Do You Envy The Rich Kids Who Got A Shot At Their Careers Through Their Parent's Influence?

Monkeys, one of the best aspects about this community is that people talk about their stories and opinions in a candid way. I was reading this article which said that millennials thriving financially in America today have one thing in common- rich parents.

These Millennials have help paying their tuition, meaning they graduate in much better financial shape than their peers who have to self-finance college through a mix of jobs, scholarships, and loans. And then, for the very luckiest, they'll also get some help with a down payment, making homeownership possible, while it remains mostly unattainable for the vast majority of young adults.

Though the article largely speaks about home ownership and college tuition, it got me thinking on how a few folks leverage their family connections to land jobs, have a cushion to fall back on when the opportunities seem lacking or be naturally inclined to take risks (pursue entrepreneurship etc.).

I am not being judgemental nor am I criticizing people who were born with a silver spoon as it is almost genetic lottery at play but I am curious to know the community's thoughts on this. If you are from a well to do family, how do you view your success? If you climbed up the ladder without any support, how do you view your own growth? Did you ever envy your colleagues who have it easy in life?

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Comments (124)

Aug 10, 2017 - 8:49am

This is an interesting discussion, ideally students who have financial support will be better off. As the article states, it will be much easier for them to purchase a home without student debt. Just like you, I don't judge anyone. I have friends from both ends of the spectrum and I've learned that people are just people. I have poor friends who flaunt what little money they have and rich friends who are very humble. It's all in the way they're brought up. I come from a very poor family and had to work for everything I have. My own growth has been due to smart investments and educating myself a lot more than my family and peers. That's my reality, that's my perception of my own struggle. Believe it or not, my rich friends have that as well. They view certain things in their life as struggle, which would make us scoff but it's their perspective. As a child I envied them, I wanted to be in nice cars and live in a big house. As I got older I realized that they were rich because of their lifestyle and mindset. This fantasy I fabricated of my wealthy friends quickly vanished. Now they're just people who happen to have a ton of money. Just my $0.02.

Edited for spelling and grammar.

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Aug 7, 2017 - 9:40am

No, what's the point? Look at what you've got and make the best of it.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

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Aug 7, 2017 - 10:30am

Yea, for a few seconds, then it reminds me how much harder I have to work to succeed and I can use it as motivation.

That also works.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Aug 11, 2017 - 2:31pm

I don't envy them for the money, I do / did envy them for having parents that guide (push?) them in the right direction.

You see, I went to a completely mediocre no-name school, and afterwards a pretty good business school. The first had mostly students like me: Low-to-mid middle class kids, destined for $30k-$60k industry or gov. job, and everyone were on student loans, working completely irrelevant jobs during summers. "Any job after graduation is good enough".

The career fairs at those schools are tragic. The banks that show up are usually commercial/retail banks that want personal bankers. The tech firms are the local utility firms, or whatever manufacturing plants around. Maybe once in a while some F500 satellite office will show up, and lastly tonsof small 5-20 employee companies. This in turn, means that your average student has no clue about finance / consulting / etc. jobs. They don't even know that those jobs exist.

When I went to B. School, all your usual suspects were recruiting on campus. So, SO many of the students were from upper-middle class families, usually on their parents money, free from any job obligations on the side. Many of these students had clear plans for where they wanted to work, and had been coached since Jr. HS to aim for those Finance / Consulting / Business job. Their parents probably worked in the industries, or the parents of their friends worked there.

And even if you are clueless about what you want to do, come graduation, and your career counselor will point you towards some cookie-cutter consulting jobs, citing extensive alumni networks and what not. In short: You don't even have to know about prestigious jobs, you'll get thrown in that direction either way.

These people have known since early on the importance of getting good grades, a nice relevant internship, and doing the "correct" extracurricular activities: Because they open up the doors to the correct schools, and thus the correct jobs.

But I can't blame my parents for not knowing about prestigious schools, or prestigious jobs. Most regular people have no f'ing idea about these things, and most regular people are more than happy to settle with a cushy $50k lifer job.

