I’m ten years into investment banking, and I don’t plan on doing this forever. By living very conservatively and earning money on the side, I plan to run out of finances before my 40th birthday.
A lot of people get stuck in this industry, but the truth is that if you’re careful, you can still earn quick money in retirement. Last year there were associates making $350,000. It’s about investing wisely and not getting bogged down in a colossal mortgage or tuition fees.
It’s also a matter of making money on the side. My work typically represents approximately 60% of my annual income. As you become more experienced in banking, you have more free time. This can include face-to-face time in M&As where you’re not fully productive, quieter times in trading, or evenings and weekends away from the office on the markets side.
This is how I use my free time:
1. Invest your own money in crypto and markets
Use research from your bank and your peers in different areas (FX, credit, bonds, commodities, interest rates, stocks, etc.) to get insights, do your own research, and get involved. Your compliance department may prevent you from trading instruments in which you are directly involved and may impose minimum holding periods, but even so the opportunities to make money here are enormous. Lots of people are making big money on crypto – look at Aziz McMahon at Goldman Sachs.
2. Poker and sports betting
Especially if you are a (good) trader, your knowledge of risk versus reward could help you in good strategies when playing poker or betting on horses. These sites will likely be work restricted, so play internet poker at night.
3. Real Estate
Making money on real estate is tougher than it used to be, but there’s a reason funds like KKR are making long-term bets on European real estate. You can still buy relatively cheap properties outside financial centers for a high return.
4. Tutoring students
There are thousands of middle class parents who will pay over $50/hour for tutoring to make sure they get the grade. I know people who offer private lessons on weekend afternoons and earn $100 an hour.
5. Provide interview coaching
Along the same lines, you are the ideal person to coach and advise students and graduates trying to break into the banking industry on how to do so, providing mock interviews and advice for improvement. of CV.
You probably have a large network of friends and academic peers. There’s a huge amount of money to be made (easily thousands for a single big party) by cutting everyone’s entry fees and drink expenses. I know DJs like Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.
Many people in banking have a creative talent. Ovie Faruq, a former Barclays credit trader, now collects and designs NFTs for a living. One of his pieces sold last year for $268,000. “The worst thing about being a trader was probably that it was ruining my life. We worked from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. by being my life for almost 10 years without really being able to do much outside of it,” Ovie said last week. Now he creates and invests in NFTs and his life is much cooler.
8. Angel investment
Many people are also angel investors. There are a lot of angel investor meetings, and a lot of the fundraising entrepreneurs are people who themselves left banking a few years ago.
Given the working hours in banking, some people might say that these suggestions are unrealistic. I accept that it is difficult to find time in the first years, but once you are a junior vice president, the opportunities start to open up. Stick with it, don’t feel like spending all your earnings, and banking jobs can still be a great path to financial stability early in life.
Lincoln Hayes is a pseudonym
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