On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you?

Thought this might be an interesting discussion with bonus season around the corner. 

What's your title, comp, and rate your happiness on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Comments (228)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:32am

Analyst 1

110k base


  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:51am

2nd year analyst


  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 19, 2022 - 3:08am

Looks like I have a lot to look forward to! -Intern

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:19pm

Yeah its an endless cycle of delusion that can never be avoided

All the A1s and A2s tell the interns how bad its going to be, consider another role that has same exit opps with way better WLB like MBB, follow your passion instead of chase prestige, etc... 
But the interns and networking college students don't believe them and never learn
And then they're an A1 posting on WSO at 1PM about how their happiness when they're at the supposed peak of their life (23, 24 years old) is borderline suicidal

There's no blame, I had all the Goldman TMT A1's in the world warn me and tell me to find something I actually enjoy but I never listened either

its just crazy to think about

Jan 20, 2022 - 12:34pm
Your boy Blue, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can't emphasize the above enough. I trained three first years before leaving for PE and two of them called me out of the blue saying that they regretted being close minded over their career paths.

At the same time, they both appeared to be much more thoughtful about their careers during follow-up calls. It's a hard way to learn a very important lesson. 


  • 2
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:19pm

2nd Year

currently probably a 5-6/10,  I just finally let go of a bad relationship and need to do some more self reflection.  Generally, I operate at a 7-8/10 and if everything is going really good about a 8-9/10 (usually this is more during the summer as I just get a lot of enjoyment in being outside).  

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:54pm

I mean,  I would just a 0-1/10 as someone who is on the verge of having a total mental breakdown (not like a panic attack, like a true mental breakdown where they  potentially harm themselves) I would find it hard that so many people are there.  I would consider a 3-4/10 to be I am depressed and need help. This is where I could see a lot of analyst being and also I want to know I will happily talk to anyone in this thread and hear you out if you are in a rough spot. 

Right now I am just a stir of weird sadness/depression, anger, and disappointment. With some good days mixed in there.  And I mean,  I think it could get worse or it could get better if I handle it well.  The relationship had me wondering if I was the bad guy in a lot situations, because I was lead on and treated pretty rudely.  It just ultimately dragged me down and put me in a bad spot of me never know where we were going because she would flirt one week then be distant the next. Generally,  I am a pretty happy person and only a few times have I felt like I could be lower then a 5, with more being from this relationship than ever before.  I am a very fortunate person to have a good head on my shoulders and I am usually excited for what can come next, but sometimes I wish the next step was just here.  Werther that is a good relationship,  a  promotion.  Oh well.  I have probably shared to much at this point.   Sorry for rambling.  It feels good to type it out sometimes though.  

Jan 19, 2022 - 1:45pm
Davis97, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I left the bank I was at a few months ago. The first couple years weren't particularly horrible, as I genuinely enjoyed the projects and processes I was involved in. Would say I was at a 6/10 happiness on average.

Then things began to deteriorate with some changes to my group and I found myself in the 1/10 bucket for a few months straight with no end in sight. I didn't see the situation getting better within the next year, so ultimately decided to leave "early" (at least it was earlier than I would have otherwise anticipated).

I have since spent time focusing on myself and pursuing my hobbies (working out, traveling, etc.) and would say I'm at a 9/10 now and looking forward to the next step in my career.

TLDR: Things can get really bad at the junior level, and often do very rapidly without warning. If you are going through a rough patch try to gauge as best you can how long it will last. If you think you can get through it with a manageable level of sacrifice, I would recommend sticking it out. But if you can't foresee the situation improving within a reasonable period of time, make the decision to step back and focus on yourself for a couple months. I promise it will be worth it.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:57pm

Congrats. and Thank you for sharing.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 19, 2022 - 2:21pm

A2: 125k


Not because of work but because of personal life - work is like a 6/10 honestly 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 19, 2022 - 11:44pm

I think you mean selection bias. Adverse selection is when an information imbalance between buyers and sellers creates market inefficiencies.

Jan 19, 2022 - 8:17pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Atm probably a ~6 out of 10. There are a couple things I know - after a lot of self reflection - that are keeping me from getting higher on that tier list, all stuff I'm working on. Hope to get to a sustainable ~8 out of 10 in a year after figuring that stuff out.

