Prestige Skirmish: Lawyer vs. Doctor vs. Investment Banker

PrestigeCaller
Rank: King Kong | banana points 1,296

The people wanted it, so you get it.

Lawyer - Prestige Pros:
-J.D. is the most prestigious post-graduate degree to have.
-Extremely well read and versed in history - which makes for prestigious dinner conversations.
-Wields influence over the legal system, and influence is one of the central pillars of prestige.
-Connections to rich and wealthy clients, enables name-dropping.

Lawyer - Prestige Cons:
-Jurors that decide your case are generally poor so you can't wear rich people suits to trial.
-You can be broke and underemployed as a lawyer - you don't see broke and underemployed bankers or doctors.
-You're a known fun-killer and deal-slayer because of "muh legal liabilities".

Lawyer Composite Prestige Ranking: 89/100, B+

Doctor - Prestige Pros:
-M.D. is a also a very prestigious degree to have, moreso than an MBA.
-You save lives so you're literally christ himself if you spin it enough.
-You probably know a substantial amount of Latin, which is amongst the most prestigious languages to comprehend.
-Can use big words with ease to impress friends, family and in-laws.
-Once you get an M.D. you can basically never be poor again.
-Probably contain the widest breadth of practical knowledge of any profession, and likely the most intelligent.
-Insane cost of Med-School means you probably come from money.

Doctor - Prestige Cons:
-Have to wear a silly mask and apron (like a chick).
-Probably never got to go out and get laid in college because "muh organic chemistry exam".
-Don't necessarily work in a big city or town, could operate somewhere in the boonies or hood.
-Getting your hands dirty is not prestigious and kind of gross.

Doctor Composite Prestige Ranking: 92/100, A-

Investment Banker - Prestige Pros:
-Make absurd money for sitting in an office and never really doing much besides fucking around on excel.
-Your clients are other rich people that you can rich-dick around with.
-Get to where fancy suits.
-Can order a prestigious dinner from a steakhouse directly to your office because you don't work in a courtroom or hospital.
-While doctors save people and lawyers influence the legal system - you control the money, which will always be the most prestigious element to master.
-Probably were in a dank frat during undergrad.
-Definitely get the most ass in your 20s because you're rich and not indebted via grad-school.
-Doctors and Lawyers lose their licenses for malpractice, we got paid fat bonuses at the end of 2008.
-Being paid a lump sum cash bonus is a more prestigious way to earn income than via a constant salary or being paid on a per case basis.
-Poor people think you're in the Illuminati.
-Probably work in a dope city.

Investment Banker - Prestige Cons:
-Working over 80 hours a week sort of makes you an office cuck.
-You will always have a boss and he will always shaft on you somehow.
-There will always be someone richer than you in finance, which makes you comparatively less prestigious.
-Not enough time off nor the control over your schedule to take WASPy vacations at your leisure.
-No graduate degrees or particularly impressive breadth of knowledge to drop during dinners with your WASPy inlaws.

*Investment Banker Composite Prestige Ranking: 95/100, A**

Comments (84)

Best Response
Feb 13, 2018

Although this is not necessarily an objective view of each of the major money-making career paths that don't include working for oneself, I believe there is a great deal of credence in the entire post. What I find interesting is that there is SO much emphasis put on remuneration, pecking order in the office, who has more money than the other, who can take clients to the nicest steak restaurants (especially in IB)......

For those of you who consider those things to be the most important things in life, you will find those things (at least most of you). Is that what/who you want to be in 30 years? Having a lot of money is nice, and I have a decent amount, but not a mint; but I'm richer than any IB on the street b/c I can go home at night, I have memories of the little things in life with my children growing up (not the week-long ski trip to Aspen, or the Christmas in Paris), but playing catch, being at little league games, taking them myriad less prestigious vacation spots (Disneyworld, Disneyland, SeaWorld, Grand Canyon.....), and most of all, being available when my children need me. Priceless, regardless what the street would provide. Certain things no price can be put on.

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Feb 13, 2018
dm100:

Although this is not necessarily an objective view of each of the major money-making career paths that don't include working for oneself, I believe there is a great deal of credence in the entire post. What I find interesting is that there is SO much emphasis put on remuneration, pecking order in the office, who has more money than the other, who can take clients to the nicest steak restaurants (especially in IB)......

For those of you who consider those things to be the most important things in life, you will find those things (at least most of you). Is that what/who you want to be in 30 years? Having a lot of money is nice, and I have a decent amount, but not a mint; but I'm richer than any IB on the street b/c I can go home at night, I have memories of the little things in life with my children growing up (not the week-long ski trip to Aspen, or the Christmas in Paris), but playing catch, being at little league games, taking them myriad less prestigious vacation spots (Disneyworld, Disneyland, SeaWorld, Grand Canyon.....), and most of all, being available when my children need me. Priceless, regardless what the street would provide. Certain things no price can be put on.

Damn, you must be a lawyer.

"Loser terrorists" & "bad hombres"

"Typical candidates are those who attended a top-tier academic institution"
-Most job applications

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Feb 14, 2018

How ironic. I had designs on going for my JD after getting my BS in electrical engineering. Then, of course, I had to complete assignments as a Contract Engineer, Project Engineer, Lead Engineer, QA/QC manager, Project manager, and a few other job titles.

