How much do you expect to earn

in your lifetime? in USD: a) $100K - $999K b) $1 - $9 Million c) $10 - $500 Million d) $501 Million - $5 Billion e) $6 - $50 Billion f) $51 Billion - $999 Billion g) really?



Before or after tax?

None of the above - I expect to have everything handed to me. I don’t intend to earn a dime.




You didn’t build that wealth

C but the govt built it for me haha

Apparently, Harvard Business School graduates on average earn $3.6 million in 20-year careers after business school. So, you guys who are saying C are pretty baller!

Though, I suppose that $3.6 million does not include non-salary/bonus income like capital gains, divorce settlement, suing Warren Buffet after throwing yourself in front of his car, etc.

C is a really big range

Yep, these people are all insinuating they expect to make $350k a year over a 30 year career (this assumes from age 25-55). Highly unlikely given national statistics. Although I guess you could ask them if they suspect they’re smarter than the average person on this forum and get similar results.

I suspect some of the folks answering “C” figure that they’ll have a few $1MM plus years.

^ I’m sure everyone figures that, also that they’re more attractive than the average person. Look, people always figure they’ll have a few $1MM+ years, and that these things happen pretty commonly. But from what I’ve seen, unless you’re an IB workaholic who’s willing to sacrifice their life for a few bucks, these big years are more rumor than fact. Not saying they don’t happen, but just that it’s rarer than taught by recruiters and book publishers.

It’s not that anyone is smarter than the average AF poster, it’s that clearly everyone posting on AF is an outlier (we’re all special).

$10mm is not that high of a bar for someone in high finance or who works at a senior position in a successful decently sized corporation, or grows and sells their own business. If you read corporate proxies for a living, you would see that there are any number of even relatively small capitalization companies where the CEO makes $500k - $5mm and has up to a multi-million dollar parachute if the company gets taken out (not including equity options in most cases). Those are pre-tax figures, but you have to assume they’re going to work in such a role over a multi-year time period and will be investing the money somehow instead of leaving it under the mattress. I have met lots and lots of these people during company visits and I can tell that none of them had super powers or was an incredible genius, although clearly they’re all smart and hard working.

Basically, if you don’t make $10mm during an executive career in a successful corporation or in high finance, you’re probably doing it wrong. I personally know at least half a dozen hedge fund managers in their early 40s who have 8 figure net worths and they are nowhere near the pinnacle of the field. To keep this in perspective, to be in the top 1% of household net worth according to the New York Times, the bar is $8.4mm. So we’re talking about being somewhat into the top 1% but not grossly so.

I have no doubt that many AF people will fall into category C. However, $10 million seems like an optimistic projection. There is the matter of lost income or temporarily depressed earnings due to career volatility. I would be surprised if finance people experience no periods of disrupted earnings throughout their careers.

bromion - yes, all you said is correct, but this thread asked about self-projections. I don’t think people here are CEOs… Except maybe Blake.

Also, whether or not capital gains is included will make a big difference. Maybe it is worth clarifying this.

In any case, I am curious to see a breakdown of the earnings projected by people who bucket themselves into each of those categories.

I don’t see how C is not realistic, especially after taking inflation into account.

I agree ohai, I am talking about a subset of people at the top, my overriding point though was that such people are not really as amazing as some people make them out to be. I’ve met plenty of CEOs of $500 or 1B market cap companies and walked away “not that impressed.” If they can make it, surely people as talented as Blake would be in at least the F) category above, if not G) (Blake seems like more of an F sort of guy to me though). Clearly, we are not all at Blake’s level (we’re only human, after all), but surely a handful of us mere mortals could fall into at least the B) and C) categories.

I also think C) only really makes sense if you are willing to make substantial sacrifices in other areas of your life to get there, and many people are not, including high flyers that attended such institutions as HBS.

whatever letter we achieve Blake will be one letter higher