Is finance less attractive than it was years ago?

From: Poets and Quants: Finance Careers Fall at New Low at Wharton

The numbers of Wharton MBAs going into the financial services industry reached a new record low this year, falling to 32.7% of the graduating class. Only five years ago, the financial sector hired 41.0% of Wharton's MBAs.

The decline of finance as a career option at Wharton was more than made up by the consulting and technology industries which grabbed more of Wharton's output.

I have recently read on WSO a monkey claiming that "once, investment banking was the most desirable industry. Now, you come after those who work at tech companies."

Amazon > Goldman Sachs apparently, if you want to brag about your job.

Do you think finance jobs are considered less attractive than they were in the past?

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Comments (58)

Nov 15, 2017

Dropping application numbers (towards finance) could have a variety of reasons:
- international applicants not applying because they might not believe they have a shot at H1b any longer (where these now absent candidates had a focus on banking/finance)
- increasing cost of the program in the US (see poetsandquants i.e.)
- alternative schools with finance programs in other countries (I know quite a few Americans in Europe) or even home countries where there are no Visa issues afterwards and/or less cost

You correctly mentioned there are quite a few options after grad school or for professionals now. I personally lost an employee to a tech company in the Silicon Valley. And I can't even blame him. I personally prefer finance but I can't speak for others.

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Nov 15, 2017

Your mom is less attractive than she was years ago. Finance rules the fucking universe!

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Nov 25, 2017
Lloyd BIankfein:

Finance rules the fucking universe!

Well, I can't disagree.

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Nov 24, 2017

Can't stop laughing at this

Nov 16, 2017
Alessiod:

From: Poets and Quants: Finance Careers Fall at New Low at Wharton

The numbers of Wharton MBAs going into the financial services industry reached a new record low this year, falling to 32.7% of the graduating class. Only five years ago, the financial sector hired 41.0% of Wharton's MBAs.

The decline of finance as a career option at Wharton was more than made up by the consulting and technology industries which grabbed more of Wharton's output.

I have recently read on WSO a monkey claiming that "once, investment banking was the most desirable industry. Now, you come after those who work at tech companies."
Amazon > Goldman Sachs apparently, if you want to brag about your job.

Do you think finance jobs are considered less attractive than they were in the past?

It's a function of 2 things: first, there are fewer finance slots available for MBA graduates and second, people who normally would have done finance are going to tech because of the first factor and a desire to ride the tech wave since MBAs are bandwagon jumpers.

Getting a job at Goldman banking is a lot tougher than getting a job at Amazon. Pretty much any student at a top MBA program gets an Amazon offer.

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Nov 16, 2017

My 2 cents.

Finance was pillaged and plundered by people who have no passion in economics/finance, but who are only focused on calculations. In other words, the quants destroyed it.

It's really a shame.

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Nov 17, 2017
MonacoMonkey:

My 2 cents.

Finance was pillaged and plundered by people who have no passion in economics/finance, but who are only focused on calculations. In other words, the quants destroyed it.

It's really a shame.

LMAO guilty

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Nov 17, 2017
MonacoMonkey:

My 2 cents.

Finance was pillaged and plundered by people who have no passion in economics/finance, but who are only focused on calculations. In other words, the quants destroyed it.

It's really a shame.

This is an interesting perspective. I think i agree...

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Nov 17, 2017

There's plenty of non-quants working on the Street still, in fact the majority of the employees are not quants.

You want to blame someone? Blame the cancerous, useless HR departments filled with 21 year old art history majors that do little/nothing to add value to any firm except many things that computers will be able to handle in the very near future.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Nov 17, 2017
PeterMullersKeyboard:

There's plenty of non-quants working on the Street still, in fact the majority of the employees are not quants.

You want to blame someone? Blame the cancerous, useless HR departments filled with 21 year old art history majors that do little/nothing to add value to any firm except many things that computers will be able to handle in the very near future.

