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banker career/lifestyle....not all that great? worth it?

hellonyc's picture
Rank: Monkey | 64

Part of why people go into banking vs. any typical "finance analyst" role is the lifestyle. However realistically, what is the point of having an amazing apartment, if you never spend any time in it. I mean I'm not going to rent a 5000/month penthouse if I come home every night and pass out on my bed.
How often do people have time to go to clubs and get tables, when you are working 80-100 hour weeks. From the time I spend as a summer analyst, most departments are not filled with the craziest party animals, many are quite nerdy/shy and/or int'l. (And after working in banking , your only friends will be bankers!). I know that a few groups have a much more "fratty" culture where people tend to be more social after hours, but the majority of groups are rather diverse, in all regards. One fellow intern tried alcohol for the first time at our company party, even after being in college for three years.

As far as I'm concerned, analysts and associates pretty much work the same hours, associates probably have a lighter load on the weekends, but any busy group, will have associates staying till midnight or later on a nightly basis. The only real lifestyle change probably happens at the VP level when your job role shifts towards bringing business in, weekends drop off, but in that case, you start traveling like crazy during the week.

...People talk about doing banking just until going to "buy-side", with less hours and equivalent pay, but unfortunately not everyone gets an opportunity to go to buy-side. For example, out of the twelve analysts in a group I interned with, only four got "legit" exit opps in PE/HF, 2 stayed on for a third year and are incredibly depressed, and the other six picked up general finance roles at typical companies taking a huge paycut, one guy went be a worker at Training the Street. Remind you that these guys had great deal flow and went to top schools! Even when you get to PE/HF, hours may be much less, but stress levels/responsibilities are sky high. Finnaly most places kick you out after two years, until you get an mba. FYI- getting into a top mba school is not easy!! Finally getting a PE/HF job after b-school is even harder because they are making a long term commitment to you, and the competition within each b-school is cut throat.

As far as prestige goes, first lets say that bankers will never have the prestige of doctors, firefighters, scientists, judges (not lawyers lol), and some politicians and other doing-good for humanity professions. Second, I don't think the general public has any idea the difference between banking and general financial analyst roles, girls certainly don't know the difference Most don't understand the difference between retail and investment banks, they think you work the same place where people deposit their weekly paychecks. not to mention the difference between back and front office, operations vs. IB, most think its all the same. ....And if you put prestige aside, then you can earn a great salary running a small business, for example- my 26 year old cousin owns two verizon franchise stores (running a cell phone store isn't rocket science) and makes 350K a year, hired store managers and now is working only 20-30 hours a week, real estate investing on the side just for fun because he doesn't know what else to do with all his extra cash, while his job is not dealmaking, he is happy and living the life, he has time to go out at night, and go out to dinner, have friends, hamptons in the summer, miami breaks in winter, int'l vacations, and when he goes to work everyday he is the boss. nobody to answer to.

My question is now that the "prestige" of banking is no longer there, the bonuses sure ain't what they used to be, and exit opps are harder and harder to get, ibanking decreases your chances at b-school due to the overabundance of ibanking applicants, and the lifestyle kills your social/relationship life.....is banking worth it? 9/10 of people are in it for the money, prestige, and so-called lifestyle, not because they like sitting in a cubicle staring at an excel spreadsheet.

Comments (268)

Feb 14, 2010

I agree with the part about exit opps to buyside being not as good as it used to be. In my class, only 1/3 - 1/2 of the analysts have got buyside gigs. The rest are staying on for a third year or doing some random stuff outside banking that they would have been able to get straight out of college. This is for a top BB.

Feb 14, 2010

I came to this realization after reading Monkey Business and Bank:a novel by David Bledin. It's been a choice between trading and Ibanking for me, now I'm fixated on trading. I'm in Canada so there are no annoying restrictions being imposed, which means as long as I'm laying the golden eggs I'll be paid accordingly.

Ibanking is a good career choice if you are willing to sell 5 years of your life.

Feb 14, 2010

your cousin at verizon has maxed out at 350k. an ibanker can top that easily by 26, if they're good...

Feb 14, 2010

bleedblue82, you are comparing apples to oranges.
with cell phone stores, its actually its just a matter of opening new franchise stores to earn more money. there are guys older than him that have a mini-empire of stores just like any small franchise. However that will require more work and will make it harder for him to vacation as much as he does, and he happy making 350k working only 20-30 hours a week, rather than opening 15 locations and working 60 hours a week.

Second, remember that bonuses get taxed at different rates than actual income, thus 350k in banking, verses, 350k in actual salary income are far different.

Third, there is a huge difference in hours required. keyword: hours!

Finally, after a certain salary, I would say about 500,000 dollars, your lifestyle doesn't change much, especially if you are single. My cousin realized that there isn't much he would want that you can't afford on 350k salary that you can afford with a 1Mil+ salary. A lot people don't realize this, but after a while, buying more clothes, going out every night, living in a huge apartment which you are never in, it gets old just like everything else. 5000 rolex vs. 50000 rolex, whatever its still a rolex, it still tells time. 1 bedroom apartment vs. 4 bedroom apartment, are you going to that much happier knowing that you live in an apartment that has three bedrooms which you don't use?

What doesn't get old is the freedom of being your own boss, making your own hours, and having good friends to share your money with. Two things banking fails to provide.

Feb 14, 2010
hellonyc:

Second, remember that bonuses get taxed at different rates than actual income, thus 350k in banking, verses, 350k in actual salary income are far different.

This is not an accurate statement. Outside of the recent, 1-time specific tax on bank bonuses, salary and bonuses are both classified as ordinary income and therefore not taxed differently.

Feb 14, 2010
hellonyc:

What doesn't get old is the freedom of being your own boss, making your own hours, and having good friends to share your money with. Two things banking fails to provide.

I couldn't have said it better...

Feb 18, 2010

I agree on that I owned 6 verizon franchises and becuase you can make six figures without even a college degree alot of other people opened up verizon franchises and their is so much competition now my income was cut in half so I got out to go to b-school.

Feb 14, 2010

I think you're 100% right.....But people will still try to go into banking in HOPES of money, prestige, and so-called lifestyle.

Feb 14, 2010

who cares. do whatever makes YOU happy. I did not enter the biz cause it was a "prestige-factor" but because I liked it and it was fun... I am on the trading side so a little different but stil a plug in the big machine. I actually like that no one knows what I do or how I do it.

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Feb 14, 2010

^ true. but if the verizon thing didn't work out for your cousin what would he do?

Feb 14, 2010

monty09,
you bring up a good point, do what makes you happy, but how many IB analysts can honestly say that what they are actually doing is making them happy?... If we are all chasing after happiness, is banking the best game plan there? I think many are chasing after prestige and money, I know thats what got me interested in the profession.

on another note, trading does offer a much better work life balance, however I think this posting was much more geared towards IB.

Feb 14, 2010

johnnyd,
verizon was just one example, there are plenty of franchises and small businesses you can open. Another guy I know owns a car wash and makes similar money, and his passion in life is tennis and he didn't make it pro, so the car wash allows him to play/coach tennis all day while earning big bucks. It was more just to illustrate that there are plenty of people earning big bucks, they just don't have the most prestigious or high-profile job.

Feb 14, 2010

hellonyc, are you that scared of competition?

And also, most of us are doing banking for EXPERIENCE and EXIT OPS, not money or lifestyle.

Feb 14, 2010

entrepreneuship is the way to go...hell if you're young you have nothing to lose. If you win, you win big. And it makes for a great bschool app story if you want to go this route eventually.

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Feb 14, 2010

pussinboots, it has nothing to do with competition, there is competition everywhere, and interesting you would make such a comment with such a "fearless" screen name like puss in boots.
second, i would disagree that the majority of people are not in it for money and lifestyle. Experience is very generic term. and I mentioned before that exit-ops that are only available to banking analyst, are few. most will go to jobs that could have been attained without banking.

Feb 14, 2010

for me, honestly, it's a matter of risk...even if the exit ops aren't what they used to be, it's still a beaten path...i know what my options are.

doing something like the verizon or car wash while equally as lucrative, it's kind of like a shot in the dark. i have no idea where it will take me, what my next step would be, etc

banking is risky, no doubt, but i feel like it's less risky in the sense that there's a laid out path.

Feb 14, 2010

i hate risk and not knowing what my step is/should be, or where my current position will take me. banking gives me that sense of certainty.

