How much damage has banking done to your life?

We all know banking isn't easy, and I am usually all about encouraging young people to work hard in finance since the long-term benefits to your career can be incredible. But it's good to be realistic about the job - many of us tend to act like heroic titans of finance who love the grind, but this tends to be a coping mechanism driven by insecurity. I'm finally comfortable enough with myself to admit that I cried in the office bathroom a couple of times (we're talking one or two tears here, not full on sobbing, but still).

Here's a short list of things banking did to me (a few details changed to protect my identity):

  • Constant heart palpitations due to caffeine/energy drinks/stress
  • Carpal tunnel / tendinitis
  • Lost a lot of hair
  • Put on 25 lbs or more (fat, not muscle)
  • Stress lowered my immune response to the point that I got a serious infection that landed me in the hospital (it started out small but spread to my veins)
  • Became borderline alcoholic (was having 4-5 drinks every day after work, sometimes before work although not that often)
  • Stopped caring about consequences and personal relationships; lost my girlfriend and several friends
  • Developed blood clots in my legs that required medical intervention
  • Became depressed and chronically anxious

In short, I was not very good at dealing with the stress and intensity of banking. My personal life went into a downward spiral and it took me a couple of years to recover. I'm doing better now, but I've learned that taking care of yourself is paramount in this business. I'm convinced I may have done serious permanent damage to myself if I'd stayed in banking past my 3rd year.

My story has a happy ending, as some of you know. I landed a gig in PE that I very much enjoy, and started putting serious effort into diet, fitness, mental health, and my personal relationships. I am now happily married, no longer abuse alcohol (well, sometimes), and am glad I went through a few years of hell to get to where I am now.

I hope opening up and talking about this does not get interpreted as a dick measuring contest. My intent is to be honest about the cost of going into this business - many people deal with it in better ways than I did, but I know others who went through some serious shit because of the job. To all you future monkeys out there, this post is not meant to discourage you. If I had to do it over again, I would. But I would pay attention to my mental and physical health from day 1 (including my relationships) and I would have been much more careful about not letting myself go. If you go into banking, do so with your eyes wide open and realize that the grind can be extremely rewarding, but also dangerous if you do it wrong.

Remember, kids:

  1. Exercise (even 20 minutes a day will go a long way)
  2. Watch what you eat (that dinner expense policy is a killer, don't order the 20 oz. steak with mac n cheese every night just because you can)
  3. Take care of your mental health through meditation, introspection, and making an effort to keep up your personal relationships

Someone dear to me summed this up like this: "You are constantly doing things that are good for your career, but you also need to do things that are good for your soul. Without that balance, you won't last in your career and in the end you will lose everything."

Mod Note (Andy): top 50 posts of 2017, this one ranks #4 (based on # of silver bananas)

Comments (168)

Mar 1, 2017 - 7:54pm
hopinggtsgy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the post.

Pls share some advice/insights on how to keep up/maintain personal relationships in this business, I intend to stay in the business for the long term (I am not completely sold on PE) and I will be an incoming first-year analyst starting this July.


Mar 1, 2017 - 8:18pm
See Note, what's your opinion? Comment below:

great post, +1, sorry to hear how much you suffered but great for the younger ones on the site to read this advice

dumb question but just curious, if you lose hair due to stress, does it grow back?

Mar 2, 2017 - 12:10pm
NuckFuts, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nope. Doctor told me to try Alopecia but he also said it may cause erectile dysfunction so I told him "fuck that". My coworker is on it though and his hair looks amazing.

Rogaine hasn't done shit for me yet but apparently it takes a long time and is only effective on 70% of men or something like that. Also, if you stop using Rogaine, apparently your hair thins out again, so you're hooked on it for life.

Any advice on this would be appreciated - I may just get a hair transplant in a few years (I have a very hairy ass). I'm also married and doing well financially so I don't really give a shit anymore, and for the young bucks out there, remember: a sexy car will get you more poon than a full head of hair. If she's fucking you for your car or your hair, she's not wife material anyway.

Mar 3, 2017 - 8:42am
Hatting, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nope. Doctor told me to try Alopecia but he also said it may cause erectile dysfunction so I told him "fuck that". My coworker is on it though and his hair looks amazing.

Rogaine hasn't done shit for me yet but apparently it takes a long time and is only effective on 70% of men or something like that. Also, if you stop using Rogaine, apparently your hair thins out again, so you're hooked on it for life.

Any advice on this would be appreciated - I may just get a hair transplant in a few years (I have a very hairy ass). I'm also married and doing well financially so I don't really give a shit anymore, and for the young bucks out there, remember: a sexy car will get you more poon than a full head of hair. If she's fucking you for your car or your hair, she's not wife material anyway.

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. You're probably genetically predisposed to lose your hair and this is called Androgenic Alopecia. To give a very simple explanation, your hair falls out because your hair follicles are sensitive to a hormone called DHT, which is a biproduct of testosterone.

