Morning Coffee: The best age for an MBA. Why J.P. Morgan traders are celebrating prematurely

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Best age for an MBA

Is younger really better?

When should you study your MBA? If you're intending to work in investment banking you might want to follow the examples of Lloyd Blankfein's sons Alex and Jonathan, and go to Harvard Business School in your late 20s. If you're intending to achieve a gigantic increase in pay after spending a gigantic amount on your MBA, you might want to go to business school sooner. Maybe aged 25? Maybe even earlier?

So suggests a detailed study by the Financial Times (also accessible on the PoetsandQuants site). Wherever you are in the world, whichever industry you work in, the FT found the same pattern: MBA courses lead to higher pay hikes when you start them in the first half of your 20s. Overall, the FT found that alumni who were 24 or under when they embarked upon an MBA achieved a 145% increase in pay within three years of graduation. Alums who were 27-28 achieved an average increase of 100%. And alums aged 31 or over achieved a pay increase of 70%. The implication is that younger is better for MBA courses - except the FT doesn't mention how much the alums were earning in absolute terms before and after their degrees. Given older alums were almost certainly better paid, the difference may even out.

Separately, J.P. Morgan's traders may not want to get too excited about their recent hot quarter. The Wall Street Journal points out that investors are still distrustful of trading operations. This is why Wells Fargo's shares trade at a 70% premium to J.P. Morgan’s on a price-to-book-value basis. 'Many [investors] still consider trading revenues to be suspect: costly in terms of capital, subject to wild swings and produced out of opaque operations,' says the WSJ. It will take more than one good quarter to change their minds.


J.P. Morgan chief financial officer Marianne Lake said oil price volatility had been helpful in fixed income and equity trading. (Financial News)

Blythe Masters now hiring journalists for her Bitcoin business. (NYPost) 

Lloyds now compelling traders involved in FX transactions using a benchmark to sit in a separate room around the time of the fix. (Bloomberg) 

Another senior prime brokerage professional is retiring. (Reuters) 

A CLO banker just left Deutsche for Jefferies. (Global Capital) 

Mining researchers mysteriously leave Bank of Montreal. (Bloomberg)

Next financial crisis on hold. (Bloomberg)  

If you want your email answered, don’t include an attachment. (MotherJones) 

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