I Knew Finance was for me When...

As the title says. When did you guys decide "yep, I wanna be banker, crunch numbers and have no sleep". Was there any moment that pushed you towards finance or did you come out of the womb spitting valuations in the maternity ward?

Comments (61)

Sep 1, 2018

When I realized that I couldn't get girls if it weren't for me being rich.

*not my personal answer, as I'm not in banking, but I think that's why many people go into banking

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Sep 1, 2018

why is it that your main goal is to always get girls and not constantly learn and grow?

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Sep 1, 2018

There's only so much money you need.

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Sep 1, 2018

When I realised that I couldn't get girls if it weren't for me being rich.

I was thinking of saying that at my interview but I didnt want my interviewer thinking I was a perv (which I am)

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Sep 4, 2018

I wonder how the Bn/MS ratio would have changed had you not included the footnote.

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Sep 1, 2018

Combination of events. I'm still in UG and majoring in Computer Information Systems (IT business degree). My whole college UG has been a cluster fuck and I pretty much just chose this degree after deciding I wanted to work with programming/computers/tech but had already too many business courses to go to computer science (would have gone finance if I knew what I know now).

Skip to myself and my girlfriend in NOLA looking around in art galleries at things I now dream to be able to easily afford (an IT career wont earn you that much until you're decades on the job). Then skip to my Dad (whom is a very successful financial advisor) selling me on the idea of the CRE industry. After looking into it myself (browsing this website and networking with people in the business) I basically fell in love. And this industry is with out a doubt a better fit for me than being in IT/tech/programming/whatever job I would land.

Sep 1, 2018

I knew finance was for me when I saw smart upperclassmen ahead of me struggling to break into IB. I realized it was a competitive field, and that it'd be a good challenge for me. And I want to be comfortable, but didn't want to do law/medicine because of the crazy time commitment necessary after college.

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Sep 1, 2018

Not really in finance per se but I always liked how much room for creativity there is in deal structuring and using financial tools. It really is an art.

Sep 1, 2018

I knew finance was for me when I heard "those nerds" whose computers I was fixing were pulling in $100k+ annually. All they seemed to do was sit there, play with numbers, and go to meetings.

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Sep 1, 2018

there isn't really any other option. not techy/stem enough to go into tech, medicine is a massive commitment, and everyone says law is miserable.

Sep 1, 2018

And engineering seems boring/lame

Sep 1, 2018

I knew finance was for me when the fear of being pigeonholed in a cubicle farm as I await someone retiring kept me up all night.

Finance, particularly investment banking, provides me with constant challenge, transaction-focused work and a very high ceiling.

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Sep 7, 2018

off topic - wtf does a pink IB circle mean (next to your username)? The user link doesn't have any info on it.

Sep 1, 2018

Recruited into investment banking through my business school.

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Sep 1, 2018

I'd like to revise my answer to say, "after my dad made me watch Wall Street 1"

Sep 1, 2018

when i watched wolf of wall street the first time

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Sep 1, 2018

When I saw the income from options trading

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Sep 4, 2018

I watched American Psycho and was like "yeah, that is going to be me"

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Sep 4, 2018

Very niche for my field (pharma consulting), but mine was when I realised 'damn, a lot of these biomedical scientists are geniuses in labs but have no idea about business. I bet helping the business side whilst proving I have scientific knowledge can be a lucrative field'. Started as I entered UG and haven't regretted it ever since.

Sep 5, 2018

your inner voice uses the word "whilst"?

JM28

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Sep 4, 2018

My family runs a small business, and back during my freshman year of college they hired a bank to help sell it. He bought it when he was in his late 20's with a buddy, and grew it to becoming a $50mm+ revenue business with over 20 locations in a bunch of different states. Now he's selling it and to see how his incredible hard work over 3 financial crises and 1 recession has paid off is pretty cool. He wouldn't have been able to do that w/o the support of an investment bank.

I know a lot of people might cringe at the story but investment banks really do facilitate the growth and accumulation of business and capitalism. Being a part of those sorts of deals and initiatives within companies is quite the experience, regardless of size or industry.

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Sep 4, 2018

When I realize I could make $150k adding numbers togethers on Excel and aligning logos on PowerPoint

Real answer: I started off wanting to be a doctor and then law school but really didnt want to go through another 3-4 years of school. My parents could've probably afford it, but didnt want them to after already paying for 4 years of undergrad. Banking seemed to be a good choice considering it paid well without needing more school and close to home.

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Sep 4, 2018

It occurred to me that the guaranteed careers that would lead me to my own subjective financial freedom like being a doctor, researcher, lawyer, etc. would all take a substantial amount of time to attain and that in my mind were always just paths to capital accumulation and eventually owning my own business. That idea combined with the knowledge of opportunity cost and compound interest led me explore business as a career. I found that I could start out with or progress to the type of compensation in finance over these other fields - with more risks of course. I was always genuinely interested in understanding the world in the broadest, most connected way and economics/finance provided that view where those other careers did not. Hence, I decided broadly that I would pursue finance and economics and supplement my education and career with self-study of politics and science.

