banking and poor quality of life. I fully support people getting out if they don't like it. life is short. then again, I personally have trouble thinking of other jobs I would rather do. The only ones that come to mind play close to squat.

Feb 3, 2011

I do wish to add this - the overwhelming majority of people in life work menial, thankless jobs for which they are not paid very much at all. Being bored and tired in an office and getting paid $100K+ / yr as a 20 something kid isn't a bad start to professional life at all. In fact, it's a pretty damn good start, and remember that there really is an endless supply of kids who have never seen that kind of money who would gladly replace you without hesitating......

Feb 3, 2011
UFOinsider:

I do wish to add this - the overwhelming majority of people in life work menial, thankless jobs for which they are not paid very much at all. Being bored and tired in an office and getting paid $100K+ / yr as a 20 something kid isn't a bad start to professional life at all. In fact, it's a pretty damn good start, and remember that there really is an endless supply of kids who have never seen that kind of money who would gladly replace you without hesitating......

shhhhh. ufo... let them learn from their own mistakes. you are supposed to encourage them to quit
duh. didn't you learn any game theory?

Feb 3, 2011
papeete:
UFOinsider:

I do wish to add this - the overwhelming majority of people in life work menial, thankless jobs for which they are not paid very much at all. Being bored and tired in an office and getting paid $100K+ / yr as a 20 something kid isn't a bad start to professional life at all. In fact, it's a pretty damn good start, and remember that there really is an endless supply of kids who have never seen that kind of money who would gladly replace you without hesitating......

shhhhh. ufo... let them learn from their own mistakes. you are supposed to encourage them to quit
duh. didn't you learn any game theory?

uh, oops, YEAH! This job SUCKS, you all should go on strike.
.
I'm not helping, so I'm going to stop talking .now

Feb 3, 2011

The grass is always greener.....Still talk to my college buddies who are so jealous that i actually have money to spend on whatever I want, and i am so jealous that they actually have time to do what they want. But if i were to have all the money i wanted and no career i am sure i'd get bored, just being content is all you can ask for in life. Stop comparing yourself to the Jones', someone is always smarter, better, and richer than you just like someone is always dumber, and poorer than you... If i could retire on a lake with a nice boat, car, pool, scotch and some good herbage at the age of 60 i will be the happiest man alive.

Feb 3, 2011

Your current walkaway number may sound sufficient at this stage in your life, but a lot of people just keep spending more, as they make more. DON'T FALL INTO THE SPENDING TRAP!

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

-Niccolo Machiavelli

Feb 3, 2011

Don't let the lifestyle increase as fast the spending!

Feb 3, 2011

Don't let the lifestyle increase as fast the spending

Sounds like Bernanke is counting on inflation.

Feb 3, 2011

The favorite part of my day is getting the "leaving" emails from analysts. IB might seem cool from the outside, but once you get into the trenches you'll realize that there is more to life than being able to use PPT and Excel without the mouse

Feb 14, 2011
CatsLHP:

The favorite part of my day is getting the "leaving" emails from analysts. IB might seem cool from the outside, but once you get into the trenches you'll realize that there is more to life than being able to use PPT and Excel without the mouse

+1

Feb 3, 2011

examples or it didnt happen

Feb 5, 2011

It really blows my mind the gripping that people do about banking as an analyst. How hard have we worked to get these stupid fucking jobs. People weren't saying "the hours are rough and you'll literally sleep under your desk some nights (which isn't too bad long as bring a decent sleeping bag)," just to try to scare you out of applying. I could maybe see being disillusioned/caught off guard about the job if you're some savant 4.0 triple major from Williams that Goldman swooned out of going to Namibia with the Peace Corp. But other than that, you know what you're getting into, and if you're stupid enough to fake your way into a very serious two year commitment without ACTUALLY wanting to do it, go cry to a wall or some shit.

Yes it fucking blows when you spread comps all weekend for a client meeting on Monday that your director knew full well that it probably wasn't happening on Friday morning and asks for the turn-around anyway. But, keep in mind, an analysts job is one fold: to make the senior guys life easier (theoretically). In my mind, the minute I give my VP or MD the project they assigned, I could give a fuck whether it results in us as bookrunner for 900mm issue or they give it to their wife's for a pap smear, not my problem it's theirs.

You know who has the optimal personality for banking? That HR fuck Toby from The Office. He knows his hr shit, does a good job, and the only thing gets in return is to get shit on by a narcissistic, ill qualified, idiot of a boss (sound familiar?). His response is a shrug and then moves on with his day.

Last thought: a good mindset to endure anything shitty/awful in life is as follows...

    • 3
Feb 6, 2011
Stringer Bell:

It really blows my mind the gripping that people do about banking as an analyst. How hard have we worked to get these stupid fucking jobs.

Seriously, I would take anyone's place here in a heart beat. I'm pretty sure I have to go back to grad school just to ever hope of having a shot at FO, and it totally galls me when I hear a whiney 22 year old bitching about making $100K+ a year. Do you understand that the majority of people will never see that kind of money and how fast they run out of patience and sympathy....it's like hearing a rock star complain about being famous.

Ironically, Charlie Sheen isn't bitching. I used to want to party like a rock star, but now I want to party like him. But I digress.

When you are in your 20's and can realistically expect to retire at 35/40 if you so chose, you're doing pretty fucking good. And when even that is not enough, then consider that there are guys who don't have an easy time getting these jobs and will eat you alive as soon as they get in the door.

Feb 7, 2011
UFOinsider:

When you are in your 20's and can realistically expect to retire at 35/40 if you so chose, you're doing pretty fucking good. And when even that is not enough, then consider that there are guys who don't have an easy time getting these jobs and will eat you alive as soon as they get in the door.

Let me play devils advocate for a minute. Maybe a lot of people feel like it's not worth it, but they don't actually realize that until after they get in and experience it. It's like their entire college career they're thinking "models and bottles" and then they get there, and realize the work is long, boring, and they don't feel like they have a purpose in life.

I still agree with UFOinsider though, people won't really feel sorry for you. So, if you really don't like IB, then don't do it. It's really that simple. No job, even a glamorous one, is for everybody. Do what you want to do, IB or otherwise.

Feb 6, 2011

+1 just for the vid, also for the post.

Nov 3, 2012

The sadest thing in my life I had ever seen was not some hurricane or the loss of a friend, but rather a washed out 42 year old single real estate banker who amounted to owning a shitty studio in the city and getting stood up on dates. I wonder how liquid he was?

Nov 3, 2012

You have good days and you have bad days. Could be age-related too.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 17, 2013

Why Retire? I never got this concept of retiring, or hitting a certain goal, and moving on. To me stagnation means death, and retiring and sitting on a beach with a big bank account isn't exactly the most pleasant thing in my mind, just not proactive enough. No, I'm not talking about working excel, and getting bitched at by MDs for life. But do none of you see banking as a career? I'm just curious, The deal experience, negotiating with powerful C level executives, and having the social, and interaction skills to really shift a business is something worthy, just look at guys like Rohatyn, Wasserstein, or Quattrone (even if it does take 5-7 years to fully get involved). Or After some decent experience, one could work at a smaller boutique with a few experienced guys , or move on to some elite boutique (Greenhill, Qatalyst) and still pursue banking?

I think- therefore I fuck

Aug 17, 2013
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Aug 17, 2013
Aug 17, 2013
Aug 19, 2013
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"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Aug 20, 2013
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"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."