Banker chicks

So as a wannabe-banker chick, I have some questions for the guys and gals here (though more for the gals, if any exist...?)

1) Why aren't there that many chicks in banking to begin with? I know the common answer is to chalk it up to "self selection", but ladies - what exactly is causing your girlfriends to opt out of finance? Is it the insane work hours? The sexist work environment? The allure of more stereotypically female majors like fashion design and biology?

2) How does a girl in finance deal with marriage and children and all the sh*t that comes with it? For example 7 years down the line when I'm (hopefully) VP status or equiv., and I need to take a month-long maternity leave.. how does that work? Are bankers even sensitive to this/care?

3) What are some success stories of women in finance (beyond the usual - Meeker and such)?

Comments (73)

Jan 27, 2012

there's no crying in baseball

Jan 27, 2012

There are lots of women in banking. Just had a 1st round interview at a top BB with 3 of em.

Jan 27, 2012
porsche959:

There are lots of women in banking. Just had a 1st round interview at a top BB with 3 of em.

Interviews don't equate with FT offers, though, right? I have a ton of friends who went through 1st rounds but at my superdays I was probably one of 2-3 girls who were present (and subsequently none of us got hired).

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Jan 27, 2012
chicandtoughness:
porsche959:

There are lots of women in banking. Just had a 1st round interview at a top BB with 3 of em.

Interviews don't equate with FT offers, though, right? I have a ton of friends who went through 1st rounds but at my superdays I was probably one of 2-3 girls who were present (and subsequently none of us got hired).

Oh I should clarify. The women were the ones doing the interviewing. BOOM.

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Jan 27, 2012

Funny coincidence, but I just had drinks last night with a woman who spent ten years at GS. She bailed in 2007, so her timing was pretty good. She went back to school and became a nutritionist, presumably to spend more time with her three kids.

Jan 30, 2012
Edmundo Braverman:

Funny coincidence, but I just had drinks last night with a woman who spent ten years at GS. She bailed in 2007, so her timing was pretty good. She went back to school and became a nutritionist, presumably to spend more time with her three kids.

Hope your wife doesn't find out, lol.

Regards

Jan 30, 2012
cphbravo96:
Edmundo Braverman:

Funny coincidence, but I just had drinks last night with a woman who spent ten years at GS. She bailed in 2007, so her timing was pretty good. She went back to school and became a nutritionist, presumably to spend more time with her three kids.

Hope your wife doesn't find out, lol.

Regards

LOL. She was there too.

Jan 27, 2012

i wouldn't count meeker as a success story.

Jan 27, 2012
melvvvar:

i wouldn't count meeker as a success story.

You don't consider being a top Internet Analyst at MS and now Partner at Kleiner Perkins to be a success story?

Tough crowd!!

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Jan 27, 2012
melvvvar:

i wouldn't count meeker as a success story.

Read over this when I made my earlier post. Damn dude, Cornell MBA, on the IPOs for Google and Netscape, MS MD, and now a VC partner and not a success story? What is success exactly?

Jan 27, 2012

Yeah I don't really know why you would want to grind it out in banking because it sucks. Most women probably don't want to make the sacrifice of missing so much quality time with their families. Not saying men ENJOY making that sacrifice but it probably comes down to the social norms of men wanting to provide and feeling responsible for working hard. A lot of it is just personal choice. I don't think the work environment is as sexist as people on the outside think. The retail group on my floor is headed by a woman, there are many female associates in that group, in fact the split at all levels is probably weighted towards women. I know tons of girls in my analyst class and they perform as well as the guys so I don't it's obviously not a "women are being screened out" issue. I would assume it's self selected. Additionally, having worked in banking I can tell you that in order to do this business for numerous years you HAVE to enjoy the day to day in order to be fulfilled. The money isn't going to do it, especially in this downturn and for the hours you're giving up, especially if you are post MBA / later in your career than just fresh out of undergrad, you are giving up a lot of the years that many women would be using to "find their spouse." I think a lot of women probably have marriage / kids in the back of their mind and don't want to try to juggle that with having a job as time consuming as banking (not saying it can't be done).

As to your point about a one month leave that's absurd. You will definitely take more time off than that, and if you don't there's something wrong with you. You should want to take that time and in fact you deserve that time to be with your new child. Women who have just had children are basically untouchable... I know this because we had an associate who took plenty of time off and no one gave her any flack for it, and they were happy when she came back because she came back when she was ready.