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Sep 4, 2018

To excel at anything accounting/finance related, you need to work a lot of hours and work very hard. Might as well choose the career path that pays you the most for doing it.

For the record, currently an MBA pursuing investment banking opportunities. Started in Big 4 audit and transferred to Big 4 consulting pre-MBA.

Sep 4, 2018

Very good looks on transferring out of audit. It's not the easiest thing to position yourself out of.

Sep 5, 2018

True story. I'm also ex-Big 4 audit. I took the "move to NYC, pass all three CFA exams, learn everything possible about markets, and network your ass off" approach. It is no cakewalk getting out of audit. Recruiters still hit me up for accounting jobs offering "$110K plus generous PTO." They even list the salary in the subject line, which lets you know it's the only reason you'd ever want a job that boring. Do they think I moved across the country and got a CFA/CPA combo so I could have a "safe" job as assistant controller doing the monthly close process alongside Barb and Pam?

I don't mean to come off like too much of an a-hole. Accounting is a great job for people with a certain personality, but that is NOT my personality. I'm glad I had a few years of public accounting because it gave me a solid foundation, but I'm glad I got out early and started making chess moves (first was a valuation/consulting role then CFA) towards asset management early. It's way too easy to get trapped in financial reporting forever.

"Now you's can't leave." -Sonny LoSpecchio

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Sep 4, 2018

When I first saw a company with a 60%+ EBITDA margin and 20%+ annual CAGR. My massive half chub confirmed finance was for me.

Sep 4, 2018

1999 - when I was in 9th grade (age 14), we had a stock market stimulation in my macroeconomic class.

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Sep 5, 2018
Naoki Hanzawa:

1999 - when I was in 9th grade (age 14), we had a stock market stimulation in my macroeconomic class.

Sounds very stimulating.

"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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Sep 4, 2018

2011 - read the Million Dollar Careers WetFeet guide.

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Sep 4, 2018

I knew finance was for me when I visited the NYSE on a school trip. I was instantly hooked by all the screens and prices. It just felt right to me, I can't be thankful enough that I discovered my passion for markets.

Sep 4, 2018

I knew finance was for me when I read about Carl Icahn's exploit.

Cash and cash equivalents: $138,311
Financial instruments and other inventory positions owned: $448,166

Sep 4, 2018

when i failed all the other interviews

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

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Funniest
Sep 4, 2018

When I looked at the Occupy Wall Street crowd and decided "fuck those people."

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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Sep 4, 2018

another non-target who wanted to play the lottery

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

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Sep 4, 2018

2008: Dad tells me markets are bad and family will have to make sacrifices. We make it through alright but decided I never want that for my family so start to read about what happened and try to learn from it. Get hooked on finance.

Sep 4, 2018

Met a couple alumni who worked on Wall Street...they impressed me way more than any lawyer, medical or big 4 person from my school. It wasn't necessarily about the money or anything, I just knew that of most the professionals I met from my undergrad they were the ones I wanted to most emulate and become like

Sep 4, 2018

Saw this NY Times on a roommate's bed: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/24/business/24hedg...

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Sep 4, 2018

...I realized a big bonus was the only way to get out of my insane student debt.

Sep 5, 2018

Started making good money in a sales and strategy type role. Was spending all my free time researching the best investments for my money. Left to go back to school to get a degree in finance. Never looked back - hope to end up in IB/ER and then PE/HF. Different roles, both very interesting for different reasons. Based on my experience thus far my skill-set is probably most applicable to PE but I don't mind doing the in-depth individual research for ER/AM/HF

just a monkey trying to find his way in the finance jungle

Sep 5, 2018

When I realized that I hate myself more than a staffer / manager ever could

JM28

Sep 5, 2018

As an engineering student, I don't wanna wack off my whole life

Sep 5, 2018

on the trading side.... i did an internship and my first day on a desk - the energy, the speed of the morning and the overall youth of everyone - was all i needed. i was hooked

Sep 5, 2018

What I think a lot of people overlook is that once everything is said and done with a deal, if it succeeds, you've just successfully transformed the market, and as a result you get the brag rags to all of your non-banking friends that you, for example, 'helped BP purchase oil rights in Canada' or 'worked on issuing debt for Intel.'

It's one of the only jobs out there where you can immediately see the impact that you've made in the world, which is ultimately part of why the job is such a rewarding experience.

