Do we really deserve the money we make?

This year I made quite a lot of money - so much more than I expected that I started questioning the meaning of life.

The majority of us have been born into middle-class or upper-class families. If not by our families or social circle, we were motivated by something to pursue a career in finance/consulting. Maybe some of us saw the ad of UBS and thought investment banking was a paradise or after watching the Wolf of Wall Street some of us wanted to work in finance to be rich and cool or our high-school teacher told us about the opportunities in finance. A lot of people watched the Wolf of Wall Street but some of them got inspired. A lot of people knew that they could have been making millions on Wall Street but some of them really tried to make it. Why some of them? Are we smarter than the others? I doubt it, we just worked hard. But what caused us to work hard? Everything we experienced since our birth. We weren't simply disciplined, or they weren't lazy; we were disciplined because the things we experienced made us.

We were able to get into the schools we got into because of pre-determined factors; our citizenship, wealth and education of our parents, city/neighborhood we lived in, our friends, hereditary IQ, and so on. But why? Why did we had these opportunities while other people were suffering? Any of us could have been born into a family of drug addicts, uneducated immigrants, or crazy religious\liberal extremists. If we had been born into these families how many of us could have saved ourselves from that shithole? Not many of us, if any. The career we have and the money we make were predetermined by the universe before we were even born. It's so fucking absurd.

We can steal the babies of all drug-addict and uneducated families or babies in Africa and give them to Ivy League educated parents and most of them will turn out to be great people who will achieve great things in life.

We can use this logic for basically everyone else, too. An ISIS terrorist that was born in the Middle East, brainwashed and conditioned by his environment and parents to hate the west since the day he was born will obviously sacrifice himself thinking he's doing it for the greater good. Then, what's the point of evil and good? Is there even good and bad? Success or failure doesn't mean anything as evil and good don't mean anything and everything comes from pre-deterministic factors. Do people in prisons really deserve to be there or the universe created events that led them there? It feels like nothing is connected to each other but in the grand scheme of things we affect everyone and everything.

I have been to Africa during COVID-19 with my friend that works at an NGO. I stayed there for a couple of days and my perception of the world changed cinse then. Most of us have suits that are worth more than $5k and watches that are worth more than $10k -minimum- and in other parts of the world, people are getting paid $1 a day and having difficulties finding clean water and food. Everyone acts as if they care about them, but no one does. We look at them as disgraced humans, bugs, worthless living beings that live for nothing. But they're still human, aren't they? Our only difference is that we haven't born there. They could have been scientists that cured cancer or a lot of other things. Don't they deserve to live in proper places with proper access to food? with access to proper education to reach their potential. I'm not saying they should make millions or work at Wall Street, but don't they deserve to live as decent human beings at least? We live in the 21st century and these people can't find clean water while we'er not even finishing the lobster and caviar we got for $1000. While people in Dubai literally cover their cars in gold or people in Monaco spend more than $50m for their yachts fuel, maintance, tax etc. If reincarnation is real, we will regret it a lot. Because none of us helped them and if we become them one day, that's the day we will understand them. Then the question comes, what is the meaning of everything and the universe? It's nothing. We literally have no control. Everything is pre-determined by physics and the universe and biology. I'm disgusted by the money I made this year; I wrote something on paper did some stuff on an artificially created machine and bought things that don't even exist. While without looking too far away there are miners, soldiers, cops, and all the other people who are really working hard risking their lives because of pre-determined factors and making little above minimum wage. All of them would have been like to be born into nice families and get an education at Ivy League schools, who the fuck dreams of being a miner? No one. Life made them miners. It's terrible and I don't even know how we can change it. I will probably donate most of the money I made this year. Wrote this on DMT and my mind feels like works on 10x speed so hopefully it's understandable since I can't go back and read what I wrote. Will delete it later on if it's too bad.

Comments (97)

1mo
GUHHHH, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No. We don't deserve it. And this is coming from a person who was at a homeless shelter at 18 and is going to work for one of the big platforms next summer. No, I don't deserve it either. I was born a US citizen and that already put me ahead of 90% of people in the world.

But who cares. I'm starting to believe that life and the world around us is just one long and complex chemical reaction. Nothing more, nothing less. That would explain a lot.

So who cares.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
1mo

Yes and no. 
 

I grew up on food stamps in a shitty city in a shitty part of the US in a borderline abusive family.
 

Scrapped to get a scholarship to a nontarget and hustled to get into a good bank. My older brother works at Best Buy making $15 / hr. He's just as smart as me. I got to where I was today (front office IB) because of a series of targeted decisions beginning in high school and I relentlessly grinded and did what I had to do to get in (perfect grades, internships, extracurriculars, networking, compounded my knowledge and interest in finance, interview prep, performance as summer analyst etc).  Luck, like being born in the US, innate IQ definitely played a big role.