Doctors know nothing about hair loss. You should get on Finasteride or Dutasteride (a stronger version of Finasteride), which prevents your hair loss from progressing by blocking the conversion from testosterone to DHT and maybe even grow some of it back. Side effects are very rare if you have read some of longer studies - we're talking 1-2% with erectile dysfunction. I recommend you to start off with Finasteride and see how it goes, but talk to your doctor about it.

Quitting minoxidil is not necessarily going to drop you below baseline, studies shows a temporarily worsening but you'll bounce back to baseline as well.

Feel free to hook my up with a PM I know all about this shit.

Mar 3, 2017 - 11:33am
Embiv, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also, if you stop using Rogaine, apparently your hair thins out again, so you're hooked on it for life.

Any kind of medication you're going to be using for life.

I'm using finasteride and it stopped my alopecia.

The possible side effects are loss of libido and depression. Tbh I thought it was worth it. I risked it and nothing happened to me. It's different for each person though.

Apr 4, 2017 - 6:12am
Calendars, what's your opinion? Comment below:

@anyone reading this: please don't take Alopecia, side-effects of the drug can be so intense (and not just erectile dysfunction). Really not worth it.

Best Response
Mar 1, 2017 - 9:15pm
DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"Became borderline alcoholic (was having 4-5 drinks every day after work, sometimes before work although not that often)"

All the other stuff sounded bad, but if you can stop at 5 drinks, you are nowhere near alcoholism.

  • 49
  • 3
Mar 4, 2017 - 4:03pm
Ehmerica, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Seriously? I mean, I guess 3 beers in fifteen minutes might have breathalyzer issues but actually drunk.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
Mar 1, 2017 - 10:51pm
N0DuckingWay, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"NIAAA's Definition of Drinking at Low Risk for Developing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD):

For women, low-risk drinking is defined as no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week. For men, it is defined as no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week. NIAAA research shows that only about 2 in 100 people who drink within these limits have AUD."

Obviously you weren't being serious, but not many people actually know where the line is. This is just a guideline, but it definitely helps to serve as a wake-up call.

"There's nothing you can do if you're too scared to try." - Nickel Creek
  • 7
  • 2
Mar 2, 2017 - 12:05am
DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Actually, I was being serious. I've seen these guidelines before and this is what I was thinking about when I wrote the comment above.

The real definition of alcoholic is not being able to stop drinking once you start, until you pass out or get thrown in jail.

Source: I'm a real alcoholic.

Jan 1, 2018 - 5:08pm
ChicagoBoys, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Who has 5 drinks a night every night and works until 3am seriously? I worked at one of the worst teams in a BB before moving to PE and nobody was doing so...! I believe NuckFuts if he says he was desperate but it is certainly not the norm when people are productive.

If you drink before and after work everyday, even 1 or 2 drinks and sleep less than 4 hours yes you have a problem! Btw I noticed that a lot of people in PE do not even drink at all - not the same culture as IBD...

  • 1
Apr 4, 2017 - 8:13pm
Esuric, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No one gives a shit about an after-tax 25k bonus.

“Elections are a futures market for stolen property”
  • 4
Mar 1, 2017 - 10:14pm
Dacawin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dumb question, but what would be a healthy way to "boost" your energy during those late nights? I can definitely see myself overdoing the coffee/red bulls..

Mar 2, 2017 - 12:17am
blueguy412, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Still in school, but during marathon study nights I sometimes use smelling salts (ammonia ampules) to refocus. You sometimes see professional athletes using them on the sidelines to get in the zone. No negative health effects (they are used medically to wake up people who faint) and not as sketchy as they sound, they sell them on Amazon.

Mar 7, 2017 - 5:00pm
StoicTrader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Jeez. Just get modafinil, stuffs the shiz, just bought my 2nd order with bitcoin, looking forward to it..

twitter: @StoicTrader1 instagram: @StoicTrader1
  • 3
Mar 12, 2018 - 6:24pm
Ray Velcoro, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I use these for lifting every once in a while (mainly to get my head right before a max attempt or a heavy set).

There might be no documented negative health effects but go ahead and use Nose Tork a couple of times and judge for yourself. Personally, it's hard for me to believe that it's not fvcking my brain up a little bit.

We get the world we deserve.
  • 1
Mar 3, 2017 - 2:29pm
ztradez, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'd recommend moderate caffeine and practice. It's something you just get used to doing over time. Also eat properly. If you eat shit throughout the day, are carb starved, etc., you will get super tired/lazy later on and your body will want to shut down/sleep. Sadly nutrition should be a core part of 'banking prep' and is ignored entirely.

Mar 2, 2017 - 12:56am
LeveragedTiger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Caffeine dependancy happens whether you put sugar in your coffee or not.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
  • 1
Mar 3, 2017 - 4:53pm
Attack_Chihuahua, what's your opinion? Comment below:

American offices have no idea about this.

