Former BB VP giving advice to all you wannabe bankers

Hey guys,

I have only been on this forum a couple of times, but I formerly worked in M&A at a bulge bracket. I have been out of the business for a couple of years now (my choice) and I just wanted to give you guys some advice about the financial industry (this was inspired by Greg Smith)

Some background:

I graduated from semi-target with a good GPA (3.4), but started networking freshman year. I always wanted to be a banker, the money, the girls....but most importantly the money. Eventually I landed a few random gigs and long story short I got into a SA spot, then FT offer.

I was the happiest person in the world.

Work:

I enjoyed it a lot simply put. The hours were long, but I didn't mind one bit...until I realized I would be doing this for the next years. I noticed briefly scanning over this forum that many people go from investment banking to private equity/corporate jobs. This may be a dose of reality, but it is not as easy as that. Many of the people I worked with (keep in mind during the boom) couldn't break into PE, the amount of candidates + the amount of spots open made it impossible (it is a lot about luck).

Anyways, once I was promoted to VP I started thinking about my job. Frankly I hated it, despised it. THE MONEY WASN'T WORTH IT. I was miserable as was everyone else on my team. We all did it for the money and we couldn't find a way out. PE wasn't fun, I didn't want to work at a HF (nearly impossible to get in there). One day I woke up after 24 hour+ day, looked at my clock and thought to myself, "I can't do this anymore, it is just not worth it." At that time I was making around 650K all in for my late 20's. I moved back home (parents live right outside the city), and started pondering what I was going to do next. I wanted to get into the energy sector, but doing what? Gas/oil/green energy! I called up my friend who I know was in the field and asked him for advice. Long story short he put me in contact with a guy, who put me in contact with another guy who gave me a job. I do natural gas sourcing now and I love my job!

**(I did not have a huge cushion to fall back on- this was not a retirement plan - my cushion lasted for only 6 months because I had various expenses to pay off (family sicknesses/debt etc))

Previously doing investment banking made me realize how much 1. Money doesn't buy happiness 2. Many people in IB are very insecure about themselves and try to make for it with money 3. IF YOU ARE GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO MONEY WILL COME.

I love my job now and honestly to me, it isn't even a job. I said this a ton of times, but I love it and I am damn good at it. Here is the kicker:

I make more than my friends who are still in investment banking (MD VP), I didn't think entering the job I would be making this much in a couple years, but I do. Also I work only 35-40 hours a week (at most 45). I feel bad for all of my friends in IB, they have no way out because they don't want to take the pay cut and have families to support. The tone is the same for all of them though and that is they hate it. I go to work in boots, jeans, a hat and make more money than them and even if I didn't make more money I would still be happier no doubt.

Here I am in the countryside (although I live in the NYC suburbs) sitting on a porch overlooking some mountains on the computer. Life can't be better.

I will be more than happy to answer questions

Region: 
United States - Northeast

Comments (116)

Mar 21, 2012

Great story! How do you feel about the years you spent in banking i.e. wasted years or enlightening experience?

Mar 21, 2012
jec:

Great story! How do you feel about the years you spent in banking i.e. wasted years or enlightening experience?

Thanks man. They were good and bad: good in that it made me realize how much I should pursue another career and bad in that I spent so much time working, I feel like I missed out on life.

I guess you could take that as two negatives, but if I could go back to when I was a senior in college, I would not have pursued investment banking. I would have most likely done entrepreneurship/my current job

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Mar 21, 2012

could you elaborate on what you do currently? natural gas sourcing? what do you like most about it

Mar 21, 2012
7S:

could you elaborate on what you do currently? natural gas sourcing? what do you like most about it

The company I currently work for goes to homeowners near significant deposits of natural gas, buys the rights for it (more to it but pretty much what the basis is) and either

  1. sell it to developers
  2. develop it ourselves

I am not sure how to answer multiple posts so I will edit this one

Question:

Did you get the girls? My honest impression was that significant percentage of guys are going in with the idea that girls will love them once they are rainmakers.

Answer:

Depends, the gold diggers yes, normal ones no. It gets old anyway after 4 weekends of going out (at least for me)

Question:

What advice do you have for someone who just quit banking after coming to the same realizations are yourself? Also, how would one get into gas sourcing (i was in an energy group)

Answer:

Take a step back from the situation and seriously think "what do I want to do?" Don't think about money, just ask yourself that question and then put yourself on the path. I find that for most people in your situation they still keep trying to chase the money. The money will come if you play your cards right and work hard

Mar 21, 2012
formerBBbanker1254:

I am not sure how to answer multiple posts so I will edit this one

It might be easier for you to number the questions and then respond. Like this.

  1. What..?
    and then answer it

That way you won't have to write Question and Answer every time, plus it will be easier to keep track.

Thanks for doing this!

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman

Mar 21, 2012

Did you get the girls? My honest impression was that significant percentage of guys are going in with the idea that girls will love them once they are rainmakers.

Mar 21, 2012

One question, are you hiring?

Mar 21, 2012
HFFBALLfan123:

One question, are you hiring?

Mar 21, 2012

What advice do you have for someone who just quit banking after coming to the same realizations are yourself? Also, how would one get into gas sourcing (i was in an energy group)

Mar 21, 2012

this sounds like a troll post.

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Mar 21, 2012

No offence, but I am getting slightly tired of banker work bashing, life's better elsewhere chat.

It'd be nice to every once in a while hear someone praise their job, I know people who love their banking jobs, from associates to VPs and MDs, they are out there. But it seems that either people feel that they can't come out and say that they love it for the obvious barrage of "you're crazy, just like the money, in it for power" or that they don't feel the need.

