PE associate/VP net worth check

Third-year PE associate, net worth of $360k, age 27.  Is this good?  Bad?  Where are y'all at?  What are y'alls goals?

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Comments (122)

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Mar 30, 2021 - 3:20pm

2nd year PE Associate at $310K age 26. Feel like you and I sit in the good but not great bucket. I've done some frivolous spending over the years. My (aggressive) goals are to be at $1M before I turn 30, $10M by 35, $100M by 45, and the three comma club before CoB. I don't think working in PE gets me past the $1M at 30 goal though.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 30, 2021 - 5:25pm

Bro if he knew the answer he wouldnt be on WSO commenting about it lol

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  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Mar 30, 2021 - 3:28pm

2 years IB, 3 years PE.  ~$650K including retirement accounts. 

IMO you can't really create generational wealth in this industry unless you're incredibly lucky/join the right fund early on.  Industry is rapidly maturing and returns have consistently come down.  Like the user above, don't think PE will get me there. 

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Mar 30, 2021 - 3:35pm

24, 1st year PE associate, net worth of ~$260k. Definitely feel like my net worth is below average when compared to my fellow PE peers of similar age. Gonna be tough to get to $1mm by 30, especially if I get an MBA lol.

Apr 1, 2021 - 3:24pm

The MBA will be a set back to your NW, but otherwise you can absolutely get to $1mm by 30. Your current NW should 1.5x in the market over 6 years, if you save [$75k +/- annually] with that amount also growing in the market that will get you there.

Most Helpful
Mar 30, 2021 - 3:59pm

35, 4 years in IB, 5 years in PE. $1.5M, beneficiary of some great carry exits and opportunistic side investments in real estate. 

I want to add some more color for some questions that have popped up and others that I know will.

First, I screwed around for a few years before I got my act together and am probably 2-3 years behind where I would be had I done everything right as soon as possible. I also don't have kids or a family to support. 

Second, everyone can act like they are fine living like they have a 711 cashiers budget, but that's miserable. You think you want to continue living like a pauper while slaving away 24x7 and making good money? You may think that but you are dead wrong. Could I have lived a more modest life? Sure, but what the hell is the fun in that. 

Third, you will find that if you are successful at this game there are certain things that become expected of you. Donations for charity, picking up drinks for friends, etc. etc. I think @APAE touched on this once. If you have a well-balanced life you will have friends from all walks and social sets. Are you going to suggest going to Chili's because your elementary school teacher friend needs the 2 for $20? No you won't. Are you going to expect them to pay for a restaurant that most "normal people" can only afford to go to once a year or so? No you won't. Heck, due to COVID I picked up several friends rent tabs to keep them from being evicted. (Not saying you should live like MC Hammer, but you definitely can't take it with you when you die) So while it's nice to project next level frugality, and for some they may make it a reality, but it will be detrimental to your quality of life. I can assure you of that. Nobody likes a cheapskate. 

  • Associate 1 in PE - Growth
Mar 30, 2021 - 7:23pm

I think this says enough. 10 years into a huge bull run and 'great carry exits' plus lucrative RE and not even miles above where most think they can get to without carry and 5 years early. Lots of overoptimists here it seems

Mar 31, 2021 - 10:49am

Similar position - also curious about how you think about bschool vs. lateral vs. staying at your shop (if that's an option, which it isn't for me). 

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Mar 30, 2021 - 7:04pm

$275k just wrapped up second year, 26 YO.

Expect to add $100k-$120k of net inflows this year, hoping with the market I hit $400k after this next bonus. Have lived decently frugally but also invested conservatively, with hindsight kinda wishing I'd done the opposite lol but c'est la cie

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Mar 30, 2021 - 7:08pm

Don't know that I'll hit $1M before 30 but my math suggests it's doable by 31 without any crazy assumptions (assigning no value to carry, which would change the dynamic dramatically)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 1, 2021 - 3:42am

AOC? She's making $174k a year. She's not taking over anywhere anytime soon. She's just where she wants to be: little work, high pay.

Like honestly, 99% of people in this website would kill to have her job. <40 hr weeks where "work" is literally saying what comes to mind -even if its false- and pretending she cares about social issues. If she was held to 1% of the standards the gov & SEC impose on bankers she would need to twitch full time to pay off the fines.

