When I graduated from college in 1999, a bunch of my fellow first-year classmates at GS proudly proclaimed they had either found a great one bedroom to rent or had purchased a condo somewhere in Manhattan.
At the time, I always scratched my head and wondered how they could afford to pay $2,000+/month for rent or $500,000 for a condo when our base salary was only $40,000 at the time.
As I got to know my classmates better, however, I learned many of them came from very wealthy families. There was a disproportionately large number of classmates who went to private universities. One classmate’s dad had been the Prime Minister of Canada. Another classmate’s parents were GS Private Wealth Management clients, where the minimum to be a client was having $25 million in investable assets.
Here I was, sharing a studio with my high school buddy for a total of $1,800 a month because neither of us wanted to spend over $1,000 a month on rent. A year later, my roommate abandoned me because his parents bought him a one-bedroom condo near the United Nations building for $260,000. Now that was a good buy.
Over time, I’ve come to realize there is no one specific way to achieve financial independence. Many people actually view having their parents buy them cars and homes after graduating from college as perfectly normal. As the bull market rages on, there will probably be even more support for adult children.
Although it feels GREAT to make your own money, the slog is often extremely difficult to sustain. Relying on your parents to get ahead is a much easier way to go.