I dunno, just saying, anyway glad to hear you're enjoying your job post banking though....

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Mar 21, 2012
Oreos:

No offence, but I am getting slightly tired of banker work bashing, life's better elsewhere chat.

It'd be nice to every once in a while hear someone praise their job, I know people who love their banking jobs, from associates to VPs and MDs, they are out there. But it seems that either people feel that they can't come out and say that they love it for the obvious barrage of "you're crazy, just like the money, in it for power" or that they don't feel the need.

I dunno, just saying, anyway glad to hear you're enjoying your job post banking though....

Sorry if it sounded like I was bashing it, people do like it no doubt. The people I was surrounded with though weren't into it.

The basis of this post is more along the lines of: go to a job that suits your personality and one that you truly enjoy.

I grew up on a farm so I always spent my time outside so for me this is like going back to my roots. My sister though on the other hand hated being on the farm and wanted a change of lifestyle so she went to a top medical school and is now a surgeon. My brother on the other hand graduated from a top business school (ugrad - wharton, stern, etc) and was a management consultant, but it now looking for a career switch as well.

Mar 21, 2012
Oreos:

No offence, but I am getting slightly tired of banker work bashing, life's better elsewhere chat.

It'd be nice to every once in a while hear someone praise their job, I know people who love their banking jobs, from associates to VPs and MDs, they are out there. But it seems that either people feel that they can't come out and say that they love it for the obvious barrage of "you're crazy, just like the money, in it for power" or that they don't feel the need.

I dunno, just saying, anyway glad to hear you're enjoying your job post banking though....

How the fuck could an analyst or associate in banking of all things enjoy his job? VP... perhaps. MD, sure, why not. The underlings may enjoy the doors that open or the large upside that comes from the work they do, but there is certainly little to be excited about being an Excel bitch, getting overworked more than ever before, with much less compensation than previously existed at that level. I mean seriously come on.

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Mar 22, 2012
Oreos:

No offence, but I am getting slightly tired of banker work bashing, life's better elsewhere chat.

It'd be nice to every once in a while hear someone praise their job, I know people who love their banking jobs, from associates to VPs and MDs, they are out there. But it seems that either people feel that they can't come out and say that they love it for the obvious barrage of "you're crazy, just like the money, in it for power" or that they don't feel the need.

I dunno, just saying, anyway glad to hear you're enjoying your job post banking though....

if you love banking you might want to get yourself checked into next crazy house because you are cleary batshit insane

Mar 22, 2012
leveredarb:
Oreos:

No offence, but I am getting slightly tired of banker work bashing, life's better elsewhere chat.

It'd be nice to every once in a while hear someone praise their job, I know people who love their banking jobs, from associates to VPs and MDs, they are out there. But it seems that either people feel that they can't come out and say that they love it for the obvious barrage of "you're crazy, just like the money, in it for power" or that they don't feel the need.

I dunno, just saying, anyway glad to hear you're enjoying your job post banking though....

if you love banking you might want to get yourself checked into next crazy house because you are cleary batshit insane

Oh wait, someone called someone who likes their job crazy, what a surprise, didn't see that coming.....you're ability to sympathise is astounding.

As a caveat; I'm not in banking, nor have I ever been, but that doesn't erode the opinions of my peers and contacts who are and who very much enjoy their jobs.

Mar 21, 2012

Can you elaborate on what it is that you actually do in your current role? And how did your experience in IB help?

Mar 21, 2012
dudguy:

Can you elaborate on what it is that you actually do in your current role? And how did your experience in IB help?

Forgot to touch upon that! Thanks for reminding me. When I went for my "interview" I handed them my resume and they said "what is this for?" I was in shock, they threw it out in front of me and said "are you smart?" and I got the offer.

I just proved myself in working hard, the only relevant skills I maybe pulled from IB is the ability to make strategic decisions in regards to buying selling/land distributions but even then I already possessed the skill.

In my current role I manage a group of people that buy sell natural gas plots. I will most likely stay here for a few more years than try to move into the oil business some way

Mar 21, 2012
formerBBbanker1254:

Forgot to touch upon that! Thanks for reminding me. When I went for my "interview" I handed them my resume and they said "what is this for?" I was in shock, they threw it out in front of me and said "are you smart?" and I got the offer.

Did you answer with "I am fucking smart!"?

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Mar 21, 2012

Which shale formation?

E&P is the place to be.

Mar 21, 2012
nonperforming asset:

Which shale formation?

E&P is the place to be.

We deal with local plots. I use to do a lot of work out west but now our primary focus is the marcellus

Question: What do I bring to the table? (worded similarly)

My strategic vision and my personality. I have always been the one to push push push for an end result. I see an ending point and I reach it. To translate that to the business I made it substantially more aggressive in buying/selling and take on more risk (to a point).

What entitles an MD to have a 7 figure job? I personally have grown a business

To elaborate on that point (and I am not bashing MD's), to me (as well as friends opinion) they don't contribute much to society in any way directly.

Although my job is a little more indirect as well, we find little plots of land that other companies overlooked. We in a sense increase supply and increase efficiency. Other than the hours why should an MD be entitled to that pay?

Many of my friends did horrendous in college, but worked their butt's off and got into banking then shot up to MD. MD's aren't these glorious know it alls that looking at some of the posts in this forum, people make them out to be. Just work hard.

Sep 18, 2013
nonperforming asset:

Which shale formation?

E&P is the place to be.

I second that.