I think success is a function of luck and hard work, and all you can try to do is hit the top of your local limit. I could've been born into a rich family of Harvard alums or I could've been born blind in Sierra Leone. All you can try to do is maximize the hand you have and continuously improve. You can never be someone else. 
 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
1mo

Good perspective. I'm at a MM in a regional city and always feel like shit comparing myself to colleagues/acquaintances who are at NYC BBs. But at the same time they were upper class and knew they wanted IB from day one, while I didn't know what it was until junior year of college. Compared to them I'm peanuts, but I'm also making about twice as much as I expected to make out of college.

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1mo
GregLippmann, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is the correct take. It's both. Lots of things are predetermined. But lots of things are fully under each individual's control.

The world is unfair. But labor markets in capitalist / democratic / free market economies aren't "prejudiced." They compensate you for the work you perform each day, the value you add to society based on society's blended aggregate preferences and value systems. They are blind to who is performing the work (for the most part), i.e., the background of the person performing the work has an insignificant affect on wages for current work performed.

While I do think life is unfair and some things are determined by past and current circumstances, I think it's naive to believe this tells the full story.

Think about Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb. He failed so, so many times. But he believed in what he was doing and kept going. All he needed was that one successful trial. He could have easily mailed it in and decided he was wrong, but he didn't. He chose to keep going.

Last point I have on this topic: I think the unfairness of our starting circumstances is a good argument for a universal basic income. I think this would be much more efficient than targeted and earmarked social programs. We would just have to be willing to live with the fact that some people will take that freedom/support and squander it regardless of their background. Some people will ruin themselves no matter how much help you give them or how much money you throw at them.

However, I don't think UBI should provide for every basic need, only 70-80% of them. You have to give people incentive to work and contribute to society.

1mo
Mitchy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Short answer :

Everyday I wake up with a big smile and a light hearth knowing that because of me Market are more liquid and spread are tighter !

Good Answer : No we don't deserve this. But it is good to acknowledge that. I see that as if not me someone else would have taken my sit. And because I know my luck of being where I am, I try to give back some.

1mo
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Mitchy

Everyday I wake up with a big smile and a light hearth 

I really feel you on this one. Some of my best days have been waking up to a light hearth and just looking at the embers and knowing life will continue to burn and then fade.

"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

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
1mo

Nobody deserves anything.

What I have seen in many people I know that are in PE/HF/IB? They had traumas in their life and it left the mark. I lost my father when younger, others escaped from war zones, others came out of complete poverty.

Is it a way to show that we can go past our traumas or a way to forget our troubles? Everyone has his/her own why. Some use a trauma as an excuse to blame the world and others as an incentive to show they can go ahead with their lives.

We always associate intelligence as the primary factor behind one's successes but we should instead attribute more to grit.

I wouldn't focus on whether we deserve this money. I would focus on how we can use that money to improve little things in the world.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, really.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
1mo

I maintain that 'everybody has something' and comparing struggles doesn't matter. Everyone has one thing that challenged them the most in life and likely shaped their worldview. It's comforting to appreciate that commonality regardless of the details.  

I would say we deserve the money because we fulfill our end of the bargain at work, with a heavy caveat that it took a lot of luck and help from others to be in a position to provide these services. Small changes in education, citizenship, family, or other life circumstances could have made it a lot harder to get this job. We do the work, but still could have earned multiples more than the global poverty line doing other jobs.

I took a course on economic development in university and it reinforced how little money the average family survives off in some parts of the world. Someone in the developing world catching too few fish might mean his kids eat but he doesn't, while us closing X versus X+1 deals just affects our bonuses on top of really good money. 

1mo
QuiltEmerson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Angela Duckworth, is that you?

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
1mo

If everyone is given these opportunities and everyone eventually is born to a well off family, then society just collapses. Who will be miners and cops and farmers? Someone has to do it.

1mo
joejoejoerogan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm starting to believe that the concept of "deserve" is a total nonsense in the practical world. For the sake of my mental health, I find it significantly better to stop aligning my expectations to something I have no control over (ie keep a rational mindset and weigh matters light across the board). Just an intern thought, take it as you will.

1mo
danyaeche456, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree! the word "deserve" and its classical definition has no practical application in the real world. The universe is probabilistic and you can engage in routines behaviors that statically increases or decreases certain outcomes. One should modulate their systems and habitual behaviors based on the outcomes they are seeking. Doesn't mean you will attain those outcomes but it's the most realistic, best chance that one has. Instead of thinking of life as straight forward better to think of it as a probability distribution. 

1mo
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:
joejoejoerogan

I'm starting to believe that the concept of "deserve" is a total nonsense in the practical world. For the sake of my mental health, I find it significantly better to stop aligning my expectations to something I have no control over (ie keep a rational mindset and weigh matters light across the board). Just an intern thought, take it as you will.

Or maybe understand that you don't "deserve" it, but neither would anyone else, and that the only rational course of action is to dedicate some of your time, wealth, etc to helping ensure others have the same opportunity you do or did.