Aug 13, 2017 - 6:08pm

My situation exactly. Should have taken out bigger loans to go to IU or another semi-target and would have had a shot at banking through an alumni base or on campus recruiting. All we got was geico, aflac, and (Insert Word Here) Community Bank. Lots of Gov/Agency Jobs. Tech/IT kids had it moderately better. Accounting had it made. I wonder if we went to the same undergrad.

Aug 7, 2017 - 10:58am

I had a good amount of help from my rents growing up. We're not rich by (middle class american) standards, just pretty frugal and my parents decided that's what they wanted to spend their money on.

I'm so glad people can get a head start with help from their parents- all the bitches whining about their friends having their parents pay for more shit should shut up and work harder so their own kids will have a step up. It's comforting knowing that even if my life feels kinda pointless, at least I'm gonna put my kids in a good starting position and within a few generations my family will be boss af.

Though this is usually not worth saying because the complainypants bitching about how life isn't fair are the 20yr old girls swearing they wont have kids and sleeping with every guy they can find, destined to be desperately looking for someone to ring them in their 30s complaining now about how there are no good men and how hard it is to afford life while eating avocado toast.

At least in my experience.

Keep making that money boys, and stay away from ratchet hoes.

Aug 7, 2017 - 11:43am


It's basically EZ mode.

Shit like having your parents be able to pay for a flight to an interview during college helps a bit.

Ability to study more instead of working 40 hours a week in college.

It all adds up.

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Aug 7, 2017 - 12:29pm

This is a very specific situation, but I have one friend with loads of connections within the world of PE. I fucking LOATHE this bastard. He was an english major at a non-target and is working PWM at a solid MM shop (think BAML, WF, etc.). First things first, he probably couldn't answer the difference between a PE / HF other than saying PE shops look for larger equity shares. He wouldn't know how long to hold a company for, hasn't ever considered making a model, and dresses like he makes 150K+ yet is being floated heavily by his parents. He wants to do PE to "diversify" himself so he can go to Booth (daddy has connections there too). Have all the connections in the world, I don't care, as long as you bust your ass like every single other person there. Oh, 0% chance he does. He usually calls it by 4 PM and boozes hard every week night.

This sparked story #2: Super wealthy girl (her grand children would never have to work a day in their lives) is now a FT IBD analyst at one of Chicago's top banks (not BB, but think Blair, Lazard, etc.). She has no experience prior and says she hates the work (really?, wealthy girl who has only worked at Daddy restaurants as a "finance" Intern doesnt like IBD hours and work load?!?! Shocker....). My heart goes out to this poor lass, taking away positions from qualified candidates, and her challenges increase ten-fold as she bears the burden of being pretty, wealthy, and naive. I play the world's smallest violin for her constantly, and pray to God that her life becomes easier and some of the other analysts remove 99% of the work from her plate. At least then it will get done by someone who doesn't think a DCF is a new up and coming makeup product line.

Aug 7, 2017 - 11:37pm
Deal Team Six:
This sparked story #2: Super wealthy girl (her grand children would never have to work a day in their lives) as she bears the burden of being pretty, wealthy, and naive.
Is she single? Asking for a friend.
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Aug 7, 2017 - 12:55pm

This is a great post as I was actually considering posting something similar on here. Even though I grew up poor, I've always found myself surrounded by more affluent kids and people that went to the best schools from Duke to Cornell. But being poor, I often encounter where people I know do envy people of more fortunate backgrounds. It's not even really envy, it's more that they loathe people that have more than what they have.

I succeed more when I just roll with the punches. My parents almost raised my family out of a rental in a very poor neighborhood, riddled with gang activity. They were bootstrappers and I watched us move from the rental to home ownership to a house that was finally large enough for my siblings and everything my parents had dreamed of. It was a tale of the American Dream that I think influenced me to never look to anyone or anything for help.

Being poor, I could envy or feel a loathsome attitude towards kids that always had it and still do. But I don't because I know how real the world is, in that it can be shaped into what you make it. I've seen it happen and experienced it firsthand. But being from the hood, my parents and my own view of the world did have some limits. I always kept academics in the back of my mind instead of in the forefront, because I was always ready to survive no matter what life threw at me. I thought I might need to pick up a tool bag and hustle for a piece of the pie, or work in a shitty job and grind my way to the top. I think it was a combination of seeing the many that failed around my family and that most that I knew did not have a very positive outlook on life, passing that along to me. I was also the only one of my parent's 4 kids with the ability to succeed in school, so that influenced me to believe I would be too limited in my abilities to go into a top institution.

