A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

288 Comments | Investment Banking - Day in the Life & Week in the Life Accounts

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Investment Banking Analyst“6:30 Sycophant drops by on his way out.

Client meeting next Friday but wants complete turn of a pitch for first thing tomorrow morning (tomorrow morning = when he finally gets around to looking at it at some point next week).

A quick calculation; there’s no way I’m getting out of here before four in the morning.”

The Bitter Investment Banker Email

Ah, the life of an investment banking analyst.

What will your hours be? How much work do you actually do? Do you really just play Solitaire most of the day and then only work at night?

Some days you’ll be so busy that you have to discreetly use a bottle under your desk if you need to go to the bathroom.

Other days you’ll have so little to do that you can take 3-hour lunch breaks and download different themes for Windows Solitaire.

Doing investment banking is like doing drugs: on your good trips you dance in clouds of marshmallows, surrounded by beautiful women (or men) serving you fruit in canopies.

On your bad trips you scratch your eyes out and jump off buildings.

This 24-hour period was a bad trip. And unlike The Bitter Investment Banker Email, it actually happened.

7:30 AM – I am woken up by an Associate at work asking where I am. He told me to come in at 8:00 AM to send out a status report. It’s 7:30 and I’m not there yet, so a cloud of panic has descended. I roll out of bed, shower for a minute and head into work.

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – The Associate hands me a marked-up version of the status report in question. Most of his changes consist of adding/deleting commas, capitalizing nouns or changing font sizes. I send it to our team at 8:55, in advance of our call at 9:00.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Our investment banking team tells management about the buyers who are interested in them and the meetings we’ve set up.

I am vaguely listening but also working on a pitch book for an IPO in the background – multi-tasking is easy when all you do is copy and paste Excel into PowerPoint. 12:30 PM – We send out a draft of the IPO pitch book to 3 Managing Directors who will be at the meeting the next day. This is the “final” version, which means that everything will be scrapped and re-done in the next 24 hours.

12:45 PM – One of the Managing Directors is traveling and has requested a Briefing Book on the company we’re pitching because he doesn’t know anything about it. It’s not feasible to FedEx the book because he is 3,000 miles away and needs it ASAP – we need to PDF this bad boy.

1:00 PM – The Associate drops off revisions to a presentation we’re working on for another client. I tell him I don’t have bandwidth because I’m working on a big IPO pitch for the next day as well.

He tells me to finish by 5 so he can give me more changes and I can “turn” another revision by the morning. It’s probably going to be an all-nighter.

1:30 PM – One of the Managing Directors who received the Briefing Book calls another Associate (Associate #2) on my team and yells at him for sending 100 pages of material – it’s taking 30 minutes to print out everything.

The Associate takes the brunt of the damage. I’ve cleverly avoided the fallout by having Associate #2 be the point person for this project.

3:00 PMStarbucks. The lifeblood of investment banking analysts. I go with a friend who’s in the midst of private equity interviews and we discuss how those are going.

3:30 PM – After speaking with our equity research analyst, the Managing Director decides we need to add more analysis to our pitch and focus on completely different metrics. I need to re-do most of my work.

5:00 PM – I finish up with the other client presentation that Associate #1 wanted me to finish. Now it’s a waiting game on that one as I continue revising the IPO pitch.

7:30 PM – I’m eating dinner at my desk. No time to go join everyone else today but it’s Japanese food so I’m satisfied. Meanwhile someone from Equity Capital Markets, the team responsible for IPOs, comes over and tells me to scrap all the analysis the MD wanted.

10:00 PM – I get last-minute changes from everyone else on the team. Shouldn’t take too long to process, but production can only start printing at midnight, which means I’m going to be here until 1 AM minimum.

10:15 PM – As I’m going through changes, Associate #1 stops by and has a bunch of changes to the client presentation I finished at 5 PM. I tell him I can only get started after 1 AM so I probably won’t have anything until the next morning. “Dance, monkey.”

12:30 AM – I finish up and production starts printing the presentations. Associate #2 comes over to “supervise” the production and review the finished product.

