Young People of WSO: What is with this fascination towards IB?

Opslivesmatter's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,180

I'm a lot older than most of you guys and while I never worked in FO IB or desired to do so, I don't understand the obsession and circle jerk of getting into IB. I genuinely believe this behavior is putting too much pressure on yourself and it DEFINITELY will show during an interview. Any banker hearing how you came out of the womb wanting IB will call you on your BS. I've read some of @ArcherVice" 's comments and he really seems to be the only voice of reason on this topic.

I do believe IB is a good job with a TON of opportunities, no doubt, but it seems like some people on here have let this obsession of IB get in the way of other jobs they could've had. Example: How many posts do we see of Seniors in college asking how to get in IB with no relevant experience? Tons. Then because of this behavior they have to scramble to get some random job (maybe ops) and then hate their life because it isn't this prestigious ib job that they only know about from reading WSO threads.

It's one thing to swing for the fences and another to burn every bridge in pursuit of this BB IB career that you have to do seemingly everything perfect to reach.

Comments (196)

Apr 19, 2016

It's the work of God

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Best Response
Apr 19, 2016
  1. this is a finance forum
  2. finance has a theoretically unlimited earning potential, and people are drawn to that. in other professions successful kids might go into (engineering, medicine, law), there's often times a ceiling: people make partner at a law firm, open their own medical practice, or become a VP at a technology/industrial company. all of those positions pay very well, but kids feel that because you see some hedge fund/PE guys make $1bn in a year from carry, or MDs get paid 7 figure bonuses, that finance is the way to go.

the problem with this is kids don't accurately handicap the likelihoods of these career paths. I'd say it's just as likely for someone to make VP at goldman as it is for someone to make VP at Cisco. neither of these are particularly easy, but they pay about the same, and yet you have kids willing to dole out blowjobs to get an interview at goldman (hyperbole, yes).

  1. unlike other paths (engineering & medicine in particular), finance is something that doesn't require a lot of prerequisite coursework or training, kids can decide in their sophomore/junior year that they want to be a banker (or even later in some cases). and while you don't have to major in a hard science to get into med school, good luck on the MCATs if you haven't had an anatomy class. engineering? fugeddaboutit, the engineers I know started as freshmen, and the courses are ordered such that you need to get in early, you can't just wake up one day and decide you want to be an engineer, it's truly a 4y degree.
  2. it's one of the few jobs where you can make $100k as a 22yo, despite the fact it'll likely be in a super high CoL city. money attracts a lot of people.
  3. it's one of the only careers you can start at 22yo. it's near impossible to get into a buyside role straight out of undergrad, so IB is a logical path.

as far as kids getting disappointed, it's all about expectations, kids think they can't be happy if they don't make $1mm a year, have a house at nantucket, a trophy wife, and a business card with a top tier firm on it. it's just not like that in the real world. finance is an uber-competitive industry, sales driven, so you have a super high concentration of type A people, and if you're type A you want to be the best, so when you don't become the best, it's a let down.

Apr 20, 2016

Church. This reply is spot on and explains the mindset of me and all of my finance friends throughout our time in undergrad.

Apr 22, 2016

Church indeed, sir.

Apr 22, 2016

Good post and agree with all your points. However, the "cost of living" in NY or SF is really what you make of it. I've lived off $2,000/mo in SF without any issues (eating well, all amenities, pursued hobbies, no deprivation of any sorts). I spent $1,000 on rent for a 600 sq. ft. studio, but I was also saving $1,000+/mo. because I didn't need a car (no monthly payment, insurance, parking, gas, maintenance, tickets, toll fees, license and tabs, etc.). It's practically like getting free rent.

The reason is that I don't care for living in a ritzy house/apartment, stupid sports cars, boats, fancy electronics, and other bullshit that (mostly insecure) people use to make themselves feel better. The reason why people in NYC or SF tend to spend a lot of money is because (a) they make a lot more than most people in other cities -- that's why they're probably there in the first place -- and (b) they feel they need to keep up with the Joneses because everyone around them is rich and piss away money where it's not needed. People naturally aren't very disciplined and normally spend what they make whether it's $20,000 or $200,000.

Anybody who says you need $100,000+/yr to live in NYC or San Francisco is completely full of shit. There are plenty of people who lead very solid lifestyles who spend no more than $2,500-$3,000 a month. Some immigrants in these cities make $20,000-$25,000 a year on minimum wage, live good lives, and still send half of it back home.

Anyone who thinks living in Fargo is the solution to getting rich because you can save more... I have news for you. I'd argue that I can actually live CHEAPER in SF or NYC than I could there where the public transit is useless.

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Apr 22, 2016

I agree with some of your points but living in the bay area below $100K, is a major struggle and it is not about posing with what I can and cannot afford, the cost of living, the taxes, insurance, health care all take their toll, even crossing over the san mateo/golden gate/sf bay brigde every day adds up, plus the highway 101 is filled with congestion during the rush hours, which means spending more times in traffic (wastes potential time), plus not every one can take the bart system. One need over $100K to just get buy, have you seen the rents prices lately? $2,500 a month for a single one bed and that is at the bottom end.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

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Apr 22, 2016

Agree completely. One thing to add here is that for a lot of people, it makes sense to spend 2 years on it if you're unsure of what to do next because, theoretically, all the doors in the world will open after IB and you'll have money saved up, etc.

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Apr 19, 2016

Why do you care why people are fascinated with banking jobs?

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Apr 19, 2016
iggs99988:

Why do you care why people are fascinated with banking jobs?

Why do you care why he/she cares why people are fascinated with banking jobs?

I think it's a worthwhile question to raise once in a while (similar to the recent 'do you enjoy your job' threads). The IB forum is often full of 'BB IB or bust' kids who seem to have little idea about what they are chasing.

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Apr 19, 2016

My point exactly and @thebrofessor" had a pretty decent explanation. I just don't think a lot people looking to go into IB can forget all that comes with it. Working that many hours can possibly give you heart problems and I can think of about 4 or 5 MDs in IB who have had a heart attack at ~40. Not to mention the fact that only 2% of applicants are accepted by GS/MS. No doubt in my mind that 70-85% of applicants don't meet the criteria at all or have a shitty resume (ie 4pages???), but that still leaves the rest of the competition to be quite staggering.

To sum it up in brief for you guys looking to get in IB: You better get solid internships and have a decent gpa. Don't post on WSO "Senior and looking to get in IB" if you haven't already met the criteria.

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Apr 19, 2016

hey my comment got deleted, I had made the incisive remark:
lol says the guy in ops

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Apr 20, 2016
PE_Reaper:

hey my comment got deleted, I had made the incisive remark:lol says the guy in ops

+1

Apr 19, 2016

It's one of the best gigs you can get out of college. It requires no prior training or education aside from a bachelor's, pays incredibly well, and provides you with a skill set and branding that opens the door to countless opportunities after your two year stint. Moreover there's no real ceiling for how well you can do, and there is a defined upward trajectory that sets you up very nicely.