I can tell you, after about 2 assignments as a Contract Engineer, it became perfectly evident that a JD was NOT the additional career path I wanted to take. We had an entire division of lawyers who would be required to review all of my contract documents prior to issuing the package for proposal. After having to deal with all of the legalese, the added 60 - 80 man-hours that I had to account for when setting my project man-hour projections.

I know there are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons why JDs are considered indispensable in certain circumstances. However, I have had numerous negative experiences, from a professional perspective, where JDs did nothing more than to take advantage of the situation because they know the law better than the rest of us, for the most part.

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Feb 16, 2018
dm100:

How ironic. I had designs on going for my JD after getting my BS in electrical engineering. Then, of course, I had to complete assignments as a Contract Engineer, Project Engineer, Lead Engineer, QA/QC manager, Project manager, and a few other job titles.

I can tell you, after about 2 assignments as a Contract Engineer, it became perfectly evident that a JD was NOT the additional career path I wanted to take. We had an entire division of lawyers who would be required to review all of my contract documents prior to issuing the package for proposal. After having to deal with all of the legalese, the added 60 - 80 man-hours that I had to account for when setting my project man-hour projections.

I know there are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons why JDs are considered indispensable in certain circumstances. However, I have had numerous negative experiences, from a professional perspective, where JDs did nothing more than to take advantage of the situation because they know the law better than the rest of us, for the most part.

You clearly don't get the joke

"Loser terrorists" & "bad hombres"

"Typical candidates are those who attended a top-tier academic institution"
-Most job applications

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Mar 12, 2018

Oh, I got your "joke", I just didn't think it merited a response. Had you come up with something original and/or funny, I may have chosen to spend a few neurons responding.

That clearly was not the case w/either of your responses, but I'm chuckling now b/c you're knucklehead enough to think your joke was missed.

I DID get the joke: iBanked

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Jun 15, 2018

Do you have a degree in meritography ?

Winners bring a bigger bag than you do.
I have a degree in meritocracy.
Alpha male

Jun 15, 2018

Do you have a degree in underwater basket-weaving?

Feb 23, 2018

This right here, is the meaning of a life well spent. There's no point spending the best years of your life, sacrificing sleep, health, friends and family, just to afford that shiny Ferarri which you're going to end up driving to and from the office with anyway.

Everyone talks about prestige like it's owning the Queen's crown, but there's a great deal of 'prestigious' people out there who simply don't have anything other than their money to live for. I always think the real prestige comes from your ability to provide comfortably for your family, hear your son's first words, and watching your kids grow up.

Feb 23, 2018
dm100:

Although this is not necessarily an objective view of each of the major money-making career paths that don't include working for oneself, I believe there is a great deal of credence in the entire post. What I find interesting is that there is SO much emphasis put on remuneration, pecking order in the office, who has more money than the other, who can take clients to the nicest steak restaurants (especially in IB)......

For those of you who consider those things to be the most important things in life, you will find those things (at least most of you). Is that what/who you want to be in 30 years? Having a lot of money is nice, and I have a decent amount, but not a mint; but I'm richer than any IB on the street b/c I can go home at night, I have memories of the little things in life with my children growing up (not the week-long ski trip to Aspen, or the Christmas in Paris), but playing catch, being at little league games, taking them myriad less prestigious vacation spots (Disneyworld, Disneyland, SeaWorld, Grand Canyon.....), and most of all, being available when my children need me. Priceless, regardless what the street would provide. Certain things no price can be put on.

This right here, is the meaning of a life well spent. There's no point spending the best years of your life, sacrificing sleep, health, friends and family, just to afford that shiny Ferarri which you're going to end up driving to and from the office with anyway.

Everyone talks about prestige like it's owning the Queen's crown, but there's a great deal of 'prestigious' people out there who simply don't have anything other than their money to live for. I always think the real prestige comes from your ability to provide comfortably for your family, hear your son's first words, and watching your kids grow up.

Feb 13, 2018

"J.D. is the most prestigious post-graduate degree to have."

LOL. What you smoking dude? I don't know anyone who think a J..D. is more prestigious than an M.D

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Feb 13, 2018

No offense to any JD, but I would agree, an MD is much more prestigious in my mind that is the JD. Just a TON more training and interning before becoming a fill doctor, whereas JDs can become 3 to 5 year partners in a couple of years if they're good enough.

Had a PhD in EE at my college who went directly to get is JD. He as a 5th year in CA after 3. The guy was a genius, though.

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Feb 15, 2018

Plus MDs save lives as noted. JDs just screw you over.

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Mar 12, 2018

I refuse to believe it (mostly because I wish to remain in finance). Besides, I don't think it is a very good comparison. The range of compensation for lawyers and doctors and bankers is incredibly vast. You have MDs that pull in $500k/year and MDs that pull in $5+ million. Same holds true with lawyers. I really don't know what Doctors make, but I'd imagine it is the same situation. Even if you're comparing "average pay" the metric means very little given how wide the spectrum is.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

CompBanker

Feb 16, 2018

Well in rare situations when MD screw you over, JDs will screw them over for you lol.