1:00 AM – I notice an inconsistency on 1 slide – stock prices have been updated earlier in the presentation but not here. Time to check over everything again.

2:00 AM – We’re done re-checking every single page for the same mistake now. Time to re-print.

2:15 AM – The printers all have paper jams and are out of ink. Since it’s late, the printing/production crew has disappeared and I have become the production team.

2:15 – 3:30 AM – I need to refill the ink and fix all the printers. This requires a group effort so I call some other analysts over to help.

4:00 AM – Go home and go to sleep. I need to wake up by 6 to finish work on the presentation Associate #1 told me to “finish by the morning.”

6:00 AM – I’ve overslept. Associate #1 is already up and has left 3 voicemails on my cell phone asking why I haven’t sent the presentation to our client yet. I Blackberry him that I was up all night working on another pitch and was going to send it by 9 but needed an hour of sleep first.

6:15 AM – 6:30 AM – As I’m coming into the office we’re trading angry emails back and forth. He says I should have emailed our entire group saying that the presentation would be late.

8:00 AM – Associate #1 strolls into the office just as I’m about to hit the “Send” button. I tell him that I’m about to send the presentation.

He tells me to email everyone twice – once to tell them that they’ll get the presentation in the next 2 minutes, and then once again to actually send the presentation.

I ignore him and just send the presentation.

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

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288 Comments to “A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst”


  1. Proud Ex-Analyst says

    These are some awesome posts. I always thought you had one of the greatest blogging styles. Good work, homes! This post had me r.o.t.f.l.o.l.

    This looks like a particularly crappy day. I hope your best day has something to do with client interaction. My best days in banking were definitely when I could talk directly with CEOs and CFOs about their businesses. This is what banking can offer a young professional that few other jobs can – the opportunity to learn about various industries directly from the people who had built or led the client company.

    Some other reactions:

    8AM-9AM: It’s great to see that other analysts have wasted many a day “adding/deleting commas, capitalizing nouns or changing font sizes.” Actually, that’s just professional services for ya.

    3:00PM: I always thought it was a bad habit to drink more than a couple cups of coffee each day. I think it’s especially true that once you start work in banking and pick up habits of coffee overload and not working out, it’s all over. You’ll be a fatass in no time!

    3:30PM: Ain’t it great? Four years after Spitzer’s settlement, there are even fewer Sell ratings now. See link: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2007/12/wall-street-sell-ratings-even-scarcer.html. It makes me so angry how screwed up Wall Street is.

  2. says

    I enjoy the blog. Good content.
    Just one question for you, how do you (analysts) respond when you have an associate above you who never had to go through the analyst years?

    Also, make the links tou include popup in a separate window. Keeps traffic at your blog.

  3. M&I says

    Shane, thanks for the comments and tips. I’ll go through and change these links today.

    In terms of responding to Associates who haven’t been Analysts before, I think it depends greatly on the person – I’ve had some who are great and some who are terrible. Generally I am patient at first but if I see an Associate keeps trying to do unproductive things or is consistently bad, I will gently point it out by suggesting an alternative or saying something like, “Ok, I can do that but it will take xx hours. If we did this instead, it would take xx minutes. What do you think?”

    In the worst case, if an Associate really does not improve and continues being terrible for months, I will bring it to the attention of someone even more senior. This has only happened to me once so far though.

    • says

      Yeah the Analyst really is a pitch book jockey. Stay tuned for my best 24 hour period… sometimes the Analyst monkey can actually rise above mere pitch books!

    • says

      AltESV: It’s on my to-do list. :) I’ve gotten busier at work lately (well, until today) and have over 100 ideas for new articles but just haven’t had the time yet to write everything.

      But since you asked, I’ll try to have this one ready for next week. :)

  4. poooo says

    After reading this post, I am keen to find out if partying in New York is fairly common for an IB analyst. I know that they will not be going out every week… but how often do analysts go out for a good time?? :)

  5. Summer Analyst says

    Worst day: Working under ex-consultant, changed to ibanker after mba (only been in ibanking 4 months) 9am – 2am reflecting/making/applying his “brainstorm”-ed ideas

  6. ryan says

    how does investment banking at a BB firm in NY compare to a regional office of the same BB firm? for example, would you work 100 hours/week if your an IB analyst at GS in Houston? and how does pay compare between new york and regional office of the same firm?