Saying "it is all random" feels like an abdication of your responsibility to your fellow man, to help make the world better.  It's a sort of nihilism that can lead to excusing really shitty behavior, because after all, it's all random anyway!  

Wealth shouldn't be condemned, and you shouldn't be ashamed of having it or wanting to have it, but it does confer responsibility.

1mo
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Earth cannot sustain 7.7bn middle-class lifestyles. 

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
1mo

 My parents were immigrants who came here with a couple of hundred dollars and worked their ass off and now make millions per year. I wasn't a good student but got my shit together and worked hard to prove myself to them and my social circle. I make a lot but it doesn't feel like it because of how much my parents make, meanwhile my cousins back home struggle for scraps, meanwhile I'm getting a new Porsche 911 as a graduation gift. Do I deserve it? I don't know. I know I need to keep growing personally and professionally to feel purpose in my life. One day I want to have a family and give them a happy life, the best education, and a happy home. But my concept of money is really fucked, need to figure it out. 200k as a 22 year old feels good but I can't really conceptualize it.

This is hard to admit but the money matters less and the fact that I make more than my peers/friends/family seems like it matters more to my parents and even myself if I'm being very honest. Seeing my friends budgeting when we plan trips very thoroughly and other friends who are way brighter than me in years of debt pursuing medicine makes me feel odd sometimes. But it is what it is. 

1mo
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm curious...if your parents are so rich as to be able to give you a 100k+ car as a gift, why do you work such a taxing job? There are other ways to earn good money that don't require such a grind. Is it mostly the "prestige" that comes with it? Because with your parents making millions, you could've just been the typical trust fund kid. I don't mean to offend or anything, it's just that most of my IB friends don't come from well-off backgrounds, so I'm actually impressed by your drive.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
1mo

My parents pretty much hid the fact that we were well off till I was 17 or 18. I saw my dad working so hard all my life, it pushed me in a lot of ways, he made it big in the corporate world. 
 

Also the title and prestige also certainly goes a long way, it validated me in my families social circles. I'm planning on joining a family business eventually, and I think the network/skills I'm developing in banking are going to translate well there as well. I had the chance to work more normal jobs and enjoy life but I see that as something that I can do down the line, after I put in the hard work for a few years. Basically social validation and also skill set development (soft skills, not just the technicals). Making good money also makes me feel like I at least found a way in my life to go about my path versus solely just relying on what they hand me. 

1mo
lilgrizz, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think anyone who breaks into high finance deserves it because it's ultimately a series of strategic decisions that leads you to success. Some people know about this path early and others don't but with the modern day internet anyone can break in if they try hard enough.

Also, making money isn't for everyone. Most people just simply don't want to put in the work and sacrifice some areas of their life in order to achieve financial independence. I recently had a beer with one of my high school buddies who grew up poor. He never went to college and worked his way into a $25 an hour job but was looking to break in to something that paid more. I thought he had the perfect experience for an O&G pipeline controller job. I looked at some job openings and remembered that I knew the hiring manager of the midstream company that was hiring for new controllers. I texted the hiring manager right then and there in the bar and he told me to have my buddy apply and he will move him forward. 

My friend didn't want to apply because the job was going to be much longer hours (12 hour shifts, 7-12 days on then time off), he would have to commute into the city and wouldn't be able to see his GF that much. It would have been about a 50% increase in pay for him. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. 

1mo
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think we all have friends like this. My unemployed friends are the ones that always want the biggest salaries as long as they don't have to do anything for them! Last year I could have put my friend's resume at the top of the list when banks were hiring like crazy, get them a remote $120k+ job in no more than 2 interview rounds. You'd have an easier time breaking into Fort Knox than getting them to work. 

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  • 1
1mo
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah but for a 50% raise? Those opps dont happen in life very often.

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  • Developer in PE - Other
1mo

How much did you make that you're writing this? 

1mo
rf949, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you have read Voltaire's short story Candide, then don't forget the main takeaway: "We must cultivate our garden".

If you haven't read it, you must read it - this message is meant for you.

  • 3
1mo
liquidiot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I ain't reading all that but congrats, or sorry that happened to you.In all seriousness do we really need these "woe is me" philosophical meaning of life word vomits every 2 weeks about the money you're making? You know what people do when they feel like they make too much money? They give it away. Be a Good Samaritan, live below your means and donate the rest widely. As much as you're troubled by making an inordinate amount of money that gives you more power to be a vessel and bless other people with the excess you earned. You don't have to hoard it, relax.

1mo
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

the answer is no, but there are a lot of other way more undeservedly compensated people. among them:

- vast majority of tiktokers, IGers, other "influencers" (they can only influence kids and brain dead young adults)

- pretty girls who get a lot of things for free cause guys pay for them

- trust fund kids.

so don't feel bad about yourself. at least you spent a huge chunk of your life studying and working and are putting up with a lot of bullshit and stress to be paid what you make.

Controversial
  • Partner in PE - LBOs
1mo

Do We Really Deserve The Money We Make?