I think 10/10 isn't feasible as that never lasts, life always has a way of bringing that down. 9/10 is the best mortals can hope for & that is quite rare. Who knows, one day we might be able to get there 

  • Analyst 2 in Consulting
Jan 19, 2022 - 10:54pm

Tech: 10/10. Was in MBB (2/10), so the relative change is staggering. I workout regularly, have learned to cook, and most of all have plans on weekdays. My first 3 months on the job, I actually took hour long walks like once a week just so I could listen to birds chirp during the daytime. Shits wild yo.

Oh yeah, comps good too: 150k

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2022 - 4:22am

This gives me hope. I want to quit IB eventually for a more balanced job like strategic finance, corp dev or something. Just want to have to have time for hobbies, sports, regular plans, meandering. Ah... 

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:14am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

corp dev?


  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2022 - 2:40pm

What role in tech? Looking to make this pivot after my analyst stint. This lifestyle sounds lovely.

  • Analyst 2 in Consulting
Jan 21, 2022 - 9:11am

MBB for 2 years -> tech strategy role

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 24, 2022 - 4:21pm

its a MM boutique too, VPs and up make absolute bank. Every MD is over 1M+ easy and senior MDs 5M+

Nobody posts their comp online for the most part, we like being quietly prosperous 

"Those who say don't know, those who know don't say"

Jan 29, 2022 - 5:56am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Love seeing that and really shows perspective is everything. Good for you giving back to the family. True mark of character.

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2022 - 12:23am

Is the average IB analyst really this miserable?

Like ya work kind of sucks and I'm tired all the time, but I have friends/GF/family, do fun things during the protected day I get each week, get paid really well for a kid one year out of school, and just feel like life is good even though work sucks

Spent last Sunday turning comments on some deal materials but I did it in a friends living room watching football the entire day- maybe it took me an our longer without my monitors but who cares. Got to find joy in some places with this job and it's a little scary that people on here are all 1/10

Would say I'm a solid 6 or 7 /10

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 20, 2022 - 12:47am

I absolutely think most people people on here don't properly adapt to their situation. It's totally possible to squeeze in exercise, sports, etc throughout the week and take advantage of things such as turning comments while watching football with your buddies.

Jan 29, 2022 - 6:05am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Out of all the comments, this is most important imo. If you're not adaptable then you will spiral into sadness and a world of constant letdowns. Those going into banking need to know and remember what they signed up for. This doesn't undermine the fact that it certainly sucks sometimes regardless of whether you expected it to or not, but certainly changing your expectations will help you get through your analyst years. Always big picture it - this is only existing for a couple years and then you have the option to move to something with better WLB or whatever it is assuming you ride out your contract. Also remember you are making excellent money for your age. I know everyone will make the argument that you could be in Tech or whatever it is but hey you made the decision to go into finance.so live with it the best you can. 

Again, I do want to emphasize that sometimes the hours are unacceptable and suck beyond anything but you need to accept a mindset which just says you will grind and learn and get through the time (all while being paid well).

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 20, 2022 - 9:58am

I mean right off the bat most banks don't have protected sun/sat. Having even one day where I can make plans would be huge, I can count on one hand the number of weekends where I didn't have to work thus far. 

Hanging with friends is cool but it doesn't cancel out the sinking feeling you get where you see them happy and progressing well in their careers while you're depressed, have to cancel plans for the nth time this month, and have everyone above you see it as totally normal in this day and age.

Jan 21, 2022 - 1:59pm
AnalyzeANDchill, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So I am not in IB but my bank has IB's and i think it really is way different group to group. We allow you to WFH and if you come in you can come or go as you please, no one ask where you are going or anything. We of course have deadlines and mandatory meetings but the main thing i keep hearing from our bosses is " just get your work done, aside from that I don't care what you do nor do I need to know."

Most Helpful
  • VP in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2022 - 3:22am

New VP

TC ~700k

8/10. Have a supportive, loving and attractive wife and an amazing kid, hours are sometimes rough but they're okay by IB standards and I like my team and industry. Grass can always be greener, but I'm honestly pretty happy both personally and professionally. We're all gonna make it bros.

  • VP in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2022 - 2:08pm

Obviously highly variable, as I worked 8am-11pm yesterday, working a few hours after I got home, but on average it's 60-70, with relatively chill weekends.