Feb 14, 2010

Go into IB for the right reasons

Prestige is in the eye of the beholder. You call doctors prestigious, I call them drug dealers/pimps with white coats. Politicians and doing good for humanity?! It took George Bush 5 days to get down to Katrina victims but he could get our troops over to Iraq within 12 hours to fight terrorists (hem hem oil money). Once again in the eye of the beholder. A lawyer and judge let OJ walk...enough said. Bottom line is don't look at the money, look at getting a job first and proving yourself. Wall Street doesn't just hand out 7 figure bonus checks, you have to eat what you kill. As someone mentioned before you cannot compare a franchise owner to an Investment Banker. An I-banker that works on deals and works on getting his bank deals can easily have a million dollar comp package by the time he's 30. Don't start blowing your money on cars, watches, parties and women and you can easily retire at 35. Can your buddy at Verizon say that?

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Feb 14, 2010

[quote=lg0718
An I-banker that works on deals and works on getting his bank deals can easily have a million dollar comp package by the time he's 30. Don't start blowing your money on cars, watches, parties and women and you can easily retire at 35. Can your buddy at Verizon say that?[/quote]

Speak for yourself bud, the minute I get a million dollar comp package I'm going to take 100k and blow it with reckless abandon.

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Feb 14, 2010

OP, I think you make some good points. Keep in mind though, many people are really interested in getting IB jobs (some because of lifestyle/money/prestige, some because they are truly passionate about it). On a personal level, I agree with your assessment. Which is one reason I'm not interested in IB (not that I could probably land an IB job anyway). I think what your post really shows, is that you have no interest in IB, and are disappointed with your experience. Now that you've discovered that IB is not for you, you should work hard deciding what it is you'd really like to do.

P.S. That's awesome your cousin does so well running those Verizon franchise stores. Sounds like a good gig. And to the person who said he maxed out at $350K, that's just not true. What if he ran another store or two? What if he uses his experience to start a business, or run more franchised stores in any other industry?

Feb 14, 2010

So you were an SA? Are you going back FT?

It seems to me you're just making excuses for yourself to NOT do IB. Whatever, just move over. There are 1000 other guys who would take your spot. No need to complain.

Go open your own verizon franchise and come back when you are retied at 35-40. good luck, lol.

Feb 14, 2010

Lol, Mezz.

Feb 14, 2010

hellonyc great post, I agree 100%. all these others guys are missing the point and getting hung up on this verizon example, prob b/c it is surprising to hear of average joes earning crazy salaries in simple mom&pop shops, but again verizon just an example.

The bottom line its not about competition or excuses. Its about making sure that you are in this business for the right reason, 95% of guys are in this business for the wrong reason.
...very few will become big deal makers, KKR/blackstone partners, or whomever else is idolized in this industry. many will just make some big bucks for a few years and get burnt out and move on to another "typical" general job. others will stick it out and will put their career before their friends/wives or whatever, and often end up unhappy. Everyone is different. Also, not everyone is willing to sacrifice money to do what they "love", and vice versa. Nobody wants to admit that they are motivated by money or prestige, everyone likes to say this is passion in life or some other b.s. like that. Its hard for someone to attend a school like harvard/wharton, and then open a verizon store, when all their friends are doing big and high profile things. We don't like to admit it, but we care about what others think, what our families, our friends think. its human nature.

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Feb 14, 2010

This thread serves no purpose; there's nothing the OP said that hasn't been said on these forums a thousand times before. It's just some long-winded navel gazing.

You don't like banking? Don't go into it. End of story.

Feb 14, 2010
brisbane:

This thread serves no purpose; there's nothing the OP said that hasn't been said on these forums a thousand times before. It's just some long-winded navel gazing.

You don't like banking? Don't go into it. End of story.

I agree, the same goes with any profession: it's not for everyone. I personally love the work and think it is interesting. I also don't mind the hours since it has made me really close to some of my coworkers. What other profession do you get 130k all in first year as a 22 year old? Of course the job's not for everyone, that's why every interview in some way asks "why us" or "why investment banking".

Feb 14, 2010

Thanks compbanker. You beat me to it.

Feb 14, 2010

It depends on what money means to you. If you see money as a currency to be used to buy things and provide for a particular type of lifestyle, maybe there isn't a big difference between 500k and 1mm a year. But for some, money is just a means of keeping score.

Feb 14, 2010

Quotes, Macro?

Feb 14, 2010

Depends at what level. I think once you are actually getting able to think of ideas to pitch to firms and maintain relations, that's when it seems very interesting. Basically being a "rainmaker". I don't understand the "good friends" part. If anything, IBD brings people closest the most and is a very "fratty" lifestyle. The bonds you form are much closer than the ones you see in PWM/S&T.

Feb 14, 2010

there is a huge difference between 500k and 1MM in a year. I know bc ive made both. The person who wrote that hasnt.

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Feb 15, 2010
Bondarb:

there is a huge difference between 500k and 1MM in a year. I know bc ive made both. The person who wrote that hasnt.

Haha no need to be be bragging now..

Feb 14, 2010

pretty simple actually why people want IBD. Opportunity and money without going to law or med school. You can slice and dice it all you want, but it's going to boil down to one of those two things.

Feb 14, 2010

First off, to the O/P, I couldn't agree more with your statements - really can't find many strong counterarguments. I am envious of your Verizon friend.

A benefit I think you may not have mentioned though (someone can correct me if I'm wrong on this) is that because of the great experience and all you learn in 2-3 years in banking, you are more set up for a higher level corporate job afterwards, if you don't want or can't make it into other more lucrative areas of finance.

For example, I have heard that if you take two people right out of undergrad - one starts in IB and the other starts in the finance department for a Fortune 500 company. All things equal, after a two year analyst stint, the person from IB could land a job a few levels higher up in that Fortune 500 company than the person who started their from the get-go (even if they don't go to B-school).

Once again, not sure if this is accurate and/or how many people go this route. Just trying to throw it out as a counterargument for something more "pleasant" that banking could lead to.

Feb 14, 2010

I have mixed feelings about your post. On the one hand, I still do think that IB is a good career launchpad for most people, even if they don't end up in PE/HF. Coming out of IB, you still have a lot of options open to you that you wouldn't if you worked as say, a Supply Chain analyst or a GE Financial Analyst or something. On the other hand, I do agree that a lot of prospective monkeys seem to be closed-minded with regards to the possibilities outside of IB/Consulting/Law/Medicine.
Like yourself, I know a couple of average joes running franchises and raking in the dough, so its funny to hear these kids talk about the same 3 or 4 career paths as the only paths to wealth.

Feb 15, 2010
Feb 15, 2010

lol, you made it sound so easy like you will definitely make 350k if you open a verizon store. i know a friend who opened a Mcdonald's and ended up closing it in 3 yrs, making it one of the only few Mcdonald's that's ever been closed. and my cousin, in his early 30s, making more than half a mil, owns 3 burger kings. and everytime i talk to him, all he can say abt his business is how many hrs he put in and how much he was worried abt his business when he first started. the bottom line is, nothing is easy...and you gotta have some luck too. i'm pretty sure most people here has studied their ass off to get a good GPA, talked to every possible contact to land a good job in banking.

i agree with monty09, do watever makes you happy, and if you are lucky, and you put in enough effort, you will make good money, watever you do. if you dont like IB, do something else. a good example, my friend, an accountant, age 29, makes $1 mil a year...not kidding...i was in shock when he told me...lol...

Feb 15, 2010
eysl:

i agree with monty09, do watever makes you happy, and if you are lucky, and you put in enough effort, you will make good money, watever you do. if you dont like IB, do something else. a good example, my friend, an accountant, age 29, makes $1 mil a year...not kidding...i was in shock when he told me...lol...

How does an accountant make that much? What exactly does he do?

By the way, I totally agree with what you said. Do what makes you happy. And there's no such thing as a free lunch, making money takes hard work.

Feb 15, 2010

econ,

he's some special kind of auditor...works in UK and hongkong a lot. man, and i thought only people in finance makes the big bucks...lol

Feb 15, 2010

god forbid someone be actually interested in the industry...

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Feb 15, 2010

The whole point of working in investment banking is so you can save up money to spend somewhere OUTSIDE OF NYC. It's not to roll around in a Jag, buy your girlfriend stuff from Swarovski, and drop 3Gs at the Pink Elephant every weekend. (That approach is for suckers.)

My goal is to retire with an 80-acre farm alongside Lake Michigan (perfect hedge against inflation, sovereign risk, and everything short of a foreign invasion during a 50-60 year retirement). That kind of view/covenience would beat most of the $10K/month penthouses in NYC, and it would only cost about $3-4K/month assuming a 6%/year cost of capital and relatively constant real estate taxes and maintenance.

If you spend all of your money on "the banker lifestyle", you will be stuck in the city until you're 60. You don't want to be stuck in investment banking until you're sixty.

Given the high cost of living here, my view is that people who can't delay gratification in New York City can't delay it anywhere. As for me, I will live in low-tax, low-rent Hoboken, spend my money at $5/beer bars, and focus on the day I'll be able to go sailing on Saturdays, do trackdays at on Sundays, and find a wife who enjoys doing both more than Tiffany's.

