You're too fucking privileged.

This is neither a troll post nor an inspirational story so keep your box of tissues out of this. Wall Street has a major issue, and it's not WFH hours. It's the complaining of bottom-bucket, self-entitled analysts that grew up spoon-fed the luxury of having the world bend to their every social, academic, or professional request. The types that get their first handjob by making a girl (or guy) feel sorry for them and do it out of pity. Ironically, the analysts from the Goldman survey begging for their voices to be heard are parasites and part of the reason why the camaraderie of the industry is being driven to all-time lows. Before I receive monkey-shit for this wildly unpopular opinion, let me explain my situation and why I'm not complaining.

Edit 2: Blah, blah, blah. Boring "sob story" that blurred the main point of this post. I've come to realize that this job boils down to a matter of perspective. Judging from the banana to monkey shit ratio, opinions have been mixed on whether my approach is the right one, and I respect that.

Edit 3: Analyst 2 in M&A seems cool. I'm a big fan of Always Sunny.

I began working in an industry coverage group at a top BB (GS, JPM, MS) ~8 months ago and have averaged 90+ hour weeks since. The experience has been stressful as others on this forum have discussed but I am otherwise content. Why? My signing bonus alone was higher than my household income growing up and I don't have a plan B. Money talks and I'm willing to listen, evidently more than others. Anyone complaining about working a lot of hours while earning 3x the median household income at the age of 22 needs to check their fucking privilege.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but nobody cares about your lack of work-life balance or that you're missing out on Thirsty Thursdays. You're bitching about associates, vice presidents, and managing directors asking you to do unbearably mundane tasks while still finding a way to fuck up. You're sweating bullets aligning logos, conducting market research, and redacting confidential information from documents that take 0.1% of the mental aptitude needed to pass an organic chemistry exam. As an analyst (myself included) you are a disposable asset that takes 1.8 years to break even on. You lack the ability to make any meaningful strategic, revenue-generating contributions in either deal sourcing or intellectual thought. I urge you to quit and truly hope that you can find the time to binge-watch Netflix working a run-of-the-mill 9-5 job without getting offended when your manager asks you to send a Zoom link. Maybe, just maybe, you'll be happy then.

Sorry for not conforming to this site's circle jerk of hating on investment banks in 2021. I hope feeling sorry for yourselves helps you get through the day and wish everyone the best of luck in these unprecedented times. 

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Comments (70)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 19, 2021 - 4:39pm

As crushing as work has been, this post is weirdly refreshing to see. I've gotten the sense a herd mentality is forming that discourages people from seeing the silver lining of the job and just how valuable of an opportunity an investment banking role is, whether it be at a BB, IA, or MM.

I'm heading off to a UMM private equity fund with a particularly harsh culture in the next few months. The thought of having to develop an investor mindset early and beginning to get judged on the quality of my thoughts (and not how nicely formatted my appendix slides are) is incredibly daunting, especially after seeing the pedigree of the firm's senior team.

Mar 20, 2021 - 12:43am

If you suck senior cock as much as I think you do as exhibited by your post, then I think you'll do well in the UMM PE firm. In PowerPoint presentations, your title will be the junior cock sucker.

Array
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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 19, 2021 - 5:57pm

I don't fully agree with OP but don't think his/her intention was to necessarily invalidate the experience of anyone in a position more difficult than that of a well-paid (yet unfairly worked and abused) junior analyst. Still think he/she made some valid points though. Mentioning the homelessness of veterans on a finance forum is ridiculous. Just my two cents.

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Mar 19, 2021 - 5:18pm

Not really related to what you said but I have sent so many cold emails+ hopped on network calls trying to land a boutique internship... idk what I'm doing wrong. Would you be able to give me some advice on how to be successful in this process?

  • Intern in Consulting
Mar 19, 2021 - 5:23pm

I see where you come from, but I don't agree 100%.

I go to a target business school (UVA, UMich, wharton, Stern, etc...) where a lot of people would loose a leg for a BB IB M&A job (Obviously a hyperbole).  These students know exactly what they're getting into.  As much as it sucks, they did it to themselves.  And literally hundreds of kids would do anything to be in their role, especially since there is a proven path to making over $1,000,000 in 10 years.  

