Would you rather 85-100k for a 45 hour week or 150k-170k for a 85 hour week?

Out of curiosity,

I'm currently in a corporate bank and have a pretty good gig. I'm working about 45-55 hours a week consistently and make about 85-100k with low living expenses. Weekends ALWAYS free and loads of down time at work with the ability to take time to eat lunch or work out.

Recently I got a bit of an investment banking offer come my way for about 90-100k base salary, but its at a well known boutique, which WILL work you.

Out of curiosity, I'm just wondering what you guys would do. Which gig would you rather have? The promotion time frames are the same but at the CB theres a lot more job security and stability. I can also make some money from a side business on weekends.

Down the road, I'm wondering if its good to take the Director/MD route as a corporate banker, considering they can make 400k-1m working whatever hours they honestly feel like (generally like 9-5) with travel paid for.

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Comments (25)

Apr 14, 2015

First one

Apr 14, 2015

If you are well liked in the office and getting good performance reviews stay where you are. Otherwise still maybe stay where you are.

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Apr 14, 2015

Generally agree with the above. If you like your coworkers and see room for serious advancement - then stay.

Just to play devil's advocate, if you took the IB role, found out you didn't like it, couldn't handle the hours, etc. you could fairly easily lateral back to CB. Also, your age probably plays a factor. If you're still an analyst and potentially looking at buyside jobs down the road, then IB makes even more sense.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but you seem to be in a good spot either way.

Apr 15, 2015

may depend on how many years you've already put in
when did you start the job?
if you're nearing 30, the 80-100 hour work week stuff will get old pretty quick

Apr 15, 2015

Second one since I pretty much have no life.

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Apr 15, 2015

As far as performance, a load of managers love me, but some intermediates around the assoc-VP level don't like me, so I'm not sure if that even matters.

It would be a second year analyst in either firm.

Second year CB analyst or second year IB analyst. The switch to the IB would probably be a bit limited on exit opps, considering they would look to promote to associate 1 in less than 2 years. Then again, its the exact same for the CB.

Apr 15, 2015

Totally depends on what you want personally for your future. I'm assuming the low COL means you're not in NYC (or SF or Boston, but maybe Chicago or Philly) or maybe even not a major city. Are you cool with living there for the short or long haul, especially if you progress in the same bank? Or do you "need" to live in NYC at some point in your life? Consider that if you have a low COL at your current income level and the move to IB means moving to a high COL city you may end up coming home with the same amount of money after living expenses but you're working 2x. And all of that free time after work and on the weekends will not exist.

What's your goal in going to IB? Because that's what all the cool kids are doing or because you really want to learn the sell side and/or use it as a stepping stone to the buyside? Consider that if you're doing IB for the buyside that most likely means going to bschool and incurring that cost and loss of income for a couple of years-would staying in CB allow you to skip bschool? And when you graduate getting an IB or buyside roll where you're still working a ton of hours.

I have no idea what your long term life plans but if you could be making $400k-$1MM (seems high but that's not my thing so I won't get into that) by your 40's, working 9-5 and not having to do a ton of travel (the exact opposite of high level IB or PE-I know that every analyst thinks that MD's don't work a ton bc they're not in the office until 2 am but I've regularly flown >200k miles/year and am doing business entertaining 3x/week when I'm home-that's not a lot of time at home) and you want a spouse and kids who you actually see, that's not a bad gig.

Like I said, it's about what you want but just weigh the pros and cons and figure out if IB is going to help you with your career and life goals.

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May 26, 2015

.

Apr 15, 2015

Instead of looking at it as 85k vs 150k, why not look at as what do you actually want to do? Which job will you like better, and more importantly, which will better help you towards the career goals you have for your future?

If your career goals are purely monetary - meaning you work to support a lifestyle - I would say stay in CB. The $ upside from IB is not worth it unless it's really what you want to do or will support you in getting where you want to be. On the other hand, if you'd like to be a future rainmaker, move to the buyside, do corporate development, go to a startup or something like that, I'd move to IB.

