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Investment Banking - Lingo, Culture & Staying Alive

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Defenders vs. Pillagers: How to Pick the Right Senior Bankers to Work With

What really determines your success on the job? Is it your technical skills? Your communication abilities? Or your attention to detail? All of those play a role, but if you ask anyone who has worked full-time for a few years, they’ll give you a much different response: Your team. Your senior team members could make […]
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How to Succeed On the Job in Investment Banking: Are You a STARR or a TWAT?

“That new analyst we just hired will definitely be a STARR.” “But that one from last year is turning out to be a TWAT so far.” I looked at my 2 banker friends in confusion. “Um… what are you talking about? I’m assuming those are acronyms?” They looked at me like I was crazy. I […]
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From the NFL to a Billion-Dollar Portfolio: Can You Throw a Football Far Enough to Become a Managing Director?

It’s no secret that I’m borderline obsessed with football. If you’re across the pond, below the Equator, or “down-under,” I’m not talking about the sport where you dribble around on the pitch; I’m referring to American football. Don’t get me wrong, I try to stay current on the news in La Liga and the Barclays […]
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Got Crystal Meth? The Breaking Bad Guide to Success in the World of Finance

If you want to break in and move up the ladder in finance, two of the most important skills will be killing people and selling crystal meth. Dissolving your enemies’ corpses with hydrofluoric acid might be a close #3. And the best place to learn all these skills is not from interview guides or training programs, but from […]
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Got Resolutions? (That You Can Actually Keep?)

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time of year where New Year’s Eve indiscretions are now just obscure memories for reflection, as hopeful New Year’s resolutions are being scribbled down on napkins and Post-It notes. But too often those promising resolutions suffer a fate similar to that age-old agreement between male and female […]
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The 4-Hour Investment Banking Body: How to Keep Off the First Year 15 and Get In Shape While Sitting In a Cubicle Staring at Excel All Day

It’s midway through your first year as a banker. You just got back from the holiday party, and after taking a day off to recover from your hangover, you’re ready to rock and roll. You pull out your favorite pair of slacks from the closet, fumbling to put them on… …and as you do so, […]
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The Holiday Party: Time to Hook Up With Your Assistant?

Your MD is standing on top of a table downing shots of whiskey. Meanwhile, your assistant is pole-dancing in front of everyone as the associate you’ve been thinking about murdering the entire year offers you tequila. The bottles are free and the models are looking even better than usual – most likely due to those […]
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The Don Draper Guide to Investment Banking

A few years ago some banker friends and I were thinking about creating a TV show. Entourage meets The Office: all the glamor of movie stars and the celebrity lifestyle, but in cubicles rather than Hollywood. But the outside world has never hated Wall Street more, and post-financial crisis there’s no way a drama like […]
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Stuff Investment Bankers Like, Round 3

It’s been awhile, so let’s jump right back into it. Parts 1 and 2 are here – essential reading if you ever plan to go to Buenos Aires or hit “Reply All” in your email client. 15) Unsolicited Advice Working in investment banking, you will age more rapidly than the average person. That’s just what […]
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Stuff Investment Bankers Like, Round 2: Email Forwards That Destroy Careers, Blue Shirts, Headphones, The Track, Markup, The West Wing, and Closing Dinners

Ok, let’s get started with round 2. See round 1 (cocaine, Buenos Aires, and more fun) right here if you missed it before. 8. Email Forwards That Destroy Careers You’ve already seen this story, so I won’t bother repeating the details here. But while everyone else focused on the foolishness of one intern trying to […]
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How to Spin and BS Your Way to Success in Investment Banking

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Not sure why you want to do investment banking? Don’t know what you did in your last job besides watching YouTube? Haven’t the faintest clue what your “story” is? Then you need to learn how to spin. Lying is bad. But spinning – making yourself seem […]
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Stuff Investment Bankers Like: Trophy Wives, Talking About Cocaine, Pls Do, Buenos Aires, Making Empty Threats, Lying, and Reminiscing

