Comments (141)

Jul 7, 2022 - 3:43pm
T30Alumnus, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
Jul 7, 2022 - 3:39pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The reverse of Big LaW is WLB.


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Jul 7, 2022 - 3:40pm
T30Alumnus, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
Jul 7, 2022 - 4:32pm
CPMA's15, what's your opinion? Comment below:

One can dream of doing corporate law in big law as a Senior Partner that is highly recruited. Seeing those people wander around in jeans on a Tuesday was always entertaining. Cases so big they'll never go to trial. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 6, 2022 - 12:19pm
Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jul 6, 2022 - 12:26pm

Hot take alert.

Think this pay question in real estate is funny. Most people's views are colored consciously or unconsciously by whatever ideal future they imagine for themselves. A lot of people in real estate want to be entrepreneurs and while they themselves are potentially not getting paid well as a W-2 employee, they don't want the price of talent to increase because they see themselves eventually tapping into this same pool of people. 

There have been more than a couple threads recently about trouble hiring. Well no shit if you are only paying $80k total with the requirement of 3 years of work experience. News flash, cost of everything has increased and young people have loans and rent to pay and sometimes families to take care of. Pay transparency and wanting to get paid well as a junior are relevant questions. 

I worked on a trading desk that covered esoteric financial instruments tied to real assets. I interviewed for a hedge fund that also did property level acquisitions. These guys had a $3B fund and were lean and offered me $100k with a 15% bonus. Their competitors paid double this amount. This type of discrepancy can only be found in real estate. 

Jul 7, 2022 - 2:08pm
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hot take alert.

Think this pay question in real estate is funny. Most people's views are colored consciously or unconsciously by whatever ideal future they imagine for themselves. A lot of people in real estate want to be entrepreneurs and while they themselves are potentially not getting paid well as a W-2 employee, they don't want the price of talent to increase because they see themselves eventually tapping into this same pool of people. 

Hah.  This is like the argument that poorer Americans don't want taxes to go up on the wealthy because they imagine they'll be there one day, and don't want higher taxes on their hypothetical future selves.  I would also argue that the range of what you do in real estate varies greatly, and that might also have some impact on pay.  As is repeated ad nauseum here, if you work in debt origination or investment sales, you might make hundreds of thousands of dollars really early if you enter the industry at the right time.  You might also have years where you barely pay back your draw.  So it is hard to compare some of these feast-or-famine roles with steadier gigs.  But the average teenager or college student posting on these boards doesn't really care about that, they want to know how to be Jonathan Gray as quickly as possible, without understanding that just won't happen again, or not in the same way.

Moreover, even if you're a project manager in a development role, you might be willing to take a smaller salary if you actually have responsibility.  Yes, your peer in acquisitions at a major fund might be making double what you are, but if you're "the guy" running a couple development deals without someone looking over your shoulder, you might be gaining experience for an eventual move into your own thing - an exit that someone doing acquisitions at a $10b AUM can't really count on, because no one is giving that guy the kind of money to run the kinds of deals he's got experience with.  If I buy Class A, 9 figure trophy office properties in major urban areas as my W-2 job, how am I going to replicate that if I want to start my own fund?  Whereas if I spend my time building multifamily housing for a developer, I have a very reasonable chance of finding someone to finance my project if I can gain site control.  

None of which is to say that any of us should be suckered into the "but it's great experience!" bullshit argument as a substitute for good pay, but there are good reasons why experienced CRE professionals might stay in a role that is underpaying them by 10-15% or whatever if they've found a good stepping stone.

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jul 18, 2022 - 11:33am

I get it. It can make sense to stay at a role that pays less for the right experience. I just don't get why seemingly so many people are against juniors discussing pay and wanting more. My conclusion was that it's because an outsized amount of people in the industry see themselves as future owners. 

I also hear you on the different types of jobs but my example was for an investment role at a $3B fund that charged 1.5% management fees and 20% carried interest. This was back a few years ago and pay has definitely increased for "front office" real estate jobs. It was a frustrating experience not just finding out about the pay for this fund but that they were not the only employers significantly underpaying. Not to say there wasn't any good paying jobs but on average it seemed like real estate paid poorly at the junior level. I'm back in real estate finance (much more senior - ignore my title), but I ended up working in another industry prior for a number of reasons but pay was definitely one of them. I'm sure I could have found a good paying job relative to other industry investment roles but it felt like a hurdle. 

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 6, 2022 - 1:22pm

I work at a mid sized but reputable fund and make close to $300k with only 5 years of experience. I occasionally leave work early on fridays, I play intramural sports, go on dates, etc on weekdays. We only work the occasional weekend when there's a big push up to investment committee

What's the catch? I'm on the west coast. The NYC guys grind like there's no tomorrow and they 1) put the same amount of equity to work as the west coast team and 2) get paid the same

If you want to have a life, get out of NYC. People there work even if they're not busy. 

Jul 6, 2022 - 1:31pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you want to have a life, get out of NYC. People there work even if they're not busy. 

OMG is this true... I realized this soon after moving to NY and seeing it in real life, expected it was the case beforehand. Like the hours in NYC are total bullshit, 80% of those who stay past 8pm could legit leave at 5pm with zero loss of productivity!

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 7, 2022 - 12:15am

I promise you this is not specific to my fund. There are just more chill MDs on the west coast. So go to an "intense" shop like Brookfield, but their west coast office. Get paid the same as NYC and enjoy the 18 hours of sunlight every day

Jul 6, 2022 - 1:46pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is a legit great post! 