Jan 30, 2012
rufiolove:

Yeah I don't really know why you would want to grind it out in banking because it sucks. Most women probably don't want to make the sacrifice of missing so much quality time with their families. Not saying men ENJOY making that sacrifice but it probably comes down to the social norms of men wanting to provide and feeling responsible for working hard. A lot of it is just personal choice. I don't think the work environment is as sexist as people on the outside think.

This.
And for the maternity leaves.. definitely within every company's policy to take a few months.
However, while you take off whether your accounts (mores s&t) get taken away and other senior guys (male or female) move forward on projects, get promoted, etc without you.. that's a different story.

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Jan 27, 2012

Something happens when women get to be around 30. I'm 29 now and I know many women who were 100% career focused, take no prisoners in their early / mid 20s and then all of a sudden BAM! All they can talk about is having kids and work seems like an afterthought. It's really an interesting phenomenon, as I previously thought this kind of thing only happened in certain more "traditional" areas of the country. There was a VP at my bank in my analyst days that was also like this - on the up and up, got promoted to director then decided she wanted kids and was over the whole banking thing.

Jan 30, 2012
labanker:

Something happens when women get to be around 30. I'm 29 now and I know many women who were 100% career focused, take no prisoners in their early / mid 20s and then all of a sudden BAM! All they can talk about is having kids and work seems like an afterthought. It's really an interesting phenomenon, as I previously thought this kind of thing only happened in certain more "traditional" areas of the country. There was a VP at my bank in my analyst days that was also like this - on the up and up, got promoted to director then decided she wanted kids and was over the whole banking thing.

As a recently married guy I feel the same way. I can't say that work is an afterthought, and I never talk about kids, but I want to go home and spend time with my wife, not sit at work until 8pm+ every night. The bonuses aren't what they used to be, and as much as I do genuinely like the industry, I am starting to really resent the hours. I used to be motivated by the thought of a big bonus, but that seems to be increasingly fleeting (especially as I have negotiated hard over the past few years to raise my base) and out of my control. I have no immediate plans to leave the industry, but I keep taking chunks out of my mortgage, and spend my time pondering how I can dial down to the 150k range while working something alot more 9-6ish.

Jan 30, 2012
labanker:

Something happens when women get to be around 30. I'm 29 now and I know many women who were 100% career focused, take no prisoners in their early / mid 20s and then all of a sudden BAM! All they can talk about is having kids and work seems like an afterthought. It's really an interesting phenomenon, as I previously thought this kind of thing only happened in certain more "traditional" areas of the country. There was a VP at my bank in my analyst days that was also like this - on the up and up, got promoted to director then decided she wanted kids and was over the whole banking thing.

Which is why banks would rather deal with men...cheaper and easier to manage in a long term....they do try to hire as many women as possible though i see plenty in my institution.

Do what you want not what you can!

Jan 27, 2012

the reason men dominate banking is that men dominate everything. this is something you are going to have to live with whatever career you get into.

once you hit 30 you will find that children and family are more satisfactory than increasing the leading digit in your net worth. you are all mostly young and have no conception of your mortality. once you get older though, however financially successful you are, once that feeling hits that you have no one to leave it to, you'll know what it means to stare into the great existential abyss.

so do this for a few years to get it out of your system, meet a man, pop out some brats, and find meaning through your children and not some bullshit career clerking for wall street financial gangsters.

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Jan 27, 2012

The photo made me lol too, excellent choice.

professionalmonkey:

The few women bankers I know have all been fired upon pregnancy. Obviously, the banks didn't come out and say that, but it was certainly the real reason.

Oh snap. Harsh.

melvvvar:

so do this for a few years to get it out of your system, meet a man, pop out some brats, and find meaning through your children and not some bullshit career clerking for wall street financial gangsters.

Why do I find this slightly depressing?

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Jan 27, 2012

I think it comes down to attitude. I think that many women prefer to go with the flow than try to stick out (probably has something to do with our society etc...that and every woman thinking someone is always judging them). Id say it takes the right person with the right charisma and dedication to pursue a finance job, and a kind of fuck you attitude thats necessary in finance.

Jan 27, 2012

The few women bankers I know have all been fired upon pregnancy. Obviously, the banks didn't come out and say that, but it was certainly the real reason.

Jan 27, 2012

just have to say, whomever picked the photo for this thread - good job. very funny.