Go to any office in continental Western Europe and you'll have a fresh-grind espresso maker that can put out coffee that, although mediocre by European standards, is better than your average American grind.

  • 2
Mar 1, 2017 - 11:42pm
SECfinance, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No permanent damage (I think).

I did two years as an analyst and left for a better opportunity, not because I hated the job.

I probably put on 25 lbs that I wouldn't have put on had I worked a 9-5, in addition to some weight I put on in college. Working it off now though, with the help of a personal trainer that I can afford due to banking. And I will always have banking on my resume.

I have more grey hair than I would otherwise. Big deal, I have a girlfriend. She makes fun of me but she's just as ambitious as I am so she understands.

MM IB -> TMT Corporate Development -> New Ventures
  • 2
Mar 2, 2017 - 12:27am
JoeyJ, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Going through it now. Certainly learning a ton, getting a good experience, etc. But I certainly agree my health is taking a greater hit than I expected.

Immune system took a huge hit. Getting sick all the time.

Tired 24/7. Perpetual cycle of grinding during the week, wanting to catch up on sleep on weekend, but you end up going out because you feel like you need to do something each week. therefore not catching up on sleep,and going back into the week already still exhausted. Repeat.

Chest pains likely due to a lot of stress

Lost a ton of weight, but have only been making it to the gym once every couple weeks, so this is not a pro

Diminished friendships and severe FOMO.

Would likely do this again but man am I ready for it to end.

Mar 2, 2017 - 12:02pm
differentialequations12, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This sounds like exactly like me when I studied engineering in college.

Mar 3, 2017 - 8:00pm
Jeester, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Really? Fuck man IB is so much harder than an engineering degree (stress wise). I feel like there shouldn't be so much emphasis put on it after seeing some of the mongs in my classes (or was that a mirror?).

Mar 3, 2017 - 2:35pm
ztradez, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As others have said, and in regards to your intention, certainly ditch the habit before you start working. Banking is one of those things where you need to work without vices as much as possible, because they will grow much stronger. At this point I don't even drink caffeine very frequently because I have more energy waking up early and working out (even on 5 hours of sleep) than I do sleeping 7-8 hours and chugging caffeine throughout the day. That and smoking/dipping/excessive drinking will destroy your health during banking.

Mar 2, 2017 - 1:59am
X-Man112, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for sharing your experience. Could anyone further elaborate further on damage mitigation strategies for IB juniors?

I guess a lot boils down to genetics, personality type etc., but would still be great hear the daily routine of someone who went through their analyst years fairly undamaged.

Mar 2, 2017 - 2:10pm
SECfinance, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't forget the Second-year 15.

The real sleeper is the "First Year Associate 35". We had an associate who needed all new suits by Thanksgiving of his first year on the job.

MM IB -> TMT Corporate Development -> New Ventures
  • 1
Mar 2, 2017 - 2:21pm
stth_167, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Alcohol, caffeine addiction, hair loss, skin damage (hello wrinkles at 25), not having a peaceful sleep, irritation, heart palpitations. Still, I love my job and waking up everyday to come to the office.

thank God I eat very healthy so weight gain hasn't occurred (sometimes slight weight losses) nor diseases from lack of vitamins.

I don't go to the gym, but I try to walk everyday at least 30 min. Gym/exercise is definitely recommended. I hear sex helps too, but haven't had much of that either...

  • 10
Nov 3, 2019 - 9:02pm
iridescent007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I commute 50 min to work. 25 min subway and 25 min --- so 50 min walk each day. It helps a lot although sometimes it's a pain in the ass if I work till midnight.

Persistency is Key
Mar 2, 2017 - 2:39pm
IntlBaller, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for posting this. It's incredibly important to be self-aware about the negative ways banking impacts your life. My first year was very rough for a variety of reasons, but those that I could control were eating unhealthily (pounding pancakes, cookies, monsters at midnight), not focusing enough on relationships or spirituality, letting my level of patience with any/all things fall to an embarrassing low, and several others.

Second year has been much better as I've been using all dinner money on chicken breasts, egg whites, etc., have been going to the gym frequently (my default is that I AM going unless I absolutely cannot), and focusing more on relationships with family and deity. Happiness, energy, and passion levels have increased substantially, though part of that is a function of the hours being better. Still working on being more patient with everyone though.

Mar 8, 2017 - 5:38pm
IntlBaller, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For sure. Spirituality will mean different things for different people. For me, I've always been a devout Christian, so it has included weekly church, daily prayer and scripture reading, and serving others. While I have attended church each week, those other things have taken a back seat to the daily grind and I've watched my overall mindset become more "how much money am I making and how much will I make" vs. "how do I improve as a human (by helping others, living righteous principles, etc.)". It's taken a negative toll on my overall well-being and happiness, so I'm trying to increase the level of spirituality to bring my life more balance.