That's exactly why I am doing consulting instead of IB.  I knew I was ok with long hours, but I didn't want the insane 90+ hour weeks and not get weekends.  People should do more introspection on what they are willing to take on/handle and not just follow the herd mentality of "everyone is doing this so I should."

However, here is where I disagree with you.

Just because people make a lot of money doesn't mean that the treatment is ok. Privileged people have hearts, feelings, mental health issues, and minds just like everyone else.  Does being privileged make bad treatment ok? Cursing at employees, giving them unrealistic deadlines, and giving people last minute work to do on a Friday night is not exactly the most humane way to go. 

Interestingly, One person in the Goldman survey said working at Goldman was worse than foster care.  Does he seem like he's privileged? 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 19, 2021 - 7:50pm

I mean, not really. Most target schools just have an econ major. My friend above listed some of the biggest targets that have an undergraduate business school.

Mar 19, 2021 - 7:21pm

Get one thing right, no one who hasn't done 90+ hours a week for a sustained period of time "knows what they're getting themselves into". One of the stupidest claims that perpetuates on this platform. It's an entirely different world when you have to put up day after day.

  • Intern in Consulting
Mar 19, 2021 - 10:30pm

My point is that you know how long the hours are going to be before you start the job.  So you can't all the sudden claim the the working conditions are too insane, you knew what the hours would be like beforehand.

Funniest
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 19, 2021 - 5:36pm

This is a dorky, boastful post, no different than most of the vomit that's become popular on LinkedIn. Try to get laid. You're going to break a rib sucking your dick this hard.

EDIT: I saw OP updated his post. For what it's worth to you, OP, and anyone throwing monkey shit at this, I come from a background "less privileged" than yours (first-gen immigrant born into a civil war, parents spoke little English, household took in little more than the poverty line, went to community college) but I don't dwell on it or confuse my roots as some weird qualification to decide where the line of entitlement gets drawn. Hating on others for deciding the life:money balance tradeoff didn't make sense for them is weak and reveals poor form.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 19, 2021 - 6:04pm

The criticisms are real and broadly understood and accepted... you're the overeager one here. If the job means that much to you and you're ok with awful conditions - great. Don't shove your background in other people's faces.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Mar 19, 2021 - 6:08pm

Don't shoot me but I don't see why this massive fuh-NANCE hardo is getting so much hate. With the amount of monkey shit accumulating on this post, it's starting to look like my portfolio. He seems a lot happier/satisfied/numb (idk if he has an emotional response and hope he never becomes my MD) than I currently am at work. Clearly, his trainwreck of perspective is working for him and serves as another reminder of why I'm exiting to corp dev.

Mar 19, 2021 - 6:24pm

I'm personally alright with people drawing attention to the ridiculous nature of some aspects of IB (100+ hour weeks, useless decks, unnecessarily tight deadlines, archaic administrative processes). I do think that the IB industry needs to give its head a shake and figure out how to move into the present with its technology and processes.

However, what will always bother me is the people that say "well I've been working hard and work from home sucks so I deserve some sort of gift or excessive increase in compensation" (see Jefferies Peloton / Apple / Mirror offer). You get paid an incredibly large amount in this industry, especially for a fresh undergrad. While I agree that people in senior ranks should owe you respect and mentorship, I do not believe they owe you large, material gifts or possessions. This is where I have seen large amounts of entitlement really show itself recently. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 19, 2021 - 7:28pm

Prospects, look! Working hard = "peaking in college." I wish I had half the work ethic that OP does. If it wasn't for my dad's golf buddies I seriously doubt I would have this job and you can't hate on the guy for setting his mind to what he wants.

OP is giving me some major Patrick Bateman vibes though. He probably returns videotapes after work...

Mar 19, 2021 - 7:16pm

I think one thing that doesn't get mentioned is analyst and MD not being on the same page. Many analysts don't realize:

1. They are a commodity product. Very little barrier to entry in IB other than the # of spots there are

2. Just like them, their MD's M&A / financing advise over the years has largely also been commoditized (fee's are squeezed. More MD's chasing the overall pie of fee's).