There were several women in my analyst class back in 2002 (4 out of 12?) that performed well overall...in fact, one of them actually stayed on for a 3rd year (which to me was insane given our hours). A few of the guys burnt out / left, etc. before the 2 years were over.

Jan 27, 2012

The last place I worked had discriminatory hiring practices against women. There weren't a lot of female candidates to begin with, but we interviewed a woman age about 25 and everyone thought she was intelligent and qualified. The final verdict was from the department head who said, "No, she will probably want to do the mommy thing in a few years and we don't have time for that." There you go, it happens. The few women the firm did have in senior positions were all mercenaries that most of the men hated working with.

I've never done banking, but the only women I know in finance work in sales. I don't think I have ever met one at another hedge fund. I'm sure they exist, but it starts to thin out pretty quickly by the time you hit entry + 2 level jobs.

Jan 27, 2012

Women are less inclined to want to spend absurd amounts of time grinding it out in the office. They tend to place a higher premium on work-life balance, family, and friends and on careers that involve helping/dealing with/caring for people. I think that this goes a long way to explaining why there are relatively few the higher up you go. There are relatively far fewer chicks that want to spend 80+ hours a week staring at spreadsheets compared to men.

Early-mid 20's is also the prime time for women to seriously date and get in a marriage track relationship. Banking makes that tough.

Jan 27, 2012

No additional insight from me other than the pic made me LOL.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Jan 27, 2012

Yah of all the Planet of the Apes ... the Mark Whalberg one is where you take the pic from?

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Jan 27, 2012
aempirei:

Yah of all the Planet of the Apes ... the Mark Whalberg one is where you take the pic from?

The pic is obv from the one that had Moses in it.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Jan 27, 2012
aempirei:

Yah of all the Planet of the Apes ... the Mark Whalberg one is where you take the pic from?

idk she's kinda cute, in a furry cuddly kinda way. next female-banker thread i'll dig deeper into female monkey photos

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jan 27, 2012

i added the photo.... though can't take all the credit - google suggested "female monkey from planet of the apes" as i was typing in "female monkey"

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jan 27, 2012
chicandtoughness:

So as a wannabe-banker chick, I have some questions for the guys and gals here (though more for the gals, if any exist...?)

1) Why aren't there that many chicks in banking to begin with? I know the common answer is to chalk it up to "self selection", but ladies - what exactly is causing your girlfriends to opt out of finance? Is it the insane work hours? The sexist work environment? The allure of more stereotypically female majors like fashion design and biology?

2) How does a girl in finance deal with marriage and children and all the sh*t that comes with it? For example 7 years down the line when I'm (hopefully) VP status or equiv., and I need to take a month-long maternity leave.. how does that work? Are bankers even sensitive to this/care?

3) What are some success stories of women in finance (beyond the usual - Meeker and such)?

Your second question is basically the answer to your first question!

Jan 27, 2012

My girlfriend is a finance/accounting person and she has no interest in IB/S&T. She can't do the long hours, high stress, cut-throat environment.

labanker:

It's really an interesting phenomenon, as I previously thought this kind of thing only happened in certain more "traditional" areas of the country.

In more "traditional" areas of the country, the women are married with at least one kid at the stage in life you're talking about.

Jan 27, 2012

Lots of girls in sales and most of them fucking hot.
Don't dip your pen in company ink, they told us though...

Jan 27, 2012

The kitchens of the major BBs can only hire so many employees.

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Jan 27, 2012

Why do women pass on IB? Because getting a job in banking is admiting one of two things, one your getting hired for your tits for a sales job, or two you are so unattractive you would rater spend your time in an office 100 hours a week.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jan 15, 2016

...

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Jan 27, 2012
eja456:

1) It's self-selected. If you find a place that is openly sexist, look elsewhere. Plenty aren't. Anecdotally, I am feminine in appearance and demeanor, and that's fine. I like to excel, but I'm not overly aggressive or masculine and that's no problem as long as you perform well and are professional. If you are at a great school, get good work experience, and are knowledgeable that's what people will notice.

2)It depends but I have a friend in private equity who had a baby at 27 (kind of young, but anyway, it can be done) . You may not want to do that, but don't let it dissuade you now. You will be waaaaaaay better off career-wise even if you decide to take a different path later.

3) Please don't take these comments seriously...

..."and find meaning through your children"

..." Early-mid 20's is also the prime time for women to seriously date and get in a marriage track relationship"..