I'm not really sure why you're surprised people are obsessed with going for the aforementioned. If I had the opportunity to get one of those jobs, I would absolutely turn down some random job that I wasn't satisfied with. I'm going to assume a lot of people on this forum went to targets or semi-targets, are fairly competent, and quite young, so I don't believe it would be that hard to find an alternative job if the banking path didn't pan out. Lastly, to address your interview comment, as someone who has interviewed candidates, I know that most stories about interest in banking from a young age are BS, but I do care that candidates have the ability to think on their feet and are well-spoken. That's what the question is screening for.

Is IB the best job someone can get after college? Absolutely not. But it's definitely up there considering the lack of requirements and the aforementioned benefits. You don't need to know computer science like you do for tech jobs or most quant jobs (which are frequently stated as being more desirable right out of college), you have a greater upward trajectory on average than tech (most software engineers plateau very quickly), and probably a little more stability and security on average than trading (see turnover rates at funds like Citadel and Bridgewater).

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Apr 20, 2016

He wasn't indicting the choice itself, merely the mentality and stupidity of burning every other opportunity because it doesn't stack up to GS TMT IBD/who fucking cares--not to say I don't like the "never settle" Facebook platitude--but it can do more harm than good.

Apr 20, 2016

I completely agree with that. I mean I would say that generally getting a job in high finance (not targeting a specific firm or group) is quite doable for a large percentage of this site's target audience. There are definitely cases though where people overestimate their own abilities or underestimate their competition and end up getting burned. Seems like a very prevalent mentality among target school kids who are type A and so used to excelling in whatever they do that they're genuinely surprised when they don't get GS TMT or MS M&A. There are plenty of great opportunities that don't receive the attention or respect that they deserve because they're overshadowed by some of these name brand or prestigious posts.

I went to HYPSW and legitimately had classmates that had already planned out their career path as follows:
GS/MS top group -> Top mega fund -> HBS -> Top mega fund. People don't understand how narrow the funnel gets as you progress in this industry. So yeah, in that sense I would agree with OP that obsessing about the most elite positions is harmful and unrealistic.

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Apr 25, 2016

As someone who recently graduated from a top-tier Ivy - and did a whole lot of soul searching in the process - I gotta add that IB and Consulting are by far the two most visible industries on campus. So kids pretty quickly start associating "options after graduation" with these two gigs. These also happen to be two industries that are quite serious about the OCR so it all adds up.
Now, I've met many friends with a true passion in: Arts, Music, Entertainment, Sports, and at least some have ended up in finance anyway since it's a safe option with good income and it offers immediate rewards, as opposed to a steep climb of other professions (incl. startups). I wonder how many of them (us) will eventually turn back to the fields that make us tick.

Apr 20, 2016
throwaway82694:

It's one of the best gigs you can get out of college. It requires no prior training or education aside from a bachelor's, pays incredibly well, and provides you with a skill set and branding that opens the door to countless opportunities after your two year stint. Moreover there's no real ceiling for how well you can do, and there is a defined upward trajectory that sets you up very nicely.

I'm not really sure why you're surprised people are obsessed with going for the aforementioned. If I had the opportunity to get one of those jobs, I would absolutely turn down some random job that I wasn't satisfied with. I'm going to assume a lot of people on this forum went to targets or semi-targets, are fairly competent, and quite young, so I don't believe it would be that hard to find an alternative job if the banking path didn't pan out. Lastly, to address your interview comment, as someone who has interviewed candidates, I know that most stories about interest in banking from a young age are BS, but I do care that candidates have the ability to think on their feet and are well-spoken. That's what the question is screening for.

Is IB the best job someone can get after college? Absolutely not. But it's definitely up there considering the lack of requirements and the aforementioned benefits. You don't need to know computer science like you do for tech jobs or most quant jobs (which are frequently stated as being more desirable right out of college), you have a greater upward trajectory on average than tech (most software engineers plateau very quickly), and probably a little more stability and security on average than trading (see turnover rates at funds like Citadel and Bridgewater).

Yes, exactly this, SB'd. And as was mentioned earlier, this is a finance forum made for the purposes of IB essentially. In reality there's less than 1,000 new BB analysts a year and when you think about that in the context of graduating seniors it is a tiny blip. That blip just happens to be highly concentrated on this forum.

Again, the skill set and the credibility can really take you anywhere and that is really attractive to anyone who's 22 and doesn't have things figured out yet. One example I like as a baseball fan is that Andrew Friedman (a former Bear Stearns analyst) is now President of Baseball Operations for the Dodgers and got his start via his finance connections. IB is a relationship business and by virtue of being in it you gain a lot of connections you wouldn't otherwise have working internally somewhere.

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Apr 20, 2016

I live in Eastern Europe, i was eager to work in IB although there are very few places (only boutiques) in my country and competition is tough (i guess). I've got in to one boutique present in 4 countries with a fairly large team by local standards. It all started as it's described in the internet, pitches and models, deals, client meetings etc. All this romance ended after 6 month or so when you realize that this is just work and you are sitting extra hours for nothing, also you have to work with people whose ego is so large that you can climb on it, jump down on their IQ and die instantly from the impact. After a year deal flow deteriorated, people started to leave, I left after almost 2 years. Overall the experience was good and unique but there are better career paths in finance.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

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Apr 23, 2016

My two cents, playing off what @thebrofessor said: If you're someone willing to bust your ass to get rich, the safest route is to get into the medical profession. The path is very difficult, but set in stone: pre-med at almost any school, with good GPA -> stellar MCAT -> good med-school. in my experience, it's a safe route because its all about hard work, and not about luck. It's a low risk, high reward route.
Finance, on the other hand, has many routes and doesn't require graduate studies. Hard work is involved, but so is luck. It's high risk, highest reward.

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Apr 20, 2016

Bad post. Medical school is not a path to wealth. I was pre-med, completed my pre-reqs, and then during junior year pondered the path in front of me and decided against it. The only well-paid physicians are specialists and they sacrifice 8-10 years in opportunity cost, about 2 million bucks (200k average lost salary x 10 years + 200k debt - meager resident pay). Matching into derm, gen. surgery, plastic, cardiology, radiology etc. is about as hard landing a MF spot (probably a lot harder).

If you don't match into a highly paid specialty, you will be a miserable family doctor or internal medicine, making 170K a year with a huge debt load that is accruing interest. Medicine is not a path to riches.

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Apr 20, 2016

Also, who the fuck takes the GMAT for med school?

Apr 20, 2016

.

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Apr 20, 2016

Great post, thanks. I'm curious, what do you mean by solid IBD shop? BB/top MM/EB?

Apr 20, 2016

In some respects, getting an IB analyst position can be a pretty "safe" route to take. This obviously excludes people on the BB IBD>MF>HBS>Greatness path, but for many it's essentially a two year position where you can make a lot of money (relative to other opportunities available) while you try to figure out what you want to do long-term. There is a section in the book Young Money that talks about this and probably articulates it a little better than I do.

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Apr 20, 2016

Acquired skill set that is highly applicable to the real world. And also I have a terrible fascination with hard work and long hours..