Mar 21, 2012

double

Mar 21, 2012

Great story - in a similar position actually but haven't even worked at a BB! haha

What if you really can't figure out whats for you.... even after stepping back and thinking hard?

Mar 21, 2012
Charles-perry:

Great story - in a similar position actually but haven't even worked at a BB! haha

What if you really can't figure out whats for you.... even after stepping back and thinking hard?

Dude, you haven't had a full time gig yet. You're not in a similar position at all; you're just confused and struggling to get a job.

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Mar 21, 2012
Charles-perry:

Great story - in a similar position actually but haven't even worked at a BB! haha

What if you really can't figure out whats for you.... even after stepping back and thinking hard?

There has to be something growing up you always wanted to be.

Another good route to find what you are good at is to go work for any company and see the business from the inside out, network, than keep building upwards (in terms of company/pay) + you will enjoy it more.

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Mar 21, 2012

I don't get it. What is it that you bring to the table that entitles you to a 7 figure paycheck...? (congrats btw)

Mar 21, 2012
manbearpig:

I don't get it. What is it that you bring to the table that entitles you to a 7 figure paycheck...? (congrats btw)

Right place, right time. If I'm not mistaken (not actively involved in Energy) there has been tons of activity on the natural gas E&P front...

Mar 21, 2012

Interested in your response to Manbearpig.

Mar 21, 2012

Where you in a E&P / Nat. Res. focused coverage group in IB?

Also, would you shit all over your analysts / verbally berate and abuse them? Just curious, because that's what mine do.

And if so, why?

Mar 21, 2012
Stringer Bell:

Where you in a E&P / Nat. Res. focused coverage group in IB?

Also, would you shit all over your analysts / verbally berate and abuse them? Just curious, because that's what mine do.

And if so, why?

I was in consumer/retail.

I never did that. I didn't have the heart to do it, the analysts lives are hard enough, and I wanted them to be comfortable with me. (which they were) My friends used to (and still do probably) just for fun, and the analysts would always come up to me and ask me to chill him out and/or ask for advice regarding problems. It made it much easier to manage 'you little ones' (haha) when you respect me.

Mar 23, 2012
Stringer Bell:

Where you in a E&P / Nat. Res. focused coverage group in IB?

Also, would you shit all over your analysts / verbally berate and abuse them? Just curious, because that's what mine do.

And if so, why?

Aww! My sympathies man.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

Mar 21, 2012

Do you work for a fund or O&G company?
Are you accumulating acreage in liquid rich areas or dry?

Mar 21, 2012
sadboy:

Do you work for a fund or O&G company?
Are you accumulating acreage in liquid rich areas or dry?

Small O&G company, family owned

Also we pick up small plots of land/small deposits - make money in volume so to speak

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Mar 21, 2012
formerBBbanker1254:

1. Money doesn't buy happiness 2. Many people in IB are very insecure about themselves and try to make for it with money 3. IF YOU ARE GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO MONEY WILL COME.

So true

Mar 21, 2012

sh!t, someone just lit up a banana flavored joint... at work... can't focus anymore...

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Mar 21, 2012

Given that many WSO readers have not even set foot in an office as FT yet, is this advice more of a "go for banking, but plan an exit" or more of a "don't even get in" direction?

Mar 21, 2012
cubecul:

Given that many WSO readers have not even set foot in an office as FT yet, is this advice more of a "go for banking, but plan an exit" or more of a "don't even get in" direction?

I am advocating more of a "keep an open mind"

Banking can be great for some personalities, but it is not the only way to make money. Don't underestimate the profitability of a small business. Nearly all of my neighbors are small business owners.

Mar 21, 2012

@formerBBbanker1254

1.Do you think your IB exit opp helped you get into your current position?
2.Also, what is the background of your work colleagues?
3.How easy/difficult is to break in the energy market and what credentials do you need?

Thanks

Mar 21, 2012
go.with.the.flow:

@formerBBbanker1254

1.Do you think your IB exit opp helped you get into your current position?
2.Also, what is the background of your work colleagues?
3.How easy/difficult is to break in the energy market and what credentials do you need?

Thanks

  1. No not at all, it can be broken down into luck/network. In no way is this a financially based position. Many people may even refer to this as a blue collar job. My highly motivated personality I already had, and other than that it was about learning the ropes.
  2. Random, basic jobs in the oil industry (managerial), nothing special at all. Again it is family owned.
  3. Tough to say for what you want to do. I have a friend who graduated the same time as me without a job, sold clearing screens for a company, went back to get his MBA (Top 30 (if that)) and now trades for BP (previously worked at MS) Network, network, network
Mar 21, 2012

Ok you quit banking but if you had to start again from college, would you do banking first or not ?

Mar 21, 2012

Wow, what a boss. I'm still looking for that dream job that pays 10mm for laying on the beach.

Mar 21, 2012
Connor:

Wow, what a boss. I'm still looking for that dream job that pays 10mm for laying on the beach.

It is the beauty of a small business. Once you grow it to a certain extent, hire a knowledgeable manager, sit back, and watch it grow.

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Mar 23, 2012
Connor:

Wow, what a boss. I'm still looking for that dream job that pays 10mm for laying on the beach.

You can probably get IDR 10mm a month (US$1,000) enjoying your life on the beach in Bali :-)

An ex-girlfriend of mine teaches surfing in Hawaii while also working on a whale watching boat. she's not earning too much, but enough to enjoy her life there. It seems she's living a hell of a lot better than me.

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Apr 15, 2012
Asia_i_Banker:
Connor:

Wow, what a boss. I'm still looking for that dream job that pays 10mm for laying on the beach.