Apr 5, 2021 - 8:39am

Look, I'm a liberal and support AOC, but it's pretty obvious her economics background is very theoretical and limited, I would generally not want her in any significant position of leadership in the Democratic Party

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Mar 30, 2021 - 7:45pm

What are you guys investing in with your bonus? Some of you mention "invest full bonus" etc...are we talking co-invest with firm or throw it in the market? GME? Let's hear how you guys are making that nest egg grow. 

I'm just a pleb working for an REPE firm but I'm 25 y/o with ~$130k net worth...was saving cash for b school and will be foregoing so looking to invest a sizable amount of cash in the near term. 

I'd also love to hear how you guys think about retirement accounts. Are you maxing 401k or putting it all in a PA?

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Mar 30, 2021 - 7:53pm

20% co-invest, 70% VTSAX, 10% interesting individual equities. If I had more time I'd allocate some to multifamily properties, but the last thing I need when I'm working on a deal at midnight is to hear about a how a tenant's pipe burst and cost me another $5k

  • Director in IB - Ind
Apr 5, 2021 - 10:02am

Ha, I actually liked the JD - the classes were pretty interesting and even though you grind a bit during 1L, it's really just sitting in a room with your friends and studying so there's plenty of socialization. Honestly, I imagine it's not that different than being an analyst (pre-COVID), albeit with way, way better hours (but you're paying for the privilege).

I don't regret my path. If I did have a regret, it would probably have been nice to figure out that I wanted to do banking / PE in college and gone into an analyst program, since that would have made the subsequent move into PE easier. But it all worked out since I ended up in PE regardless, and some of my best friends are from grad school, so I really can't complain. At this point, any career pivot that I would want to make probably wouldn't include taking two years to get an MBA, and I'm fairly confident that I'm in PE for the long haul (assuming I'm actually good enough to advance up the chain).

  • Works at Goldman Sachs
Mar 30, 2021 - 11:55pm

-500k just blew it all and borrowed more for hookers and Coke

  • 3
Mar 31, 2021 - 2:21am

Wow crazy numbers and ambitions there! Guess I am just unlucky not to be born in the US :D

No wonder most Indians want to be there lol.

  • NA in PE - LBOs
Mar 31, 2021 - 2:32am

27 with three years in MBB and 1.5 years at MF outside US. NW incl. pension of $375k

Have lived life well in that period with lots of money spent on travelling and supporting family in need but no flashy watches or other nonsense for myself.

  • Director in CorpStrat
Mar 31, 2021 - 9:07am

$500k at 27. 2 years IB + 3 years MMPE. Making the switch over to corporate side in the past year may take foot off the gas pedal a bit, but hopefully my capital compounds nicely and I'll continue to save well.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Mar 31, 2021 - 12:13pm

28 at $1.2mm. 2yrs of banking and 4.75yrs at a MF (no realized carry yet). Invested 70-80% in the market under a value strategy, so I missed most of the tech boom

(FYI, obviously I'm not a 2nd yr associate)

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 31, 2021 - 4:12pm

So it sounds like you didn't co-invest in your fund for large majority - little curious as to why not? Can't you often get like 20-30% long-term annual returns by just throwing most of your money into your fund? Maybe I'm missing something here

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Mar 31, 2021 - 4:52pm

My total co-invest at cost is less than $100k. I did not co-invest much because (i) Associate co-invest amounts are capped (lots of firms don't even allow it to begin with), (ii) I valued having liquidity in case I wanted to go to bschool, (iii) PE returns aren't materially better than levered S&P returns and certainly are not in the 20-30% range as you mentioned.

  • Analyst 3+ in CorpStrat
Mar 31, 2021 - 1:48pm

Not in PE or even IB, but in corporate strategy in Financial Services. Started at $100k all in and hit $140k last year. 

Currently at $250k at 24, started from $0 right after undergrad and aggressively saved while living in LCOL cities. A large bull market certainly helped but it really came down to prudent saving without skimping on the fun stuff (i.e. still did two big international trips, lots of long weekends, sporting events, etc.). 

Heading to b-school this fall and goal is $1mm by 33, $3mm by 40 and $10mm by 55. 

  • Analyst 3+ in CorpStrat
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:14pm

Probably a 70% chance I go into banking, 30% chance for consulting. I'm trying to eventually get to a more growing sector (tech, services, etc.) but want to get a few years under my belt and aggressively pay down loans incurred through b-school. 