Go for it - Just make sure you practice interviewing with people in the industry so you know you are performing at at the highest standard. If you are able to outperform other candidates, you don't need to worry about gender. Any questions pm me. I'd love to see more women in finance.

yes, wait until your probability of having autistic kids is nearly a certainty. career first.

Jan 27, 2012

very nice pic lol
Female monkey rocks

Jan 28, 2012

Rufio mentioned something that I think is pretty relevant to your question. You really have to enjoy your peers and group (sans the pre deliverable scramble where everyone is stressed // furious at each other), e.g. shooting the shit, going out together, etc., to really stick it out. In some of the more "bro" or "fratty" groups it could be a little tougher to connect when the guys are talking about....well, guy shit.

I personally like having chicks in my group, helps me remember that females actually do exist and I'm not living on a planet completely filled with penises. I will say, most of the girls I've worked with seem to have a tougher time dealing with the stress and hours. Not that they can't perform, it's just seem like they tap out quicker for this thing girls call "me time" (whatever the fuck that is). Also - and I pretty sure this is fact - if you're a hot white chick, you're going to get staffed much less; just science. I mean if were a staffer and it was a Friday night, had to have some pages that needed to be knocked out by 9:00 AM next day and it was between Tommy Chan who's on 3 other deals and pretty white girl that I caught cruising Nordstrom.com during a call that day...sorry Tommy, get the KY Jelly out and get me my fucking pages, pretty white girl, go party it up with your friends at Bowery Electric or something. Just me.

Jan 28, 2012

^ truth

Jan 28, 2012

LOL at Stringer Bell's comments

that's very true... girls in finance are just for others to look at... that's the biggest value proposition... other than that... help fellow co-workers get into clubs by balancing out the ratio slightly

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Jan 28, 2012

There are women in finance and they are successful, but how do YOU define success?

The women in my "finance" life...

I've worked with women MDs at GS, Lehman and other firms (they advised us or were counterparts/the other side). Mostly for European deals. They were the same as their male counterparts in terms of professionalism/work ethic and one was actually a Partner MD. Also, I tried to hire away one of the GS analysts who was a woman when I was at a previous firm. She was good.

On the buyside:

One of the MDs we had at an earlier firm did regret not getting married and having kids early in her life (I think more so for the kids part). It seemed to be more out of choice though as she had a pretty relaxed schedule (not much travelling, or working weekends). Last I heard she left the firm was looking to adopt a child.

Of my direct colleagues over my career, I'd say maybe 20% of them are women (they're mostly in their late 20s/early 30s now):

  • One married in her mid 20s and has had 2 kids in a 10 year time period. She is now at a major buyside shop (think PIMCO, Blackrock, type firm...) in a front office role (no, not just sales). She was one of my favourite colleagues and is married to a friend of mine. A pleasure to work with (good attitude, professional & fun).
  • Another was very driven in a political/mercenary way. No, monkeys, this had nothing to do with her being a woman, rather her wanting to have large holiday homes in at least 3 continents and a 7 figure $ income by the time she was 35. She married in her late 20s and had a kid before turning 35. Yes monkeys, she was attractive in absolute terms, not relative to women in finance. However, a direct quote from her husband during the crisis of 2009... "she's aged 10 years".
  • Four have left finance entirely. One went into politics, another set up her own technology company, while the third went into "art" while doing some consulting on the side. The fourth is currently unemployed and looking for work.

So the lesson is, it's not the industry alone that will define your career path, lifestyle or personal situation; Rather it depends on who you are/your values, the choices you make and the opportunities you create for yourself / are open to.

Another perspective though, of the women that I have dated in finance (not many examples as I usually don't go for finance girls):
- I broke up with one during her analyst stint as her she had become too irritable to be around and couldn't balance her work schedule with being my girlfriend. She's at a PE firm now. I don't know anything about her personal situation.
- I had a girl I was dating propose to me after only a few dates. She was a banker and it seemed that she had a target to get married and I fit her deal parameters. She married within 6 months of my rejection and is a VP at a mid market investment bank.
- One of my favourite ex-girlfriends was in fixed income sales. She's one of the pretty girls the previous posters referred to. She was great... sharp as a knife too. This was in a different country so don't have an update on what she's up to. She did have goals to leave finance and be her own boss by 32 so she could work at a more leisurely pace; Getting married by then was also a goal of hers, but she wouldn't be the stay at home/work on charities type unless the guy could afford it as she liked her expensive lifestyle (her father & brothers are all bankers). I should call her the next time I'm in her city.

