Places where salaries are high but the cost of living is low?

Does anyone know any cities where salaries are high and the cost of living is low for a life style quality that some may consider being average to high?

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Comments (127)

Nov 1, 2016

Atlanta and Nashville

pretty sure there are articles out there on this.

Nov 1, 2016

texas, NC

Nov 1, 2016

Charlotte, NC

Nov 1, 2016

Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte

Nov 1, 2016

Oil rigs

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Nov 3, 2016

You've never woken up with 4 guys in your tiny dorm room to put on your oil mud-sweat ridden suit to go work 12 hours in Texas heat. And then when you're not busy tripping pipe or lifting other heavy bullshit you have to pressure wash everything which will immediately get dirty again.

You're there for 1-2 weeks. The only town is 30 miles away and there's 2 gas stations and a supermarket and you're ecstatic because you can get real food because your rig is close to a town. There's 1 bar you and your rig mates sometimes go to and if you're lucky on any given night there is 1 semi cute girl.

Air conditioned job in a cheap suburbia city please.

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Nov 1, 2016

Austin, Dallas, Houston, & San Antonio if you're looking at Texas

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Nov 3, 2016

Good job listing the 4 biggest cities in Texas.

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Nov 1, 2016

Arizona.

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Nov 2, 2016

Crabber boats :)

Nov 2, 2016

Seattle. Especially when you factor in taxation.

Nov 2, 2016

Is this a joke?

Nov 2, 2016

Not at all. It may be different for other industries and functions but for tech it's a pretty drastic difference. The avg "tech worker" in SF/Bay Area makes $118k vs $104k in Seattle, but state taxes alone is almost enough to make up that difference. Housing costs are 70% more in the Bay Area than in Seattle (on average) even though real-estate has been on a tear for the past few years. You can play around with different inputs for cost of living but ultimately you need to make about 50% more in the Bay Area to be comparable to Seattle. That doesn't make Seattle "cheap" but it is a place where your dollar goes further.

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Nov 3, 2016

Seattle if you can handle the gloomy weather :-)

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Nov 3, 2016

Seahawks should have ran it.

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Nov 9, 2016

will be hearing this the rest of my life....

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Nov 10, 2016

At least your team didn't go 18-1..... Forever the most gut-wrenching loss. The 2011-2012 Patriots were lucky to make it to the big game with that defense. Showed how good Brady was/still is.

Nov 3, 2016

Bellevue seems to get great recommendations as one of the best cities in the US.

BTW Pats vs Hawks coming soon.

Nov 3, 2016

yeah bellevue is really nice

ps the great about seattle area is despite the weather it's still such a popular place... if it had better weather it would be paradise

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Nov 4, 2016

I tell people that living in Seattle is like being in an abusive relationship. I grew up in Seattle, my family is still there, and from June to October it's the greatest place in the world. Every summer I would say, "I'm never leaving."

...then the clouds roll in, the sun goes away, and the depression starts to cloud the mind. Work suffers. Relationships dissolve. Every February I would say, "this is the last time."

Moved away last year to go to business school. I'm not going back.

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Nov 5, 2016

jesus...

Nov 2, 2016

Texas, In particular Houston. Dallas is pretty cheap and a lot of fun but then you have all the douche-bag plastic millionaires to compete with. Austin is kind of the same way, just with the liberal-tech-hipsters.

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Nov 2, 2016

I can confirm this.

Nov 2, 2016
realjackryan:

Dallas is pretty cheap and a lot of fun but then you have all the douche-bag plastic millionaires to compete with.

Feel like this applies to Houston, Atlanta, and to an extent even Los Angeles (although it isn't cheap but the fake wealth is still prominent) as well, the whole "30k millionaire" saying.

Nov 2, 2016

Then you haven't spent much time in Dallas... Or Houston... Or probably Atlanta (although neither have I)... and you made my point for me on LA.

Nov 3, 2016

I live in Dallas and have spent a lot of time in LA. Living in Dallas you will develop a special type of hate for all the SMU kids waiving their parents credit card around and acting like they own every bar in town. Los Angeles is extremely self absorbed and one of my least favorite cities.

Nov 3, 2016

Lol I know an athlete there and he said that there were some people who had lambos.