Absolutely. People who say otherwise do not understand economics nor finance and aren't worth discussing with. It may sound harsh but it's true: people who work in IB/PE/HF are way smarter than the average Joe, works much harder and figured out earlier in life that focusing on their professional careers was the most mature and fulfilling life path.

People who envy us can just cope.

This year I made quite a lot of money - so much more than I expected that I started questioning the meaning of life.

God, get over yourself, you ain't Steve Schwarzman

Any of us could have been born into a family of drug addicts, uneducated immigrants, or crazy religious\liberal extremists. If we had been born into these families how many of us could have saved ourselves from that shithole? Not many of us, if any. The career we have and the money we make were predetermined by the universe before we were even born. It's so fucking absurd.

Wow that's some deep philosophical thought. Are you a 15 yo girl ?

We can steal the babies of all drug-addict and uneducated families or babies in Africa and give them to Ivy League educated parents and most of them will turn out to be great people who will achieve great things in life.

No they won't. Just check out the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study. Success in life is determined mainly by genetics and its influence on cognitive abilities (IQ) and personnality (Big 5 traits). 

Then the question comes, what is the meaning of everything and the universe? It's nothing. We literally have no control. Everything is pre-determined by physics and the universe and biology.

You really are a philosophy major, aren't you?

I'm disgusted by the money I made this year; I wrote something on paper did some stuff on an artificially created machine and bought things that don't even exist.

Lmfao, all financial assets have underlying real physical assets. Financial markets have been key to the West's historical economic growth and current prosperity. Do you even work in finance? You sound more like a Occupy Wall Street punk than a HF analyst.

 Wrote this on DMT

Yeah we can tell

  • Quant in HF - Other
1mo

I find there are two schools of thought here, and they tend to align with political values. Some people believe they do deserve it, because they worked harder than everyone else and had the skill and talent to succeed. People less fortunate are less fortunate because of their own doing, they simply took advantage of the opportunity. Other people think that they do not deserve it (like yourself) because of the massive disparity in wealth across the world and the triviality of the things that we spend on our money on. Obviously, one is more likely to identify as a conservative, one more likely to identify as a liberal. So this question is really a much broader question than hedge funds, it's about your values and your philosophy.

  • Intern in AM - Other
1mo

Bozo ass thread. They're not you and you're not them. You do the best with what you can.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
1mo

I think the key is being always grateful for your what you have. In the end, there will always be people above you and below you in terms of wealth and living comfort. So you should always look to the people below you so that it constantly reminds you of the chance that you have. The ultimate goal would be to give back and make the world better, at your level.

1mo
ASEANalyst, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah maybe we deserve it or we don't. Does it matter though? That's the question you need to ask yourself. If you think you don't deserve the money you made, you could donate them if you so inclined to do so. 

I myself don't care if i deserve it or not, the money i made is life changing for someone coming from a lower-middle class in a 3rd world country. Do i feel bad for people who's working comparatively harder/more labour intensive than i do? No. This is the card i've been dealt with, if someone else have it worse/better, it does not matter to me because it does not affect me.

1mo
QuiltEmerson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Jesus, Seth. Listen, if you really wanna do this with your life you have to believe you're necessary and you are. People wanna live like this with their cars and big fckin' houses they can't even pay for, then you're necessary. The only reason that they all get to continue living like kings is because we got our fingers on the scales in their favor. I take my hand off and then the whole world gets really fkin' fair really fkin' quickly and nobody actually wants that. They say they do but they don't. They want what we have to give them but they also wanna, you know, play innocent and pretend they have no idea where it came from. Well, that's more hypocrisy than I'm willing to swallow, so fck'em. Fck normal people. 

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
1mo

The misfortune of others is not your fault, the question is, why don't you deserve it ?

Didnt you work your ass off to get this job and once in the job? Sacrifice free time why your friends were getting drunk? Miss dates ? Then you deserve it. 
 

If you're still feeling bad for making money then give it all to charity and stop seeking attention from strangers on the internet. 

1mo
Hirof, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nobody can answer it. The luxury is really something what is hard to define. For someone is a car luxury. I mean any car. For someone is luxury a new car and for someone is luxury a private jet. There are also people thinking even a bed, toilet paper and so on is a luxury. So if you ask me do someone who works deserve a toilet paper, I would say yes. If you ask me if he deserves a private jet I would say No. But that is only my point of view.

Hirof
1mo
ironman32, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Couple points:

1. Think about it like this, no one really deserves anything they get, everything is essentially luck. When I say luck, I mean, most professional athletes got lucky just by being born with the correct genes and the right mindset. Take Lebron James, probably wouldn't have made the NBA if he was 5'4", but there are other guys who probably are the same size/height/speed as him who don't have the right mindset who could physically play in the NBA, but can't be coached, can't deal with the travel or criticism or having that much money without it letting it get to them. I can keep going - Giselle, mostly made money from how she looks, probably had to develop how to model, but most of what made her famous/money can't be taught. Brad Pitt- guys a great actor, are there probably guys in Hollywood who can act just as good or better just didn't get a shot, probably. 