It ain't what you know, it's who you know

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Apr 20, 2016

IDK IBD seems great but id rather go into trading or ER, id rather have a little more of a life with a little less money and the exit opps arent bad for either of them. But just like the @thebrofessor" said, the main reason why i want to major in finance is kind of because of the lack of a pay ceiling and i hate being broke, and i have an interest in markets etc. But i know that IBD is not for me

Apr 20, 2016

Exit opps for trading, especially prop trading like your username, aren't that bountiful.

Apr 20, 2016

Exit opps generally include: early retirement in the Cote d'Azur or the poor house...

Apr 20, 2016

I realize that for proptrading, but correct me if Im wrong but cant regular BB traders move onto HF trading and then maybe PM?

Apr 21, 2016
proptrader101:

IDK IBD seems great but id rather go into trading or ER, id rather have a little more of a life with a little less money and the exit opps arent bad for either of theme

Trading doesn't have any true exit opps. Equity research does, though.

Apr 20, 2016

The safest and quickest path to riches is definitely in sales. IB no doubt offers you the option of making b/w $30 and $50 million in a lifetime for an average performer. But sales has the lowest entry requirements and usually people make a good deal of money for much less hours.

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Apr 20, 2016
jobseeker1:

The safest and quickest path to riches is definitely in sales. IB no doubt offers you the option of making b/w $30 and $50 million in a lifetime for an average performer. But sales has the lowest entry requirements and usually people make a good deal of money for much less hours.

Where do you get these numbers you speak of? $30-50 million lifetime earnings? Average performer? Please don't spout off misinformation when you have no idea.

Apr 20, 2016

this is what I mean about probabilities of people in finance careers. where are you getting this data? average performers most certainly do NOT make 30-50mm in a lifetime. average performers hit a ceiling and don't advance in IB.

Apr 20, 2016

Specifically SaaS sales I think.

Apr 20, 2016

Sorry!

I meant top average performers I guess lol. Y'know--the ones who managed to make it through the narrow path from Analyst--> Associate--> Top MBA--> VP--> "Average" Performing MD at top Bulge Bracket. Obviously in the whole population of IB'ers, they are not average in the slightest. But for those who make it to that top of the hill position, I would have figured those numbers are in line.

And also, I feel the need to add: I'm not a prestige-hunting person who puts money at the top of my priorities. I just thought that these figures are in line from what I've read from perusing salary statistics, this forum and a few others, and other anecdotal evidence.

Apr 20, 2016

Some of the comments in this and other threads bring to mind images of undergrads sitting around talking about their future careers in finance and speaking with an air of authority about distinctions between front office, middle office and back office, how many millions an "average" bank pulls in a career, which teams at GS/MS/etc have the most prestige and which car it is most appropriate for an analyst to buy with the first bonus.

Kids, if you're ever participating in one of those discussions, know that you are all talking absolute shit.

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May 1, 2016

...

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Apr 20, 2016

I think given the money, "prestige," type of work, and exit ops - it is easy to why so many young people are attracted to IB. That being said, there seems to be other areas within high finance (such as AM/HF) where the money, prestige, work, etc appears similar but garners much less attention. As a recent (under) grad in his late 20's, the more I learn about IB's the less attractive the work seems to be given the hours and type of (grunt) work you do within your first couple of years. For me AM/HF looks much more attractive.

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Apr 20, 2016

I've met a lot of analysts who got into this for the "prestige", to tell people their group/bank, and to make it to black stone and be a billionaire someday. But there's also a significant amount who see see this as a 2 year training ground to build up your resume, build a network, gain a skill set that is transferable throughout business, have more time to figure out what career is for you, and to open doors for opportunities to get jobs in many careers with less hours that still pay 6 figures to a 25 year old. These tend to be the guys who shoot for a BB but take the average to good group that has a great culture and not the ones shooting for all the groups people go nuts about on here. While WSO seems to have more of the first type then the second type, the second that I mentioned definitely exists as well.

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Apr 20, 2016

Let's be honest - most kids wanting to crack into IB have no idea what it involves. I worked as a lawyer working on IB transactions for the first 7 years of my career and, even from that close proximity, I had no idea what IB really involved on a day to day level for grunts (nor did I have that much idea about what grunt lawyers did before I started either).

Once you're in the industry, you can ret con why it's rational for kids to want a career in investment banking. However, even in this age of the internet and freer access to information, the reality is most kids have less than a half-arsed idea. Delusions of models & bottles, or some variation on that theme, are likely a motivating factor.

Case in point: Many of the ignorant, grasping in the dark comments that get posted on WSO. Some comments read like 13 year old virgin boys talking about the intricacies of sex.

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Apr 20, 2016

Money. Why PE/VC? carry (money).

Everyone has a line about wanting to help business people take it to the next level or wanting to be on the forefront of economic growth or loving the markets, whatever, but you could be a loan officer at a regional bank if you really only cared about helping businesses acquire capital and grow.

Honestly, if you have your entire career mapped out in your head by the time you're a junior in college, what possible criteria could you have besides lifetime earnings? I want to work at GS/MS for the camaraderie, KKR because I love their strategy, HBS because of the student body's academic curiosity, then Sequoia Capital because I love the energy on the west coast? Give me a break.

The investment industry has one function: Make money; for the investors, for the entrepreneurs and for the army of people working on the deal.

I'm not saying everyone falls into this category, or that money is the only reason, but if you want to know why a bunch of undergrads on an internet forum are obsessed with IB, this is your answer.

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Apr 22, 2016

Exactly. Although having said that, I acknowledge that there are really the rare handful that literally live and breathe such a vocation because they genuinely enjoy it.

I just haven't met one yet.

Apr 20, 2016

I started out with the passion for medicine but things didn't work out. Started trading during august flash crash and made a ton of money then lost it, ever since then, I was on a mission to perfect my trading and understanding of the markets, economics, psychology etc

My other reason is the fact that the value and quality of life in my family decreased over time, from bbq's and parties every other month to just a couple a year. This is due to life getting tougher and laws no helping the common man who just wants to provide for his family and friends. I wish to go into a hedge fund (or something on the buy side) because I want to bring that value back. Passion is already there, my trading has greatly improved in a short amount of time (although it has not been profitable in these corrupt times) and I read many books and always check latest news to see what bs tactics are being employed these days.

The jobs on wall street aren't perfect but nothing ever is.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

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Apr 21, 2016

With regards to The Brofessor's response, I think there is an important distinction to be made between finance and IB specifically. All of those reasons are great for finance in general, but why IB and not ER or AM? I went back to school for a finance degree in my mid twenties and I definitely found that most finance students had IB dreams in their head, but that few even really knew what the hell IB is. It is just an idea of a high paying Wall Street job in a lot of cases I think. For quite a while I could not believe how clueless some of these kids were, thinking that IB has something to do with stock picking or trading, while preparing to interview with the like of Goldman and JPM. It seems like this happens a lot with PE too; kids assume they will go from IB to PE but really don't have a good reason for, or understanding of either.

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Apr 21, 2016

To those few who were shitting on @thebrofessor" , I'm going to assume you're either still in school or uninformed like most. Sure, a decent portion of the job is monkey work, but a lot of it (especially when it comes to supporting trading) can really add value. If your Ops sucks, you're going to have a bad time. This may sound like a non-answer but you really won't know what a role's like until sitting in the seat. There are times in my job where I'm stressed out because FO wants answers, and wants them now. Or another team you rely on fucked up and because of it there's money on the line if you don't get it resolved before the market opens. There are a TON of finance roles out there... banking is just a really popular one because of exit opps and like myself, a lot of kids have no idea what they want to do coming out of school.