I think what he means is that quants have figured out how to describe much of financial theory in precise mathematical terms rendering fundamental analysis less useful.

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Nov 17, 2017

Yes and no. They changed trading patterns. Not sure they improved the game. Or if those quants stand up in a bear market.

A lot of fundamental guys are confused now. The quants can completely convince a trader he's an idiot. Then you look 4 months later and the move was fake. Look at Andy hall he shutdown 4 months ago and blamed the algos. Now he would be a genius in his calls.

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Nov 17, 2017

I don't know that they've made fundamental analysis less useful, in fact I'm sure they haven't...patterns exist in the market because of underlying patterns that occur in human action. I trade my own account purely based on general fundamental info, so far it's done me quite well.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Nov 17, 2017

Holy grail in trading is figuring out the equivalent to behavioral biases for quants. If you can figure out the systemic mistakes they make you could crush it.

They may be able to quantify a lot
Of edges but if you can figure out what that method can't capture and how to time it you could do quite well.

I saw some data that earnings misses are causing bigger moves than models in part because passive investing just buys everything so repricing events end up bigger since fundamental guys are not their as much.

A quant fund is running a thousand positions. Their should be something you can see out of model and figure out how to time it around quant fund flows.

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Nov 18, 2017
PeterMullersKeyboard:

I don't know that they've made fundamental analysis less useful, in fact I'm sure they haven't...patterns exist in the market because of underlying patterns that occur in human action. I trade my own account purely based on general fundamental info, so far it's done me quite well.

Fundamentals don't move stock. Supply and demand does (technical analysis).

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Nov 17, 2017

And what drives supply and demand....it's not a fixed constant that just exists or is handed down by god.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Nov 18, 2017

The market is driven by emotions, and human behavior. TA helps measure both these things. In the short term prices move due to repeatable price patterns not the companies cash-on-hand or EPS.

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Nov 17, 2017

I don't look at cash on hand or EPS or even PE sometimes...we may be talking past each other, I probably should use some TA, I consider human emotion and general sentiment to be a fundamental factor...but things can happen all the time that blow the TA completely up...have seen that many times in crypto markets this year, and have seen it plenty of times in equities markets too. Overall, I think trying to figure out what the average big position taker (long or short) is going to be thinking about the company is the best way to go...because at the end of the day, that's what sets the price.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Nov 17, 2017

In short or medium term yes. Longer term the cash flow from the business/asset begins to dominate .

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Nov 19, 2017
traderlife:

Longer term the cash flow from the business/asset begins to dominate .

I agree. That explains why the markets are so overvalued right now. Taking a look at the big name stocks such as FB, AAPL, V, MCD, HD, and their DCFs models it shows that they are pretty over-valued, and due for a correction. Just a matter of when it happens :D

Nov 21, 2017

How big a correction do you think will occur? Given the size to which they have grown do you think a correction will affect the markets in a big way?

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Nov 19, 2017
JoyfulMonkey:

How big a correction do you think will occur? Given the size to which they have grown do you think a correction will affect the markets in a big way?

I haven't been long in the market enough to give a wise answer, haha. I think**** the average correction is 8-10% over a span of 4-6 months based on the past. I think one thing that could justify this huge run up in the markets is the fact that companies are beating earnings which is nice. If I had to make an educated guess, I would say some of those high P/E tech stocks with betas above 1 (more volatile than the market) will react violently to a market correction.

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Nov 16, 2017

20 years ago, MBA classes were roughly equal size between banking and S&T. How many MBA students are going to a trading desk now? They aren't even really considered anymore. Tha alone is a huge reason.

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Nov 16, 2017

I would argue students have less of an interest in S&T rather than S&T not wanting MBAs (although S&T does also have less of a desire for MBA skill-set)

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Nov 16, 2017
anonymous9191:

I would argue students have less of an interest in S&T rather than S&T not wanting MBAs (although S&T does also have less of a desire for MBA skill-set)

They're not interested because they don't have the skill set to succeed anymore. And it doesn't pay as much as it used to. It used to be one of, if not the highest paying positions 5 years after business school 20 years ago.