Feb 17, 2010

"The whole point of working in investment banking is so you can save up money to spend somewhere OUTSIDE OF NYC. It's not to roll around in a Jag, buy your girlfriend stuff from Swarovski, and drop 3Gs at the Pink Elephant every weekend. (That approach is for suckers.)

My goal is to retire with an 80-acre farm alongside Lake Michigan (perfect hedge against inflation, sovereign risk, and everything short of a foreign invasion during a 50-60 year retirement). That kind of view/covenience would beat most of the $10K/month penthouses in NYC, and it would only cost about $3-4K/month assuming a 6%/year cost of capital and relatively constant real estate taxes and maintenance.

If you spend all of your money on "the banker lifestyle", you will be stuck in the city until you're 60. You don't want to be stuck in investment banking until you're sixty.

Given the high cost of living here, my view is that people who can't delay gratification in New York City can't delay it anywhere. As for me, I will live in low-tax, low-rent Hoboken, spend my money at $5/beer bars, and focus on the day I'll be able to go sailing on Saturdays, do trackdays at on Sundays, and find a wife who enjoys doing both more than Tiffany's."

Wow IlliniProgrammer - I was reading your response and just waiting for that - "oh, this is where we see things differently" moment. It never came. It's scary how similar our motives and pursuits are.

Feb 15, 2010

hellonyc did you get rejected from ur interviews?

Feb 15, 2010

interesting perspectives, as well as some pointless irrelevant perspectives. (some people on this forum feel the need to brag/make fun of others in the attempts of making themselves feel good on forum where anybody can take on any persona... pointless b.s.) ....i didn't think this post would get the response that it did. I'm glad i posted it though, because I think that it touches the underlying foundation behind this whole website as well as many of the people who are thinking/trying to get into this field which has taken a dramatic change in the past year.

clearly people don't understand the point of the verizon example, it was just an example of people who earn extraordinary salaries doing ordinary things, and still enjoy a pride in what they do and enjoy a work/life balance that few others with similar salaries enjoy, as well as attain similar levels of happiness, pride, and satisfaction that high profile/prestige jobs can provide. I never said that I wanted to personally open a verizon store, or whatever. But when you have friends who are doing well in that, you sometimes question.

A lot of people have PM me regarding questions on what i'm doing and why i posted it, personally i have been put in a position where I must decide between three different career paths, and I now have to decide whether I want to head down the banking road. My summer experience did not result in a FT offer, however after much hard work/networking it did bring me to other opps on wall street as well as in industry.
...My summer experience at a BB was quite eventful where I got to see the best and worst of wall street, the worst being the layoffs, divorces, alcoholics, depressed, and cheating husbands/wives. When you see a grown man cry as he packs up his desk after a layoff as the whole floor watches in awkward silence, is something you simply don't forget. ...The best being the vip clubs, going out on our MD's yacht, and seeing and meeting penthouses and trophy wives/gf's. Its amazing how much you learn about people and their personal lives when you work with them 100 hours week, many senior members of my team were incredibly frank and open regarding their personal lives and happiness in this industry, especially while intoxicated. However sometimes I wonder if my experience was unique and most people do not see the drama that i did. naturally, this has led me to question my place in the whole profession, hence why i created this post.

Feb 15, 2010
hellonyc:

My summer experience did not result in a FT offer

You failed to secure a damn FT job and talking about starting your own business.

/thread

edit: I 100% agree with jimbojones96. My dad has his own business (parents divorced when I was a kid) in Eastern Europe. He is considered very well off in my home country. He was always busy when I was a kid. In fact, one time I broke a fucking arm and he could not come to ER and pick me up. Same thing happened with my mom: she had broken her leg and my dad sent his friend to drive her to the hospital. As a kid, I witnessed my mom crying numerous times. My dad had to sell his car because at some point his business was doing really shitty.

Feb 15, 2010

You failed to secure a damn FT job and talking about starting your own business.

2009 was a tough, tough, year. A lot of people (I would argue a majority) who did not receive full-time offers would have received them if the economic environment had been stronger.

Feb 16, 2010
hellonyc:

A lot of people have PM me regarding questions on what i'm doing and why i posted it, personally i have been put in a position where I must decide between three different career paths, and I now have to decide whether I want to head down the banking road. My summer experience did not result in a FT offer, however after much hard work/networking it did bring me to other opps on wall street as well as in industry.
...My summer experience at a BB was quite eventful where I got to see the best and worst of wall street, the worst being the layoffs, divorces, alcoholics, depressed, and cheating husbands/wives. When you see a grown man cry as he packs up his desk after a layoff as the whole floor watches in awkward silence, is something you simply don't forget. ...The best being the vip clubs, going out on our MD's yacht, and seeing and meeting penthouses and trophy wives/gf's. Its amazing how much you learn about people and their personal lives when you work with them 100 hours week, many senior members of my team were incredibly frank and open regarding their personal lives and happiness in this industry, especially while intoxicated. However sometimes I wonder if my experience was unique and most people do not see the drama that i did. naturally, this has led me to question my place in the whole profession, hence why i created this post.

Did you not receive an offer due to market conditions, or was it fault on your side? I'm asking because you have a lot more experience than me, but before I consider it I'd like to know whether you have a grudge against the industry, that might bias your opinion.

Feb 16, 2010
hellonyc:

...My summer experience at a BB was quite eventful where I got to see the best and worst of wall street, the worst being the layoffs, divorces, alcoholics, depressed, and cheating husbands/wives. When you see a grown man cry as he packs up his desk after a layoff as the whole floor watches in awkward silence, is something you simply don't forget. ...The best being the vip clubs, going out on our MD's yacht, and seeing and meeting penthouses and trophy wives/gf's. Its amazing how much you learn about people and their personal lives when you work with them 100 hours week, many senior members of my team were incredibly frank and open regarding their personal lives and happiness in this industry, especially while intoxicated. However sometimes I wonder if my experience was unique and most people do not see the drama that i did. naturally, this has led me to question my place in the whole profession, hence why i created this post.

You just sound like a naive little kid. Wow, people are alcoholics. People are unhappy. People get fired. Guess what? This isn't unique to banking. Stop looking for "meaning" where there isn't any and just take opportunities as they come. You'll never be happy stepping back and thinking "What am I doing this for?"

Feb 15, 2010

I'm not in I-banking so my opinion may not count for much, but I wouldn't discount starting your own business. I know a guy who started a manufacturing company at 35.

By 45 he was making more than $1MM a year. By 55, he was living in Florida 9 months out of the year. The other 3 months, he would stop by the office maybe an hour a day to make sure everything was running smoothly while he let other people manage his business.

Along the way he started moving forwards and backwards in the industry buying up other manufacturing companies for $1MM to $15MM (he always paid cash, never let an I-bank finance or value a company for him). Every company he has acquired he has turned into a cash cow. He is easily making more than $15MM a year now. and probably only works the equivalent of 3-4 weeks full time a year.

I realize he is the exception rather than the rule, but even Lloyd Blankfein doesn't have it that good in my opinion.

Feb 15, 2010

you have to truly enjoy the job and have the personality for it. for some of us, our jobs in IB are truly what we've dreamed of for years. i love excel modeling, writing, and researching companies (i am in research) and as a result I believe i have been very successful at what i do.

i dont know why anyone would confuse IBD with a "party job". working 100 hour weeks, as you noted, certainly does not lend itself to being social. yes, you will be paid well in nyc and will be able to afford some of the finer establishments. and occasionally when you go out as a group you will be taken to fancy clubs.

regarding your cousin at verizon, earning $350k per year is extremely difficult. there are very few professions where you can earn as much as banking. i seriously doubt that you would ever in your entire life earn this much annually if you don't become a banker.

Feb 15, 2010

You're right on most counts but there is a danger of oversimplification even with the franchisees examples. We don't really know what percentage of Verizon store or Burger King or whatever store/restaurant owners fail each year. The statistics for small business success rate overall are not appealing. You have to bring something more to the table than just a desire to be your own boss.

Feb 15, 2010

In addition, a good friend of mine is friends with a family who owns 14 McDonald's retaurants. They have been MOREEEEEE than successful, which it almost makes me sick thinking about. However, I was told through this friend that they usually wont approve your application unless you already know someone who is an owner. This, along with the cash, successful track record, and a number of other different factors.

To sum it up, it is way more difficult than obtaining a position and working in IB. Might as well do something that pretty much guarantees a great inflow of cash for about 8 years, then you can do whatever you wish.