  • 2
  • VP in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2022 - 10:40pm

See my response above. IB isn't the best job ever with a kid, but I make enough so that my wife now stays at home (we will have more kids) while we live comfortably. Most of the time it's manageable and pretty good where I'm home for dinner and do fun things on the weekend, but the occasional live deal week where I see my kid for like 2hrs in total M-F kinda sucks. Overall, if it ever got to the point where I hate the job or it's becoming detrimental to my family (I LOVE being a dad), then I would immediately exit to a more sustainable corporate role in a lower COL city.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
Jan 21, 2022 - 11:04pm

lol. funny situation -- my pm and i are boys, we hit the gym every morning. dude is obsessed with zyzz / fitness youtubers; there have been times when i walk into his office and tevvez is blasting. best part is this isn't some sketch 100mm shop...it's a tiger cub

Jan 20, 2022 - 4:12am
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Title: Software Engineer

Comp: 🥜

Happiness Rating: 1.5/10

- for a lot of reasons I don't really want to go into, at least not into detail, but I'll give a high-level overview:

- mostly related to being mad at myself for making poor decisions, always feeling invisible and insignificant, not being good at anything despite working extremely hard everyday, etc. too depressed to type more. everything just seems gray all the time 

Jan 23, 2022 - 2:53pm
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks dude, I appreciate it. Already feeling a lot better, just need to get some fresh air once in a while is all. I think being cooped up in my room all day can get depressing lol.

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Jan 20, 2022 - 5:32am


Total Comp 600k

9/10, c.50 hours work weeks, done with MBA and CFA so study years are behind me, 8/10 wife, 8/10 gf, 2 kids, see bros quite often, earnings will keep increasing in the ST while hours will decrease

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 20, 2022 - 5:52am

Threesome brings you to 16/10 - winning at life my dude!

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:17am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How necessary was the MBA in your career?


  • 1
  • VP in PE - LBOs
Jan 21, 2022 - 3:24am

>75% of the MDs and Partners at my fund have MBAs, so not necessary per se to climb to top, but could be helpful.

I mainly did it because it was entirely sponsored by my firm and it was a HSW MBA (do not do an MBA if it's not HSW).

CFA was more likely a waste of time.

Edit: Who the fuck is throwing MS at me lmfao ? Is it CFA Charterholders (yes the CFA is close to useless in PE) or the non-top 3 MBAs (yes a non-top 3 MBA is not worth it, sorry you wasted two years of your life and $180k on it)? 

  • NA in IB-M&A
Jan 21, 2022 - 5:15pm

Are 50-70hr work weeks typical in the MF/UMM space at the VP level?

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Jan 25, 2022 - 4:05am


If you work more than 70 hours a week as a VP you're doing it wrong (or have very inefficient juniors to whom you can't delegate much). 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 20, 2022 - 8:48am


7/10. Base 100k

Work is quite intense / hectic each day but overall I do like my group and my team a lot. There are definitely days that I question the career choice I made but during the vast majority of the time I'm content with what I decided to do and content with the opportunities this job provides. Overall WLB is pretty solid but I still feel like I'm learning on the job and being challenged. 

Most importantly, I have a really supportive family and a bf / friends who also work in finance so they understand the struggles and are really good shoulders to lean on. 

Jan 20, 2022 - 9:43am
TheDebtStar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

5/10 at the moment. It was higher, but seasonal depression is starting to settle in. It just hit me on Monday and I was like damn, I'm depressed and have very little reason to be. I was always get depressed around this time of the year due to the weather and low sunshine. I'm trying to plan a spearfishing trip with my buddy to Mexico soon to combat it. 

Comp: I gross about $14-$18k a month off my rentals. Should start to receive about $75k/ year in the next month or two off development fees and rising to $150 to $200k by end of year with the addition of a few new projects.

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Jan 20, 2022 - 10:38am
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Intern but hopefully looking to get full time return offer this summer. All in for first year should be around $90-100k + $30k-ish that I make doing a side hustle. Happiness 9.5/10. The reason it's not 10/10 is because my dream is to retire to a certain country overseas when I have enough money. Since I haven't reached that goal yet I won't be satisfied, but other than that I think I have a very good life very blessed

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Jan 20, 2022 - 11:49am
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I guess what happens next is just crossing off everything on my bucket list to do in that country, so that gives me something to look forward to once I get there. To remain somewhat anonymous, this country I'm interested in is in East Asia

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:07am
GramReaper, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Scrolling through the happiness scores has been pretty illuminating. Just thinking out loud here but for those reporting  scores  

Here's something to consider:

A few years ago, I made a major career transition and before doing so, one of my mentors had suggested that in order to be "truly happy" in a job, you needed to think about 3 things: 1) you need to love/enjoy what you do (your job); 2) you need to love/enjoy why you do it (your impact); and 3) you need love/enjoy who you're doing it with (your team).