I think the hardest part was that once I did start to compete with kids from top schools, good neighborhoods, and academically/professionally successful parents, hard work just wasn't enough! There's a cultural difference that is a 100% barrier for anyone, no matter how hard you work, unless you were influenced by people representing the professional class early in life. I noticed it when attempting to make friends, when networking, and even in class with my professors who were more impressed by the polished kids than what I was.

I don't look at it negatively, because if I hadn't let my environment influence me the way it did, I could've been part of the programs that were recruiting me as a kid for my top scores, and I know I would've interacted with much smarter kids and grew up developing more polished social skills, possibly even going to a top school in the country.

But, I think it's true that struggling creates character. Something I realize is how entitled everyone with a professional lifestyle is, and generally anyone that walked the straight line through their life, getting bumped through to wherever they end up. The fight I've put up for everything has taught me a lot about what it takes to succeed and to look at things from a different perspective.

Being poor is not inherently negative. If you think about it, geniuses are rare, but the number that succeed in spite of, through countless failures, is much more common. The same perseverance that I've practiced since learning my first steps in life, is what I use today, so I know I can figure anything out no matter how difficult. I wonder what bumper kid has the same ability?

Aug 7, 2017 - 11:38pm

I'm one of those guys who had his college totally paid for and got down payment assistance from parents. Should I be envied? I mean, I've been super blessed, yes, but I struggle with envying tall men, handsome men, people who were smart enough to get into Ivy League schools, good public speakers, fluent/articulate speakers, people with high metabolisms, people who can buy shirts off the rack, extroverts, people who are naturally good at math, and the list goes on.

We're all dealt a hand in life, and we can't spend our lives envious of someone else's cards. It serves no purpose; at worst, it will prevent us from succeeding in our own right.


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Aug 11, 2017 - 2:02pm

We seriously still doing this on a banking forum?

Yeah, definitely. High intelligence is correlated with better health, higher income, and more wealth. Being highly intelligent (i.e. intelligent enough to get into an Ivy League school) is definitely an advantage.


Aug 7, 2017 - 11:57pm

Envy might be a strong word. I acknowledge that I need to work harder for things that might be more easily attained with influence. But even then, it is their good fortune to have good mentors and advice on how to avoid the "school boy errors". But then I remember to focus on my own game and to do the best I can so that I can pass on experience and hopefully influence (affluence?) to my next generation.

OK. Yes. A little sometimes ;-)

Working hard? Hardly working. Just kidding.. I'm smashing it!PREP QUESTIONS -FIND THEM HERE
Aug 8, 2017 - 6:00am

Kinda feel bad for some of them. They will never be able to get that satisfaction of surpassing the struggle and becoming self-made. Always having some thought in the back of their head whether they deserve it or could have done it by themselves.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.
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Aug 8, 2017 - 7:01am

When the kid sitting next to me in class who goes out every night of the week and has a GPA in the middle 2s has interned in BB s&t every summer because of family connections I do get a little jealous. I have to work hard to get what he already has and he doesn't seem to be willing to work at all.

Aug 8, 2017 - 9:29am

Envy is a waste of time. Every other person in my industry is in it because their father succeeded at it. Some have legitimate interests and talents, others just need something to do. Neither really negatively affect me. If anything, it makes me want to work harder so that my kids are one day able to enjoy more opportunity.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

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Aug 12, 2017 - 8:49pm

Envy is a waste of time. Every other person in my industry is in it because their father succeeded at it. Some have legitimate interests and talents, others just need something to do. Neither really negatively affect me. If anything, it makes me want to work harder so that my kids are one day able to enjoy more opportunity.

Envy is a waste of time and energy.

It literally serves no purpose.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Aug 8, 2017 - 10:13am

Being in university currently, there are always fleeting moments of envy. After all, the children of rich parents don't really have to work as hard as I do, knowing that they will have an internship/career after their time in school ends. So while I'm sitting in the library late at night when some of my good friends are going out, yeah, I feel a little bit envious.