Don't forget that a lot of the non-button pushing roles are OT eligible, so at the entry levels you could be making 80-90 all-in depending on your hours. Not a bad start while you figure out what you want to do for the rest of your career...

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Apr 21, 2016

I think that many of us adults forget that we know now what we didn't know then.

I think that many of us adults also forget how badly we wanted it back then.

I think we forgot that we got 12 weeks of vacation/year as college students and assumed that would continue indefinitely.

I think many of us forget how much stamina we had back then. (I am not sure I could pull a 100 hour workweek today, and I'm just ten years older)

Today I am incredibly grateful that I did not wind up in IBD, but had I been offered GS IBD back as a college student, I would have taken it.

And I wouldn't talk down to my 21-year-old self. But I'd show him what I got done because I WASN'T IN IBD (albeit I was still in finance.)

I took up motorcycle racing. I took up SCUBA diving. I took up hang gliding. I ran a 5:30 mile for the first time in my life. And I still never really wanted for money. Or wanted for sleep. Or wanted for a life outside of work. And as a quant I got to work for and with some really awesome people who were truly class acts. Guys with IQs that were 20 points above most people they worked with-- and who didn't take themselves all that seriously. Guys that were even cool enough to be gracious when I arrogantly assumed I was the smartest guy in the room, even though it later turned out they could run circles around me.

Here is my only point with careers- life moves at a crawl in grade school, speeds up to an extremely slow and boring walk in high school, moves to a normal pace in college, and turns into a jog or even a sprint after you graduate. And you blink-- and ten years have gone by. If your life's purpose is deals, that's great- be a banker. But if you like or even love finance- but that's not the only thing you want out of life, you probably shouldn't be in IBD.

The industry is changing and trying to fix work-life balance. This advice may change in five years or it may even be a couple years outdated. But us humans only get a few thousand weekends during our lives- and only 500 in our 20s. Any professional with a good work ethic will spend some of them behind a desk, but it's not healthy to spend all or even most of them unless this is truly your life's purpose.

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Apr 22, 2016

Cool and elaborate. +1

Apr 22, 2016

Sounds like wisdom and experience to me. +1SB

Apr 21, 2016

Honestly, I just really love trading. I couldn't care less about M&A or similar.

Apr 21, 2016
neink:

Honestly, I just really love trading. I couldn't care less about M&A or similar.

My favorite thing about S&T (I was a quant in equity options at a bank, but this applies everywhere from prop shops to hedge funds to institutional broker dealers) is that your weekend is your weekend.

Apr 21, 2016
IlliniProgrammer:

neink:Honestly, I just really love trading. I couldn't care less about M&A or similar.

My favorite thing about S&T (I was a quant in equity options at a bank, but this applies everywhere from prop shops to hedge funds to institutional broker dealers) is that your weekend is your weekend.

That too. I don't mind following markets 12 hours a day. 2 days to recharge batteries and refresh your mind however are needed.

Apr 22, 2016

FB pays a 100k signing bonus for undergrads on top of a 100k salary + stock + performance bonus.

When I heard that I didn't care about breaking into IB anymore. I'm sure many undergrads reading this will have the same reaction.

Apr 22, 2016

I considered google in undergrad, but for what it's worth, you plateau very quickly at tech behemoths in terms of comp and responsibility. It's a great gig if you're just looking for a chill life, but it just gets pretty boring if you're not working on cool projects. There's an entire team at Facebook that just works on buttons. Exciting, I know.

Apr 22, 2016

Yes, I had a great time at that firm but I wanted more.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

Apr 23, 2016

fair points but I could say the same about banking. Tweaking numbers and and flipping through filings just to be wrong 50% of the time isn't that exciting either. I'd argue the plateau in finance is the same, most people don't actually make MD or even PE.

Apr 22, 2016

Yes, sound nice but how often is the room for promotion and career development?

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

Apr 23, 2016

plenty because in tech you can create your own opportunities. If you invent good things and open source them, companies will hire / promote you.

Apr 22, 2016

Those high tech salaries are for developer positions. A non-technical employee at one of those firms is not commanding nearly that level of compensation.

Few people are strong enough both socially and technically to be competitive for both an IBD position at a BB and an SDE position at a strong tech firm. Developer interviews are difficult even for CS students from Berkeley and CMU, and you can't just network and hit up alumni for a back door in. Could you see a typical IBD analyst implementing merge sort or asking one to find the longest substring with unique characters? FO finance and SDE tech are totally different skillsets, and the only things they really have in common are that both are highly desirable and pay well.

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Apr 22, 2016
lebron:

Those high tech salaries are for developer positions. A non-technical employee at one of those firms is not commanding nearly that level of compensation.

Few people are strong enough both socially and technically to be competitive for both an IBD position at a BB and an SDE position at a strong tech firm. Developer interviews are difficult even for CS students from Berkeley and CMU, and you can't just network and hit up alumni for a back door in. Could you see a typical IBD analyst implementing merge sort or asking one to find the longest substring with unique characters? FO finance and SDE tech are totally different skillsets, and the only things they really have in common are that both are highly desirable and pay well.

I know people who can land in IBD and nail a tech interview. You're right that there aren't too many of them, but they do exist. They are also a bit more common at the graduate level than in undergrad, and they also tend to be pretty humble down to earth folks. They do not obsess about it or have to ask if it's a good idea to do it-- they just go interview and get offers in both industries and then go seek advice. (Again they are very rare-- like 1 in 100 at a Princeton or UIUC or Berkeley, usually more into STEM than finance but not always)

But you're right that for most college students on WSO, you're either the fellow who will nail a tech interview and fail an IBD interview or the other way around. I was the guy who nailed technical interviews and was not as good at ibd interviews.

Apr 23, 2016

I've seen many non-STEM IBD analysts do it with some practice. IMO, its just learning and memorizing another set of concepts and technicals. I'll admit the learning curve requires more upfront investment but its really only an extra few months than standard IBD technical prep.

Apr 23, 2016
lebron:

Those high tech salaries are for developer positions. A non-technical employee at one of those firms is not commanding nearly that level of compensation.

Finally someone making some sense here about the pay in the tech industry. +1.

Apr 22, 2016

The reason I do it: As a young 20-something I am able to help with the buying and selling of very large companies. I am fortunate enough to be involved in the allocation of millions of dollars. Every day, I learn something new; a new space, product, workplace methodology, CEO vision, etc. I also get to work alongside some of the more interesting people I have met.

If you know of a job that allows a 20 something to do those things, with better hours and comparable pay, please direct message me. :D

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Apr 22, 2016

Well, when people see how much the middle class is getting squeezed in this country...they don't want to be anywhere near that shitstorm. They want a ride to the 1% and believe investment banking will bring that without much technical knowledge (such as computer, mathematics, scientific genius etc.)

Apr 23, 2016

I don't understand how someone can post about living off $100k pre-tax comp and forget to take taxes into account.