Garrett E Kindle

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Sep 5, 2018

I knew that IB would be the right path for someone like me because I lacked the raw intelligence necessary to excel in a more technical field like software development, where merit and merit alone determines your career trajectory, and despite being an introvert, I was enough of a social climber to be an effective networker. In banking, your intelligence is not that important beyond a certain baseline - it's more about avoiding mistakes and fitting in with your team. During my summer at an EB I found that people will forgive many shortcomings as long as they like your attitude and you as a person. Everyone who was confident in their social skills but not necessarily their technical knowledge ultimately won the return offer. It was the people for whom the opposite was true who ran into concerns about their enthusiasm and dedication to the job.

Sep 6, 2018

Did a google search on "finance salaries" and the rest is history...

  • HFT
  •  Sep 7, 2018

When I lost $80k in highly leveraged trading.

Sep 7, 2018

When my mom's friend told me how much money he made in 08'. I started driving him around and he quasi-became my first real estate investing mentor. Then realized I could retire in my 30s if I executed properly.

Sep 7, 2018

When, straight out of school, my dad told me to become a doctor.

Sep 14, 2018

When I was born into parents who were artists. My mom makes decent business out of her creativity, but I always resented why they couldn't just think with more.... capitalist values.

Sep 5, 2018
DonalDayUmTray:

As the title says. When did you guys decide "yep, I wanna be banker, crunch numbers and have no sleep". Was there any moment that pushed you towards finance or did you come out of the womb spitting valuations in the maternity ward?

Let me break it down for you.

I like to focus on the heart of something, what controls it and how to make it better. For many organizations and in the view of the economy as a whole (or even company by company), the financial makeup and financial markets will always be the spine, the brain, the heart. If they go down, it goes down. They can spur growth and fuel the fire of rapid growth startup companies needing efficient resource allocation in high volumes. I like that. I like to hone in on whats important and what is not and chop away at the nonsense and develop the profit centers to bloom as to what they should be, (a) as the market demands and also (b) what the market wants but doesn't know it wants (yet). That's the allure of finance to me.

And then you have the individual person. They have a brain that controls their actions and growth (personal/career growth). The focus on helping one person and the neuroplasticity of their brain has also been alluring to me. I have always had an interest in the field of neuroscience/psychology/psychiatry and did not know if I wanted to go into medicine to focus on helping people 1:1 in some chill office with a waterfall or something, or focus on building the structures, the entities that form revenue and profit producing centers, benefiting society from a macro view. The hard (frustrating) part about psych MD work on a day to day basis is that you have the tools as a doctor to help the person, but you have to get to them. Much like a personal trainer at the gym, the PT has to find a way to motivate the person. The MD has to find that door to open in addition to having the tools and the training, which is sometimes hard to do at times, if not impossible (some people only respond to chemical therapy and not behavioral therapy at times). I like to focus on as little chemicals as possible, but do believe in many cases that it is a great aid that doesn't always have to persist with a lifetime prescription.

So that has always been my big choice in life. Do I go more towards helping businesses or helping (trying to help) a person in the MD route on a 1:1 basis. It would be a strong impact to a small group of people with deep discussions/therapy and ups and downs persisting over the years with hopefully a net positive impact. I would be a very important person in their life (and also technically on call 24/7, which is not to be taken lightly). As I am 35 and have done much at this point, I think it may be possible still to do both industries, but I have no visions of running a full MD practice. If I have time in my 40s or 50s, I do see the possibility of working towards an MD for a casual weekly 10-20hr commitment long term with a select group of patients that I approve to work with on a long term basis who are willing. Med school and residency would obviously be huge time commitments and dollar figure commitments, which I have considered for years. The time factor is the biggest thing to me. If I had equity in any companies that needed advisory, I'd have to be able to communicate by email or something with little time spent on overseeing their operations during classes. I'd be wary of joining any active roles if seeking to start school.

Overall, Psych MD is so different at times than other MD professions. The ER MD has a guy that comes in with a broken arm, and he's like 'oh ok, let me fix your arm'. The psych MD may have a patient with a 'broken arm' per se who says that their 'arm is not broken.' Just getting past that first step as an MD is quite a large one and I think is present in AA or something like that as well. Admitting you have a problem, etc.

If you believe in destiny, or fate, or hope or something, I am often confronted with the notion that I am meant to be there in that chair to utter possibly only one sentence to someone in therapy that just 'clicks' for them, makes them change, and impacts the world in a positive way. I might not even receive the satisfaction of immediate acknowledgement/feedback from them - the words could 'click' for them years later. In some ways, all of that training and school and practice and residency mainly lead to just one well placed sentence in the career of an MD psych. Its a scary thought to think that it may be all the impact in your career and training. But, in other ways, to think at this point in science that one may sit casually in a chair and utter words to change the actions of another person in psychological duress or to help/fix something identified in the DSM-V is ... truly amazing ... in our development of this part of the sciences (the past 100 years have seen great development). MD psychs weren't even considered real doctors for a while (they were like the chiropractors of the community - you know ... not considered real doctors - lol).

"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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Sep 5, 2018
Comment

"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

Sep 5, 2018
Comment

"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

    • 1
Sep 16, 2018