For those that aren't religious/Christian/Buddhist/whatever, it may just be that you need to turn on some Sigur Ros and reflect on the bigger picture of your life, whether or not you are happy where you are, where you're going, how your life is turning out in a more deep sense than what your job is. I believe that sort of self-reflection could probably uncover many insights, and I'm sure most people (including myself) don't do it enough.

Mar 8, 2017 - 7:33am
A_Hoonter_Must_Hoont, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Im trying to handle studying and working at the same time. The stress is also making me very easily agitated (no patience). Trying to work it out as well :(

Mar 8, 2017 - 5:41pm
IntlBaller, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's not easy to have patience in a job that requires answers within minutes in many cases. Still learning the balance, but I think one good check is to assess how you treat others that are below you and that have very limited power to help you (food delivery people, janitor, etc.). One of my colleagues used to be absolutely atrocious to everyone and made me reaaaally want to try hard to never become like that.

Mar 2, 2017 - 2:49pm
TheNotoriousFIG, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly its mental more than physical. I've probably lost ~5 pounds (was always super skinny so not a good thing). IBD is obviously full of hard charging type-A people, and while I can play that game, I'm naturally a bit of an introvert. So everyday I just feel fucking drained and have no desire to be around people after work. Weekends are spent either reading/chilling/netflix/sleeping as opposed to going out which hasn't been great for social life and building new relationships.

  • 9
Mar 2, 2017 - 4:07pm
CHItizen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A lot of bankers get pretty cynical because so much of your work and effort ends up either not mattering (e.g. if a deal blows up for whatever reason) or not mattering to you (e.g. if a deal closes, it doesn't really benefit the analyst in any meaningful way).

Mentally, I became really pessimistic and negative, which was bad both professionally and personally. Had a short fuse and couldn't get away from this feeling where I always felt very "rushed" (for lack of a better word... maybe also somewhat overwhelmed?) all the time. My self esteem was pretty low too, and on the rare occasions that I did get to meet up with friends, I tried to pack months of fun into one night (which is bad because I would just rip a bunch of shots, black out, and then have no clue what happened that night).

Physically, I tried to work out but that ended a few months in. I'm lucky in that I've never had a big appetite and a lot of days I would eat a late breakfast and then eat a late lunch, no third meal. I didn't gain weight but I lost a lot of muscle and was pretty unhealthy by the time I quit (felt like puking for hours after my first post-IB workout, which would have been a very light one by my previous standards).

One weird quirk I developed was getting antsy from voicemails and phone calls, because nothing good comes from these when you're an analyst.

  • 14
Mar 2, 2017 - 4:11pm
silverbuck898, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Has anyone maintained any sort of health in banking? I mean the health effects sound much worse than pulling long hours. I can work a long time, but if banking would impact my health this much, I'm not sure if it would be worth it...

Mar 2, 2017 - 4:16pm
TheNotoriousFIG, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This thread is good because it will give you plenty of things to look out for so that you can start balancing your work/health if any signs pop-up. No one who lasts in the industry has done it by just going 100% hard at work all the time. That, and the fact that the average 21-25 year old human body is actually pretty resilient. As long as you keep an eye on things you (hopefully) won't do permanent damage.

If you are doing the standard two years and out, then I wouldn't solely let the health effects deter you, but definitely take that into consideration.

  • 6
Mar 2, 2017 - 4:30pm
silverbuck898, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is somewhat reassuring. As a complete health nut, I think I would be fine if I could at least get into the gym three times per week. From what I've read, this sounds somewhat reasonable. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

Mar 2, 2017 - 4:46pm
NESCAC, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why do people make banking sound like joining the Marines? Sure you work a lot, but you guys make it sound like it's super hardcore. I don't mean this to come off the wrong way (but it probably will), but I haven't had a vacation in 3 years and I'm not dead yet. Your life spiraling out of control is your own fault; banking only drives you insane if you let it.

  • 6
  • 10
Mar 2, 2017 - 6:21pm
To Bank or Break Rank, what's your opinion? Comment below:

God you lot are a bunch of self indulgent, pathetic narcissistic arseholes. It's a tough fucking job. Great. Stop endlessly trying to analyse your position in comparison to others, or feel sorry for yourself because you aren't sure of you decisions. It's pathetic. And if you are one of these people the odds are that you won't make it far in banking or PE. And to be honest that's no bad thing. Not everyone goes the distance, and that's fine. Just do what makes you happy; don't do what makes you unhappy, miserable and insecure. Because then people wont see a great resume but a burnt out shell who isn't sure of themselves, but has made all their life decisions for the wrong reasons.

Mar 2, 2017 - 8:53pm
NuckFuts, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Quit being a cunt. As I said in my post, the point was to provide a cautionary tale so readers can learn from the mistakes of others and hopefully go into the job with a plan to manage their lives more successfully than I did.

