What is family life like in finance?

Mod Note (Andy):: Definitely check out the comment inside from user @Dingdong08"

I've always wondered how people juggle their job and family while also being in a very time-demanding field. While I don't intend on having kids until my early 30s, I would never want my kid to think I'm a piece of shit parent. I've lived through my parents being divorced since I was 6 so I know how much of a difference it can be when the family is split. I would want nothing more than to be a great dad down the line and not do a lot of the things my dad did when I was growing up with my mom.

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Comments (111)

Best Response
Oct 6, 2015 - 1:37pm

It depends on how you handle it, where you direct your energies, how you manage your work and personal time and your actual job. I'm older, senior, am married and have two younger kids and most of my friends and peer group are in similar situations so I'm speaking from experience. If you're in any higher powered job-finance, law, corp exec, high tech, politics, etc-you're not going to be a 9-5'ER who only travels to the industry convention once a year so you just accept that you're not going to be coaching Little League because you can't commit to it. You will also miss certain events because you're going to get stuck in meetings, end up with last minute travel or missed flights home or a laundry list of possible shit, and you work far more hours than a 9-5'ER.

If you accept this type of job-because no one is forcing you into it or to continue doing it-you just need to know that's how it will be. It all depends on how you handle the other times. For example, you schedule times for your family and unless there's a real emergency going on at work (and you learn to differentiate between the proverbial house burning down and a fire on the lawn that one of your associates/VP's set and can put out themselves) you don't break those times. You also sacrifice personal stuff you may have done previously and would still like to do. You don't get to golf on the weekends often because that's 5 hours out of your day and you're not at the office or traveling so that's time you've decided to spend with your family. Same with other hobbies/pastimes unless they involve your family and you do things you can do with your kids, especially as they get older-hiking and fishing are go-to's for me. You also go home when you're done your work, which becomes easier the more senior you get but you also don't take up the invite to go out to drinks unless you deem it something necessary for work rather than just grabbing a few drinks with colleagues or friends. That doesn't mean you never do it, especially because young kids go to bed early so if you're not getting home before 8 (or whatever hour) you might as well do it then. And it doesn't mean you never get to golf, but it takes a back seat to your kids until they become teenagers and don't want to see you anyway. As you get more senior you also get more flexibility in your schedule and you control it to a much greater degree. It's a fallacy among many kids in college or at the analyst level that once you become a SVP or MD or move to the buyside that your job is now 40-50 hours/week and it's huge paychecks with much less work (you still basically work all the time, but you just don't have to be in the office to do it) but no one's looking for you to be in your seat at 9:30 (because you flew 300k miles last year, entertain clients/investors/J.O.'s 2-3x/week at dinners/drinks and just got back from a 2 week trip to China) so when you have that time in the morning you take your kids out to pancakes or even just drive them to school. You also go home after work, spend time with the kids, put them to bed and then work for another couple of hours.

Your kids, and wife, will get used to you missing some things but it depends on how you make it up to them. And I don't mean bringing home a nice shiny toy or piece of jewelry, but by spending time with them. Personally, I make sure to take each kid out individually a few times per month and not even necessarily to something big, just lunch, ice cream, a hike or whatever. I have a good friend who's a C-level tech guy who works and travels a shit load with slightly older kids and he has 4 set weekend dates a year with each kid when he takes them each somewhere-Disney Land, skiing, camping, etc-for the weekend.

Then it comes to what you actually do in finance. I've been in PE for a long time and I think the buyside is much easier to control your schedule than IB or law where your client says jump and you say how high. I'd imagine that would be far more difficult because client facing businesses are going to limit your ability to control your schedule. In PE you have things come up but you can generally tell when that's going to happen weeks/months in advance. I have friends in long only AM and HF's that generally work market hours +/- a few hrs in the office (they're typically thinking, researching or doing analysis around the clock but that doesn't have to be done in the office) and just know that earnings seasons is going to be busy and they know in advance when they're going to do site visits at companies to kick the tires.

OP, like you, my parents were divorced when I was young and my dad wasn't the greatest. But that had little to do with his job or how much he worked, he was just a dick. You can be a good parent and still hold down a high level job, you just have to manage your time and make sure not to be a dick.

Oct 6, 2015 - 9:33pm

you're a good man, dingdong. great writeup.

"My name's Ralph Cox, and I'm from where ever's not gonna get me hit"

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Oct 7, 2015 - 3:10pm

This is spot on....

I'm in Corp Fin, so less demanding than IB, but still more than the typical 9-5. I have 2 boys, 2.5 and 9 months, and am struggling with this a lot lately. One of the times I've felt the worst in my life was when I Facetimed my son on his 2nd birthday from a sweet rooftop bar in Shanghai. My hope was that he'd think it's cool, instead he got on and said he missed me and asked when I'd be done working. At 2 he doesn't even understand that it's his Birthday, but it was awful.