    • says

      Pay is usually about the same. Honestly the hours might be a little better but it’s not going to be different by a huge amount… you’re still going to work a lot.

  7. JTBB says

    Hi Brian/M&I, I’ve been a silent reader for a while, and I’ve got one particular question that I haven’t yet found a satisfactory answer to. Most of the resources here focus on life as an Analyst – I am past that stage, but I’m interested in learning about life as an Associate. I understand Summer Associate = Summer Analyst but on a better stipend. But what is life like for an Associate at a BB? Hours/face time in particular, and weekends. How much time is spent on Excel, and how much is liaising between VPs and Analysts? Does it matter between different groups – DCM/ECM vs M&A? On a separate note, I understand you’re busy this year, but perhaps next year I may be a prospective client. Thanks.

    • says

      Its honestly not that much different. Basically you are still the MDs’ bitch and have to do whatever they say, whenever they say it. Hours might be marginally better, but you’re still not going to have much of a life. There is less time spent on grunt work, but you have to deal with politics and coordinating stuff a lot more. I haven’t written much about it because it’s really not that different, especially at large banks – anyone at the entry-level is viewed as “disposable.”

  8. JTBB says

    Hi Brian, thank you for replying! Would it be correct to summarize it as Analysts have no life and no sleep, while Associates still have no life, but can at least get home before midnight?

    • says

      You could say that, but if you have any interest in having a good lifestyle I would stay far away from anything in finance – even at the MD-level you’re not going to be able to spend much time with friends/family because you’re constantly traveling.

  9. SM says

    So guys I am already an MBA in Finance with undergraduate in Computers looking for entry into investment banking field …. what would be best for me? Targetting Analyst or Associate position? I dont have any prior experience in this, I have exp in operations in manufacturing and analyst exp in wines and spirits industry. How do I get an entry into IB field??

    • says

      If you already have an MBA you should be targeting Associate positions… I don’t know if you’re still in school or not, but if you’re already out I would go exclusively for boutiques. If you’re still in school and go to a top 10 program, use on-campus recruiting there and target all banks… if it’s not a top program you need to do a ton of networking instead.

  10. SM says

    I graduated in Aug 09 …. but i went to Baruch College, not one of the Ivys but 3rd best in nyc! I m currently working as a BA for an alcohol company but will like to enter investment banking before its too late I wont be able to leverage my MBA. Theres nothin in my resume which talks bout investment analysis exp, instead its all about financial analyst, creating excel models for finance and operations and operations exp.

    What do you recommend I do? How can I convince the boutique ibanks that I can do this? Regarding networking, how should I go about it?

    I really appreciate you taking time out and helping me out, thanks a lot.

  11. A.M says

    M&I, your post was very insightful because I am thinking of going into i-banking
    but quick question….is it well worth it in the end…talking about sacrifices, money and all of that ?

    • says

      Impossible to answer that question. I think you can learn a lot, but like anything else it gets repetitive after awhile. I stayed interested for the first year but after that wanted to pursue other things.

      • S&T says

        Do you have any advice for someone with a sales and trading background (cash equity, fx and options) who would like to switch to IB? I am heading to a top 15 for an MBA this summer, which strategy would you recommend me, besides the obvious networking? How can I make my background relevant to IB? Thanks!

  12. Joshua says


    I’m 21 and I’m about to graduate with my major in accountancy (I do have Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management as a subject). Additionally, I’m little less than 2 years away from becoming a Chartered Accountant (equivalent to the US CPA). I’ll also be pursuing the CFA course from this November. So basically, I’ll be done with all of this by the beginning of 2012. I was planning on trying to get in as an analyst with an IB then, work 2 years and then move on to an MBA and come back as an associate. I have a couple of questions though:

    1. Since I’ll be a CFA before I join, does it still make sense to join as an associate?

    2. Do US Investment Banks take foreign students as associates who’ve done an MBA from a US college (say like a Harvard or Wharton)? I ask this second question because coming to the US to study is very expensive and it wouldn’t be worth it unless I know I can earn my tuition back in dollars.