But, like many people on this feed have touched on, I think it's important to note that envy won't get you anywhere. Those rich kids will most likely have an easier path than I will, but does that mean I should hate them for it? If I was in the same position, you can bet your ass I would be doing the exact same thing they are. Moreover, their parents probably did the exact same thing I am doing now so they could give their children the life they never had. I don't believe I should direct vitriol at their kids for that.

One of the things I've come to realize is stewing in self-pity about my familial circumstances won't get me a job in finance. Yeah, my path is going to be more difficult than others, but if I really want it, it is the only option that I have.

Aug 8, 2017 - 12:21pm

Not at all. Those kids got in that position because their parents probably worked extremely hard to get to that level. Everyone has to understand that we all start from somewhere and that you don't just end up where you are overnight. Would it be nice to be rich to the point where you don't have to work a day in your life and can easily get the career you want due to your parents' connections? Of course. It would make things infinitely easier for myself.

However life isn't (and will never be) ideal. Everyone has their own struggles in their daily life and you'd be surprised as to what life is truly like for kids in a financially better position, contrary to things looking perfect. Life is what you make of it and we each get dealt a different set of cards to play this game with. It's not rational to sit around and envy some rich kid, like did they ask to be put in that situation? No. It just happened to be so and they are willing to use the opportunities afforded to them. If I found myself in that situation I would be doing the same exact thing and I am sure a lot of you guys would be to.

Does it suck to see that dumb rich kid who never worked a day in his life, yet gets the elite job or gets into the school that you wanted to go to without lifting a finger? Yea of course but what are you going to do about it. Seeing other successful people doing well fro themselves motivates me to go out, work hard and grind so I can reach that same point.

Aug 9, 2017 - 7:30am

I agree with this.

It's not about what you know, it's who you know.

Look at the examples, would Denzel's kid have gotten the "Ballers" role if his father wasn't Denzel? Is Kate Hudson really that much better an actress than others, does her mother play into her getting roles. Would Trump/JFK have become president if their father's didn't put in work.

Everyone's dealt a different hand, just how you play the hand.

Everyone can make it to the top Mt Everest, some people have to climb to get there, others get to take the elevator.

Aug 8, 2017 - 1:44pm

Do you realize how hard it is for a parent to have money and teach their children the disciplines of life to the extent that they feel compelled to achieve good grades and make something of themselves?

Yes, they may have school paid for, but parents that get their children to become independently successful and not just be rich spoiled self-serving brats blowing all their parents cash on hookers and blow are the real winners.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Aug 9, 2017 - 11:01am

No, I'm realistic that everyone has a different background. I think being envious of the ultra wealthy ignores the fact that I could have been born in much worse situations. I'd rather come from a middle class family and have to work my way up than be born an with HIV in Sudan.

That being said, having met plenty of wealthy folks and also managed money for wealthy families, I have a few pet peeves.

Most people who are very successful (IB, top consulting, even most entrepreneurs) almost definitely had a ton of family support, either in terms of money or mentoring or both and I do get annoyed when people refuse to acknowledge that support. I know one guy who was a total idiot that joined a brokerage his first month out of undergrad, signed half his family as clients and netted $20k in commissions his first month - then annualized that number and would brag to girls how he made $200k+/year. The most obnoxious part was you could tell he used that number to benchmark himself against his friends. Enjoy the $20k, I don't care, but for gods sake realize that you didn't do a god damn thing to earn it and any idiot born into your position would have been granted the same priviledge.

A "small loan of a million dollars" also comes to mind.

Really, pretty much anyone who has money before the age of 25 is almost definitely getting it from their parents or are in the position to get it because of family support. The 30-40% of those people who refuse to acknowledge that can fuck off. Getting closer to 30, even the folks who had support early on usually had to have drive and ambition to keep their career progressing forward.

Aug 9, 2017 - 11:51am

I get pretty annoyed with kids that don't realize that just because your parents didn't have a billion or millions in assets doesn't mean you weren't well off. Growing up in a home your entire life then getting the moral support of your family is the same no matter how bloated your household balance sheet becomes. If your parents can't buy your ticket to Harvard, they might be able to supply the mental and emotional support to give you the same lift. After all, a lot of rich parents end up not even having the time to give mental or emotional support. There's a big difference in growing up with not a dollar to support your future and no emotional support/mentorship from anyone and either having loaded parents or those that are there to support in many ways everyday.

