I Love Investment Banking

Not a day goes by that I’m not happy I broke into this industry, which allows me to be fully financially secure and live a relatively luxurious lifestyle in my early 20s, with guarantees of advancement and huge increases in compensation ahead of me (or endless opportunities to exit if I want to), as long as I just keep doing what I’m doing and don’t suck at it. 

And all at the cost of a little sweat and tears and having to work late nights sometimes. Guess what? There are thousands of jobs that require the same level of commitment but for a fraction of the pay and without the exponential increase in compensation (and that’s just in your 20s!)

Just thought I’d provide an alternative point of view to everyone on here b*tching and crying because banking ruined their dinner plans. You guys need a reality check and maybe you should pause for a second and consider the amazing opportunity you have. Cause the alternative is a lot worse. 



Juniors On WSO With No SA : “Okay fuck you tool have fun wasting your life in IB while FAANG engineers win international math competitions and make $780k out of college (with stock appreciation) and consultants fly first class all around the world (Wisconsin M-Th). Let me know how you feel after your 2nd fire drill and also please let me know if your bank is hiring my resume is attached.”


Bro this post is so refreshing - Tired of all those weak people / daddy kid crying all day long. Most people crying about investment banking broke into because the system got them there. There parents were rich, they bought a top business school diploma etc. These guys are there but they don't know why. Just because of the way the system is built. My parents are poor and I get a lot of motivation from it and I am actually proud of it, helps me realize the chance I have

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Being in your 20s and helping your parents pay their mortgage, buying your dad his dream car, helping your brothers and sisters get out from a shitty country and study in better universities, helping family members with their finances, etc. are pleasures which all those privileged Ivy children won't understand. 

All those shitty posts: Getting fat in IB, bad mental health, IB is not meaningful, I want intellectual stimulation, I want to Live Love and Laugh, are from people who didn't saw financial struggle in their life and their only problem is "What haircut is more prestigious?" (Real topic in WSO)


Seems like you’re criticising “privileged ivy students” (= more or less normal well educated people). Congrats if you’re helping out your family but no need to picture other people as inferior. This is not the best mentality imo (what would you have done in their case? Exactly the same, work hard and go to Ivy League)


I'm in ER, not banking, but this is exactly how I feel. Went to non-target & fought thru so much negativity to make it to where I am. So many get it borderline handed to them & genuinely think they're better than you because they went to a "more prestigious" undergrad (although not all are like this)... but I wasn't raised w/ a silver spoon & will outwork tf out of anyone b/c these jobs pay a multiple of my combined family income growing up, and I couldn't be more fortunate to end up here than on probation like my high school friends are right now.

Half joking / half srs but can we start a group for people who broke into the Street from middle / lower class?

I will say I don't think health should ever be sacrificed though, everyone should have 60-90min a day to hit the gym or w/e floats your boat. There should never be a day where one isn't permitted to take for their health no matter how busy (even though we often don't during EPS szn etc at times in ER).


I agree, so much negativity on here and it's not all that bad...sure you work extremely hard but a lot of people in law and med school are doing the same hours and not making IB money, they're just taking out loans. One of my friends got out of his residency just got a job and he's 29 and just making his first paycheck that's equivalent to my all-in comp...and I'm 22. I also hate just talking about it from the comp perspective- I think it's really cool to sit in on meetings with executives at such a young age. So much upward career mobility after you do your analyst stint. I'll probably stay on as an associate (if I get the promotion) and not leave to buyside, where the grass is always greener. 


I need to ask this in sincere faith, as an incoming off-cycle intern

Is investment banking intellectually demanding?

I mean I'm dying to get in, and there is nothing wrong with working too many hours for decent cash and rewarding exists. But I just see this point regurgitated all the time, especially in comparison to law and medicine. Not that I actually care if IB is or isn't intellectually demanding, that's irrelevant, but would love to hear your thoughts


I need to ask this in sincere faith, as an incoming off-cycle intern

Is investment banking intellectually demanding?

I mean I'm dying to get in, and there is nothing wrong with working too many hours for decent cash and rewarding exists. But I just see this point regurgitated all the time, especially in comparison to law and medicine. Not that I actually care if IB is or isn't intellectually demanding, that's irrelevant, but would love to hear your thoughts

It is not intellectually demanding in the sense that you are constantly being challenged but most of it is learning how to manage multiple tasks, manage time, stress, people, your attitude etc. There is an intellectual learning curve after which you get a baseline comfort (but still have to learn / refresh on new concepts) and mostly have to just keep a good attitude. At the analyst level you will likely spend less than half (and way less in your first 6 months) of your time doing complex things that require hard thought. The hard thing is keeping a good attitude and staying sharp when you are exhausted.


Yes - it is. This job is amazing but it can have a toll on you after your first two to three years. I was extremely happy the first month I got in and I only had to stay like 20 or 15 late nights or something. When this accrues and you are 3 years in and no life at all, that is when things get complicated

Enjoy the journey - it is for sure worth it 


Cause the alternative is a lot worse. 

Really? Is the alternative worse?  My alternative was working a nice cushy middle class job at $85K per year at 40 hours per week. With a wife earning the near same amount, that's $170K per year.....fucking terrible alternative.

