Rock Bottom but ain't giving up - Update

Hey folks,

Few months ago I posted my story about how I started living in my car after graduating college. Lots of people seemed not to believe it so I decided to post pics of my journey of living in my car for 442 days. I got a job in a small startup (data related). It was a $20 an hour contract position for 2 months but I got hired full time and now making 50k (which isn't much but I have a shelter now). It's still barely enough to pay bills. Still living paycheck to paycheck but not in the car. Living on a triangle shaped top floor somewhere in queens (I consider it a penthouse). My rent is relatively cheap - 750. It's funny that I can walk only in the middle part. Perks of being tall eh. I'm writing this just to share my feelings and observations. I've seen some shit show. Link with the pics will be at the bottom. Feel free to scroll it over and post comments if you have anything to say. All kind of criticism is taken well.

442 days sleeping in the car.

I've seen 2 summers and a winter. Winter was cold but manageable. I had a 0 degree sleeping bag and slept with woolen socks and scarf around my face so my ears wouldn't freeze. There's a picture of a water frozen in a water bottle. That's how cold it is in the car during the winter time. Summer is a bitch. It gets so hot and humid that you cannot breathe. Even with open windows (not fully open for safety reasons). I used to get 2-3 hours of sleep max during the summer. Would go to gym and sleep couple of hours with AC. Worst feeling is when cops knock on your window. I don't know what kind of mofos do that but some people call cops when they see someone sleeping in the car. Get a life suckers. Cops usually ask for an ID to see if you're running away from something. And they ask why was I sleeping in the car. I'd say straight forward that I'm fucking homeless and discriminating homeless is illegal. If you'd seen looks on their faces. Priceless...

I parking in a service exit called Vince Lombardi in NJ and slept there for a year. I've seen people sleeping in their cars, usually SUVs. I've never seen anyone who's been there as long as I did. Most people left after couple of weeks. Maybe family issues or whatsoever. I'd feel kind of sad when there somebody who parked there everyday for sometime and never came back. We might have never talked but we knew that we were there.

Help from WSO members

I appreciated everyone's support who commented any positive stuff. I've met 3 people in real life from WSO and spoke on the phone with 2. Few people wanted to know my identity by asking my resume (I guess students who graduated same school). Sike, I didn't have much friends in college so chances of you knowing me is slim to none. Talking about friends, I've lost them all. I was pretty open about what I was going through, why am I doing it (not to declare bankruptcy), and try to explain how important credit score was. Only 2 friends that I got distanced themselves from me, 1 kept calling me a hobo, another one just runs his mouth way too much and toxic. So there I was, with no friends, isolated, living in a car, doing food deliveries to pay bills. Which was kind of a journey, a pleasant one because nobody got hurt.

As I mentioned, I've met 3 people from WSO. I appreciate the time they spent to meet me but I dont get why 2 of them decided to meet me. They wanted to see me in person or hear from myself? I had to come all the way from Jersey just to say whatever I wrote on my previous post. However, 1 person was exceptional. Let's call him S - phd, quant, works for one of the biggest hedge funds. That dude is extremely smart and amazing human being. Although he wasn't able to help me in any way but him meeting me is already a lot. He tried whatever he could do tho. I saw him as a mentor though. I liked to talk to him. He talked in a very calm, peaceful tone and was my only friend with whom I could share my shitshow stories. He referred me to his friend who started a hedge fund and that friend referred me to his former colleague - from whom I got an interview. Prop trading firm on Park Ave. They said I have an interesting background and would consider me. Never reached back. I bugged them every week but they kept saying reach us back next month.

About my current job.

We're a small team and I'm the last hire. I got hired full time and was promoted to analyst 2. Manager was thinking to make me senior analyst but somebody else got it. Some people like to talk shit about other's work to get themselves promoted instead of showing a good performance. Cheap shot move, but whatever works. Pay is not high or even competitive. But who am I to complain after living in a car for 442 days. I am surrounded by 4 walls and sleep with straight legs. That's already a huge progress for me. I'm still trying to get into hedge funds. I manage my workflow well and am highest performer within other analysts. It's good to have solid spreadsheet and some python skills. A lot of tasks can be automated. I improved my python and made some very simple algo trading systems. So far on paper trading it is generating revenue. This is what I wanted to do initially and what I will be chasing as a career. It's funny how S said "Finding a job is like finding a wife. You'll see a lot of attractive ones but you'll end up with one you can get". Ouch, but true. I'm thinking to get few months more experience here and try applying for quant trader jobs or prop shops or legit hedge fund analyst jobs. That seems like the only way to get my financials to the next level.