You can probably get IDR 10mm a month (US$1,000) enjoying your life on the beach in Bali :-)

An ex-girlfriend of mine teaches surfing in Hawaii while also working on a whale watching boat. she's not earning too much, but enough to enjoy her life there. It seems she's living a hell of a lot better than me.

I don't think I would sit on a beach for $11,400 after taxes.

Gimme something better!

Mar 21, 2012

Since you started networking relatively early, what are some pointers as far as connecting, building, and maintaining your network? And what are some mistakes you think us young (no offense) guys make?

Mar 21, 2012
Mr. Hansen:

Since you started networking relatively early, what are some pointers as far as connecting, building, and maintaining your network? And what are some mistakes you think us young (no offense) guys make?

-Start as young as you can and be friendly. Don't suck up, don't be nervous because we were all in that place. Shoot an email once every 4-5 months. Meet up if you ever can.

-The only mistake I have ever witnessed was some kids not asking me how I am (not being selfish), but be courteous

Mar 23, 2012
formerBBbanker1254:
Mr. Hansen:

Since you started networking relatively early, what are some pointers as far as connecting, building, and maintaining your network? And what are some mistakes you think us young (no offense) guys make?

-Start as young as you can and be friendly. Don't suck up, don't be nervous because we were all in that place. Shoot an email once every 4-5 months. Meet up if you ever can.

-The only mistake I have ever witnessed was some kids not asking me how I am (not being selfish), but be courteous

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

Mar 21, 2012

PM sent

Mar 21, 2012

Your story rekindles my faith in humanity. Just out of curiosity, why is your brother also looking to switch careers?

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have."

Mar 22, 2012
ExoticMonkey:

Your story rekindles my faith in humanity. Just out of curiosity, why is your brother also looking to switch careers?

He has always been more open minded than me - he wants to try something new.

Mar 21, 2012

I don't buy it.

Mar 21, 2012

"The company I currently work for goes to homeowners near significant deposits of natural gas, buys the rights for it (more to it but pretty much what the basis is) and either

  1. sell it to developers
  2. develop it ourselves"

So you are buying the rights to development the lands form the homeowners in case gas reserve is discovered on their property?What if there is no gas deposits under the lands you buy?

I am curious how this works since you are not buying the lands, only the development rights, this akin to buying options.

So basically if the option is in the money (gas deposit found!) you exercise it and make tons of money, but if there is no gas deposit, then your development right is worth nothing (option expires worthless).

Is this how it works?

Also i imagine the regulatory environment must be very important for you guys. Laws on zoning, air rights and development rights differ greatly from one county to another, especially concerning development of gas deposits. I think it would be much easier to get the necessary government development permits from PA than NY.

So how do you deal with the political process/hedge against policy uncertainties? Do you have relationships with local politicians or lobbyists to help you navigate the regulatory regimes?

Mar 22, 2012
cg560:

"The company I currently work for goes to homeowners near significant deposits of natural gas, buys the rights for it (more to it but pretty much what the basis is) and either

  1. sell it to developers
  2. develop it ourselves"

So you are buying the rights to development the lands form the homeowners in case gas reserve is discovered on their property?What if there is no gas deposits under the lands you buy?

I am curious how this works since you are not buying the lands, only the development rights, this akin to buying options.

So basically if the option is in the money (gas deposit found!) you exercise it and make tons of money, but if there is no gas deposit, then your development right is worth nothing (option expires worthless).

Is this how it works?

Also i imagine the regulatory environment must be very important for you guys. Laws on zoning, air rights and development rights differ greatly from one county to another, especially concerning development of gas deposits. I think it would be much easier to get the necessary government development permits from PA than NY.

So how do you deal with the political process/hedge against policy uncertainties? Do you have relationships with local politicians or lobbyists to help you navigate the regulatory regimes?

Great observations although there is no uncertainty if there is gas or not within our purchased location. We aren't going to purchase a tract of land and then test it to check if there is natural gas right?

As I said earlier we just pick up the pieces for small and mid-market gas development companies. We make money on the amount of volume of lands we buy/sell (although the profit margins are bigger) We don't have to deal with any regulations.

It is a very niche business and chances are it won't be around in 10 years, but our company is adapting to make way for a new arm of profit

Mar 21, 2012

I'm not buying this for one second.

Anyone who works in E&P can tell you the way this guy is taking about what he does is just off.

Mar 22, 2012
AspenSnowmass:

I'm not buying this for one second.

Anyone who works in E&P can tell you the way this guy is taking about what he does is just off.

How do you think small companies obtain tracts of land? We buy it up first, it is that simple

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Mar 23, 2012

.

Mar 21, 2012

The troll is strong with this one.

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Mar 21, 2012

This is just too funny, its people like the OP who bankrupted Nat Gas E&P companies left and right during the last oil run up. You yuppies buying up land left and right paying insane amounts per acre for lease rights and not even reading the contracts you were signing. Thans to idiots like this I am fucking loaded and will be getting a second windfall because they arent developing.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

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

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Mar 21, 2012
heister:

This is just too funny, its people like the OP who bankrupted Nat Gas E&P companies left and right during the last oil run up. You yuppies buying up land left and right paying insane amounts per acre for lease rights and not even reading the contracts you were signing. Thans to idiots like this I am fucking loaded and will be getting a second windfall because they arent developing.

You're the biggest fraud on this site.

And what does a yuppy have to do with idiot speculators? Yuppies are busy being analysts and getting drunk at cheap bars or acting big getting bottles at the club on their overloaded credit card.

