I guess a lot of people in here have many different hobbies and things you love to do. Why did you choose a career in finance? Me? Because I love analyse financial markets and apply maths to the financial word. Of course, money ae also nice, but I guess it is diffucult to work or study only for money…at least this is for me.
for me: - at school never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up (went to 12 schools in 12 years - honest - all over Australia + couple in the US - first degree was Law - but during Law school worked for law firms part time and met a lot of lawyers - convinced me I would never want to be a lawyer - (who would?) - finished law school but went into commercial banking as graduate trainee. It was either the bank or an insurance company and I pretty much flipped a coin. - bored sh#tless at the bank - so started a masters in Law - out of interest really, couldn’t believe they could turn me out as a qualified lawyer when I knew so little. (btw masters in law was fascinating - loved it) - After spending a year at the bank the only thing I learned was that I hated it and I had to get out - Applied for job as lender with Citi - knew nothing, just bullsh#tted in interview - They literally said to me: “we’re geared 20:1, our ROE target is 20%, pre-tax ROA is 1.85% (it was balance sheet lending) - here’s a bunch of training courses, here’s a calculator (12C) and a car(!). Go and make us some money!” Literally that was it! - Within a couple of weeks I was hooked. Citi were brilliant - if you make a mistake they made sure you learnt from it. If you make the same mistake twice you’re fired. - My eyes were suddenly opened and I came alive - Suddenly I would happily work 100+ hours per week - worked right through the night a couple of nights every week - sleep is for wimps! - stayed at citi for couple of years, then left to do my own deals in the late 80s boom - then worked on and off for other banks running all sorts of divisions and business units + built my own things as well - VC/PE deals, IPOs, M&A deals, business broking. - over the years I did other degrees to fill in some gaps (economics, history, international politics, finance) + taught a bit as well. - Now I just fiddle around in a few things here and there that interest me… So I guess it was luck that I stumbled on the right people at the right time that gave me the spark. I was wandering around in the dark but then suddenly at about age 22 I had a mission! + I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
b/c every day is different. the markets literally never close. so you learn new stuff every second you breathe
I second daj224’s response. Thats got to be it
Top ten reasons: 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. intellectual stimulation 1. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
null&nuller, Thanks for your post. It seems you started at law school but didn’t work as a lawyer. I am in similar situation, I got a MFE degree, but don’t want to work as a quant. I felt frustrated and made a huge mistake, but after I read your post, I realize there are still so many things I could do.
MFE, what do you hate about MFE?
No career advancement path, Quants (PHD type) don’t like you, and what you do don’t need much finance knowledge – just a glorified programmer.
read liar’s poker when I was 17.
My math degree is pretty useless…
Originally I wanted to be an architect. I didn’t want to spend 5 years of my life in some draft print basement. Thought about med school but what I wanted to do would have taken about 7 years after med school to achieve. Ear Nose and Throat surgery. Otolaryngology. I’ve always been fascinated with the stock market and what makes what move. You could read every book ever written about investing and you’d still be wrong a good portion of the time. It’s one of those things that always keeps you on your toes and no matter how much you think you know it’s never enough. It’s just really cool to open up the engine of our financial markets and peer inside. Mark Richt of UGA has the other job I wanted.
I’m a political economist, and love thinking about what major trends are and what’s driving them and how they play out. I also like math (although I wouldn’t call myself a math guru or anything), and like to play at the boundary between what is quantifiable and what isn’t. I used to teach, but eventually decided that the university model was going to screw the professors as costs tighten, and decided that “people will always pay to know how to make more money” and headed off to asset management. Since then, I’ve found 1) that making money is a lot harder than it looks, and 2) it’s absolutely fascinating to analyze these problems. Money is somewhat a factor, but only to the extent that it allows you to raise a family and treat them well.
null&nuller - youre the man - awesome post. i am actually half australian - mom is from melbourne - but I live in the US - never have lived over in AUS right now i just am really interested in finance, financial markets, and city life. the $$$ is a good motivator to tie into all of it, and with people like buffett it is good to know that if you have a superb skillset and understanding of the markets / valuation / companies, you can do very well. i pulled a short (really short) stint in the military, thought i wanted to do special ops (my brother is in special ops and has had a good time in it, but he got his mba and transitioned to the bus. world, but not finance), and i gave it a shot (did not get my beret, but it was a good time) - was really fun and challenging, but what was i to do if i kept on that track? become a personal trainer after retiring? so i went back to school, picked up a couple of degrees (undergrad) and didn’t really know about the cool side of finance until my senior year of college. i didn’t really like the stuff in the books, but have always been good with numbers. then i read the books like barbarians at the gate, liars poker - most of those classics and thought - whoa. this stuff is actually not boring and isn’t about being a nerd stuck in a cube all day (although much of it is at the beginning). but along with daj - - people are always learning more about the markets, no one knows what is going to happen next (they may have a good idea/estimate), but the financial markets are like a living breathing organism that only the best have a good idea of where they are to go next. also i think it is essential to know the markets and the numbers to be a ceo of a company these days. funny thing about wall st. - i thought of this quote after daj posted that LCTM link today - - i can’t believe Bear actually mirrored the assets / equity ratio of LCTM of 3% - good comparison… “Nowhere does history indulge in repetitions so often or so uniformly as in Wall Street. When you read contemporary accounts of booms or panics, the one thing that strikes you most forcibly is how little either stock speculation or stock speculators today differ from yesterday. The game does not change and neither does human nature.” - Edwin Lefèvre, 1923
- I watched Wall Street (movie) the other night on TV (again!) - nothing has changed in 20 years. Best quote I use all the time is: “History never repeats, but it does tend to rhyme” - Mark Twain - the details of each boom/bust/crisis/bailout/bubble/etc are different each time, but the underlying rhythm is always the same - regular as clockwork (I could never track down the exact quote and where it’s from - there are many different versions around)
null&nuller Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > + I watched Wall Street (movie) the other night on > TV (again!) - nothing has changed in 20 years. > > Best quote I use all the time is: “History never > repeats, but it does tend to rhyme” - Mark Twain > - the details of each > boom/bust/crisis/bailout/bubble/etc are different > each time, but the underlying rhythm is always the > same - regular as clockwork > > (I could never track down the exact quote and > where it’s from - there are many different > versions around) =================================================== dude you are “The Man” btw, when did you get your charter?
'bout aug 2009 I hope!
Honestly… I like a job that combined relationship management and analysis. I have that money manager “look” about me. I didn’t want to do fillings and root canals all my life. Willy
eigen Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > My math degree is pretty useless… depends on the person …
WillyR Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Honestly… > > I like a job that combined relationship management > and analysis. > I have that money manager “look” about me. > I didn’t want to do fillings and root canals all > my life. > > Willy i hope you have braces from brooks brothers. you gotta have those!!
I didn’t choose it, it chose me. Also I closed my eyes and pointed to a major