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Jun 14, 2018

Where i work MDs ruin lives.

Mar 12, 2018

Compbanker is right. You have some cardiosurgeons and neurosurgeons that can pull in 2-3 million a year. There are some specialty oncologists that can even make a little more. Of course that said, the rare set of doctors that do make that money is a very small percentage and that percentage in finance tends to make a lot more than 5mil.

Mar 12, 2018

I think the OP understands that there are different types of doctors/lawyers so the distribution is vast but generally speaking in terms of profession. In my personal opinion finance is an easier route in terms of increasing your capital base relative to JD and MD. Finance people work hard but generally speaking i think MD's and JD's work harder. Understand that finance compensations parallels market direction so obv JD's and MD's are hedged during times of distress whereas finance is going to take a hit but will stabilize again..

Mar 12, 2018

doctors may work harder, but i think lawyers are probably comparable

it's hard to say anyways.

Mar 12, 2018

trying to link bankers to doctors or lawyers is not very analogous. Bankers get paid the amounts they do because of the the revenue they generate. You can't site education levels as a source for compensation equality. There are Phd engineers and scientists that don't make jack, while dumbasses without a college education that happen to be amazing salesmen make a killing. banker's future compensation will be tied to the fees they bring in and the margin on said fees. the only way for the compensation system to shift would be for the entire fee structure of the industry to change...which i doubt will happen. otherwise banks that try to arbitrarily lower compensation will see their talent leave to competitors that still pay well while maintaining healthy profit margins.

Mar 12, 2018

Lawyers fall more so than bankers in to the self contractor category - obviously, there is a lot of money in BigLaw, but there is also a lot of money in filing class action suits for a firm you start out of school. In that respect, bankers really don't have the ability to operate independently and set their own comp like lawyers do, until they get to much more senior levels.

As for doctors, they are confronting similar problems to bankers, namely federal regulations and predetermined reimbursements that limit their comp. However, imo bankers will not suffer from these problems long term - the money will return, and revenue streams should inevitably result in high pay. I'm not convinced the revenue will ever return to medicine - in fact, I think it will go in the other direction.

Mar 12, 2018

Banker pay has always been pretty comparable... the only difference was that in banking, you'd have the occasional trader/PE/HF guy that will pull in a ridiculous amount of pay that you wouldn't see a lawyer get... but for 99.999%, it's been comparable and will remain that way

Mar 12, 2018

The vast majority of lawyers aren't in BigLaw and aren't making millions. They are working in the suburbs on DUI's, divorces and petty crimes.

While a BigLaw partner may make 5 million, and his Banker MD counter-part may make the same, the MD banker is a SR in banking while the BigLaw partner is at the pinnacle of a profession where most are not nearly as prestigious and not making nearly as much money.

I guess the other side to this story is, bankers come from top schools and should be compared to lawyers at that same level. Otherwise you should be including all those in finance including the d-bags working at Edward Jones and ScottTrade branch offices.

Mar 12, 2018

I would say that to the average person being a neurosurgeon is far more prestigious than being a managing director. Equally so, I think it might be harder to become a partner at Wachtell than a partner at Goldman Sachs.

Nevertheless, compensation is a function of output and since lawyers and doctors provide a service rather than generate independent income, you can't expect them to make as much money as bankers.

I do think, though, that its much harder to get to the top of medicine than banking; I feel that lawyers and bankers are comparable in terms of talent.

Mar 12, 2018
mcds:

I would say that to the average person being a neurosurgeon is far more prestigious than being a managing director. Equally so, I think it might be harder to become a partner at Wachtell than a partner at Goldman Sachs.

Nevertheless, compensation is a function of output and since lawyers and doctors provide a service rather than generate independent income, you can't expect them to make as much money as bankers.

I do think, though, that its much harder to get to the top of medicine than banking; I feel that lawyers and bankers are comparable in terms of talent.

Please explain how bankers are generating independent income and not merely providing a service like a lawyer or doctor?

Mar 12, 2018
mcds:

I do think, though, that its much harder to get to the top of medicine than banking; I feel that lawyers and bankers are comparable in terms of talent.

I strongly disagree. Logically, what differentiates someone from being at the top vs. the middle vs. the bottom the peer group, therefore the competition. To become a doctor you can go to a mediocre school, get into a mediocre med school, and graduate with mediocre grades. OR... you can go to medschool in the bahamas, Dominican, Eastern Europe, come to the US, study hard, pass USMLE exam, become a doctor. Don't tell me this doesnt happen, I see it ALLLL the time. Is that a top doctor, no. Just making a point. To become a banker/trader, there is no such comparability... the Dominican shortcut, or mediocre performance getting you into investment banking.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Henry Kravis, Karl Icahn, Steve Schwartzman... top of banking.
  • Top of medicine? I have no clue. I doubt the lay-person does either.
  • Although this metric may not be perfect, it does show what there is to gain, how unattainable, and how many people would want this type of fame/fortune/power etc... Top of professional baseball vs. top of banking, whats more difficult?
  • Burn-out rate. Investment banking has perhaps an unrivaled burnout rate. Something is difficult if it is hard to do. You could argue that medicine is just as hard but more rewarding(non-monetarily) which prevents the burnout, that tolerability inherently makes it less difficult.
Mar 12, 2018

Bankers can turn a dollar into two dollars
Doctors make sure you don't die/stay sick
Lawyers make sure you don't get in jail/get screwed

The former makes money, while the latter to - at best - save you money.