Nov 4, 2016

Dont Dallas my Houston, bra. Austin is the only place in Texas with an average to high quality lifestyle (IMHO). There you can enjoy the outdoors a bit and there is some diversity in the topography. Houston people are more genuine Dallas folk. Dallas has more diversity in industry - Houston is Energy all the way. Id rank them as follows: 1.) Austin 2.) Houston (where I live) 3. Dallas

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Nov 2, 2016

Any sense of what the PE & MM/EB IB scenes looks like in Dallas in terms of size and industry focus? Been thinking about moving to Dallas because of the above, and I have family out there.

Nov 2, 2016

Well the Good thing about Dallas is there is a ton of capital. So PE is strong, lots of family offices. But, most of the big banks (EB) are in Houston and don't have a Dallas presence anymore, but some of the top shops have a presence in Dallas, doing oftentimes less popular FO work. Also MM shops do quite well because the economy is extremely diversified and business friendly, so there is a ton of work to do outside of oil.

Nov 2, 2016

Thanks RJR, super helpful. I've been toying with the idea of targeting Dallas PE shops for a pre-MBA associate role once I wrap up my current stint in IB. Sounds like it certainly could be a viable path.

Nov 2, 2016

Best of Luck. If you end up there drop me a line.

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Nov 3, 2016

Thanks man! Definitely will do.

Nov 3, 2016
realjackryan:

Well the Good thing about Dallas is there is a ton of capital. So PE is strong, lots of family offices. But, most of the big banks (EB) are in Houston and don't have a Dallas presence anymore, but some of the top shops have a presence in Dallas, doing oftentimes less popular FO work. Also MM shops do quite well because the economy is extremely diversified and business friendly, so there is a ton of work to do outside of oil.

There is no comparison between Houston business scene vs Dallas. Nearly every BB and Megafund has presence in Houston, the amount of corps is staggering. Houston is a more transient city as well which significantly reduces the douche factor, the wealthy are much less toolish since it's a real city with tons of people. Houston's not the coolest place, but Dallas isn't close for high finance or actual energy cos.
And to the person talking about douchebag oil millionaires, oilmen are some of the most down to earth wonderful people we have in this country.

Nov 3, 2016

Couldn't agree more. I should have had that caveat. the Dallas scene is heavy MM, mostly cause all the big boys (and MM for that matter) are in Houston.

Nov 2, 2016

There are "douche-bag" oil millionaires you have to compete with in Houston, no?

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Nov 2, 2016

Why is everyone who's a millionaire a douche bag? Starting to sound like a bunch of Bernie Sanders wealth redistribution types here.

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Nov 11, 2016

Lol +1

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Nov 2, 2016

"Texas, In particular Houston. Dallas is pretty cheap and a lot of fun but then you have all the douche-bag plastic millionaires to compete with. Austin is kind of the same way, just with the liberal-tech-hipsters."

Been to Dallas quite a bit; lived in Houston. Fully confirm the above.

The oil millionaires in Houston just aren't that big of douchebags. Most of the time they're actually pretty down to earth. Love hunting, the open air, and freedom. They just tend to be 'simpler' people than what one would expect.

Dallas is fake as all get out. People are more absorbed in what others think of them than in any other city I've lived, including Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and SF.

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Nov 2, 2016

Agree with the above. The old oil wealth is very traditional and conservative in the christian sense. Some really upstanding people.

Also, irrespective of Southern Charm and shining Texas morality, most of this is old wealth of the type and magnitude that is not attractive to flaunt. For example, the way we know that Trump is only a millionaire is he says he's a billionaire.

Edit: wait a second are we circle-jerking?

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Nov 2, 2016

Honestly, it's really difficult to beat the economics: delivering tier 1 value in a tier 2 city is tough to do unless your work is location independent...

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Nov 2, 2016

Big fan of Charlotte

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Nov 2, 2016

Understanding that high salaries / low CoL are relative, and many of the cities here have a much bigger gap, but this is the main reason I like Philly. Only problem is the good finance gigs are few and far between.

Nov 2, 2016

Yeah agreed on Philly. Cheap rent, all the big city stuff, just not a lot of finance seats.

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Nov 2, 2016

If this is your goal, I highly recommend getting some time at a F500 in a big city and then relocating at some point. My F500 in the Chicago suburbs pays pretty well, but when my colleagues are transferring to Atlanta, Detroit, Indiana, even Sweden and China (if that's your thing), they are living like kings.