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Mar 22, 2012
Jerome Marrow:
heister:

This is just too funny, its people like the OP who bankrupted Nat Gas E&P companies left and right during the last oil run up. You yuppies buying up land left and right paying insane amounts per acre for lease rights and not even reading the contracts you were signing. Thans to idiots like this I am fucking loaded and will be getting a second windfall because they arent developing.

You're the biggest fraud on this site.

And what does a yuppy have to do with idiot speculators? Yuppies are busy being analysts and getting drunk at cheap bars or acting big getting bottles at the club on their overloaded credit card.

The expression is "like a yuppie" it means to be into something because it is trendy, and liking to make flashy moves by buying expensive things and what not. The analogy is perfectly valid for the situatution I described.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

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

Mar 21, 2012

Not saying there's not plenty to hate in banking, but maybe is hated it cuz you weren't good at it? The VPs I knew it banking that worked brutal hours did so because they weren't effective at their jobs, they were functioning as if they were still associates or even analysts.

I also question the authentity of this post. Don't know many VP's comp package but I do know that 650k for a mid-level VP is middle of the road these days... In the boom years VP comp should have been $1m-ish... Speculating.

Third, it's a tough profession. You work brutal hours when you're junior and travel a lot when you're senior. While the money may have been a motivating factor for me to get into this line of work, it certainly wasn't the only factor nor was it the biggest. If you do something you don't really want to do, you're going to be unhappy... Pretty simple. Doesn't matter if it requires you to work 40 hours or 110 hours a week. The reason people are so unhappy in this fields because the money is a large magnet that attracts people to wall street whether it something they're passionate about or not. You don't see people who have no interest in a profession go into other fields nearly as much. In the cases they do, it's because they view a job simply a means to make a living... They don't view it as a core piece of their self-worth or a means of social validation. Accordingly they don't seek their job as a source of fulfillment, they have family/friends/interests that get rely on for that.

Bottom line: it's a tough job, if you love the hours, there's something wrong with you. If you find it intolerable, it's because you got into it for the wrong reasons or made an uninformed decision. No job/career is perfect.

Mar 22, 2012
Marcus_Halberstram:

Not saying there's not plenty to hate in banking, but maybe is hated it cuz you weren't good at it? The VPs I knew it banking that worked brutal hours did so because they weren't effective at their jobs, they were functioning as if they were still associates or even analysts.

I also question the authentity of this post. Don't know many VP's comp package but I do know that 650k for a mid-level VP is middle of the road these days... In the boom years VP comp should have been $1m-ish... Speculating.

Third, it's a tough profession. You work brutal hours when you're junior and travel a lot when you're senior. While the money may have been a motivating factor for me to get into this line of work, it certainly wasn't the only factor nor was it the biggest. If you do something you don't really want to do, you're going to be unhappy... Pretty simple. Doesn't matter if it requires you to work 40 hours or 110 hours a week. The reason people are so unhappy in this fields because the money is a large magnet that attracts people to wall street whether it something they're passionate about or not. You don't see people who have no interest in a profession go into other fields nearly as much. In the cases they do, it's because they view a job simply a means to make a living... They don't view it as a core piece of their self-worth or a means of social validation. Accordingly they don't seek their job as a source of fulfillment, they have family/friends/interests that get rely on for that.

Bottom line: it's a tough job, if you love the hours, there's something wrong with you. If you find it intolerable, it's because you got into it for the wrong reasons or made an uninformed decision. No job/career is perfect.

I would say I was good at it, keep in mind I didn't work those hours all the time (slight exaggeration),

I definitely got into banking for the wrong reasons, it was a good experience and sometimes it was fun, but I wouldn't do it again

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Mar 21, 2012

As someone from Energy. No offence dude but relax on the hate on MDs/Bankers/etc and the whole they add nothing to society thing.

Let's be real you do not add a ton of value in society either. You are basically trading/investing on niche skills, market and landing deals at the right time. Nothing you do is totally different from the MDs/VPs at a bank you just don't do it in a suit working stupid hours. I highly doubt you are creating value for these homeowners, likewise you are running them over and most likely paying as little as can be for the land and then maximizing your profits by selling at the top to the silly E&Ps who overpay hesiter mentioned.

Are you bringing efficiency to a market? Sure but so does any other trader/broker. Also not totally buying the whole "I work 35-40 hour weeks". I bet you are on call 80% of the time, and your mind is thinking about these investments about 60-80% of the time too. Likewise the risk profile and stress is higher than a banking VP taking orders all day.

Congrats on the gig and career. Very cool stuff indeed, but let's be real here before every kid sends you a PM begging for a job. Your life ain't all roses and or "just wake up, print 7 figures, sit on porch after 6 hours" all day.

Mar 22, 2012
marcellus_wallace:

As someone from Energy. No offence dude but relax on the hate on MDs/Bankers/etc and the whole they add nothing to society thing.

Let's be real you do not add a ton of value in society either. You are basically trading/investing on niche skills, market and landing deals at the right time. Nothing you do is totally different from the MDs/VPs at a bank you just don't do it in a suit working stupid hours. I highly doubt you are creating value for these homeowners, likewise you are running them over and most likely paying as little as can be for the land and then maximizing your profits by selling at the top to the silly E&Ps who overpay hesiter mentioned.

Are you bringing efficiency to a market? Sure but so does any other trader/broker. Also not totally buying the whole "I work 35-40 hour weeks". I bet you are on call 80% of the time, and your mind is thinking about these investments about 60-80% of the time too. Likewise the risk profile and stress is higher than a banking VP taking orders all day.