Dingdong is right in many things, but one I want to emphasize is that much of it is in how you make it up to them. Yeah, I bought my son a cheap panda bear in China. He loved it and we tried to use it to teach him a little (that didn't work), but that is really meaningless. The great way to make it up is that just the 2 of us went to the park for an hour when I got home. I was exhausted, but he loved the swings and a little slide.

I'm a little bit senior to most people on this forum, but I have the advantage of not being held to facetime. I travel on average a week a month, but when I'm home I leave work at 530 unless there is an emergency. I get home a little after 6 and my time is 100% on my boys until they're both sleeping around 730. After that, I have no problem getting online if work needs to be done, but it takes an emergency for me to miss that 75 minutes of the day.

The other thing that's crucial is your wife. You NEED an understanding wife. My wife is amazing with our boys, but I see friends' wives who wouldnt be able to deal with this. Sure, I get some grief if I'm working late a lot or too much travel, but the understanding wife (and good mom) is what makes it work in my situation.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy
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Oct 7, 2015 - 9:32pm

While I admire what you do for your family, are you happy? Personally I need free time to read and exercise in order to feel fulfilled (I barely get that now as an analyst w/o a family). What motivates you?

"My dear, descended from the apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known."
Oct 8, 2015 - 9:45am

You asked Dingdong, but I'll give my take.......

I'm way more happy 90% of the time.

I used to come home at ~630 (again, Corp Fin not IB) then do some combination of workout, eat dinner and watch TV, with a lot of that time spent being an absolute bum on the couch.

Now I come home ~630 to a 2 year old boy who LIGHTS UP when he sees me. I spend ~45 minutes wrestling with him, doing puzzles, reading him a book or watching a little bit of Mickey Mouse. Then I give him a bath and put him to bed. I Eat dinner around 8, then relax and often bum around on the couch. The main thing that can be a little bit of a struggle for me is the workout. Sometimes I go at night, but my wife wants to see me too. So, I often get up and go at 5am now. As someone who's never been a morning person that can be a struggle.

As a parent, for the most part, I've switched lazy time to play time with kids which is worthwhile.

This sounds great, but make no mistake being a (good) parent is HARD. Kids are really a pain in the ass a lot of the time. Thank god my wife is basically superwoman (as many moms are) and takes a ton off my plate.

So my normal day-to-day is better having kids. However, certain things bother me a LOT more.... like working late, traveling more, etc.... because that now means I dont get to see my boys. Also, time with friends Sat/Sunday just watching football have been significantly cut back.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy
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Oct 8, 2015 - 11:13am
Illuminate:

While I admire what you do for your family, are you happy? Personally I need free time to read and exercise in order to feel fulfilled (I barely get that now as an analyst w/o a family). What motivates you?

Good question. I am happy. I have a great wife, two wonderful kids and a career that I truly enjoy and that doesn't suck when it comes compensation. I don't mean to sound like the preachy ~40 year old but as you get older you realize you don't get it all and you make decisions with non-binary results: they have both positive and negative aspects. You just build your life by hopefully making decisions that end up giving you more positive than negative when you hit the sum function, and it's completely relative to you. For example, I had an absolute blast as a young, single guy making good money with no ties when I could fuck everything that moved. And this isn't meant in a bragging way at all, but I loved women and I loved sleeping with different women on a regular basis and having a few regulars in every port of call. It was a hobby/pastime for me. Then I hit a point in my life where my now wife and I got together and I concluded that being with her, and no one else, outweighed the positives of screwing as many other women as possible. I made the right decision for me but that doesn't mean that would have been the right decision for someone else. And it doesn't mean that occasionally I wouldn't enjoy screwing the brains out of the hot 26 year old associate/bartender/woman walking down the street. And if you think it's easy to get laid as a 23 year old throwing around that you work at GS, you have no idea how women will throw themselves at you when you advance and get towards the top of the work food chain. But I made the decision to be married and net-net, being with my wife is better than shagging randoms. It's the same with kids: my wife and I hit a point where we had done a lot of cool stuff-living abroad, traveling extensively, cannabis and leather parties in Amsterdam (not really)-and decided that we wanted kids. And that means, at least for me, that I sacrifice some things to be a father. Some parents do it differently. Would it be cool to go back to the days when we lived in London pre-kids and regularly went to Paris or Barcelona last minute because we wanted to go to a favorite restaurant and stay the weekend? Sure, but I wouldn't give up my life with my kids for anything. But that's what does it for me and the next guy may have a totally different point of view. If someone told me 15 years ago that this was going to be my life and that I would be happy with it I would have asked what type of crack they were smoking.