Aug 9, 2017 - 12:47pm

Totally agree with this. I think a lot of people get a really skewed perception because they end up in echo chambers. Like, they feel average in their upper middle class community and then they feel average in their private university so they never feel like they're rich or have a leg up

Personally, I envy people who never had to make big decisions based on money - like where to attend school, what the major in, what jobs to pursue. They still need drive and ambition to get places, but they never had to do anything they didn't really want to do just to get by.

Aug 9, 2017 - 6:25pm

Good post. I think being in a place like the US there are always paths to different things and it's just a matter of recognizing the time to achieve it may be longer if you don't have the right upbringing or background. Sure, a lot of non-targets won't get banking straight out of UG but if they did what they had to do (good grades, ECs, etc.) there's no reason why they can't eventually get ib from business school. I think this site has a problem at times with the notion that people who go to a non-target are somehow inferior when most people can't even come close to affording a 60k/yr school.

Aug 9, 2017 - 12:40pm

Interesting to see most people here aren't from affluent backgrounds - well I mean, what are you doing on WSO when your parents are bankers already. Personally, I come from a lower middle class family. The culture in my family is that parents will support u 100% in ur endeavours. Going off to college, my parents helping as much as they can but they hope that I can support them when they retire.

I have never really envied rich kids - if you had a silver spoon, good for you. I just never viewed their successes as something worth celebrating so i don't really care. Ofc i would love a car on my birthday or not having worry about running out of money but that's not the point.

It's not the rewards reaped and the end goal that counts, it's the journey towards it. I want to proud of forging a good life for myself. So when I see affluent kids flashing their cars and their successes, I really don't care because life is not about comparing who's richer - there's always going to be someone richer, or better off. But building the life you want independently and by overcoming challenges is a personal achievement and cannot be taken from you or overshadowed by others.

Aug 9, 2017 - 1:46pm

No. If they truly do not belong at the desk then they will be looking for a new job soon enough.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
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Aug 9, 2017 - 8:11pm

Having a cushion to fall back on definitely helps at the very least to preserve you mentally when sh1t hits the fan. But then again, those of us (casually joining the camp) who go through the biggest lows on their own probably learn an extra thing or two along the way.

To expand on the discussion as to whether having rich parents sets you up for success - my personal observation is that it can also become a pitfall. I have people around me who have leveraged it greatly and others who are utilizing it in the wrong way a.k.a chilling and not pushing themselves at all.

Guess I focused on the post-university aspect of life here, but delving deeper might result in a book on the topic.

Edit: Not touching on the emotional support at all here, because it is way too broad.

Aug 9, 2017 - 11:12pm

Sure, being envious of others who were gifted more fortunate hands is human nature.

That being said, once you realize (not only on an intellectual level) that expectations and desires breed a state of unhappiness, you come to the conclusion that on a general level:
happiness and satisfaction is something ** you chose**.

Having strong feelings of contempt towards someone who's family made more money or made more connections is pointless. All it shows is a lack of understanding of your own situation.

Aug 10, 2017 - 12:32am

How do you define "rich" and "connected?" It's all relative.

The kid who graduated an Ivy with no debt but grinded his way through 10 interviews to get one job with some introductions but no major instant offers?

There are few ultra-rich, super lazy people who got everything through nepotism or bribery and truly deserve resentment. They're out there for sure. I went to school with them, I see them all the time. But they are few and far between. Most truly despisable fuckboy entitled pricks are busy railing cheese off some hooker or trying to make movies in LA somewhere.

The few who want to do IB and actually work to survive more than a couple of years are not deserving of envy. They had advantages to get there but they still worked their ass off once they were there. They didn't quit and they chose something hard. Given the choice to work half as hard and sit on daddy's money, who are you to judge them for working 90 hours beside you?

Aug 10, 2017 - 7:53am

I do not envy the rich kids because of money, but because of connections and network.

My parents network consists of electricians, trade hands and soccer moms. They literally do not know a lawyer and the only know like 2 doctors.