Mar 12, 2018
mcds:

Bankers can turn a dollar into two dollars
Doctors make sure you don't die/stay sick
Lawyers make sure you don't get in jail/get screwed

The former makes money, while the latter to - at best - save you money.

Wow, ok. How does a banker turn a dollar into two dollars? Cloning machine?

Sorry to burst your bubble but bankers do not do anything more than provide a service. They are agents, not principals; same as doctors or lawyers.

Mar 12, 2018

without being able to use as much leverage, banks cannot maintain the profitability they once did. investors may be willing to accept lower returns - thereby leaving more for comp - because banks are less risky, but leverage is coming down too much to compensate. banks that ran more than 20x are going to be coming down ~12x. banks that failed (lehman) were running D/E in excess of 30x.

the question on fee structure is interesting because you're essentially asking "have markets become more efficient as a result of this?". I would submit they have because of increased scrutiny and transparency, so fees will come down. Furthermore, there is so much governmental pressure to open credit markets considering all the money that's being loaned, so I can't imagine banks will keep fees as high. (I hate Maxine Waters, but she dug into Vikram Pandit at the congressional hearings for the $30 million Citi took in underwriting fees to accept their own loan).

senior bankers will, as whole, not make as much. there will be outliers. junior people will always have to be well-compensated because the hours and/or stress suck.

doctors and lawyers who make millions have their own practices; they are the exception. lawyers at bulge firms may make a couple million/yr once they run their firm, but you don't have as many top earning years as in banking.

Mar 12, 2018
yesman:

without being able to use as much leverage, banks cannot maintain the profitability they once did. investors may be willing to accept lower returns - thereby leaving more for comp - because banks are less risky, but leverage is coming down too much to compensate. banks that ran more than 20x are going to be coming down ~12x. banks that failed (lehman) were running D/E in excess of 30x.

the question on fee structure is interesting because you're essentially asking "have markets become more efficient as a result of this?". I would submit they have because of increased scrutiny and transparency, so fees will come down. Furthermore, there is so much governmental pressure to open credit markets considering all the money that's being loaned, so I can't imagine banks will keep fees as high. (I hate Maxine Waters, but she dug into Vikram Pandit at the congressional hearings for the $30 million Citi took in underwriting fees to accept their own loan).

senior bankers will, as whole, not make as much. there will be outliers. junior people will always have to be well-compensated because the hours and/or stress suck.

doctors and lawyers who make millions have their own practices; they are the exception. lawyers at bulge firms may make a couple million/yr once they run their firm, but you don't have as many top earning years as in banking.

I must say, I disagree with your logic - it is certainly true that trader's profits will be down, but I see no reason why bank's fees will decrease. If anything, they may increase slightly as there is less competition (generally speaking).

As to banks being less profitable in general, that is true, but is already reflected in most bank's market caps. You can claim banker's are overcompensated, but by traditional metrics they were (and certainly are now) actually UNDERcompensated - I'm not saying this was a bad thing, but it is true. For about the past two hundred years, the typical firm breaks down in to roughly 70% of revenues going to labor and 30% being return on capital. With traders this is not as apt a comparison, as they rely much more heavily on their banks capital to realize their returns, but IBD requires comparatively little capital to affect deals. You can make arguments that a bank's name constitutes stored human capital, but examples of competitive startups (Moellis, Evercore, etc) would put paid to that notion. I'm not saying bankers should be taking 70% of fees in comp, I'm just saying that's what McDonalds pays, and they get shit for it

Mar 12, 2018

you need to broadly consider banks as an intermediary conduit of capital - there are many, many prominent economists who recognize that it's awkward that the intermediaries of a free-market economy garner such high returns and compose such a significant percentage of market cap. traders and bankers are functionally different within a bank, but broadly speaking, they allocate capital. fees will come down, though a combination of greater transparency (ie - 'more perfect' information) and increased public scrutiny (ie - greater pressure from both suppliers and customers).

yes, market caps may reflect the future returns of firms. but you seem to suggest that lower earnings = lower price = little to no change in overall return. What I am suggesting is that overall returns will be lower because the risk associated with banks will be less and/or more transparent. I do not forsee banks maintaining the alpha to offer pre-recession returns to equityholders.

on a related note, everybody should read nassim taleb's article from today's FT:

http://www.

Mar 12, 2018

top lawyer at watchell doesnt make more than 3 mil a year and they are wayyyy ahead of other firms.

of course there are those lawyers that have their own firms and win malpractice cases like that democratic guy that tried to be president.

Mar 12, 2018

1- why would you use a 200 year average? What does the current financial market have in common with the financial market of 1809? 1859? 1909? even 1959? What does the global economy have in common with the last 200 years?