Every person encounters this but with finance (or other high pressured and high paying careers) you simply work a lot more and have much higher demands from your career. And it's stressful-if making lots of money were easy, every person of above average intelligence would do it. If you think being an analyst who simply works a lot and has tons of shit thrown at them is stressful, wait until you actually need to make investment decisions, or raise capital from LP's or generate fees and drive revenue. So unlike the mid level marketing or finance manager at the suburban company that's 5 minutes away from their house, you need to adjust your life and be good at time and stress management because your time is literally worth thousands of dollars an hour. And you only make it for the long term if you can take the stress and hours for decades and balance it with outside activities that you like. For some that may be going fishing with their kids, for others it's the gym, art, golf, sailing, or wearing their wife's panties at work. Whatever gets you through the night.

With regard to time for me at the gym or to read and things like that: luckily I don't need much sleep. I'm good with 4-6 hours so I wake up at 4:30 am and go to the gym. I also have tons of time in airplanes and in hotels by myself. It may sound lame on the surface but I usually fly business or first class and do a lot of international travel. On a good airline like Cathay, Singapore or even BA a 12 hour over water first class flight can be like a mini-vacation. I get good food and booze, I can watch movies or read and no one-not my wife or kids, an associate who thinks their minor issue is on the same level as a nuclear attack, my lawyers, lenders or investors-can bother me. I once came close to booking a first class ticket on Cathay to HK as a vacation in itself. I also do a lot of business entertaining and while that can get old, I eat at restaurants 2x+/week that most people get to a couple of times in their life. Maybe 25% of the people I deal with are dull fucktards that I'd rather not be with but most are interesting folks and when I'm with that 25%, I can always fall back on my friend the dry Sapphire martini.

One of the great things if you can build a successful career in finance is that you actually have the ability to walk away from it and be financially set for life at a relatively young age. As long as you're not an idiot and don't blow all of the money you make it's actually possible to quit and retire in your 40's if you find yourself in the position that you don't like your life. Most people won't do that because the person who makes it in finance isn't the person who's going to sit around for 40 years of their life playing golf but if I weren't happy with my life and career, I'd be gone.

Oct 8, 2015 - 4:23pm
Illuminate:

While I admire what you do for your family, are you happy? Personally I need free time to read and exercise in order to feel fulfilled (I barely get that now as an analyst w/o a family). What motivates you?

Spoken like a tried and true self absorbed immature millennial. Don't worry, I'm not judging...in fact I'm right there with you.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:36am
Dingdong08:

It depends on how you handle it, where you direct your energies, how you manage your work and personal time and your actual job. I'm older, senior, am married and have two younger kids and most of my friends and peer group are in similar situations so I'm speaking from experience. If you're in any higher powered job-finance, law, corp exec, high tech, politics, etc-you're not going to be a 9-5'ER who only travels to the industry convention once a year so you just accept that you're not going to be coaching Little League because you can't commit to it. You will also miss certain events because you're going to get stuck in meetings, end up with last minute travel or missed flights home or a laundry list of possible shit, and you work far more hours than a 9-5'ER.

If you accept this type of job-because no one is forcing you into it or to continue doing it-you just need to know that's how it will be. It all depends on how you handle the other times. For example, you schedule times for your family and unless there's a real emergency going on at work (and you learn to differentiate between the proverbial house burning down and a fire on the lawn that one of your associates/VP's set and can put out themselves) you don't break those times. You also sacrifice personal stuff you may have done previously and would still like to do. You don't get to golf on the weekends often because that's 5 hours out of your day and you're not at the office or traveling so that's time you've decided to spend with your family. Same with other hobbies/pastimes unless they involve your family and you do things you can do with your kids, especially as they get older-hiking and fishing are go-to's for me. You also go home when you're done your work, which becomes easier the more senior you get but you also don't take up the invite to go out to drinks unless you deem it something necessary for work rather than just grabbing a few drinks with colleagues or friends. That doesn't mean you never do it, especially because young kids go to bed early so if you're not getting home before 8 (or whatever hour) you might as well do it then. And it doesn't mean you never get to golf, but it takes a back seat to your kids until they become teenagers and don't want to see you anyway. As you get more senior you also get more flexibility in your schedule and you control it to a much greater degree. It's a fallacy among many kids in college or at the analyst level that once you become a SVP or MD or move to the buyside that your job is now 40-50 hours/week and it's huge paychecks with much less work (you still basically work all the time, but you just don't have to be in the office to do it) but no one's looking for you to be in your seat at 9:30 (because you flew 300k miles last year, entertain clients/investors/J.O.'s 2-3x/week at dinners/drinks and just got back from a 2 week trip to China) so when you have that time in the morning you take your kids out to pancakes or even just drive them to school. You also go home after work, spend time with the kids, put them to bed and then work for another couple of hours.

Your kids, and wife, will get used to you missing some things but it depends on how you make it up to them. And I don't mean bringing home a nice shiny toy or piece of jewelry, but by spending time with them. Personally, I make sure to take each kid out individually a few times per month and not even necessarily to something big, just lunch, ice cream, a hike or whatever. I have a good friend who's a C-level tech guy who works and travels a shit load with slightly older kids and he has 4 set weekend dates a year with each kid when he takes them each somewhere-Disney Land, skiing, camping, etc-for the weekend.

