Should I Work On Wall Street? The Pros Of Working In Finance

Wall Street

Are you wondering: Should I work on Wall Street? I worked on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse (RIP) for 13 years. It was a good career that enabled me to retire early, build investment wealth, and grow Financial Samurai.

Therefore, in summary, I recommend working on Wall Street if you are given a job offer. You can make a lot more money on Wall Street than in most other industries.

After you make a lot of money, you can then do something else that provides more meaning to you.

Working In Finance Is Hard

In my post, “Suck It Up Already! Suffering Is A Rite Of Passage,” I discussed how going to the media to rat out your company is a dishonorable thing to do. If I was a manager, I'd never hire someone who couldn't resolve his/her differences in private. What I didn't expect was for a reader to comment that I had done the same!

See Virginia's comment below,

“I kind of feel like you ratted out your company because you are constantly saying how awful it was working on Wall Street.”

Before this comment, I never believed I ratted out the companies I worked for. Discussing an industry is much different from bagging on a specific company. 

I shared stories about how it was tough work coming in at 5:30am and leaving after 7:30pm almost every day in NYC. The pressure to perform was immense. But not once have I ever spoken poorly about either of my two employers. How could I, when they took a chance on me for 13 years?

Yes, working on Wall Street is an ass-kicking, but there's a lot of good as well. To dispel any perception that I didn't appreciate my time there, I'm going to talk about the benefits of working in finance. I realize it's much more popular to crap on Wall Street. But it's good to see the other side. 

Benefits Of Working On Wall Street (Finance)

When I say Wall Street, I mean investment banking, corporate finance, sales and trading, and wealth management. I'm not talking about working at a commercial bank or working in an operations, tech, or HR role at a Wall Street firm.

Here are the benefits of working on Wall Street.

1. You get to make a solid income. 

Let's address the elephant in the room first. Today, analysts right out of college can make a base salary of $110,000 – $150,000 as of 2024. Then there is a first-year bonus of usually between $50,000 – $100,000 in a good year when joining a major firm.

When I left in 2012, a Director level salary was $250,000 on average, and a Managing Director salary was $400,000 – $450,000. That's a lot of money, especially since bonuses can easily equal 1-2X your salary in a normal year.

Wall Street Compensation By Level
The key to making a lot of money is surviving for 10 years on Wall Street

The Importance Of Attending A Top School To Get Into Finance

If you want to work on Wall Street, you will likely have to go to a top university. Wall Street tends to focus its hiring from the top 25 schools.

Below is Harvard's post-graduate employment by industry for 2022. Notice how most go into management consulting, finance, and tech. The median income of Ivy League graduates is much higher because most work in these industries.

Harvard's post-graduate employment by industry for 2022

2. You learn how to work under pressure.

Whether it's working a large order for a tier 1 institutional client, trying to rank in the top three in their latest broker vote, or getting a request to go back into the office at 11:30pm to finish a pitch, working on Wall Street toughens you up so that anything you do afterward becomes easily manageable.

You begin to thrive under pressure, making you a valuable asset if you want to join a startup, a sports team, or any organization where production or death is the requirement.

3. You build a tremendous amount of endurance and tenacity.

Wall Street is famous for working their analysts and associates 80 – 100 hours a week. After a couple years of working such long hours, you start building an endurance. Many people give up way to0 early before the good stuff begins to happen.

They can't take the rejections, the pressure, the late nights, and the early mornings. Once you regularly work 12+ hour days, you'll be able to produce so much more than your competitors in many other industries.

Most of all, you develop grit. With grit, it's hard to fail because you keep on trying.

4. You deepen your knowledge.

In order to be good at your job on the front lines, you've got to be knowledgeable about economics, politics, companies, and investing. You've got to know your stuff if you want to add value for clients. Otherwise, they'll just do a deal with the next gung ho person at another firm.

Because there's always something new to learn, there's always a new challenge. When you're constantly feeling challenged, you're motivated to do much more. There was something new to learn every day I came into the office.

With my knowledge from working on Wall Street for 13 years, I wrote an instant Wall Street Journal bestseller called, Buy This Not That. It's the best personal finance book you'll ever read.

