What's the point of honest, hard work?

Went to an ivy for undergrad/MBA, graduated with honors both times, and have been in finance for 10+ years now. After all this grinding, sleepless nights, perpetual stress, etc., I have a nest egg of about $2.5 million after paying off all my debt, except my mortgage. 

Just found out from my parents that a degenerate cousin of mine who is 3 years younger is worth $3-4 million NET of taxes from YOLO bets on GME, Doge, and other memes. Not just him but some of his stoner buddies too. 

For context, this guy barely passed high school taking remedial classes, got kicked out of community college, and was working at Sam's Club last time I heard. Now he bought his parents a house and matching Teslas for his entire immediate family. Ironically, he feels like he's in a position to give me "investment advice". 

I get that life isn't fair and I'm doing my best not to be jealous, but I'm only human. 

Anyone else as lucky as me on here?

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Comments (197)

  • Associate 1 in ER
Oct 26, 2021 - 10:59pm

Not sure what you mean to imply...but ok.

Asking "What is the point of hard work", while you accumulated a nice nest egg of $2.5 million, seems.. a bit ridiculous imo.

Just because someone made their millions a lot easier than you did, doesn't negate the fact that hard work led to you earning >$2 million 

Controversial
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 26, 2021 - 9:44pm

1) Looks like he had a better risk tolerance than you, which makes him in some ways better than you.

2) If he already spent money on a house and several Teslas, you can however be sure that he'll soon be back to being broke

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Oct 26, 2021 - 9:54pm

Agreed. He took bigger risks with his investments and his reward was clearly bigger. Sounds like his spending is going to wash it down the drain though…

I get it though. A kid I went to high school with showed me his brokerage acct at a wedding. He cleared 1.2 on crypto last year…fuck I was jealous.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 26, 2021 - 10:25pm

Personally don't consider meme stocks and shitcoins to be "investing". Would I have bought like crazy if I knew the outcome? You bet. But to me it feels like gambling.

Everyday I thank God I distanced myself from this forum and the attitudes on here. Forever blessed I bet on myself for once and didn't listen to another washed out VP. So sad going to some of the crypto threads on here from a few years back and seeing the complete bitter disdain and smug disapproval from people. I hope some of those kids reading those posts weren't swayed and took the plunge so they didn't end up like you.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 26, 2021 - 11:53pm

Drumpfy

he's a VP and can invest more than your whole fucking family into the shitcoin of the day if he wants

This is literally not true I guarantee but ok lol

  • VP in IB-M&A
Oct 27, 2021 - 8:17am

People win big from gambling every day. Being envious of people who made millions from roulette, slots, scratchers, shitcoins, TikTok stardom, prostitution, etc. is not productive and is a waste of your energy. 
 

Comparison is the thief of joy. And, as is obvious from the rows and rows of insufferable posts on this site, prestige keeps some warm at night. Others would kill to be in your spot.

Be happy for your cousin. He is a deadbeat, so would you rather he failed? And 2MM is not much in the grand scheme of things - I am sure you will be making multitudes more over the course of your life.

Oct 28, 2021 - 2:21pm

I'm fine with risk, I have a big chunk invested in the stock market. 

Personally don't consider meme stocks and shitcoins to be "investing". Would I have bought like crazy if I knew the outcome? You bet. But to me it feels like gambling.

Poker is gambling. Investing in meme stocks and crypto is investing albeit being very speculative for some people.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 26, 2021 - 9:51pm

This sounds like some kind of revenge fantasy made by kids on r/superstonk.  Especially the "not just him but ALL his buddies too!" part.  DeepFuckingValue has 22mil and he started the damn thing with 50k, you expect me to believe these kids earned a similar amount combined with beer money?

If it makes you feel any better an aunt of mine married a successful startup founder and he got sick of her and left her.  She could choose between some % of his successful company and 2 million in cash and guess what she did... and guess how much money she has left.... (it was gone in a year)

Oct 26, 2021 - 9:52pm

Probably not the answer you want to hear, but the value is that it's the most probable path to success. You're probably <35, but through your hard work, you already have a net worth that most Boomers would sacrifice an arm and a leg for that still has decades to compound. I can think of plenty of people who also have grinded their ass off but have nowhere near that level of monetary success just because of the career path they chose (hint - to answer your question, no I'm not as "lucky" as you). Yeah, your degenerate cousin got super lucky, but what if his meme picks didn't work out? Then where would he be? For every 1 of your cousins, there's probably 50 other people like him who are SOL if their car breaks down and they can't go to work because they don't have a enough cash in their emergency fund to repair it.