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Jan 28, 2012
Relinquis:

I had a girl I was dating propose to me after only a few dates. She was a banker and it seemed that she had a target to get married and I fit her deal parameters. She married within 6 months of my rejection and is a VP at a mid market investment bank.

I just got a chill. Chicks like that are fucking terrifying.

Jan 30, 2012
Edmundo Braverman:
Relinquis:

I had a girl I was dating propose to me after only a few dates. She was a banker and it seemed that she had a target to get married and I fit her deal parameters. She married within 6 months of my rejection and is a VP at a mid market investment bank.

I just got a chill. Chicks like that are fucking terrifying.

This made me laugh out loud. Why the only kind of ambitious women that are worth considering are the ones who are ambitious about their bodies.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jan 30, 2012

chicandtoughness are you hot?

Jan 30, 2012
the_red_baron:

chicandtoughness are you hot?

She must be hot...else her opinion wouldn't matter.

J/K...mostly.

Regards

Jan 30, 2012

chicandtoughness why are you ignoring me?

Jan 30, 2012

pics or you don't exist

Jan 30, 2012

I'm not hot, I'm an antisocial Asian chick (no boobs, no ass) who eats more than 1000 calories a day.
You don't see me. I don't exist.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Jan 31, 2012
chicandtoughness:

...who eats more than 1000 calories a day...

Damn, that's a lot of rice. #racism

Regards

Best Response
Jan 30, 2012

My opinion is that the only people willing to stick it out in banking for the long run are those that care way too much what other people think of them. Ultimately, that's the only driver that explains the need to make $1M+/yr at the expense of everything else in your life, instead of $250k/yr as a F500 Senior Director or VP, working 45-50 hours a week, with 5 weeks of vacation that you can actually use.

I can afford a $100k car if I want one, but not a $350k Ferrari. I can afford a nice home in pretty much any community in the country, but not an upper east side penthouse. I can spend $5-$10k a few times per year on a vacation to Europe, Asia, Caribbean, or wherever my wife and I feel like going, but I can't drop $2M on that vineyard in Tuscany. I can buy coach tickets on a major airline (or first class if I really feel likes splurging), but I can't charter that Gulfstream to take us to our destination. We'll probably have $7M-$10M in retirement savings by the time we're 55-57, but I'll never have $100M. The delta between what I can, and can't afford is definitely NOT worth trading the non monetary things I have in my life for more hours of work. I have never really understood how people come to a different mindset.

Jan 30, 2012
djfiii:

My opinion is that the only people willing to stick it out in banking for the long run are those that care way too much what other people think of them. Ultimately, that's the only driver that explains the need to make $1M+/yr at the expense of everything else in your life, instead of $250k/yr as a F500 Senior Director or VP, working 45-50 hours a week, with 5 weeks of vacation that you can actually use.

I can afford a $100k car if I want one, but not a $350k Ferrari. I can afford a nice home in pretty much any community in the country, but not an upper east side penthouse. I can spend $5-$10k a few times per year on a vacation to Europe, Asia, Caribbean, or wherever my wife and I feel like going, but I can't drop $2M on that vineyard in Tuscany. I can buy coach tickets on a major airline (or first class if I really feel likes splurging), but I can't charter that Gulfstream to take us to our destination. We'll probably have $7M-$10M in retirement savings by the time we're 55-57, but I'll never have $100M. The delta between what I can, and can't afford is definitely NOT worth trading the non monetary things I have in my life for more hours of work. I have never really understood how people come to a different mindset.

Great post right here.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 30, 2012
djfiii:

My opinion is that the only people willing to stick it out in banking for the long run are those that care way too much what other people think of them. Ultimately, that's the only driver that explains the need to make $1M+/yr at the expense of everything else in your life, instead of $250k/yr as a F500 Senior Director or VP, working 45-50 hours a week, with 5 weeks of vacation that you can actually use.

I can afford a $100k car if I want one, but not a $350k Ferrari. I can afford a nice home in pretty much any community in the country, but not an upper east side penthouse. I can spend $5-$10k a few times per year on a vacation to Europe, Asia, Caribbean, or wherever my wife and I feel like going, but I can't drop $2M on that vineyard in Tuscany. I can buy coach tickets on a major airline (or first class if I really feel likes splurging), but I can't charter that Gulfstream to take us to our destination. We'll probably have $7M-$10M in retirement savings by the time we're 55-57, but I'll never have $100M. The delta between what I can, and can't afford is definitely NOT worth trading the non monetary things I have in my life for more hours of work. I have never really understood how people come to a different mindset.

