Comparing Trillium Trading to Goldman PWM

Investor1's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 203

For someone really interested in the markets but also planning to go to a very solid (top 5) MBA program, which option would be better?

I understand in terms of pay ($60K salary + 10K sign-on + $5-10K bonus) and stability (2-year contract) the Goldman Private Wealth Management is clearly the better option.

Trillium is much riskier in terms of pay ($20K salary + 30% of P&L) and stability (most leave within one year).

Comments (8)

Apr 19, 2009

It depends on whether you are risk averse or risk-seeking. A side note; the risk-seeking people are probably the most successful people today. As far as MBA programs go, I'm not sure which would be better, but if you do what you like, it will most certainly help in your MBA application. If you like trading then that's what you should do.

Apr 19, 2009

easier said than done ... i am in a similar situation ... trillium, although seems fun, will likely lack the networking opportuniities that you would have at GS PWM. also, when volatility declines to a more normal level, i hardly think these day trading shops will do as well as they did over the last 12 months

Apr 19, 2009

btw .. i am sr in college about to take a PWM job (not bb but a firm that is doing well) over trillium despite my interest in trading... take what i say with a grain of salt .. i checked out trillium and just wasnt sold on the opportunity. it seems fun but didnt seem like the best long term choice.

Apr 19, 2009

I am certainly risk-seeking and into the markets. I am fortunate that my parents will support me during my first few years out of college as I get started in trading. I strongly feel trading will certainly suit my personality and interests much better.

Jamie Dimon if you don't mind sharing, why weren't you sold on Trillium??? A large majority of the people I have talked to say that it is a reputed shop and they hire from the very top schools (Ivy League and other top 15-20 schools) along with some non-targets.

BTW I actually did GS PWM as a Summer Analyst, and did not like the experience at all. I don't know why everyone talks about these networking opportunities in PWM at the Bulge Brackets. I certainly didn't see any, but that could be because I was in a regional office that was only PWM.

Long-term I don't know how valuable PWM is going to be. It certainly won't be able to land you a gig in investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, or venture capital because the skill set is so different. I'm sure some people have made the transition but it's not very common at all.

Apr 19, 2009

i am risk seeking as well but dont have the luxury of being supported by family (that is, unless i find myself BROKE)

i have been on two trading floors - a BB's and Trillium's. The excitement at the BB trading floor wasn't there at Trillium's. Trillium's was much quiter (For obvious reasons)..the action that hooked me to the BB's wasn't there at trillium in my opinion.

also, it seemed like everyone was in their own little world at trillium. on top of that, like you said, the turnover is very high. what if i dont succeed? what if volatility declines and it just isnt realistic to make big $ at trillium anymore? like i said, i am risk seeking as well but nyc costs are high and my family does not live in the NY area.

the family office/pwm place i met with seemed promising. they say their clients are the PE guys and the HF guys etc that have made tons of money .. the firm deals with people that have $50M plus. It has no name close to that of GS, but a friend at GS PWM says they are a competitor.

Maybe the day I was at trillium was just an off day .. i dont know .. what was your experience visiting trillium like?

also, why was the networking not good at gs pwm? to me, it seems intuitive that if i am working with wealthy and successful people regularly, many of them from the finance industry, the network would just come.

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Apr 19, 2009

Jamie Dimon, you would think that working with clients who have made big money in the finance industry (HF managers and PE shop founders) would be great people to network with.

To some level they are because you can see how an extremely successful entrepreneur thinks. However, your contact can only take you so far. Even if this HF manager or PE firm founder gets you a job, your skill set and ability will ultimately determine how successful you are in your career.

Unfortunately, Private Wealth Management does not give you the skill set required to succeed at a hedge fund (usually very quantitative/trading-oriented background) or private equity ( experience doing IPOs and valuing companies which you get from Investment Banking not Private Wealth Management) or Venture Capital (usually requires some entrepreneurial experience)

I'll give you an example. I talked to some hugely successful tech. entrepreneur who sold his house for $30 million and was a client of my bank's. Was he going to help get me a huge position at Google? The answer is maybe, but probably not. Even if I did get the position I would not be successful because I don't have the experience required to succeed in the industry. The same goes for the hege fund managers and PE firm founders you would be dealing with.

Is the PWM firm you are considering joining called Bessemer's Trust? It is a very small, but very high-end/successful boutique wealth management firm that caters to the truly affluent.

My experience visiting Trillium was great. The kids (traders) were very friendly and knowledgeable. There is no dress code and the atmosphere was laid back. The more senior traders/managers were also very down-to-earth and laid back while remaining professional. Also, there is zero bureaucracy since you completely determine your own compensation. If you do well there is also room for career advancement by taking the Series 24 and becoming a mentor/senior trader who takes on trainees while getting a large cut of your P&L. The firm hires a lot of kids from Wharton, Cornell, Darmouth, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, NYU Stern, and other top schools.

Like you said, your family won't be supporting you after college. If that is the case you have to decide whether you are willing to take the risk to go and trade. I am fortunate that my parents will be supporting me so I can go ahead and take the risk of trading without thinking twice. If my parents weren't supporting me would I take the risk? Most likely not.

Apr 19, 2009

I have made this post a hundred times so im not sure why im bothering to do it again.

If you want to be a prop trader doing your own thing go with trillium. If you knock the cover off the ball at Trillium why would you even want to go get an MBA. Day Trading and MBA's dont exactly go together unless your long term plays are to move into portfolio management at a fast money hedge fund.

The skill sets are entirely different but honestly the more I read your posts and from our PMs I feel like your heart is not where it needs to be to reach your full potential as a trader so perhaps PWM is better suited for you. This is a major decision you really have to decide if you want to daytrade or do you want to put together portfolios. Only you can make this decision.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Apr 19, 2009