Chasing money

Hi. I am a high school senior and for about the entirety of this year I've wanted to pursue a career in IB, PE and anything up that path in finance. I am a very motivated and ambitious person, I own my own business which I've been doing on my own for 2 years and I have built up enough capital to buy several work vehicles. I work out every day, get up at 4:30, diet like crazy, and achieve good marks in school. Put simply, I would call myself a hard worker. Growing up I never really knew what I wanted to do after school but for as long as I can think of I have always wanted a upper class lifestyle. For my first two years in high school I went after tech (that's where my dad said the money was) and realized I hated it and I was terrible at coding. Then I attempted to try medicine and I realized quickly how much schooling it would be and I also really never liked it. Over the summer of my junior year I thought a lot about my uncle. My uncle is the wealthiest person I know, making him one of my role models. He worked on Wall Street and managed his own hedge fund up until 2008 where he retired (currently living in Miami). I though of how bad I wanted to live a life like his when I grew up so I started to research careers in finance. Long story short I now want to do IB after college, I have committed to the same school my uncle went to for undergraduate, and taking the same major. When my uncle found out about it, he was certainly happy I chose to follow in his path but he warned me and told me not to chase the money. I've also talked to several people in various different states of success and quite a common theme I hear is "don't chase the money". I am definitely interested in finance but honestly a key reason I'm pursuing a career like this is compensation. Am I wrong for chasing the money?

Comments (14)

2mo 
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Chase what you are passionate about and the money will follow.Β 

"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

  • 1
2mo 
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN

This is trash advice. Find what you are good at and be the best.Β Β 

Usually it is a three pronged approach:

- Find what you're good at

- Finding what you're passionate about

- Finding a place that makes you good money

Usually people have 2/3 or 2.5/3, but 3/3 is possible.Β 

"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

2mo 
kellycriterion, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are sufficiently passionate and ambitious, there are very few fields where you cannot become stupidly rich in America by any reasonable standard. Like restaurants? Start out by managing one, live frugally, save some capital, buy a franchise and make a go of it. Like selling stuff online? Do that. Like writing? Start a blog and buy other blogs or publish e-books. Like public speaking? Work with an agency and do keynotes.Β 
The X-Factors for making obscene amounts of money in any industry are shrewd business sense and an eye for scalability. There's only so much money you yourself can make, but if you can hire people, you can make a lot more. Find something that you like doing that is profitable and can be scaled 10-100x+, and you can have as much money as you want. Forget about anything else.

Also, if this is your real name and picture, think about anonymizing things a bit more. Β You're young, but in time you'll likely become more jaded and less trusting of people, but that's life.

2mo 
PrivateTechquity πŸš€GME+BBBYQπŸ’€, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Am I wrong for chasing the money?

Not at all. Unless you have identified a clear passion you can make a living on, chasing money IMO is the smartest thing anyone can do. That doesn't mean everyone should be gunning for IB, just whatever role they are qualified for or can work towards that will have the highest earning potential in the short term. Not having to worry about money gives you the time and space to think about everything else in life, including what you want to do long-term. Plus, the ability to be a workhorse like you're required to in IB is a very useful skill that can be effectively applied to other roles (incl. non-finance) when you do find a path. And being poor sucks ass, as anyone who's lived it can attest to.

The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly - Robert A. Wilson

If you don't have any enemies in life you have never stood up for anything - Winston Churchill

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2mo 
flyfishchad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Am I wrong for chasing the money?

Only if you don't enjoy the work. If you really want to get paid, you have to work a lot. But if you don't enjoy the work, it will be hell. Don't forget you will be competing with people (at the very wealthy/self-made end) who don't view their work as "work". For them it's play. And as long as your "work" is not play to you, you can't outcompete them because they will be playing 24/7.

2mo 
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Talk about your business more. If its grown enough where you can afford work vehicles then that is exceptionally impressive at your age. If you enjoy that build and are good at it then you can make more money and have a better life than pursuing IB or PE. And you wont have to deal with corporate BS, recruiting BS, living in NYC BS, grinding away hours BS, eating shit BS, mundane work BS, etc.

I know a few guys clearing upper 7 figures a year by building out small businesses, franchising, etc. similar pursuits. There is almost ALWAYS more money in working for yourself than for anyone else.Β 

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2mo 
windoflife, what's your opinion? Comment below:
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Most Helpful
2mo 
ironman32, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At OP, I only these questions because you're in high school, but what do you mean by "upper class lifestyle" and "chasing money" and where did you come up with those ideas?Β 

You said you basically want to the live the life of your uncle, a hedge fund guy. Is that what were talking about? I don't want to say that's a bad idea, just that path to goals changes over time. Meaning, it vastly more difficult to start a fund now vs probably back in his day (I think there's now more hedge funds than Burger Kings, could be wrong on that). For example, it would be like saying you want to start a computer film studio because Steve Jobs did it with Pixar; at that time it was a big risk and not proven, now there are way more studios and up starts trying to do that. I'm not trying to discourage you from banking, just realize it isn't the Wolf of Wall Street every day.Β 

Also, I'd add, when you're in school (depending where you go), it seems that you can only make good money in ~3 careers. I know when I was in high school I basically thought the only want to get rich was be a trader, actors, or athletes (I was kind of naive). But there's a lot of ways to make money, usually in schools they don't talk about them because most teachers dont take business classes (not thats wrong because teacher take the college courses they need, it'd be like a finance major taking an art course for graduation). But you can do well having your own business, be it chemicals, lawyer, real estate, plumber/mechanic if you get in the right business.Β 

2mo 
BigData24, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You are not wrong for chasing money. It's a valid motivation. But the reason your uncle is telling you not to chase money could be:

While hard work is certainly an important factor for making money, so is luck - just being in the right place at the right time. For every success story like your uncle, there are probably 10, no, 100 stories of equally talented and driven people who didn't make it due to some reason or another. My guess is that due to his industry experience, he has seen this play out first-hand.

Your motivations could change later on. This is especially true in an industry like finance where burnout is common. If your main motivation is that you really enjoy your job, you will be able to cope with the bad times. If your motivation is money, things may change and you may become jaded that you're now stuck in a job you hate and have no motivation for.

Skepticism that money will actually make you happy. As you said, it's the lifestyle that excites you, not just the prospect of seeing more numbers in your bank account. If you have to work hard every day to make that money, you may not be able to enjoy the lifestyle you want until you're much older and ready to retire.

If you're still set on making money no matter what, go for it. Just consider your options carefully.

Edit: I typed this out on mobile so the formatting's probably messed up and I'm too lazy to fix it.

2mo 
unknown user777777, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for your advice, and I must agree. My uncle admits he was not nearly as driven as anyone he went to school with and says luck plays a massive factor in his success story. It is good to see things in a different perspective, I just want to give it my all for the next 10+ years and try to make the best decisions so even if I don't make it to my probably unrealistic standards of living, I can at least look back and say I tried. Thank you again.

2mo 
Pizz, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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