By your logic, teenage pregnancies are rapidly decreasing since there are 40 cases of teen pregnancy among 1000 while over the last 600 years it has been 300 cases per 1000.

2- what the hell does McD have to do with investment banks? Since McD is paying 70% of revenue to employees, any company that pays less than 70% of revenue is under-compensating their employees?

FYI, McD had 23.5B revenue last year and 435K employees. If they received all their properties for free, and have ZERO COGS, meaning essentially they get everything for free and have a 100% EBITDA and PROFIT margin, at 70% of revenue . the average pay for their employee is 38K.

If they paid 70% of revenues to labor every year they'd be paying about twice their gross profit to pimply faced kids and Mexicans. Just for reference, their gross margin is about 35%. So if they pay 65% of revenue to labor and EVERYTHING else including the cost of the actual food and packaging that means they're operating at a loss every year and either have no interest exp or are insolvent.

Direct COGS (food & packaging) as a % of sales should be about 30-40%, leaving between 25-35% to be paid out in wages and anything else they factor into their COGS.

Realistically, 70% is WAAAAAY too high, and it seems like you heard an econ prof say something in hyperbole that you assumed was a fact.

Mar 12, 2018
Marcus_Halberstram:

#1- why would you use a 200 year average? What does the current financial market have in common with the financial market of 1809? 1859? 1909? even 1959? What does the global economy have in common with the last 200 years?

By your logic, teenage pregnancies are rapidly decreasing since there are 40 cases of teen pregnancy among 1000 while over the last 600 years it has been 300 cases per 1000.

2- what the hell does McD have to do with investment banks? Since McD is paying 70% of revenue to employees, any company that pays less than 70% of revenue is under-compensating their employees?

FYI, McD had 23.5B revenue last year and 435K employees. If they received all their properties for free, and have ZERO COGS, meaning essentially they get everything for free and have a 100% EBITDA and PROFIT margin, at 70% of revenue . the average pay for their employee is 38K.

If they paid 70% of revenues to labor every year they'd be paying about twice their gross profit to pimply faced kids and Mexicans. Just for reference, their gross margin is about 35%. So if they pay 65% of revenue to labor and EVERYTHING else including the cost of the actual food and packaging that means they're operating at a loss every year and either have no interest exp or are insolvent.

Direct COGS (food & packaging) as a % of sales should be about 30-40%, leaving between 25-35% to be paid out in wages and anything else they factor into their COGS.

Realistically, 70% is WAAAAAY too high, and it seems like you heard an econ prof say something in hyperbole that you assumed was a fact.

I was making a slightly hyperbolic point about how compensation is structured in most non-financial firms, which I probably could've explained better. I chose McDonalds as a convenient name, but they're not the best example due to their franchise structure. Your guess of 38k a year doesn't seem too high an assumption if you average in management and midlevel pay, but the actual figure (going off 05 numbers) is that employees earned 3.9 billion in total comp against 2.6 billion in net income, which represent returns on labor and capital respectively. So, labor earned 60% of total economic profits.

McDonalds aside, my point was along more general lines though, that a guy who brings in 50 mil in fees is still going to get a decent percent of that, and that as long as fee revenue is there compensation should be there as well.

Mar 12, 2018
drexelalum11:

I was making a slightly hyperbolic point about how compensation is structured in most non-financial firms, which I probably could've explained better. I chose McDonalds as a convenient name, but they're not the best example due to their franchise structure. Your guess of 38k a year doesn't seem too high an assumption if you average in management and midlevel pay, but the actual figure (going off 05 numbers) is that employees earned 3.9 billion in total comp against 2.6 billion in net income, which represent returns on labor and capital respectively. So, labor earned 60% of total economic profits.

McDonalds aside, my point was along more general lines though, that a guy who brings in 50 mil in fees is still going to get a decent percent of that, and that as long as fee revenue is there compensation should be there as well.

I'm not trying to pick apart everything you say, but you're getting very specific so I'm just pointing out...

1- Net Income is very different from Revenue(which is what you initially said)

2- Net income is accounting profit, NOT economic profit

2- High or not, that 38K does not include mid-level and executive comp since its based off Revenue - COGS. COGS should include the burger flippers, not the CEO and regional supervisors. You're also assuming 38K sounds right, but not factoring in that most McD are not in the United States(unskilled labor is paid FAR more in the US than all the other countries where McD has a presence). And my point was that 38K per employee is not nearly 70%.

My main issue was that you were asserting that Wall St is STILL under-compensated, and your supporting example was not only not applicable, but completely wrong.

Mar 12, 2018

What the hell is all this jerking off to banking about? Worry about the things that impact you, don't worry about the long-term compensation trends.

Fact is, until you get some experience in banking, there's a high probability that your assumptions are going to be wrong.

Mar 12, 2018

Banks turn $1 into $2 by trading. Most (if not all) trading desks are giant prop desks that happen to trade a little bit of flow to keep clients and get underwriting fees. I know for a fact, from experience, as I have done it.

Mar 12, 2018
EagleSpread:

Most (if not all) trading desks are giant prop desks that happen to trade a little bit of flow to keep clients and get underwriting fees.