Then it comes to what you actually do in finance. I've been in PE for a long time and I think the buyside is much easier to control your schedule than IB or law where your client says jump and you say how high. I'd imagine that would be far more difficult because client facing businesses are going to limit your ability to control your schedule. In PE you have things come up but you can generally tell when that's going to happen weeks/months in advance. I have friends in long only AM and HF's that generally work market hours +/- a few hrs in the office (they're typically thinking, researching or doing analysis around the clock but that doesn't have to be done in the office) and just know that earnings seasons is going to be busy and they know in advance when they're going to do site visits at companies to kick the tires.

OP, like you, my parents were divorced when I was young and my dad wasn't the greatest. But that had little to do with his job or how much he worked, he was just a dick. You can be a good parent and still hold down a high level job, you just have to manage your time and make sure not to be a dick.

Spoken like a true family man. +1

Fortes fortuna adiuvat.
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Oct 6, 2015 - 5:02pm

To think in years past kids would look up to a hard working father. This is why you shouldn't care what your kids think of you. They have no life experience and cannot fathom the larger picture. They bitch because you didn't watch them play little league but don't thank you for a college education paid for by your efforts. The word for that is called ungrateful.

Provide a roof, 3 hot meals and don't sadistically abuses them. You've done your job.

I love my dad to death cause I watched a man work endless overtime to pay for a family. His hard work fed my ass until I could work myself.

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Oct 7, 2015 - 3:39pm

To echo what accountingbyday said at the end, as far as the wife goes...
She definitely needs to understand your work/life balance prior to saying "I do" because that's definitely something that would drive couples apart.

Between my work and school schedule, and my wife's work schedule, we pretty much only get to actually see each on Tuesday's after I get home from work.

She's known for quite some time what it would be like, and knows that the short term sacrifices will pay off in the long term. Do we both get down about it, and not being able to see each other? Of course. But We make the most out of our limited time together which is what actually counts. Quality > Quantity. The same will go for when you have kids as well.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
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Oct 7, 2015 - 11:38pm
AtypicalMonkey:

Does your wife work? Do you think you would be okay with it if your wife had an equally high powered career as you do?

My wife and I both work transaction-focused banking. It works quite well, as she generally works longer hours than I do and travels more. We also both understand the transactional work context, nature of the business etc, which means we can skip a lot of contextual explanation and get straight to the point when discussing stuff related to our work.

Double banker income is also quite pleasant.

On the other hand, we have no children and no plans for any.

EDIT - actually answering the question, I can't speak for Skinayyy, but I have no problem with my wife having a high powered career. It's very convenient. It would likely be more inconvenient if she was operating at a different pace of life to me.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
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Oct 8, 2015 - 10:17am

She does work, but she doesn't work a "high powered career", but all of her clients at the low end of the spectrum are multi-millionaires and on the high end are billionaires so it could essentially be considered high power given the people she works with. She's a high end hair colorist, so I don't know what you consider that. She does what she loves, and I do what I love. It works for the both of us.

She actually works more than I do now, but with school hours, it's probably equal. I know that once we have kids I could imagine it would be tough for us to both work longer hours, but the way our schedules work currently it wouldn't be terrible as she has Tuesday and Thursday's off and then I have the weekends.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
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Mar 15, 2016 - 11:09pm

Re: What is family life like in finance? (Originally Posted: 10/22/2015)

Mod Note (Andy): For those who missed it, this great comment (48 silver bananas) by Dingdong08 was posted in the recent discussion family life in finance and deserves its own standalone post for the frontpage.

It depends on how you handle it, where you direct your energies, how you manage your work and personal time and your actual job. I'm older, senior, am married and have two younger kids and most of my friends and peer group are in similar situations so I'm speaking from experience. If you're in any higher powered job-finance, law, corp exec, high-tech, politics, etc-you're not going to be a 9-5'ER who only travels to the industry convention once a year so you just accept that you're not going to be coaching Little League because you can't commit to it. You will also miss certain events because you're going to get stuck in meetings, end up with last minute travel or missed flights home or a laundry list of possible shit, and you work far more hours than a 9-5'ER.

If you accept this type of job-because no one is forcing you into it or to continue doing it-you just need to know that's how it will be. It all depends on how you handle the other times. For example, you schedule times for your family and unless there's a real emergency going on at work (and you learn to differentiate between the proverbial house burning down and a fire on the lawn that one of your associates/VP's set and can put out themselves) you don't break those times.

You also sacrifice personal stuff you may have done previously and would still like to do. You don't get to golf on the weekends often because that's 5 hours out of your day and you're not at the office or traveling so that's time you've decided to spend with your family. Same with other hobbies/pastimes unless they involve your family and you do things you can do with your kids, especially as they get older-hiking and fishing are go-to's for me.