2. What would be fair? Everyone makes the same money? Every has the same options in school? Everyone has the same genes? Someone's going to work harder, and if working harder equals more money, that's the benefit. 

3. Finance/accounting/math is a skill. Its an in demand skill, and only getting more in demand. 

4. Speaking of DMT, I think Joe Rogan said it on a podcast, if an alien came to the planet, they would see our society as real weird. Mainly, look who we value, not scientist or doctors or people who make live changing discoveries or ways to heal, but Real house wives, random athletes and tic tok stars. 

1mo
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

People like OP are so tilting.

Goes on the massive whine / morality spiel, but purposely doesn't tell us how much he made.

Thread should be deleted until OP posts the only info we care about.

1mo
2wo2imes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Take it for what it is. You are extremely lucky, be grateful and move on.

Don't be a dickhead, help people and be kind.

Homeless, drugs addicts and low income family say "I wish I could have that opportunity". So don't throw it away, appreciate it and help others with it.

1mo
Whateverlooksgood, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know what y'all are talking about and where you work, I don't make shit lol. Take it from someone who's been consistently underpaid despite doing a good job

1mo
DankSledsandSpreads, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Amazing post. I can really relate to some of the points made here. Sooner or later, I feel I would have articulated this thought eventually. Everyone isn't connected but we do effect everyone around us..

1mo
SafariJoe, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Anonymous Monkey

This year I made quite a lot of money - so much more than I expected that I started questioning the meaning of life.

The majority of us have been born into middle-class or upper-class families. If not by our families or social circle, we were motivated by something to pursue a career in finance/consulting. Maybe some of us saw the ad of UBS and thought investment banking was a paradise or after watching the Wolf of Wall Street some of us wanted to work in finance to be rich and cool or our high-school teacher told us about the opportunities in finance. A lot of people watched the Wolf of Wall Street but some of them got inspired. A lot of people knew that they could have been making millions on Wall Street but some of them really tried to make it. Why some of them? Are we smarter than the others? I doubt it, we just worked hard. But what caused us to work hard? Everything we experienced since our birth. We weren't simply disciplined, or they weren't lazy; we were disciplined because the things we experienced made us.

We were able to get into the schools we got into because of pre-determined factors; our citizenship, wealth and education of our parents, city/neighborhood we lived in, our friends, hereditary IQ, and so on. But why? Why did we had these opportunities while other people were suffering? Any of us could have been born into a family of drug addicts, uneducated immigrants, or crazy religious\liberal extremists. If we had been born into these families how many of us could have saved ourselves from that shithole? Not many of us, if any. The career we have and the money we make were predetermined by the universe before we were even born. It's so fucking absurd.

We can steal the babies of all drug-addict and uneducated families or babies in Africa and give them to Ivy League educated parents and most of them will turn out to be great people who will achieve great things in life.

We can use this logic for basically everyone else, too. An ISIS terrorist that was born in the Middle East, brainwashed and conditioned by his environment and parents to hate the west since the day he was born will obviously sacrifice himself thinking he's doing it for the greater good. Then, what's the point of evil and good? Is there even good and bad? Success or failure doesn't mean anything as evil and good don't mean anything and everything comes from pre-deterministic factors. Do people in prisons really deserve to be there or the universe created events that led them there? It feels like nothing is connected to each other but in the grand scheme of things we affect everyone and everything.

I have been to Africa during COVID-19 with my friend that works at an NGO. I stayed there for a couple of days and my perception of the world changed cinse then. Most of us have suits that are worth more than $5k and watches that are worth more than $10k -minimum- and in other parts of the world, people are getting paid $1 a day and having difficulties finding clean water and food. Everyone acts as if they care about them, but no one does. We look at them as disgraced humans, bugs, worthless living beings that live for nothing. But they're still human, aren't they? Our only difference is that we haven't born there. They could have been scientists that cured cancer or a lot of other things. Don't they deserve to live in proper places with proper access to food? with access to proper education to reach their potential. I'm not saying they should make millions or work at Wall Street, but don't they deserve to live as decent human beings at least? We live in the 21st century and these people can't find clean water while we'er not even finishing the lobster and caviar we got for $1000. While people in Dubai literally cover their cars in gold or people in Monaco spend more than $50m for their yachts fuel, maintance, tax etc. If reincarnation is real, we will regret it a lot. Because none of us helped them and if we become them one day, that's the day we will understand them. Then the question comes, what is the meaning of everything and the universe? It's nothing. We literally have no control. Everything is pre-determined by physics and the universe and biology. I'm disgusted by the money I made this year; I wrote something on paper did some stuff on an artificially created machine and bought things that don't even exist. While without looking too far away there are miners, soldiers, cops, and all the other people who are really working hard risking their lives because of pre-determined factors and making little above minimum wage. All of them would have been like to be born into nice families and get an education at Ivy League schools, who the fuck dreams of being a miner? No one. Life made them miners. It's terrible and I don't even know how we can change it. I will probably donate most of the money I made this year. Wrote this on DMT and my mind feels like works on 10x speed so hopefully it's understandable since I can't go back and read what I wrote. Will delete it later on if it's too bad.