I don't know your background, maybe you did banking maybe not, but I can't tell you for damn sure, a $41K a-tax check that I at the end of summer doesn't keep my ass in this stinky ass office chair for +100 hours a week doing the same bullshit pages and macros over and over. I'd be nuts in any other job, as much as fucking hate the shit out of this one sometimes. Maybe I actually am a prestige whore or whatever, but I don't use my job to beat anybody over the head with it. Trying to say is that you don't get it.

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Jan 31, 2012
Stringer Bell:

I don't know your background, maybe you did banking maybe not, but I can't tell you for damn sure, a $41K a-tax check that I at the end of summer doesn't keep my ass in this stinky ass office chair for +100 hours a week doing the same bullshit pages and macros over and over. I'd be nuts in any other job, as much as fucking hate the shit out of this one sometimes. Maybe I actually am a prestige whore or whatever, but I don't use my job to beat anybody over the head with it. Trying to say is that you don't get it.

My background is consulting. It's a grind too, but not as brutal as 100+.

You'd be nuts in any other job, but not the one that requires you to sit in a chair for 100+ hours a week? Yea, I definitely don't get that, which was basically the point of my post. Especially if you're only clearing $41k a-t bonus. I can get that working 45 hours a week. So can you.

Feb 2, 2012
djfiii:

My opinion is that the only people willing to stick it out in banking for the long run are those that care way too much what other people think of them. Ultimately, that's the only driver that explains the need to make $1M+/yr at the expense of everything else in your life, instead of $250k/yr as a F500 Senior Director or VP, working 45-50 hours a week, with 5 weeks of vacation that you can actually use.

I can afford a $100k car if I want one, but not a $350k Ferrari. I can afford a nice home in pretty much any community in the country, but not an upper east side penthouse. I can spend $5-$10k a few times per year on a vacation to Europe, Asia, Caribbean, or wherever my wife and I feel like going, but I can't drop $2M on that vineyard in Tuscany. I can buy coach tickets on a major airline (or first class if I really feel likes splurging), but I can't charter that Gulfstream to take us to our destination. We'll probably have $7M-$10M in retirement savings by the time we're 55-57, but I'll never have $100M. The delta between what I can, and can't afford is definitely NOT worth trading the non monetary things I have in my life for more hours of work. I have never really understood how people come to a different mindset.

1) Your expectation of what 250/year gets you is just wrong unless you live someplace with a very very low cost of living (like Mississippi). No you are not going to have anywhere close to 7-10MM in savings ever on 250k and no you arent going to be taking multiple 5-10k vacations per year. A $100k car? Dude thats a year's pay after taxes. I think you are way out of reality here...even on 1MM/year you arent taking a gulfstream anywhere unless you are a single guy and even then it would be an absurd reach.

2) Some people actually like their job. I love to trade and I love markets. I would want to hang myself working 45 hours a week in a corporate job for 250k.

Feb 2, 2012
Bondarb:
djfiii:

My opinion is that the only people willing to stick it out in banking for the long run are those that care way too much what other people think of them. Ultimately, that's the only driver that explains the need to make $1M+/yr at the expense of everything else in your life, instead of $250k/yr as a F500 Senior Director or VP, working 45-50 hours a week, with 5 weeks of vacation that you can actually use.

I can afford a $100k car if I want one, but not a $350k Ferrari. I can afford a nice home in pretty much any community in the country, but not an upper east side penthouse. I can spend $5-$10k a few times per year on a vacation to Europe, Asia, Caribbean, or wherever my wife and I feel like going, but I can't drop $2M on that vineyard in Tuscany. I can buy coach tickets on a major airline (or first class if I really feel likes splurging), but I can't charter that Gulfstream to take us to our destination. We'll probably have $7M-$10M in retirement savings by the time we're 55-57, but I'll never have $100M. The delta between what I can, and can't afford is definitely NOT worth trading the non monetary things I have in my life for more hours of work. I have never really understood how people come to a different mindset.

1) Your expectation of what 250/year gets you is just wrong unless you live someplace with a very very low cost of living (like Mississippi). No you are not going to have anywhere close to 7-10MM in savings ever on 250k and no you arent going to be taking multiple 5-10k vacations per year. A $100k car? Dude thats a year's pay after taxes. I think you are way out of reality here...even on 1MM/year you arent taking a gulfstream anywhere unless you are a single guy and even then it would be an absurd reach.