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Nov 16, 2017

"And it doesn't pay as much as it used to." My point exactly

Nov 16, 2017
anonymous9191:

"And it doesn't pay as much as it used to." My point exactly

Since you are apparently going into consulting, try to do a SWOT analysis on your line of thinking given the original question and my original answer about why there were more MBAs in finance than there are now.

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Nov 17, 2017

Oh SNAP! @anonymous9191 are you going to let him talk to you like that?

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Nov 21, 2017

I have to agree. In my Options class I had just 60 students out of a batch of 700+.

But, if money was the major reason that motivated one to enter the markets and not the finance/economics aspect then I am for one happy.

Because after all buy a commodity when its cheap and you know its cyclical. One day the Tech space will also get saturated and will face the same fate. Thats just how it is.

I remember on the first day of my Masters I told a guy I want to work in S&T and he laughed at me saying HF and S&T are dead and PE is the only way to go forward.

I just lauged at him for following the herd.

Also, I think, its not that they do not have the skill set to succed anymore but more so that they are not willing to develop it to succeed in S&T.

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Nov 17, 2017

I gotta say I think the tech space is already getting/has gotten pretty saturated. At least with the places I travel to, I've noticed some of the larger tech firms are increasing both headcount and pay like crazy, while it looks (albeit from the outside) like productivity is going dow. I might be wrong but it just seems like there's going to be a tipping point relatively soon of the supply/demand dynamic with these jobs.

Nov 17, 2017

Vc looks over saturated to me. 12 years ago you could have bought apple for a 10 billion or so market cap. Now some of these dime a dozen tech unicorns that have 20 competitors are running valuations half that. There are tech companies with 10-30 competitors and questionable business models costing over a billion to invest. VC returns will not be good going forward.

No idea in the established tech firms

. A lot of them do have a ton of economic power and ability to pay silly salaries. I? have a friend who spends 20 k a month on fb ads for a profitable 1 million a year revenue start up. He's making a 100k in profit and paying fb 250k.

I could see the fb/google ad model getting a hit if anti trust concerns happen. If that industry went from a duopoly to 5-7 competitors they would lose pricing power. You could break up fb into fb and Instagram and google into YouTube, search etc. then you would add a lot of ad channels competing for customers.

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Nov 17, 2017

Put it this way I'm jn trading. I've had career earnings of 6 million take home first 8 years. Two rough years now of 150 all in. I'm probably starting at Booth part time to add some career options like pe.

If there was ever a contrarian sign to run into trading its flashing hot right now. The only articles I've read for the last 4 months are massive lay offs (virtu), market gods retiring (Andy hall, high hendry, amongst others), top 5 oil desk had to sell itself, and make hft firm with interesting tech firing everyone and selling to drw. I think I've got one friend this year pulling in seven figures. When I started out the only guys you saw spending money like they didn't care were traders. I haven't met a young 26 year crushing it in a long time.

And this is at that point where average guys were disappearing for the last 5 years.

So maybe it's a great time to enter trading.

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Nov 17, 2017

@JoyfulMonkey

Call me naive or a simpleton. I am headed back to university to complete my degree at 31, but how would you suggest improving or developing a skill base in order to succeed in finance and/or job opportunities?

@DickFuld

I have heard of this when I worked a corporate job. What would be good skills to develop if someone was interested going into S&T (Sales and Trading?). I had started going through higher level writing classes and mathematics to become more adaptive.

Friends of mine have worked at Amazon, and I have heard nothing but terrible things. This also include Elon Musk's companies that he runs.

Most tech positions are not easy to get either. The technical interviews are extensive and even for technician level roles are being sought by people with Masters in CS/EE/etc to get a foot in the door with the company.