    Looking forward to your guidance. Thanks!

    • says

      You can’t join as an Associate unless you have an MBA or you’ve been an investment banking analyst for 3 years. The CFA has absolutely no bearing on anything, at least in the US.

      Honestly it’s very tough to work in the US because the immigration and H1-B visa process is completely screwed up. Banks do hire some foreign analysts/associates but it will be much tougher than if you had citizenship.

      • Joshua says

        Hi again,

        Could you please tell me what banks look for before choosing non-US citizens to work as associates? Is there something specific that they look for, for instance exposure to foreign markets etc.?

        When I’m 23, I’ll be an Chartered Accountant (equivalent to the US CPA) and should have finished the CFA program. Is there anything you could recommend that I do post this that might hold me in good stead to get a job in the States?


        • says

          You need to have some kind of unique skill – languages, high-level connections in a certain region, knowledge of some topic they’re looking for… it’s hard to do any of this in a short time frame, so I would think about anything you already have some knowledge of and find places that are looking for people with your skills.

        • Joshua says

          Hey Brian!

          Every year during B-school recruitment season there are articles about foreign investment banks coming to the bigger B-schools in India like the IIMs and hiring grads from there to work in their offices in New York, London or Hong Kong. Any idea why the prefer to come all the way to places like India looking for these grads when they should be able to meet their recruitment requirements locally?

        • says

          I think those are mostly myths / rumors. There’s really no reason to go that far away with plenty of local qualified people, especially in a market as competitive as finance. Maybe when there’s a bubble that happens more often.

        • Joshua says

          Hey Brian!

          I just thought this article may be interesting in relation to what we were discussing so I thought I’d post the link:


          Also, some feedback, the subscriber base of this site would totally take off if you could include a few more articles on investment banking internationally or things which people looking to work in the States and currently staying abroad would find interesting.

          There has been a HUGE increase in the number of students opting for finance courses in India and China and if you could try and tap into that base then it would be just brilliant. Hope that was of some help!

        • says

          Thanks for the article.

          There have actually been a number of recent articles on the site on China, Dubai, India, and other locations / work issues internationally and there will be more in the future.

          I get suggestions all the time to pursue India / China etc. but the reality is that they just do not fit into my business model (aka no one there buys anything intangible online, it’s 100% pirated).

          As locations they are interesting to discuss, but I don’t have any interest in pursuing business there.

  13. Gisselle says

    I like your blog. I appreciate the insight. I have a Bachelors in Bioscience and am currently in the MBA program at Hofstra for finance. I just started a job in mutual funds but beyond that I really don’t have much experience. I eat sleep and dream about investments and have been through a lot of careers healthcare, real estate etc but have found that I’m more drawn to analytical positions. I opted out of accounting b/c i do like interacting with clients. I’m already bored at my current job as I don’t get to research companies and analyze at all. I have been researching the ib associate position. Do you think I’ve got a shot? Do women have it harder?

    • says

      The problem is that most banks don’t recruit out of that MBA program so it’s going to be harder than it would normally be. You’ll need to do a lot of networking to have a good shot… gender doesn’t really matter, it’s all about networking.

    • says

      It helps a bit but Spanish/English tends to be very common, so it wouldn’t help as much as something that’s more niche (e.g. a semiconductor group looking for an English/Korean speaker)

  14. Colorado says

    Mr. Blogger

    I landed on this site almost by accident, and I found your text very amusing. Thanks for posting.

    So here’s my situation: I have been working in Finance (Corporate, non-investment) for a few years now. My career is not the most interesting, but it also does not make me want to kill myself everyday (believe me, I’ve had those kinds of jobs before… and I was lucky and sane enough to quit). I will graduate with an MBA from an elite school sometime soon, and I have been thinking about going the Investment Associate route upon graduation. I enjoy researching.