This is at the CFO level which is fairly well compensated, but it helps at lower levels as well.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Nov 2, 2016

Surprised no one on here mentioned Chicago...if you are making street comp in Chicago, you will have A LOT of money in your savings account at the end of your first year.

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Nov 2, 2016

Agreed, and Chicago has WAY more finance jobs than any of the cities named above.

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Nov 2, 2016

Very true. Almost all the BB's, MMs, and EB's have offices there, and it is the hub for commodities/futures and prop trading.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/outside-nycs...
Link to a more detailed comment on another post I wrote a month ago for your reference, OP.

Nov 2, 2016

Agreed. Not to mention S&T is pretty good there. IMO I would put NY, Chicago, and Boston as places on my top list.

Nov 2, 2016

I am sure many people would put NYC up there as well but it doesn't exactly fit into the low COL category...

Nov 2, 2016

I know. I'm just saying I'd like to live in one of those 3 cities.

Nov 2, 2016

Gotcha. Three very good choices. Not a west coast guy at all?

Nov 3, 2016

Not a fan to be honest. SF is just as expensive as NY and just isn't for me. LA has a ton of fake people and you have drive for a long time anywhere. In NY & Chicago you don't need a car and Boston is obviously a good spot for AM and a few PE and IB firms. Probably could get away without a car in Boston but I don't think it would be ideal.

Nov 5, 2016

Most expensive cities to live in the United States in order: 1) San Fran 2) NYC 3) Boston
Boston is very expensive

Nov 11, 2016

Your list is missing both DC and San Diego. The top 3 are widely recognized as SF, NYC and DC. Most people don't realize San Diego is 4th (taxes & COL). There's just no way Boston is higher than those 4 in any category.

Nov 14, 2016

It wouldn't shock me at all if Boston and DC are neck and neck. The stats won't show this if you look at "Boston" and "D.C." addresses because DC is so small and the city of Boston has neighborhoods that go all over the place. Looking at the metro area would likely reveal the similarities. My friends that live in Alexandria (1-2 miles from the city) paid almost exactly what I did in Boston just over a mile from the city. If you looked at DC neighborhoods compared to Back Bay or Beacon Hill in Boston I'm guessing it's very close: $800k-$1M for a nice 2BR condo.

Nov 14, 2016
David__D:

It wouldn't shock me at all if Boston and DC are neck and neck. The stats won't show this if you look at "Boston" and "D.C." addresses because DC is so small and the city of Boston has neighborhoods that go all over the place. Looking at the metro area would likely reveal the similarities. My friends that live in Alexandria (1-2 miles from the city) paid almost exactly what I did in Boston just over a mile from the city. If you looked at DC neighborhoods compared to Back Bay or Beacon Hill in Boston I'm guessing it's very close: $800k-$1M for a nice 2BR condo.

Still not buying Boston as fourth. The eval should go beyond housing - when you take CoL and taxes, most of the CA cities still trump Boston. I'm not saying Boston is cheap, but I probably wouldn't put it in the top 8-ish. San Diego, LA and depending on how you break up the Bay Area, you have multiple cities far ahead of Boston.

Nov 3, 2016

Wasn't expecting this.

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Nov 3, 2016

which part?

Nov 3, 2016

I thought Chicago would be expensive like Boston, Miami, Los Angeles etc.

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Nov 5, 2016

Miami is very cheap, also no state taxes and no city taxes. I've done the online calculations and $100,000 is salary in NYC would get you $65,000 after taxes compared to in Miami where that would get you $75,000 after taxes. Also do a Zillow check for a 2 bedroom $3,000 apartment in Brickell in Miami where all the finance/professional lawyer type people get and you will be packing your bags to night once you see how amazing those apartments with gyms, parking, pools, and views will get you. That budget would get you a closet in Midtown.

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Nov 2, 2016

Minneapolis has pretty low COL. Someone mentioned Seattle and I don't really agree with that on an absolute level, though relative to SF / NYC obviously lower.

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Nov 3, 2016

& they have Lazard IBD.

Nov 3, 2016

Piper, Houlihan, GHF (now BMO), Harris Williams, and Lazard MM to name a few. Key point is Lazard MM =/= Lazard

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Nov 3, 2016

HL seems to have a lot of offices.