Feb 15, 2010

as i mentioned before, this isn't about starting a small business, verizon, mcd's, or whatever. Like any profession, starting a small business has chances of failure, requires hardwork, and obstacles. Maybe the real question is whether banking is still what it used to be, and if it isn't, is it still worth the tremendous sacrifice required? But this thread has clearly become to long and off topic. I'm not trying to debate franchise success rates or start-up costs. thats completely missing the pont. lol

pussinboots, have no clue what you are saying or alluding too, nor are you adding any useful info. ...i didn't get an offer from my summer, but it wasn't performance related. my group petitioned for me to get an offer, but HR didn't allocate new hires to my group, they instead transferred existing analysts between groups that were not busy enough, it wasn't in my hands or the hands of my group. regardless, i have opportunities now, i created the forum to help myself decide whether banking is still what i initially thought it was.

Feb 15, 2010
hellonyc:

as i mentioned before, this isn't about starting a small business, verizon, mcd's, or whatever. Like any profession, starting a small business has chances of failure, requires hardwork, and obstacles. Maybe the real question is whether banking is still what it used to be, and if it isn't, is it still worth the tremendous sacrifice required? But this thread has clearly become to long and off topic.

Not to be rude, but you started the off-topic discussion by mentioning the Verizon success. Your question is strictly banking related... is it worth the sacrifice required?

Is any profession worth the sacrifice required? All of these professions mentioned (medicine, law, finance, and even entrepreneurship) require a huge sacrifice. Medicine and law even more so because you have to endure more schooling. Are they worth it?

A quote I always come back to is, "anything worth doing isn't easy." No matter how it seems, nothing will come easy and there will be a tremendous sacrifice required.. It is up to you to judge whether it is worth it.

Is school worth going to? There have been people that have been extremely successful without going to school.. This will never end

Feb 15, 2010

hellonyc,

I take my words back about you not getting FT offer.

You have to take in account that on a grand scale of things, only a handful number of students get to pick between banking and something else. A Wharton student is risking much more (in terms of short-term income) by starting his/her own business than a student from San Diego State (nothing against SDSU)

Of course having your own profitable business > banking. But most of us don't have a solid idea, experience, but more importantly, desire to risk.

Feb 15, 2010

Well said MC 002

If you love consulting on transactions/deals watching CNBC/Bloomberg/Reuters all day and travel then yes I-Banking is for you. If you are just going into it to be the next Tiger Woods (rich manwhore with as many toys as women) then don't go into Banking. For every 30 year old millionaire hotshot I-Banker, trader there are about 10 or more people that absolutely hate their job because they thought Wall St hands out 7 figure paychecks with only a 50 hour work week.

Feb 15, 2010

OP - Screw the world. Do what makes you happy. I'm in IBD because I like it. It took 3 years of college for me to realize my passion for investment finance.

Feb 15, 2010

along the lines of what ihatetaxes said, for those of you currently working, do you feel that it's worth it?

Feb 15, 2010

Pussinboots' comment made me literally spit out my water.

Feb 15, 2010

Pussinboots' comment made me literally spit out my water.

Feb 15, 2010
lg0718:

You call doctors prestigious, I call them drug dealers/pimps with white coats.

do you really believe this, or are you just making a point?

Feb 16, 2010

newterp- it's making a point but there also is some truth to it. Look at all the doctors in Hollywood that help addicts

Feb 15, 2010

The chances of being very successful in any field are very long, by definition. This is true in banking, trading, verizon franchising, and anything else. When the economy is weak those odds get even longer both in banking and elsewhere. We all know that nothing is easy and that most people will go into a field with dreams of being the best and that the vast majority will be dissapointed a few years down the road when they arent.

I do find that when people are succesful, as rare as that is, they rarely end up being so worried about whether the money is "making them happy" or what "the point of making more money is", etc. The whole cliche about the wall st guy that gets rich and then realizes that money cant buy happiness dosent really exist...i hear alot of younger people who are frustrated by the long hours and other negatives of the business saying things like that but never really anybody who has actually achieved success. That's not to say that money does buy happiness, but its just an observation.

Feb 15, 2010

Money isn't everything, it just gets the most focus because of its flash and tangibility (ie $5 > $4 by definition). I think most people on these forums would give up half their salary if it meant being guaranteed finding a loving wife to start a great family--in other words a happy family with no divorces, traumas (like none of the kids dying prematurely), etc. It's these uncertain factors like having a great family and being of good health (not getting cancer at a young age) that we would like to ensure but of course can't. As a result, we search for certainty in our lives and find it in the pursuit of wealth, which banking allows us to do at a young age and with a somewhat level degree of certainty. Becoming rich is one of those things in life that practically no one would not want to become. It's the simple fact that (we think) more is greater than less, in this case more wealth > less wealth, so it seems obvious to pursue a high paying job even though this is not what might make us most happy (in the short and long term).
At a young age, most bankers just think about getting into IB as a starting point known for its strong exit opportunities. In other words, we put gaining valuable work experience and wealth at the top of our lists, ahead of balanced social lives and sometimes even our health. Eventually though, in our 30s and 40s, we realize that somewhere along our priorities comes finding a wife and starting a family (for most of us, at least) and that simply working long hours, while it can still be our number one priority in order to become rich, is not enough in that now we have to decide which of the remaining parts of our lives are most important relative to our careers and how to rank them accordingly. And in the end, "life is what slips through the cracks as everything else going on in our lives passes by."

    • 3
Feb 16, 2010

you mention prestige. i think prestige is subjective, and bankers think of their job as more prestigious than any of the ones you mention

Feb 16, 2010

WSO should do a survey with a question for investment bankers to answer:

How happy/sad are you to be an investment banker?

A: too much work, no life, fuck this shit
B: I'll stomach this for the exit opps/B School
C: Makin bank baby$$$$$$, retiring at 35
D: Love the prestige
E: I love the content of the job

perhaps same for trading as a comparison

interesting views on this topic

Feb 16, 2010

that poll would be answered by a bunch of idiot college kids on this board. the thread about "life of an IT consultant" is a good complement to this thread. things are always greener on the other side

Feb 16, 2010

He answered that question somewhere in this thread...

Feb 16, 2010
MC 002:

He answered that question somewhere in this thread...

My bad, thx.

Feb 16, 2010

My friends in consulting are even worse off. The ones in premed are miserable and 1 dropped out. Law school is horrible right now there are too many lawyers and people can't find any jobs (making 45k as a attorney). Stop complaining and being weak, this world is hard and nothing worth doing is easy.

Feb 16, 2010

Money at a high level has a very small increase in happiness. Look up some psych. studies about it.

However, the skill set you get from IBD is very desirable for me and is what i'm after.

P.S. That accounting job that was mentioned before may be forensic accounting. You can make millions if your well established in the field and can get contract work.

Feb 17, 2010

I think we should end this thread with sum ah nold
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRiL9XPO08A
skip to 3:58

Feb 17, 2010

I think what needs to be kept in mind that there are plenty of people in this world who because of lack of education or necessity work 70-80-90-100 hour weeks in jobs which require uncomfortable working environments, physical labor and/or hazardous conditions. Banking isn't the only career with a lot of hours. At least people in banking have the opportunity to get handsomely rewarded.

People decided to do jobs for all kinds of reasons. Whether something is worth it or not is entirely subjective and personal.

To the person talking about all the bad stuff they saw in IBD such as drinking, adultery and lay offs, I say this, adulthood is a bitch isn't it. Who the hell is shocked at this crap nowaday. Please direct me to the bubble which you came from so I can vacation there. People get laid off and cry at footlocker. I am sure the nice little severance package they got softened the blow. I bet you wont see that guy getting food stamps or losing his modest home like half of this country.

Apologize if I sound harsh, but common, this is how things are in any job and field.

Feb 17, 2010

How is being an entrepreneur considered being free? To do it right you have to invest and dedicate yourself for a couple of years at least. If the business is doing bad you put in more hours. And then you might still fail, without any exit opps.

In BB banking, you can leave anytime for something else. After some years you might even stop working altogether. And you know what you will make when you start working.

Besides. I like staring at excel sheets.

Feb 19, 2010
Dude:

How is being an entrepreneur considered being free? To do it right you have to invest and dedicate yourself for a couple of years at least. If the business is doing bad you put in more hours. And then you might still fail, without any exit opps.

In BB banking, you can leave anytime for something else. After some years you might even stop working altogether. And you know what you will make when you start working.

Besides. I like staring at excel sheets.

Sorry dude, but with that "loser" attitude you are destined to fail in entrepreneurship.

Sadly, this is what most bankers think of entrepreneurship and that is why they stay in banking. I guarantee you that if they had a more positve mindset and put in the same effort towards their own business as they do in their current jobs, the success rate would be similar as in banking. They would have the same chance to become rich while living a much happier life.