For most at the top, marketing material, pitches, non-live deals are equally as important as the live deals. When analysts complain about (why can't my MD learn to say no to the client), they really don't understand that relationships at that level are an all or nothing sort of bid. Here's what would happen:

Client asks for an overall M&A landscape and firepower options for leveraging up for an acquisition. 

Your MD says "nah, my analysts are overstaffed as is"

Client goes to the next best MD and gives this deal to them. Your MD can forget about getting business from this client for the near future. Your job? Poof.

Mar 19, 2021 - 7:59pm

Thank you. I get it because I was also an analyst in a sweatshop coverage group. Now the tables have been flipped and I'm in a role responsible for revenue at my own shop.

One of the sayings that just absolutely grinds my gears is when a junior says "do we really need that extra $10 mil in fees? Our groups generating a billion in fee's already this year! Let's focus on sustainability here for the juniors....."...... ding ding..... you think it was half-ass thoughts like this leaving money on the table that got your group the first billion in fee's you are "taking for granted?" 

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 19, 2021 - 8:36pm

Analyst 1 in IB - Ind

Whether you like it or not, I am a highly intelligent but, most important, hardworking individual who doesn't find the need to please everyone.

You sound like a loser trying to cope

Mar 19, 2021 - 8:39pm

When your back is to the wall, u take the abuse as it puts food on the table and roof over your head. U are your family's financial lifeline - u are their safety net so u can't afford to fail. It is different mentality when u know u don't have anyone to fall back on and u need to succeed. Most of the kids in Walk Street have parents who they can fall back on.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 19, 2021 - 8:50pm

I understand where you're coming from because I have a similar background, but I don't think this is a fair argument. An analyst's choices weren't between banking and poverty - obviously the former is nothing compared to the latter. More realistically, you could be an IB analyst or have chosen a more chill finance job with still very good pay or tech or something. The choice isn't that black and white, and the majority of people would choose to be somewhere in the middle of making stable money with somewhat of a life over either extreme. 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Mar 19, 2021 - 8:53pm

With that chip on your shoulder, you sound just as douchy (if not more) as the privileged kids you despise. 

Sorry and too bad you had a shitty life growing up. What do you want us to do about it? Just because you had it rough, so should everyone else? That's some pussy shit right there...a real man would try to open doors for others with compassion. 

I don't think anyone on here is bitching about long hours, the beef is with excessively long hours, which have gotten worse with WFH. Higher ups need to prioritize and manage mandates like juniors who are expected to do the same with their work. More than 80 hours isn't sustainable and most of the work doesn't lead to winning deals. Also, M&A deals don't get done overnight, so why is everything always urgent?

If MDs manage client expectations better, then everyone will be better off. Instead MDs just lay it on thick because they only care about lining their own pockets-- not like they have to stay up until 3 AM doing grunt work. 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Gen
Mar 19, 2021 - 9:18pm

This is so cringe. I'd rather hear bottom bucket analysts complain than some guy sucking off the industry whilst discounting actual problems in the field.

Mar 19, 2021 - 9:26pm

Anonymous Monkey

This is neither a troll post nor an inspirational story so keep your box of tissues out of this. Wall Street has a major issue, and it's not WFH hours. It's the complaining of bottom-bucket, self-entitled analysts that grew up spoon-fed the luxury of having the world bend to their every social, academic, or professional request. The types that get their first handjob by making a girl (or guy) feel sorry for them and do it out of pity. Ironically, the analysts from the Goldman survey begging for their voices to be heard are parasites and part of the reason why the camaraderie of the industry is begin driven to all-time lows. Before I receive monkey-shit for this wildly unpopular opinion, let me explain my situation and why I'm not complaining.

I was raised by a single mother earning below the poverty line in a tier 2 city and attended a semi-target as the first person in my family to graduate high school on a full-ride, academic scholarship double majoring in economics and chemistry. I am not considered a diversity candidate by any stretch of the imagination. I learned about investment banking from a guest speaker at a finance club who has served as a mentor throughout my undergraduate career since that time. While in college, I cold-emailed my way into various boutique IB and LMM PE firms during the spring, winter, and summer sessions adamant about earning a coveted position in New York.