Nov 3, 2016

Lazard MM - it's only industrials/chemical/ag in that office. It's a smaller office with analyst classes of ~4. Piper is solid for healthcare and specifically medtech, Harris Williams has a tiny office that does strictly consumer, HL has an office that does RX and industrials (really weird culture at this office), and BMO (formerly GHF) as of this summer.

Nov 14, 2016

10% is moderate? Where do I sign up?

Nov 14, 2016
charmander:

10% is moderate? Where do I sign up?

Google the Harry Browne Portfolio.. save fees and implement it yourself; no need to pay me or anyone else to sign up.

Nov 14, 2016
Longcat1982:
charmander:

10% is moderate? Where do I sign up?

Google the Harry Browne Portfolio.. save fees and implement it yourself; no need to pay me or anyone else to sign up.

LOL

Nov 14, 2016
whatwhatwhat:
Longcat1982:
charmander:

10% is moderate? Where do I sign up?

Google the Harry Browne Portfolio.. save fees and implement it yourself; no need to pay me or anyone else to sign up.

LOL

??

Nov 14, 2016

I'd think any big Texas city would be on the list, Houston especially. I'd love to work in oil/gas IB there.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

Nov 14, 2016

Lots of HF/PE in Dallas.

Nov 14, 2016

Houston Oil & Gas. Nothing better, nothing cheaper

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Nov 14, 2016

Houston is a shithole. Dallas and Austin are pretty awesome though.

Nov 14, 2016
Jerome Marrow:

Houston is a shithole. Dallas and Austin are pretty awesome though.

Except there is no defining industry in Dallas or Austin. Op was inquiring about IB/HF/Finance gigs. The only one of those two would be Dallas, but all it has is AM and a few HF's. IB and S&T for the state is all in Houston.

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Nov 14, 2016

you should check out Charlotte, moreso for banking

Nov 14, 2016

There are certainly not as many finance gigs in Austin and Dallas as there are in Houston, but there certainly are some very large funds in each of those cities.

http://www.dfaus.com/firm/overview.html https://www.hbk.com/user_sessions/new

And some others. I can't imagine somebody willingly choosing Houston over either of the other two cities if jobs had the equivalent exit ops and pay, which should be possible for many,

Nov 14, 2016

There are no finance gigs in Austin... the 'rents have tried convincing me to search for jobs there (close to home) but you'd be crazy to want to stay there long-term for finance. Only places are a few PE and AM, and they don't do anything large. In general, Austin is not the place to go if you want to do finance, unless you have some huge burning desire to be in a clean energy PE boutique.

Dallas has some good places from what I hear, but the city itself has no personality and is boring as hell. Houston is, as someone else said, "a shithole"... overpopulated, all the negatives of a big city (pollution, stuffiness) without the accompanying class of a place like Chicago or NYC. It sucks - I'm a Texan native, I can say these things.

Nov 14, 2016

In general how is cost-of-living in Chicago? I know it's less than NYC and Boston but any other information/experiences people can share?

Nov 14, 2016

Chicago can be quite low in terms of cost of living. It highly depends on how and where you would like to live.

A 2br/2ba in a decent area that is completely brand new with parking will go for under $2k all-in (so with a roommate, under $1k). I know people with decent sized 1brs in Lincoln Park and Gold Coast for just over $1k/mo.

Meals/drinks are reasonably priced most places.

Nov 14, 2016

I'd have to recommend Charlotte too, as BAML and Wells Fargo/Wachovia still employ quite a few people in their offices there. Really cheap cost of living and a decent city.

Nov 14, 2016

Charlotte or Houston are def cheap as hell. I'd lean more towards Charlotte (better weather)

Nov 2, 2016

Hong Kong

Nov 2, 2016

Rent for a semi-decent place is killer though....

Nov 5, 2016

I suppose if you're a foreigner and can qualify for housing you'd get that subsidized. Or you could choose to live a bit farther away from the key financial district(s). Now that they've opened up the mtr to sai ying pun and Kennedy town, those could be somewhat cheaper options if your work place is in central or admiralty.

Nov 2, 2016

Xanadu

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Nov 2, 2016

Johannesburg, South Africa. Despite common perceptions about safety/crime levels (partly warranted), the lifestyle can be pretty awesome (swimming pool, garden, staff) for those even with 'middle-class' earnings by global measures.

Nov 2, 2016

KSA and the UAE

Nov 2, 2016

Utopia

Nov 2, 2016

Chippewa Falls, WI..