    I understand money does not grow on trees, and you have to work hard at what you are passionate about. But staying up until 4 a.m. and sleeping 2 hours to be able to change charts on presentations and deal with other people’s BS… that hardly sounds appealing at all. It sounds like a bad job on steroids.

    Honestly: is investment banking a death trap?

    • says

      Depends what you’re looking for. If you want an active social life and other interests outside work, then you should not do investment banking because you will never have that. It gets better as you move up but you will never have as many real friends / interesting experiences as someone who is not in the industry.

      • Karter Smith says

        If I am not going to make the ridiculous sacrifices that I-Banking requires but still enjoy the analytical side of the business, where do you recommend looking? Are the boutique firms less hours?

        • says

          Not really, no, hours are bad everywhere. There is not much “analytical” work in IB, but you could think about something like corporate development or going to a prop trading firm that follows market hours.

  15. says

    I am 33 years old and nxt year, i am going to polish up my bachelor of accounting science,I just want to know if i stand a chance to berecruited as an analyst in investment banking at the age of 34.

    thank you

  16. Suneet says

    Hey Mr. Banker,

    I’m impressed by the promptness if your responses and the candid style of expressing your views. I have just graduated from a German college (MBA) and have been thinking of IB. Lately, I have made up my mind to not pursue it, I think sleeping for 40 hrs a week will kill me. Keep up the good work and all the best!!!!!

  17. shiv says


    me working in IB outsourcing industry after completing MBA finance in 2009. So i have kind of experience of Ibanking of quant. & qual typo work of more than 1 year.
    But wants to be in front line of ibanking rather only in outsourcing.
    guide me.

    thanks & regards

      • shiv says


        thanks for your reply.

        But just calling them thru the source mentioned there, will they helpful? I mean to say will people reply on it? and if yes how will they helpful to us?
        like you said some are very direct and ask what can they do for you, so what can we be expecting from them if we are calling them?

        Thanks & regards

        • says

          I’m not sure I understand your question – some people will be helpful, and some won’t. It’s very dependent on the person, the group, how their day is going, and so on. You need to try dozens or hundreds of bankers – you can’t expect to get anywhere if you give up after just a few tries.

  18. Justin says

    That sounds like a crazy and grueling life for the first 2 year, which kind of scares me. However, I feel in the end it will pay off. I’ve heard 50-80 times payoff at the end. I just got called back for a second round with Eastdil Secured out of Santa Monica who is the top real estate investment bank in the nation. They want me to go in and work on an Excel test which consists of cash flow analysis, calculating IRR and stuff like that. Other than the IRR calculation I really don’t know what they are going to ask. Any ideas from you first years? My expertise is in Real Estate, but I told them I have somewhat of a background in analysis. I hope I can brush up on what they may be looking for because UCLA doesn’t do that great of a job other than teaching the theory behind it. If you guys can shed some light on anything I should brush up on would be greatly appreciated. This is a dream job and I will do whatever needs to be done in order to make it.

    Thanks and best regards everyone

    • says

      They will probably just expect you to do a simple DCF analysis but for real estate specifically… not much different but you have to work from specific properties’ cash flows rather than a single revenue line-item.

  19. Question says

    How many days in a year do you think one of these “worst days” occurs for an entry level banker?

    Also, have you read Monkey Business? Have conditions changed with the times, or are things still exactly the same -Associates/analysts getting picked on, the opulent spending, etc?

    • says

      Maybe once a month

      Things have changed a little since Monkey Business, but bankers are creatures of habit so it’s not that much different. Maybe more tame now.

  20. shankar says

    Hi Banker,

    i accidently visited this site and thanks for all those day in and day out activities of a IB associate/ analyst.

    I have a question i have completed MBA in Bangalore from a reputed institute and working for IB in operations so i wanted to enter into the Hard core Investment banking functions and even though i don’t have experience in this field does this works if so then what are the ways to get into it? Do you have any idea please suggest me.