Hard work is correlated for success, but that doesn't exclude the possibility of someone who didn't work as hard becoming more monetarily successful than the hard worker. The fact that these scenarios are the exception rather than the rule demonstrates the value that hard work has.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in AM - FI
Oct 26, 2021 - 10:03pm

I work in fixed income and am in my mid 20's. I have multiple friends in a swath of different industries who have made healthy 6 figures, one mid 7 figures, on yolo options and crypto. It is a frequent topic at work where we laugh about grinding the street for a half a tick on a trade and get excited about a trade we think will earn a small handful of basis points all-the-while we have acquaintances and friends who think they're fucking geniuses in crypto. I had my barber tell me I should've gone long cum rocket and doge many months back. To this point in time, they've mostly been right.. I'm happy for them. They found success. Their risk tolerances were higher than ours, and more power to them for that. Eventually, the music might stop.. or it might not.. only time will tell. You've got a net worth significantly higher than >97% of Americans your age, and that's the richest country in the world. That's likely better than what, 99.9% of the rest of the world for your age bracket? You won bro. The vast majority of us on this site have won. Have a conversation with your brother why crypto doesn't fit your risk tolerance, but let him know you're happy for him. Celebrate the wins of those around you, life is too short to be bitter. 

Fwiw, I have 0 crypto exposure. Call me naive, close minded, dumb, whatever... like you, it just isn't for me. I'll take my spx index in my maxed roth 401k all day and PA account with a few concentrated positions all day. Good luck

Oct 29, 2021 - 12:40pm

Here's the thing - when you have a well-paying job, your risk tolerance is likely to be low because you have a clear path to success. You just have to avoid screwing it up. A lot of these meme stock clowns don't have clear paths to success so their risk tolerances are high. If things go poorly, they're not in materially worse shape. Obviously if you're mega rich, your risk tolerance is also high, because you have plenty of cushion…

Array
Nov 7, 2021 - 2:57am

They didn't "find success" they are people with nothing to lose who made the right wild bet at the right time. There are people on the flipside of the coin who kill themselves because they can't pay off the personal loans they took out to gamble on crypto. Stop glorifying these degenerates.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 26, 2021 - 10:18pm

A lot of cope all over this thread from the people replying trying to comfort you. I'll be blunt. I've been warning of this type of thing for the last 6-months on this forum regarding crypto and NFTs constantly and have received nothing but hate and trolls replying to me. Frankly, I'm glad this shift has happened so some of those people can now eat their words and I have benefited quite well while these guys slave away...cold truth.  

This isn't mean to say your feelings are not justified at all. They 100% make sense. The only thing you along with the others miss here is that your cousin is NOT an anomaly as most people will try to themselves. "Oh, it's just a small group of people. It's luck. Like winning lottery. W-well it could always be worse right??" All FALSE. There are thousands of people everyday making money hand over fist like this in this new field. Insane DeFi yields, pancakeswap, regular old shit coins, you name it. I'm not going to beat a dead horse because I've said this a hundred times and no one fucking listens until they learn I'm right, but the WORLD HAS CHANGED.  

You are not SHIT just another corporate cog getting fucked out of these opportunities because they've convinced you to throw your head in the sand.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Oct 26, 2021 - 10:25pm

Well I'm not exactly hurting financially. Look up the roaring 20's and see what came about right after. 

What you don't seem to understand is that the good times don't last forever. Or there will be massive inflation (way, way more than what we're seeing).

Call me a Boomer or whatever, but meme stocks and shitcoins aren't sustainable. Every other asset class or financial instrument is based on something. Dogecoin is based on what, some random dog? 

For every 1 guy that lucky selling Doge at 0.75, there was just many that got screwed buying at 0.75.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 26, 2021 - 10:31pm

Why do you guys always deflect and bring up the trite "well, it won't last forever" argument. Literally doesn't hold any weight. Do you think these guys just don't realize any gains ever? Your mind will be blown if you took a second to look outside of the bubble for once. Take a look on crypto twitter. See what's being done and some the infrastructure in place that has set up thousands of guys for life regardless if crypto ended tomorrow. It's not just about trading shitcoins and DOGE. It's a lot bigger than that. Dudes are sustainably yielding 50%+ APR on swaps via pancakeswap and various yield farms. You need to be a bit more open minded.

Also that last sentence isn't necessarily true. For the stock market, yes of couse. Crypto is not exactly zero-sum in that same way.   