If your job is satisfying 2/3 of those things, you're doing pretty well, if it's all 3, then you're probably in the right field.

  • Analyst 2 in HF - Macro
Jan 20, 2022 - 2:35pm

Title: HF Analyst 2

Comp: $100k - 200k depending on fund performance

Happiness: Was previously a 4/10, now maybe a 7/10. Am in a tricky spot personally and especially career-wise. Currently at a smaller no-name fund, running out of things to learn, feeling underpaid, etc. but just made a breakthrough connection with a PM at a top fund and will likely be moving into a risk-taking role in my ideal sector in 6-12 months if everything goes according to plan. For all the people struggling, just keep working hard to give yourselves a chance to be lucky. All it takes is 1 break and you're golden.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2022 - 2:49pm

AN 1 at EB

Happiness average: 6-7/10

Generally think this job has wild fluctuations. Some weeks I've come close to quitting with nothing lined up (1-2/10) while other weeks I actually kind of enjoy it and am glad I'm sticking with it (7-8/10).

Already being 7 months in is wild and am hoping as i get better and hit the 2nd year mark the good weeks start trending to be more common.

Also think a lot of my happiness is derived from my personal life. When things are going well there it's easier to enjoy work and vice versa.

Good luck to all the other analysts out there and remember to not let the job impact you too much. The best time to fuck up and learn is as an analyst at a shop you're gonna dip out from anyways in a years time.

Jan 20, 2022 - 3:20pm
The_Finance_Flunky, what's your opinion? Comment below:

VP 2 

Comp: Plenty

Happiness: 8/10 

Honestly, during my analyst years, I was probably at a 1 or 2/10 given the shop I was at and the lifestyle. Associate years were better, and VP has been good. Getting to the point where it is time to go out and win business, so that will add a very different dynamic, but at this point, have a good enough feel for execution, overall job requirements so my personal happiness (often directly correlated with my level of stress, in my case) has improved drastically. All of this coupled with the WFH environment allowing me to see my wife and children has made this job much more enjoyable. 

Jan 21, 2022 - 1:49pm
AnalyzeANDchill, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Mind sharing which bank allows you to WFH a lot? Trying to see which other banks are WFH friendly. 

Jan 21, 2022 - 2:46pm
The_Finance_Flunky, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Without doxxing myself, I'll just say that it is an EB. With that said, I have seen friends of mine at BBs and MM banks spending much more time at home, so I think it varies. To be fair, within our bank, there are certain groups that have embraced WFH, while others still have the legacy facetime culture, so it really depends on the MD/group-head setting the tone. 

Jan 24, 2022 - 10:20pm
The_Finance_Flunky, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I actually had accepted an offer to jump over to an UMM PE shop as an Associate at the end of my analyst stint, but then I got a call from my current bank. I took a flyer on the meeting, and the group head won me over. I come from a very impoverished background, went to a non-target, don't have a finance degree or an MBA (just some decent test scores), so have always been motivated to earn and support my family. Banking has offered me the best path to achieve that goal to-date. 

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Jan 20, 2022 - 3:57pm

Title: VP 
Comp: Straight to Joint Checking Account

Happiness: 7/10

Married, have kids, in the burbs. Mostly whipped. Survived the test of time / two cycles and able to maintain 7/10 on most days. Doing my best to keep analyst/associate at same happiness level as well in ways I can. 

  • VP in IB - Cov
Jan 20, 2022 - 4:58pm

JMD. High six figures/low seven figures (not including cents... not cool, "The Gap"). 10. My comp is light given my productivity, but my lifestyle f'n is great. Last year, I only made a junior work on a weekend ONCE (and that was to fix a pretty big f'up that he did on a deal).

I feel like Brad Pitt at the end of Mr. and Mrs. Smith: "Ask me the sex question".


Jan 20, 2022 - 5:35pm
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

PE Associate

Comp in-line w/ MM PE

4/10. Haven't been too busy these days and the WLB is actually decent for now, so it's started to seem a little strange to me that I continue to be unhappy. I've always told myself that I "liked" the job/work, and all I would really need is better WLB and fewer hours to focus on my personal shit. Turns out, even when I'm on slow weeks I wake up and go to sleep extremely depressed and pretty much dreading the next day. Oftentimes, I find that dreaming is the best part of my day, which is ultra sad.