  21. Tim says


    Unfortunately, due to life circumstances, I never finished my B.A. Now, I am 32, married, with two kids and a mortgage. I have been a Financial Advisor for 5 yrs. and currently have my CFP (Certified Financial Planner), Life Insurance Licence, and Mutual Fund Licence. I am not currently making the kind of money that I want to and due to my responsibilities to my family, I am considering a change.

    I was thinking of doing my CFA or perhaps going back to school part time to get a degree in finance. However, after reading stories like yours, I am convinced that I just couldn’t hack a career in finance. I just can’t see myself working more than 60-65 hrs. per week on average. I am not prepared to never see my wife or kids.

    That said, I really do enjoy Investments in general and I want to work in the industry in some capacity. I also want to earn a min. of 150k per year sooner rather than later.

    Are there any roles in the industry (not sales) that I could shoot for that would meet my criteria of job hours? Is there perhaps a better degree other than finance that could help put me on a path to reach my goal. (MY GOAL: get a relevant BA to aid in getting a job in the industry that is not sales (or at least commissioned sales like my current job), that pays well over 6 figures.)

    I am really confused right now and looking for some guidance. I thought that a CFA would help me get a good job in the industry and lead to some security for me and my family. But, it seems that may not be enough and also that I just couldn’t handle 75-100 hrs. per week. I am wondering what other options I have. Any Ideas?



    • says

      Maybe investment or wealth management at a large bank. The only degree that would be helpful at this point is an MBA, but normally you need an undergraduate degree to do that. The CFA is not helpful for investment banking but may do more for you in other fields.

      • Tim says

        Do you think the CFA without a degree is worthless? And, what other fields do you think it would be beneficial? Obviously, you said the MBA would be best, but what if you had to choose between a BA or a CFA?

        Thanks for your quick response.

        • says

          No bank will take you on unless you have at least an undergraduate degree, so that takes precedence over the CFA and yes, the CFA is useless without a degree. CFA is useful for certain hedge funds and asset management.

  22. Nibs says

    Hello, first off I want to really thank you for sharing all of this great information! Its given me alot of insight into the IB field and what life would be like as an analyst.

    I am currently doing an undergrad program in canada and am wondering if I were to complete my MBA at an IVY league school in Canada, do you think I’d have any chance at being recruited as an associate on Wall Street?

    Also I was wondering what sort of pay a typical associate from a reputable business school would receive working for a major bank in the US or Canada?

    Thanks again!

    • says

      Sure it’s possible but visa issues make it tough these days, so you’re more likely to go to Canada with that background. Associate pay is generally $100K USD base with $100-$200K bonus.

  23. nibs says


    just another question I was wondering.

    Through your experience, is it common or have your heard of many people that leave the Investment Banking field after gaining experience to start managing their own hedge fund?

    Do you think that would be a likely goal to aspire to?

    Thanks again!

    • says

      Usually you have to work at hedge funds for many years before doing that. In some industries you can go and start your own company without much experience (e.g. Facebook) but finance is not one of them… raising hundreds of millions / billions is almost impossible unless you have a very long track record of earning high returns.

  24. Kaplen says

    I have my BS in Business Management from SUNY. After that, I went to law school and have spent the last 18 months as a DA, locking up criminals. I’m tired of not getting paid for all of the hard work I do and would like to move into banking. Would I be an Analyst or an Associate? What would be my best approach? It seems to me like I’d need to engage in some serious guerilla-networking techniques just to get an interview where the person at the other end of the table is taking me seriously. Thoughts?

    • says

      You would be an Analyst. And yes, you would have to network and cold-call a lot – if you do a search for networking or cold-calling on the site you will find tips. Under Recruiting there are also lots of interviews with readers who networked in from difficult situations.

  25. vanessa says

    I’m 16 years old and I want to be an investment banker in future. What can I do now to prepare myself that will be an advantage to me in future or increase my chances of success?? thanks

  26. do_the_evolution says


    You mentioned that these “worst” days are once in a month. That’s not bad.