I still think, having worked in corporate, that finance is still highly regarded and valued. It is often depressing to see people complain (yes, even engineers making 110k+) that they are not making enough, or envy their finance counter-parts entirely. Many of these people are constantly browsing job applications or looking to see how their 401k's are performing. The glass ceiling is evident in engineering (unless you do a startup). However, in finance, that is not really the case.

My 2 cents.

Nov 21, 2017

I wish I myself knew how to do that but i do not.

I am currently prepping on subjects that I feel interested in so that if and when I land an interview I can atleast demonstrate my interest in Markets.

May be a Hail Mary approach but I just dont see any other way currently in front of me :).

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Nov 17, 2017

I would love to work for musk. Feel like we have similar learning styles and backgrounds and he's quite inspiring. Seems like one of the few tech firms that solve real world problems and not boring advertising algos.

But he sounds like he would be a tough boss. And I'm not a believer in the stock or that he will ever make money in electric cars. Seriously every big boy automaker isn't that far behind and a couple billionaires are starting copycat companies (Dyson and some Chinese guy). Sounds like a silly way to try and make money compete with 15 established players with deep pockets. So if you want to make money tesla sounds like an awful place.

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Nov 21, 2017
traderlife:

I would love to work for musk. Feel like we have similar learning styles and backgrounds and he's quite inspiring.

Yeah I agree. I applied to Space X this summer for a mid level corporate finance role in California.

I didn't get the position.... it looked cool though.

"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

Nov 17, 2017

probably is less desirable but people follow the path that made money the last 5 years. If you entered tech 15 years ago you likely made a killing if you had talent and a decent ability to pick employers. Now it seems saturated.

If you want to make money now I'd guess finance is safer or something no one else wants to do/no one is thinking about.

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Nov 18, 2017

How to make a few millions:
1.) Make to partner in investment banking / PE / consulting / VC / HF
2.) Become a tech product manager
3,) CXO
4.) Youtube
5.) Quants

How to make billions or at least high millions:
1.) Start your own HF / PE / investment firm and possibly make it big
2.) Start your own IB and rebrand it into an EB
3.) Start your own VC and Hallelujah till your bets pay off
4.) Start your own startup
5.) Join RenTech

You can make money as long as you serve a need to society and add some perceived value to people's lives, however minimal. If a guy can become a billionaire selling overpriced coffee or bread, or if someone can make the most groundbreaking game of the year, you'll make it big. At the end of the day, and I do not want to sound like a LinkedIn Lifehacker/Disruptor/Motivator, it's all about how you can utilize your skills to excel at what you really love to do (which obviously usually disqualifies IB/consulting in favor of tech, creative and investing). Making millions is easy and as expected the path is full of certainty and fallback options. Making billions though is a rough ride. And as expected, most people on WSO come over here expecting billions on a smooth ride.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Nov 17, 2017

How do you do 1-3?

Starting a startup is hard, given thousands of products are around. A lot of people are "boot-strapping" their startups and hope it hits gold. But isn't the Venture Capitalist funding well drying up?

Nov 18, 2017

Lol, VC funding is only rising. It seems every Tom, Diana and Harriet (diversity yo!) wants to jump into VC investing without much of a background. People are willingly throwing money around - the days of bootstrapping are pretty much nil. While I would recommend bootstrapping, it's relatively easier to find an angel VC nowadays than earlier on.
Starting a startup nowadays is much easier tbh. Most of the theoretical work is already done and you don't have much work cut out for you like back in the old days. If you feel otherwise, starting up may not be for you.
As for 1 and 2, you need reputation via solid experience and homeruns. For 3, you just need a hipster name with a hipster investment thesis.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Nov 19, 2017

This may be true for SaaS or other software tech-light companies, but is definitely not the case for hardware or anything with a sales cycle longer than a few months

