Anyone else extremely motivated to work in high finance due to growing up middle class / poor?

I don't have that corny mentality of a finance retard that watched The Wolf of Wall Street once and decided, "I wanna be fucking rich," rather, I grew up pretty middle class, not too bad, but nothing crazy in terms of money.

Anyone else is just extremely motivated by growing up in a similar environment and think that when they grow up, they definitely wanna surpass this shit and give a life 100x better to their own children than they got. Not by any means did I have a bad childhood, but I wanna give a better one to my own kids.

I used to think this mentality was corny and still kind of do, but I mean, there's one thing I can't lie about and that is that it is honest to god my biggest motivator and actually enables me to give it my all when it comes to recruitment and stuff like that.

Most Helpful
BulldogKnight Anyone Else Extremely Motivated To Work In High Finance 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Anyone else is just extremely motivated by growing up in a similar environment and think that when they grow up, they definitely wanna surpass this shit and give a life 100x better to their own children than they got. Not by any means did I have a bad childhood, but I wanna give a better one to my own kids.

Really dude? I call BS on this. What better life do you want for your kids than already growing up middle class in the U.S.? Also, describe better childhood. Instead of affording a state school, your kids get to go to Harvard. Instead of driving a Toyota in high school, they get to drive a BMW. These are not leaps and bounds in lifestyle.  Your kid is still going to deal with bullies, heartbreak, confusion, and dissapointment like any other kid.  


5 MS and still no explanation yet on what vastly better life can be offered to your kids than already being middle class.

My guess is that people are buying into the illusion that money solves all your problems. Maybe, you were bullied in high school, didn't have friends, didn't fit in and felt insecure?  Guess what, money doesn't solve any of those problems. It's just a part of growing up across socioeconomic backgrounds. The WORST thing you can do is try to earn more money hoping that it will fill that hole and feeling of emptiness rather than realizing that you have to work on yourself as a person to make it better.


So this is what the peasants think will make them happy ...

Edit: In all seriousness, I'm somewhat the same, just look at my last post. My father was a diplomat and I lived in major global cities going to the best schools (Sydney, Geneva, etc.) and had college paid for, but in reality the net worth of my family is peanuts. I want to be able to be in a job where I can pay to buy the house I used to live in and send my kids to the same schools I went to without having to have my government give them to me. I'm not ambitious in terms of wanting my future kids or even myself to have a better living standard than I did - I actually think that if I can get back to that same living standard it would be a gigantic, newsworthy accomplishment with the disadvantages we Millenials have.

I think everyone has this same fear/motivation as you btw, just to different degrees. I have a massive chip on my shoulder and I think it helps to a certain extent, just don't let it be your only motivation or you'll end up miserable


My parents were immigrants and came to this country with litteraly nothing, but now both probably make 100k each a year. Upper middle class you can call it at this point. But when I remember points in my life where I could not buy some gum at the store or something small, it really pains me. So I want to never have my kids experience that. Sure a 100k job could get the job done but eh


I actually had similar experiences but took away a completely different lesson. When my parents were less well off, I remember a birthday where they bought me three G.I. Joes which must have cost a total of $15 (which was a sacrifice on their part at the time). I was so freakin happy that you couldn't believe it. In fact, to this day, no birthday present has made me half as happy as those action figures.

A few weeks later, I learned that the kid in the apartment unit downstairs got this huge G.I. Joe fortress that must have been over a $100. He wasn't nearly excited about it as I was about my present.

Furthermore, I remember loving my neighborhood. There were a bunch of kids on the block; I had a million friends in the public school; life was great. That's one of the reasons that I called BS on the OPs claim. Whether your kids have a happy childhood or not has very little to do with money in my experience. Sure, later on when it's time to go to college, money can be an issue, but middle class parents are able send their kids to college.


Good point, and I remember one birthday party where my parents took me took mcdonalds and i got a happy meal. I got a hot wheels toy, and I still have it somewhere to this day. I also want to give back to my parents and want to have a better lifestyle. My dad has been dreaming of a Honda S2000 since he was young and it would probably be one of the best days of my life if I could get it for him. Also, vacations and being able to spend a few hundred bucks here and there if I want is also really cool. IB is also interesting to me and I semi enjoy it. I am not a big spender at all (I have gotten double steak at Chipotle I think once my whole life) and I save everything


This is why it's good to have personal milestones as well. I'm British and I've always wanted to go skiing in Whistler. No chance I'm doing that on £30k lol, and it definitely motivates me to chase that paper and be able to properly afford it. Same with Japan, actually. That really excites me.

My kids' lifestyles are just going to be a reflection of mine, as long as they have ... I don't know, $300k in New York/£200k family income in London, everything on top of that is gravy (I think that especially in the US you sort of need this much to then pay for college etc.), but that is doable on joint incomes, and not just in finance, so ultimately I don't think I'm putting too much pressure on myself.


Yeah this is basically me. I grew up broke af and hated not being able to afford shit.

At 17 I had a "1/5 life crisis" lol and got fed up about it so I googled "highest paying jobs". I discovered IB/PE like that and stumbled on to WSO. Fast forward to today and I was able to make it to PE and am happy with my career and the life I built.

A lot of kids on here will say it's cringe to be motivated like that but it's great for those days where you are getting crushed and hate the work.

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Basically everyone who says money is not important has never had to get by without it. I didn't love working at hedge funds but I am so glad I did it. Took the money which I turned into more money in the market. Learned as much as I could.

I've been poor and I've been rich. Rich is better. The spending and saving skills necessitated by poverty gave me a ticket out of it.


Yes, but once you have enough money you should start to replace your motives to stay in. I love investing, and I guess there's never a point in this field where you can state that you know 100% everything. So I try to reach day to learn something new, look differently at some businesses, understand how markets/economies influence certain aspects of it, etc. That's why I never looked into other fields besides finance.


On this site, if you even insinuate having poor parents makes them losers and selfish, or somehow have you a bad childhood, you’re gonna get roasted OP.

Be ready for lots of hateful messages if you don’t edit your post, people around here get very sensitive if you denigrate their parents for not being intelligent or successful.

Trust me on this one.


Qui quis sit iusto odio asperiores tempore. Quibusdam ut quaerat earum expedita. Odit inventore et dolorem aliquam.

Consequuntur dicta illo nihil deleniti vel quis. Officiis distinctio ut aperiam voluptates.

Career Advancement Opportunities

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Goldman Sachs 19 98.8%
  • Harris Williams & Co. (++) 98.3%
  • Lazard Freres 02 97.7%
  • JPMorgan Chase 04 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 18 99.4%
  • JPMorgan Chase 11 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 05 98.3%
  • Morgan Stanley 07 97.7%
  • William Blair 03 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres 01 99.4%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.8%
  • Goldman Sachs 17 98.3%
  • Moelis & Company 06 97.7%
  • Lincoln International 04 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $648
  • Vice President (19) $385
  • Associates (81) $263
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (12) $184
  • Intern/Summer Associate (32) $172
  • 2nd Year Analyst (60) $169
  • 1st Year Analyst (193) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (142) $101
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


redever's picture
Secyh62's picture
Betsy Massar's picture
Betsy Massar
BankonBanking's picture
dosk17's picture
GameTheory's picture
kanon's picture
CompBanker's picture
numi's picture
Linda Abraham's picture
Linda Abraham
From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”