Also side note, this sort of attitude in the post hurts and helps in a career. Yes, you need a little perspective and realize that there are literally kids working in sweatshops around the world at 70 hours a week. That should keep you humble.

At the same time, you need to stand up for yourself and know your self worth. Don't keep telling yourself that it's ok to work 100 hours per week because some people may have it worse. Someone will always have it worse. Be a little pissed and find a better situation. Otherwise, you will spend your entire career as someone's happy slave.

EDIT: Don't think you guys are getting my comments. The most successful people in finance that I've seen are not the ones who work the hardest and keep their heads down. It's the ones who work hard and throw a fit when their bonus isn't half a mil this year (squeaky wheel always gets the grease).

It's the people who said "screw working 100 hours a week, what's an easier and better way to make that cash?" By being super grateful, at a certain point, you begin to screw yourself and you let people walk all over you.  


Not necessarily right off the bat, but if you have a business degree and a little talent, there are about a hundred different industries where you can achieve a financially secure middle class lifestyle with minimum effort. If you have SO earning the same amount, you will be able to afford a occassional luxurious trips and living.

OP notes that there are tons of people who work really hard and get nothing.  He forgets that there are a lot of people who work much much less and stil live pretty good. So there's another side to that coin.

EDIT: Here's another scenario that no one talks about much on here.  Get out of school, get a job that earns $50K. If you found someone early, your spouse or perhaps gf makes $50K per year.  Together, you're almost earning IB analyst money at 40 hours per week.  Not a bad life which will only get better as you slowly progress in pay.

Do the math....same money...more time....meaningful relationship which you probably won't have in IB.


No the alternative is working in tech and making 200K as a fresh grad.

If you’re actually somewhat talented and have good communication skills then join Databricks, Brex, Stripe or Rubrik and make millions in the IPO.


I really don't get people who want some normal schmuck life that come here to rant about people working to hard. I feel like it's all salty people who couldn't break in. So they came here wanting to break in (why they know about it at all) and then end up trying to convince themselves that their failure is actually the superior path. What a joke.


Because not everyone saw their parents working for 80-100 hours in manual jobs without any advancement for a little pay over years just to be able to maintain a family.

The ones who know/understand how mud tastes understand the value of water, not the ones who only drank luxury wine for their entire life.


I think a lot of people lack grit, and I personally didn't think IB was that bad (more like annoying). That being said, I feel like a lot of the complaining has more to do with aspects of the job that are unnecessary hardships. The mentality that "I went through this, so so should you" is plainly inefficient, and just because something "isn't that bad" doesn't mean it can't be better.


Very true, definitely a lot of unnecessary and pointless work that never sees the light of day in IB, but I also think you can find similar unnecessary hardships and d-bags with the "I went through this, so should you" mentality in just about any job, we just happen to have a forum to voice our displeasures, which subsequently turns into an echo chamber. Most industries can probably be better but at least in IB when things get really bad our salaries go up. I definitely carry the same mentality that IB really isn't that bad, just annoying at times.


Often times people do not see nor appreciate parents working 2-3 jobs with monstrous hours on below/above minimum wage just to help raise a family.  Breaking into IB (any other high paying career field in general) is something people ought to be grateful for.  This is a highly respected field, and the earnings are reflective of that.  This goes for BigLaw and Medicine as well.  We received an opportunity to live a better life, and generally speaking, pay it forward to help others and those who helped raised us is something I strive for when the opportunity arises.  

No pain no game.

I guarantee you that the people who complain about IB are those who have never had to work a service job in their life. Imagine working like a dog for minimum wage, no respect, little to no chance for upward mobility, rude/entitled customers, and uneducated/annoying and lazy coworkers. That experience sure taught me one of the most valuable lessons; be appreciative of what you have because there are dozens of guys out there just like you who would love to take your IB job and abandon their shitty jobs at the drop of a hat.


As someone who almost had to work in audit at a big 4 (maybe 80% as much work as IB, 10% as interesting, for $60k per year with no signing bonus and no annual bonus, and exit opps consisting of industry accounting and maybe FP&A), I count my lucky stars every day that I got this job. I worked my ass off to make it here and avoid the aforementioned fate. "Out of touch" doesn't even begin to encapsulate those who complain about their jobs in IB


I’ll probably get a lot of shit thrown at me for this, but my 2 cents:

It feels like a lot of those who complain or gripe about IB on WSO are likely those who were able to break in with ease and also grew up relatively well off. To these folks, the job was always “expected” so it’s easy for them to overlook the opportunity. This is also the first time many of these people are doing something that is truly uncomfortable/hard/challenging.

The “underdogs” who break in seem to appreciate how hard it truly is to land these opportunities and cherish them much more. Grinding out a few years of IB in your early 20s can set the foundation for your financial future. If you’re someone who grew up poor or middle class, this is HUGE. With the recent pay bumps, in just 2 years a decent analyst can make close to (or over) $500k! Half a million bucks. That’s literally a decade of work for someone with median earnings. Insane. If you’re diligent with your money and save/invest aggressively, becoming a millionaire is inevitable.