...FALSE.

Mar 12, 2018

I believe the guy I was responding to was referring to the "agent" bankers (corp fin, flow traders, brokers, etc.) and not the "principal" bankers (prop trader, internal PE arms).

Believe me, I know what a prop desk is and I'm familiar with the drivers of the increase in investment bank revenue.

Mar 12, 2018

I wouldn't go as far as to say false xq, but it's definitely not an exxaguration, especially in the last few years. I know many, many that feel the same way. Most flow transactions are to facilitate giant punts. Maybe that's just the culture that I have been around in my time then, but I'm just telling you what I've seen.

Mar 12, 2018
Marcus_Halberstram:

1- Net Income is very different from Revenue(which is what you initially said)

2- Net income is accounting profit, NOT economic profit

2- High or not, that 38K does not include mid-level and executive comp since its based off Revenue - COGS. COGS should include the burger flippers, not the CEO and regional supervisors. You're also assuming 38K sounds right, but not factoring in that most McD are not in the United States(unskilled labor is paid FAR more in the US than all the other countries where McD has a presence). And my point was that 38K per employee is not nearly 70%.

My main issue was that you were asserting that Wall St is STILL under-compensated, and your supporting example was not only not applicable, but completely wrong.

As this is an internet forum, I've just been using the words I feel would convey the general idea rather than striving for technical accuracy, but you are certainly right that revenue and economic profit are not the correct terms for the points - I felt they conveyed a general point, that categories benefit from an economic enterprise, employees and capital holders. My point, semantics aside, was that labor historically is undercompensated on wall street compared to industries, even without adjusting for human capital.

My example was, as my numbers showed, not wrong - I was off by 10% on my guess and could have worded it more carefully, but I hope that I at least managed to get across my point. You may certainly agree or disagree, but I hoped including a counterpoint might make my point clearer.

Anyways, appreciate the opinion Marcus.

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Feb 13, 2018

"-Jurors that decide your case are generally poor so you can't wear rich people suits to trial."

LMAO

    • 1
Feb 13, 2018

I always thought those were the shitty or non-profit-save-the-world type of lawyers. The real lawyers never go to a jury of peers, they just do arbitrage between huge multinationals.

If you include them, you gotta include tellers in banking. Maybe that's paralegals actually since both don't need education.

Source: Suits

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Feb 13, 2018

Don't disagree at all, but I could also easily see some trial lawyer being harangued for wearing even a Brooks Brothers tier suit. Doesn't take much to set people off.

Feb 15, 2018

Actually, paralegals at top biglaw firms - the ones that work on int'l "arbitrage" (I think you mean arbitration) - come from ivy league schools and make close to six figures all in out of college. They and the associates/counsel/partners they work for all wear Brooks/italian/tailored to work.

Not to be a downer, but Suits is actually one of the most ridiculous portrayals of big law out there.

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Feb 16, 2018

I actually had a few friends from low tier law schools work as big law paralegals because they couldn't get any other jobs. You definitely don't need an ivy or top 10 degree to get those jobs. The work is a nightmare but it does pay well. I think they made about $40/hour but none lasted more than a year on the job since they were usually in the literal basement of the building doing extremely tedious grunt work all day.

Feb 16, 2018

@Ricky Sargulesh Sorry, but speaking as someone with experience as a big law para this is just not a fair characterization.

Never once in my time did I see someone with a JD working as a paralegal. In fact most firms explicitly disallow it because a few years back there was a glut of lawyers from schools of dubious quality, and therefore a glut of applications for them to fill paralegal slots. While I am sure some made it, most would not, which stands to reason - no lawyer is going to want to be a para for long, and will jump at the next thing, and the law firms know this. So while it is not unheard of, you are talking about a corner case - quite literally <1% of the population.

What actually happens is kids, generally from top 25 US news schools, many of them Ivy, would get recruited every year for 2 year programs. In my time in the business, I worked with more Ivy kids than not, and all were very accomplished in their own rite. While interviewing undergrads for the position, I encountered a good number of candidates who had done IB internships previously.

The work itself, while grueling and at times tedious, is not abjectly so. To characterize it as such would be like painting IB, for example, with such a wide brush. Will you spend time making pointless formatting changes to pitch decks/contracts that will never be noticed? Yes. Will you also get to spend time forming direct relationships with the senior management of your clients and helping them on projects where you get to take point and play a significant role? Yes (if you are good, but that's always a given).

Much of it is group dependent - I spent my time in transactional rather than litigation, where teams tend to be staffed more leanly and the potential for greater responsibility/substantive work is higher. But big law paras generally get a bad rap unfairly, I think. They are generally pretty hard working, smart/accomplished kids that do meaningful work for their teams and clients. Yet thanks to Suits et al, the public has some ridiculous/unrealistic perception of them, if they have one at all.

EDIT: Getting the feeling that these surprising SB's are coming from current or former big law paras haha.

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Feb 16, 2018

You're probably right, I'm just speaking based on the personal experience of a few friends at a few specific big law offices. Thanks for the insightful response.

