Do I Fit in Finance? Am I Too old?

Hi there guys,
I've been working in a family business in the services industry since 7 Years selling the products and services. I am 27 years old and I am a passionate of Math and Finance, currently in a German University. After graduating in finance from university i would like to go into Banking. The intellectual stimulation, the mathematical problems and working on projects attract me a lot.

I am very curious, analytical and I have good problem solving skills. I have great communication skills and interpersonal skills and I think I am capable of outlining and presenting complex issues in a simple manner. I like talking to smart people. I don't want to be a party animal. I don't want to be the "guy who knows everyone" or the "guy who everyone likes," but want to be "the smart serious guy who knows his shit and everyone respects to get the job done."
I work in a field where the stakes of what I do are pretty low. I'm more than happy to trade in my easy breezy, relatively lucrative job for a much more stressful and demanding and intellectually rewarding career. I want something intellectually rewarding and satisfying. I want to work with similarly smart and driven people. Right now, two career paths are opening up: banking and AM/ HF.

Is a career in Banking or AM/ HF right for me? Do you think Finance is still a good long-term-career? Which division is right for me? Am I too old to become a Banker? What other work do you recommend requires and utilizes analytical chops, intelligence, booksmarts, and technical acumen?

All I would like are some opinions and experiences.

Comments (43)

Most Helpful
Nov 19, 2019

To say you're 27 and then ask if you're too old is good for a chuckle. Thank you for that.

I didn't run the traditional gauntlet that many young professionals do. I didn't come into financial services until nearly the end of a 20-year career as a combat medic, a contractor, a CIO, and a Fed. Had I thought for a minute that I was too old to get into finance, I suppose I would have gone cockroach (toes up), and simply settled for whatever job I could land. This kind of thinking is complete nonsense. Especially when it comes to something as ubiquitous as applying capital in meaningful ways.

The origin of financial services is in support of other business ventures. If you use your imagination for a few minutes, I bet you could write down 10 ways that you could apply your skills and passion to make the business world a better place.

Might you wear deal sleds, make partner at Goldman, or run a trading desk? Maybe not.
Could you use your time and talents to get other businesses into shape, make capital introductions, create agglomerations, syndicate or structure capital, create financial models (I could use financial modelers myself), or collect a library of K1's you cultivated in place of up front fees for your intellectual capital? All. Day. Long.

Don't sell yourself short or throw in the towel on what you want to do or who you want to be until you're ready to let that last breath go and not get coffee in the morning. You're good, my friend. No worries.

    • 47
Nov 20, 2019

This site needs more people like you

+1 for the great response

    • 2
Nov 20, 2019
MLCCM:

To say you're 27 and then ask if you're too old is good for a chuckle. Thank you for that.
I didn't run the traditional gauntlet that many young professionals do. I didn't come into financial services until nearly the end of a 20-year career as a combat medic, a contractor, a CIO, and a Fed. Had I thought for a minute that I was too old to get into finance, I suppose I would have gone cockroach (toes up), and simply settled for whatever job I could land. This kind of thinking is complete nonsense. Especially when it comes to something as ubiquitous as applying capital in meaningful ways.
The origin of financial services is in support of other business ventures. If you use your imagination for a few minutes, I bet you could write down 10 ways that you could apply your skills and passion to make the business world a better place.
Might you wear deal sleds, make partner at Goldman, or run a trading desk? Maybe not.
Could you use your time and talents to get other businesses into shape, make capital introductions, create agglomerations, syndicate or structure capital, create financial models (I could use financial modelers myself), or collect a library of K1's you cultivated in place of up front fees for your intellectual capital? All. Day. Long.
Don't sell yourself short or throw in the towel on what you want to do or who you want to be until you're ready to let that last breath go and not get coffee in the morning. You're good, my friend. No worries.

Care to give more details on your path into banking, after a 20 year military career? Such as undergrad, grad school, internships, etc etc..

    • 1
Nov 21, 2019

This needs a full blown WSO interview.

    • 2
Nov 20, 2019

Thanks for the great response

    • 1
Nov 22, 2019

Thanks for your response.
Which division is right for me? IB, AM/ HF or S&T? In which job do i have an advantage over less mature people?

Funniest
Nov 22, 2019

Teared up, beautiful. clap

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 3
Nov 29, 2019

Would love to connect as an older guy that would like to transition into IB.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Nov 20, 2019

If Kaepernick can make a comeback, so can you

    • 5
Nov 22, 2019

Thanks for your response.
Which division is right for me? IB, AM/ HF or S&T? In which job do i have an advantage over less mature people?

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Nov 25, 2019

If you've been in service industry and good w talking to people s&t may be right.

