May 20, 2023

Private Credit VS Wealth Management

No one in my family works in finance, none of my friends are finance majors, and my career advisor is painfully neutral. Please help me before I ask chat GPT to make this choice for me.

I have two offers: one in private credit and one in wealth management for summer analyst positions.

Obviously they pay the same for this role, but I want to understand how the pay, hours, and WLB changes as you move up in these roles in a city like New York. I've made many calls to people in this offices, everyone just seems to be sugar coating it, can anyone provide some insight here? I'm desperate. 

The Wealth Management is a massive massive banking firm, I'd be starting out in a much smaller office of it though with hopes of mobility to a larger city. The PC is a big name IB firm, but already in NYC (yay), 7-12 analysts in this role every summer in the headquarters. I'm mostly concerned with how long it'll take in terms of growing my salary, WM is really client based from my understanding, but I'm looking to have that kind of growth earlier on in my career. Just not sure what the payoff is in terms of WLB and timing.

As others said, go with what you’re more interested in. Love clients? WM. Like investing/research/modeling? Private credit. In terms of WLB, private credit will certainly have worse hours. In terms of career prospects, WM is easy to get into but hard to really succeed long term, private credit is hard to get into but can be just as if not more lucrative as the upper echelons of WM. Either way, both are really strong industries right now in the current market. Congrats!

The Wealth Management is a massive massive banking firm, I'd be starting out in a much smaller office of it though with hopes of mobility to a larger city.

The PC is a big name IB firm, but already in NYC (yay), 7-12 analysts in this role every summer in the headquarters. 

I don't care about WLB really for the first few years, obviously gotta put the work in no matter what role. But later on, I think it'll be really important for me in regards to a family in my late 30's, I keep seeing people posting about great hours in PC even in places like NYC, but not sure what to trust? I also kind of worry about growth in terms of salary over the years, I think its easier to jump your salary in WM with things like bonuses? I'm all on my own out here though with very little understanding of these things, so ANY advice or thoughts are so appreciated.

Hey man. I am a student here as well so take what im saying with a grain of salt. From what I’ve heard and seen from my friends that have gone into private credit that its way harder to get into (atleast for students from my school since we are a state non target). Ive also heard that its more prestigious and pays better in the long run compared to wealth management.

I’ve personally gotten wealth management offers and am pretty knowledgeable about this area myself. So it is true you can earn more in wealth management and that it has better WLB prospects in the future but the odds are low as that depends on you building your own book of business or inheriting it from an established advisor - building it is an extremely long process that will take years and years to get clients trust to invest with you etc… so it is possible but it will happen late in your career. PWM is more so sales until you get to the established book of business point late into ur career. OR you can get with an established advisor, learn the business and he’ll start to hand u down clients as he nears retirement - this is more uncommon than straight out building ur boom

In my opinion i would definitely take the private credit offer as to me it is a better skill set, more competitive and prestigious (not that prestige is worth anything but thought id point it out just for the sake of it) and will pay you a lot better in your early career with a good chance you’ll earn a lot towards the end. It might be a little worse on the WLB aspect tho

I took an offer in private credit after my masters degree because I knew I wanted to work in credit. I loved investing and knew I'd like a investment research role more.

Do you want to work in an investing/research role or a client facing business type role? That should solve your dilemma.

There's growth in both areas so that should not be such a big concern. You should try to find a role that you will enjoy.

Dude just take PC offer and don't look back. No brainer. You could pivot to WM at any point in your career). MUCH harder to go the other way. Also, PC is an actual investing role. Will equip you with technical skills you need in this market and for future recruiting. Take PC offer 100%. Can not stress this enough. You'll thank me later. 

P.S. I work in WM at a BB regional office

A lot of these responses are missing one key element. From an analyst seat in private credit you can jump to most roles in finance, including WM if you'd like to. From WM, you will likely never see an investing seat. For that reason, and that reason alone, go private credit.


I am more curious how you landed a PC offer and still questioning whether you should take that over WM.

PC and it’s not even close IMO

  • Better skillset (modeling, technical skills, investing seat, etc)
  • Better pay (specifically at junior levels) ; WM can get high later on, but as others have mentioned, takes a while and is contingent on you building a book)
  • will already be buy-side and will have much better lateral opportunities; it will be much harder to lateral out of WM once you’re in it

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