Feb 17, 2010

Working 70+ hours a week sucks no matter what you do or how much you make. Actors and pro athletes don't like to work that much. But it's much better to work those hours in an air conditioned room at a computer with other smart people than hammering or shoveling all day. And if/when you decide that you hate banking, people will look at your resume and instantly know that you're a smart, hard worker. And if you don't get a better opportunity out of it, you'll be a top applicant for business schools for having done it.

Feb 19, 2010
supertight:

Working 70+ hours a week sucks no matter what you do or how much you make. Actors and pro athletes don't like to work that much. But it's much better to work those hours in an air conditioned room at a computer with other smart people than hammering or shoveling all day. And if/when you decide that you hate banking, people will look at your resume and instantly know that you're a smart, hard worker. And if you don't get a better opportunity out of it, you'll be a top applicant for business schools for having done it.

Athletes probably work just as hard, its just that they enjoy (or they should) what they are doing, which makes it more manageable.

Feb 17, 2010

Just try banking out and see if you want to do it. If you don't like it, get out and find something you do like.

You don't need to let other people tell you if this job is worth it - some people will do this job all the way to MD and eat all the shit sandwiches involved, others will know in a few months it not for them.

Regarding the money involved, nobody can tell you oh the money is so great, and its going to feel the same way to you. I listen to my VP talk about how great it is to have all this cash, while I know the other VP who is top bucket is miserable.

If you can keep that dream going for 10-15+ years to get your 80 acre farm in wherever, then props - because a lot of people can't/don't want to. Either way, just don't get a stick up your ass because of what's on your business card - the money is a consequence of this job, and if you actually just are in it for the bonuses, then you will have a long and miserable 10-15 years, and all that money isn't going to buy that time back when you're still eating shit sandwiches as a 2nd year VP.

Feb 17, 2010

"Working 70+ hours a week sucks no matter what you do or how much you make. Actors and pro athletes don't like to work that much."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even in college, athletes on the school team basically practiced constantly. 70 hours is not that much. Its basically 12 hours a day (9 to 9) with 10 hours on a Sunday. Even back office works 60 hours. I'm guessing you've never held a fulltime job.

Feb 18, 2010
instapreneur:
comrise:

"Working 70+ hours a week sucks no matter what you do or how much you make. Actors and pro athletes don't like to work that much."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even in college, athletes on the school team basically practiced constantly. 70 hours is not that much. Its basically 12 hours a day (9 to 9) with 10 hours on a Sunday. Even back office works 60 hours. I'm guessing you've never held a fulltime job.

LOL. New traders work 40-50 a week and can make more money than IB VPs.

traders take more risk, they deserve better returns

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.----William Shakespeare

Feb 19, 2010
didi2008:
instapreneur:
comrise:

"Working 70+ hours a week sucks no matter what you do or how much you make. Actors and pro athletes don't like to work that much."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even in college, athletes on the school team basically practiced constantly. 70 hours is not that much. Its basically 12 hours a day (9 to 9) with 10 hours on a Sunday. Even back office works 60 hours. I'm guessing you've never held a fulltime job.

LOL. New traders work 40-50 a week and can make more money than IB VPs.

traders take more risk, they deserve better returns

I am a trader/PM at a hedge fund and consider my job as 24 hour a day 7 days a week. There is no free lunch. Sure we can find a few examples of people who got hit by the proverbial lightning bolt of luck but most people have to earn it no matter what field they choose.

And BTW if any of you guys have known any pro athletes you will know that the job is not easy at all. The average pro player you see on TV has clawed his way past thousands upon thousands of amazing athletes who were the best in their town/state/etc. It is literally a one in a million shot to be a highly paid pro athlete and they work like dogs to get there....and of course there is always a younger/faster player on their heels to take their job.

Feb 18, 2010

Also, I would argue the trader's day is typically more focused and crammed with activity, whereas a typical day in IB consists of longer hours but has its workload spread out throughout the day (and of course night).

Feb 18, 2010

One of the richest people I know owns 16 gas stations.

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

Feb 19, 2010

A few things...

1- I don't view prestige as who's doing the most good for humanity... how prestigious a job is an elementary school teacher? Its about money, status, selectivity, pedigree.

2- Your cousin that owns a 2 Verizon stores didn't get those stores for free, he paid for them and he invested money in them. And if Verizon decides they have sufficient subscribers and don't need to renew their lease agreements on several major regional cell towers and their coverage becomes shitty in his neck of the woods so people stop walking into his store... thats his problem, and his money being lost. Not only does he run the prospect of not making money, he runs a fairly high risk of LOSING money. If one of his managers steals a shit load of money and runs away to Punjab, your cousins going to have to cough up some serious rupees out of his pocket. The stability argument doesn't go too far if we're comparing it to Wall St... but guess what... if I get laid off, there are a million and one jobs I can get. I'm very marketable to any number of fields, companies and jobs. If he loses his businesses, where is he going to go? Is he going to go work at Denny's? I've seen a million and one 20-somethings' resumes highlighting their experience running their dads cell phone hut in the mall... no one gives a shit. And they'll just think he's exactly the same deal.

3- Who the told you people go into banking for the lifestyle? I've never heard that before in my life. People go into banking DESPITE the lifestyle, not because of it.

4- Getting a good buyside gig is really just a checklist of accomplishments. You go to a top tier school, go to a top tier bank, are a top performer and you're qualified to be a contender. No its not easy to get, but how easy is it to get to a place where you're making 300K 3-5 years out of college? And close to or over a million / year inside of 10 years?

Feb 19, 2010

Stop looking for "meaning" where there isn't any and just take opportunities as they come. You'll never be happy stepping back and thinking "What am I doing this for?"

brisbane, you are the biggest dumbfuck on this forum - what god fucking terrible advice

Feb 20, 2010

Do what you like, as long as you are successful at it. - Aleksy vayner

May 30, 2013

Being your own boss and having a comfortable life is more than enough. If you're good at what you do then the money will follow.

May 30, 2013
Vasant-Jain:

Being your own boss and having a comfortable life is more than enough. If you're good at what you do then the money will follow.

i agree. i'd rather be the verizon guy explained earlier in a few years making 400K/year doing oversight and management than a VP that is always traveling and worrying if he produce enough to get an MD promotion...even then being an MD is always having to "work for your money" where as when you have a sustainable business that is running itself, your money is "working for you". also VERY very smart play by your friend to take his cash flows and invest it in real estate

i know actually a few families worth for $10m-50m in LA that own car washes/verizon stores that just dump cash flow into real estate and into sustaining the business. these families are completely self made and travel to europe/australia/south america for 2 week long vacations on the regular since their management runs the business and rent checks just keep coming in. thats the fucking life.

Jun 18, 2013
boutiquebank4life:
brisbane:

This thread serves no purpose; there's nothing the OP said that hasn't been said on these forums a thousand times before. It's just some long-winded navel gazing.

You don't like banking? Don't go into it. End of story.

I agree, the same goes with any profession: it's not for everyone. I personally love the work and think it is interesting. I also don't mind the hours since it has made me really close to some of my coworkers. What other profession do you get 130k all in first year as a 22 year old? Of course the job's not for everyone, that's why every interview in some way asks "why us" or "why investment banking".

So what??? That's not that much. Plenty of promoters and djs in places like Miami make way more than that, and they hang out with models, rather than spreadsheets.

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertai...

Jun 18, 2013
gamenumbers:

you have to truly enjoy the job and have the personality for it. for some of us, our jobs in IB are truly what we've dreamed of for years. i love excel modeling, writing, and researching companies (i am in research) and as a result I believe i have been very successful at what i do.

i dont know why anyone would confuse IBD with a "party job". working 100 hour weeks, as you noted, certainly does not lend itself to being social. yes, you will be paid well in nyc and will be able to afford some of the finer establishments. and occasionally when you go out as a group you will be taken to fancy clubs.

regarding your cousin at verizon, earning $350k per year is extremely difficult. there are very few professions where you can earn as much as banking. i seriously doubt that you would ever in your entire life earn this much annually if you don't become a banker.

Shut up dude. Promoters and DJ's in places like Miami can make a lot more and without any real education.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Capponi

    • 1
Jun 18, 2013

You act like it's easy to gain the popularity these people have achieved. You're either lucky and get noticed, or you build the connections ground up and work your way up from clubs, etc. DJing is not the most difficult thing, like picking up a guitar; however, mastering it is incredibly difficult.

Also, one bad gig can ruin everything - it's no more difficult than playing in a band.

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

Jun 18, 2013
mudkipz]<p>[quote=Ibracadabra:

Shut up dude. Promoters and DJ's in places like Miami can make a lot more and without any real education.

You act like it's easy to gain the popularity these people have achieved. You're either lucky and get noticed, or you build the connections ground up and work your way up from clubs, etc. DJing is not the most difficult thing, like picking up a guitar; however, mastering it is incredibly difficult.