I will say, the UGs, interns, and others on the outside looking in can basically only fully grasp pay and prestige..... actual work quality, excitement, life outside of the office, even real prospects of career progression... are all concepts I don't think people grasp until 25 or maybe even 30! Soooo.. let's rank by pay and prestige!

Will say... getting north of $300k in one's 30s (and certainly 40s) in NYC or even secondary cities doesn't seem that impossible in a lot of institutional/corporate roles that also allow one to have a life. I'd think successfully "climbing the ladder" (to use the worn out phrase) is probably what most who get to that level do, or have some successful professional practice that is "controlled" enough to allow for life balance (like appraisers, consultants, accountants, and even some lawyers and brokers.....). Of course, "deciding" to have a "life" probably has costs vs. those willing to go 80-90 hrs+, but that is part of it right? Accepting say $350k total comp when you could make the run for $750-1M! 

Ironically, it seems like a lot of those who have that set up (be it in NYC or elsewhere), had to do shitty jobs or tracks in their 20s (like made well under the $200k threshold potentially) to be in the comfortable zone in their 30s. I'd note appraisers and bankers (commercial not investment) fit this model quite often. Or as others say, promoted up the proverbial "LifeCo/pension fund/SWF" tracks as an institutional example. Thus, if you hit your 30s and wish you had taken that path, then may be hard to shift without another 10 years of suckiness. But maybe can jump right into based on experience/skills (hard to say, too personal to generalize).   

Jul 16, 2022 - 4:02pm
theartofthedeal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Funny I think everyone has heard about that PIMCO role. I heard hours on their team are intense though. Normally California shops are way more chill but there is always a trade off with comp / life balance. I am not recruiting but I like keeping track of what is going on in the industry. The company I am at is usually 40 hours per week, make 97k base, 20-30% bonus with 1 to 1.5 years of experience. Overall I love my team but wish I made slightly more because it's hard to survive when the government steals a third. My rent is 3k which is just over 50% over my post tax per month income. If I add my gym, car payment, gas, insurance, cable/wifi, groceries, I'm living paycheck to paycheck. 

It's hilarious how when you are in college you think making $120-130k is amazing and then you get older and reality sets in 

Jul 6, 2022 - 6:22pm
Gentleman and Scholar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

C.R.E. Shervin

I get it you, are hungry and want to make 200k+ at 22 years old.

What I want to know is where can someone make 300k-500k(NYC) at 10+ year experience and actually have a life.

"I'm tired of top pay questions. but here is my top pay question for someone with 10+ years of experience." LOL

Jul 7, 2022 - 12:51pm
Gentleman and Scholar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

$500K at 10 years is good, but agree it's not top pay. I am in the range of age & comp that you speak of and I do not consider myself top pay by any means. I guess if you prefaced you were looking for great work-life and still make good money, I would have thought of the ? differently.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jul 6, 2022 - 8:55pm


  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 7, 2022 - 10:41am

I'm just an intern, but I feel like capital markets roles like ECM or DCM can make 300-500 after 10 years of experience and still have a life

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 8, 2022 - 7:26am

yeah you're also fucked when IPO markets are down 90% y/y similar to right now... lot of VP+ in ECM going to be first ones canned this cycle

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jul 7, 2022 - 8:48pm

Notice they said "and have a life" there's plenty of places in RE that pay 300-350 for associates but you normally don't have a life

  • Analyst 3+ in HF - Other
Jul 7, 2022 - 9:12pm

wow RE must suck. can literally think of so many seats that exist like that. Anything that is markets facing gives you a life with that sort of income. S&T, any investing AM seat, even a shitty HF seat. 

  • Analyst 3+ in HF - Other
Jul 8, 2022 - 5:12am

lol you don't even say how many YOE. SWE on 550k is jokes. Maybe there are a few outliers but those numbers don't exist in the tech world very much anymore. So many SWE's get their TC in stock which if you haven't noticed yet, is doing trash  this year.  so I don't buy your 550k grad all cash number unless you are including one offs. 

Jul 8, 2022 - 1:21pm
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

25 years old = 3 YOE. No, definitely not the norm, but this website is not the norm either. That's why I'm inviting any finance bro on WSO to step up. Any of the elite boutique dudes or the PE MM guys or some HF analyst at a tiger cub or something. I'm just curious what the heavy hitters look like here - I spend most of my time on Blind these days. And several of my close friends and acquaintances in my social circle hit that number and even exceed, but all of them work for HFT's/Hedge Funds in non-infra, alpha-generating roles (but still in an engineering capacity so they consider themselves SWE's or Quant Dev's). Pay is cold, hard greenbacks, none of that RSU nonsense. 

Jul 8, 2022 - 9:16am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Very few in tech make an all cash compensation that high with 3YOE. 


Jul 9, 2022 - 12:52am
cre-23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't even have a side on this sub-thread but your original comment has me fucking weak

Jul 8, 2022 - 9:00am
adiranefun, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
Jul 8, 2022 - 10:15am
PEarbitrage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Does 400k - 500K for 10 - 5 where I can show up in tshirts, flip flops and jeans I have been wearing all week count? 

If so, go work for a family office.

Jul 8, 2022 - 10:28am
CRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is the best gig I've seen so far

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Jul 8, 2022 - 11:36am
PEarbitrage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To be fair, my role is radically more diverse than just CRE.  I do pretty much everything as I have backgrounds in CRE (acquisitions and development), PE and real estate fixed income.  So it might not be the most common pay structure, however I tried to get similar comp packages from the big CRE shops and they were open but wanted a ton more work.

Jul 8, 2022 - 10:35am
C.R.E. Shervin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jul 8, 2022 - 10:47am
PEarbitrage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jul 29, 2022 - 10:37pm
crcompression, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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