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The terrible life of analysts

Is being an analyst in an investment bank worse than working in McDonalds? Or does that 100k pay packet make all the difference?

The hours are long, the work can be dreary, colleagues can be unpleasant. But is it really worth jacking in your job at 7am on a Sunday morning to go and have nice life with far less cash and infinitely fewer material possessions?

Moreover, given the huge payouts that have recently come analysts’ way, do they really have any right to complain if they’re expected to work seven days running with less sleep than Maggie Thatcher?

Your opinions please…

Comments (14)

  1. Anybody who gets into IBD knows what it is. But it doesnt have to be for life! Do it for a year, 2, maybe 3, then find something else to suit. You’ll be a few hundred k in pocket at least, and wont have wasted your whole life. Its a good job, just draw the line at some point.

  2. 100% spot on. Hats off to this young man. Life that life while eating an ice-cream.

    To the rest – yayay its bonus time to buy that expensive watch to watch life pass by.

  3. Hi you all analyst out there. I’m a CA and an aspiring CFA with only level 3 left to complete next year…I’m currently in the commercial field and yes involved big time in accounting. I wanted to join the investment banking field. Can anyone advise which field in this field will be best suited for me being both a CA and CFA. Also it seems that analyst spend lots of working hours….is it really worth it at the end of the day?? Will appreciate your comments….thanks

  4. I normally have interest is your articles but this is really rather pathetic.

    I really would have thought that having met some of your journalists, they may have a slightly more cerebral approach to such topics.

    Jonathan Evans MD Sammons Associates Reply
  5. It can be difficult to see how you can possibly have your cake and eat it – but we have a number of M&A Boutique clients that do offer the same financial rewards, without the ridiculous face time that you have to put in at the top banks.

  6. Most people have to work for their money. If you pick another career, and get to leave work at 5pm: does this really mean you’re living your life to the max? All you’ll end up with is more time to watch Neighbours. I am set to have a big enough investment portfolio to be a multimillionare and stop working by the time I’m 30. After that, I can pick whatever opportunities I want. Unfortunately spending some period of time in your life working cannot be avoided, through Ibanking I’m able to cut it down to the shortest amount possible (10ish years). Don’t think I’ll regret it, either.

  7. I am an analyst at an M&A boutique, no red tape, no face time, no bureaucracy, lots of exposure, greater responsibility, less hours and same pay as city…

  8. I think IB is one of the most rewarding careers anyone can ever have. Yes of course the pay matters, but I find the work itself to be extremely interesting.

  9. Extremely interesting? Which planet(or Ibank for that matter are you in?)Even at associate level it is still mind numbing with loads of time spent on formatting and editing.. there is no intelligent life down here. Am waiting till bonus time in Jan before I take off!

  10. May be it is time,Investment Banking open up more opportunities for mature candidates

  11. I agree with IBD. Used to be M&A analyst for one year. Now Associate in leveraged finance. It changed my life: workload is like ” Oh my God, i have a social life now!”, of course you don’t leave the office at 6pm but rarely after 8 or 9pm and never worked around the clock as i used to do sometimes as M&A analyst. More importantly, you have much more responsibity and great exposure to client. This is my first year as associate, and I talk directly with the client to negotiate term sheet/confidentiality letters etc…Sometimes, I handle a project all by myself, just need final approval from my boss on key issues of the file. I have so much to say but in brief M&A is only good for pay. Leveraged financiers get great pay as well although less than in M&A. Overall, your hourly salary in leverage finance is much higher than in M&A :)

  12. If you wanna do I-banking, best advise to do it in a M&A boutique, no red tape, more exposure, dealing directly with partners, no mid-level bankers. If you start at a big bank, first 3 years will be documentation and you will rarely see live deals. Most of them are like military, your rank goes up each year. That’s why I see too many unfortunate mid-level bankers (VPs) who are good at documentation but cannot execute transactions. Also too much bullying at big banks, and too much politics as well. Sometimes, doing an excellent job is not enough. You have to watch your back. I just completed 4 years in i-banking (3 at a boutique and 1 at a big bank; and some military experience prior i-banking)now joining a fund as the head of finance and strategy.
    Be ready to work 100 hours a week and spend best years of your youth for preparing non-sense documentation :) Beware of the bullies in big banks and expect the unexpected. Good luck to all!!!

    Turkish I-banker Reply
  13. I am an undergraduate in my last year of university and have a job offer for a position in IBD of a top-tier investment bank and an offer for a training contract for a magic circle law firm. Banking job would start July 08, law would require two more years of study and start job in sep 2010. Can’t decide which to do – realise that I can do my training at the law firm and then join banking afterwards but not sure whether I should just get on with it. What do people think? Any advice? Anyone that’s made the switch from law to banking – if so why and what level did you join the bank at? Cheers.

    Lawyer or banker? Reply
  14. Cannot agree more with Mr. Jonathan Evans. Mr. Evans has been arnd long enough to know the difference average and great

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