Also, one bad gig can ruin everything - it's no more difficult than playing in a band.

About just promoting?

Jun 18, 2013
Ibracadabra]<P>[quote=mudkipz:





Ibracadabra:


Shut up dude. Promoters and DJ's in places like Miami can make a lot more and without any real education.


You act like it's easy to gain the popularity these people have achieved. You're either lucky and get noticed, or you build the connections ground up and work your way up from clubs, etc. DJing is not the most difficult thing, like picking up a guitar; however, mastering it is incredibly difficult.


Also, one bad gig can ruin everything - it's no more difficult than playing in a band.


About just promoting?

sry the sht up ws from prvs quote ; anywayz prmting diffcult sinc it's all about quota (kind of lke salesperson) pls your friends will h8 u . Not just inviting ppl on fb and having massive fb frind l0st

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

Jun 18, 2013

Like the guys from Monkey Business put it - This isn't the prettiest job but somebody's gotta do it. If you can handle all the stress, time, efforts, energy, and make it then the financial rewards makes this worthwhile.

Jun 18, 2013

I can see that, but someone who worked IB hours in any other corporation would be a star.

Just saying...

Jun 18, 2013

Alot of companies you just can't go anywhere. I interned at IBM earlier in college. They are a horrible company. There's no way in hell you can move up there.

It depends where you work at. It's not all about the hours. My mom tells me she wishes she could have worked 90 hours and made 100k when she was 22 but in her industry it just doesn't happen. It's all relative at how you look at it.

Bottom line is - if it's right for you - then you will like it (at least can tolerate it) and will make a lot of money.

But one thing is definitely true - more people think they are IB material. That's why the retention rate after 2 years is low.

Jun 18, 2013

I-bankers don't usually make $100k starting out. This is an exceptional year. In a bad year, a lot of them get fired.

I agree on the corporate sclerosis, though. That's a real problem, especially for technical people. It seems that, at most companies, the best tech people become so essential that companies don't want to move them up: they might find out they traded a great engineer for a shitty manager, and even if they put him back into an engineer position, they'll have to justify paying an engineer an "inflated" salary.

I think most college graduates could be "IB material", except for the hours. The fact is that most people can't or won't endure the 100-hour workweeks; many college kids who've never worked 20 think they'll be able to handle it and often they burn out.

Jun 18, 2013

ibanks attract the sort of people who like extremes (the most hours, the highest pay etc.) in a macho kind of way. everytime you hear an ibanker complain about the working hours, he's also bragging about it simultaneously.

besides, it does give your life a sense of purpose. You think you keep moving up, etc. Not unlike the military or something... Some people just wouldn't know what to do with themselves if work didn't fill their life.

besides, and here i might not be in majority, but I would easily prefer ibanking lifestyle over grad student lifestyle (since you mention technical phd). I would kill myself if I had to play academic politics and produce dummy research (if you think about it, 90% of academic papers are just done in order to increase the publication tally. Not any more useful than ibanking pitchbooks...), plus, while money without time sucks, time without money ain't what it's made out to be either...

Jun 18, 2013

Companies like Lehman, Goldman, ML stacked up over 150 analysts this year... why? Some kids just won't make it past 3 months. But if you make it through then you would have been one of those last year's analyst making the $55,000 + $60/65k + the $10k signing. There were star first year analysts reportedly earning $80-90k. But 90-110 hours/week was common.

Yeah lol, when I mean IB material I mostly mean enduring the hours, know how to communicate, and know how to handle all the politics and human interactions in office.

Bottom line is there are dues to be made - whether it's road to be a Doc, to be a lawyer, or become a rich senior banker. Different people will write different stories. Find out what is yours...

Jun 18, 2013

I agree with the last person. If your goal is a six figure salary you aren't going to get there without a lot of hard work and dedication. Long hours are common for doctors, lawyers, and most of the top paying jobs. If you want one thing (money, fame, or if you just want to make a difference and be a service to others) you will have to sacrifice another (money, time, lifestyle, location, etc.) You just have to figure out what you are willing to sacrifice and what you are not. Then you can get an idea of where you belong in the world.

Also keep in mind you have to enjoy what you do. If you hate working that 9-5 job it may seem like 100 hours. The more you enjoy your job the faster the time flys.

  •  Jun 18, 2013

And the flip side to 110k as a first year in 2006, is getting laid off and having almost no job opportunities in banking in 2002. And it doesn't matter how 'good' you are, if the market turns, you are screwed. What will 2008 look like? Will PE continue doing deals if there are a series of blow-ups? Even S&P is starting to question the PE boom, citing high levels of defaults.

Jun 18, 2013

I've been continuously employed in I-Banking since 01/02 which doesn't sound that great to some of you I'm sure, but there were a LOT of casualities along the way. Nothing worse than seeing people in your analyst class who are definitely IB material and who LOVE their jobs (in that new, eager keen sort of way) get cut through no real fault of their own.

Its a horrible time when you're seeing people all around you getting 'the call', then seeing security come pick up their stuff all the time praying your phone doesn't ring!!

Jun 18, 2013

are you planning on getting out of banking now that you've been in it for so long?

Jun 18, 2013

Are lay-offs common in investment banking when the economy is down?

Jun 18, 2013

What cycle will the 2008 class be in one year out?two years out? (as far as recruiting)

Jun 18, 2013

Quoted from RogueBanker: "Are lay-offs common in investment banking when the economy is down?"

Short answer: Yes.

Investment banking is an entirely different world during bad years. It becomes a lot more cutthroat, and getting a job in the industry is much harder. In a year like 2006, a middle-of-the-pack kid from an above-average state school (say, Penn State) can easily get an IB job; not so in a year like 2002. There are fewer positions available, and there is increased competition due to the fired analysts trying to get back in.

The upshot is that if you're fired during bad times, it doesn't look as bad as if you're fired from a F500 during 2005, leaving it to be assumed that you took 2-hour lunches or had poor social skills.

Jun 18, 2013

Living the dream must be an attractive one. Smart and hard working of course.

Is I-banking cyclical? Yes. When the economy is down firms have no money to acquire others so YES banks lay off many people. 2008 will probably be an average year if not in recession.

No livingthedream is not gettingot. She'll be a MD in 5-7 years if the economy is good. She's obviously good at what she's doing.

Jun 18, 2013

In my mind, there's a high chance of a recession in 2008-10, followed by an entrepreneurial boom ca. 2015.

I believe that PO, if it hasn't already happened, is imminent. This'll lead to a period of hardship, but after we sort ourselves out, the work that is to be done (completely redoing our infrastructure) will bring demand for innovation and, thus, opportunities.

Jun 18, 2013

Good on you for asking questions like these. But if you really think many or anyone here wishes they would have become a lawyer or a doctor than you aren't paying attention.

Having a white collar profession with high earning potential is a great goal but this is arguably the worst time to go to law school and if you are getting into medicine for the money you won't make it through med school. So find something else your interested in other than Wall Street then weigh the pros and cons. Nobody can tell you what 10 or 20 years out in any field will look like.

Jun 18, 2013

Thanks, but I was actually less interested in weighing the pros and cons between the different occupations (those were just examples of other high earning jobs options).
Rather, I was more interested in
-Seeing if people on here actually regret their decision (since there seems to be alot of complaining/discontent on these forums )

-Seeing if people would provide either encouragement or caution for those entering the field in the future

Jun 18, 2013
Guy4231:

Thanks, but I was actually less interested in weighing the pros and cons between the different occupations (those were just examples of other high earning jobs options).
Rather, I was more interested in
-Seeing if people on here actually regret their decision (since there seems to be alot of complaining/discontent on these forums )

-Seeing if people would provide either encouragement or caution for those entering the field in the future

Personally, I can't wait for the opportunity (if I ever do) to complain about 70+ hour weeks on the street or whatever the hours are actually. What's life without complaining? It's like those who say "the grass is greener on the other side" have never seen the other side.

    • 2
Jun 18, 2013

Also curious

Jun 18, 2013

It seems like right now the money is in the burgeoning tech industry in Silicon Valley, which might be good for you if you're great at coding, want to help create pointless apps, and like sifting through thousands of lines of code. I was never really interested in doing so, and pay progression is terrible unless you're an entrepreneur, in that you won't make much beyond 100-140K for a long time.

The best career, in terms of compensation, still seems like it'll be Wall Street for the years to come, assuming you're actually interested in finance and that you're not working for yourself. Part of the reason why people regret their decision or complain a lot, which you alluded to, is because the bulk of members on here, I would surmise, are still completing their analyst stints, which is the worst part of the journey. Additionally, a lot of people aren't even interested in finance, and push themselves into something to which they're not naturally inclined, leading to disillusionment. The financial services industry definitely isn't shrinking, if anything it's growing, and is, at least in my mind, still worth it if you have a genuine interest in finance.

