Why you’ll find it hard to quit finance voluntarily

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If you’ve struggled against the odds to get a job in an investment bank, you may think it unlikely you’ll ever want to leave. That’s good, because according to an assortment of experienced finance professionals, getting out again is almost as difficult as getting a job in the first place.

“The reason people never leave, even after reaching their “this is what I need to leave” goal, is because once you get to a certain point, the money is just too good [in banking]”, says one first year analyst on finance forum Wall Street Oasis. “Once you hit the MD point where you would have enough money to retire early, the prospect of earning another few million for working “just one more year” is just too good to pass up.” Nor is it just about the money: he says it’s also the case that if you make it to managing director (MD), you’ll have to be very good at what you do and enjoy the job.

Speaking on the same thread, a retired sales and trading professional says finance professionals don’t quit of their own volition because their, “their fixed costs scale-up with the promotions,” and that it’s hard not to “let your lifestyle rise with the tide.” Equally, he says that when you get to MD, your role often defines you: “After all, the path to where you are took up a lot of your life and you had to sacrifice a lot along the way. It’s not easy to give up when it becomes a part of who you are.”

So, what makes voluntary extrication possible? The bankers most likely to quit when they reach their ‘number’ are those who maintain a passion for something outside work and who don’t spend too much along the way, suggest the WSO contributors. “The best thing you can do as a young guy is keep your fixed costs and lifestyle in check…When you are 30, you should be able to view the yearly bonus/pay as a great carry that you can collect as long as you are happy to stay with what you are doing,” advises the retired trader.

Charitable Move (Financial News)

“Now is a great time [for bankers] to enter the [charity] sector,” says Julia Oliver, head of not-for-profit practice at recruitment company Odgers Berndtson. 

Cuts At Aberdeen (Financial Times) 

Aberdeen Asset Management will cut jobs, but not investment staff.

Young MDs at Goldman (Forbes) 

The youngest ever Goldman MD was 27.

Focus on Investment Banking (BusinessInsider) 

Investment bankers made up 22.5% of the Goldman Sachs MD class this time around, versus 18.2% last time around. (BusinessInsider) 

Diet Of A Private Equity Guru (Sunday Times) 

Where Guy Hands, ‘the socialist’ likes to eat: in Beijing he has a liking for Da Dong, in Tokyo he pops into Inakaya; in Paris, he has a penchant for Taillevent, a bistro so expensive his daughter said she wanted to eat only bread and butter; in Kuwait he ate grilled pigeons in cherry sauce served by Naranj, in Marbella he ate ‘great red prawns, squid, tuna and razor clams’ at Santiago.

Cuddly Trader (Financial Times)

Ex-Goldman trader resembles ‘mischievous teddy bear.’

Not All About The Money (Medium)

A blog by the CEO of Kickstarter: How to avoid a money monoculture. (Medium)

Quote of the Day: 

“If this had happened during market trading hours there could have been a panic but markets had a weekend to digest all the information," the impact of terrorist attacks on markets.

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