One aspect is that I've really been too burnt over the past 3 years to have the energy to do significantly interesting things in my free time - it's a fundamental change in life outlook, and I think it's hard for a lot of jr. folks to break out of the cycle (e.g., I've only recently started making weekday dinner plans - I've never been able to do this before). Or on the flipside, sometimes you finally get "free" for a long weekend and you do a huge trip to "make the most out of it," which is super fun until you're back at work but more tired and sad than you were when you left. When I quit in a few months, hoping to take time to self-reflect and find the joy in simply living my life again on my own terms for a bit.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 20, 2022 - 11:20pm

Starting to feel this ~7 months into my first year in MM PE. Hoping it's just the SAD kicking in, but even in the slower weeks I can't get my energy up to do things. Hoping this is just a rut, but if not think I might need to explore other options after I get my bonus.

Do you think it's your firm that's causing this burnout or is it something else? Personally I'm trying to diligence if I need a new firm or a new industry...

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:45pm
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think overall, my firm has a decent culture (hence decent WLB recently), but my particular "sector" tends to be a bit more neurotic compared to others. Another issue is dealing with a large PortCo that is underperforming, just adds to everyday stress. Playing catch-up fire drill each day instead of being excited about growth. Still debating whether it's the job itself or my own situation that is causing the dissatisfaction...

Jan 24, 2022 - 10:35am
BoBandy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Are you overweight and/or don't exercise much? I felt this way for a while, and every time I'd try to get over bad habits, low energy would pull me back into the cycle of misery. It wasn't until 4-6 weeks of continuing you push through that I noticed my attitude towards work and recreation change for the better.

I still have a cloud hanging over me that's there but nothing like before.

Jan 20, 2022 - 5:39pm
NPV123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Strategic corporate finance bum here.

$78k base. 45 hours a week. Side hustles bring me to around $105k all in before my wife's salary.

happiness 9/10. Just got a new puppy and marriage is wonderful.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 20, 2022 - 6:06pm

Holy shit people. Learn to stand up for yourselves and not be a corporate slave. Use the time off, log off at 5PM unless there is something objectively vital, hit the gym, etc. You are letting yourself be abused.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - CB
Jan 21, 2022 - 7:57pm

I think 5 is about as good as it gets for any kind of FO analyst haha. The good things are high comp (expecting a pretty serious bonus), great people on my team, moderately interesting work (I'm in a very niche sector, also getting good cap markets exposure) and never any work on Saturdays with light Sundays. WLB is pretty bad, not as bad as IB but I would say 70 hour week is average and I have had a couple near all-nighters. Especially with WFH since December its kind of depressing to spend all your time working and have little time for a social life. 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Jan 21, 2022 - 1:35am

Title: VP

Comp: $900k

Happiness: 5/10

Rationale: impatient for the "big money" and constantly wondering if this is worth it or if it's truly where I belong. Can also see what the job will be like for the next few years, and it doesn't excite me anymore… I feel like what was once an adventure in the mythical world of finance is now mostly doldrums of the mundane.

  • NA in IB-M&A
Jan 21, 2022 - 7:45am

I may be a lowly analyst but if $900k in your late 20s/early 30s doesn't excite you, I doubt $1.5-2m is gonna be a substantial happiness booster unless your goal is FatFire.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Jan 21, 2022 - 8:21am

Probably right, honestly. It's strange, I was making less as an associate / analyst and was happier... it's almost like I now see how much money flows around in the industry and have seen so many clients become uber wealthy, while realizing that's not possible in what we do along a similar time horizon / age milestone. Might be time to do something totally different.

Jan 21, 2022 - 2:52pm
AnalyzeANDchill, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is sad, you are making 900k money is no longer an issue for you. You're lack of happiness likely has little to do with work and you need to fill other voids. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 21, 2022 - 1:39am

A1 here, base comp 100k. Depends what day you ask me. Been WFH so a lot easier to finagle a quick weekend trip here and there to see college friends to keep my mind in check. Without them or an occasional workout/run idk where I'd be. It's aggravating to see my consulting friends actually have lives during the week and guaranteed free weekends but I'm in this for the short term and will likely call it quits after 2yrs. They're gonna go by fast so I look at this w a glass half full. Tbh still really confused how I ended up in IB but just rolling w the punches. If anyone has any good A1 hack ideas to reduce the sweatiness of this job lmk please.I'm at a 7/10 cuz I'm happy about the possibilities of my life post banking