And yeah, hours get better as you progress in banking, and especially, but not always, if you get a favorable exit opportunity.

Those are just my 2 cents.

    • 4
Jun 18, 2013

The hours may get better, but that comes with more expectation to perform as well as less tolerance for f'ing up.
ie. more pressure/stress

Jun 18, 2013

Christ - why would you want to be a lawyer instead of anything? Have you see that job market? Frightening.

Jun 18, 2013

The answer is yes. Also, no one can project finance as a career anywhere close to 10 years down the line. Also, finance will always be around and BB institutions in FO are sufficiently small so no, it's not "shrinking".

Jun 18, 2013

I've said this before when others have asked similar questions: yes, Wall Street will be different in 10-20 years, just like it's different than it was 20, 30 or 40+ years ago. That doesn't necessarily mean better or worse, just different, and one will be able to make significant amounts of money in the future as they have in the past. I've lived through a few cycles and am good friends with old timers who worked in the industry 40 or 50 years ago and this has come up a few times in conversation. Wall Street has been on the decline more times than you can imagine, at least in the minds of younger folks who always think in terms of the good old days and how much people used to make. It's kind of like the grass used to be greener.

When fixed commissions ended in 1975, it was the death knell of Wall Street, as was high inflation later in that decade, then it was the Japanese taking everything over in the 80's, tax reform in '86, the crash of '87 and recession thereafter, a democrat being elected (Clinton), the dotcom bust, decimalization and 9/11 basically all at once, and the '08 Recession and subsequent regulations. While each event has made things more difficult for a period of time, finance people have figured out a way to make that money back and make even more each time. From pushing for 401(k)'s in the 70's and the subsequent explosion in mutual fund money coming in from those who never had a direct link to Wall St before (and the subsequent increase in all things Wall Street finance) to cure the fixed commission blues to the proliferation of hedge funds and private equity (if you go back 20 years, they both existed but in nowhere near the same numbers as today, and if you had told people >20 years ago how many Wall St billionaires and multi-hundred millionaires there would be due to HF and PE they'd never believe you), to derivatives and so many other financial innovations that Wall Street has always bounced back and in reality, I'd say more people make more money today in finance than ever before, even inflation adjusted.

Short story long: Wall Street will be different but there are too many intelligent people and too much money at stake for the collective "we" to let it become a non-lucrative field barring a social revolution, but then our bonuses will be the last thing we're worried about because we'll be dealing in torches, pitchforks and shotguns.

I've seen people run for tech a few times now: I graduated from college when the original dotcom boom was in its initial stages and everyone in finance wanted either to work with Frank Quattrone or at the next fogdog.com or pets.com because some 23 year old could be worth tens of millions on paper and wear Birks to work. The latter ended up with their most valuable asset being a sock puppet.

You should choose finance, if you want it for a career, because you find it interesting, not simply for monetary gain. You'll make it for a while if you're doing it solely for money but you won't last for the long term if that's the only thing you like about it. You should become a doctor because you want to be a doctor, not for the financial gains. Although some people will want to say Obamacare has fucked up any chance for doc's to make money, it's been declining for more than 20 years when HMO's came on the scene. If you want to do something intellectually challenging and that can change the world get a PhD in a biotech field and try to cure diseases, or in physics and uncover the mysteries of the universe.

You should never choose to be a lawyer.

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Jun 18, 2013

Banking is unlike any other industry in that it pays six figures right out of school while not requiring any special skills. Silicon Valley will require coding, law requires a JD, medicine requires an MD, etc. Banking pays comparatively and requires none of that.

Jun 18, 2013

As long as there are successful people, there will be fat, bitter and mediocre people resenting them for being everything they're not. They at some point in their lives come to the same realization Henry Hill came to at the end of Goodfellas, which was "I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook." And they need to find someone to blame.

Its my view that banking, or any other ambitious life trajectory, is ESPECIALLY worth it in this environment. Because I look around and see what a fucking schmuck I would be if I were like everyone else.

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Jun 18, 2013
Marcus_Halberstram:

As long as there are successful people, there will be fat, bitter and mediocre people resenting them for being everything they're not. They at some point in their lives come to the same realization Henry Hill came to at the end of Goodfellas, which was "I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook." And they need to find someone to blame.

Its my view that banking, or any other ambitious life trajectory, is ESPECIALLY worth it in this environment. Because I look around and see what a fucking schmuck I would be if I were like everyone else.

Here here!

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

Jun 18, 2013

Halberstram you have a miserable life and it is going to be sad when you realize that.

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Jun 18, 2013
TigerWoods:

Halberstram you have a miserable life and it is going to be sad when you realize that.

I must have struck a nerve. Which one are you: fat, bitter or mediocre? I'm guessing all of the above.

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Jun 18, 2013

This is not a british site. so yes if you are

a) in britain
b) work for a british bank

then you should probably killself. As for us Americans, I think I'm happy with my bonus and career path.

"Its my view that banking, or any other ambitious life trajectory, is ESPECIALLY worth it in this environment. Because I look around and see what a fucking schmuck I would be if I were like everyone else."

I love this man. Agree 100%.

Jun 18, 2013

Banks are very good at one thing--paying their employees. Sweat equity gets rewarded. Compensation will always find a way in. Just think, stock options were supposed to be the end all answer to monitoring executive compensation, and we know how that went.

On the other hand, if you're only in this for the money, you're going to hate yourself 364 days a year and be happy on bonus day only. As much as the money is a nice incentive, it's not the only one. Crazy thought--some bankers enjoy what they do!

Oh well, just my two cents.

Jun 18, 2013

It's kind of distateful to have a moderator on the site speak so unprofessionally but I somewhat echo his point. You don't back away because the masses tell you not to ... they did that during the cultural revolution and that set China back 10 years

Jun 18, 2013
GordonsGecko:

It's kind of distateful to have a moderator on the site speak so unprofessionally but I somewhat echo his point. You don't back away because the masses tell you not to ... they did that during the cultural revolution and that set China back 10 years

Well done. I really like the indirect comparison of doing banking today as being the same as being against the cultural revolution back in the Chinese history.

Just one comment to Marcus. The way you describe yourself looking down to people who somewhat lead a more "ordinary" life than you do is just an evidence of immaturity to me.
(I am not saying that you are, just judging by the single comment above you appear to be). For instance, I have met a person who did really great things I would never consider myself being able to and guess what .... this person works at a healthcare insurance company and even more so in a 9 to 5 job where overtime work is being counted.

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Jun 18, 2013

I'm not a moderator nor is this a professional setting.

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Jun 18, 2013

Heres hoping dummies like 1styear do not piss off these morons even more and actually make these so called daily discussions i see on "dealbook" about Obama taxing finance jobs not come true.

Though as Marcus mentions. Seriously if your scared of the taxman your in the wrong profession, if bankers were scared of the public, taxman etc...We would not have the various financial crises we have had in history. Smart dudes will always make money.

Jun 18, 2013

Screw the populus. Go forth and make bank.

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

Jun 18, 2013

Its "hear hear" u idiot

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Jun 18, 2013

If you work at GS then you might need to get a gun

Jun 18, 2013

It may currently not be 'cool' on main street or pay as good currently as it did earlier -- if these things make you doubt banking is a great career, then go look for a job elsewhere.

Jun 18, 2013

Alot of politics is all talk.

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Jun 18, 2013

I know it's very early and many things could change, but what do you think the chances are that Obama goes for back to back? It seems as if more people have seen how he is way more liberal than he was during election time, but there still seems to be a large chunk of people out there who are just infatuated with him like he's a saint???? They're making a fucking movie about him already starring Will Smith?!?! Unfortunately the majority of the public will always be uniformed and vote on retarded factors such as race, speaking ability, etc.

Jun 18, 2013

Marcus Halberstram, nice post. Many of your viewpoints resonate with me. I too had many 'best friends' who I now consider 'friends' because I have come to despise their pot smoking entitlement attitudes.

Separately, on the train ride back home a couple of days ago I gazed around the incredibly diverse train cart in complete amazement of the beauty of the American society. Nowhere but here can one accomplish virtually all of their dreams with one ingredient: hard work. Beautiful

Jun 18, 2013

Exceptionally long post, and a bit difficult to read after a few drinks, but you touch upon some important points and an overall good post, Marcus. Not much to say other than that -- also, there has never been a better environment to be in banking than right now. That's it.

Jun 18, 2013

Good stuff Marcus. If I had any Silver Bananas, I'd give you a few.

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Jun 18, 2013

Here here!