Oct 26, 2021 - 10:28pm

Great, he made a boatload of money today. What are the odds he stops taking outsized risks, packs his chips up and goes home? Very low. What are the odds that his continued outsized risk-taking leads to eventual catastrophic losses? Very high.

It's not about the size of the pot you won when you went all-in on the flop. It's about who's holding all the chips at the end of the night. Your cousin will eventually go broke or lose most of it because he's too dumb to realize he got extraordinarily lucky.

Oct 28, 2021 - 8:13pm

iggs99988

Great, he made a boatload of money today. What are the odds he stops taking outsized risks, packs his chips up and goes home? Very low. What are the odds that his continued outsized risk-taking leads to eventual catastrophic losses? Very high.

It's not about the size of the pot you won when you went all-in on the flop. It's about who's holding all the chips at the end of the night. Your cousin will eventually go broke or lose most of it because he's too dumb to realize he got extraordinarily lucky.

Yeah exactly.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Oct 26, 2021 - 11:27pm

Life is a random event(get used to it), short time success is a lottttt of luck, you can just increase your probability of having a good life in the long term by making good deciscions. Unfortatelly even in the long term luck is a very important factor on extreme events such as very bad health or lotery like investments there is nothing that we can really do about it.

PS: These do not mean that making crazy investments is +EV.

Oct 26, 2021 - 11:34pm

On the opposite of you said I am pretty sure that all of us know that guy that had a pretty unlucky health accident very young, life should be fair, it fucking sucks. But in the end it is what it is and we need to try to do the best of it.

Oct 28, 2021 - 8:16pm

Yeah my friend from college after graduating fell off a jet ski and snapped his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Sucks.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 28, 2021 - 11:26pm

Life is a random event(get used to it), short time success is a lottttt of luck, you can just increase your probability of having a good life in the long term by making good deciscions. Unfortatelly even in the long term luck is a very important factor on extreme events such as very bad health or lotery like investments there is nothing that we can really do about it.

Are you a quant?
For some reason this reads a lot like my intro stats textbook.  

Array

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Oct 28, 2021 - 11:37pm

Lol, not really I wish. Stem major, proud math nerd. A lot of law of large numbers on what I said, you can win on the short term even if you are making a stupid decision of playing in the craps table in the long term luck tends to even out, not certain however some people have luck/bad luck their whole life. I have not read a stats textbook in ages.

Oct 27, 2021 - 12:13am

I said this while debating one of the crypto kiddies, but I'll post it in the main thread. 

It takes money to make money.  Getting a good job with tons of extra money to throw around makes it much much easier to make money off crypto or leverage.  If you're living paycheck to paycheck you won't have shit to invest.  There will always be another pump and dump to get in on, don't let them trick you with fear of missing out.

Oct 27, 2021 - 8:05am

If everything you've said in this thread is true, its highly likely he will not maintain his wealth.

Also, someone like that will never be able to attract a quality girl for a wife (pretty and intelligent and wealthy).

Finally, comparison is the thief of joy and something I've also struggled with. I'm like you. Double Ivy, etc. when I see people above me who sent to crap schools I've never even heard of I do get depressed. But then I try to think of some of my Ivy buddies who are doing worse than me and feel better. Try to just focus on yourself and doing the best you can.

Oct 27, 2021 - 9:47am

Smoke Frog

If everything you've said in this thread is true, its highly likely he will not maintain his wealth.

Also, someone like that will never be able to attract a quality girl for a wife (pretty and intelligent and wealthy).

Finally, comparison is the thief of joy and something I've also struggled with. I'm like you. Double Ivy, etc. when I see people above me who sent to crap schools I've never even heard of I do get depressed. But then I try to think of some of my Ivy buddies who are doing worse than me and feel better. Try to just focus on yourself and doing the best you can.

This is kind of a backwards take, no? "don't compare yourself to other people" but then "I compare myself to people I perceive less successful than myself to make me feel better". Comparison either way is not healthy, gotta be happy with you for what/who you are. Definitely a difficult thing to do. 

Nov 2, 2021 - 5:21pm

Feel like you're looking at it from a 'why not me' POV. A lot of people get a shit start in life or don't get themselves together until much later on. At the end of the day, if you can prove your worth in something, and generate XYZ value using 123 metrics - then who the fuck cares about your background and qualifications?

