IQ And Emotional Intelligence

ace7749's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 22

A lot of talking on these boards has to do with what it takes to be a successful investment banker, trader, or anything related to business. For all of these, certain traits are critical i.e. hard work and attention to detail. I see a lot of people coming on these boards with the expectation that a 3.9 out of a target school will land them their dream job, which is no doubt true to some extent. However, let's just assume that an investment bank takes all of these qualified candidates...what happens to them down the road? Surely some luck will have to do with who gets promoted but as they say "luck is when preparation meets opportunity." It's my belief that emotional intelligence is something that should be addressed more on the boards.

I would argue that there at least 30 IQ points that can be overcome in being successful. To phrase it simply, I think at a certain level there is no difference in the likelihood of being successful in this game between someone with an IQ of 126 versus 156. Both of these people will have more than the necessary skills to be successful in the field of finance. Therefore, I think the people who truly excel are those who often possess certain intangibles that can't be measured by grades. I think of these as the street smart skills--simply knowing how to make money or knowing what your opponent is going to do. This is kind of the reason I think trading firms are willing to take risks on poker players---they are unique and bring assets that aren't measured directly on paper or IQ. There are a lot of these things just as creativity, thinking outside the box, common social skills (something I feel a lot of people lack) that are critical in distinguishing these distinguished analysts the first day they walk in.

So I guess what I'm really asking is if people would agree to some level with my thinking, and if so, how do people go about maximizing their emotional intelligence?

Comments (31)

May 23, 2010

Agree with you 100%. As someone who truly excelled at university, I nevertheless find my emotional IQ is not up to the level I want and I have been focusing more on developing it rather than the IQ in the past few months.

I don't think Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is thinking outside the box, creativity etc; for me it means more like being able to socially interact with anyone, even if you don't particularly like them. In other words, getting along with people. And banking is about people and relationships. If that is what you are looking for, I can recommend a few books by Dale Carnegie (How to make friends and influence people)/Napoleon Hill (Law of Success) They cover this topic in much detail, i.e. how to develop winning relationships etc, and they are very useful for other things like motivation etc.

I am sure you have heard about Carnegie at least - I am not advertising some "Racing Towards Excellence" crap. The books I mention are truly classics and are quite amusing even as a general read.

Good luck.

May 23, 2010

Yes definitely i would also really like to hear recruiters opinions on this, students that look good 'on paper' and completely disappoint during interviews what their common mistakes are etc.

    • 1
May 23, 2010

Warren Buffet:

"If you have a 150 IQ, sell 30 points to someone else. You need to be smart, but not a genius. What's most important is inner peace; you have to be able to think for yourself. It's not a complicated game."

Interesting, no?

May 23, 2010

@r scott morris--interesting quote, though that wiki article makes me think r scott morris is probably closer to 150 than 120...

i dont think i would go so far as to say a 126 can do the same as someone with a 156 IQ. it depends on the job function...i think within banking the gap would be less important; though i'd look at it this way

a 750 GMAT is about the same as a 149 IQ. (by distribution standards, because the GMAT is taken by a sample and a 720 or so is about 130)

I think both IQ and social ability (EQ) are going to be factors in someone's success and that both can (to some degree) be compensated for. (I think EQ can be learned to some degree, but you can't really improve your IQ)

May 23, 2010

I totally agree, likability goes a long, long way. I'd also contend that you'd be hard-pressed to find someone with IQ 155 working in finance.

Actual 150+ geniuses really have different priorities, which is why they'd research/lecture at university rather than work for some hedge fund.
You can't compare a person with IQ 125 and another with IQ 155 because their motivations are simply different. See Grigori Perelman, the Russian mathematician who recently refused the $1m Nobel prize.

May 23, 2010

I think it's a bit much to say 155 people don't work in finance...if you look at the people at DE SHAW i'd be willing to bet there are few people under 140...I know a number of people who's IQ's are greater than 150 and are going into finance

think about what it takes to get into BX PE or GS SSG or DE SHAW out of ugrad...

May 23, 2010

^^ Doesn't take much more than at other banks, all interviews at undergrad are the same at all BBs - from what I know, there is no screening criteria by IQ, even at GS and DE Shaw.

    • 1
May 23, 2010

10% of success is what you know, 90% is knowing how to maneuver yourself through the world.

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

May 24, 2010

just because they don't screen for IQ doesn't meant they don't use proxies for it; for ex i know of a guy going to work for de shaw that had a 790 gmat....thats probably in the 165+ range.

someone mentioned the valedictorian of princeton is going to work there too; i'd expect him/her to have an iq over 150 also.

May 24, 2010

lol @ correlating test scores or success with IQ

May 24, 2010
pruf:

lol @ correlating test scores or success with IQ

lol @ having zero evidence to the contrary....

numerous studies have shown that IQ and SAT scores are highly correlated....most high IQ societies recongize standard tests such as the GMAT or the SAT (not really anymore because of all the curving etc) as admissions qualifications

what evidence do you have to suggest that there is no such correlation?

May 24, 2010

Getting along with people is the core of emotional intelligence? Your IQ needs to be higher if you want to make any reasonable statement about the EI in general!