Feb 16, 2018

also @Fugue you mentioned there was as "glut" a few years back. Is this no longer the case? I remember reading a fascinating NYT series about how a lot of mid/lower tier law schools should be shut down since their aren't enough good law jobs to employ all the new grads every year. I personally have a lot of friends (like the ones mentioned in my last post) who graduated law school a few years ago and many of them ended up in more "JD preferred" type of jobs rather than truly practicing law.

Feb 16, 2018

Hey, no harm no foul bud. Thanks for the civil discourse in a troll thread.

To your other post, yes - after the financial crisis, a number of academic institutions that had no business forming law schools nonetheless went ahead and created a law school program, ostensibly because of what a money making machine a law school can be for a university. Many of these ranked very low on the law school rankings, if not the lowest (talking like #199/200, for example), and produced a lot of graduates saddled with no-name degrees and a lot of debt. It is one thing to have $300k of law school debt when you are getting a partner-track associate position at Cravath/Skadden et al and making $200k/year out of law school. It is entirely another thing when you can't even get a job practicing law with your degree.

There was actually a large blogging community which emerged for the disaffected graduates of these programs to commiserate about their lot in life (I think one was called "Third Tier Reality" or something). It is truly tragic stuff to read, if you ever find the time.

Thankfully I think the heyday of this peaked years ago, and such law schools are currently on the decline. But anyone who has a lot of friends who are practicing lawyers has probably heard through the grape vine about a lost generation of JDs that graduated into the depths of the financial crisis and paid the price for believing (naively, and with the assistance of pied pipers) that they could beat the immutable laws of supply and demand.

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Feb 16, 2018

Cool, appreciate the insight.

Btw, if you want a better legal show than Suits you should check out Better Call Saul.

Feb 16, 2018

Anytime dude. Better Call Saul is a great show. Can't necessarily say it's something one's perception of law should be based on...but highly entertaining, and rings true in some subtle ways.

Feb 13, 2018

All a bunch of glorified wage slaves

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Feb 13, 2018

You boiled it down to its fundamental components. Well done.

Feb 13, 2018

why deal with all the shit?

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Feb 13, 2018

CEO is just an employee too. None of them have ownership. BoD who roll in 4 times a year, sit on 13 other boards, and make more than the CEO have true prestige. Not that that shit matters at all. But freedom and access do.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Feb 14, 2018
  1. CEOs often have large stakes in their companies; what are you smoking?
  2. Board members become board members by being CEOs at other companies.
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Feb 15, 2018

They often do. And they often don't.
How you get there is irrelevant. Most people have to be wage slaves at some point in life. Lots of ways to break out

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Feb 18, 2018

The point is that CEOs are not simply dishing out shit without anyone giving them a hard time. Certainly, a lot of boards are more interested in covering their own asses than covering the CEOs'. Board membership can vary a lot, and one founder's grandkid son of bitch on the board, or a couple of activist investors, or some guy who you fucked over in B-school thirty years earlier, can make your life hell as a CEO. With how some of the large AM firms are treating their monitoring obligations these days, and every HF guy with a struggling portolio convinced that all he needs to do is grow Paul Singer's bras balls to deliver alpha, it's not easy going on boards these days. Go read Jensen & Meckling's theory of a firm; the CEO is just one disparate interest in the nexus of disparate interests that compose the firm, albeit one with a larger dick than most.

Feb 13, 2018

MD with surgeon residency/fellowship is top prestige by far, imo.

Feb 13, 2018

what about tech?

Feb 16, 2018

0 prestige, except in your own little world of tech nerds all of whom have 0 prestige as well.

Only way to get prestige in tech is to use tech to get somewhere where you get prestige from that, like founder of company or rich.

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Feb 13, 2018

LOLOL You guys are crazy.

Highest Prestige:

Top Portfolio Manager on a big, successful fund.

*Rumor has it our top PM made 5X what the CEO did last year (our CEO probably makes 7-8 figures)
*He goes on TV and gives interviews whenever he wants, and has others when he doesn't.
*He has others to go on when he doesn't want to.
*I heard we told him no for the first time in negotiations last year when he asked for his own private intercontinental jet.
*He sets his own hours.

I break things internally before we roll them out so people don't break them externally, and find data problems. I also know the story behind every one of our ETF's performance quirks back to inception. Our PMs come to me when they need help.

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Feb 13, 2018

Hedge fundies = heathens and degenerates.

You will never be in the in-club that is New York BB IBD, you will never understand the memes, nomenclatures and traditions that define the banker lifestyle, and most of all - when you tell chicks where you work - they will always ask you, "What's That?" as they wrinkle their nose.

Finance is like the Wild West and Hedge Fundies are like the cowboys that go rouge and allegedly earn more than the town landlords but still can't come back into the local town square without being looked at crooked.

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Feb 13, 2018
PrestigeCaller:

Hedge fundies = heathens and degenerates.

You will never be in the in-club that is New York BB IBD, you will never understand the memes, nomenclatures and traditions that define the banker lifestyle, and most of all - when you tell chicks where you work - they will always ask you, "What's That?" as they wrinkle their nose.