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Nov 2, 2016

Lol at Chippewa Falls Wi

Milwaukee is actually highly underrated with Baird headquartered there.

Nov 3, 2016

Not really. Baird ER is the only solid office in Milwaukee, and I think their comp is much lower than street (which offsets the COL advantage). If you do IB for Baird, you better be in Chicago if you want exits.

Nov 3, 2016

You could not pay me enough money to live in Milwaukee.

Nov 2, 2016

Definitely Charlotte, NC. You have BAML/Wells with plenty of investment banking jobs in addition to a strong presence from BB&T, Fifth Third, tons of boutiques, and lots of other banks I did not list.

Charlotte is cheaper than cities like Atlanta and the TX cities primarily given cheaper real estate. You can definitely afford to buy a nice condo in charlotte's downtown (they call it uptown) on an analyst salary.

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Nov 2, 2016

I am a dual American-Canadian citizen and I have seen on this site that Toronto is amazing for junior level employees because you get paid NYC salaries. Toronto is low cost and considering current currency rates, you have far more spending power.

Nov 10, 2016
jackdonaghy26:

I am a dual American-Canadian citizen and I have seen on this site that Toronto is amazing for junior level employees because you get paid NYC salaries. Toronto is low cost and considering current currency rates, you have far more spending power.

Definitely not salaries but certainly all-in comp is in range. CoL there is relatively high though. All-in comp for say a 2nd year analyst is probably ~C$150k, which will put you in the top tax bracket of ~45% with rent of $1,800/month for an average 1 bedroom condo and $8-10 well drinks at a normal bar.

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Nov 2, 2016

Atlanta. Few front office finance seats, but the ones that are there (think STRH, RayJay) pay street. These guys live like kings from day 1.

Nov 3, 2016

The reality is a high finance position or even a decent F500 or Big 4 job pretty much anywhere excluding a handful of coastal cities and states will pay well and be paired with a low COL. The issue is barring a couple of low(ER) COL cities (Charlotte, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Dallas) you give up a tremendous amount of optionality. If you're in Omaha you can't say fuck it and walk across the street, there are only so many shops.

Also, wages are sticky. For better or worse it may make sense to spend 3 years in NYC, get the pedigree and the higher wages and then go to a smaller city.

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Nov 3, 2016
guyfromct:

The reality is a high finance position or even a decent F500 or Big 4 job pretty much anywhere excluding a handful of coastal cities and states will pay well and be paired with a low COL. The issue is barring a couple of low(ER) COL cities (Charlotte, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Dallas) you give up a tremendous amount of optionality. If you're in Omaha you can't say fuck it and walk across the street, there are only so many shops.

Also, wages are sticky. For better or worse it may make sense to spend 3 years in NYC, get the pedigree and the higher wages and then go to a smaller city.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Especially early in your career, I think the optionality afforded to those in major cities far outweighs the higher COL. Over the course of your hopefully successful career, that extra 10k a year you might save being in a smaller city probably won't make that much of a difference. (Please don't come at me with the "power of compounding" etc.)

However, i think there is a point when you probably have a pretty good idea what you will be doing for the next 10-15 years and this is when you should probably place a heavier weight on COL versus optionality.

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Nov 3, 2016

^^^ 100%. establishing your career in NYC (or a comparable city like London) will exponentially benefit you in long term w career progress and compensation. You gain experience, networking, pedigree, etc you would never get in a place like Charlotte or Atlanta. justify all you want, but if your goal is to make high six/low seven figures while still doing the WSO rat race you need to start (but not stay forever as mentioned above) in a real market.

Nov 12, 2016

The "power of compounding" line was great. SB'd.

Nov 5, 2016
guyfromct:

The reality is a high finance position or even a decent F500 or Big 4 job pretty much anywhere excluding a handful of coastal cities and states will pay well and be paired with a low COL. The issue is barring a couple of low(ER) COL cities (Charlotte, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Dallas) you give up a tremendous amount of optionality. If you're in Omaha you can't say fuck it and walk across the street, there are only so many shops.

Also, wages are sticky. For better or worse it may make sense to spend 3 years in NYC, get the pedigree and the higher wages and then go to a smaller city.