5. You'll become a better communicator. 

It's eat what you kill after getting past the first several years as a financial analyst. If you produce nothing, you won't get paid, nor will you get promoted. You'll probably lose your job if you're not a consistent producer.

Wall Street forces you to interact with intense people who are often very smart. By being a better communicator, you'll meet more people, develop more friendships, and stand up for yourself better during any negotiation process.

My experience on Wall Street has made me a better podcast host on The Financial Samurai podcast. I ask tough questions, analyze topics more clearly, and deliver more confident prose.

6. You gain access to private investments.

When I was working at Goldman, there was always some type of investment employees could invest in alongside institutional investors. Unless you had millions of dollars, you probably wouldn't get the opportunity.

For example, I was able to invest in the Andor hedge fund that actually went up a lot during the dotcom bubble given they were net short. It saved my retirement portfolio at the time.

In addition, I've invested in private funds that have invested in unicorns like Ripple and Sigma. These investments are unavailable to the vast majority of investors.

Wall Street Pay Is Down

7. You might become a better investor.

When all you do every day is think about how to make your clients money through investments, it's likely you will also become a better investor with your own money.

Because I've been trained to look for specific things in each company or offering, I may often see investments much differently from my friends who haven't worked in finance.

As a result, while others may let their savings sit in a money market account, I'm more confident deploying my capital. Over time, the capital may grow much greater than the average non-finance person.

8. You appreciate life more once you leave.

The public dislikes Wall Street just like it hates members of Congress. You can have absolutely nothing to do with the latest crisis, yet you are still blamed for all the latest economic woes. People will mistake you for the CEOs and top lieutenants who make the mega millions. It can be very demoralizing.

Having experienced hatred, you appreciate life after Wall Street much more when people just treat you like a normal person.

9. You gain a lot of optionality.

Making lots of money is nice, but gaining the optionality to do more things is even better. If you are able to avoid the temptation of spending like a crazy person, after just 10 years of work, you're probably a millionaire.

Once you have meaningful savings, you can explore new occupations, spend more time with family, or launch your own initiative. You might even be able to start a personal finance blog that gains a modest following!

10. You learn how to be independent.

Because you're so used to eating what you kill, you no longer rely on anybody to survive. Independence allows other people to live their lives the way they want without having you be their responsibility.

11. You can provide a comfortable life for your family.

Assuming you finally leave, or have enough time to spend with your family, the money you make can be used to secure your family's financial future – maybe even multi-generational financial security. The one thing about having money is not stressing as much about money.

Being able to take care of your parents and help provide them a better life is priceless. Being able to donate both your time and money to helping other people is also very rewarding.

What Are The Negatives Of Working On Wall Street?

If you want to know about the cons of working on Wall Street, that's easy. People who don't know better will automatically think you're a thief thanks to movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and Boiler Room. You have to explain to them that such firms are bucket shops where no decent person goes to work.

But they will still lump everybody together because it's easier to find an enemy than a friend. You'll probably get fat and develop some sort of health problem if you work more than a couple years on Wall Street.

The stress may shorten your lifespan if you don't get out before you die. You you may very well die on the job due to all the hours, stress, and pressure to succeed!

Working On Wall Street Isn't So Bad

Goldman Sachs Acceptance Rate For Income Analyst Class

Due to the financial crisis, outrageous Hollywood movies featuring crooks from bucket shops (no qualified person works at Stratton Oakmont), and folks with eye popping salaries, there will probably always be a stigma attached to working on Wall Street.

When people are losing money, it's easy to blame the finance industry. But despite the poor perception, I'd gladly do it all over again for all the reasons above and more.

Providing capital is essential to a healthy functioning global economy. Companies are often created through fund raising. Markets work due to the liquidity Wall Street firms provide.

Thanks to the innovation of ETFs and index funds, retail investors can now buy a plethora of low cost securities for a better retirement. A digital wealth advisor like Empower is my pick for a low cost way to build a risk-appropriate investment portfolio.

Leveraging Experience And Knowledge

If it wasn't for 13 years on Wall Street, Financial Samurai wouldn't have been born. As a reader of this site, you're the beneficiary of all the things I've learned about finance in order to achieve financial freedom sooner.