  • Analyst 2 in IB - CB
Jan 21, 2022 - 1:49am

Lateraled A2, $125k, 3/10

Workload is unmanageable so find myself never hitting personal expectations. Have also began gaining significant wait due to lack of expertise on 20-hour days. Optimistic things will improve.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 21, 2022 - 2:31am


0/10 - there's nothing in life that I look forward to

Jan 21, 2022 - 9:18am
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Perhaps an alternative perspective to provide a light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of the people on this thread:

Title: Retired

Comp from Employment: Nothing, $0.00.

Happiness when I was an analyst: 1/10

Happiness today: 10/10

Happiness tomorrow (projected): 10/10

The early years in this industry are brutal. Pretty much every single member of my analyst class wanted to quit. However, if you stick it out, the amount of money you can make is truly life changing. The problem is most people adjust their lifestyle to their earnings level as it grows. If you manage to maintain a reasonable lifestyle and with some degree of luck, you can get out of this industry early and do whatever it is you please in life, or do nothing at all. Live where you want, travel whenever you please, work out every day, play sports, cook, sleep in til 10am on a Tuesday, you name it. Don't want to check your email for a week? No problem. Friends want to get dinner and drinks on Tuesday? I'm in, without a caveat that I might need to cancel if something comes up at work. 

Everyone is motivated by different things. It seems most people in the industry find motivation by thinking about that enormous house they will build or the fancy vacation they will take. For me, the motivation didn't come in the form of what I could buy with the money. Instead, it came in the form of how much time I could save and freedom I could gain from accumulating the money. So start looking at your bank balance as future years of freedom and you might just find the extra bit of motivation you need to make it through the long hours.

Professional Career Guidance and Mentorship: www.RossettiAdvisors.com

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Jan 21, 2022 - 11:22am
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Very recently

Professional Career Guidance and Mentorship: www.RossettiAdvisors.com

Jan 21, 2022 - 11:23am
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

And I still remember you and the firm that you were working for... are you still there? I haven't spoken to those guys in many years.

Professional Career Guidance and Mentorship: www.RossettiAdvisors.com

  • 1
Jan 21, 2022 - 12:53pm
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Mid 30s.

Professional Career Guidance and Mentorship: www.RossettiAdvisors.com

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 21, 2022 - 3:43pm

I agree. I live extremely frugally and invest every penny I make (although the market has made me lose a lot of that lately...) but how long will this take? Isn't this dependent on markets staying healthy? If things crash I will probably be unable to live this life anymore waiting so long for recovery....what do you think?

Jan 22, 2022 - 8:48am
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The market obviously moves up and down constantly, and every so often you get a crash and a recovery. If you are investing money every year, you're effectively doing the equivalent of a "dollar cost averaging" strategy and should be investing in the market at all points along the cycle. So keep at it as long as you can and it will pay off in the end.

That said, I'm not suggesting you be frugal just for the sake of being frugal. I think the trick isn't to resist buying the things you want, but to instead avoid buying the things you don't want or things you don't really value. Don't go dropping $5k on a watch if you don't care about watches. Don't pay $3k for a first class flight when you'll be asleep most of the flight anyways. It is SO easy to incinerate cash on things that society says you should want. The better you know yourself and what makes you happy, the easier it is to cut these things out.

Professional Career Guidance and Mentorship: www.RossettiAdvisors.com

  • 4
  • CEO in PE - Other
Jan 22, 2022 - 3:10am

Remember reading your posts in HS, I'm in my mid/late twenties now. Congrats. 

Jan 22, 2022 - 8:23am
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's really fun / scary watching all the people I've met along the way progress in their careers. People that I was an analyst with becoming Partners or students that are now VPs or even higher. There is something to be said about building a broad network early in your career with other analysts or PE associates. Over time these people become MDs/Partners and all of a sudden your 100 friends are now running 100 different PE firms / investment banks. Worth the effort for sure!