Congrats on the gig and career. Very cool stuff indeed, but let's be real here before every kid sends you a PM begging for a job. Your life ain't all roses and or "just wake up, print 7 figures, sit on porch after 6 hours" all day.

I don't mean to be hating on MD's or VP's (if I came off that way) many of my friends are still in the business. I would say the risk profile is semi-high. With natural gas inventories most likely being at capacity in the fall business will get stressful, but we are always adapting our business. Honestly I don't mind if my income drops a little bit because I love what I do.

Also for your last point, my job now is more management. Starting up I was doing some traveling, but it was laid back. Not traveling like a consultant and my traveling was primarily east coast

    • 1
Mar 22, 2012
  1. When did you make VP?
  2. What allowed you to climb the ranks / what advice do you have to analysts trying to climb the ranks?
  3. You obviously found some reason to stay all the way to VP, what did you see in the career then?
Mar 22, 2012
ferragamo u know:

1. When did you make VP?
2. What allowed you to climb the ranks / what advice do you have to analysts trying to climb the ranks?
3. You obviously found some reason to stay all the way to VP, what did you see in the career then?

I think it's pretty clear from his post that he stayed in it because he didn't get an PE or HF opportunities (or not any he felt were worth taking).

Mar 22, 2012

for reason this whole career path just reeks of Citi...

Mar 22, 2012
ivoteforthatguy:

for reason this whole career path just reeks of Citi...

What do you mean?

Mar 22, 2012

Very interesting story.

Please tell us what do you mean by "natural gas sourcing" ?

Mar 22, 2012

I refuse to believe most of this. no way is this guy making anything close to what MDs make. if life was this simple everyone would be coming to work in boots and lounging around doing nothing acting busy for 35 hours a week. Cmon guys. I started laughing in the middle of reading this.

Mar 22, 2012
twobitpirate:

I refuse to believe most of this. no way is this guy making anything close to what MDs make. if life was this simple everyone would be coming to work in boots and lounging around doing nothing acting busy for 35 hours a week. Cmon guys. I started laughing in the middle of reading this.

I don't mean to be hostile but you are being ignorant. I know many people who run their own family companies, hired a manager, and sit back and relax. I work maybe 35-40 hours a week and it is very laid back. We are a niche business as I said previously and we happen to make good investments. You should really educate yourself a bit more on other jobs. Most MD's I know some MD's who never broken the 2 million mark whereas I know people around by me that own engineering firms (one example is a pivot piece on a security camera) who live next to HF managers.

    • 1
Mar 22, 2012

there is definitely a lot of gas emanating from this thread.

    • 2
Mar 22, 2012

so wait, you are trying to educate me about something you have never done?

makes perfect sense.

Mar 22, 2012
leveredarb:

so wait, you are trying to educate me about something you have never done?

makes perfect sense.

You mean just like the OP?

Mar 22, 2012

I love college kids who try to tell people in banking how awesome and fulfilling banking is.

Mar 22, 2012
leveredarb:

I love college kids who try to tell people in banking how awesome and fulfilling banking is.

For one, I am no college kid!

And secondly I would say that first hand, candid conversations with those that have been in the industry far longer than you and living with banking analysts qualify as appropriate sources of information.

You don't like banking, we get it, you can't see a time where you ever would, fine, but you're not everyone, and you need to learn this or you'll have a very tough time in the future.

Mar 25, 2012
Oreos:
leveredarb:

I love college kids who try to tell people in banking how awesome and fulfilling banking is.

For one, I am no college kid!

And secondly I would say that first hand, candid conversations with those that have been in the industry far longer than you and living with banking analysts qualify as appropriate sources of information.

You don't like banking, we get it, you can't see a time where you ever would, fine, but you're not everyone, and you need to learn this or you'll have a very tough time in the future.

Yeah I am not everyone, but all normal mentally healthy, socially well adjusted people that have friends in the real world tend to find banking a fucking joke.

Sure there will be some nutjobs that get a kick out of fucking their life for banking, but hey the vast majority of people that did it think it just blows. You need to have a very strange twisted personality to find it enjoyable (or just have no life and no friends, that works as well).

    • 1
Mar 22, 2012

All I see here is bankers/people who want to be bankers trying to justify how fulfilling banking is when it's not. 99% of office jobs aren't that fulfilling, people just do them for the money. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's hard to always just go for something you love. Like I'd love to be a mathematics PhD and become a mathematician. But I'm quite literally not smart enough to see success in that field, regardless of how hard I work. I know plenty of USAMO qualifiers who feel they aren't cut out for the field. We're all going into quant positions, programming positions, or becoming HS teachers. And I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with sacrificing our dreams of mathematics professorship for fields we think we'd see more success in money in. Especially when u take into account that eventually we all plan on supporting families and raising children.

Mar 22, 2012

banking is one of those things more enjoyable in retrospect, because you remember the camaraderie and perqs but don't feel the physical pain of it any longer. i liked blowing $100 a pop on dinner and expensing it to my client, i liked indulging myself, but i will never forget the feeling of waking up in a 4 star hotel and thinking that i'd downgrade to a fleabitten howard johnson in a SECOND if i could just get 2 more hours of sleep.

Mar 22, 2012
formerBBbanker1254:

Hey guys,

I have only been on this forum a couple of times, but I formerly worked in M&A at a bulge bracket. I have been out of the business for a couple of years now (my choice) and I just wanted to give you guys some advice about the financial industry (this was inspired by Greg Smith)

Some background:

I graduated from semi-target with a good GPA (3.4), but started networking freshman year. I always wanted to be a banker, the money, the girls....but most importantly the money. Eventually I landed a few random gigs and long story short I got into a SA spot, then FT offer.