You also go home when you're done your work, which becomes easier the more senior you get, but you also don't take up the invite to go out to drinks unless you deem it something necessary for work rather than just grabbing a few drinks with colleagues or friends. That doesn't mean you never do it, especially because young kids go to bed early so if you're not getting home before 8 (or whatever hour) you might as well do it then. And it doesn't mean you never get to golf, but it takes a backseat to your kids until they become teenagers and don't want to see you anyway.

As you get more senior you also get more flexibility in your schedule and you control it to a much greater degree. It's a fallacy among many kids in college or at the analyst level that once you become a SVP or MD or move to the buy side that your job is now 40-50 hours/week and it's huge paychecks with much less work (you still basically work all the time, but you just don't have to be in the office to do it) but no one's looking for you to be in your seat at 9:30 (because you flew 300k miles last year, entertain clients/investors/J.O.'s 2-3x/week at dinners/drinks and just got back from a 2 week trip to China) so when you have that time in the morning you take your kids out to pancakes or even just drive them to school. You also go home after work, spend time with the kids, put them to bed and then work for another couple of hours.

Your kids, and wife, will get used to you missing some things but it depends on how you make it up to them. And I don't mean bringing home a nice shiny toy or piece of jewelry, but by spending time with them. Personally, I make sure to take each kid out individually a few times per month and not even necessarily to something big, just lunch, ice cream, a hike or whatever. I have a good friend who's a C-level tech guy who works and travels a shit load with slightly older kids and he has 4 set weekend dates a year with each kid when he takes them each somewhere-Disney Land, skiing, camping, etc-for the weekend.

Then it comes to what you actually do in finance. I've been in PE for a long time and I think the buyside is much easier to control your schedule than IB or law where your client says jump and you say how high. I'd imagine that would be far more difficult because client facing businesses are going to limit your ability to control your schedule. In PE you have things come up but you can generally tell when that's going to happen weeks/months in advance. I have friends in long only AM and HF's that generally work market hours +/- a few hrs in the office (they're typically thinking, researching or doing analysis around the clock but that doesn't have to be done in the office) and just know that earnings seasons is going to be busy and they know in advance when they're going to do site visits at companies to kick the tires.

OP, like you, my parents were divorced when I was young and my dad wasn't the greatest. But that had little to do with his job or how much he worked, he was just a dick. You can be a good parent and still hold down a high-level job, you just have to manage your time and make sure not to be a dick.

Oct 9, 2015 - 8:52am

I'm a) not in finance and b) don't work absurd hours (45-50 a week), but I can share a story that might be heplful to you. The last session of one of my bschool classes was designed to help us think about our future careers. At reunions every 10 years (so 10, 20, 30 year reunions), the school asks alumni to look back on their careers and write a brief reflection on what worked out great and what they would have done differently. In our class, we got a folder of all of these reflections, ranging from former C-suite execs who'd retired to alumni who were only 10 years out. Almost every single one (it was overwhelming) wrote that as their careers went on, work became less and less important and they always looked for more family/personal time. Almost every single retiree (including a couple F500 CEOs) wished they'd spent more time with their families. Not saying that's the right way to go, just trying to give you some perspective from those who've been there.

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Mar 15, 2016 - 11:12pm

Kids (Originally Posted: 01/29/2015)

Ok so I am a little tipsy but had a few interactions / thoughts about this today so will give this a go on WSO now. Sorry for having become the guy that asks more and more questions regarding what goes on OUTSIDE of the office but that's maybe because everything that happens at the workplace has been covered sufficiently on here.

Who here got kids and when did you 'acquire' those suckers and how did you manage the process next to a busy finance job?

I am early 30s now and nobody I know in my age group in finance apart from the odd exception has got kids. A large part of people I know outside of finance in my age is currently busy hammering them together / out or has already done that a decade ago after getting their job as a hair dresser. I thought last year that now it was about time for me but, actually, there's this interesting job opportunity somewhere else that will require me to work 24/7 for at least another three years so then I am established and can settle - and find something else to move to, probably.

I spoke to a guy in his fourties, prime genetic material who's got that mindset too and there are no kids on the horizon for him. I read the other day about some Google guy in his mid 30s moving from the valley to China to mess around in a hardware firm all the time and I don't see him go home at six to play with his kids any time soon.

Are finance people doomed to go the way of the dodo unless they drag some teacher chick into their cave that has a lot of time to take care of your brood while you're on a plane to Shanghai to save the world with your Excel wizardry?

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Mar 15, 2016 - 11:13pm

Caveat: I am European so you can take off a few years to compare in terms of seniority / experience in the US. I am early 30s Europe i.e. probably late 20s US, careerwise.

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Mar 15, 2016 - 11:14pm

Consider yourself to be smart. None of my friends have kids and I don't see any of them planning on having them any time soon. Such a life ruiner.

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Mar 15, 2016 - 11:15pm

Excellent advice again TNA :). Can I call you with a bunch of other issues?