Mar 31, 2021 - 1:56pm
  1. Going A2A in a product group. Before current role, worked full time with my bank for 6 years in various roles. So 8 years total experience, with 2 in IB.

$540k today including home equity.

With analyst 2 bonus, A2A sign on bonus and interim cash flow, should hit $700k this summer.

Goal is $1.0mm by 28, and $2.0mm by 30.

Edit: current age is 27.

Mar 31, 2021 - 3:20pm

26 with 1.5 years in banking and 3 in LMM PE (currently in fourth year). Net worth ~$600K of which ~$125K is in retirement accounts and $475K is liquid. Also now have some carry dollars at work and some co-invest (with leverage) but I don't include those in my net worth at the moment.

Live in a moderately HCOL city and thinking of pulling a fair bit out to buy a condo / house. Housing market is crazy these days though so who knows...

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 31, 2021 - 3:34pm

Can someone elaborate a little on how you got to these numbers (e.g. income, percent saved, return on investments, etc.)? Just confused because I'm a first year BB analyst with a net worth of $0, living off base and banking bonus. Once that first bonus hits, after tax I'm expecting, what like $40k? Not sure how much it will go up next year. Then say I leave for PE, live off base and bank 100% of bonus still... how are you guys managing to hit these net worth numbers? Are your investments just performing well or am I underestimating PE pay?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2021 - 3:50pm

Assume you leave banking with ~80k like you suggested, and bank your bonus for 4 years as a PE associate. That would put you at ~500-800 by 28. Then take into account capital gains. That should put you in the ballpark of posters above 

  • Analyst 3+ in CorpStrat
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:21pm

As I posted above, $250k NW at 24 (started working a month before my 21st) so 4 years experience. Each year I saved approximately $40k, so $160k over 4 years, but then you have to factor in the incredible market we've had and that gets you to $250k. If you can max out 401k and IRA on base, and then bank 90% of your bonus, you should be in a great place after a few years.  

Mar 31, 2021 - 3:57pm

are all of you guys single and not married? just wanted to take a sense check for some of these numbers that are getting posted. i still have to do my math but hard to separate out the expenses for the wife and kids. once expenses for wife and kids expenses (mostly education) are taken into account, savings go down dramatically due to those spending so curious to see what marital status people have for those numbers

Mar 31, 2021 - 5:28pm

Seems like late 20s and $400-$600k is the average here.  Generally pretty difficult to build significant net worth in the first 10 years in my opinion. 

And that's OK. 

Get yourself in a position by your late 30s / early 40s to start piling it on - that's what matters.

  • 1
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Mar 31, 2021 - 5:53pm

Negative $40k and 25 (student loans). I am a degenerate spender and 'trader'. Last month my net worth was up a few hundred thousand but I blew up my portfolio with weeklies. Will need to take a new approach to wealth creation this year (and subsequent years) 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 31, 2021 - 6:54pm

jesus christ dude what did you do to risk that much? short the vix?

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:29pm

I held OTM weekly calls overnight and the next day was the biggest crash the stock I was invested in experienced in the last ten years. Of course it has since rebounded, but my position was wiped out. All because the ticker made it onto the front-page of /r/WSB. Such is life.

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Mar 31, 2021 - 10:39pm

Been a lurker for a long time and felt like I needed to chime in. I'm at roughly $5mm at 31, consisting of liquid investments and mark-to-market value of vested carry only. Pretty clear path to $10mm after-tax by 35 with vesting and expected portfolio value growth. Never invested in Bitcoin or GME or TSLA, just boring index funds. Got here by joining the right fund at the right time (tech-focused over past 10 years) with some incredible realizations in recent years. There are a lot of people like me out there in PE and VC, so don't be too discouraged by the current environment. There is plenty more money to be made. Am I in the top quartile in terms of luck? Probably. But 25% ain't terrible odds.