Unless that person has no real life experience.

Maybe we can have a subforum dedicated to university students and high school kids spinning hypotheticals.

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Apr 23, 2016

"That's $30K/yr. Where is this other $70,000+ of required spending for a presumedly single individual?" This? lol. I don't know what he was thinking either. Also, screw commuting 45 minutes if you're in IB.

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Apr 23, 2016

Yeah I don't think this person has ever worked in SF. If you've ever been boned by the criminal tax rates of Cali / SF there's no way you could ever forget about them in a cost of living discussion. 100k in SF does not go very far after you factor in taxes and absurd rent prices. If someone wants to live like 45 minutes from work while working IB good for them, but the majority of people are going to get fleeced from taxes, rent, food, etc. and have nothing in savings if they're making under 100.

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Apr 23, 2016

Lived in SF for 15+ years.

"but the majority of people are going to get fleeced from taxes, rent, food, etc."

Taxes -- a little higher. However, $100k salary in SF is only going to cost you a couple/few thousand more in taxes than it would anywhere else. Up to $263k, you're paying 9.3%. Not really that much different than the average state charging you 6%-7% at low six-figure income. Federal taxes are the same.

Rent -- yes, but can be avoided.

Food -- No. If you're restaurant person, and spend $30/day eating out, that's $1,000/mo down the shitter. And a lot more if you go to upper-scale restaurants. And don't give the excuse that the only grocery stores around are Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. If you're in IB, you probably don't have the time to go grocery shopping anyway.

Etc. -- Using "etc." is a common rhetorical conceit, which means you can't think of anything else. SF, excluding rent, is only 34th in cost of living in the U.S. If you want cheaper rent, simply move to the East Bay and commute 30-40 minutes. Not rocket science.

Here's a fact... only about 31% of households in SF make more than $100,000 per year. Per capita income for the SF-Oakland urban area is barely above $30k. So apparently, 69% of households are underwater with this "you can't live off anything under $100k" fabrication.

This idea that the Bay Area is a place for the wealthy and "the majority of people... have nothing in savings if they're making under 100" is total bullshit. Most people here don't come even close to making that. You can't just make things up and expect to not be called on it.

If you want $500 rent and no state taxes, go to Wyoming or something. Just don't bitch when you have to take a 70%-80% pay cut and struggle off $30k a year, if you're able to find a job at all. The cheap "taxes, rent, food, etc." isn't going to be that useful.

If you do find a six-figure entry-level job coming out of college, live below your means, don't piss away money on bullshit and you'll be perfectly fine. If you're putting money down the shitter on a new car, expensive hobbies, restaurants, entertainment, drugs/booze, electronics, gambling, an apartment in a neighborhood you don't need to live in, and other crap that isn't essential, that's your own fault.

The thing with people in finance in general is that people who make a lot will spend more simply because they have it, not because they need to. They also disproportionately come from middle-upper and upper-class households, where they were accustomed to a certain lifestyle growing up and saving money was never really stressed and far from essential.

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Apr 23, 2016

The 30k per capita figure for the bay area is actually pretty accurate. Only people with high debt, kids and those who "need the lifestyle" have any excuse to be spending 6 figures. I rented at $700 a month with roommates for my sophomore internship. Not really sure what a couple ppl are getting their drawers in a bunch over....

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Apr 24, 2016

I've made four downvotes in this thread. The red is far from all mine.

Here were my approximate monthly expenses:

  • Rent: $800
  • Food: $200 (actually higher, but majority is expensed)
  • Utilities: $120
  • Cell phone: $86 (have Internet through this via personal hotspot)
  • Car (payment, insurance, gas, tolls, maintenance, tickets, tabs/license): $0
  • Transportation: $0 (expensed)
  • "Personal care": $100
  • Debt: $500
  • Other discretionary: $100

Tota: $2,100-$2,200

I lived in the East Bay, 25 min to 555 California St by Uber (which I could expense), slightly more by public transit (which I also expensed). I have no issue with getting my ass out of bed 15 minutes earlier in order to save an additional $1,000+ per month.

I ordered food through local restaurants as soon as I got into the office and consumed throughout the day. Expensed to the company. Never shopped at local grocers. Always purchased through Amazon -- free shipping to my doorstep + no sales tax. Clothes, part of "other discretionary" and purchased online as well for the sake of simplicity plus no sales tax. Exception was suits, which I had to have tailored, but that's a one-time expense. I hate the sales tax, too -- that's why I don't pay it.

I've never owned a car and don't plan on it either (just make sure you live near public transit), but if I did, you could add $500-$1,000 onto that. Bay area gas prices are more like 15%-20% above national average. At 1000 miles per month and 30 mpg, that's like $10-$12 extra per month. Not much.

There's this extremely popular blog on the Internet about a guy who lives in the Mission District who lives off $7,000/year. I've read through it and based on his circumstances and what he wants out of life, it makes sense and he's not BS'ing. Just a normal, cheap, non-materialistic lifestyle. A lot of immigrants in the city who work jobs paying under $30,000 don't pay more than $15,000 in living expenses. I grew up in a lower-middle class household in SF and I don't think our expenses were ever more than $40,000 a year combined, off about $70,000 in pre-tax salary (maybe close to $60k after-tax).

A lot of employers do pay lower or higher based on location. I know some do try to equate pay across locations, but it's not universal. I was actually considering Houston at one point, then I saw the salary was $65,000 base and realized it wasn't worth it. The $500 rent and no state taxes aren't going to be saving me the tens of thousands of dollars to make up for it. Not even close. Plus there just isn't that much work in those locations and they're almost totally niche specific. Houston is O&G/airlines; LA, gaming/lodging/leisure/real estate/fin sponsors; Chicago, industrials; DC, aerospace and defense; SF, tech and healthcare. Most people are best off in NYC, unless they really like a certain location, and it becomes much easier to interview and network from NYC as opposed to elsewhere.

If you stick it out in finance, you should be making $300k-$400k or more by your mid-to-late 20's. As for having a family, assuming your combined income is around $500k you should easily be able to afford a house if you want. And you're very likely to have that asset appreciate in SF or the Silicon Valley as opposed to most other parts of the country where there'll be essentially zero appreciation in real terms.

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Apr 24, 2016

+1, I appreciate the post and apologize for being confrontational in my initial comment. We are very similar in that we both live well within our means. I was equally frugal my first year. Starting this summer, my income will be double what it was my first year, but my budget is increasing by about 20%. I agree that most cities are very livable on 100k. My point was similar to yours in that most people are unwilling to be frugal, especially when they're making a salary that affords both needs and wants. I heard of a few people in NYC who ended their first analyst year with credit card debt. That's after $140k+ gross.

This is the other extreme, but I was mainly trying to highlight that life can cost more than you think and for those looking for a luxurious quality of life, high CoL areas aren't the best places to go. You and I could easily survive in SF, but those upper-middle class kids who go out twice a week clubbing and getting drinks will have a hard time. When you're making good money and not counting pennies, it's very easy to slip into a habit of spending a little more here and there, which can really add up over time. Especially when you're working long hours, people sometimes feel they deserve to spend, which can obviously be a very dangerous mentality.

