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What wealth-addict Samuel Polk didn't say in his NYT article

Samuel Polk

Let Samuel Polk be a lesson to all investment bank employees obsessed with earning seven figure pay-packets. As Polk noted in this weekend's New York Times, making extreme amounts of money is an addictive business. After leaving Wall Street and a hedge fund , Polk says he suffered withdrawal symptoms and found himself 'waking up at nights panicked about running out of money, scouring the headlines to see which of my old co-workers had gotten promoted. Over time it got easier — I started to realize that I had enough money, and if I needed to make more, I could.' 

As we noted last week, careers counselors say people find themselves trapped in banking jobs - even after cutting back on spending as much as possible - finance professionals still find that they need an income of £250k ($411k) to live on. And where are you going to walk into that outside banking?

Polk's financial withdrawal was facilitated by a therapist who'd already helped him work through his alcohol addiction. However, we also suspect that it was also facilitated by his wife Kirsten Polk (pictured with Sam here), a psychiatrist with whom he started his new Groceryships business offering nutritional help to families on low incomes. "I’m married to the most unbelievable woman. She challenges me and loves me, and it’s easily the most rewarding part of my life," he says here.

Having a spouse who validates your non-banking, non-high-earning self is a huge plus when it comes to escaping financial services. Polk intimates that at some points during his career he had more of a trophy girlfriend, 'a pretty blonde', whom he started dating whilst renting an apartment costing $6k. Had he stayed with her, we suspect it would have been far harder for Polk to walk away from a Wall Street lifestyle - it's one thing to quit a job, but another to quit a job and a wife who expects you to keep at it.

It's also worth noting that Polk's new venture may not have been possible had he not spent time in the greed-pit. The board of directors at Groceryships is dotted with financial services professionals, including Michael Meyer, the former Global head of Investment Grade Trading and Sales for Bank of America. It's not clear whether Meyer and others have donated to Groceryships, but their support may have helped to get the venture off the ground.

 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Wa
    Wayne
    10 September 2018

    Oh boo hoo he was having panic attacks that he wasn't earning 250 K plus, guess what mate, normal people have panic attacks all the time and over a lot more serious matters and don't have the millions to cushion the affects! This man is still a greedy narcissistic. Yeh, it must be nice to live a 'wholesome' life and talk about the 'awfulness' of a super wealthy career, when you have hurt many people in your wake and helped ruin small business , used women, driven 200 grand cars at speeds of 100 miles plus through streets endangering normal peoples lives etc... with your greed and now you still have millions in the bank to explore whatever career or hobby you want and play sainthood. Very similar to drug dealers and thugs who 'come clean' after years of making money and living the high life at other peoples expense and then preach how awful that lifestyle was. !. He sound like an awful greedy over balls for brains driven character right from the start. His affluent mates in the media and other industries are giving this greedy man the opportunity to tell his 'sob' story and p[lay 'hero' AND get paid for it. He is what one would call 'toxic masculinity'. And lots of idiotic shallow greedy men similar to him with low empathy will worship him.

  • sn
    snowqueen
    14 July 2016

    If he is seeing a therapist he should continue to since it sounds like he will never humble himself to strive to live on $35,000 a year. And clearly he is still a wealth addict. Why did the New York times publish this article by a man when it's a women's problem and why not get the story from a women's perspective and a woman author.. Woman are by far better writers of the English language ! It is deplorable that a man try to gain sympathy for what is clearly women's problem. Shame on you NYT!

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