Oct 27, 2021 - 9:30am

Ok let's get this straight. So you've spent 10 years in finance and 2 years doing an MBA. Safe to assume you're about 34-35 years old working as a VP in IB and you already have $2.5mm. Your earning power is about to explode as you get promoted to Director and MD. Not only will that nest egg grow through compound interest and sound investments, but you will also start contributing exponentially to growing that nest egg. You could easily be worth $10-15mm at 60 (and that's conservative assuming you remain in your current path). Invest in properties along the way to diversify your portfolio, and you'll have created generational wealth (you'll send your kids to private school, you'll help them out early in their adult life with the purchase of their first property and they'll inherit a nice chunk of change later in life). This is extremely rare without entrepreneurship, so that's the point of your hard work.

Oct 27, 2021 - 11:24am

and this guy is still complaining

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 27, 2021 - 10:51am

NGL but you sound like a whinging and judgemental cuck along with anyone else who is actually coddling you on this pathetic carp of a thread. Feel free to MS, could care less! Did someone tell you, when you were young, that the only way to make money or be successful was if you matriculated at a preftigious school and worked in a preftigious industry like the financial industry and slaved away your youth? You took the well tried-and-tested, straight and narrow path only later to be outearned by low achievers and yet your takeaway is, "Arghhh what's the point of hard work if these things happen in life?" Why couldn't your takeaway be that even if you make mistakes in life or have a consistent pattern of sub-optimal decisions, you can still manage to get by and redeem yourself? Alternatively, why couldn't your takeaway be how fucking easy it is to make money right now? It should be heartening that life has the degree of variability and randomness that it does.

And imagine looking down on someone who used their earnings to give back to their family; imagine not even being open-minded enough to even listen to what this "degenerate" cousin might have to say given that he has somehow shown he can capture psychological & cultural behaviors to make money. Do some introspection because you sound despicable. Like others basically alluded to early - maybe if you weren't as close-minded, judgemental and aloof, as many others are on this forum, you'd be able to gauge normie psychology and make more money off of all of the madness that is happening. Pecunia Non Olet

  • VP in IB - Gen
Oct 27, 2021 - 11:38am

You sound exactly like my cousin. He thinks just because he has some money now, he's the smartest guy in the room. Money is important, but the way you accumulate it is even more important. 

If anything, this thread has reminded me that my path is much more sustainable than my cousin's. You can only find so many Doges, Shibu's, GMEs, etc. And the market is accommodative right now. 

Also, he's buying stuff (including for his family) as a way to flex, not because he's a priest. While I didn't buy my parents their house, I do pay for their mortgage, prop tax, and insurance, all without others knowing.

Oct 27, 2021 - 11:22am

this is literally what the parable about the prodigal son is about (Luke 15:11-32 for you heathens).

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 27, 2021 - 11:28am

Just curious, so, you're a VP who's around 34-35 years old, you joined finance from underdrag but went back to school for an MBA, and you're worth $2.5mm? Did you inherit anything? 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Oct 27, 2021 - 2:00pm

Probably a combination of things. Through a specific program, secured my spot in b-school while still an undergrad, so my opportunity cost was low. Through scholarships and employer, my student debt load was pretty much $0. 

Saving money aggressively, especially during COVID, and still now by not being back in the office. Stocks have done well for me (vanilla ETFs). No bonds or FI in the personal portfolio. Do have some crypto, but only 3% of the portfolio. 

$2.5 isn't all liquid, and of course fluctuates $2.5 million would be on a good day, but you get the idea.

No wife and no kids. Don't really have a fancy lifestyle, except for maybe my condo. But that's gone up value since I bought. 

If I didn't spend on family or donate as much, I would be closer to $3 mil. But what would the point be?

Oct 27, 2021 - 11:29am

Your cousin just has a higher appetite for risk. Whether that appetite is rational or not. You on the other hand have taken the tried and true path your whole life. Get good grades in HS => Get good grades at an Ivy => work in IB or CO => FatFire. There is a reason why so many people compete for entry-level banking and consulting jobs. It is arguably the lowest risk way to ensure > $4 million in lifetime earnings. While the average college graduate earns roughly 1-2 million in lifetime earnings for comparison. Even with a basic understanding of behavioral economics, you would know most people are risk-averse. Uncertainty makes people very scared. If you read antifragile by NNT the YOLO wall street bets movement is actually an antifragile system. 

Higher risk higher reward. Lots of people get rich doing stupid things.

Just be happy and stop pocket-watching. You chose your path in life; he chose his. You are both doing great. 

Oct 27, 2021 - 11:33am

You should give some of your earnings/money to charity/donations/causes you care about. That's what I do. I give like $10k a year to a cause I'm passionate about because the world gave me a lot, and I should give it forward. Not everyone is lucky to have this much money like us. 