Agree on the housing note if you decide to stay in finance, but I still find it ridiculous that you need that level of income for housing that is considered paltry in the rest of the U.S. I'm from a town where houses started at 100k to put this in perspective.

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Apr 24, 2016

Definitely agree on all points. Money brings out strong emotions in people, and the results are often pretty unfortunate. Just look at professional athletes and how so many of them are bankrupt a few years after retirement. Or lottery winners who blow it all. Or those from wealthy Native American tribes (who each get paid six/seven figures a year from the tribe's gaming revenue for doing nothing) and a majority don't save anything or very little.

There's nothing wrong with those who feel they deserve a Ferrari and would like to go clubbing while they're still young when they've busted their asses for years getting into a top school, top grades/scores, top internships, and so forth. But at the same time, people need to be careful about taking on higher debt and basically chaining themselves to the job going forward. It's very easy to go up budget-wise, but extremely hard to come back down.

Apr 24, 2016

I think there are a large number of people attracted to the pay, but also the exit opportunities. I had someone in IB tell me once that they felt that they could lateral over to just about any career in finance and their work ethic and ability would never be questioned - only their willingness to do the job.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

Apr 24, 2016

@1234bama: This is one of the best posts ever posted on WSO.

Apr 25, 2016

Cost of living here is more evidence:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/how...

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

Apr 25, 2016

It looks like just about every city in their sample is behind their "money needed to live on" calculations. Apparently Philadelphians earn 37% less than what they would need and Miami people are 60% behind. According to the author, I guess Omaha (#11) and Wichita (#6) are the way to go with their $40k-ish median incomes. No thanks. The best finance job in town would be toilet scrubber at the local Edward Jones.

Apr 25, 2016

Dude, I hear ya, I only posted the link as a rough guide, the best places to live are usually the most expensive.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Apr 25, 2016

Most people don't have the balls to ask themselves, "what really makes me happy?", answer that question, and live in a manner consistent with the answer. You're talking about kids who have lived lives incredibly consumed with what others expect of them, plus throw in too many "American Psycho" showing, and you've got yourself a prospective banker.

Apr 28, 2016

I just noticed that none of the college kids on this forum had any convincing arguments in this thread.

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Apr 28, 2016

I am considering getting a law degree after my Finance degree. Will this help me get into IB?

Edit: Why the monkey shit?

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Apr 28, 2016

No. IBD's recruit from undergrad, experienced hires, (respected) MBA's, and the occasional MSF primarily. Exceptions would be just that, exceptions, not the rule.

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Apr 28, 2016

It will not help you get into IB. There are lawyers who work in IB, but I'm not sure why you would want to get a law degree if you have the intention of going into IB.

I am sorry someone MS'd you. I have SB'd to balance it out.

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Apr 28, 2016

SB for generosity on the internet

Apr 28, 2016

Thank you throwaway82694, Zanderman and 1234bama! In this case, I won't pursue a law degree, but a one-year law certificate offered by a local university. I didn't intend to practice law, I simply want to learn enough of it to avoid getting screwed in life. If you guys would have said it does help me in Finance, I would do the whole thing.

As a follow-up question: My university offers an Undergraduate Financial Engineering degree and I have the opportunity to take it. Should I?

It's not a direct route to IB, but I see it as a way to get more rigorous knowledge of Finance. Am I wrong to think that?

Apr 28, 2016

No but it can get you into M&A law if you go to a top law school. Or you could go to the legal dept at a bb.

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Apr 29, 2016

Good question, I cannot understand why anyone would give you a monkey shit, really weird.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

Apr 28, 2016

@1234bama" I'm sure we all have our own reasons specific to our backgrounds. Some may be great reasons, but even for something like prestige, that's a good reason. What's wrong with taking. A job you can feel good about?

Apr 30, 2016

As mentioned above, visibility and exposure has a lot to do with it. If you're from a top tier university, chances are that banking, consulting and maybe som tech (in the form of consulting) will have very high visibility on campus.

When I attended a shit-tier college, the we only had small local companies, city/state/gov. agencies, dead-end companies show up at career fairs and OCR. Through the 4 years, I can recall one "major" bank showing up ONCE.

Fast forward to grad school, which is a first tier business/econ school. 90% of the companies were MBB banking, big 4 consulting and big industry. 40% of graduates swarmed to Big 4 and second tier consulting firms, 30% to IB, and the rest were spread across industry giants in Oil/gas, pharma, etc. It's just apply for those jobs, when they're pretty much begging you to work for them. (Typical for feeder schools)

I also want to add that my classmates from grad school (whom had gone to far more prestigious undergrad schools than me, and were from more affluent families) seemed to have their career planned already around HS. I didn't even know what Investment Banking was before a year or two into college. I'm pretty sure that both parental influence and socioeconomic background counts a lot. The kids gunning the hardest for IB seems to have the same backgrounds: Middle to upper-middle class, parents working in finance/law/consulting/business/medicine, active in the same "safe" extracurricular activities, etc.

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May 2, 2016

[Deleted]

May 4, 2016

Thanks for this insight, do you have any pointers for us people who never went to the ivy league, first tier schools?

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

May 4, 2016

Well first of all, I think a significant number of people coming in at the analyst level are not interested in IB for the money they will make in two years, but rather for the exit opps. You may argue that for some of those that fall into this camp, ultimately the end desire is still money, and their belief is that 2 years of IB - > buyside -> money. But for others in that camp, they genuinely are interested in finance and see 2 years of banking as the right first step into building a career. If you like finance, you will like parts of banking, but obviously not all of it.

I would say there are also groups of people who (a) are doing banking because it's prestigious, helps build up a resume, and they aren't sure what they want to do career wise, and (b) those who are in it for the money right away.

As for the boutique vs BB thing, from what I see there is already a good amount of self-selection in that those who are really serious about finance and fall into the first camp will tend to go to boutiques. The interview processes at the boutiques tends to be more technical which favors that group of individuals. The BBs hire a larger and much broader mix of people who fall into all three of these camps. Having a BB on your resume is also more of a resume builder for those who aren't set on finance.

At the end of the day, it's also just impossible to really differentiate between legitimate interest in the field and the desire for money. Even on an individual level, much less looking at those around you.

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May 4, 2016

For me I think it is the level of responsibility you get compared to other jobs. I interned in operations at a large financial company and quickly realized how small a piece you end up being in the machine. Essentially, you had no real visibility or influence on the company's operations until you got your boss', boss', boss' job and even then there are tons of intermediate steps to take and a ton of luck involved in getting noticed and promoted.

For FT I started in a FLDP at a BB and the visibility was better but still lacking. A lot of our reports went to people very high up in the company, but its not like myself or my director ever really got a chance to even meet and talk through our analysis with the higher ups. This was left for my boss' boss who was CFO of the entire division and a 20+ year veteran in the industry. It became very frustrating to me how many levels there are in the corporate hierarchy and that I may not have the ability to make a noticeable impact for potentially decades.