Apr 1, 2021 - 12:29am

Are you at a MF/UMM? What kind of fund do you advise current banking analysts to target? Were you responsible for any of the investments at your fund, or were you quarterbacking the deals that the IM decided on? If so, how do you go about finding and evaluating companies to invest in in a manner that differentiates you from your competitors. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 5, 2021 - 11:53am

How much would you say a principal at a MF like APO or BX is worth? Supposedly that have carry in the low 8 figures, but it's just crazy to think that a 31 year old at Apollo can have a $15mm+ net worth (most of that is illiquid but still, it's a nice number to look @ in a spreadsheet)

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Apr 5, 2021 - 1:50pm

$15mm at work across a couple of funds is about right. That's roughly what I have. But it's a very theoretical number. You need to invest the capital, then earn into it by actually generating portfolio company value creation, plus it's subject to vesting over 5-10 years. So you might see some liquidity if you can stay in the industry and make partner, which is no small feat. That's why I focus on vested carry based on mark-to-market portfolio value today. A $10mm allocation in a brand new fund that is unvested is worth zero under that approach.

Apr 1, 2021 - 2:49pm

34, married and a couple kids. Couple years consulting, ~7 years PE in LMM (VP/Principal level).  Roughly $900K liquid net worth (cash, taxable investments, retirement accts), ~$100K home equity.  Also includes having paid off combined $300k college/grad school loans for me and my wife. <$100K investments in current fund (not in numbers above), no carry payouts yet, still deploying.  

I know this thread was not asking for life advice, but given my somewhat advanced age [for this forum], I feel compelled to share the perspective that the luster of rapid wealth accumulation wears off if you don't like what you do or you'd rather shift your lifestyle towards more family/friends/hobbies.  I very much enjoy what I do and am certain that I have a greater net worth than basically all of my friends (I'm the only one that works in finance), but I frankly find myself being jealous when I see them on their 2nd vacation of the year with their family. Balance is hard in this line of work - money is good but just one part of it.  Anyways, just a thought.

  • VP in PE - Other
Apr 2, 2021 - 12:26pm

30 and ~$1.2MM. 2 years IB + 7 years in Private Credit. Includes co-investments at cost (which is conservative given historical fund performance), and does not include carry. Married, but wife is just finishing up residency / fellowship so has a limited contribution to the overall number. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 4, 2021 - 7:23pm

Do you enjoy private credit / what excited you about going down that route? Congrats on the savings by the way, that's awesome.

  • Teller in IB-M&A
Apr 3, 2021 - 10:08pm

I need to start saving more aggressively after looking at these numbers. Admittedly I don't invest so looks like that's really been hurting me. 

26 - 3 years IBD and 1 year in MF Credit -> 120k saved up including retirement accounts - excluding unvested carry/equity

Apr 5, 2021 - 1:12pm

If there is 1 thing I learned from this year it's to be fully invested (excl. emergency fund), in S&P 500 your net worth should double every decade, plus if you feel reasonable in your investing capabilities you can certainly stock pick high quality companies for long term growth.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 4, 2021 - 11:19pm

Does $1.1mm include wife's net worth too or did you invest aggressively in the market? Not sure how else you could have saved that much if you're still in your 3rd year in PE.

Apr 5, 2021 - 8:29am

Yes, that figure includes my wife's net worth too. We've had combined finances since we got married so it's nearly impossible to disaggregate that. My guess is that I'd be somewhere in the $600K range if I was still single. Lived in a very LCOL city for banking and have lived pretty frugally in a HCOL city for PE. Also invested very aggressively during the COVID dip last February and March, which has added something like $150-200K. Without that, I'd be squarely in the middle of where other 3rd year PE associates seem to be, which is in the $350-500K range.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Apr 5, 2021 - 5:36am

Kind of a weird move to compare a combined net worth to the net worths of individuals. Especially when the plus 1 is not in PE as the prompt asks. Anyway if we are doing this. 27 y/o with 2.5 years in PE. My plus one and I have a combined net worth of $164bn. He builds electric cars and rockets. We both started with $0 savings after college.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 5, 2021 - 11:51am

Principals at Apollo are like 29-33 years old. How much do you think these guys are worth, when you consider cash comp/liquid stuff over the years + carry? That PE compensation report says that the average MF Principal has like $12-15mm in carry or something absurd like that...

90% of it is probably illiquid but who cares. That's gotta be some serious spreadsheet porn

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 5, 2021 - 5:49pm

Please don't turn this thread into another circle jerk about how much Apollo pays. There are like 4 other threads from the past week with this exact info if you're looking to be bukkake'd 

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