Effective Altruism / Earning to Give

Curious how many bankers are involved with the EA community. Seems like a natural fit given most bankers could easily donate 50-80% of their salary without much sacrifice.

Anyone else out there earning to give?

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (35)

Apr 23, 2021 - 4:15pm

I think that many MDs give more than most people realize.  At the several boutiques,  I interned at MDs would write checks left and right to give.  Now this might be a little bit of maybe there's a deal out there that we can find, but with that said I still think they gave good chunks of change to the community.  

Apr 20, 2021 - 10:03pm

I'm a big fan of the movement but for my personal risk tolerance, I am more inclined to give money away in old age than as I go. I do make an annual donation on a smaller scale, in the past typically 5% of my bonus. In the future when my bonus represents a higher percentage of my income that will be lower however.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 20, 2021 - 11:42pm

As a huge fan of EA I'm really happy to see this here but it's worth noting that EA doesn't require those who earn to give to be giving a huge portion of their earnings. Most effective altruists I know in banking give away 10% of their pre-tax income (inc. bonus).

I recommend looking into Giving What We Can, an organization under EA

  • Prospect in Research - Other
Apr 21, 2021 - 10:26am

Effective altruism = lining the pockets of defense contractors and pet projects of politicians? I would certainly like to think that my taxes are spent in a EA-esque way, but I am highly skeptical of the effectiveness and efficiency of gov't spending. 

Apr 22, 2021 - 1:21pm

Personally I think it's naive to give away a significant proportion of your cash today when you can invest it and grow at circa 8% average return compounded over the next 20 years, at which point you will have enough money to really make a difference. 

Invest now, give later

Apr 22, 2021 - 9:37pm

It's a complicated question, but here are a few considerations:

  • Charity is tax deductible, which boosts the total amount able to donate when you're giving earlier in life
  • Would you accept the implication that, under this logic, most charities should also be investing their money and not spending for long periods of time?
  • It most likely makes sense to at least max out IRA / 401k since those are tax-advantaged, then donate any remainder if I can determine it isn't needed later in life
  • Many banks match charitable donations, so it would at least make sense to donate those amounts earlier on
Apr 22, 2021 - 7:46pm

Might be an unpopular opinion, but giving your time to help someone is more effective than giving money. If you have the opportunity to teach someone something that they can apply to improve their circumstances, I'd rather give my time even if it's just an hour a month.

Apr 22, 2021 - 8:33pm

 No - you get no breaks. Get back to work.

  • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 22, 2021 - 8:38pm

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day

Teach a man to fish, he eats forever

Pay for an altruistic man's fishing boat and he can feed his entire village + trade with merchants to better the community

Coming from a poor family (living under the poverty line during childhood/teenage years), I wholeheartedly believe that money is the best superpower you can have. It's an effective tool if used correctly.

There's only so much good you can do with your own time; if you have the proper amount of money and fund the right kind of people, you can make a MUCH bigger impact

Apr 22, 2021 - 9:06pm

While I shitpost on this forum, I joined the EA community. As an analyst I don't see myself donating much. However, If my compensation ever exceeds 300k, I fully intend to donate around 5%+ each year no matter what. 

I get the most joy from giving gifts to relatives and friends and seeing their reactions. 

I know that Wall Street attracts a disproportionately high amount of greedy narcissists and sociopaths, but I urge all of you to atleast pay things forward for others who are less fortunate if you have no intention of pursuing philanthropy.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Ind
Apr 23, 2021 - 1:45am

Don't currently have plans to but I'm a bit of a bleeding heart so have massive respect for people who do. Maybe I will if people convince me to! I come from a pretty lower middle class family so it's just hard for me to imagine giving away money so soon in my career, but maybe I'm just being greedy. Have lots of friends getting crushed by student loans or low paying jobs so it's difficult to say.

Apr 23, 2021 - 4:25pm

If you're able to compound money significantly above market avgs then you should not donate until you retire. This is what most of the self-made HNWI I know do.

If you're only able to compound at 8% like a poster above, then you should be donating actively IMO. This is what a lot of the FO HWNI types seem to do.

There's only so much you can spend money on. There's good reason every religion advocates practicing charity, it's good for you.

Apr 23, 2021 - 5:03pm

Turnaround -> minority + control

Growth -> Flip positions as fast as possible via secondary offerings. Low hold = low risk of blowup during the VC bubble. Trading mindset VS long-term investment.

Right now mostly stuck as C-level at one of our portfolio companies since CAGR is still good. Will hire my replacement in the next 8 - 12 months.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 23, 2021 - 5:04pm

Plan on giving away ~10% of all bonuses post tax going forward. Guess im posting it here to help hold myself to it.

Maybe itll give me some karma in the market, who knows. Feels good anyway.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 24, 2021 - 5:02am

Matthew 6:1
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
So when you give to the needy, don't announce it with trumpets like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets to be honoured by men."

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2021 - 3:14am

Bruh, shut the fuck up. This is an ANONYMOUS forum for fucks sake. It's ironic that you're the one having a holier than thou attitude

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (204) $233
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82