average life expectancy for an investment banker.

Just got curious after reading an article about a recent college grad @GS who died a half years after starting FT.

Well, high stress and long hours in the office can't be good for you in the long run...

Not in terms of your job, but how long do you think you will live?

Best Response

That's a tough question. My experience hasn't involved watching I-Bankers drop like flies, but that's just me.

Trading will take a few years off your life, but to be fair, most traders eat way too much.

In any case, I recommend getting lots of exercise and eating healthy, no matter where you are at the bank. It helps you deal with the stress of work and reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer.

I also recommend saving every penny you can and practice living a modest lifestyle. Having money in the bank and being used to not having a 5000 sq. ft. mansion really reduces the stress that comes from job insecurity- again, this applies no matter where you are.

As for me, I'm a mere programmer (at least I'm a developer for the traders and not stuck in IT). My job, hour per hour, is about as stressful as an I-Banker's, but I only put in about 2/3 the hours that they do.

I kind of agree with Midwestern on modest lifestyle. For me, earning good money is being able to forget about money and personal finances. You lose friends by spending a lot and end up mixing with a limited and homogenous group of people.

You lose poor friends by not spending good money on yourself. Why do you want poor people as friends anyway?


The whole point is to save it, so you can quit when you are ready and then just relax knowing you have at the least a solid savings...if you stick around awhile you might not have to have any stress at all.

Employers of all types like nothing more than you to spend money and buy new cars and big houses....cuz then all of sudden, you need them more than they need you.

Always be wary of superiors who encourage you buy expensive things.

Alexey Kirilov:
Employers of all types like nothing more than you to spend money and buy new cars and big houses....cuz then all of sudden, you need them more than they need you.

Always be wary of superiors who encourage you buy expensive things.

Absolutely true.

Here we go, patek strikes again.

"you need nice shit to perform": bollocks, that's only if you lack self confidence.

I've found that people who wear "nice stuff" claim you need good stuff are often trying to compensate for weaknesses they perceive in themselves.

Rolex watches, Razr phones, and $2K designer suits are completely unnecessary for "performing". If you want to spend money on performing better, buy an apartment that's a closer commute. This assumes you're talking about work.

So Midwestern, from what you've seen trading is more stressful in sum than banking?
I got a chance to work on a project for grain traders when I was interning in Chicago. They work about two sixteen hour days in four hours. And I've met 25 year-olds there who look 30.

My humble opinion is that traders have a very intense day. If you're in I-Banking, your blood pressure may get pretty high while working on a project due at a certain time (same with financial programming), but your blood pressure chart at least doesn't look like a roller-coaster ride that resembles the inverse of your position's performance.

I've never seen anyone complain that I-banking will shorten your life. I've seen a lot of people claim that trading will. I had always figured that the trade-off was that traders got to enjoy the two-three best years of their life, while I-Bankers never saw daylight from outside the office for their first two to three years, but got a few years of time in the nursing home tacked on at the end.


Guys, these are ridiculous generalizations.

And for the younger guys on this board, don't forget that if you start a family, your living expenses will jump dramatically around the same time that you start eanring significant amounts. 300 - 400k pre tax (ie 150 - 200k post tax) is not as much as it seems when you're living in Manhattan, are paying for your child's school, and need a 2 bedroom apartment which will cost $5k per month. It's a great living of course, but it's not like you'll be retiring after a few years of that.


It's not that hard for the young guys to stay fit. I've gone running on the streets at 5 am in the pouring rain after working for 18 hours straight, and then been at work 4 hours later.

It's not that hard really, 20 mins of intense exercise everyday and eating right, you should be good.

What I'm worried about is my eyesight, 18 hours of staring at the fuckin' computer is gonna ruin my perfect vision.


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