Oct 27, 2021 - 12:01pm

actually based. Do you give largely to just one cause or multiple in that area, or spread across different causes? I don't have any meaningful money yet but have done some charity work here and there and looking to make a bigger impact.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Oct 27, 2021 - 12:16pm

I give it to a cause that mattered to me growing up, and I make sure that money isn't being squandered; I don't give it to some charity that has large overhead, fat salaries, etc. I get to directly see where my money is going and the direct impact of it, which is important. 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Oct 27, 2021 - 1:45pm

Yes, I know I sound whiny/bitchy, but mostly because I'm still in shock. Thought my "success" was due to my hard work, so this has been a sort of wake up call. 

For what it's worth, I'm not inherently a bad person. I donate money to charity, support family, and I'm not some Boomer that thinks people have to "pay their dues" to prove their worthiness. Hell, I let over half my MBA cohort cheat off of me. 

Oct 27, 2021 - 12:56pm

Look.  Here is the point.

Someone will always have more money and success than you.  That is okay.  Success is certainly in the top five of life's priorities, but it's not #1.  And there's a huge element of randomness involved in the actual outcome.  Yes, it's a product of hard work, but there is also stuff beyond your control that affects the outcome, or certainly your rank in the game if you're the kind of competitive guy that keeps score.

You've got to be the kind of person who is driven and motivated enough to succeed in a cutthroat industry, but if that's all you care about, you're doing it wrong.

Back to my rusty honda.

Oct 28, 2021 - 8:33pm

IlliniProgrammer

If you make MD, but the whole process destroys your family and ruins your mental health, you've still lost the game, regardless.  CC Mark 8:36.

I have the same verse Matthew 16:26 engraved on the inside my gold military school ring. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 29, 2021 - 11:04am

Still driving that rusty Honda :)

But yeah - this is spot-on advice. At the end of the day, worry about yourself and your well-being. The thing is, you can only control what you have direct control over. Hard work is how you exert that control over what you have the ability to influence. Otherwise, there's always an element of luck and randomness involved. 

For a little perspective...

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Oct 27, 2021 - 2:13pm

Most people can't be risk averse, and at the same time go all in on speculative gambling. Most bankers I know are quite risk averse, to a degree that it affects most aspects of their lives - which is likely why they managed to make it (professionally) in the first place.

And not to mention, for every guy that made enough to retire in said speculative gambling, there are tens of other that haven't made shit. 

Oct 27, 2021 - 4:21pm

1. happiness by comparison will always lead to you feeling behind, stop it

2. block his number (seriously). I've had to do this to toxic people, including family, I've never looked back. sometimes if it's unsolicited bullshit, I'll say "did you have a question here? I'm busy" and yes, I'm that direct

he's being a dick, you be a bigger dick. his hubris will fuck him one day. NOW, that doesn't address the question of what's the point of hard work as that's more existential, but I've written enough on that topic this year

just read this recently, kinda sums up my thoughts on the topic: https://fourfourths.substack.com/p/the-problem-with-the-protestant-work

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Oct 28, 2021 - 7:06am

Kid won lotteries, multiple times.

It's a byproduct of money printing.

If he tries to give you investment advice, tell him no thanks I have my own philosophy.

Oct 28, 2021 - 10:56am

What's the point of honest hard work? Hate to answer your question with a question, but what could your cousin have learned from his experience getting very lucky on a big gamble? What did he learn about himself? How did he grow through this experience? My guess is nothing. The value of hard work is to callous your mind and give you the tools to better deal with life. Taking stupid risks and fooling yourself into thinking you know what you're doing is no different from visiting a casino. But seeking out challenges and overcoming them is what gives me purpose - aside from being a good son/brother/boyfriend/friend/etc. Maybe banking isn't the right challenge for you anymore, but don't change your worldview because an idiot got rich. That happens everyday. 

Oct 28, 2021 - 10:04pm

LOL I am rubber you are glue sick burn ya fuckin furmama

heister:

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

https://arthuxtable.com/
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Oct 28, 2021 - 12:03pm

LOL he is in a position to be giving you advice. And you still think you're better than him because you did a bunch of formal bullshit. lawl tool

heister:

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

https://arthuxtable.com/
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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 28, 2021 - 12:33pm

No offense OP...but really?!?! Are you seriously asking this?

You have $2.5mm that you built over recurring payments that will keep recurring, and a lot of valuable skills, experiences and credentials.

You have someone else with $4.0mm from a one-time payment, no valuable skills, no experiences and no credentials.

...and you're freaking out over your cousin!?