    So, I don’t have an issue with really working a major chunk of my waking hours (even bring a halt to my gymming) but the issue is I think I may not be able to sustain the lifestyle without sleep for days at a stretch. I mean a week or two with little sleep is doable. But a year! That’s been the reason behind my inertia for switching to an IB job. (As in I am not sure I’ll get up. If I am up, I can work – no problem. But I do sleep soundly. I mean I’ve just done night-outs during the exams which lasted a week or two. Six hours doesn’t cut it for IB, does it?)

    Anyways, so I have heard the hours for a first year analyst (albeit with one year management consulting experience) will be around 100 hours regularly. And 130 hours near some MnA transaction.

    1. So my first question is how did you manage to get used to such little sleep?
    2. On an average how many hours do you sleep during the weekends and weekdays? (I know the maths says x hours and 4 hours respectively, but I’d like to have it spelt out :P)

    Also, I’d like to talk to you and get your thoughts on the bigger perspective – some career advice. PEs, HFs, and B-School. Is it possible to mail you or send a comment without it being posted on the site – like a pm on wso?

    • says

      You can take naps in between during the day sometimes… and it’s not like you’re working for 130 hours straight even if you’re in the office that much. I would say average sleep per night was maybe 5-6 hours. I do not offer 1-on-1 consulting but if you sign up for one of the BIWS courses I’m happy to help. This is a business so I do devote most of my time to helping customers.

  27. Lusine says

    I’m in college now, and I’m thinking about my career options. Just wandering, did you find your job everything you imagined it would be when you went in? Do you like what you do? lol

    • says

      I’m no longer a banker, so probably not the right person to ask – ask around on WallStreetOasis for more views (but please do a search on the site first or you will annoy people).

  28. Ashley Boyle says

    I have a similar question to Tim’s above.

    I am currently 27 with a BA. I have been a Financial Advisor and have my securities licenses plus Life Insurance Licence, and Mutual Fund Licence. I am not currently making the kind of money that I want to I am considering a change.

    I was thinking of doing my CFA or perhaps going back to school part time to get an MS in finance or maybe even a CPA. However, after reading stories like yours, I am convinced that I just couldn’t hack a career in finance. I just can’t see myself working more than 60-65 hrs. per week on average.

    That said, I really do enjoy Investments and Analytics in general and I want to work in the industry in some capacity. I also want to earn a min. of 150k per year sooner rather than later.

    Are there any roles in the industry (not sales) that I could shoot for that would meet my criteria of job hours? Is there perhaps a better degree other than finance that could help put me on a path to reach my goal.

  29. says


    I am just wondering. There must be some adventurous experiences in your life. Did you enjoy more your college life, or after years?

    Also, I know that you got paid over a $100,000 a year salary, so you could eventually afford a mansion, but was it worth it? If you could go back in time, would it make you more happy to switch fields, and do something simple like be a librarian with a solid 8 hour shift, and no hassle after work?

    Do you live richly like owning your own mansion/penthouse, drive sports cars, etc. to make up for all that hard work?

  30. M.M. says

    Thanks for all the great info on this site!
    I wanted to ask if these 80-100 hr weeks are standard for all IBs or just the BBs? What should i expect working as an analyst at a mid-market firm like D&P or HL or even a boutique?
    Thanks again

  31. Tia says

    Hi, im currently studying Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance & Marketing. I would like to enquire about the job opportunities in Finance other than investment banking and how can i link Marketing to Finance? Thank you.

  32. Tariq says

    Judging by this it looks like there’s not a whole lot of time for family life. Would it be possible to live with a spouse and kid? Do you know anyone who does? Thanks for your help!

    • says

      Gets a little better as a senior banker but you’ll always have a dysfunctional family life. But hey who cares, money is way more important.