Nov 19, 2017

I was looking at a Michael Lewis interview today from like 2010, or right after the release of The Big Short. One of the takeaways is that he seems to be a little pissed off that his alarms to main street went unheard back when he first published Liar's Poker. If anyone wants to watch the video, check out this link and go to about the 10:43 mark.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8znB2UF9d2c.
Lewis says that he thinks Wall Street is "out of control". As he is one of the founders of this generation's love of Wall Street, I think it's necessary to point out that kids going into school now are listening to his heeds not to pursue finance as a career. The point being made by Lewis is ignored because it often times sounds like anti-capitalism bashing, perpetuated by the leftist extreme. But progress has been made even though the banks are larger than ever before.

The fiduciary rule still requires bankers to put their clients' needs first; the Basil accords and Fed reserve requirements/stress testing require banks to keep enough assets on the books to cover liabilities; banks are not allowed to trade on their own accounts with the explicit design to profit for their own benefit. These are necessary structures to be in place and I don't believe that saying to makes one anti-capitalist or anti-bank. I think shareholders of large institutions should be worried about their equity if banks are left to take excessive risk, so no interest in uncontrolled banks really exists. If banks want to be big risk takers, they should be smaller and not take deposits from average workers.

But the finance industry is important and it still needs smart people. It seems like the smartest kids I've met who got the best experience out of banking, were ones that chose to go the EB route over the BB path. The obvious reason seems to be that these kids thought that an entrepreneurial path at the junior level would do more to help them build their career than what could be done at the larger banks with its burdensome structure. That's not to say that BBs are too burdensome, because they do often seem to provide one with the chance to interact with large corporate clients, have the most resources, and land constant mandates that provide a lot of dealflow. The point is, banking is not going to get any more interesting as banks continue to grow larger and more integrated. When they do, like in the deregulation period up to the 2008 crisis, you get excess risk-taking that just creates a mess.

I think, if smart kids are interested in a career in finance, maybe the thing to do would be to look for the best career opportunity from a skillset point of view, versus a 'prestige' kind of view by pursuing the bank with the largest name. That goes for determining whether one believes a BB or EB gives one the best chance to succeed. Shunning finance because of the negativity around the industry is naive because if it's something you're interested in, avoiding a career in the industry won't make you happy. And it still is a good paying, dignified, professional job that lends a career. The industry still needs smart and passionate people, driven to create relationships to get deals done to help companies thrive and continue to push the economy forward.

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Nov 20, 2017

Sloan MBA where the drop off has been even bigger. Finance down from 25% 10 years ago to about 10-15% now.

There are a few things that I have noticed

1) Findamental equity is dead
-92% Of active US equity funds underperformed the BM over last 15 years
-Bottom up stock picking is not something the best and the brightest go into anymore

2) Sales and Tradinf is much smaller
-This comes from BOTH the demand side and the supply side
-10 years ago, JPM's spot G10 FX desk had 13 traders, now they have 3
-More things are becoming automated
-Desks also just want undergrads to direct promote to associate
-On the other hand, the job has become more quanty and most MBAs just aren't equipped to handle it
-4 MBA our of 400 are taking the options and futures class at Sloan (rest are all M Fin students)

3) Finance recruiting has become tougher
-Way back in the day, people did 2-3 years of IBD analyst, come to mba, go back to the bank as an associate and then HF/PE after
-Now it's anlayst, PE, MBA then more PE
-Basically banking associate is not nearly as attractive because the exit opportunities are worse
-You are basically banker for life or gonjnto industry

4) Finance pay is also worse than before at senior level
-Was talking to my old boss
-Junior pay is up (think how much more Mew analysts make now)
-Mid career vp pay isn't that different from before
-HOWEVER, MD pay down 30-50%, and also takes longer to make MD now
-So the people retiring at 50 to buy a vineyard thing doesn't really happen anymore

5) tech pay is better now
-Guys like MSFT offer 200+ all in with no state income tax and a super chill lifestyle