This problem does not exist to this extent in IB. Even as an analyst I get the opportunity to meet with clients, speak with CEOs/CFOs/corp dev teams and talk intelligently with them about how their companies are run. There is an up and out policy, IE there are not 40 year old analysts, and eventually you either make money or you're out. This is not for everyone, but at least compared to corporate jobs, you have a chance to work with your whole team and your value (or lack of) becomes very clear.

May 4, 2016

you know, besides the big $$ you saw in salary statistics...

May 4, 2016

i feel that being through ibanking experience will help you later in life..i think it's a great learning opportunity and it will make you a tougher business person, something like "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.." and of course good $$. My theory is that while you are young you have nothing to lose and only go forward..i personaly dont care about working 100+ a week..while im young and full of energy it shouldnt matter...even though people have different opinions and someone likes to sit on the couch on the weekends and drink beer..i feel like ive done enough of it and probably a lot more while being in college..

May 4, 2016

"i personaly dont care about working 100+ a week"

Oh really. Do you study 100+ hours a week now to get a 3.95 GPA?

"..i feel like ive done enough of it and probably a lot more while being in college.."

..... :p hahahahaha

May 4, 2016

Respect.

I come from a large family of modest means. I could not afford to go to some of the better schools I was accepted to. I want the challenge of not only getting into IBD, but also being one of the best. If you can make it through 100+ hours a week and prove yourself at this level, there's very little you won't be capable of.

IBD is a proving ground that ties in with my love for finance. If I loved medicine I would've tried to become a neurosurgeon or whatever position is the most challenging to attain. If I loved law I would be busting my ass all year to get into a top law school.

I'm not there yet, and I might not be there until I get my MBA, but I will make sure I get there for a chance to prove to myself that I can do it.

May 4, 2016

ah, truly well indoctrinated.

What did you get on your SAT's?

" If you can make it through 100+ hours a week and prove yourself at this level, there's very little you won't be capable of."

Have you made it with 100 + hours a week of schoolwork and class-attending?

"IBD is a proving ground that ties in with my love for finance."

Are you related to Alex Vayner? Will you be in the process of the high prestigious designation called the series seven....

May 4, 2016

It's good that you posted this question, only to mock every answer that's been given. Lots of value being added here.

What do you consider an appropriate response?

May 4, 2016

"What do you consider an appropriate response?"

I'm still waiting for them. If ppl write this stuff in their cover letter...

May 4, 2016

Also, you are a member for 6 days, with 106 posts? Clearly you are not in banking, as you have so much free time. Furthermore, are you not still in school? Thus, in what way are you qualified to judge others?

May 4, 2016

cause its what everyone else is doing, what recourse do we have.

May 4, 2016
sternfox:

."i personaly dont care about working 100+ a week"

Oh really. Do you study 100+ hours a week now to get a 3.95 GPA?

"..i feel like ive done enough of it and probably a lot more while being in college.."

..... :p hahahahaha

No, i do not study 100 hrs a week and i do not have 3.95 gpa..i study hard and i party a lot harder with my frat brothers while im not doing work..and excuse me mr. sternfox, did you post this topic to actually find out what is on people's minds or you just want to be sarcastic and laugh at people who are actually serious about their responses?

May 4, 2016

"Also, you are a member for 6 days, with 106 posts? Clearly you are not in banking, as you have so much free time. Furthermore, are you not still in school? Thus, in what way are you qualified to judge others?"

It's been a very slow week, kiddo. But I'm still here and it's 1 AM. No, I've graduated and enjoying this. It's so fascinating learning about those with unique insight and those individual struggles,drive, and ambition.

May 4, 2016

Why don't you answer the question yourself then?

May 4, 2016

Stern Fox is a fucking faggot and I am wasted right now and if he was at a bar and I saw him (which I wouldn't because he is a bitch who likes the dick) I would beat his ass. Fucking ban this bitch already. Fuck you SternFox you pussy ass NY bitch.

May 4, 2016

You know, you mock people who have said that they have worked long hours before. sternfox, how do you know what people have gone through? I worked 3 jobs, one of which was full time (I had no downtime to do classwork and lunch was eaten at the desk), while doing a full courseload, while applying for jobs + interviewing. Granted it was only for a single semester, but I assure you 100 hours was the norm for me... so stop downgrading everyone's experiences and opinions.

My personal response (feel free to judge):
I'm looking to do banking because I feel it is the best way for me to position myself to get into a top business school and pursue whatever I find I want to pursue after a few years in the workforce. I find that I really enjoy finance and want to see if it is what I want to do in life. Finally, as someone who doesn't live for the "nightlife" it is worth it for me to sacrifice a good portion of my free time in exchange for the benefits of banking (which go beyond cash).

May 4, 2016

Well said.

CompBanker:

You know, you mock people who have said that they have worked long hours before. sternfox, how do you know what people have gone through? I worked 3 jobs, one of which was full time (I had no downtime to do classwork and lunch was eaten at the desk), while doing a full courseload, while applying for jobs + interviewing. Granted it was only for a single semester, but I assure you 100 hours was the norm for me... so stop downgrading everyone's experiences and opinions.

My personal response (feel free to judge):
I'm looking to do banking because I feel it is the best way for me to position myself to get into a top business school and pursue whatever I find I want to pursue after a few years in the workforce. I find that I really enjoy finance and want to see if it is what I want to do in life. Finally, as someone who doesn't live for the "nightlife" it is worth it for me to sacrifice a good portion of my free time in exchange for the benefits of banking (which go beyond cash).

PLEASE DONT CHANGE EXCEL SHORTCUTS!!!

May 4, 2016

yeah, but, seriously, WHY do you want to be a banker???

"If you can make it through 100+ hours a week and prove yourself at this level, there's very little you won't be capable of" is a pretty lame reponse. i mean, think about it -- not only is the claim specious, it doesn't even answer the question.

May 4, 2016
radugswasatch69:

yeah, but, seriously, WHY do you want to be a banker???

"If you can make it through 100+ hours a week and prove yourself at this level, there's very little you won't be capable of" is a pretty lame reponse. i mean, think about it -- not only is the claim specious, it doesn't even answer the question.

Michael Milken was like these young ambitious prodigies. He stayed locked up in his dorm, 100 hours a week studying junk bonds while he was studying at Wharton. He revolutionized the bond market. Instead of going out and protesting against the Vietnam war. This year, he made One Billion dollars.

May 4, 2016

Stern Fox quit being a bitch and tell us who you work for you fucking self righteoud pussy. You have probably been one of the pussy ass bitches I would have beat the shit out of in high school or one of the bitches who hid in the library behind all his books. FUCK YOU PUSSY FAGGOT.

May 4, 2016

unless you're a VP/MD coming up with an idea for a deal, or devising a unique tax structure (in which case you're probably not in IBD, but i'll let that slide) etc, i.e. you're < 2nd year associate, YOUR contribution to the project is laughable. think 10-15 years out -- the grunt work of putting together semi-complex models doesn't exist.

May 4, 2016

unless you're a VP/MD coming up with an idea for a deal, or devising a unique tax structure (in which case you're probably not in IBD, but i'll let that slide) etc, i.e. you're < 2nd year associate, YOUR contribution to the project is laughable. think 10-15 years out -- the grunt work of putting together semi-complex models doesn't exist.