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:19pm

Totally, just want to hear case studies on how people have made this work.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:17pm

Haha I am the last person you want advice from.

I love my niece and wouldn't mind a kid or kids if I was wealthy and they came at age 4 and left at age 8. Babies are annoying as fuck and tiresome. Teenagers are ass holes. You only have a window of cuteness and niceness.

Couple that with the fact that they are expensive as fuck and you have a deal breaker. I suppose I would be a loving parent if I had kids, but I just have zero desire to have them.

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Mar 15, 2016 - 11:18pm

No man I think you're mistaken there. I think kids are awesome. I think having kids is more important than trying to get into KKR. I think it's even preftigious to have like 6 kids who are all awesome individuals. Problem is I currently only have time to say see them grow up via Skype. Shit.

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Mar 15, 2016 - 11:21pm

Always thought I can't talk to future stay at home wifes

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:26pm

I have a kid and will have more than one at some point in the near future. I couldn't imagine having a kid as a junior, but I am home much more now (than analyst/associate years) and have 0 interest in hanging out with anyone other than my family after I leave the office. Sure, sometimes I need to jump on calls at night from home or over the weekend but I always make time for my family.

Things change for some people. I used to care more about my wardrobe, weekend getaways, my next "step" professional, etc. I couldn't care less about those things at this point. I'm only doing this BC I am good at it, I enjoy it, it pays considerably more than most other options, and it hasn't interfered with what's important to me. I will walk away if my work jeopardizes what I value the most in life.

For me, there is more to life than my career. Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my family and friends. Most of us will fail to do anything meaningful or worth remembering (by others after you're gone) during our careers. It is what it is, guys. I'd rather go out surrounded by a family who will remember me as a good dad, husband, etc.

It's all about what you value in life. No two people are going to be the same.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:42pm

devoutCapitalist:

For me, there is more to life than my career. Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my family and friends. Most of us will fail to do anything meaningful or worth remembering (by others after you're gone) during our careers. It is what it is, guys. I'd rather go out surrounded by a family who will remember me as a good dad, husband, etc.

+100

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:27pm

Why anyone in this day and age would yearn for children is beyond me. As @"TNA" said, there exists only a negligible period of cuteness, and that's IF the child is cute. Otherwise, you'll be like "get this creepy Danish biscuit tin mascot away from me." It's not that finance people or other people in demanding fields are "screwed"... they're just smarter than the general public and are well aware of the baggage that spawn bring with them as they drop out of their respective vaginas.

Babies are the worst, toddlers are okay, kids are annoying, and teenagers are living, breathing abominations that make you wish you'd gotten that abortion. Then they finally go away to college and you can take a deep breath. Of course, if little Bobby or Susie is a royal fuck up, you're stuck with a 30-year-old manchild living in your basement, whining about how their Xbox connection failed because "GOD MOM, why did you have to buy the shitty internet package, you don't know anything, GOD!"

I'm not planning on having kids because I don't know how I would cover my ass at dinner parties should my child end up at a non-target or, God forbid, art school. When you're young, you brag about which prep school/university/b school you went to, which bank or MBB firm you work at, or whoever the hell made your watch/suit/car/blahblahblah. When you're old, you brag about your kids and I, for one, refuse to give up bragging rights because some snot-nosed, asthmatic brat didn't feel like studying for his SATs.

TL;DR kids have the potential to ruin street cred. Procreate with caution

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:59pm

snatch:

I'm not planning on having kids because I don't know how I would cover my ass at dinner parties should my child end up at a non-target or, God forbid, art school. When you're young, you brag about which prep school/university/b school you went to, which bank or MBB firm you work at, or whoever the hell made your watch/suit/car/blahblahblah. When you're old, you brag about your kids and I, for one, refuse to give up bragging rights because some snot-nosed, asthmatic brat didn't feel like studying for his SATs.

TL;DR kids have the potential to ruin street cred. Procreate with caution

You got the hell downvoted out of you, but this is hilarious. You deserved better.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 2
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:28pm

Being a loving uncle is more appealing to me.

[quote=mbavsmfin]

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

[/quote]
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:29pm

I hate kids, but I don't know a single person with kids who would trade their children for anything.

If you're a male in finance, just have them later. My dad was 52 when I was born (although his wife was 33, so that's kind of a necessity).

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:30pm

DCDepository:

I hate kids, but I don't know a single person with kids who would trade their children for anything.

If you're a male in finance, just have them later. My dad was 52 when I was born (although his wife was 33, so that's kind of a necessity).

Stockholm syndrome dude.

  • 1
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:31pm

Of the ~25 people on the investment side where I work, everyone VP and up has at least two kids, and a couple of the Senior Associates / Associates have them as well.