Looks like your true nature is calling you. This was a long statement so I am not going to respond point by point but I shall say you can make a difference. I do so by donating to kiva.org. I treat people generally how they like to be treated. I have never been hypnotized by materials things in general yes there is the nice to have, except sports due to the joy I get driving them based on the engineering involved. But overall it is not all and center of everything. So, that how can sleep at night, we were never wired the same way and has to do with genetics and the environment.

SafariJoe, wins again!
  • 2
1mo
irotom, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There is no good or bad.

There is no just or unjust.

No one really cares about anything but self.

All there is - is MONEY.

You have it - people care.

You haven't - you can die.

But prove me wrong - how many people will die today from hunger?

How many die from hunger every year?

Do you at least KNOW (not talking about caring - do you at least KNOW?)

1mo
jbanker33, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You've just discovered luck. It's the aspect that exists as part of everyone's success story. Now go do good in the world with what you have.

1mo
BrokeBitchMountain, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No, you don't. The wall street pyramid scheme is designed to keep people in debt to just keep working so bankers can steal from us. If you actually deserved what you made then algorithms wouldn't control the stock market and companies would get a cut when shares are bought and sold so they could keep from having to get loans so big.

Wealthy people are afraid of losing money, which is why they change the rules to make it so that normal people have to sell their savings and retirements first to bail out the economy while wealthy people can buy yachts with their own yachts to sell.

1mo
BrokeBitchMountain, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I do feel bad for all the junior bankers though. I feel like if they weren't worked so much they would realize what a trap it is. Instead everyone just hates them too even though they're slaves to the same master, just with guilded cages.

1mo
morgantire, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Research Analyst in HF - Other  This year I made quite a lot of money....I'm disgusted by the money I made this year; I wrote something on paper did some stuff on an artificially created machine and bought things that don't even exist....in other parts of the world, people are getting paid $1 a day and having difficulties finding clean water and food.

If you really feel so disgusted by the money you made, and if you really care so much about all the inequalities you describe in your post, then why not just donate all that disgusting money to charity? Boom, solve both problems at once. 

  But if you're not going to donate at least 90% of your money to charity, but you still post that rant about your "suits worth more than $5k and watches that are worth more than $10k...lobster and caviar we got for $1000", but then you act like you're so worried about the unfairness of equality...well, you need to either put that money to a good use or else I'm going to believe you don't seriously care about any of this stuff and you're just virtue signaling. 

1mo
niubao88, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Reminds me of the hollywood guys like dicaprio and spielberg who lecture everyone else on climate change while flying on private jets and partying on yachts....If only they could understand the concept of guilt or shame

1mo
Incoming cfa level 1 charterholder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have you seen how much celebrities make and how easy it is for them to make more money? How about people in tech who definitely work but from the outside it looks like they have a very chill life.

You earn what you earn, for better or for worse. 

Array
1mo
niubao88, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Depends on whether you subscribe to free will or determinism

If you subscribe to free will then you believe that you deserve what you have because you have made better decisions than other people to get to where you are

On the other hand, determinism is more murky because it argues that all of our decisions are preordained in which case you don't deserve anything you have because you haven't done anything to deserve it. Determinism basically argues that you're just a passenger who's along for the ride of life and you have no actual power to make any decisions because your decisions are completely the result of external influences. 

1mo
rabbit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP, what you are feeling is empathy. I commend you for this, it's something that seems to be fading in the world I interact with everyday.

Is it fair? Maybe, maybe not, I don't know. What I do know is that there is no inherent justice - good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. It is unfortunately the way of the world.

It's ok to feel this way while simultaneously not donating everything you make for greater good. Life is neither binary nor simple and your contributions to better the world you live in do not have be as grandiose as giving your life savings away. I try to just do simple, positive things I hope effect change. 

1mo
laojuntasa, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Of course, we deserve the money we make and work hard for. As long as it's your money and you did your best to earn that, then you deserve every right o spend that money in every way you want. For instance, when I pay for my favourite casino game at CAT368, I deserve the money that I win.

1mo
aureaolivas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah, and money isn't always to be stored but to be spent for the hard work that we do, it really serves as perks and at the same time you gotta be responsible with them too, yeah online platforms like that is an example but you always invest your money in stocks, crypto, or maybe life insurance as a form of a backup plan. 