I was the happiest person in the world.

Work:

I enjoyed it a lot simply put. The hours were long, but I didn't mind one bit...until I realized I would be doing this for the next years. I noticed briefly scanning over this forum that many people go from investment banking to private equity/corporate jobs. This may be a dose of reality, but it is not as easy as that. Many of the people I worked with (keep in mind during the boom) couldn't break into PE, the amount of candidates + the amount of spots open made it impossible (it is a lot about luck).

Anyways, once I was promoted to VP I started thinking about my job. Frankly I hated it, despised it. THE MONEY WASN'T WORTH IT. I was miserable as was everyone else on my team. We all did it for the money and we couldn't find a way out. PE wasn't fun, I didn't want to work at a HF (nearly impossible to get in there). One day I woke up after 24 hour+ day, looked at my clock and thought to myself, "I can't do this anymore, it is just not worth it." At that time I was making around 650K all in for my late 20's. I moved back home (parents live right outside the city), and started pondering what I was going to do next. I wanted to get into the energy sector, but doing what? Gas/oil/green energy! I called up my friend who I know was in the field and asked him for advice. Long story short he put me in contact with a guy, who put me in contact with another guy who gave me a job. I do natural gas sourcing now and I love my job!

**(I did not have a huge cushion to fall back on- this was not a retirement plan - my cushion lasted for only 6 months because I had various expenses to pay off (family sicknesses/debt etc))

Previously doing investment banking made me realize how much 1. Money doesn't buy happiness 2. Many people in IB are very insecure about themselves and try to make for it with money 3. IF YOU ARE GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO MONEY WILL COME.

I love my job now and honestly to me, it isn't even a job. I said this a ton of times, but I love it and I am damn good at it. Here is the kicker:

I make more than my friends who are still in investment banking (MD VP), I didn't think entering the job I would be making this much in a couple years, but I do. Also I work only 35-40 hours a week (at most 45). I feel bad for all of my friends in IB, they have no way out because they don't want to take the pay cut and have families to support. The tone is the same for all of them though and that is they hate it. I go to work in boots, jeans, a hat and make more money than them and even if I didn't make more money I would still be happier no doubt.

Here I am in the countryside (although I live in the NYC suburbs) sitting on a porch overlooking some mountains on the computer. Life can't be better.

I will be more than happy to answer questions

What is natural gas sourcing? Sounds a lot like a landman to me. Thanks

Mar 22, 2012
txjustin][quote=formerBBbanker1254:

What is natural gas sourcing? Sounds a lot like a landman to me. Thanks

Simply put:

Find gas plot -> buy it -> sell it to company

We get to the gas first and put a spread on the price

Mar 22, 2012

Be a doll and lower gas prices

Mar 22, 2012

congrats

sending pm

Mar 22, 2012

Simply put:

Find gas plot -> buy it -> sell it to company

We get to the gas first and put a spread on the price

I see, so you are effectively doing arbitrage here. Since land is already known to contain gas, the sale price already incorporated this information. So you are making small profit margin per each lot purchase and then aggregate a lot of lots to then sell to gas developers in bulk.

This seem like a neat way to make money with minimum amount of risk on your end.

I assumed that you were buying the lots without knowing whether contains gas for sure, then do the prospecting on your own. Hester once commented that he bought some farm land only to discover oil underneath them and was able to make a killing off it. I thought you guys were doing something similar.

Mar 22, 2012

Thanks a ton for doing this post, we always love hearing different perspectives! And, especially, thanks for addressing a lot of the more hostile questions/comments in a civil manner. Threw down some SBs for ya

For the haters: give me a fucking break. You shouldn't be so surprised that someone had a different experience than you. Instead of jumping on everyone that lends a different view or set of ideas, go find a tranny hooker and stop wasting people's time. This conspiracy "oh, he must be a liar since he didn't do things exactly the way I did or my friend did" bullshit is getting really fucking old.

    • 1
Mar 22, 2012

Cool, btw i'm not in anyway implying you don't deserve the 7 figs. I was merely wondering how exactly you contribute to the bottom line.

Mar 22, 2012

This still sounds like a troll post and ppl are buying in, rofl.

Mar 22, 2012

Let me know when you graduate college, then I might take your "troll post" calls more seriously.

Mar 22, 2012

No pic, no proof.

Mar 22, 2012

I don't have to be a college graduate to read through this guys's original post and pick off the inconsistencies.

  1. He started thinking about his job/hate of ib AFTER being promoted to VP? Rofl isn't that like 8-12 yrs in the game?
  2. He says it's a family business but according to him he got his job from a friend who put him in contact with a guy who knew a guy. Dude why would anyone going back to the family business need to this?
  3. This was like his first post ever and he is supposed to be a grown man but he gets on hear bragging about his job and bashing banking without giving any real constructive advice on alternatives... also what grown man making seven figures non-banking who has been out of the game for years frequents WSO?

I don't even want to continue, either ppl aren't reading this guy's posts or WSO is more gullible than I thought.

Apr 15, 2012
BigBucks:

I don't have to be a college graduate to read through this guys's original post and pick off the inconsistencies.

  1. He started thinking about his job/hate of ib AFTER being promoted to VP? Rofl isn't that like 8-12 yrs in the game?
  2. He says it's a family business but according to him he got his job from a friend who put him in contact with a guy who knew a guy. Dude why would anyone going back to the family business need to this?
  3. This was like his first post ever and he is supposed to be a grown man but he gets on hear bragging about his job and bashing banking without giving any real constructive advice on alternatives... also what grown man making seven figures non-banking who has been out of the game for years frequents WSO?