6) You have to do one of two extremes
-Matt Zames basically said to us in a Speaker session (which I agree) that you either have to be:
-Suoer quanty guy who can also code so you can be at a 2Sigma type of place
-or be the super deep credit distressed guy where you can't be replaced by machines
-The middle of the ride treasury trader who knows a little math doesn't exist anymore
-Heck, account managers at PIMCO make IBD pay while working 8-6 with barely any weekends. That job is also never getting replaced by machines. Much better sharpe ratio for pay vs lifestyle

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Nov 16, 2017
Starberry:

Sloan MBA where the drop off has been even bigger. Finance down from 25% 10 years ago to about 10-15% now.

There are a few things that I have noticed

1) Findamental equity is dead
-92% Of active US equity funds underperformed the BM over last 15 years
-Bottom up stock picking is not something the best and the brightest go into anymore

2) Sales and Tradinf is much smaller
-This comes from BOTH the demand side and the supply side
-10 years ago, JPM's spot G10 FX desk had 13 traders, now they have 3
-More things are becoming automated
-Desks also just want undergrads to direct promote to associate
-On the other hand, the job has become more quanty and most MBAs just aren't equipped to handle it
-4 MBA our of 400 are taking the options and futures class at Sloan (rest are all M Fin students)

3) Finance recruiting has become tougher
-Way back in the day, people did 2-3 years of IBD analyst, come to mba, go back to the bank as an associate and then HF/PE after
-Now it's anlayst, PE, MBA then more PE
-Basically banking associate is not nearly as attractive because the exit opportunities are worse
-You are basically banker for life or gonjnto industry

4) Finance pay is also worse than before at senior level
-Was talking to my old boss
-Junior pay is up (think how much more Mew analysts make now)
-Mid career vp pay isn't that different from before
-HOWEVER, MD pay down 30-50%, and also takes longer to make MD now
-So the people retiring at 50 to buy a vineyard thing doesn't really happen anymore

5) tech pay is better now
-Guys like MSFT offer 200+ all in with no state income tax and a super chill lifestyle

6) You have to do one of two extremes
-Matt Zames basically said to us in a Speaker session (which I agree) that you either have to be:
-Suoer quanty guy who can also code so you can be at a 2Sigma type of place
-or be the super deep credit distressed guy where you can't be replaced by machines
-The middle of the ride treasury trader who knows a little math doesn't exist anymore
-Heck, account managers at PIMCO make IBD pay while working 8-6 with barely any weekends. That job is also never getting replaced by machines. Much better sharpe ratio for pay vs lifestyle

I agree with most of this. But with point #1, although it certainly is true that active funds have been underperforming the bench mark, top long-short equity hedge funds still attract the best talent in finance (i.e., viking/lone pine/baupost/citadel/blue ridge, etc.) as they pretty much only hire those who went through top banking+PE.

Post-mba banking exit opps are weird. Most who leave do end up doing corp/biz dev in industry, especially tech. Some do manage to get into hedge funds that specialize in the sectors they worked in. But post-mba banking>PE is super rare.

Nov 21, 2017

Care to elaborate more on this Matt Zames talk? Was he referring more to the sellside?

Because while everyone in the world is discussing how AI and robots are going to take over fundamental investing, I just don't fully see it. I agree that strategies such as distressed credit or event-driven investing are more immune to quants.

But outside of those realms - most quant shops aren't fully replacing what fundamental analysts do and quant strategies eat each others profits away much quicker than fundamental strategies (especially HFT-type quants (Virtu, etc.))

I guess I just don't believe that Warren Buffett, Baupost, or even guys like Viking can be replaced by quants. Yes, a L/S equity HF job will be vastly different 20 years from now but I think it will be more of needing to combine fundamental analysis with how to code and parse data sets.