1mo
Lester Freamon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm not nearly as well off as most people on this forum, but I'm still doing better, financially speaking, than 95% of people my age. I've also done well enough in the markets to be extremely comfortable financially and not have to worry about money (within reason). "Deserve" is always going to be an ambiguous question and will never have a universally correct answer, so deciding what is and isn't right is just a gigantic exercise in mental masturbation to me. I'd rather leave that to the politicians who're fighting for votes and not opine on what I do/don't deserve. Even if I don't deserve what I have, I didn't control a lot of what made me what I am today (the family I was born into, the people I happened to come across that shaped my childhood, etc.) and there's plenty of crappy hands I've been dealt with too, so I don't think it's worth me feeling guilty over whatever I've achieved just because there are those who are worse off than me.

What I can control, however, is how I use my good fortune, deserved or not, and if I use it to give back to the world to the best of my ability. Since I have achieved a lot of financial success, I DO have the choice now to use this advantage to potentially give back to my community or pursue work that I feel meaningfully improves the lives of those who are perhaps down on their luck a bit. You're doing great financially, but the onus is now on you to figure out how you can use this fortune. Do you hoard it to yourself by pursuing even higher-paying fields and/or consuming luxury goods because you can and work for it, or do you want to maybe do something more impactful that's less lucrative?

There's even ways in finance to do more meaningful (at least by conventional definitions) work if you look for those opportunities. For example, instead of working in VC and making a living funding a grocery apps that can deliver in 1 day instead of 2, maybe you could pursue work in infrastructure finance and help provide energy and/or clean water to people in poorer countries that don't always have the ability to light up the room with a flick of a switch like we do.

1mo
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Research Analyst in HF - Other

Do We Really Deserve The Money We Make?

If you question your monetary compensation maybe you do not fully understand your value in an organization. This could bite you in the ass in the future if other people in your organization also question if you're overcompensated. 

"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
1mo
DND_Quant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

We deserve 100%, of all this hard work, and sacrifices. This has to be the dumbest comment in the entire history of WSO forums. Go back to school and take a history, political science, or international public policy. Sometimes I question the insanity and intelligence of the people in this forum. If you are not interested in banking, go to work at an NGO or WHO full-time. Tell your friend, that working NGO will have no effect on global inequality and poverty. Stop using Africa as a scapegoat, this sound more like UNICEF and WHO commercial & advertisement donating $1 to make difference.  Africa ? Which country is talking about? These people use back-door routes to deposit their money in Europe including Monaco e.g Isabel dos Santos. Wanker!!! 

1mo
CreditAnalyst85, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The point of a business is to generate profits after paying all expenses.  You are an expense.  If you were getting paid too much they would pay you less.  So the answer is no.

Do you make a lot more money than most people? Yes.  Is it the hardest job in the world?  No.  Do you work hard to get here and thereafter?  Probably yes.  

Just admit that a lot of luck played into you ending up where you are.  It's awfully convenient and insincere to wax poetic about how the world is suffering and you're not worthy of the money, and then decide to get up from your computer and move on to keep enjoying your life.

1mo
MissD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wow! This is all very introspective for WSO! And on a Friday too.  Lots of good questions to ask ourselves.

In my life I have experienced or observed the following truths:

1. The richest kids often grow up to become the laziest and biggest cunts. Poor kids are smart in a different way - such as how to survive.

2. Really BIG money also tends to be built or generated by bad doings towards others or the environment. (Not always, but quite often - sometimes you don't see it even)

3. What's the Point?  - There IS NO POINT to LIFE. You make your own purpose, if you want a purpose. Hopefully, that purpose won't harm others.

4. You can get a good education, work really hard, and STILL not get ahead. Especially in the United States. It's the system. Not the people.

5. What's the point of evil and good? Is there even good and bad?  - YES!  But most things fall into Shades of Gray. 

6. The Middle Road is generally best.  Don't harm others. It's ok to make money. Don't be a cunt. Do your best EVERY DAY to be a decent human being.

7. Realize that ALL OF THIS IS IMPERMANENT. Do the best you can in what little short lifespans we have.

1mo
nanometers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You 'deserve' what you feel you earned. Most everything is tied to earned success  and how you internalize that. If you want existential, Sum - Forty Tales from the Afterlives may give you a chuckle. 

1mo
betafinancebro, what's your opinion? Comment below:

this is hilarious. To think that you just figured this out…what a comfortable life you must have led. No offense, but seems like youve been living in your bubble this whole time. I'm kinda jealous of that. I'm not saying that you will, but please don't try to convince or force feed this "revelation" to others.

1mo
lola5, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Think we deserve it as much as many people who don't get it. Different from saying we don't deserve it. Unless your life has just been a series of everything being given to you, which isn't the case for most people, I'd say we have all put in enough work, in education and everything else combined, to deserve it. We deserve it but we are lucky that out of a pool that equally deserves it, we got it. Nothing genius about us but nothing so crappy that it's undeserved.

1mo
arbsat, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I come from a particularly well-off area of Southern California - think SAT cheating scandal, high school student parking lot looking nicer than the high school teacher parking lot, and spoiled and entitled rich kids, many of whom scored 75-100th percentile on standardized tests (some with and some without the help of expensive tutors). 