Dude, you're in finance. Would you rather invest in a company that has a product people want to buy, a credible management team, and sustainable cash flows...or would you rather invest in a company with a bunch of knuckleheads whose cash was recklessly gambled on a "short-term marketable security" or some FX deal that blew up, and now they paid a dividend to themselves and still have no product, no credible mgmt team and no sustainable cash flows?

I'm seriously boggled by your thinking. You strike me as an insecure overachiever (I am too, so I can recognize it). Just do what I do...take a vacation, eat some lobster, drink some cocktails, pound your wife/gf/sig other relentlessly, come back and continue crushing it. You got this 

Oct 28, 2021 - 1:10pm

I understand your emotional reaction to this but perhaps this isn't a matter of life is fair vs. unfair. I think it's simply just different. I wouldn't say your way of accumulating wealth is any more superior or inferior than your cousin's, it's just different and that is neither good nor bad. 

I think the gut response is to think that is sucks that he got off with a few million in a short span of time whilst you spent years accumulating yours but it's hard to say his way was "better" and yours was "inferior". Perhaps you obtained intangible skills, qualities, and characteristics that will amount to many more millions in the future whilst he didn't obtain any, which could potentially cause him to lose all his wealth just as fast as he obtained it. Perhaps the inverse is true and this experience causes you to throw a bunch of money at reckless investments only to lose it all while your cousin somehow learns he needs to protect his newly won funds and he sets out on a course to preserve his wealth. Any number of possibilities can occur but at the end of the day, it's hard to say which is superior vs. inferior, fair vs. unfair, right vs. wrong.

I'll also echo what others have said and that comparing yourself to others is truly a path to misery. I'm guilty of it and so are many others so you are not alone but if you are going to draw comparisons, compare yourself to older versions of you and to future versions of you and approach life accordingly. If you absolutely must compare yourself to others, don't look to those such as your cousin (not that there is anything wrong with him) but look to others who inspire you and have accomplished great things and use them as motivation.

Oct 28, 2021 - 2:28pm

There is a saying 'easy come easy go' that applies to many things especially acquiring millions.

For you, the hard and honest worker - you will probably save and know the value of every penny. For others who come into money very quickly, they also seem to burn through the money very quickly. You have acquired prudence, which is valuable. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 2
Oct 28, 2021 - 5:05pm

Two things:

1. Comparison is the thief of joy

2. Hard work is a losing proposition. Smart work where you can get others to work hard for you is how to make good money. I wish I had known that sooner.

In my opinion most of success or failure can be attributed to chance. That's not to absolve the losers of society or suggest one shouldn't put effort into things, but hard work is extremely overrated. If it was valued then the janitors at my hospital who do hard work and many of whom work 60+ hours a week would make a decent living as opposed to the hospital exec who strolls in at 9, sends some BS emails and does some meetings, takes a full lunch, never works a night or weekend and makes 10x what even the nurses make. It's about connections and leveraging what you can. 
 

You complain about your brother getting lucky because he has $3-4 million and you only have $2.5 in your early 30s. Consider this: I am also in my early 30s as a medical resident. Just like many in finance we have put in the long, hellish weeks for years on end doing stressful work. Instead of $2.5M I have negative $400k. Most hard working physicians will retire in their 60s with around $3M. I'm not complaining because relative to a nurse or janitor who also works hard we have it good, like top 5% good. Some people are going to get very lucky. Some will end up hooked on meth under a bridge.
 

In the game of life if you have $2.5M in your 30s you have already won. Practicing gratitude isn't easy but it yields incredible intrinsic rewards. Spend some time around people in the bottom 50% and maybe you'll see how incredibly amazing your current situation is.

  • 12
Nov 3, 2021 - 3:29am

Awesome answer, honestly. To tag onto this, smart work instead of hard work in grindy industries such as finance is so important. Once you're past the shitty years of analyst /  early associate, you really need to learn to manage upwards and effectively manage your team such that you get recognition for being a good leader but also such that you're not a guy who gets walked all over and becomes the go-to for stupid shit when seniors need random things. If you establish yourself as a quality worker who also is respected rather than just known for being good, your life will be a lot easier and all of a sudden it'll seem less of "working a hard and laborious job". I know easier said than done and dependent on each circumstance but it's worth striving towards.