I agree with this in part but it really depends on goals. If you are 100% prestige focused and your goal is top IBD -> Megafund then you need to work in NYC/London as the concentration of these jobs will be higher than anywhere else and increases your odds. Also need to keep in mind that there are plenty of people who do BB NYC and end up having very average careers. The number of spots available is limited and there is tons of competition. Coming back to PE post-MBA and getting on the VP track is ultra competitive, in ANY market regardless of whether you have done NYC BB or not. In fact, regional PE will prefer those with ties to their market.

There are very limited top 1% jobs out there and far too many people chasing them, it's purely an odds game.

End of the day what matters is what you want to do with your life. You can make great money working in regional IB and set yourself up for a great and less stressful (relatively) career path in a city outside of NYC.

Keep in mind you have strong groups based in CLT such as BAML Lev Fin. I doubt that the SunTrust or KeyBank MDs living in regional offices like Atlanta/CLT etc. are complaining and wishing they were at some Megafund, they're enjoying life and their relatively laid back lifestyle.

I'd say the NYC argument makes sense for undergrads and those early on in their career as there are a ton of finance jobs you could lateral to without ever having to locate. Options will be more limited in other markets and you may have to move should you wish to do something else. With that said, there are plenty of folks that have started as an An/As in a regional shop and worked their way through the ranks to Director/MD and are enjoying the lifestyle. Don't think you have to live in NYC to have a successful banking career.

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Nov 5, 2016

I currently live and work in a non-NYC/SF/Chicago city, I wasn't thinking solely in terms of elite finance jobs, but what I'll call the "broad elite" tier of jobs. My ability to walk across the street or to go into corporate finance/biz dev/strat is somewhat constrained and the issue is the litany of related services that NYC/SF/Chicago built up around banking is far more limited in other cities.

In NYC you not only have the sell side and buy side, but you have the Big 4 with all the TAS groups, a huge corporate and commercial banking presence, numerous F500 HQs supporting good paying finance jobs. Ultimately just like social media, business has a network effect and businesses tend to cluster. With all that said as you get further down the career path the value of optionality declines. Also, my quality of life is a lot better than in NYC.

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Nov 5, 2016
guyfromct:

I currently live and work in a non-NYC/SF/Chicago city, I wasn't thinking solely in terms of elite finance jobs, but what I'll call the "broad elite" tier of jobs. My ability to walk across the street or to go into corporate finance/biz dev/strat is somewhat constrained and the issue is the litany of related services that NYC/SF/Chicago built up around banking is far more limited in other cities.

In NYC you not only have the sell side and buy side, but you have the Big 4 with all the TAS groups, a huge corporate and commercial banking presence, numerous F500 HQs supporting good paying finance jobs. Ultimately just like social media, business has a network effect and businesses tend to cluster. With all that said as you get further down the career path the value of optionality declines. Also, my quality of life is a lot better than in NYC.

Agreed, NYC has it all. Only thing to keep in mind, major regional cities will always have the commercial banking and Big 4 establishments. Top regionals will have corporate banking. Typically you will have corporate banking in NYC, Chicago, SF, Houston, Charlotte, Atlanta (and 1-2 more cities). Big 4 and Commercial Banking will cast a much wider net.

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Nov 6, 2016

I'm in one of the Houston/Dallas/Charlotte/Atlanta type cities, while we certainly have corporate banking offices, they are the Big 4 (Citi, JP, Wells and B of A) plus regionals (think SunTrust, US, PNC, BB&T). Where we miss out is on the non-US Banks and you'll also tend to have a slimmer selection of regionals. The issue is the slots are fewer and further between. The perk is once you are set up down in a city like this you get to really know people. I know a huge chunk of my vertical.

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Nov 3, 2016

Arizona has cheap living if you are at a F500 you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself.

...

Nov 3, 2016

Two places that I would strongly consider are Charlotte and Philadelphia. Both have much lower cost of living than NY or SF, but unlike some of these other low COL cities, Charlotte and Philadelphia are three to five hours away from pretty much anything: beach, larger cities, mountains, etc.

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Nov 3, 2016
Sil:

Two places that I would strongly consider are Charlotte and Philadelphia. Both have much lower cost of living than NY or SF, but unlike some of these other low COL cities, Charlotte and Philadelphia are three to five hours away from pretty much anything: beach, larger cities, mountains, etc.

I don't think Philly and Charlotte are even comparable except in their national position in terms of finance jobs.

One major difference is that Philly is the 5th largest city in the country. I think people often forget that because this site is skewed to finance. It's way larger than Boston or San Fran for example. In Philly, you can live easily without a car and enjoy a real city lifestyle which cannot be said for Charlotte.