I was blessed enough to go to a non-religious private K-8 school that gave me a great educational foundation, as well as attend a high school in a well funded area. FYI I told my parents I wanted to go to a public high school, which they were more than happy to send me to given the price tags of the private high schools in my area. While definitively upper middle class, I wouldn't say we were by any means wealthy. In terms of liquid cash, I would say my parents were ~33rd percentile at the private school, as most of their net worth was tied up in property (story of living in CA). I noticed how hard my parents worked to give me a great upbringing - my mom grew up on a rice farm in Taiwan and moved here with her younger brother at age 18 alone without her parents, and my father grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. Neither are in finance so no, my parents don't know any MDs who were able to help me out in my career.

All that being said, of my class of 50 at the private K-8, in one of the wealthiest areas of the country, only 2 went into "high" finance, and 2 others went into finance more broadly speaking. I'm at a MM PE shop, and the other high finance kid is at CS. The other 2 are leveraged loans at some small commercial real estate shop and M&A consultant at some boutique. What happened to the other 46? Rehab, SAT cheating scandal, DJing, still living off of parents and travelling the world, still living off of parents because they don't make enough to support their lifestyle, still living off of parents and in college b/c COVID screwed up their definition of the "traditional college experience" (FYI I graduated a semester early as I preferred taking a paycheck vs. paying UC Berkeley another one, even though my parents begged me to let them pay for my last semester so I could get a more traditional college experience). 

While I agree that you could take a starving kid of average intelligence from anywhere in the world, plop them into my elementary school, and for the most part they'd turn out pretty well. Just because you are born in a nice area doesn't mean a finance career, or a good career industry-agnostic, just comes to you. I liked having nice things and I wanted to be able to provide that for myself - I thought that was something everyone in my hometown would recognize and strive for. I guess that's not enough. I think desire for success (not the actual success b/c actual success can happen if your dad knows some MD) has to be instilled in you out of either necessity, or a chip on your shoulder. I probably fall into the latter category which is something I always have to watch out for. I'd say the chip stems from not being able to do my dream career - if I had all the money in the world I would be a musician but when I realized that didn't pay I said f*** it and I chose a high-paying career that interested me. The chip also comes from childhood bullying. But I'd much rather be supporting myself with an itch to outdo all the people who called me a "try-hard" or made fun of my weight, than be the one watching my 9-figure net worth father go to prison because I was too stupid and lazy to take the SAT by myself.

I'm 22 going on 23 in 2 weeks, I make 6 figures, I get to co-invest, I live in a moderate COL area, I paid for an all-inclusive trip to Cabo over the summer, I collect bourbon and scotch, and I'm thinking about whether I should save up to co-invest a lot or put a down payment down on a house in the next 12-24 months (owning a house is a dream of mine but not sure if it's time to plant my roots at such a young age). Do I deserve this? Yes and no - on the one hand, I outworked my peers at my competitive high school which IMO was more difficult than getting a 3.8 at Berkeley. On the other hand, do kids in Africa deserve to starve while I make 6 figures? No. 

But I still sacrifice to be able to make what I make and it's difficult despite the fact that I love my job. While my weekends consist of no more than 5 hours of work total, all I want to do is sleep and recharge for the workweek (I'm in office ~65 hours/workweek; I like being in office but it's tiring). This means that I don't really go out that much on the weekends. I'm single, and started this job within the past year. I sacrificed the pros of my previous job - working in an where I had a ton of friends - for a higher paying, higher prestige job in an area where I don't know anybody, or have much the time/desire to meet anyone. When old friends hit me up, it's often them trying to get close so they can ask for a referral or career advice b/c they hate their job or don't think they make enough - there is always some motive for trying to get close and it's quite frankly frustrating and lonely. Not to get too personal, but I'm single and have been trying on the apps but nothing ever pans out.

So do I think I deserve the money I make (nothing lifechanging like OP)? I would say it depends on who you're comparing yourself to. Money is just a number - it's not happiness and it's not time. Yes I deserve it as compared to my peers. I made good choices and they've paid off. But am I truly happy or just running through the motions? Probably a little of both. Do I have time? Not really. And many of my peers make less, have more time, and are happier. I would like to have a kids and a family one day, but the current path I'm on is not leading in that direction. In that sense, that is what my job is paying me for - the unquantifiable sacrifices I make on a daily basis. 

Thanks if you made it to the bottom

26d
lorrainepperson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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25d
mergelord11, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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25d
chacharat, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Suscipit officiis ipsum recusandae impedit. Sint veniam occaecati id sed. Enim sint quibusdam voluptatem consequatur dignissimos nemo dolores. Necessitatibus ut et reiciendis at distinctio rem in. Quasi ut beatae debitis tempora ea architecto et. Velit dolorum dolorum incidunt optio voluptatem ratione id. Cupiditate ullam et eaque quas quisquam pariatur explicabo explicabo.

15d
armadillo999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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