2) Some people actually like their job. I love to trade and I love markets. I would want to hang myself working 45 hours a week in a corporate job for 250k.

Bond you just love getting paid.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Feb 2, 2012
Bondarb:
djfiii:

My opinion is that the only people willing to stick it out in banking for the long run are those that care way too much what other people think of them. Ultimately, that's the only driver that explains the need to make $1M+/yr at the expense of everything else in your life, instead of $250k/yr as a F500 Senior Director or VP, working 45-50 hours a week, with 5 weeks of vacation that you can actually use.

I can afford a $100k car if I want one, but not a $350k Ferrari. I can afford a nice home in pretty much any community in the country, but not an upper east side penthouse. I can spend $5-$10k a few times per year on a vacation to Europe, Asia, Caribbean, or wherever my wife and I feel like going, but I can't drop $2M on that vineyard in Tuscany. I can buy coach tickets on a major airline (or first class if I really feel likes splurging), but I can't charter that Gulfstream to take us to our destination. We'll probably have $7M-$10M in retirement savings by the time we're 55-57, but I'll never have $100M. The delta between what I can, and can't afford is definitely NOT worth trading the non monetary things I have in my life for more hours of work. I have never really understood how people come to a different mindset.

1) Your expectation of what 250/year gets you is just wrong unless you live someplace with a very very low cost of living (like Mississippi). No you are not going to have anywhere close to 7-10MM in savings ever on 250k and no you arent going to be taking multiple 5-10k vacations per year. A $100k car? Dude thats a year's pay after taxes. I think you are way out of reality here...even on 1MM/year you arent taking a gulfstream anywhere unless you are a single guy and even then it would be an absurd reach.

2) Some people actually like their job. I love to trade and I love markets. I would want to hang myself working 45 hours a week in a corporate job for 250k.

1) You must have picked up on some hypothetical tone in my post that wasn't actually there. My expectation of what $250k gets me is based on earning about $250k. I live in Chicago - not NYC, but by no means cheap. We take 2-3 vacations a year and they are at least $5k, if we stay close (Caribbean). If we go to Europe or Asia, we're probably staying for at least 2 weeks, and then you're easily approaching $10k. Hell, a 3 day ski weekend is like $2k. I already have about $1M saved, and I'm 33. So, as stated, by the time I'm 55-57 I don't think it's unreasonable to think I'll have $7M-$10M. And it's not like my income is going to stay at $250k for the next 20 years. I'm pushing $300k already for 2011, now that I'm starting to do taxes. We live well, but far beneath our means. That's maybe the difference between me and most people that make $250k+. I'm not sure what you're trying to get at with the $100k car? I could go pay cash for a few of them right now. You can charter a gulfstream from the east coast to a west coast ski spot (think Aspen) for what, like $30k? $40k? Anyone making $1M a year can afford that.

2) I'm happy for you. But you're a trader, not a banker. I totally get how people could love being a trader (I know a bunch of Chicago prop traders). I was talking about the 100/wk spreadsheet monkeys.

Jan 30, 2012

chicandtoughness unless you are joking, I am exceptionally disappointed.

Jan 30, 2012

yeah I know a couple chicks who went into M&A... one got into GS, the other into UBS. I am closer to the GS one, anyway they both were the types who worked their ass off in uni. The one from GS wasn't really smart to begin with, she graduated with a less than stellar GPA (just above 3.0) but I'm sure the interviewer could sense the work ethic in her. She was also quite hot, but wasn't a very outgoing person. I guess she cracked the interviews and made it, now she's in bschool at HWS.

Am sure throughout high school and uni, we have come across girls who are discipline keeners in school. Begin doing their homework the moment it is assigned, outside the profs office waiting to ask him questions etc. They just seem tirelessly busy. I somehow sensed that this attitude is useful in IB, where you do a lot of tireless hours of monkey work but with a smattering of intellect (earned by rote learning) and fruits of labor that pays off in the end.

The masked avenger par sexellence

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Jan 31, 2012

I feel like having a sandwich...

Jan 31, 2012

Well, if you count being a bank teller in your definition of "Banking" women are OVER-REPRESENTED. But, in most cases that good-most bank tellers look like ex cheerleaders.