Jun 18, 2013

can't say it better than marcus did

Jun 18, 2013
eiffeltowered:

Hey all,
Do you think it will be worth it (apart from the normal issues of sacrificing your life, etc) to even go into banking as a mid-level banker considering
a) bonuses (which are already taxed at 45 percent) will get taxed higher (a la UK) due to populism/politics
b) the risk of getting lynched by a tea-bagger

In regards to your tea bagger comment, they aren't the ones crying about bonuses and saying everyone needs to be taxed more; that would be the liberals. Most members of the tea party probably just disagreed with the bailouts in the first place.

Jun 18, 2013

Agreed. And hey, if you are a banker, you should be tough enough to take out a liberal. No worries necessary OP.

Jun 18, 2013

Great post Marcus, my thoughts exactly

Jun 18, 2013

Marcus hit it on the head. Brought a tear to my eye...

Jun 18, 2013

Brilliant post Marcus!! People need to understand what they are getting into and be content with it, even when shit gets bad. Things have changed over the years that might make people rethink their career choice in hindsight, but you still have to be satisfied with the path that you have chose. Lately my dad has bitched a lot about his retirement. He CAN'T STAND the fact that teachers get 60% of their salary for the rest of their life (which I agree is steep) after they retire from taxpayer money. Even though he's done very well in sales and made a lot of money, he's still so bitter that he's not getting a slice of the pie and says its "unfair". What he doesn't get is that he chose to go into a field specifically for money and that's exactly what he got. He sits in his pj's at the house all day and has perks out the wazoo yet still thinks he's been somehow been cheated by corporate america. Get over it. Choose wisely.

I'm also a little secretly bitter that student loan rates have risen so high. How about find a way to lower THOSE interest rates!?

Jun 18, 2013

Marcus, thanks for the elaboration. Now this puts your first statement in a context I can agree to. So no problems with your attitude from my side (as if that were of any importance, but just to refer to my first post).

Jun 18, 2013

Jesus Marcus... How'd a man like you get so tasteful.

Jun 18, 2013

Marcus Halberstram,

Perhaps you should write a book about it. I think it would offer great insights.

"My Hated Career"

Jun 18, 2013

Any more comments to the Marcus Halberstram rant?

Jun 18, 2013

Working for big bulge bracket sellside institutions is kinda fucked, yes.

As long as you are at a nice private buyside shop its still all good.

Jun 18, 2013

with the only difference being hard work.

If only were that easy.

Jun 18, 2013
leveredarb:

Working for big bulge bracket sellside institutions is kinda fucked, yes.

As long as you are at a nice private buyside shop its still all good.

that's why we're seeing groups of MDs and BB heads flock to elite boutiques. less regulations, more of "you eat what you kill" and less bullshit/politics

Jun 18, 2013

Gave SB for marcus. Awesome post.

Jun 18, 2013

SB'ed marcus. Sums up what I feel.

Jun 18, 2013

Marcus, best post here in a long, long time. Thank you.

Jun 18, 2013
AnalystMonkey2769:
leveredarb:

Working for big bulge bracket sellside institutions is kinda fucked, yes.

As long as you are at a nice private buyside shop its still all good.

that's why we're seeing groups of MDs and BB heads flock to elite boutiques. less regulations, more of "you eat what you kill" and less bullshit/politics

yeah it works for the top guys, the top guys will always make good money. its just the ok-shit guys that are going to get screwed, at a BB you can be completely retarded and still atleast get to SVP (and probably MD), at a boutique where you can't hide behind politics or the brand its more difficult.

Jun 18, 2013

nice comment from Marcus

Jun 18, 2013

Damn amazing post

D'Angelo: Nah, yo, it ain't like that. Look, the pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick. They be out the game early.
Bodie: Unless they some smart-ass pawns.

Jun 18, 2013

Damn amazing post

D'Angelo: Nah, yo, it ain't like that. Look, the pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick. They be out the game early.
Bodie: Unless they some smart-ass pawns.

Jun 18, 2013

Thanks Mr Saxman, for an insight on what it is like to actually work in the field, yes I agree until one is actually in the field it is easy to understand the dynamics/office politics/work ethic etc.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

Jun 18, 2013

Once you're a BSD then you'll have the time you need to spend your money. Also, if you marry, your wife will have time to spend all the money for you!

Jun 18, 2013

Not every job in finance has IB type hours, a lot of the content on this forum is dedicated to that career path but there are tons of different positions all with their benefits and drawbacks in the financial services/wall street area.

You can do many jobs that don't require 100+ work weeks and still make 20 - 40% more than most people your age. Not saying you don't have to be hungry and willing to work for it but the IB/PE route is the ultimate reward that carries the biggest personal cost.

Give me a kid whose smart, poor, and hungry...............

Jun 18, 2013

There's a lot of posts about this. And, to their conclusion, it never becomes worth it. Only those who value themselves with very little regard can jusitfy it, but for most of us, a 60K job, health, friends, family, and some alone-time is all we need.

"The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter"

Jun 18, 2013

Thats something that everyone has to determine for themselves. I think more and more people will realize that it isn't worth it and they will "settle" for making say 500k instead of working crazy hours for a decade and trying to get up to the 3-5mm range.

It all depends on what motivates you.

Jun 18, 2013

since when is 500K settling? In order to get 500K you're gonna have to either be ready for retirement or working those same 80hr weeks. Don't kid yourself. You can't get something for nothing.

Jun 18, 2013

iceman, you're an idiot. The reason he put "settling" in quotes was to show that he was using that term sarcastically. Furthermore, no, you don't have to be working 80 hours a week to make $500k. There are other ways to make money on wall street than IBD.

Jun 18, 2013

There is a reason why it pays what it does - and pays this much right out of college. You generally receive more if you're willing to do what most aren't willing to do. Of course, IB is not the most profitable area to be in - but it's not bad.

I'm completely set on IB after my bachelors or masters. I've worked in a start up environment and feel like I'll be able to take the long hours without complaining. There won't be a wife or steady girlfriend for a long time in my case, so I will be able to afford putting the time in. In other words, I think it depends on whether you want to have more freedom throughout your years or if you'd prefer to hunker down for a while and have more freedom later.

Jun 18, 2013

Also, some people like a challenge. I feel very rewarded by doing well at work or in school.

Jun 18, 2013

you could also work in S&T and make the same $$, and much more, at a far younger age. but thats hogwash, who needs S&T when you've got company comp'd dinners and 100 hr weeks? girls wont care you have a 42 inch waist. you make 200k!

Jun 18, 2013

You're right closer, there's no fat salesmen or traders in the world. All bankers are overweight because they get free dinner. What's hogwash is the fact that you know so little, but what do you expect from someone who's still in college?

Jun 18, 2013

Of course, Closer121, the key word there is "could." The truth is, you probably won't even make the same money, much less out-earn your peers in banking. The stars have to align for you to really succeed at that level in s&t (and you have to have the right type of personality).

Jun 18, 2013

Well you know what, I was dead set on GS IB -> MBA -> $$$ just a few months back then I met someone.

I did too think that I was going to give my 110% to work and let love take a secondary priority, but when you meet that person that makes you feel alive, well things changed for me and my perspective changed alot.

Just sharing :)

Jun 18, 2013

"You and I are the same Darian, we are smart enough not to buy into the oldest myth running: love. A fiction created by people to keep them from jumping out of windows."

cindy_80:

Well you know what, I was dead set on GS IB -> MBA -> $$$ just a few months back then I met someone.

I did too think that I was going to give my 110% to work and let love take a secondary priority, but when you meet that person that makes you feel alive, well things changed for me and my perspective changed alot.

Just sharing :)

Jun 18, 2013

if you're all making it rain on wall street and im just a kid "still in college", why do you waste so much time on this forum. i can still afford to do so, i am still in college. you're all masters of the universe.

and i meant that bankers are fat because with 100hr workweeks, and im assuming, 6 hours of sleep per night, there isnt really much time to work out. and sitting stationary at a desk for 100hrs a week and having comp'd food cant help your waistline. but how would i know? im just a college kid.

Jun 18, 2013

Girth is a sign of wealth in many countries

Jun 18, 2013

Apparently you have never walked into a BB IBD floor before. In all my interviews with associates, MDs, and 3rd year analysts, I saw exactly one guy who I'd classify as overweight. People who stick in IB are highly motivated and often can find that 1 hour a day to do some sort of workout. One MD I met was a Navy grad who gets up at 4am every day to run for like 10 miles before coming into the office. The real ballers can honestly handle it all.

Jun 18, 2013

"real ballers" Are you serious? You clearly haven't been demoralized yet. Just wait. Oh to be young and naive! It all blows. Model v72 here we come!

Jun 18, 2013

I agree, if anything people in banking are emaciated. The only place I see stick skinny 40 year old men other than a hospital is at an bank.