Unironically - ER is a paradise

I left banking after a year and got into equity research (same bank) and god what a move. The work itself is more enjoyable (though miserable, bc I know no one will bother looking at it). I gave in to the tendentious denigration of ER on this site, and it was a mistake. The work isn't dull at all (I'm London based).

The hours are just something else. There's so much I can fit into the day. Free time is priceless. It's been 2 months, I managed to read 5 books, all investing classics. Keeping this pace I'm hoping to develop a decent investment acumen to move to the buy-side smoothly and add value. This was my biggest concern in continuing in banking, there was just no time for me to grow intellectually. I would've been wallowing in inertia had I not left.

Also I was getting fat. The consistency of timing has made it possible to work out at 5AM daily and make plans for healthy dinners everyday. And having all weekends for myself is such a blessing. The work doesn't stop when you leave the office, if you're passionate about what you're doing. But life can still go on. Less frat bros, more interesting humble colleagues.

I don't mind my bonus getting cut in half. I'm optimistic that doors to the buy-side will remain open if I put in the effort.

Comments (35)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in ER
Jun 13, 2022 - 10:03pm

Best kept secret on the Street, glad you've been enjoying the gig.

Lots of armchair judgement is thrown on this site about ER - mainly due to the fact that there are 50 IB guys for every 1 ER guy - who do you think will have the louder voice?

Of course IB is paid a premium to pretty much all other non-quant jobs but it comes a significant cost to your mental and physical well-being. For most functioning humans, ER is well worth the pay cut: better work/life balance and more interesting/cerebral work.

Most will learn this after their groupthink IB stint when they realize they're not willing to sacrifice their kidneys to make 25% more than their ER/S&T peers. If you're interested in the public markets (which I'd imagine most finance-background people would be?), ER is a solid place to be. More balance and longer stability, all while keeping options for a hedge fund or asset management firm still open.

Jun 14, 2022 - 7:04am
ArchBrand001, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you took earnings out of the equation I would agree that ER is the best gig on the street in terms of comp, wlb, learning, etc. Unfortunately no bank has figured out that the quarterly earnings dribble adds little to no value but still sucks the life out of associates.

  • Associate 1 in ER
Jun 14, 2022 - 9:29am

True, as long as multi manager hedge funds are in business, ER will have to serve them with quarterly channel checks unfortunately.

There is always a catch to every job - nobody likes everything about their job - and the quarterly hyper-focus is surely that with ER. However, quarterly earnings work is still more favorable than whatever deal you'd be forced to churn out if your were in IB. Plus, not all of ER's client base is short term - there are several LO AM firms that consult with ER teams and the like.

Jun 14, 2022 - 10:43am
dickthesellsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you can get the long onlys to pay pod shop / multi-manager level commissions, earnings notes are gone long ago. So no, that just cannot get fixed. 

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jun 15, 2022 - 2:27pm

Not to hijack the thread, but I have loved it. My work life balance is excellent (similar if not better than ER surprisingly) as this was a big part of my diligence in finding a new shop (outside of NYC WLB is generally far better across the board), and the work is varied and interesting, which is part of why I liked ER. Also being the client vs client service has to be mentioned as a lot of tedious tasks can be outsourced. I dislike the "legalese" I now have to be a party to although generally it's just discussing with in-house council and they will put it in legal speak.

As far as comp my base is similar but now my bonus is 100-120% vs 50-70%, with a much better benefits package I might add (was paying 3-4x for health insurance that was 10x worse at a MM IB for example)

Jun 15, 2022 - 2:44pm
daffymrduck, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think being forced to have a positive or negative view is a highly underrated part of the job. When I was working in Research (both Credit and Equity), I'd constantly run into new buysiders with a banking background. They could build a pretty model but couldn't form a thesis for shit. The IB route definitely makes you the most marketable - but I think the buyside training ground is much more even between the two. 

Jul 11, 2022 - 3:22pm
@Leonard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What would you say about the competition for spots, both summer and full-time? As far as I am aware there are far fewer applicants for ER than IB for BBs, however, there are fewer places. Is the ratio the same or is it better for ER?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 11, 2022 - 3:35pm

At a top bank and top ER firm, there were 9 intern spots and 800 applicants for Summer 2022. 3 were pegged for diversity hires and were filled before recruiting began. So, 800 applicants for 6 spots (6/800 = 0.75% chance if you didn't have the in with the sophomore internship). These are numbers for applications only - I have a feeling that the number that actually goes through the HireVue and have acceptable answers to "How do you follow the markets?" and "Tell me about a stock you like" is much lower. So for application numbers, it's probably out of your favor vs. IB, but for the people that actually go through with the HireVues, it probably is more-so in your favor. 

  • Analyst 2 in ER
Jul 11, 2022 - 3:49pm

How did you know the numbers?

Just like with any FO job you get intense competition. But I definitely agree that most applicants dont have what it takes to advance in the process. In IB you can memorize your way into an offer (mostly) but in ER no way

Jul 11, 2022 - 4:03pm
@Leonard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jul 12, 2022 - 3:24am
qweadgadfgdsfgdfgd fgsdf, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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