By the time applications for investment banking arrived, I had completed a total of 120+ networking calls and could intelligently speak about all 5 relevant internships under my belt. I read every BIWS technical guide 3 times over and conducted 5 mock interviews per week over an 8-month period. I completed the recruitment process with a total of 7 offers across BBs and IAs. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a 4.0 GPA across both disciplines and scored in the 99th percentile of the MCAT in my senior year. 

I began working in an industry coverage group at a top BB (GS, JPM, MS) ~8 months ago and have averaged 90+ hour weeks since. The experience has been stressful as others on this forum have discussed but I am otherwise content. Why? My signing bonus alone was higher than my household income growing up and I don't have a plan B. Money talks and I'm willing to listen, evidently more than others. Anyone complaining about working a lot of hours while earning 3x the median household income at the age of 22 needs to check their fucking privilege.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but nobody cares about your lack of work-life balance or that you're missing out on Thirsty Thursdays. You're bitching about associates, vice presidents, and managing directors asking you to do unbearably mundane tasks while still finding a way to fuck up. You're sweating bullets aligning logos, conducting market research, and redacting confidential information from documents that take 0.1% of the mental aptitude needed to pass an organic chemistry exam. As an analyst (myself included) you are a disposable asset that takes 1.8 years to break even on. You lack the ability to make any meaningful strategic, revenue-generating contributions in either deal sourcing or intellectual thought. I urge you to quit and truly hope that you can find the time to binge-watch Netflix working a run-of-the-mill 9-5 job without getting offended when your manager asks you to send a Zoom link. Maybe, just maybe, you'll be happy then.

As an add-on to my original post after reading the responses:

I apologize that my "sob story" of a background rubbed some of you the wrong way. I'm not doing this to brag. Rather, I thought this site could use a rare legit insider perspective instead of a tsunami of prospective interns. Whether you like it or not, I am a highly intelligent but, most importantly, hardworking individual who doesn't find the need to please everyone. Before you say GPA or standardized tests don't represent intelligence, unless you're the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, yes they do. That's why banks, that private equity firm you salivate over, MBA programs, and more use them as one of several indicators pointing to an applicant's chance of success.

To the A2 in M&A that commented "you're going to break a rib sucking your dick this hard," thanks for the productive input on the situation. Yes, it's starting to hurt my lumbar but I've been stretching in between deck revisions. 

I'm proud of my accomplishments and for overcoming adversity growing up in a community nationally synonymous with drug abuse and violence. My mother is receiving the medical care she deserves and my siblings have food on the table every night. Working 90-100 hours per week and taking shit from my superiors is a small price to pay for their wellbeing.

Sorry for not conforming to this site's circle jerk of hating on investment banks. I hope feeling sorry for yourselves helps you get through the day and wish everyone the best of luck in these unprecedented times. 

Holy, tell us how you really feel. Yes, you do have a valid point and for some one like myself that started taking care of myself at an early age and put myself through college, I hear you loud and clear. Some people will never understand their blessings or their own power. If a person hates their job they have choices, suck it up or move on.

SafariJoe, wins again!
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  • Summer Associate in CorpFin
Mar 19, 2021 - 9:54pm

Agreed, thank you for sharing your perspective. If you have an alternative to IB and don't want the hours, lateral. 100 other hungry kids where that job is the difference between generational poverty or wealth who will step up.

Mar 19, 2021 - 10:01pm

Agreed, thank you for sharing your perspective. If you have an alternative to IB and don't want the hours, lateral. 100 other hungry kids where that job is the difference between generational poverty or wealth who will step up.

Mar 19, 2021 - 11:44pm

Another person with very little emotional intelligence. You talk about how you're not a spoon-fed rich kid but then are using your background to shame people for wanting a culture that literally doesn't involve them working for 100 hours as well. I'm glad that you can take care of your mom--good for you, but you seem like an absolute asshole of a person to be around. But seriously, nobody gives a fuck about your background man, cry me a river. Why don't you fuck off you entitled jackass. YES ENTITLED. Because you talk like because you didn't grow up rich, you're entitled to have the final verdict on this issue that everyone has a right to complain about. Shit wasn't easy for me either growing up, nor is it easy for me now. Don't hear me out here trying to bury people for wanting better cultures.

Also, this guy used every singly WSO tiering/abbreviation in the books in this post lmao. Who the fuck seriously describes where they're from as a "tier 2 city" lmao.