I don't even want to continue, either ppl aren't reading this guy's posts or WSO is more gullible than I thought.

  1. The learning curve went into a downward spiral after being promoted. I had a tough time coping with that.
  2. What? It is not my family business, I meant family as in family owned.
  3. You should see my PM's

If anyone has any other questions I will be on more often, sorry for the lag

Mar 22, 2012

^^ A family business isn't necessarily ones own family's business. I'm pretty sure he never said he went to his family's business.

Mar 22, 2012
  1. The job for a VP is far different than for an analyst. A bit different than associate. As he said, also, the money was a motivating factor. This happens to a lot of people.
  2. Attention to detail. A family business, not his family business.
  3. You just said, in the same sentence, that this is "like his first post ever" and "what grown man...frequents WSO" in the same sentence.

3a. If you're surprised that people bash banking, and former bankers bash banking, than you probably don't know much about it or are glossing over the realities of the job and keeping your eye on the paycheck. He was providing reasons why he doesn't do it. He is letting people know that you can have a great job and life outside of banking.

I really don't want to continue. I don't think calling people out in public is cool; it's fucking obnoxious. You need to either:
a) work on your reading comprehension
and/or
b) work on your attention to detail

That is, if you eventually want to work in banking.

Mar 22, 2012
D M:

1. The job for a VP is far different than for an analyst. A bit different than associate. As he said, also, the money was a motivating factor. This happens to a lot of people.

  1. Attention to detail. A family business, not his family business.
  2. You just said, in the same sentence, that this is "like his first post ever" and "what grown man...frequents WSO" in the same sentence.

3a. If you're surprised that people bash banking, and former bankers bash banking, than you probably don't know much about it or are glossing over the realities of the job and keeping your eye on the paycheck. He was providing reasons why he doesn't do it. He is letting people know that you can have a great job and life outside of banking.

I really don't want to continue. I don't think calling people out in public is cool; it's fucking obnoxious. You need to either:
a) work on your reading comprehension
and/or
b) work on your attention to detail

That is, if you eventually want to work in banking.

You go gurl!

    • 1
Mar 22, 2012

Here's a thought, and it may be crazy (since I don't really no about these industries). Is it possible he made some investments a couple/few years ago when nobody was going after them and now they are paying out? I mean, this is how an investment pays off - over time.

I could be way off base, but that would be the simplest answer for me. And it's a lot easier to come to than assuming it's a complex conspiracy.

Mar 23, 2012

its simpler to just understand you're being trolled.

Mar 23, 2012

A family member just moved to Bali... he loves the shit out of it.

Mar 23, 2012

Alternatively, go banking, go buyside (hedge fund). I love my job, and can't believe I'm getting paid to do what I do. Doesn't feel like work at all, and life is awesome.

Mar 23, 2012

All you guys saying you don't believe him should check if that is because you don't want to believe him.

There is oil in Illinois for christ's sake and there are people who make good money dripping them dry. You buy land cheap from the big players who don't want to bother getting the last dregs out and homeowners who don't know better.

Run lean. Make money.

Mar 23, 2012

And people wonder why more experienced industry people dont post on this site....

Mar 23, 2012
ANT:

And people wonder why more experienced industry people dont post on this site....

This...

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.

Mar 23, 2012

Why can't we have some kind of verification system going on for these types of thread? They get on the front page and everyone would be better off with some kind of verification for legitimacy instead of wasting half a potentially good thread on questioning the original poster.

Mar 23, 2012
Mr. Hansen:

Why can't we have some kind of verification system going on for these types of thread? They get on the front page and everyone would be better off with some kind of verification for legitimacy instead of wasting half a potentially good thread on questioning the original poster.

Well that's what the star label system is for. But not everyone posts consistently - look at that one post from that KKR guy 10x leverage did. He posted a very helpful thread, and he was a real deal. Also, a lot of people who work in the industry just don't bother getting the star next to their name (they don't post often enough so no need, want to keep some anonymity, etc)

Like with a lot of things, posts are 'buyer beware'. You can choose to believe what the OP says and ask questions to learn more, or not and do your own research to see if what he's saying is legit.

Can you picture how this will affect posts if Patrick and his team email each big post like this and ask 'hey guy, we just wanna wanna check, but are you real or a troll'?

Apr 15, 2012

Interesting story, would love to get some color on what you are seeing out there in the basins.

Hasn't acreage acquisition in dry gas basins virtually ground to a halt by now?
What kind of pricing changes have you seen over the past 6 months?
Who are the incremental buyers and sellers right now?
What are you hearing out in the field?

Apr 15, 2012
macro:

Interesting story, would love to get some color on what you are seeing out there in the basins.

Hasn't acreage acquisition in dry gas basins virtually ground to a halt by now?
What kind of pricing changes have you seen over the past 6 months?
Who are the incremental buyers and sellers right now?
What are you hearing out in the field?

Thanks man and as previously noted we (as a business) shy away from large reserves, but there are many smaller tracts to still be found. A nice obstacle to overcome now is the low NG prices, but we have been expecting that especially with the aggressive acquisitions that have been occurring. Figure by next winter they should be up again, if not before then. We don't nearly have the leverage we use to have, but that should pick up in the future. With that said it is expected over the summer for companies to be more aggressive to soak up the cheap prices. What I have been hearing recently is that we need a business change haha, which we are. This business will slow down in a couple years, but it should be another challenge!

Apr 17, 2012

csb, tell me again, troll

Jul 3, 2012
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Aug 31, 2013
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There is a WILL, there is a WAY.