If I had some 9-to-5 job, I'd probably quit writing after a couple years in because it is damn hard to continue writing 2,000+ word articles 3-4X a week for 10+ years. But Wall Street conditioned me to keep on going like a juggernaut.

If you're able to get an offer to work on The Street, take it. If you can get a front line job where you're responsible for bringing in the revenue, even better.

Investment banking compensation - should I work on wall street?

Addendum: If you're going to join Wall Street, you might as well get a front office job in sales, trading, or corporate finance. That's where the big bucks can be made. Joining a Wall Street firm to do operations, tech, HR etc won't get you paid, and you'll get all the grief that goes along with working in finance as well. Do finance at a finance firm. Do tech at a tech firm. 

Also, there's a lot of news about junior Wall Street analysts suffering a lot nowadays. That's not something new. Working 100-hour weeks your first two years is a right of passage. Once you get through the initial 2-3 years, life gets better and you make a lot more money.

Insights From An Ex-Managing Director On Wall Street

For more on the inside scoop on whether to work on Wall Street or not, listen to the interview I conducted with ex-Goldman Sachs Managing Director, Jamie Fiore Higgins.

Jamie worked at Goldman for 18 years and made Managing Director on the securities lending desk. She then left four years later and wrote a scintillating book entitled, Bully Markets: My Story Of Money And Misogyny At Goldman Sachs. I highly recommend picking it up, especially if you are a woman interested in working on Wall Street.

Listen to the podcast on Apple or Spotify. If you enjoyed the episode, I'd appreciate a review and a share!

Diversify Into Real Estate

When I worked on Wall Street, my income and career were completely tied to the stock market. The more the stock market went up, the better the chance I had of getting paid and promoted and vice versa.

However, during my Wall Street career, I experienced the dotcom collapse in 2000 and the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. After the 2000 dot bomb, I decided to consistently invest the majority of my savings and bonuses into real estate for diversification. Unlike stocks or a Wall Street career, real estate had much more staying power.

If you're interested in a hands off approach to real estate investing, consider investing real estate crowdfunding. My favorite two real estate crowdfunding platforms are:

Fundrise: A way for accredited and non-accredited investors to diversify into real estate through private eFunds. Fundrise has been around since 2012 and manages over $3.5 billion in assets. Fundrise predominantly invests in residential properties in the Sunbelt, where valuations are lower and rental yields are higher.

CrowdStreet: A way for accredited investors to invest in individual real estate opportunities mostly in 18-hour cities. 18-hour cities are secondary cities with lower valuations and potentially higher growth due to job growth and demographic trends. You can build your own select real estate portfolio with CrowdStreet.

Both platforms are free to sign up and explore. I've personally invested $954,000 in real estate crowdfunding so far in the heartland of America.

Wealth-Building Recommendation

In order to optimize your finances, you've first got to track your finances. I recommend signing up for Empower's free financial tools so you can track your net worth, analyze your investment portfolios for excessive fees, and run your financials through their fantastic Retirement Planning Calculator.

Those who are on top of their finances build much greater wealth longer term than those who don't. I've used Empower since 2012. It's the best free financial app out there to manage your money.

Retirement Planning Calculator
Empower's Retirement Planning Calculator. Click to sign up and see how you're doing.

38 thoughts on “Should I Work On Wall Street? The Pros Of Working In Finance”

  1. I remember this article from 2015 when I was still in the Marines — I googled the title and it was the first hit.

    When you say work at the front office — would that just be an analyst position initially? Also, do you think I should do an internship first or just apply after I graduate? Honestly, I’m interested in learning more about investing and I think working in finance will teach me a lot. I know the hours are crazy too, but honestly it was like 16 hr days in the Marine Corps and not as equally compensated. Either way, any .02 will be much appreciated Sam — love this blog! It has changed my mindset, and motivated me to obtain financial freedom.

    1. Apply for an internship position and apply after you graduate. Do both.

      Front office = revenue generating position e.g. Sales, Trading, Banking, Wealth Management versus back office positions.

      Cool it’s still the first search result.