Sad because my dad worked on wall street in operations, and could have went front office but got impatient.

Aug 10, 2017 - 10:07am

My situation has been a little different...I feel like I have experienced both ends of the spectrum....I came from a background of having extremely rich grandparents (on my fathers side) , and in tern having an immediate family that was well off. I went to a Major University, but non-target....average grades in high-school and college (think 3.0-3.1 range) . My father always pushed for me to go to law school...not exactly sure why at the time, since he was a real estate developer, but never really asked ( I mean, is paid for, law school will be paid for, so why try extra hard...) Maybe he thought I would excel in it, or he was not too happy with his work , which comes to reinforce the notion of "money doesn't buy happiness". It can make things easier, but isn't the sole answer..

I kind of floated through school doing OK. I figured at the very least I could always go work for Dad.

Second semester senior year rolls around...I'm at school and I get a phone call from my uncle (mom's brother) and could barely understand him. He informed me that my father was killed in an accident (don't want to go into details). My mother was obviously too distraught to make the call herself.

At that instant, basically everything changed. I went from not really having a care in the world to having absolutely no direction.

Having school paid for was a saving grace, but as far as family money, it was tied up in trusts and funds. Dad's side of the family was very large and there had been a lot of family infighting that I was never aware of at a young age. My point is that the income on paper wasn't liquid, so I didn't have the backing (very long story). Basically I had nothing.

So here I am...22 years old, fresh out of college. No financial backing , no one to turn to in a business sense ( my mom was there for emotional support). I struggled for about two years....graduating college right into the heart of the Market Crash of 2008 was rough for someone interviewing for analyst roles with REPE shops. I eventually found a paid internship position with a CRE Investment group. My guess is that they sensed my newfound determination and saw me as somewhat of a hustler, since my resume was nothing to look at twice.
I was given a chance, and I will always remember how much of a difference it made in my life. It is possible to break into certain industries without being from prestigious schools or having perfect GPAs, but it is most definitely harder. I will, however, say that there is definitely a sweeter feeling looking back.

I think about it every day how I should've tried harder and not taken so much for granted. My dad and I had a good relationship, but it puts everything into perspective. It makes you think back to all the things that were said out of anger and all the fights growing up. You realize that they were all so stupid and trivial . I love my parents dearly and I am thankful for the love my dad gave us.

The point of this post isn't for any reason other than to illustrate that at the end of the day we are all just people, and we all have our problems and hurdles we have to overcome, no matter what kind. Those rich kids you see that seem to be doing great, driving the BMW's paid for with dad's money may (and probably do) have their own problems and struggles that they are battling every single day, some of them more severe. I believe that if you work hard and grind it out, you will make your own luck and it will translate into great things. The nice house/ car is so much sweeter when you get it on your own.

Aug 10, 2017 - 12:27pm

To follow up on @CREsyndication , you never know what's behind the curtain.

People in college would ask me what my dad did, and when I told them they believed that I was one of such people who could coast through school and get a job anywhere because of daddy's finance connections. But in answering to what he "did", I left out what he was doing at the time, which was unemployed because his career had gone down in flames some years prior and my family was living on the leftover assets that were slowly bleeding away. (*Side note – no matter how high and invincible you think you are in this world, never forget that it can all get taken away in a nano second).

But many were right to think what they did with what they knew (I assumed most figured he was retired), and looking back I certainly carried myself and acted sometimes in a manner that played the part. Even more than that, I believed it myself to a degree. Despite my father's failings he still spoke as if he could easily get me a job through his connections and somehow I chose to rely on his word. Of course as graduation neared I soon learned the harsh reality that this was not true. Whether he was lying or was disillusioned himself I still don't know. But there I was with everyone save my closest friends still thinking I had every opportunity in the world, zero prospects in reality, and realizing I had fallen far behind those who had been working diligently in class and creating their own opportunities. I don't want to give the impression that I am blaming this on my father, it was my fault for insulating myself from reality and not having the drive for working harder myself earlier, which even with every opportunity available to you will always push you further along.