  • 3
Oct 28, 2021 - 7:13pm

Life is a war. Not a battle. Or another saying --- life is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to compare yourself to others (as we humans naturally do, including myself), you need to think long-term. Where will you be in 15 years, where will your family member be in 15 years? He's uneducated and has no real foundation. If crypto/equities markets collapse and he loses his shirt, where will he be? Meanwhile, you've got 1) a pile of money saved up, but more importantly 2) a solid skillset that you've built and honed in your time on the street. You can do so much with that skillset (corp dev, lateral to another bank, FP&A, transition to a VP GM role, startups, PE, VC, etc.). So, my friend, smile and be happy. Because you're winning the war of life and you don't even know it! 🙂

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Oct 28, 2021 - 8:04pm

I think u were prob jealous of ur cousin before he even had money tbh. Looks, girls, social life, etc maybe? Idk this whole thing just sounds like bitterness toward your cousin. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Oct 28, 2021 - 9:40pm

Gotcha, apologies if I misjudged. But people like your cousin have been around forever making tons of money off lucky gambles. Just seemed like there might have been some baked-in resentment already. 

  • Incoming Analyst in AM - Other
Oct 28, 2021 - 10:23pm

I know right. This shit trips me out, and I hate myself for investing like a FUCKING BOOMER. 

Oct 29, 2021 - 6:54am

Wanna harsh truth? The investing world is changing and you are missing the train. Saying that your cousin is 'dumb and lucky' is really ignorant. If anything, you are the dumb one. 

These shitcoins and yolo stocks like you call them are the foundation of a new investing landscape. There are thousands of ppl making serious buck through meme stock trading, DeFi yields, crypto staking, etc.

Lose a chip off your shoulder. If you're not comfortable with a 'new wave' investing landscape, web3 transformation, crypto growth, etc - then don't be. But do not patronize others and make yourself better saying that ppl 'get lucky' and you're the only one working hard. This is a pathetic IB thinking process, I worked hard, so I deserve more.

Nope buddy. Performance and being smart matters. Luck is important, but there is a significant skill, risk tolerance and trend spotting involved too. 

Oct 29, 2021 - 10:13am

Buying a coin with a picture of a dog on it is because other people are doing it does not require any intelligence.  Being an IB VP does.  And more importantly being an IB VP gives you the money to blow on stupid shit like that; instead of making gambles on money that should be used for down payment, retirement, etc.

Oct 30, 2021 - 11:46am

Lmao but why are so salty? I'll say it again, lose the fucking chip off your shoulder.

You guys are so one-sided in carrer choices that god forbid someone doing stuff differently. Buying a coin with a picture of a dog requires significant risk tolerance, good timing and certain psychological strength.

Also give me a fucking break with 'VP intelligence'. You are a glorified analyst smooth talking Excel models and doing expenses dinners. Get out to the world sometime, not everything is about banking.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 29, 2021 - 10:14am

You're too nice actually typing this all out for these fools. I've saying this for the last 6 months and have been just MS'd and given smug replies. They won't learn don't bother with it

Oct 29, 2021 - 10:59am

Because frankly, you're wrong.  You claim that investing in shitcoins is not the extremely high risk behavior that it is, and instead it's just.... free lunch!  And your "source" is your buddies on social media, well guess what, just like Kim K's ass most of the stuff you see on social media is highly tailored to make them look better.  People are not gonna talk about their losses as often as wins.

  • Intern in VC
Oct 29, 2021 - 6:34pm

The Fed is the same reason you are worth $2.5m. Money illusion. The USD is failing as a unit of account, and if you haven't outperformed the US M2 in the past 1.75 years, then you are less well off than you were pre-Covid.

Your cousin may have gotten into crypto for all the wrong reasons, but a new asset class isn't born very often.

Don't get too big-headed.

Oct 29, 2021 - 1:32pm

Politely disagree here. There is no "new normal" and there never will be, because human psychology will never change.

Pump and dumps, low float stock manipulation, and other stock market shenanigans have been around since time immemorial.

What you're seeing today; this type of wild speculation was in full frenzy mode prior to the crash of '29 (obviously I am not suggesting there will be a crash. It's a data point). Speculation is manifested in one form or another in all strong bull markets.

The prudent investor who makes calculated, risk-adjusted investments will outperform 98 out of 100 speculators in the long-term. 2 or so out of 100 will leave him in the dust. 

Oct 29, 2021 - 12:53pm

You were probably raised under the illusion that if you do X, you will get Y result out of life. While that is generally true, there are hacks and traps to life. An observant person, who is looking where other people are not, can discover one of those hacks and find a path to success. The fact that you wrote of your cousin as a "degenerate" shows that you're dismissing something about him and therefore he has a perspective that you're unwilling to step into. He might have a more open mind which allows him to see paths that you don't. You're the IBM, he's Bill Gates. You're the Microsoft, he's the Apple. The person with the ideas that we don't take seriously is easy to dismiss as a degenerate or crazy until that person is successful.