  2. This article is very interesting Sam, I am on the fence of working on Wall Street still. I am currently a junior at Columbia looking to join the dark side once I graduate. Little back story though is I’m a veteran, 27, after doing 8 years in the Marine Corps. How would GS look at veterans for recruiting? I’m not a super young guy, but I have an insane work ethic. Should I look into internships first over the summer, vice applying as a grad? I’m mainly interested in learning more about the financial aspects, and well build a decent nest egg for my family.

  3. Hey Sam,

    I’m a long time college age student reader and just accepted a Summer Analyst offer for Sales & Trading at a Bulge Bracket bank in NYC. Unlike a lot of my peers I’m not crazy about living in NYC due to high COL and the craziness that comes with Manhattan. However, I love the bank that I’ll be working at and their culture is incredible compared to many other banks I interviewed with. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but living in NYC is a turn off which is why I wanted to get your opinion on working Wall Street type jobs in satellite cities like Charlotte or Atlanta, would I be missing out on much? Like you said suffering is a right of passage but the Financial Samurai in me has trouble justifying paying $2,500 a month to live in a cramped studio. Thanks for the help!


  4. Sam,
    I totally agree with all of your points, but there is one I want to focus on and one thought I’ll add…

    First (and full disclosure) I never worked on Wall Street. I have a BBA and MBA in finance, specifically with a focus on investments, and after working in the field for a little while I realized it was not for me.

    Back to your list. Point #8 stands out. I agree that you do appreciate life more once you leave finance, but what’s missing is IF you CAN leave finance. That’s one of the reasons I got out so early. I saw so many people get sucked into this lifestyle. They were making tons of money, working 100 hours a week minimum, and just totally rocking at their careers. But other things were lacking. Like family time – many of the people I worked with were unmarried and no intention of doing so any time soon. They would work all day and night, then hit the bars afterwards. And do it all over again the next day. After a certain point in time, that type of lifestyle has to get old. And I know this isn’t what everyone does, don’t get me wrong, but it was one of my observations. So I love point #8 – but the thing I’d add is to make sure you have a end-date in mind. Make sure you know what your next career or life steps are so you don’t get sucked into the world of working all day and night, only to wake up as a 40-something with nothing but cash to show for it. The world of finance and investments truly never sleeps.

    This leads me to my other thought – while you lay out some incredible pros here, it can’t go without saying that this life isn’t for everyone. While it does teach you to work under pressure, get better at investing, and make some serious bank for your family, it doesn’t come without major sacrifices. I’d encourage anyone considering this career path to do some serious due diligence before signing on with a firm. Spend a few weeks shadowing different types of roles you can see yourself in. Spend ALL day with that person to see what it’s really like. For some people – this is the life they want – and I applaud those folks. It’s a very rewarding career path. Just make sure it’s what you want before diving in head-first.

    As always, excellent article Sam.

  5. I had pretty relaxed jobs myself, but have read/watched movies about Wall Street (OK, even visited the place when we were in NYC) and I admire people who are doing this job.

    We have a friend who’s a ‘trader’ there and she’s earning crazy money, but she’s also working a lot.

    Any such high demand job is great, you have so much to learn from there. If you are doing well there (improving, learning, performing well), you probably have nothing to worry about afterwards: you’ll find great jobs, start successful companies or just keep on investing and earning a good living.

    Or you could start a crazily successful blog about personal finance :)

    1. It’s always a tragedy to hear about people committing suicide or dying on the job. Surely the Wall Street workload can wreak havoc on one’s mental and physical health.

      I’m not sure whether the suicide/death rate on Wall Street is any higher than other industries. Do you? I also can’t imagine to thoroughly understand what goes through someone’s head before taking their own life.

      The relentless drive for type A people to win, often times at the expense of others is a very sad way to live life. Money only brings temporary satisfaction. There is a great new TED talk called, “Why we work” I recommend everyone listen to. Maybe I’ll write a post.

      It’s important folks joining WS know what they are getting into. Experience it, and then get out if you don’t love it!