EI is understanding/feeling emotions of other people and knowing how to direct your own/others emotions.

Here is the Wikipedia definition:
"Emotional intelligence (EI) describes the ability, capacity, skill or, in the case of the trait EI model, a self-perceived grand ability to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups."

And the stuff about IQ>150 people do have other goals - what kind of retarded assumption is that? Only because you have very high analytical skills does not make you have a specific set of goals in your life. Very intelligent people do just think faster/understand complex relations better, but this does not mean that the view of the world suddenly totally changes.

May 24, 2010

goals arent a function of iq.
Iq is simply the budget constraint.

WIth a 160 IQ you can choose between going into academia or finance.
WIth an IQ of 130 you cant(assuming you actually wanna be the shit in academia).

EQ is very useful, but it can be learned and picked up, IQ cannot(for the most part)

Jan 11, 2011

IQ is a measure that correlates with nothing you have to do in academia.

"Make 'Nanas, not war! "

Jan 11, 2011

Read the book Outliers.....covers this exact topic. After an IQ of roughly 120 success is more about luck. Also correlating GMAT scores to exact IQs is just plain stupid.

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

Jan 12, 2011

EQ cannot be "picked up" any more than IQ can.
If you don't have a high EQ, you can train yourself to spot the "signs" that someone is lying to you and that may be enough in most situations, mainly because most people aren't particularly emotionally intelligent and will not be able to successfully conceal the physical manifestations of their emotions, BUT you will never be able to make on the spot correct decisions that are not based on the facts (I.e. I know this guy is full of shit, because he mentioned that X=Z,, and I saw earlier today that X=Y).
Pretty much IQ lets you forecast events, EQ lets you forecast behaviors.

More is good, all is better

Jan 12, 2011
Pinkpoloshorts:

Simply throwing money at schools has not solved the problem.

Slightly off-topic, but maybe we're not throwing money at the right places: The Case Against High-School Sports

Jan 12, 2011

Here's the interesting thing about america when it comes to sports...notice only a small percentage are playing the sport and the rest, whom are fat, lazy, love to complain and criticize, are the ones who watch the games. So don't be misled. There's a difference between those who watch sports and who play sports.

Jan 12, 2011

I honestly don't know how to fix the education system. One part of me thinks this may help, if it actually results in more emotionally-stable, sociable,well-adjusted kids. On the other hand, it seems like more of the recent trend of giving kids trophies for effort rather than results and will not result in anything more than a bunch of kids whose teachers said they grew up alot this year, but still can't read.

School is a joke. If you are a good student, half the time you just breeeze through doing minimal work until you need to apply to college, or you aren't a good student and you never give a shit. I don't think it provides much more than a base to develop basic test-taking, comprehension and communication skills. I thinkk the real issue in schools is the curriculum that we teach, as you have to be interested in the topic to learn (especially at a young age).

I don't know much about it but it seems like Asia is killing us in education, so they must be doing something right.

Jan 12, 2011

I'm sure I read somewhere that whilst Asia dominates in raw score and results, their younger generation's academic achievement is the result of rote-learning and as such they are generally not able to think creatively. How much truth there is in this, I do not know.

Offshore liffe

Jan 12, 2011

You can't teach kids how to have emotions. Some ivory tower academic can talk about "neural pathways" all she wants but I don't believe it.

Jan 12, 2011

This is why we need to bring dodgeball back to schools. It teaches social hierarchy, teamwork, communication, and shame (being overweight and un-athletic) lol. A generation of men taught by women...who get destroyed when they enter the real world. /off topic rant

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

Jan 12, 2011
DBCooper:

This is why we need to bring dodgeball back to schools. It teaches social hierarchy, teamwork, communication, and shame (being overweight and un-athletic) lol. A generation of men taught by women...who get destroyed when they enter the real world. /off topic rant

Kids don't play dodgeball at school anymore? When did this happen?

Jan 12, 2011

As someone who has been a nationally recognized tutor in an urban, impoverished area, I think a lot of the focus should be on the parents, not the student. A good teacher can positively influence a student for 7-8hrs/5 days a week/8 months per year, but if a parent is not reinforcing or celebrating that positive influence, a teacher's work disappears at the end of day. So much $$ can be thrown at teachers and different educational initiatives, but it is on the student to apply that knowledge. IMO, $$ and education needs to be used more effectively in the form of changing the culture of education in a familial role. Emotional intelligence is a good first step.

Jan 12, 2011

Definitely agree with this. A child's development rests more in the hands of parents and the friends they grow up with than teachers and curriculums.

Jan 12, 2011

100% agree on the parents being more important than school/curriculum/teachers, unfortunately, there is no way to change that because having kids is a personal freedom and we can't restrict people from procreating and/or force them to raise their kids responsibly

Jan 12, 2011

It's more a function of cultural attitudes than anything, US society as a whole just does not place much emphasis on education/academic achievement.

Jan 12, 2011
Comment

I don't have delusions of grandeur, I have an actual recipe for grandeur.

Jan 12, 2011