Hell, I think banks should have a policy that if you want to be a bank teller you have to be/have been one of the following:
1) Hooters waitress
2) Stripper
3) Cheerleader

ATM use would plummet, and your neighborhood banks would be back in business

Feb 1, 2012

Although I'm not FT at a bank (yet...dammit), at my target school, I notice a bunch of the upperclasswomen entering IBD (small sample size of 6) only intend to do it for 2 years before they bail for PE/CF/B-school. They all want kids. All they talk about are kids. Kids everywhere...

Cheers.

Feb 2, 2012

^^^^I agree that I love getting paid! If you are going to be a great trader you had better care about getting paid because if you are in it for any other reason then you arent going to be any good at it. A great trader once said "everyone gets what they want out of markets" and its true...people who are in it for "excitement" will get excitement but they wont make money...people who are in it for "prestige" may get some prestige from certain people but they wont be great traders. The only reason to be in it is for the money and if your motivation is pure in that regard then you at least are starting in the right place and have a chance.

What I was pushing back on was the notion that everyone who wants to make money is in it for "other people". I am in it because I love my job which is to make money.

Feb 3, 2012
Bondarb:

If you are going to be a great trader you had better care about getting paid because if you are in it for any other reason then you arent going to be any good at it. A great trader once said "everyone gets what they want out of markets" and its true...people who are in it for "excitement" will get excitement but they wont make money...people who are in it for "prestige" may get some prestige from certain people but they wont be great traders. The only reason to be in it is for the money and if your motivation is pure in that regard then you at least are starting in the right place and have a chance.

What I was pushing back on was the notion that everyone who wants to make money is in it for "other people". I am in it because I love my job which is to make money.

Does that mean you'd love any job which pays a lot of of money? There's gotta be something about trading itself that you enjoy?

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman

Feb 2, 2012

And women dont do well in finance because they have an easy "out" that society allows them to take. When "the going gets tough" for a guy he has no socially acceptable "out" he just has to suck it up and get it done. Women have a socially acceptable out and if they quit and go get knocked up not only is it not frowned upon but their families probably prefer it. In the real hard times that little difference is huge. Thats just the way it is.

Feb 2, 2012

No point in doing what I do if I'm not going to get paid properly (ideally a slice of whatever I generate).

Feb 2, 2012

srs about that sandwich tho...

Feb 2, 2012

No kids. And I dont make $250k just me - that's both of us. I didn't mean to present it that way, although I went back and read what I wrote and it definitely reads like I'm talking about just me (even though there are some references to "we" mixed in there). I talk about us as one financial unit because that's pretty much how it is. So yea, $250k is pushing the boundary for one person in a F500 mgmt gig, which when you said that, is what made me go back and read what I wrote because I wasn't intending to portray that as all my income. bloops. I'm just getting into the 2011 return and we're pushing $330k, so that upward trajectory was definitely part of my calculation when estimating our pie 25 years out.

Anyway, so we've both made good money since right out of undergrad, and we've both maxed out our 401k's every year, we've had mortgage interest deductions, small business write-offs, etc. so taxable income has always been reasonably low. We were both consultants, now we're both corporate grunts (I'm more in-house consulting). We definitely don't take home only $125k. I want to say for 2010, federal tax liability was like $50k? I mean, if Gross is $250k, right off the top $33k is into the 401ks and doesn't get taxed. Then there's maybe another $25k in mortgage interest, plus charitable deductions, etc. so taxable income is down to like $180ish? We bank a lot into mutual funds outside of 401k's too (after tax), so dunno. We just make more than we spend, by quite a bit, and are fortunate to have accumulated a lot of dough.

I'm happy enough with the grind. It pays well enough for me to do what I want in life, and gives me the time to do it. Like I said, I could totally see the draw of being a trader, just not a banker.

Feb 3, 2012

Hi,

Girl who used to work in investment banking here.

I left because my priorities shifted and work was not topping the list anymore. I didn't get hit by the baby fever--in fact, I'm pretty much single. At some point I realised that investment banking wasn't the place I saw myself long-term, and decided to go to business school. Now, at business school I relapsed--meaning I did my summer internship at a bank. But that was good, as it only reconfirmed to me that I'm done with banking.

I think many people go into banking after graduating because they have no clue of what they want to do with their lives, and banking is a 'safe bet'--prestigious, strong experience for your CV, etc. When things start to get clearer, and you realise that you really don't enjoy spending your life at the office, then is when it sinks that is time to move on.

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Feb 3, 2012
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Feb 3, 2012
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Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)