Dayman?
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  • Intern in S&T - Equities
Mar 19, 2021 - 11:47pm

idk why you should complain about working 100 hours, you literally give your life away when you sign that contract and you know what you are getting into, especially at a firm like GS and a group like TMT. However toxic culture is what should be called out.

Mar 19, 2021 - 11:50pm

I mean I definitely get why people complain. Knowing what something is like from the outside before you start is a lot different than when you actually start doing it, so it is probably still a lot for some people. I don't really bitch about it myself but to not understand why is a little dull. It is most often directly correlated with toxic culture, overbearing seniors, and unrealistic/impossible expectations.

Dayman?
Mar 20, 2021 - 7:13am

Maybe you're right. However, I think the people who feel the need to shit on other people like he did are the same ones that would back down from a real fight. Seems like all talk for no real reason.

Dayman?
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 20, 2021 - 7:13am

Perhaps and it is also a broad generalization. I felt op is targeting those types of bankers that are from the east coast elite prep school crowd that followed this path and are now self loathing. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 20, 2021 - 1:52am

Just curious, why did you spend time that you don't have typing this out - shouldn't you be working? Put your head down, stfu, and keep working since you like it so much.

Mar 20, 2021 - 1:52am

I get where you're coming from but it's downright stupid to say that the physical and mental toll tons of analysts are taking as a result of WFH is some pussy task not worth complaining about. First of all, it's relative - absolute kudos to you for overcoming such difficulties, I don't think anyone would dispute that. But to say that juniors who are being subjected to nonstop 100-120 hour weeks with little to zero human interaction, constant abuse and stress from seniors, seemingly endless tunnels of work, severe degradation of physical and mental health, and zero separation from what I just described and home, is just insulting to those. 

Yes, they are lucky to have banking jobs which pay lots of money but having to endure actual torturous conditions is no joke and while it doesn't compare to having a rough upbringing for a variety of reasons, it doesn't make sense to just brush off what (and many of whom have also struggled to get there, not all the "silver spoon" types you've described) what folks are going through. 

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  • Intern in S&T - Equities
Mar 20, 2021 - 7:13am

i think people should be grateful they have a job in IB which essentially sets up their life forever(exit ops and what not) and pays well- when there are still kids/people in third world countries working these hours, doing physical labor, earning bare minimum just to put food on their plate. People need to be grateful about their situation, I understanding complaining about the culture, yes they can improve but people need to start looking at other perspectives.

Mar 20, 2021 - 7:13am

So I agree that people with these jobs at this stage in their lives should be grateful etc. but there is a certain limit to which one can be pushed to. This mentality frustrates me a bit because yes, you're getting paid a lot and have a great gig that so many would kill for but how can you expect to thrive or be grateful when there is 1) constant stress from abusive or mismanaging seniors 2) you're waking up, walking to your desk, working for 18-20hrs, then walking to your bed *rinse and repeat* 3) unable to engage in any human interaction outside of work zoom calls 4) asked to engage in more and more work even as the current workload you have is seemingly insurmountable and 5) literally stationary for the majority of your life with little to no opportunity to engage in any physical movement due to how much work is required of you? Sure there are people in third world countries who undoubtedly have it tougher but is it really fair to make that comparison? One can always make cliche platitudes on how xyz population has it worse than our junior bankers but in terms of being an effective comparison, it's useless. The treatment junior bankers get isn't necessary inhumane (though many may argue it is) to the degree that others in the world may be suffering, but by no means is having this job a golden ticket to accepting the kind of lifestyle I mentioned earlier. And I do believe a lot of it has to do with the WFH expectation of working 24/7 so hopefully being back in the office can mitigate how regularly these kinds of hours are pulled. 

Stream of musings from me, feel free to debate

Mar 20, 2021 - 2:00am

I'm an international student who grew up in a third world country. My dad had a similar upbringing to yours and would tell me the exact same things you wrote in your post. If he saw the way I am behaving right now, not working my hardest nor doing the best I can while he's done just that to provide me with everything I need (including full tuition ffs), he'd loose his mind. And he'd be right to do so.

Thank you OP for this post. It's a wake up call for me.

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