Distressed Debt Investing at a Boutique Firm: Better Than a Bulge Bracket Sales & Trading Offer?

10 Comments | Mergers & Inquisitions

Distressed Debt InvestingIn the post-financial crisis economy, most people would be ecstatic to get a single offer on any sales & trading desk of any bulge bracket bank.

Forget about the desk itself, the type of work, the group’s performance, or the team – just winning the offer should be an amazing turn of events, right?

Maybe not.

Years ago, the bulge bracket landscape seemed more attractive – with few restrictions on trading, sky-high paydays, and even more lucrative exit opportunities.

Today, though, it’s a tougher case to make… and boutique prop trading firms are looking like ever more attractive.

Our reader today went through this process himself, won multiple offers at both bulge bracket banks and boutique trading firms, and ultimately chose to join a boutique firm that focuses on distressed debt investing.

I’ll hand it over to him to explain why and how he chose the smaller firm – and what makes distressed investing so appealing:

Multiple Options on the Table

The Wolf of Wall Street: The Best Movie About Finance Since the Original Wall Street?

29 Comments | M&I - Book, Movie & Product Reviews

Wolf of Wall StreetWhile Wall Street and organized crime are similar in some ways – they both feature sociopaths seeking profit at the expense of morality, for example – they differ in one important aspect…

There are far more great movies about organized crime than there are about finance.

So I was especially curious when one of the world’s top directors – and the force behind arguably the best movie of all-time about organized crime – turned his attention to Wall Street.

Would it top Goodfellas? Raging Bull? Taxi Driver?

Come on, would it at least be better than Shutter Island?

And on the “finance movie” side, would a new champion emerge to displace the old favorites of Wall Street, Boiler Room, and Glengarry Glen Ross (and, more recently, Margin Call and Arbitrage)?

I had no idea, but I wanted to find out – and I enjoy a good helping of drugs, hookers, and midget tossing – so I decided to indulge and go see The Wolf of Wall Street.

Biases and Blind Spots

How I Defeated Sauron and Saved Middle-Earth: My Life Story, Part 4 – June 2011 to December 2012

43 Comments | M&I - Brian's Life Story

Life Story, Part 4

When the Dark Lord Sauron returns after hundreds of years of captivity, the easiest way to defeat him is to go straight to Mt. Doom and toss the Ring of Power into the lava to ensure its total destruction.

Or… you could get distracted by random side quests, fight a giant spider or three, and get tempted to keep the Ring for yourself.

In 2011-2012, I fell into the same trap that Frodo did – and the same trap that Peter Jackson did with The Hobbit trilogy – I got distracted by random side quests, unrelated adventures, and other nonsense until I finally came to my senses and destroyed the Ring.

Besides my battles with orcs, ring wraiths, and the Dark Lord himself, here’s what else you can look forward to in Part 4 of my Life Story (see Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 first):

  • What actually happened after the partnership with WallStreetOasis fell apart, and how many kidneys I had to sell to survive.
  • How I hired people in the most haphazard way possible: if you ever start a company, do the exact opposite of this.
  • How our Cost of Capital web series got started and the one big point I wish I could change, looking back on it.
  • The single good decision I made during this time that helped reduce the fallout from these mistakes.
  • And a fairly blunt discussion of whether or not starting this business was worth it (hint: you may want to keep your day job).

Yes, everything from Sauron to the Ring of Power to selling my own body parts to fighting giant spiders: this will be a fun one.

Let’s get started:

The Day After the End of the World