But I adapted to the reality of the situation, hustled and landed something ok with some persistence and luck via my own resources, and learned to leverage that to land something much better. The whole experience was sobering, and it grounded me to say the least. I am a better person, a happier person, and even though I might have had fewer opportunities than I thought I would I do believe I will be more successful in the long run from everything I've learned. In the end, I believe a good education is the most important opportunity anyone can have, it will last a lifetime and can never be taken away. I was lucky enough to have dedicated parents who were adamant about paying for mine themselves even though they weren't in a position to do so (they took out loans for me in their own names), I haven't known any others who have done the same for their kids.

Aug 12, 2017 - 12:33am

While I don't envy rich kids, I believe people are missing the broader problem here. For every affluent, well-connected kid who doesn't put in effort and gets a good job through their parents connections, there is another kid that probably worked their pants off at school to get into a good university and graduate with good grades who misses out on the same opportunity. What this ultimately results in is more and more wealthy well-connected people in the top jobs effectively pushing out hard-working poorer kids who would probably be just as good at doing the job if not better. This leads to decreased social mobility throughout time and is already a problem in many countries including the U.S. and the U.K. If you want to learn more about this issue I suggest reading the Myth of Meritocracy by James Bloodworth.

Also to people saying that the kid's parents worked hard to give them that opportunity. If we believe that equality of opportunity should exist then theoretically it shouldn't matter who your parents are. Obviously this doesn't apply in the real world so we should stop pretending that equality of opportunity actually exists.

Aug 12, 2017 - 1:01am
S.H.]<br /> [quote=S.H.:
This leads to decreased social mobility throughout time and is already a problem in many countries including the U.S. and the U.K.

Things aren't perfect but there is still fantastic social mobility in the West. The idea that you put forth that hard-working, educated people will remain in a lower socioeconomic cast is utterly absurd. It is unlikely that in one generation a person goes from poverty to extreme wealth, but if you graduate from high school, don't have kids out of wedlock and get a job you will not be permanently poor in America.

Also to people saying that the kid's parents worked hard to give them that opportunity. If we believe that equality of opportunity should exist then theoretically it shouldn't matter who your parents are. Obviously this doesn't apply in the real world so we should stop pretending that equality of opportunity actually exists.

Equality of opportunity /= what many people think it means. Equality of opportunity = access to equal rights under the law. Obviously, people are differently situated, which has been, is, and will always be the case.


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Aug 12, 2017 - 1:11am

There are actually statistics for this issue which are available in the source I put forward. While I didn't actually say that you will permanently remain poor I did say that socially mobility appears to have been decreasing over the past half a 30 to 40 years and this is well documented in the book I mentioned. By all means you will be much better off than someone without a degree but probably not on the same standing as someone from a wealthier background with the same credentials. None of what I am saying is based on opinion.

Aug 14, 2017 - 1:19am

By the way here is the definition of equality of opportunity from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

"Equality of opportunity is a political ideal that is opposed to caste hierarchy but not to hierarchy per se. The background assumption is that a society contains a hierarchy of more and less desirable, superior and inferior positions. Or there may be several such hierarchies. In a caste society, the assignment of individuals to places in the social hierarchy is fixed by birth. The child acquires the social status of his or her parents at least if their union is socially sanctioned. Social mobility may be possible in a caste society, but the process whereby one is admitted to a different level of the hierarchy is open only to some individuals depending on their initial ascriptive social status. In contrast, when equality of opportunity prevails, the assignment of individuals to places in the social hierarchy is determined by some form of competitive process, and all members of society are eligible to compete on equal terms. Different conceptions of equality of opportunity construe this idea of competing on equal terms variously."

Nothing in there suggests anything about equal rights under the law. It is purely related to how a hierarchical system is formed given a certain set of assumptions.

Aug 13, 2017 - 11:48am

You have one life and all you can do is maximize within your own constraints. I worked 40 hours a week thru much of college to help support my family. Seems tough, but then again I was still born into the global top 10th percentile. The opportunities in this country eventually allowed me to attend an Ivy League grad school. I maximized within my own constraint set to take advantage of them, but I didn't create them. If given the choice, I wouldn't change anything nor would I trade lives with another person.

Aug 13, 2017 - 3:33pm

I find it a waste of time to dwell on what advantages kids from a wealthy, influential background have. Like another monkey said, their family worked to put them in that spot, and I can only hope to do the same for my future kids.