Finance is like the Wild West and Hedge Fundies are like the cowboys that go rouge and allegedly earn more than the town landlords but still can't come back into the local town square without being looked at crooked.

Who ever said I work for a Hedge Fund? I'm with a top 20 Asset Manager. You've heard our name. My Grandmother was aware of us before I started. We also don't go into those low value banking type situations. Lloyd and Jamie attended a small private forum we held recently for heads of AM/WM firms, despite running companies with many multiples of our workforce.

I break things internally before we roll them out so people don't break them externally, and find data problems. I also know the story behind every one of our ETF's performance quirks back to inception. Our PMs come to me when they need help.

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Feb 13, 2018
PrestigeCaller:

Still gay, IB or bust, faggot.

Very cute. I also like the self referential monkey shit throwing. Do you think that there is anyone directly involved in ibanking (not CEO of BB) who out-earns the likes of Bill Gross?

I break things internally before we roll them out so people don't break them externally, and find data problems. I also know the story behind every one of our ETF's performance quirks back to inception. Our PMs come to me when they need help.

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Feb 13, 2018

How many bots does this idiot have? I really doubt he works in PE if he is able to hit me with five pieces of monkeyshit in ten minutes for telling him I don't work in PE after accusing me for such. Expect more on my posts in the next few on my other few from this unemployed 'tard.

I break things internally before we roll them out so people don't break them externally, and find data problems. I also know the story behind every one of our ETF's performance quirks back to inception. Our PMs come to me when they need help.

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Feb 14, 2018

Trust me, you suck.

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Feb 22, 2018
PrestigeCaller:

Hedge fundies = heathens and degenerates.

You will never be in the in-club that is New York BB IBD, you will never understand the memes, nomenclatures and traditions that define the banker lifestyle, and most of all - when you tell chicks where you work - they will always ask you, "What's That?" as they wrinkle their nose.

Finance is like the Wild West and Hedge Fundies are like the cowboys that go rouge and allegedly earn more than the town landlords but still can't come back into the local town square without being looked at crooked.

If finance was the wild west hedge fund cowboys would be ace shooters.... It's a lot harder to play in a public market.

PS that's because we're dating your boss's daughters. We're not trying to link up with some wanna-be activist prestige whore who thinks banking is that cool. Nice try.

Overwhelming grasp of the obvious.

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Feb 13, 2018

What about a JD/MBA holder working in PE at a top shop?

"Loser terrorists" & "bad hombres"

"Typical candidates are those who attended a top-tier academic institution"
-Most job applications

Feb 13, 2018

"These guys think they're masters at managing risk.. I handle fucking risk with a human life on my table." - my dad after mom brought him out with her friend friends and their hedge fund mgr husbands.

The old man's always looked at me a little different ever since I backed outta pre-med sophomore year. Over the years, he's begun to make his opinion better known. Something about being a money-changer never struck me as particularly prestigious and I've never met a lawyer who enjoyed their job. I know I have a bias but I just don't think there's anything more prestigious than surgery.

Why are HF mgrs mentioned but not principals at PE firms? Private markets are certianly more prestigious than public.

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Feb 13, 2018
sl55amg:

Why are HF mgrs mentioned but not principals at PE firms? Private markets are certianly more prestigious than public.

Tbh, most people probably won't distinguish them from bankers.

Feb 14, 2018

"You save lives so you're literally christ himself if you spin it enough."
LOL

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Feb 15, 2018

Lol JD is more prestigious than MD. I would say in general MD's are more prestigious. Maybe if you go to a top 10 Law School, but Med school is way harder to get into at almost every level. Law school the hardest is around 9% and gets easier quickly, med school is at 2% and many more are around that level.

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Feb 16, 2018

While I am no longer pursuing medical school, I can say without a doubt that being an MD is the most prestigious. While working as a medical scribe and shadowing surgeons in the ICU, I saw numerous lives saved. I decided to switch to finance for other reasons, and I do not regret it, but there was nothing more moving than seeing someone's life saved.

Not to mention, if someone is a top-tier specialized surgeon they had to attend 4 years of medical school, 2-4 years of residency, and then another 2-4 years of fellowship. It is only then that they are able to practice without supervision. If you do the math, that means they will be 30-34 years of age assuming they graduating at the age of 22. Their hours are also comparable to IB. I worked with a 65-year-old head of OB/GYN, and he still had to work night shifts and 60ish hours per week. He most likely does this because he enjoys what he does, but the point still holds true.

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Feb 16, 2018

I just had a hilarious business idea: A company that sends a bigass jar to your house via drone and you can dump your bigass jar of change you're never really gonna take to the bank. The drone goes and deposits the change. You get 75% ACH and the company takes 25%.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Feb 18, 2018

If that is even a breakeven model, I'm in

Feb 16, 2018

MD wins for me due to salary, hours and not being land locked to fucking Manhattan, Chicago or SF. What fucking good is all that money when i have to spend 11 months out the year in piece of shit filthy manhattan. I actually enjoy Manhattan I just wouldn't want to live there

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Feb 21, 2018

Ive been told the best pick up line in the world is...

"Sorry I have got to go, i have surgery in the morning"

and then the knickers drop

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Feb 23, 2018

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