Professional Career Guidance and Mentorship: www.RossettiAdvisors.com

  • 2
  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jan 21, 2022 - 9:26am

A3. Comp 80-100k (zero taxes). 40-45 hours per week. 9/10

Jan 21, 2022 - 10:35am
Malta, what's your opinion? Comment below:

[Non finance] Software Engineer (technically SRE)

TC: $210k all in

Happiness: 8/10 most days

I normally work 40-50 hours per week. Once I'm up to speed at my new company I'm sure I could drop it to 35 if I felt so inclined but I want to get ahead. I also have a very loving, supportive wife who is always here for me so that factors heavily into my happiness 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
  • 2
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 21, 2022 - 11:36am

AN 2 

Comp last year: 180k all in

Happiness: 7.5/10

In a group that really cares about junior's WLB, while my particular group in the bank has been laughed at more than a couple times on this site, I've been able to get great experience and have a ton of great PE options while working on average ~65 hours a week the past year and half. Don't fall for the BB prestige trap my dudes, the grass can be greener.  

  • 1
Jan 21, 2022 - 1:48pm
AnalyzeANDchill, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Title=Senior Credit Analyst

Comp=90 (expected, bonuses have not been paid yet at bank)

Happiness=1-2 , Messed up my knee pretty bad and got to have surgery soon so currently in a lot of pain, not happy. Least I have a great job though

Jan 21, 2022 - 3:21pm
YoungKapitalist, what's your opinion? Comment below:

3rd Year Analyst

Base: 125k

Happiness: 7/10

It gets better, guys (though i caveat that my team has a great culture)! Hang in there! My first year was also brutal.

  • NA in IB-M&A
Jan 21, 2022 - 5:16pm

Genuinly made me crack up that the conensus analyst rating is 2/10, VPs hover around 4-5/10, and the one MD is at a 10/10.

Jan 21, 2022 - 4:45pm
GridironCEO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

28 years old in medium cost of living city, comp $300-$500k depending on the year working 40 hours a week in asset management sales in a city I have no roots in. Happiness is about a 5/10 for me which is wild to think. I often times find myself thinking that the days that some of my older peers who were clearing $1M+ are gone which depresses me. I'm also at the age where I have a close group of 5 friends but the days of having 30-40 "buddies" like I did in college are gone. I have legitimate fears that I won't be able to have a large attendance at my wedding some day. 

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
  • 2
Jan 25, 2022 - 9:47pm
GridironCEO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

$500B-$1T AUM range of firms. Active only asset manager, and cover private banks, wires, independents, and RIA's (under $10 billion). Best kept secret in finance, median income probably higher than all star tech sales people, but an industry on the decline. I would not recommend 22 year olds out of college enter this path. But at my stage, can't complain. 

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
  • 1
Jan 21, 2022 - 5:27pm
kiltedlowlander, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Back office, LCOL city, total comp $85k (2 income house though, wife works). 


Own a house, have a badass 3yo daughter, work 45-55hrs a week. Sometimes when I see the insane comp numbers on here I rethink my life choices, and would like to make more, but I see 2/10 ratings from all the analysts and it reassures me that things could be worse. Plus, I would probably have a lower standard of living making $110k in NYC than I do here making $85k. And I'm in my mid-20s so still plenty of room for that comp to grow. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 21, 2022 - 7:17pm

2nd year analyst, London, £80k 

Honestly probably a 7-8/10, London seems insanely chilled vs the US. Work until 12-1am M-T with a few obvious shit weeks thrown in. Friday nights always done by 8 with a bit of work Sunday afternoons. People generally respectful of free time and nice to work with. Work out 2-3 times a week and see the friends I care about plenty 

Have always thought I wanted to try lateral to New York for a few years as an associate but wonder if this is an insane idea reading the above.... 

  • Analyst 3+ in CorpFin
Jan 23, 2022 - 3:16pm

where in London is this? Been getting hammered, and currently a 2/10. Would love some insight

  • VP in IB-M&A
Jan 22, 2022 - 12:51am

Others were strong Baird paid ridiculously good bonuses? You bottom bucket or are others FOS?

  • Associate 1 in IA
Jan 22, 2022 - 10:30am

1st year Associate at a Private Bank

TC ~ 200k 


Great team around me, I work reasonable hours. The nature of the work allows me to manage my own work flow and dictate my own schedule. I leave by 3:30 some days to pick my son up from day care. Would be nice to make a bit more but I can't complain, next year's bonus should hopefully get me to 250k tc and my wife makes 6 figures so we are comfortable (not in NYC).

Jan 22, 2022 - 2:52pm
finmarshmallow1122, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jan 22, 2022 - 10:42pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 22, 2022 - 3:21pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 23, 2022 - 1:49pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 23, 2022 - 12:25pm

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