Most of their wives work part-time or not at all, as far as I can tell.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of Starwood Points
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:32pm

Either adopt the little bastards later, or just have a trophy wife that doesn't do anything and the kids are raised by a nanny. That's how the problem is solved. Sure your kids will grow up emotionally stunted because you didn't give a shit about them. But hey that's the price they have to pay to have a RR and a driver drive them around.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:33pm

I don't have kids and frankly, I think it's stupid to have them before you can afford them. Having kids before time is worthless any way. Most people in Finance understand this.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:36pm

My analyst class keeps in touch with each other even though we have all parted ways to different industries. Nobody has kids or has any intention of having kids. Too everyone, it seems money is the most important thing. They all want to build empires.

Here is my common sense advice. You can make all the millions of dollars you want in this world, but it means nothing if you have nobody to pass it on to. Empires and legacies are not built by one person, your lasting legacy will be your children, not the $20 million you made in fees for a merger.

Believe it or not, the most successful people I have met in business are those that are true family men.

Array

  • 2
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:39pm

TeddyTheBear:

My analyst class keeps in touch with each other even though we have all parted ways to different industries. Nobody has kids or has any intention of having kids. Too everyone, it seems money is the most important thing. They all want to build empires.

Here is my common sense advice. You can make all the millions of dollars you want in this world, but it means nothing if you have nobody to pass it on to. Empires and legacies are not built by one person, your lasting legacy will be your children, not the $20 million you made in fees for a merger.

Believe it or not, the most successful people I have met in business are those that are true family men.

Or you could donate it to charity, start a foundation or a scholarship.

  • 3
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:38pm

I have two kids (4 and 6) and am a consultant turned startup founder, maybe turning consultant again. All the important stuff about having kids you learn for yourself, generally by early adulthood. That important stuff is:

1. Your desire to have kids
2. Your understanding that when you have a kid, the most important thing is taking care of the kid.

Don't ask other people about these questions. If you don't already have the desire and dedication, just don't have kids. Parenting is full of enough uncertainty - if you let other people guide you, you'll be lost in no time.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:40pm

Most people I know in the financial services industry with children are either (A) both parents work, so a full-time nanny takes care and essentially raises the children or (B) one spouse stays at home while the other works.

Most of my peers/classmates growing up were in the "A" category. It's pretty sad when some children have a much closer relationship to their nannies rather than their biological parents. Probably a lot of kids who get screwed up because of it. Unsurprisingly, a not insignificant number of my former classmates secretly go to all kinds of therapy.

As for me, I was in the (B) category. My mother sacrified a high paying, prestigious job to marry my workaholic father (who was relocating at the time). I would like to be able to say my siblings and I turned out ok. As for my parents, well, they are "legally" married, but its always pretty tense when all of us get together as a family during the holidays, etc.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:45pm

All I'm going to say about this is if you genuinely want to have kids, then fine go ahead. But I've got a number for all you guys wanting lots of kids: $241k ... that is the cost per child in the US WITHOUT college costs.

One other thing, NEVER have kids simply because your parents/in-laws put pressure on you to produce grandchildren. This is the biggest trap going.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:47pm

@m2 Use the WSO search function for "Sell Your Options Dearly: Kids." By Mr. @"Edmundo Braverman" Only have them if you truly want them.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:48pm

My girlfriend told me she wants 5-7 kids. If this relationship lasts long enough for that, God help me

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016 Not an alumnus of Idaho
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:50pm

@"In The Flesh" Thanks for bringing up that thread. A lot of viable arguments against having kids at all in there but this one here wins the discussion:

@"UFOinsider" "I can't imagine not having family.".
That one wins, in my view. I cannot possibly see myself in my 50s without a bunch of children. I would feel as having lost the one most important race that counts.

Might as well get started now.

  • 1
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:52pm

Since no other female is contributing, I guess I will. As I have said since I was a teenager (24 now) "kids are economically inefficient." I would rather be an aunt than a mother today. My sister (BB credit analyst) wants 3-5 kids. Not all women in any field wants to stay at home with the kids. Plus being a housewife is boring, like what do they do all day? If I was married by my late 30's I personally wouldn't conceive my kids, it would be via surrogate. I can't be 6 months preggo and on the buy side. Personally I would not want to raise a kid in this world today, everything is crazy expensive and a lot of stupid sh*t is going on. Terrible time we are living in. BTW I'm from the south too.

Greed is Good!
  • 2
  • 1
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:54pm

CUBuffwg:

Since no other female is contributing, I guess I will. As I have said since I was a teenager (24 now) "kids are economically inefficient." I would rather be an aunt than a mother today. My sister (BB credit analyst) wants 3-5 kids. Not all women in any field wants to stay at home with the kids. Plus being a housewife is boring, like what do they do all day? If I was married by my late 30's I personally wouldn't conceive my kids, it would be via surrogate. I can't be 6 months preggo and on the buy side. Personally I would not want to raise a kid in this world today, everything is crazy expensive and a lot of stupid sh*t is going on. Terrible time we are living in. BTW I'm from the south too.