  6. Interesting post and agree with it for most parts. I also worked on Wall Street for my college internships and after graduation. Though I admit I didn’t join a front office trading or IB role right away. I was CS grad from a public school and could only get my foot in the door through technology roles. Sure I could have joined any of the top tech firms as well but went with a smaller wall St firm. Over the years I would say my total comp is in line with the graph posted here. Not all tech roles on Wall Street are terrible, especially if you are working on trading systems and quantitative strategies. I work with some incredibly smart technical folks. Again I realize my situation might not be typical of another IT role, but there are definitely opportunities to make good money on wall Street for those with solid technical skills in the right group.
    Once again whole heartedly agree with FS on benefits of working on Wall St. For some one like me who came here to study as a foreign student, a job on Wall Street was a great way to build financial security for myself and my family and I am forever grateful for it no matter what the haters say. I may not make multiple millions as some portfolio managers or deal makers do but a wall St job has still helped me tremendously.

  7. My friends and I worked at investment banks this past summer and most of us won’t be going back. The cons definitely outweigh the pros. Although 1st year analysts are getting paid 160k all in (base was actually bumped to 85k and bonus is closer to 75k), there’s much more opportunity and fulfillment in other areas outside of finance such as tech.

    1. Fulfillment doesn’t pay the bills, and opportunity is what you make of it. Unless you’re going to create something amazing, like being the founder in a successful startup, it may be hard money to beat and it’s not as easy to just go back and do it when older. Those hours aren’t hard when young, but he’ll later on.

      Otoh, do it for ten years and you’ll be barely over 30 and financially independent and can pursue other things. Of course if you hate it you won’t be able to do it long enough to matter so that’s important. For most people though, just mathematically, they end up in a job or career. They are not usually in control or making the big guiding decisions, and everything becomes a bit routine and any hope of fulfillment is gone as the work becomes simple and somewhat mindless.

      If you’re talented, a voracious learner, and an extremely hard worker there is hardly a path that you won’t end up mastering to a point it is no longer as interesting as it once was. That’s where side hustles turn into businesses, etc…

      If I could go back I would do finance while young and trade in my back loaded pay for front loaded pay. Instead of using my most energy and determined filled years to make squat, now of course I work a lot less and make a whole lot more, but everyone knows that the early money is worth more and is exposed to more compounding.

  8. lifetimeandmoney

    Great list. As an ex-banker, I agree with what you’re saying above — would be interesting to see your list of “Cons of Working on WallStreet” to go along with this list of the Pros.

    1. Feel free to share your list of cons!

      Here are some of the cons.

      If you want to know about the cons of working on Wall Street, that’s easy. People who don’t know better will automatically think you’re a thief thanks to movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and Boiler Room. You have to explain to them that such firms are bucket shops where no decent person goes to work. But they will still lump everybody together because it’s easier to find an enemy than a friend. You’ll probably get fat and develop some sort of health problem if you work more than a couple years on Wall Street. The stress will shorten your lifespan if you don’t get out before you die. You you may very well die on the job due to all the hours, stress, and pressure to succeed!

      1. lifetimeandmoney

        Haha those movies are entertaining. Additional cons I faced were potentially losing girlfriend and losing track of friends, etc. Overall rough on your social life outside of work. Otherwise I agree with you — poor health, stressful environment, long hours.

        I’d add to your pros the first class lifestyle in general if working at a top ibank (i.e., first class flights, 5 star hotels, etc.) when you do have to travel. Also, if you stick with it you’ll get opportunity to interact with senior executives at companies and build a large network, both inside and outside of the company.

  9. fun in the sun

    Another benefit of putting in your time on wall street, is that there are financial institutions all over the country, who love to bring in ex wall street talent and don’t have any of the 100 hours a week culture of New York.

    The effective hourly rate once you are out of New York can be far higher as a 9-5’er. Nice cushy VP level jobs for $130k + $50k bonus for sub 50 hour weeks.

    I disagree with you comment “Best to do tech at a tech firm!”. The talent level in tech at Finance firms just isn’t the same as tech firms. Far less competition, hours, and the salaries can be better. No chance of millionaire stock options, but what portion of startup workers ever see that anyway. Give me a nice tech / finance role for $100k+ at 40 hours a week, where my competition is mostly third world educated vs the geniuses in Silicon Valley any day.

    1. Sure, if you want to take it down a notch, that’s fine. But most tech people I talk to want to work in tech, not be the tech guy in a different industry.

      Perhaps doing tech at an investment bank after you’ve got your fill is a great way to downshift. Nothing wrong w/ that. Many Big Law folks move to be in-house lawyers for the better lifestyle.