Let’s skip the witty introductions and get right into it. #1 Multiple Trophy Wives For the investment banker, trophy wives are required due to both pride and necessity. Pride: What kind of rich, successful guy only has 1 wife? Come on, even in third world countries polygamy is common place, so why can’t you get […]
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How to Win Friends and Influence People in Investment Banking by Slacking Off and Pretending to Work Hard

Ask senior bankers what quality is most important in Analysts and Associates, and 99% of them will say “A good attitude.” If you’re going to work 100 hours per week, you need to be positive about what you do every day… right? Wrong. All you have to do is give the appearance of a good […]
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Styling for Success, Part 2: The Suit

This article continues from Part 1 in our “Styling for Success” series, which covered the basics of men’s fashion. In this installment, we’ll at the most expensive component of most men’s wardrobes – the suit. Depending on your firm and your location, you may be required to wear a suit daily – or you might […]
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Investment Banking Wardrobe for Women

No, I have not gone crazy and written an article on women’s fashion. Instead, this is a guest post by The Fashion Financier. A former bulge bracket investment banking analyst, she has now entered the world of private equity and writes about finance, fashion, and even appropriate Facebook stalking etiquette at The Fashion Financier. While there’s […]
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Styling for Success, Part 1: The Basics

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a fashion expert (just ask anyone who has met me here in Asia). Despite that, I’ve covered some basics on men’s fashion – but I receive many questions that an expert could answer much better than me. Sure, your performance and interview skills matter […]
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Post-Layoff Options: 8 Strategies to Pursue If You Get the Axe (and 3 Mistakes to Avoid)

“M&A is all I know!  What else could I do?” -Banker Fearful of Potential Layoffs This quote comes from a story a reader was telling me the other day. With layoffs spreading, even those currently employed in banking are starting to think about their “Plan B.” We’ve previously looked at how to get into the […]
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7 Simple Steps to Avoiding Investment Banking Burnout

How do you avoid burnout when you work 80-100 hours per week and are constantly in the office, “on call” and sometimes even sleeping under your desk? This question came up the other day with a reader who had recently completed a banking internship – and I realized that avoiding death by Excel might interest […]
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Investment Banking Wardrobe For Men

So it seems my post last week touched off a little a lot of controversy and some many did not agree with the recommendations within. I take feedback very seriously, so this post is a re-write of the original and hopefully gives better advice specific to banking rather than just listing business casual items to […]
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Becoming Frank Quattrone: Investment Banking Lingo 2.0

“Hahah, oh snap! That is hot. Get this though, the other day, this MD accidentally spills coffee on this analyst’s shirt. MD doesn’t really say anything, just goes on working. The analyst is moping around all day whining about his shirt. So finally, the MD drops $100 bill on the analyst’s desk and goes ‘Quit […]
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Investment Banking Lingo: How To Walk, Talk And Act Like Gordon Gekko

“I have read Monkey Business, Liar’s Poker, and When Genius Failed each 3 times and consider them my collective bible. I know I have the eye for perfection and artistic vision to create truly immaculate pitch books. I am Microsoft Certified in Excel, and I know all the shortcut keys (alt-i then r, that will […]
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Reasons NOT To Do Investment Banking: Models And Bottles

“I just purchased my third pair of Ferragamo loafers, and I think my wardrobe is nearly complete! Looking into my closet makes me harder than I get when I smell the deep, earthy ink aroma of a fresh WSJ.” –My Wardrobe, Leveraged Sellout I get a lot of questions on good reasons to say you […]
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Vacation Time in the World of Finance

“Vacation time? People come and work at this firm for one reason: to become filthy rich. That’s it. We’re not here to make friends. We’re not savin’ the bleepin’ manatees here, guys. You want vacation time? Go teach third grade, public school.” -Jim Young, Boiler Room Vacations? Yes. They exist, even for bankers – what […]
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Staying Healthy While Staring At A Computer 18 Hours A Day

“I live in the American Gardens Building on W. 81st Street on the 11th floor. My name is Patrick Bateman. I’m 27 years old. I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack […]
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