  33. Gachuv says

    Thank you for all great website! I have a BA in Economics and will have an Masters in Management and a Masters of Science, 2 yrs of work experience as a risk analyst and with level 1 of the cfa by the time i apply for a graduate scheme at an i-bank in europe. Websites tend to say that associate positions are for mba or masters in finance students with significant work experience. What do they consider to be significant work experience and what position should i apply for?
    Thank you

  34. Alex says

    I’m just starting college next year, and majoring in finance. Are there ANY hopes I can work no more than 60 hours a week? It’s pretty crushing to hear that pursuing my dream would require sleepless nights of work and avoiding my friends and family year after year. Do hours vary significantly based on seniority or your position? If so, how can I get my 60?

  35. JD says

    Mr Banker

    Let me start thanking you for the fantastic Q&A relating to IB its really helpful.I’m currently working as sales executive since last 1 and half years basically into industrial selling, i am planning to do my mba from a reputed college.It would be great if you can clarify few of my doubt.

    1.What is the difference between IB and Stock Broker/Trader
    2. Is there a role for sales and marketing guys in IB, frankly what i understood so far is IB is nothing but glorified(money) selling. Can i enter as a sales into IB firm now and get some exp, thought it will value post MBA.
    3. As i have no finance background i was wondering is it worth the pain to study from the base about finance then do mba and even if you get a job as associate the whole process seems to start from the beginning.
    4. Is there really huge money involved in IB if you pass out from reputed college. How much does an IB really earn. Is the Bonus Really Huge.
    5. Is it true that Finance guys have more control/growth on business than Marketing guys.

    In the end it’s Money that matters

    • says

      1. Please do a search for “broker” on this site to see.
      2. No probably not you have to be really analytical at the analyst level.
      3. Well that depends on how badly you want it I guess. If you’re motivated, sure, but if you just think it might be cool, then no.
      4. Please do a search for “bonuses.”
      5. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, really depends on the company and deal.

  36. MW says

    Hey, I’m a high school student. I’m very curious about finance careers, specfically as an analyst. Do they make well? Is the job market good? I have completed college entry level courses in Marketing and Accounting, and hope to transfer those credits into a business school like Stern in NYC. Thanks!

  37. Ray says

    Hi am currently studying BSc business management in one of the most familiar universities in London and I would like to know if it’s possible for me to enter banking, how and wha the requirments are. I do have Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management, Finance management, Statistics and economics in some of my models). Additionally, I’m seriously interested and would like advise from an expert. Thanks:)

    • says

      Sorry not sure what you’re asking. If you do a search for “UK” or “assessment center” on the site you’ll see UK-specific tips.

  38. Small Fry says

    Brian, phenomenal article! This has truly been an insight, thank you. If I may branch some of your attention to the following questions:

    1.Is it worth going straight into IB after college with BA or going to grad school then into IB?

    2.Do most or any firms pay for you to go back to graduate school to get your MBA?

    3.(somewhat random) Have you read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends & Influence People?

    -Small Fry

    • says

      1. If you want to work in PE/HF then yes do it straight away otherwise if to stay in IB long-term do it after MBA.
      2. No. Rare.
      3. Yes. That is what this entire business is based upon. :)

  39. Paul says


    I am currently completing a BA in Finance and Accounting from an Irish university and am in my second year of study. I am extremely interested in being a investment banker and have been applying for many summer internships. However, I am not too confident about securing an internship due to low grades apart from this current year, where I am averaging top three in the class.
    My question is do I have any hope getting a full time grad analyst job, either in Ireland or abroad with my backround?
    If I dont secure a full time IB job, I will most likely go into a Big Four accounting firm. Would I be in a position to go into an IB associate role after 3 years work in Big Four, considering I would be a CA and have a Masters in Accounting.

    Any help would be appreciated,

  40. kima says

    hi, am taking a bachelors in finance and investment analysis and want to continue with a masters in economics at masters level..my question is,isn’t it more relevant to investment analysis compared to an mba? thanx in advance..

  41. matt says

    Great Articles!

    I am currently majoring in Finance at Virginia Tech and am greatly interested in IB. Will wall street banks recruit from Virginia, and how long does it take to rise into an associate position, and would I need an MBA to do so even if I am already in the company. Also, if you dont mind, what is tje typical analyst pay?

    Thanks so much!!

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