One another thing to mention is suicidal thoughts. Of course you try to be positive and squeeze all the juice you got but those thoughts come once in a while. It's like man period i guess. Fighting yourself was a big part of the journey.

Right now I'm in 110k debt. I have no clue how I'm gonna pay for it, I guess hustling is the only way. I'm doing food deliveries after work for 3-4 hours 3-4 days a week. That gives me about 250-300 extra.

Here are the pics:

Feel free to ask any questions. Every comment will be answered.

PS: Never stop hustling.

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Comments (69)

Jan 14, 2020 - 7:40pm

Thanks man. Never stop the hustle right? I'm fine with having no friends. Got lots of time and 0 toxic/negative ppl around

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
Jan 14, 2020 - 7:57pm

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

  • 9
  • 1
Jan 14, 2020 - 8:41pm

Swear to god. I used to get a lot of motivation from that scene. All (Rocky Balboa) says is the harsh truth. We all gotta learn to suck it up and keep pushing. Nobody hits harder than life

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 15, 2020 - 10:12am

While I feel for your struggle, trust me, you're not the only one out there going through stuff like this. The best thing you can do is be resilient. I remember having to pay my way through college and was working government part-time, which is really shitty pay, and also limited hours since offices are closed on the weekends and nights when I would've had more free time.

If I didn't get lucky and find a place that was dirt cheap, I would've had no place to live either, and I know there are many others who had to face a similar struggle. I guess one upping one shitty story with a similar or worse shitty story makes no sense--but I wanted to tell you I think you're taking the right approach to your situation.

When you get dealt a bad hand, you need to switch from winning, to just staying in to the next round. Survival seems like such a far off concept to many Americans with a lot of people here experiencing many excesses going from hand to hand of boosters through their entire life.

But it's much closer to home in this country than many seem to realize. It's a major issue and that's why as I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate having economic sympathy for those who find themselves disenfranchised. America needs to do better at supporting its own people.

We need better infrastructure to make the economy flatter instead of the tall concentration of who gets to earn a decent living standard we are currently becoming too familiar with. And especially it comes down to all the people who support Trump because of "taxes bro" and "my stock holdings, man". A lot more needs to be done to make jobs more attainable as well as higher earnings the standard.

Jan 15, 2020 - 11:40am

I would love to show your and the above stories to anyone who complains about something being difficult

with your technical background I doubt it'll be the case, but if you ever consider PWM or coming to the southeast, PM me, I'm at a big firm (UBS/Merrill/MS) and happy to stick my neck out for a hustler.

don't worry about the debt at the moment. make minimum payments and keep actively seeking higher paying jobs, you'll find that living on a shoestring for years has built a level of frugality that will pay big dividends later in life. as you get raises in income, don't increase your lifestyle proportionally. e.g. when you get a job paying 70k, maybe only increase your living expenses as if you were making 60k, as an example

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 15, 2020 - 2:12pm

I would love to show your and the above stories to anyone who complains about something being difficult

with your technical background I doubt it'll be the case, but if you ever consider PWM or coming to the southeast, PM me, I'm at a big firm (UBS/Merrill/MS) and happy to stick my neck out for a hustler.

don't worry about the debt at the moment. make minimum payments and keep actively seeking higher paying jobs, you'll find that living on a shoestring for years has built a level of frugality that will pay big dividends later in life. as you get raises in income, don't increase your lifestyle proportionally. e.g. when you get a job paying 70k, maybe only increase your living expenses as if you were making 60k, as an example

How you read this as a success story and not as evidence of something broken in the machine is confusing to me. I don't know if it's delusion or denial.

Redemption stories like the ones you're talking about should be reserved for crack heads and alcoholics, not a kid full of energy who just got his college degree.

Jan 15, 2020 - 2:17pm

I don't want to get into politics but it really doesn't matter who's running the show. Both ways small guys like us wont benefit from it. The system is not broken nor gov should help struggling people. People dig themselves out. Hate when people blame the "system" when they're failing. Survival of the fittest eh? Obviously I wasn't the fittest but taking baby steps to become one.

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
Most Helpful
Jan 15, 2020 - 2:23pm

get the fuck out of here. I'm trying to celebrate hustle and you're making this about politics. I can't save the world or fix the system, but I can throw this bro a bone. you're doing nothing but complaining. you want to fix things? offer to help like I did. volunteer and help the poor like I do.

fuck off, virtue signaling cuck

Jan 16, 2020 - 10:39am

It's much harder to get a good job than before in the U.S. but this does not show that the machine is broken.