Best Response
Apr 15, 2015

I'd say this, try looking outside the M&A box. Once you get some good Corp banking experience you could go into DCM in a variety of entry points. You could also go LevFin (the bank and group will depend on your modeling ability). You could also go into MM private lending at say GE Antares, Madison, NXT, etc. You could go into treasury at a large company also. Plenty of exit points for sure.

If banking is your thing I'd try and use your experience to go to a branded MM shop at least. No sense leaving a BB Corp banking job for a smaller boutique that may not help you career wise.

As for comp, there are so many variables that it really isn't worth thinking about that far out. And let's face it. If you're married with kids and living in a cheap COL area, you don't need to make a million a year to live like a king. I'd say $300-400k all in at the senior level is reasonable and at that level you're maxing out every pre tax savings account you can, putting a lot in the bank, new cars, big ass house and all the goodies. Life would be good.

And if you want the private jet and that level of balling out, then I'd suggest you try inventing something or starting a business. Working for someone is always a poor way to create real wealth.

Good luck!

Feb 28, 2018

Love that last comment. Business owners are the ones who really make the money and they have a lot more fun along the way (as in are in more control)

Apr 15, 2015

Awesome answers. To clarify, I actually live in Brooklyn now about 30 mins or so away so its cheap for me. The compensation figure for a director was also around 400k for an average good director with an active unit while the area of 1m is for an MD or higher exec equivalent that reports to the CB head, which is why that may sound a bit inflated. The range of 400k isn't unusual for a director. But the real reason for this consideration is... well.. CB is boring. The work in the buy side and even IB is a bit more meaningful and interesting to me. Although having a jet is nice, its not necessarily my goal. Bringing in a few hundred grand with good hours in 5-10 years is fine for me. I'm not really sure what I'd do with the multiple millions. Really a 1-2mm condo in manhattan and/or a very nice house would be perfect. Plus I can start a side business in my spare time if I want. Plus I reallllllllly HATE the idea of going back for my MBA. I have absolutely no intention of doing so. I was never book smart or enjoyed hearing from a teacher with no industry experience. If I did move to an IB I may do it as a career (which people say is insane) or move to PE/HF. If I did get into PE though, it would probably be the whole MBA track, which I don't have a goal of taking a career break or taking these classes in general.

Apr 20, 2015

You're young. Absolutely go with the well known New York boutique investment bank. Once you have that experience on your resume the sky's the limit for what you can do. You invest in your career in your 20s, and in your 30s and beyond is when you look for the really well paid job and easy (easier) hours. You don't look for work/life balance when you're trying to establish a career. We would call that being pennywise and pound foolish (with your time).

Feb 28, 2018

Second one. I love money.

Feb 28, 2018

Government job in Illinois. $110k, annual raises, 32hrs per week shuffling paper. $1-2M pension at retirement.

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Feb 28, 2018

Sounds a lot like Socialist California

Feb 28, 2018

No way will Illinois will be able to pay out a pension in 20-30 years. But definitely a good thought. HAH.

Mar 1, 2018

Oh I agree if it was a private company. But it's government and it has a blank checkbook from the taxpayers. They will pay themselves at full benefits no matter what. It's almost non negotiable for them to take a cut

Mar 1, 2018

Don't forget, you also get every holiday on the calendar. They have no idea what Memorial Day is for, but I'm pretty sure there would be a massive riot if you made those yuk-yuks work it.

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Mar 2, 2018
TippyTop11:

Government job in Illinois. $110k, annual raises, 32hrs per week shuffling paper. $1-2M pension at retirement.

This stupid country.

Feb 28, 2018

I would do 45-55 hours a week consistently and make about 85-100k with low living expenses.

When you're on your death bed, you won't be regretting that you didn't make enough money, but that you didn't get to spend it on your girl, travel, fun, weekends,

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Feb 28, 2018

Good question. If it was me personally, I would reject both offers. I'd rather scale up my account size and get to the point where I can make 2-4k a week consistently with decent risk management. Still haven't reached my target goal yet but it's getting pretty close. I don't see why I would go work for someone else with something I've put a lot of time into, and is clearly paying off ;). No target college or 100hr wage slavery required.

Feb 28, 2018

bro this mans does not stop^ lmaoooo got me geeked

Feb 28, 2018
Mar 1, 2018