However, Matt Zames is obviously someone whose opinion should be highly respected. But for some reason the way you described what he said makes me think you are referring to S&T and not fully buyside.

And I will echo @Rufus1234 - bottom-up picking is still alive from a demand standpoint.. just look at all the IB analysts/wannabe-HF'ers that worship activist funds

Nov 20, 2017

Out of undergrad or b-school, I still think Finance (front office) is one of the best jobs you can get, just for the experience, skills, and credibility you can gain. I-banking is for sure a better bet than most of tech jobs available for most ppl out of mba. Corp fin at tech firms is more of a support role / back office function and it's mostly accounting work. I have some friends working as ops manager / product managers at big tech firms and they tell me most of their job is to set up meetings and make sure their team members get shit done on time and under budget. Nothing more than a glorified soccer mom checking in to see if things are running smoothly.

Personally, after spending all that money on MBA, I would be depressed to borderline suicidal to be working a bull shit job with no skill-set growth, no career growth, or no professional network growth. I could care less about work life balance for that few years post MBA. Sure, all else equal work life balance would be ideal. But post - MBA jobs are supposed to help you learn the most and establish your credibility and network so that you can later transition out to more relaxed / cushy job at a higher level. In that respect, I still think IBD / Mgmt consulting are better options than most of 'cool' jobs in tech, start ups, etc. Lets face it - in high tech, you will always be a second class citizen, as an MBA hire.

IMO, best jobs you can get out of MBA: MBB consulting, followed by other top tier consulting. (OW, ATK, LEK) After that, I'd take BB/ EB IBD. I would be very skeptical of any other roles outside of the above narrow range of jobs. Sure, you will work rough hours in those 'demanding' jobs after mba, but if you don't have the balls / ambition to work those challenging jobs, why bother with the MBA and its crazy tuition in the first place. The sole purpose of mba is so that you can hopefully accelerate your career. You don't get to accelerate your career by taking a lax, 'soft' 'fun' jobs like tech sales/ marketing or 'start up'.

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Nov 16, 2017
Rejected Monkey:

Out of undergrad or b-school, I still think Finance (front office) is one of the best jobs you can get, just for the experience, skills, and credibility you can gain. I-banking is for sure a better bet than most of tech jobs available for most ppl out of mba. Corp fin at tech firms is more of a support role / back office function and it's mostly accounting work. I have some friends working as ops manager / product managers at big tech firms and they tell me most of their job is to set up meetings and make sure their team members get shit done on time and under budget. Nothing more than a glorified soccer mom checking in to see if things are running smoothly.

Personally, after spending all that money on MBA, I would be depressed to borderline suicidal to be working a bull shit job with no skill-set growth, no career growth, or no professional network growth. I could care less about work life balance for that few years post MBA. Sure, all else equal work life balance would be ideal. But post - MBA jobs are supposed to help you learn the most and establish your credibility and network so that you can later transition out to more relaxed / cushy job at a higher level. In that respect, I still think IBD / Mgmt consulting are better options than most of 'cool' jobs in tech, start ups, etc. Lets face it - in high tech, you will always be a second class citizen, as an MBA hire.

IMO, best jobs you can get out of MBA: MBB consulting, followed by other top tier consulting. (OW, ATK, LEK) After that, I'd take BB/ EB IBD. I would be very skeptical of any other roles outside of the above narrow range of jobs. Sure, you will work rough hours in those 'demanding' jobs after mba, but if you don't have the balls / ambition to work those challenging jobs, why bother with the MBA and its crazy tuition in the first place. The sole purpose of mba is so that you can hopefully accelerate your career. You don't get to accelerate your career by taking a lax, 'soft' 'fun' jobs like tech sales/ marketing or 'start up'.

I agree with this. MBAs have glorified tech for the wrong reason. Part of this stems from finance preferring to hire non-MBAs, so it's definitely a demand issue. But I think MBAs have a bad tendency to jump on the bandwagon of the latest shiny object, which right now is tech.