I've been to countries where you can literally work 80 hours a week and your life will not change. You can hustle, get degrees, do whatever, and it just doesn't matter. The whole system is rigged and depends entirely on who you know and your relatives.

Stuff here isn't perfect, but if you bust your ass, get educated, and hustle a little, you WILL minimally reach the middle class.

Congrats to the OP! Keep working bro. I think there is a lot more waiting for you than this job which is already a great step!

Jan 15, 2020 - 2:41pm

Would that be sales or client facing jobs? I really suck at it. Matter fact, I think I went through all of this because of my poor social skills. I'm more of a back-office guy. I like my current job (researcher at a startup) right now but pay is low. Would love going to risk, trading, portfolio management, valuations, analytics etc...

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
Jan 17, 2020 - 10:54am

I'd examine the "poor social skills" a little when you have a chance. The kind of guy you can become depends on the chances you can get and how much you work on something. Long term, almost everyone needs relationship building skills to progress.

Harder and slower to compete on pure technical talent. Information is becoming more accessible, and the positions you outlined are, in my opinion, more exposed to automation risk. And the guys building those automated systems are generally skewed more towards math/compsci. They think logic puzzles are fun and proofs are beautiful. I do too, but more as a hobby.

Not trying to burst your bubble or anything, just offering some advice. Th world certainly still seems to want more coders/quants. Just in my opinion, it's "easier" to stand out by being a more likable quant than a more quanty quant if that makes any sense.

Jan 15, 2020 - 1:06pm

Have you ever seen those wonder balls with surprises inside. Don't buy one as its overpriced cheap chocolate. But boy do I wonder what's in store for you in 2020. By the way ... what ever happened to your car?

Jan 15, 2020 - 2:20pm

My car still runs well with 110k+ miles on it. Hood and trunk are little messed up (accidents). 8 payments more and will be the sole owner my hooptie

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 15, 2020 - 3:40pm

Bro amazing story and keep at it. You haven't mentioned the circumstances that led you to homelessness? Nobody likes watching others like this so while this elicits sympathy, curious as to what happened to you in your 4 years. You mentioned you have no friends - how come? Even ted bundy had friends man. My hypothesis as it relates to your mental health is making amends with old friends will be better for you than getting chummy with random strangers that you meet on WSO and you so generously open up to without knowing the upside. I am serious man. You went to Baruch which is decent so I'm sure you'll be fine. Try hitting a bar and chatting up women; become friends with ur colleagues; these are simple social skills.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 15, 2020 - 3:48pm

Posting your homelessness picture for the world to see and you've compromised your identity by going public with users on WSO. I really think that was idiotic of you. You didn't get a job through this forum and you won't. Nobody will admit it but people want to hire others on merit not out of sympathy

Jan 15, 2020 - 4:02pm

Are you saying you figured out my identity? If you didn't then would you consider yourself as an idiot? Nothing compromised my identity lol. Always be one step ahead buddy. My previous post answers to rest of your questions

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
Jan 15, 2020 - 4:25pm

Keep it coming Anonymous Associate 1 in PE - LBOs :)

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
  • 3
  • Prospect in Other
Jan 15, 2020 - 4:52pm

His point is fair... how did you end up with a 2.9 in finance?

Jan 15, 2020 - 5:10pm

Worked full time while took full time classes + had a girlfriend out of my league. That explains why I'm in so much debt too. Poor financial decision. Gotta admit. But if you ask me was it worth all the trouble? - Hell yea

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
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Jan 16, 2020 - 12:48am

I had that GPA in undergrad and can almost guarantee I'm smarter than you. Don't be such a cunt or do it once and go away.

Don't any of you have anything better to do sometimes...

Jan 16, 2020 - 4:21am

They're just jealous of the size of my balls. I understand that. I guess I did something that they'll never be able to do. That's the reason why they're posting as anon. They hate us cause they ain't us

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
  • Prospect in Other
Jan 16, 2020 - 8:04am

Was asking because if there were special circumstances involved he could explain it in an interview/while networking. A 2.9 with extreme difficulties is different than just fratting around 2.9. The fact you thought I was trying to make myself look better than OP highlights your own insecurities.

  • Prospect in Other
Jan 17, 2020 - 10:13pm

Dude read the comment literally right above you. I didn't make that comment just to show how I'm better than the OP. Surely you should have better reading abilities for working at an HF.