This isn't about bragging or self pity. It's easier to lob insults at others than it is to admit your own shortcomings to others in a helpful way. Besides, what are you now, a first year analyst? Shouldn't you be spreading comps or polishing your MD's balls instead of shitposting on WSO?

Mar 2, 2017 - 6:22pm
ArcherVice, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great post

Mar 2, 2017 - 9:59pm
Mee Eff, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Echo what others have said...Anxiety, bad skin, fluctuating weight, waking up in the middle of the night to thinking my blackberry went off, poor nutrition from seamless every night

I think Joey's description of the vicious cycle of perpetual fatigue is pretty spot on and hit pretty close to home. The first five months felt like the end of finals week every single day. Your body adjusts to the lifestyle after a bit (not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing) but it still sucks.

Mar 3, 2017 - 4:24am
Stringer Bell, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Glad to hear you're doing well and taking better care of yourself. I went through pretty similar downward spiral during my time in banking; I didn't gain the weight (actually lost about 15 pounds, not in a good way) and haven't had any serious medical issues, but I did pick up a terrible chewing tobacco habit (2 cans a day at one point) that I'm still trying to kick, it's not good.

Think the big key is, is to try to keep active and get in some exercise or gym time at least 3x a week. Even if it's for a quick 20 mins here and there, and get a long session during the weekend where you can really elevate your heart rate. Second to that is try to curb your urge to drink heavily to "blow off steam" outside of normal work hours. I was sorely guilty of not doing this, and the juice is never worth the squeeze, believe me folks. That first 3-4 drinks kicking-in may give off a momentary rush of euphoria , but the hangover and mental fatigue you incur from poor sleep will set you back from recovering during the limited downtime that you have. Save the binge drinking for when you take some time off on vacation out of town where you have "limited access to email".

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack:
  • 6
Mar 3, 2017 - 12:01pm
Sil, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Good post, +SB.

I started at a boutique and then lateraled to a MM. My year at the boutique was very laid back. My associate came from a top MM and top MBA program, but the guy was the most passive person I have ever met. Even when I completely botched this one model and embarrassed the associate in front of a client, the associate never yelled or anything.

My MM experience was much different. My bankers were absolutely insane. My associate would scream and curse so loudly that we occasionally got complaints from the company on the floor below us (I wish I was joking). This associate called me every name in the book, regularly told me that I was a POS, and trashed me (and every analyst) to the MD on a regular basis. I remember this one time where I used a slightly-off shade of blue for a header bar - by slightly off, I mean something like one number less in the blue section of RGB - and the associate insisted that this was so embarrassing that clients might start fleeing for a competitor. My VP was no better. The guy would sit in his office almost every day until 10 PM for no reason other than that he loved IB. Our MD always left at 4 PM, but the VP was convinced the MD was playing games with him, so the VP would leave his jacket and briefcase in his office when he left at 10 PM to make it look like he just went to the bathroom. Our VP would then come into the office at 8 AM every Saturday for no reason and start complaining that his analysts are not there with him. If we were in the office on Saturday, however, the VP would remind us the facetime doesn't matter....

I was absolutely paranoid of making mistakes because any mistake, regardless of how big or small, would result in some crazy associate verbally berating me, so I always read emails ten times before sending them, always read slides ten times before turning them back, etc. and definitely wasted a lot of time doing that. Other than that, I have to honestly say that I never experienced any of the negativities that you listed.

Feb 22, 2018 - 5:35pm
ShelbyCompanyLimited, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm curious as to how you/anyone responds to being treated like that in a "professional" setting. Luckily, I have not experienced anything to that degree. There are a few senior level guys I have been warned about however, and I'm sure our paths will cross at some point.

After working 80+ hours a week, how do people have the patience to not just go off on that Associate and tell him to shut the fck up when he is having an outburst? I imagine the VP didn't do anything about it b/c he was more concerned with his own personal games with the MD?

I am anticipating taking a lot of shit during my banking career, but I am always curious how things don't get super personal when working with some of these characters you hear about.

Nov 3, 2019 - 9:14pm
iridescent007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sil's comment reminded me of my ER stint in a LMM place...the MD was like this VP/Associate. The good thing about that MD is, he would spend sometime coaching interns/new associates. The bad thing about him is, well, a lot.

One time I wrote him an email, and had one extra space between two words. Yes everyone loves an extra space. He called my desk 3 times in probably 2 minutes, yelling at me 3 times: why THE FCK did you have a space in your email? Okay. I fixed it in the first time you told me to fix it, so why call my desk for another 2 times? Weird but okay. I know people working in banks yell a lot.

The other time, my first week into the job, I was doing expenses for him, and because that was my first time doing it, without any tips/training --- I was still trying to learn the formatting from a previous expense workbook. After 1 hour he called my desk and checked in on me, then told me I'm fucking braindead because I've been doing his expenses for 1 fucking hour (more than 30 receipts I think). "Hey, know YOUR SHIT okay? Know your FCKING Shit !" I was an intern. I had the opportunity to work full-time for him somehow, but I did not take that offer.