Only exception - I know one girl who has a well connected finance family, and was working at a fund managing a million dollars through her aunt after freshman year (we're both rising juniors). Then last fall, her and I both applied for a university program allowing business school students to build their Network. Does bother me that even though she already had plenty of supportive connections, she just had to go for even more, when i, with no family in finance, could have benefited more. Such is life, I guess

Aug 13, 2017 - 4:38pm

Rich kids are usually assholes.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.
Aug 14, 2017 - 1:08am

I think one thing to also consider is that someone might have family connections, but in a completely irrelevant industry.

As an example, my family is very well-connected in professional sports and the entertainment industry, but that didn't really serve me in any way as I was recruiting for IB and S&T roles. I grew up well enough – went to a top public high school in a relatively affluent suburb – and there were few things my parents weren't able to provide for me, but I still had to work hard on my own to earn top grades, networking contacts, etc. because I knew that connected as my family was, the connections we had wouldn't be useful in the fields I was interested in.

I know that I grew up with resources and opportunities (academic, extracurricular) that many were not privy to and am very grateful for that, but also don't discount the work that I have put in myself and the success that I've had at this early stage in my career. I credit my parents with instilling a good work ethic and humility through their own example and encouraging me in all of my endeavors, but my dad certainly couldn't just pick up the phone and swing a job for me.

Aug 14, 2017 - 10:35am

i envy no man
for i have seen my own face


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.
Aug 21, 2017 - 2:23pm

I do not pass judgement but I do wear a chip on my shoulder. I cannot control my upbringing nor can they theirs, however I can control my attitude on where I am positioned now as compared to where I want to be. I have struggled breaking into lev fin and other types of transactional finance roles because I do not have a 4.0 from a target school. From the struggle, I have built grit. I am thankful for how appreciative and aware my "struggle" had made me. We never know what someone else has been through therefore passing judgement prior to knowing is detrimental to your own mental health. Embrace whatever "struggle" you endure and just know that success can only elude hard work for so long.

Aug 30, 2017 - 2:48pm

I was raised that absolutely nobody except your bank should know how much money your family has.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn

Dec 12, 2017 - 5:02pm

Slightly old thread but I wanted to catch OP's invite to be candid and provide my perspective, given that almost no "privileged kid" has answered.

My story: When I was born my father had already decided that I'd go to his same university (top Law school), I went to one of the best schools in the country, practised expensive sports and did lofty extracurriculars. When I decided to study finance instead of law, my father directed me towards a more finance-focused university and made me talk with many of his friends who were either faculty members or alumni that had had a good career. The summer before starting university I got an internship in AM through a family friend who sat on a bank's board. At uni, fees, rent and a generous allowance were provided by my family. We have many high-level connections in PE, so I interned there last summer. More than one of his friends at well-known funds have offered to take me once I graduate. In general, we have many potentially useful connections, from our neighbours to European royalty offering to help. I didn't use help to get my SA, as I'm not totally comfortable with bothering a royal, billionaire or bank president for a summer internship.

My parents didn't even work hard. Neither grandparents, great-grandparents and so on... We aren't particularly rich either, far from it, but definitely luckier than most. I'm the hardest working in the family since generations and generations, and nobody knows exactly where it comes from (they accuse me of greed but it's not that).

How do I view my """success"""? I am perfectly conscious that my family played an important role. And this is true for everyone, we are always a byproduct of our social environment. Everyone in the West is privileged compared to poor people in Third World countries. However, most have obstacles to overcome, while I mostly had advantages. It would be hypocritical not to recognise it.

Having said this, erit profecto aliquid loci nostrae gloriae (there will certainly be some space for my own merits): I always did my duty, was responsible, had good grades, got admitted to my university of choice, never took drugs, worked hard during my internships, and was grateful and well-behaved throughout the whole process. Many of my friends behaved irresponsibly and will have to be bailed out by their parents. Others will fuck around, pretend they want a career, fail without even putting in the effort and return home to manage their family business.

Once, my father told me I owed him everything meaningful I had on my LinkedIn. Self-made people in this thread will never hear anything like this. As for me, I personally couldn't care less and don't feel guilty: I did all that needed to be done in my particular circumstances.

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