Oct 29, 2021 - 1:11pm

Here's some very serious life advice:

1)  Stop counting other people's money.  Mind your business and hit the goals you want.  If this gets you mad, I can't wait to hear how you feel about people who win the Mega Millions.
2)  He may be a degenerate but he made the trades and put his money on the line.  Would you have done that?  If not, then who cares?  High risk high reward if he cluelessly gambled.... because that's what he did... gamble.

2)  Easy come, easy go.  Looks like he's well on his way to being right back where he was.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Oct 29, 2021 - 1:39pm

With the Mega Millions, everyone knows it's pure luck, especially the winners themselves (hopefully). 

My cousin now thinks he's the Warren Buffett of our generation. Some of my extended family  (aunts/uncles and cousins) are contemplating giving him money (potentially a lot of it) to "invest" in crypto. The media only talks about the meteoric rise of certain crypto, in particular BTC. 

My extended family is as average as they come. I hope they don't lose their shirts, because they had to actually earn that money. 

If I try to stop them, which isn't my place anyway, I'll come off as envious. And if crypto goes even higher, than I'll be the piñata.

Oct 29, 2021 - 2:09pm

If that's your actual concern, then that's very fair.  But that wasn't what you said originally at all.

So what are you going to do now?  Understand that you have 2 choices: 
1)  Stay completely quiet

OR

2)  Make sure you explain to your family that there are some crypto currencies (BTC, ETH) that are much more likely to exist in the short, medium, and long term... and there are some that could go to zero tomorrow, and the latter truly are like buying lottery tickets so don't be surprised if you lose it all.  And to be clear, you will piss off your cousin by doing this.  But if he's a degenerate then it shouldn't matter anyway.  Bottom line your family should be well informed and not mislead by greed.

Oct 29, 2021 - 2:39pm

Outcome oriented thinking is exactly bad for this reason. You have to decide who's decisions had the better expected value, not outcome (sometimes that might be hard to judge because it's sometimes hard to draw the line between making a bad decision that turned out well or an actually good decisions, but it seems simple here).
He is like a gambler. In some ways life is like a poker table, where the local gambling addict might have a great run and if he cashes out at the right time, he might even be well off. But that doesn't mean he did anything right, he just got lucky and his expected value is horrible. You likely made good decisions over the long run, with good expected value. So don't second guess them, since you can never determine your outcomes with certainty and you have to accept some randomness in your life.

In certain aspects I'm sure even you've benefitted from randomness at times, possibly due to your parents or your birthplace. You worked hard and honestly, according to your description, but many ppl who that still might not have had the same opportunities as you did (different country, lower social class, rural area with little opportunities, medical issues).

In summary, we have to make the most of the expected value of our decisions and should never forget the effect of randomness on us in various stages of life, that we cannot entirely control.

Oct 29, 2021 - 3:34pm

1 - The ivy you went to wasn't good enough, because otherwise you'd be saying WHYP/HSW instead of hiding your Brown or Cornell ass alma mater behind "muh ivi leighue"

2 - Should've went all in on Dogecoin with your ludicrous cash flow as a VP probably raking in around 500k before tax.

3 - Ask him for a matching Tesla tol

Oct 30, 2021 - 4:37am

Maybe this will help with your ego or something, but if I had a choice I'd still rather be in your position that his. Stability and consistency in finances is underrated, your cousin's way of earning does not sound very sustainable. I suggest you look into gratitude towards what you have (your financial stability, your loved ones or whatever) and stop with the comparison. I know it isn't easy since it's human nature to compare, but it's a much healthier mindset to have than what you expressed in the post. Focus more on appreciating what you have around you, stop looking around at who has more, and you'll enjoy life better.

Oct 30, 2021 - 1:55pm

Perhaps you're the degenerate for - following (and being loyal to) a goofy system, - for being a good boy and following the rules, for having pride in a made-up thing: "honors",  for judging people "degenerate cousin", "stoner friends", and for using your obedience as some sort of high value thing: it's not.

Dude, try actually getting to know your cousin rather than judging him.  He's most likely a better person than you.  And you could learn a lot from him - like how to invest properly, and how to be a good person - which clearly you're not.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Oct 30, 2021 - 3:36pm

Hopefully you can see the irony in critizing me for being judgy. You're literally hating on me for my accomplishments while giving my cousin a free ride for being a degenerate. Maybe you can relate to his lifestyle. 

I'll let him know you'd like to invest in his "crypto fund", I'm sure you guys will be the next "Kings of Capital".

Oct 31, 2021 - 3:25pm

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