“Last week, someone on this site compared that their finance job was so dull they were quitting to work in law. That seems wrong: I’ve done my finance job for 24 years and don’t find it dull at all.
The bored columnist worked for a bank in FX structuring. I work on the buyside in institutional research sales. Anytime we cover a new company or industry it’s a learning experience – I start from scratch finding out about market share and what makes an industry tick. That keeps me interested.
If you work in finance, you also get to game the culture of the company you work for – you need to figure out the social dynamics of the corporate structure and the modus operandi behind organizational behaviour. If you don’t do that, you won’t get paid, so that keeps me curious too.
The best thing about my particular role is that the firm I work for is 100% owned by the employees and has no debt. We all get paid commission only – a high fixed percentage, with none of the crap that comes with discretionary bonuses and subjective bonuses. Everyone here is driven to succeed – even our analysts are paid a high proportion of commission.
Most of Wall St. isn’t paid this way – the partners and senior staff are too greedy and they take what the junior staff make for themselves. This is why our firm has survived almost 40 yrs and others have gone under. Even better, I get paid on a monthly basis with no deferred compensation. This makes my job much more rewarding: the performance upside is immediate. If you work in finance, commission only is best – trust me.
That said, long term deferrals and clawbacks for investment bankers make sense – in my business, if you screw a client over, retribution is immediate. In investment banking, it can take a while for the dust to settle.”
*James Jones is the pseudonym for a New York-based institutional equity salesman who objected to the earlier article portraying some finance jobs as uninteresting .