    • 1
Nov 20, 2019

I didn't get my first IB analyst gig until I was 29. Fast forward 7 years, here I am. Was it easy? Hell no, but it is possible. Best of luck to you.

    • 3
Nov 20, 2019
Mephistopheles:

I didn't get my first IB analyst gig until I was 29. Fast forward 7 years, here I am. Was it easy? Hell no, but it is possible. Best of luck to you.

What/where are you now?

    • 1
Nov 20, 2019

Look under the post, above the edit button...

    • 2
Nov 20, 2019

Thanks for your response.

    • 1
Nov 20, 2019

Transitioned into banking after 5 years consulting, and 4 years grad school. The first 6 months suck as you do the following:

(1) Figure out office dynamics
(2) Try to do a lot of work, without having a clue how to do it
(3) Pass your 2-3 series exams on top of not knowing how to do your work

The keys I found to be helpful were:
(1) Take your ego, and swallow it. There are 22 year old analysts that will know how to do things better and faster than you. Befriend them, and don't be afraid to ask them how to do the work
(2) Keep a checklist for deliverables. You won't need it after a year, but it'll get you in the habit of doing the right things time and time again. It's uncomfortable and slow, but it gets better. Promise.
(3) Have a great attitude, and exercise: There will be some mundane days, some long ones, and some humbling ones. The trade-off to the cache (still don't understand why this job comes with it) and elevated pay is, there is a feeling amongst those in the Boomer generation still that they can treat you like crap in exchange. Weather the storm. The environment now is better than it used to be as millennials and Gen Z are fleeing to Tech and consulting for a better lifestyle, and banks are slowly responding. Once you get to associate, it gets better. Once you're a VP and beyond, you'll know your fundamentals incredibly well, and the problems you have at work are going to be more controllable than they used to be.

The primary question you have to ask yourself is: why do you want this? If it's for the money, I can assure you, you'll burn out. Is it always going to be interesting work? Not really; a lot of spreading financials, comps, and precedents, and slide formatting await in the near-future. But as you move forward, you'll see a method to the madness, exercise your brain, and collect paychecks that 99% of the people on earth could only dream of. If it was easy and fun, everyone would do it.

Best of luck!

    • 11
Nov 20, 2019

Thanks for your response.
This is what and I want and why I want to be a banker/ investor: I want to have a job where I actually use my fucking brain. Where I put my technical, logical, and analytical mind to use. Where I work with similarly smart and driven people

Which division is right for me? IB, AM/ HF or S&T? In which job do i have an advantage over less mature people?

    • 1
Nov 20, 2019

You'll be fine someone in my summer analyst class was your age +/- 1 year. Just come in hungry and prove your worth, no one will notice how old you are, but you could use that as a strength - show that you are more mature and this is what you want to do long term!

    • 3
Nov 20, 2019

Thanks for your response.
Which division is right for me? IB, AM/ HF or S&T? In which job do i have an advantage over less mature people?

    • 1
Nov 20, 2019

IBD but applicable to any division. More mature means more certain about taking the job and potentially being there for the long term, more professional experience or more experience as an adult.

    • 2
Nov 21, 2019

If you want to work analytical and with smart people, I think you should definitely consider quant HF/ AM. After graduating, Masters of financial engineering might also work.

    • 1
Nov 22, 2019
Rupi:

If you want to work analytical and with smart people, I think you should definitely consider quant HF/ AM. After graduating, Masters of financial engineering might also work.

That reminded me of christian bale's character from "the Big Short!" i play the drums too and love metal music, while being smart and knowing my technical shit. yeah, i want to be able to be myself to the highest degree possible, while others want me around for my technical skills and expertise more than my "soft skills." i think financial engineering is a good fit. thanks!

Nov 22, 2019

Artificial Intelligence Master blockchain

    • 2
Nov 23, 2019

Why would you think that?

Nov 25, 2019

its a joke

Nov 22, 2019

If Lebron James' hairline can make a comeback at 34 y/o, so can you.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 2
Nov 23, 2019

Thanks for your response.
Which division is right for me? IB, AM/ HF or S&T? In which job do i have an advantage over less mature people?

    • 1
Nov 23, 2019

I think you seem like a quantitative person who should be involved with math and financial modeling. I don't think I should give you a recommendation of IB/AM/HF/PE or S&T. I think you should talk to various people in different fields and make a decision after talking to different people. Meeting with different people and talking to them really gets you involved and socialized in different fields with people who actually work in them.

"It's okay, I'll see you on the other side"

    • 4
Nov 29, 2019
Comment
Dec 7, 2019