Persistency is Key
  • 2
Mar 3, 2017 - 12:50pm
SReynoso, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great post. Current junior in college really excited for an opportunity in IB and there are endless posts on this website from people who look down upon others for being human. Great reminder that even in a fast-paced and cutthroat environment, it's ok to take a step back and analyze your life and figure our wants/needs. Hope the best for you! Thanks!

Mar 3, 2017 - 1:58pm
StoicTrader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

jeez, sounds so not worth it man, good to hear everything is balancing out better now.

twitter: @StoicTrader1 instagram: @StoicTrader1
Mar 3, 2017 - 2:23pm
ztradez, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I haven't had anything near the issues OP had but certainly weight gain in my first year followed by two years desperately trying to judiciously exercise and eat healthier. Most analysts/associates in my office use standing desks (this is bulge bracket btw) so that helps with some of the issues you've encountered. If people are experiencing any of your symptoms or problems I highly recommend using a standing desk, proper posture when sitting (can fix the carpal tunnel and other health issues) and just taking a 5-10 minute break to walk around whenever you have down time come up. You may be 'really busy' but this is banking, in a 14 hour day you assuredly have several 5-30 minute downtime periods where you're braindead reading news or other information online.

Personal relationships certainly suffer. For me it has been more of a fringe situation, friends I would occasionally see in college I rarely talk to now, group has become much more confined based on who I am closest to. Thankfully my marriage has not been strained as my wife is very patient, understanding, and had a year experiencing the 100 hour work week hell that was banking pre-HR millenialization that took place in the past two years.

Other than that certainly chronic sleep deprivation but I am someone who was never used to sleeping more than ~7 hours a day (and occasional binge 12 hour weekend sleeping) throughout my later high school and all of my adult life so for me that is normal, albeit exaggerated by banking. Also in banking it becomes a requirement, not a choice, so it's more stressful.

One thing I can stress HEAVILY to those looking into the industry is your lifestyle/stress levels/etc are largely 1. A symptom of your GROUP (not bank, tier of banking, etc) so pick wisely based on the people you meet and 2. Your own internal ability to handle stress, not stress things that aren't worth stressing about and ultimately manage people and yourself. Banking is certainly not easy, and I am 3 years in so jaded/accustomed at this point, but it is no where near the soul crushing experience on a 24/7 basis that some people heroically make it out to be. There are certainly people in my office with those experiences but they are often self-inflicted.

You do not receive extra credit in banking (i.e. if you go home at 11:30pm or 4 am with the same workload no one cares, you will not be comped for this, no one will even notice) but some people resort to herculean level feats to impress people only to later realize no one cares at all. Take care of yourself and take things in stride. Work hard but don't be an idiot.

An aside from a post above above - the paranoia around everything you do i.e. rechecking emails 10 times before sending, going through model links and assumptions many times before submitting, making tiny formatting updates that are irrelevant, etc., is certainly a quirk everyone will acquire in banking. It's largely a benefit to you as a self-enforced quality control on your work but try to minimize the time you waste doing this as much as possible. Can easily drag into hours a day depending on your workload.

Mar 3, 2017 - 2:35pm
foggy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I didn't work in banking but there was about a year I was working 12-14 hours a day. Still got time to exercise, but I developed severe neck pain (feeling like someone was trying to wreck my neck) and ahem, this, because your body just doesn't like sitting for that long. Not very sexy for a girl huh. And I could imagine worse problems to IBD people working longer hours.

Also, I am foreign and the stress caused from lack of sleep and working under pressure made me anxious and my accent/language fluency got affected. Sometimes when I was too tired, I spoke English and nobody could understand me.

Mar 15, 2017 - 2:41pm
stefan.stankovic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Look up mysofascial release therapy and trigger points to find what is causing pain in your neck. It's also from sitting in the same position for 14 hours a day, and it isn't permanent, unless you don't treat it with painful massage.

Mar 3, 2017 - 8:43pm
TerenYoung, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is the most honest post I've read on this forum and a sobering reminder to take care of ones self. I'm 32 and am just realizing how important it is. Great post man!

Mar 4, 2017 - 3:31pm
LiamNeeson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Glad to hear you are doing better now - the number of replies in such a short period of time indicates that mental and physical health deterioration is still almost inevitable in IBD. Did M&A at a top law firm for 3+ years, so I would assume this is somewhat comparable. I sincerely liked my job, so my health deterioration was mainly physical, but in hindsight, it is shocking how much many of us (including me) allow a job to impact our health in a negative way.

My symptoms were mainly hair loss (which I partly recovered with the help of many products) and gray hair. Mentally, it was mainly anger / resentment towards particular partners who would make you work on vacation for stuff that was not urgent at all. The first two weeks that I quit my job, I caught myself reaching for my work phone every five minutes checking for new e-mails, only realizing that I do not have my work phone anymore.