May 4, 2016

I'm pursuing IB for the exciting work experience and the exit opportunities. The money is also a really nice perk. IB is a challenge and I think it would be exciting to have part in important transactions that take place between corporations.

May 4, 2016
iwannabeabanker:

I'm pursuing IB for the exciting work experience and the exit opportunities. The money is also a really nice perk. IB is a challenge and I think it would be exciting to have part in important transactions that take place between corporations.

It's very exciting. During my youth, I grew to love this program called microsoft word and powerpoint, now I love the excel.

May 4, 2016

Don't get so upset guys...sternfox is simply exhibiting the level of wit and sparkling personality I have found common among Stern students.

May 4, 2016

Investment bankers integrate efficient financial models into strategizing undefined sectors by modeling pro forma management and organizational elements and plotting forecasted modified and integrated supply chains to produce vast operating synergies.

Mergers and Acquisitions advisory perform heroic feats of valuing the company with optimal super-elite management to alter the investment, financing, and dividend policies.

May 4, 2016

right, because you, personally, on your M&A team, has the forecasting prowess and diligence to look at unchartered markets, to look at every aspect of the business and attempt to figure out how to, inter alia, value transfer prices so as to incentivize more efficient utilization of assets, restructure the enterprise to optimize tax structure. no, you make a guess. an educated guess, to be sure, possibly founded on an assessment from a consulting or accounting firm, but still a guess. perhaps you spent some time in this realm in a prior career, but as a banker i doubt you've spent time with the data, doing the analysis, talking with management at all levels of the entity, in order to realize or even estimate those efficiencies.

May 4, 2016

English???

May 4, 2016

And you want to be a banker?

May 4, 2016

I was waiting for that.

May 4, 2016

Luckily for iwannabeabanker, you don't need to know finance to get a banking job.

May 4, 2016
CompBanker:

Luckily for iwannabeabanker, you don't need to know finance to get a banking job.

You are a statistical outlier. The banking elite' will not be you.

May 4, 2016

The fees paid to bankers may be somewhat high, but really just represent the value the company puts on the transaction. The same happened during the early years of the internet boom. Tons of highschool and college kids taught themselves PHP scripting then sold their service as a website creator and charged high prices. These prices were meant to represent the value of the product for the customer. In banking, the value of an M&A, IPO, SEO etc transaction is so high that banks can charge the prices they do.

For me, I want to do ibanking (besides for the money) because I am interested in the fundamental parts of finance. Asset valuation is one of the most important aspects of society--especially one that has a capitalist free market. Along with this I am interested in business... in the way it creates value in a society.... so getting involved with business transactions in investment banking is a great way to get a much broader experience with businesses as opposed to working with just one. I think the profession is paid more than seems is justified, but again it really comes down to valuation based on demand as opposed to specifically valuing the product from its costs or inputs. In the upcoming years, I think competitors that will cut costs and provide the service to companies at a lower cost is certainly a possibility. The fact remains, however, that actually figuring out a value to place on the asset and specifically working with these deals is something that does require a lot of work and expertise. Almost every country that has tried to auction shares on an open market for an IPO has rejected this method for book building because of all the problems of market valuation by individuals as opposed to a bank.

May 4, 2016

"The fees paid to bankers may be somewhat high, but really just represent the value the company puts on the transaction. .... In banking, the value of an M&A, IPO, SEO etc transaction is so high that banks can charge the prices they do."

the value of an IPO or other offering, I would agree. not so much with M&A -- there too many M&A failures (excluding middle market or small companies being purchased) too substantiate it. but bankers are good salesman, and people get mezmorized by wordsy like "synergy," "supply chain optimization", etc.

"For me, I want to do ibanking (besides for the money) because I am interested in the fundamental parts of finance. Asset valuation is one of the most important aspects of society--especially one that has a capitalist free market. Along with this I am interested in business... in the way it creates value in a society.... so getting involved with business transactions in investment banking is a great way to get a much broader experience with businesses as opposed to working with just one."

this i would agree with and endorse. too bad that doesn't get you the job, or does it? too academic of a response?

May 4, 2016

Most people when asked on the question of why they want to be a IB, have offered answers that indicate they are using IB as a stepping stone to another end. I am curios to ask of those in IB ,what percentage of analysts fit this description and more importantly what percentage of analysts are actually looking to IB as a career?

May 4, 2016

"Asset valuation is one of the most important aspects of society--especially one that has a capitalist free market. "

HAHAHAHAHA

yeah, those communists and nazis' don't perform asset valuation.

"but really just represent the value the company puts on the transaction. .... "

check the empirical studies on corporate merger's and aquisitions. Better yet, study the history of them. From the 60s to today.

May 4, 2016

Sternfox, given that you were so surprised to hear that 1st year analysts make 6 figures, I seriously doubt you are an investment banker.

Since your arrival on this board, you have done nothing but mock people, when your own credibility is very much in question. You are adding absolutely nothing of value to this forum, and polluting every thread you post on with your nonsense.

I think this thread has run its course.

May 4, 2016

I think this is due to ibanking industry taking anyone with a decent gpa. So anyone who ends up wtih a 3.5 or above wants a shot at ibanking because of the money. 90% of them think that "Long Hours" is a 60 hour work week.

Me on the other hand, I'm researching everything about the industry, reading books left and right, so I know what to expect. I know I'm not going to burn out after 6 months like a lot of other people because I know what I'm getting myself info.

This is why the turnover rate in Ibanking is so high, because employers aren't being honest about what the job entails.

May 4, 2016

I think thats because mostly they hire kids with good gpa. GPA doesn't reflect much about the person other than the fact that he/she "choose" to study this much from the books. Do note that, luck plays a big factor as well for a lot of students when it comes to marks (especially duing finals, at least it did for me and a few other friends of mine). Besides, that material studied in school is something kids never end up using at IB. So they can't see themsleves going on doing it (since thats not what they went to school for).

I did my good 10 yards of research in all the other career before starting to look into it.

May 4, 2016

There's only one most senior guy at the bank. There's a ton of PE firms.

May 4, 2016

as shortvolwhynot said there are only a few positions for top bankers and many PE/HFs.

May 4, 2016

So no one goes into IBD by pure passion?

May 4, 2016
cutestorm:

So no one goes into IBD by pure passion?

What does this even mean? IBD and passion... does not compute.

May 4, 2016

Also curious because once you get asked "why IBD" you almost have to lie since you'll get slammed in your face when you say you use IBD to move to the buyside. Isn't the holy grail for interviews always to tell the truth?

May 4, 2016
Space_Marine:

Also curious because once you get asked "why IBD" you almost have to lie since you'll get slammed in your face when you say you use IBD to move to the buyside. Isn't the holy grail for interviews always to tell the truth?

Seeing that your job as a senior banker is to lie for a living no not rly.

Ppl tend to leave ibd because its just a shitty career lol. Your comp vs hours vs quality of work trade off is the worst out of all finance front office.

May 4, 2016

This is either really good sarcasm or you are you are going to be working in the mailroom for a long time

May 4, 2016

That's what I'm planning on doing IBD then HF

May 4, 2016

Any insights from european folks?

May 4, 2016
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