Jan 15, 2020 - 5:06pm


What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Jan 15, 2020 - 9:26pm

hey man. glad you're holding up. i have a question about the car seats. can't speak for you, but whenever i used to tug and pull at the couch cushions my mum would tell me off.

once i moved out last year, i've been able to fuck all of my car's interiors without fear of retribution because i am a diverae candidate.

insult me, i'll ruin you

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Investment Banking Full-time Analyst Programme (London) at JPMorgan Chase. After a thorough review of your application, we regret to inform you that we are unable to move forward with your candidacy at this time.
Jan 16, 2020 - 6:05pm

I think you need a reality check. The roles you are gunning for are in competition by 3.5+ targets and 3.9+ non targets who grinded in college for several years. NYC is the best city in the country for finance and will attract top talent. Not to mention you seem dead set on FO roles (prop trading, HF, etc.) With your GPA you are a huge risk and burden for these companies. Why should they take you when there are hundreds of more qualified candidates. Also you seem to be unwilling to get help (food stamps, welfare) that is avaiiable to those who are homeless. I understand you are a type A alpha
but you neeed a to understand that beggars cant b echoosers. the brofessor has already offered you a job opportunity. It's best to take it. You can't really call yourself the "back office" guy when you dont have a 3.8+ STEM major and aren't nerdy.

tldr. Take what you can find even if it isn't exactly your desired job.

Jan 16, 2020 - 9:03pm

Thanks for your input, I appreciate that. I agree with most what you're saying. But you're getting this wrong. Not all back office guys are STEM major with 3.8 GPA. Matter fact, I'm working at a tech startup as researcher, yet my coding skills are on par or even better with junior developers. You can't just come in and say "oh you didn't have excellent gpa therefore you're not a nerd". I did well on classes that I was interested (derivatives, tech analysis, investment analysis etc). While I barely passed english literature class and few other simple classes that require shit ton writing.

Men who are not disabled yet claim foodstamps and walfare are disgrace to the mankind. I agree i fucked up with school and personal finances. I had too high expectations after getting a college degree. Me living in my car was part of taking responsibility. I didn't ask anyone for anything except an opportunity to prove myself in a work field.

Prop trading, HF seems far to reach from where I'm standing. I agree. But when I started sleeping in my car lots of nay-sayers said I cannot survive a week, then a month, then winter, summer, anything. I did. I paid all my dues and never missed a payment on anything. My credit isn't fucked which gives me a chance for a brighter future. You're right on almost everything but never discourage a man from his dreams. A man might fall but he'll get up. I could to a coding bootcamp and maybe that'll open doors to HFs. There's a decent chance that I have better technical skills than 3.8 students.

The fight is not over yet. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards.

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
  • 7
Jan 17, 2020 - 10:28am

If that's the case you could just separate Major GPA and Cumulative GPA on the resume. If you major is somewhat higher like you say (3.4/3.5) then you will have a much better shot. When I said HF is out of reach I mean that you should take an intermediate step. Not saying you will never reach it. But people who want to climb the top of Mt. Everest stay at several camps and work their way up. Nobody just climbs the mountain in one sitting.

Jan 17, 2020 - 11:12am

I'm sure you'll see my post above, but again, it's good to know what you're capable of and who you're up against. Maybe you have the technical ability in you, but a coding bootcamp isn't where you prove that. That's just a slightly different piece of paper that may be worth more than your degree.

If you want to impress people by virtue of technical ability here's what you do. In coding, win a big hackathon or two. In finance, write a few opinions that actually gets proven right in a small time window. Or place in a Putnam challenge during college (too late now). Prove yourself by putting your big brain up against other big brains in highly visible competition and beat them.

If that's a bit intimidating, then diversify your skillset.

Jan 22, 2020 - 3:12pm

2 of my coworkers have completed some bootcamp. Both said it's hard to get a job at real tech firms. I don't think it's worth going to another 15k debt for that.

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die
Jan 23, 2020 - 4:21am

I'd take a closer look. Lambda School is super hot in the tech/VC world. They place extremely well in Fb, Amazon, Alphabet, Stripe, Uber, etc. Plus you don't pay for Lambda School upfront. Their BM is more of an income sharing contract.

Copied from their website - You pay 17% of your post-Lambda School salary for 24 months, but only once you're making more than $50,000 per year (or the equivalent of $4,166.66 per month). The ISA is capped at a maximum repayment of $30,000, so you won't pay more than $30,000 under any circumstances.

They also have living stipend programs.

Anw, best of luck man.

Jan 29, 2020 - 3:47pm

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Aug 24, 2021 - 3:26pm

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