Having said that, it has been a valuable experience. I am not sure if I would do it again, but I certainly learned a lot in terms of persistence and motivation. Whenever things get tough in my current job, it's mainly the bankers or lawyers who can easily grind through it.

Mar 4, 2017 - 9:23pm
MidMarketMcLovin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Noticeably lost weight according to one VP. However, I came into IB a bit pudgy and have made a big effort to focus on my diet. It's weight I think I should have lost, rather than losing an unhealthy amount of weight due to IB. My mental health took quite a hit during my first six months. High levels of anxiety and stress, constantly questioning can I put up with it and am I really capable of being an IB Analyst.

8 months in now. Love it, anxiety and stress has gone as I've become better at the job. Weight is in line with where I want it to be. Physical health is lacking, I am where I want to be at in terms of looking healthy, but my cardio ability is completely gone. Need to make more time for the gym.

For current analysts / incoming analysts worried about weight, I've found a very simply system which works. If you wear the same belt every day, take note of what notch on your belt you're currently at (assuming you're happy with your weight). If you move up a notch towards the buckle, lower your calorie intake, if you go away from the buckle, increase your calorie intake. You don't need to count calories and you'll be roughly at your preferred build.

Mar 5, 2017 - 2:14pm
BillBelichick37, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Definitely curious to hear how you lost weight. Do you squeeze in 20-30 minute workouts during down time at your work? Recently consulted with my physician, dietitian, and psychiatrist to start a new mental and physical health regimen. Only has been a week but I've already lost 6 pounds by working out 3 days and sticking to the DASH diet that helps blood pressure. Goal would be to get to 30 pounds lost in 6-9 months.

Mar 5, 2017 - 4:07pm
MidMarketMcLovin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Very few workouts. I just ate fairly healthy. Normal breakfast, salad at lunch, decent dinner, all meals usually providing a nice breakdown of carbs, protein and fat. My diet was poor before starting, so going from eating crap to eating good food lead to a natural weight loss. Working out will help hugely, but can likely be done with just diet. Watch what you eat and don't treat your Seamless limit like a target.

Mar 6, 2017 - 9:19pm
StoicTrader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

intermittent fasting. I got pretty yoked in college and played a yr of football (got up to 220). so I still have a decent amount of muscle mass and was in decent shape. but I went from like 190 to 172 in 3 months of intermittent fasting, I also wasn't going to the gym barely at all so probably lost some muscle as well. but now back in the gym at least a couple times a week, sitting at around 182, and get a lot of compliments about how much more trim I look.

intermittent fasting is now a part of my life. I fast most days of the week from 8PM - 2PM the next day, only eating a banana and coffee with a little bit of half/half in the AM.

there are so many health benefits to fasting, there's TED video's on it etc. basically humans eat too much, we need to be in famine mode more often and it's a bunch of bs that breakfast is the most important meal. I feel so much more sharp mentally throughout the day if I don't eat my first meal until 2 PM..

twitter: @StoicTrader1 instagram: @StoicTrader1
  • 4
Mar 5, 2017 - 12:14am
CreditMadrid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This was a great post and definitely something that I will have to consider, especially as a high school senior. Right now I am not sure if I want to go into IB for the long-term or only do it for a few years and then move onto VC or do VC right out of undergrad. I believe that there were some very interesting points made. I am glad that you found the light at the end of the tunnel after years of pain. Keep it up.

Mar 5, 2017 - 7:55am
Waving Wind, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I spent only a year in IBD, but had my fair share of punishment in terms of workload. While many of my peers got fatter, visibly unhealthier, I actually made it my mission to do the complete opposite. I ended up sacrificing sleep for workouts (i.e. often a potential 5-6hr night was cut down to 4-5hr to get that workout in).

The following helped me a lot on the health side: 1. HIIT 5+ days a week. 30 mins per session is enough. Go to the gym just before it closes (when it is eerily quiet). Book a class, tends to push you more. Boxing classes or the like are rly cool. 2. Drink water. 3. NO breakfast (unless workout before). 4. Load up on protein. Have protein snacks around your desk. Especially when we get stressed/frustrated/unhappy we tend to want to "happy up" with a bag of M&Ms, then some crisps etc. Don't. Eat a protein bar. 5. Superfood/greens drink. 6. Limit the booze cruises that happen on Fri

  • 2
Mar 5, 2017 - 6:39pm
Financial Models and Water Bottles, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Completely agree with this except one question, did you feel okay with no breakfast? I usually feel much better when I start the day with a great breakfast, omelette with veggies, steel cut oatmeal, etc.

Mar 6, 2017 - 3:46pm
NuckFuts, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Studies show that people who eat breakfast are much less likely to binge eat later on in the day. Having some protein first thing in the morning also boosts your metabolism.