Being a housewife is a tough fucking job.

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:01am

CUBuffwg:

Since no other female is contributing, I guess I will. As I have said since I was a teenager (24 now) "kids are economically inefficient." I would rather be an aunt than a mother today. My sister (BB credit analyst) wants 3-5 kids. Not all women in any field wants to stay at home with the kids. Plus being a housewife is boring, like what do they do all day? If I was married by my late 30's I personally wouldn't conceive my kids, it would be via surrogate. I can't be 6 months preggo and on the buy side. Personally I would not want to raise a kid in this world today, everything is crazy expensive and a lot of stupid sh*t is going on. Terrible time we are living in. BTW I'm from the south too.

Will you marry me?

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:02am

CUBuffwg:

Since no other female is contributing, I guess I will. As I have said since I was a teenager (24 now) "kids are economically inefficient." I would rather be an aunt than a mother today. My sister (BB credit analyst) wants 3-5 kids. Not all women in any field wants to stay at home with the kids. Plus being a housewife is boring, like what do they do all day? If I was married by my late 30's I personally wouldn't conceive my kids, it would be via surrogate. I can't be 6 months preggo and on the buy side. Personally I would not want to raise a kid in this world today, everything is crazy expensive and a lot of stupid sh*t is going on. Terrible time we are living in. BTW I'm from the south too.

Print this comment out and save it somewhere. Open it in 15 years to see how close your reality is to this post at age 40, compared to what you imagined it would been when you were 24. It will be different in many, many ways.

People have a very difficult time imagining how they will view scenarios in the future and they also misremember how they thought in the past. It would be an amazing insight to your mind if you actually do this.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:55pm

People should do what maximizes their utility. Have kids, don't have kids, who cares. The issue is when people have kids and think it's something special and shove it down everyone's throat.

Luckily for me I've found the sleeper cell of friends that are all unmarried without kids.

Mar 15, 2016 - 11:56pm

I never said raising kids are easy... That's why you wait till you are financially stable. Your fun money goes out the door when you have kids.

Greed is Good!
Mar 15, 2016 - 11:58pm

CUBuffwg:

I never said raising kids are easy... That's why you wait till you are financially stable. Your fun money goes out the door when you have kids.

Along with freedom, silence, cleanliness, adult activity.

  • 1
Mar 16, 2016 - 12:10am

Have any of you entered the industry already having a family? (Originally Posted: 06/27/2011)

I am hoping to enter as an associate next year and have an established family. All parties involved understand the sacrifice but I was wondering if others on here have entered the industry with wife and kids. I am interested to hear recounts of the trials and tribulations of your early years breaking into the industry while trying to give some attention to the family.

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:11am

Not personal experience, but I talked to an alumni who was in his late 20s, got married before he did his MBA at Columbia and is currently working as an associate at a BB in New York. I didn't really ask him about it, but I know its definitely possible. I think if everyone knows the situation going in, it shouldn't be that bad, and associates have (slightly) better than analysts anyway, don't they?

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:13am

Read the HBS case study "SG Cowen: New Recruits."

It's about four potential candidates for an associate IB role. When the case was read by actual Cowen hiring managers, the only candidate they all gave a "yes" to was the one with a wife and kids.

I actually suggest the case as a solid read for anyone looking for a post mba associate role.

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:14am

It will help for your partner/spouse to be on the same page and understand the realities of the position. If he/she is not on board then my friend you have a recipe for disaster. However, the sacrifice needs to come from both ends. You need to do your family duties when you are not at work instead of hitting the bars with single associates. So, to sum up, you need to prioritize between work and family and extracurricular activities are the last thing to worry about.

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:15am

BTW, the only way I could ever see myself working those kinds of long hours is if I had a wife and kids. Having that to come home to everyday is a wonderful thing and is great for morale. Much better than coming home to an empty bed, or some random fuck buddy. Working your ass off and not really having anything to show for it social/family-wise is what makes this a soul-sucking profession imo. Just my .02

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:17am
alexpasch:
BTW, the only way I could ever see myself working those kinds of long hours is if I had a wife and kids. Having that to come home to everyday is a wonderful thing and is great for morale. Much better than coming home to an empty bed, or some random fuck buddy. Working your ass off and not really having anything to show for it social/family-wise is what makes this a soul-sucking profession imo. Just my .02

never thought about that but great way of looking at it

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:16am

Thanks for the encouraging words guys.

I am actually currently working full-time and have an Investment Banking internship (tiny boutique) while attending a working professional MBA so at least the extreme workload will not be a shock once I get into the industry.

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:26am
OMS:
yeah...I'm getting sick of having fuck buddies to come home to at 2am.

nice work

"Jesus, he's like a gremlin; comes with instructions and shit"
Mar 16, 2016 - 12:20am

I think having a very supportive spouse can do wonders for your career ambitions. I say go for it if she knows what you/she is getting into.

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:21am

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