Also, the shore points are about 1h 15min from Philadelphia while Myrtle Beach is roughly 3h 45min from Charlotte. That's a pretty meaningful difference when you want to be a regular weekender in a seasonal rental house.

There are plenty of other advantages to Philly compared to Charlotte e.g. being able to fly from PHL, 3 NYC airports, and BWI, decent public transit, amazing sports culture, numerous colleges, etc.

I will concede that there are not enough FO finance seats for a city it's size, but I'm not sure there are that many less than Charlotte in Philly.

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Nov 3, 2016

You're obviously 100%. I did not mean to say that both cities were similar. As you said, they aren't.

Nov 11, 2016

Have you ever been to Charlotte? You don't need a car, especially if you are living in Uptown, which if you're an analyst or associate is the most likely scenario. Secondly, you can live a "real" city lifestyle, there's a skyline, cultural venues and a far more robust finance scene. PHL is a dump of an airport and a real bitch to connect through, Douglas is a whole hell of a lot nicer and is also an American hub. Sports in Charlotte are also decent, NBA and NFL, plus semi-pro baseball and hockey.

I'd rather go to Emerald Isle than the Jersey Shore, secondly you can be in the mountains in an hour and a half.

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Nov 3, 2016

Surprised Phoenix hasn't been mentioned more often. Cheap CoL (especially real estate), great salaries. It's a 4 sports team city with plenty to do and lots of good neighborhoods.

Other solid places: Charlotte, Denver, Salt Lake City, Atlanta.

If you're looking for a big change, go for Panama, Thailand, Czech Republic, Austria, etc.

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Nov 11, 2016
Gangster Putin:

Surprised Phoenix hasn't been mentioned more often. Cheap CoL (especially real estate), great salaries. It's a 4 sports team city with plenty to do and lots of good neighborhoods.

Other solid places: Charlotte, Denver, Salt Lake City, Atlanta.

If you're looking for a big change, go for Panama, Thailand, Czech Republic, Austria, etc.

I live in Salt Lake City currently. You can find single bedroom apartments for as low as $700 per month. If you are looking for a healthy salary, the finance and tech sectors are growing very quickly. Also, if you are an avid skier/snowboarder, you can't find a better place to live. The snow here is phenomenal, and SLC is only a 45 minute drive from 9 different ski resorts. In the summer, you have great hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking in your backyard.

People are usually turned off to the idea of moving to SLC because of the Mormon community, but there are not nearly as many Mormons here as in the rest of Utah. I hang out with a staunchly godless crew on the weekends, but I get along very well with the LDS people I work with.

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Nov 3, 2016

"douchebag" millionaire oilmen....... wow. I smell envy and idiocy. I've met several well-to-do families well entrenched in the Oil & Gas industry at Houston and they are some of the most humble people I know. Much more cordial and down-to-earth due to southern hospitality compared to the spunk and spit from NYC. Get the fuck out of here kid.

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Nov 3, 2016

WOOF, someone has a bone to pick with dem yankees up north

Nov 3, 2016

Chicago and Philly are cool

No way I'd live in a red state. Cost of living? More like cost of misery

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Nov 4, 2016
Going Concern:

Chicago and Philly are cool

IMO, Chicago and Philly are the only two cities where you get a big city feel and lifestyle coupled with affordable RE and general COL. I'm not saying other cities aren't great to live in, but this is very specific criteria above.

Having said the above, Chicago and Philly are also very different in terms of culture. Philly is more provincial (like Boston) and Chicago is a major hub for the entire midwest/central region of the country. Philly is more of a medical hub (big pharma, biotechs, top hospitals, UPenn etc) whereas Chicago is much more geared toward finance (especially capital markets/trading). The people are pretty different in the two cities as well (east coast slight harshness vs midwestern easy going).

Just my take

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Nov 6, 2016

So far the bankers I've run into with the highest take-home income are people at solid regional shops in tier 2 cities. Charlotte and Atlanta in particular. Minneapolis is up there but has fewer opportunities in financial services or related exit opportunities as far as I can tell....not bad by any means though.

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Nov 10, 2016

I have a Norwegian friend who is working for Statoil in Polen, with a Norwegian salary.

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Nov 10, 2016

tl;dr: major cities in the South

Gimme the loot

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