It's better to have a big protein breakfast than to have a big dinner - your metabolism slows down at night and all that food will just get stored as fat.

Mar 6, 2017 - 4:01pm
sirog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Common sense basically.

Everyone who knows a little bit about nutrition and bodybuilding is perfectly fine. Just stay away from roids and try to sleep as much as you can whenever you have the chance.

Golden rule: 40% carbs / 40% protein / 20% good fats

Eat 6 times per day.

Body weights 3 times a week and cardio workout 1 hour a week (30 minutes if HIIT).

Mar 15, 2017 - 3:25pm
stefan.stankovic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

6 meals a day is a great way to constantly stoke your appetite without ever being fully satiated. Bad advice.

Apr 4, 2017 - 7:44pm
Gangster Putin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Science has shown that it's unnecessary to eat so many times a day. You can eat 2 times a day and still be fine.

Feb 22, 2018 - 5:50pm
Jamie_Diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

don't fall into a slump and dig yourself a ditch. it's fun climbing the ladder but not climbing out of a hole.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

  • 1
Jun 4, 2018 - 4:02pm
pumpkinNYC, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Consequuntur hic accusamus nisi voluptatem suscipit. Harum quae voluptatem et quibusdam quia architecto. At qui et ex. Impedit excepturi qui vitae harum. Impedit magnam earum suscipit animi.

Qui quos nesciunt repellendus magni. Nisi totam et hic voluptates est autem. Recusandae similique ipsum autem quibusdam aperiam.

Reiciendis ipsa exercitationem recusandae fugiat labore. Et et et dolor nemo magni ut. Excepturi in et voluptatem illum vel. Consequatur sint facilis aperiam velit. Temporibus iure itaque inventore quis cum fuga velit.

Feb 23, 2018 - 7:55pm
Entrepreneur Hero, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Amet repellat enim ut veritatis occaecati eos eligendi. Praesentium sunt molestias fugit quo voluptas rerum. Mollitia facere et et ex et.

Odit labore similique necessitatibus. Sunt delectus amet enim ut ut eveniet sequi. Vitae voluptates possimus qui molestias laboriosam. Sit ut aperiam illum et assumenda voluptas nesciunt. Officiis non impedit aut ea est. Dolorum et iure fugit distinctio accusantium adipisci. Distinctio aspernatur pariatur illo quos est.

Jun 4, 2018 - 4:33pm
dm100, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sint esse voluptas maiores et. Est consectetur veritatis impedit suscipit. Quae vitae placeat a et sint nemo consequatur. Inventore et ullam eum debitis alias sunt quas illum. Ducimus laudantium et eos accusamus. Velit dolore blanditiis corporis ratione et. Nostrum nobis magnam ut.

Jul 23, 2018 - 6:17pm
mourad_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sit labore qui ad libero quod. Consequatur est nam sit et vel. Voluptatem molestias autem ea similique et nostrum. Et optio aliquid accusantium repellat. A nam debitis suscipit vel. Quasi ab perspiciatis minus voluptas autem quo minima.

In ipsa officiis libero porro sit voluptas. Nobis illum voluptatibus iusto assumenda est.

Aliquam eligendi vel veritatis sapiente. Sapiente consectetur et inventore qui architecto. Necessitatibus quas incidunt non aut ullam. Ipsum amet modi molestiae dolore.

Deserunt consequatur fuga aperiam ea vel harum sunt. Minus possimus vel eveniet ipsum consequuntur. Nesciunt sed molestiae alias est quos nihil.

Nov 3, 2019 - 7:31pm
charolette93, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Error aut enim quo saepe. Nesciunt non corporis voluptatem mollitia veritatis quia. Deserunt tempore libero expedita dignissimos. Ex pariatur enim magnam.

Aut accusantium vel nobis perferendis. Libero totam provident reprehenderit sint. Quos excepturi aliquam et quaerat facere.

Dicta repellat labore neque in eos sunt. Iusto rerum laboriosam sint autem voluptatibus qui id minima.

Impedit vel est suscipit explicabo. Neque dolores quo ut et quia.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲08) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.3%
  • Financial Technology Partners (+ +) 98.9%
  • Evercore (▽01) 98.5%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲01) 98.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • PJT Partners (= =) 99.6%
  • Evercore (▲02) 99.3%
  • Greenhill (▲06) 98.9%
  • Canaccord Genuity (▲15) 98.5%
  • William Blair (= =) 98.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • PwC Corporate Finance (▲14) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲03) 99.3%
  • Jefferies & Company (▲04) 98.9%
  • William Blair (▽02) 98.5%
  • Evercore (▽01) 98.2%

Total Avg Compensation

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $613
  • Vice President (38) $392
  • Associates (219) $256
  • 2nd Year Analyst (139) $163
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (19) $160
  • 1st Year Analyst (463) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (88) $151
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (336) $92