Unless you have technical skills (I'm talking fluency in actual programming languages, not just being good at Excel, VBA, SQL, Tableau), you will always be second class at a tech firm, unable to drive the firm's business strategy and product development. The only product managers who can succeed are the ones who have technical skills and hence gain the trust and respect of the engineers who do the actual hard work. Otherwise, they will see you as a poseur, and you will have a tough time translating the technical requirements and limitations into a viable working product within the given timeframe. I work at a FAANG and see this happen all the time when MBA PMs fuck things up.

As someone working in finance at a FAANG, it is the worst mistake I ever made. I should have done banking coming out but got scared of the hours. Looking back, I realize that banking, despite the hours, not only pays well, but gives you the transferable skillset and branding that sets you up for life. Even with my background, I'm not eligible for a lot of good finance jobs because I did not do banking.

Nov 17, 2017

Funny a lot of the tech guys say the programmers are just space labor building out the business strategies of management.

Array
Nov 22, 2017

Oh definitely, it's attractive for the sheeple of immigrants and legacy kids trying to follow in footsteps, but everyone in HS and lots in college these days thinks

  1. Finance is ugly from a moral standpoint (2008 was all Wall Street!)
  2. There's better money per hour and chance for big $$ in tech

Finance has gone the way of Doctors and Lawyers, it attracts some smart, hardworking people who want to make decent money and be comfortable, but it isn't grabbing the attention of more entrepreneurial people other than heavy quants who are really programmers anyway.

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Nov 25, 2017

Where would WSO be without the monthly "tech vs. finance / finance isn't attractive anymore / Why 27.4% of MBAs are pursuing finance careers in 2017 vs. 31.8% last year" posts?

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Nov 25, 2017

He already has taken steps to do so. Taxing carried interest, casting public blame on bankers, talking about paying for teacher's education

Nov 25, 2017

I would not be surprised at all if there's a shift of talented kids, who in the past would've gone into finance, are now going into other fields

Nov 25, 2017
DSQ:

I would not be surprised at all if there's a shift of talented kids, who in the past would've gone into finance, are now going into other fields

But that shift isn't necessarily a bad thing. With respect to the future economic growth of the US, as well as its position as a global leader, I'd be much more at ease knowing that the amount of college kids studying engineering significantly increases over the next few years. Yes, the US can be a financial global leader, but with respect to talent at least, that's easier to replicate than engineering.

Nov 25, 2017
youngmoney:
DSQ:

I would not be surprised at all if there's a shift of talented kids, who in the past would've gone into finance, are now going into other fields

But that shift isn't necessarily a bad thing. With respect to the future economic growth of the US, as well as its position as a global leader, I'd be much more at ease knowing that the amount of college kids studying engineering significantly increases over the next few years. Yes, the US can be a financial global leader, but with respect to talent at least, that's easier to replicate than engineering.

Since you are so concerned about technology, I'm sure you'd disagree with Obama's health care plan to reduce health care costs, which focuses on reducing medical advancement due to the heavy costs of research and marketing associated with it.

You can get more engineers much cheaper than ruining a huge sector of the economy--it's called tuition grants and tax abatements.

Nov 25, 2017
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Since you are so concerned about technology, I'm sure you'd disagree with Obama's health care plan to reduce health care costs, which focuses on reducing medical advancement due to the heavy costs of research and marketing associated with it.

You can get more engineers much cheaper than ruining a huge sector of the economy--it's called tuition grants and tax abatements.

To add to this, the income for doctors will probably be substantially less as well. Nationalized health care means less pay for doctors. Not sure exactly how this will work out since two of these more prestigious careers would be making much less.

Kind of an "out there" observation, but maybe Obama is trying to sway people away from finance (and towards medicine) to make up for the drop in quality doctors that would result from nationalized health care.

Nov 25, 2017
Nov 25, 2017
Nov 25, 2017