      1. fun in the sun

        The advantage of taking it down a notch is the side hustle. A huge portion of wealthy and financially independent people get there through the side hustle over working for someone else.

        $100k at 40hrs a week for a smart / motivated person, can lead to a lot more wealth (and lifestyle) than $200k at 80 hours per week.

  10. So Wall St. basically pays you the same rate as a high school principal, around $50 an hour if you are working so many hours. $100k for 40 hours of work or $200k for 80 hours of work each week.

    1. Exactly. If you can’t make it to HS principal status, it may be easier going through the guantlet to get in and survive on Wall Street.

      Although, I’m not sure a principal will be able to work 200 hours a week for $500,000. Maybe though! Are you a principal?

      1. No, but my dad was. He told me to stay out of the business. Correct on the total potential income, a principle can’t bill for extra hours to reach 500k, it is a set income, but he had two-three months off each year too which was a good gig.

  11. Hey Sam,
    I worked on Wall Street as well, and I take issue with two pieces of that BI salary chart. Our bank followed the same positional hierarchy (Analyst, Associate, VP, Exec. Director, Managing Director).

    First, those high salaries are typical only for front-office functions. Non-revenue Middle office (Data, IT, Risk, etc.) and Back Office (HR, Accounting, Legal, etc.) are going to be a good deal less. There are certainly high-demand hot button components of middle/back office that are high paying (namely, compliance), but otherwise, you’re talking customer-facing advisory, asset management, trading and sales functions with those high salaries.

    For MO/BO Functions, more reasonable salaries are:
    Analyst: 65k
    Associate: 95-110k
    VP: 130-160k
    ED: 180-250k
    MD: Sky Is The Limit

    Obviously, this is still really good money, until….

    Second, the high salaries are enticing, but broken down hourly, Wall Street gigs (until you hit VP or ED) are pretty competitive with other corporate jobs. Thankfully, you’re not hiding the fact that most folks will hit 60-70 hours (easily) on average (or 80-100 hours for analysts). 8 am – 7 pm was what I would call a “normal” workday, with plenty of weekend hours. Nobody worked less than that.

    When you factor in the abusive tax structure of working in NYC (8% sales, 8.5% City income, 8% State Income, 8.5% FICA, 35% Federal) and you talk about well over half your gross income is taxes, it really becomes a tough sell unless you are determined to stay committed until you hit the higher ranks.

    There are “right ways” to do it, no doubt. Get in at a young age, avoid the “lifestyle,” have an end game in mind no more than ten years into the future, and save like crazy. Unfortunately, virtually nobody adheres to this plan.

    Thanks for posting!

    Just my two cents.


    1. Eric,

      Correct. The salaries are predominantly front-office jobs where you’re responsible for bringing in the revenue.

      If you’re going to join Wall Street, you might as well get a front office job in sales, trading, or corporate finance. Joining a Wall Street firm to do operations, tech, HR etc won’t bring outsized income, and you’ll get all the grief that goes along with working in finance as well. Best to do tech at a tech firm!

      One can always join “Equities in Dallas” as Michael Lewis said.

      What is your job function while working on Wall Street?


      1. Sam,
        Thanks for replying. And I agree on the tech side. All my IT buddies were generally looking to get into Google or Apple–always trying to network over to where they could just code and develop interesting things.

        I worked in data. How all the many trading, portfolio, client, fund, index, and reference data systems shared and stored data. A lot of big Wall Street firms are adding a Chief Data Office at the C-level–highlighting the need and response to big data breaches. We were on the cusp of that movement.


        1. On the flip side, Directors are making way more than $400k at GS and way more than $800k as MDs. I think those numbers are really low. I think Directors are more at $1.2m and up and MDs more like $3m and up. Obviously not all banks are GS, but for the major banks those numbers are off unless you are talking about 2009 crisis-years!

  12. I’ve read your site for years and think Virginia’s comment is completely inaccurate. You’ve never ratted out your past employers by any means. Sure you’ve talked about the challenges you’ve faced, but that is not the same as ratting out a company.

    I know several people who worked on Wall Street and it certainly is tough. I certainly admire them for their intelligence, skills and work ethic. The way you described it above it spot on too. Yes, it’s a crazy amount of work, but it’s also got a lot of perks and benefits. The average person would not be able to perform the type of work or hours that it takes to build a career on Wall Street.

    I was disappointed that society blamed all of Wall Street and everyone in a finance job for the financial crisis. That’s just ridiculous. The consumers were equally to blame if blame is going to be given in generalizations like that.

    Also, I think you’re exactly right that your experiences on Wall Street provided you with a lot of qualities, investment knowledge and extreme focus that have led you to where you are today including the birth of Financial Samurai. We’re grateful that you’ve kept the site going for so long because we are always learning new things from you and gaining new perspectives as well.

    As a blogger myself, I know how much time goes into writing posts, responding to comments, and keeping the momentum going. You blow us fellow bloggers out of the water. :) Most people have no idea what goes into running a site like this unless they’ve tried it themselves – I certainly didn’t have any idea until I started running my own site. Thanks so much for sharing all of your experiences and insights!

  13. It’s an extremely high-pressure job with equally high pay. With the majority of work nowadays seemingly paying peanuts for tons of work being put in, it’s nice to say that someone somewhere is being rightly compensated for their labor.

    I think of lot of people are a bit jealous of that too. Because most jobs today ARE high stress and have a high amount of work (not to the levels of Wall Street, but it still doesn’t make it not the case) for ridiculously low amounts of pay. I point to my own line of work all the time, but I am not alone in this.

    That said, it’s not something I think I’d be able to do, certainly not for more than a year (or even a couple months). My current position as a licensed banker stresses me out enough. But if I were able to do this, even for a year, I would put all that towards my investments and early retirement goals. An extra $40,000-$50,000 in dividend stocks would definitely move things along nicely.

    If you haven’t already, you should write an article about what you did on a day to day basis. Not giving out names or confidential information, of course, but just exactly what you did. What does “working a large order for a tier 1 institutional client” entail? How does a normal sales/negotiation conversation go? What are were your job responsibilities? That would be an interesting read.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  14. Even the most demanding, soul-sucking jobs have their benefits. Like you said, the discipline you developed from that experience made everything else seem easier going forward. Tough experiences shape us into hard-working, ambitious individuals. And I definitely blame “all of the above” for the housing crisis. Everyone involved made selfish, irresponsible decisions. Consumers are equally to blame as banks.

  15. I don’t think you blasted your company or even your industry. You were being honest and I feel like if anything you were being transparent by disclosing you make a lot of money but it’s a lot of work. Someone may walk away thinking working on Wall Street is an easy 8 hour day. Also like Jim Wang said you know what you’re getting into when you sign up to work on Wall Street.

    1. An easy 8 hour day and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just don’t go together. :)

  16. Ali @ Anything You Want

    Wall Street is tough. I think unless there are major governmental reforms that put consumers and average people above financial institutions, the reputation of a cold, hard Wall Street will continue.

    The major difference I see between what you have to say about Wall Street and some others who “rat out” employers is that, from what I can tell, you’re not trying to gain anything from sharing your opinions of Wall Street. You’re just saying that it isn’t for you, and here are the reasons why. In many cases, it seems that when people rat out their employers they are trying to get reforms, or money, or power, or fame. I suppose you’ve likely found some of that through your blog, but it doesn’t seem, from my perspective, to be a primary goal for you.

  17. Everyone who goes to work on Wall Street knows what they’re getting into and knows they’re getting handsomely rewarded, that’s why they do it. I’ve had friends who work in those jobs and for some, they love the challenge and the hard work. Others want the experience and for others it’s the money. No one goes into it thinking they’re going to coast along, bank a few hundred grand, and call it a day.

  18. Just wanted to provide a second perspective, as I took a nontraditional route on Wall Street. I started out as a prop trader, moved into equity research on the sell side and am now a PM on the buy side. In all three jobs, I worked about 50 hours a week and received all the benefits you described. I’ve never felt the work was grueling or unpleasant, and I love working with financial markets so much, I don’t think I’d want to leave to do something else at any point. I feel very lucky to have avoided the slog that I see many friends battling through. I realize my case is the exception rather than the rule, but it is possible.
    So as you say, Wall Street isn’t so bad!

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