by Brian DeChesare Comments (55)

10 Years of Running This Business: My Top 10 Red-Pill Truths

10 Years, 10 Red-Pill Truths

Ten years ago this week, I officially launched M&I.

If you do a quick survey of your friends, acquaintances, and co-workers, you probably can’t find anyone else who has held the same job for 10 years.

Which makes me lucky, insane, or a bit of both.

To put the time in perspective, I started out when Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns still existed, and when Donald Trump was best known for The Apprentice.

The first iPhone had been released months ago, everyone was incredulous at Facebook’s $15 billion valuation (it’s now worth $500+ billion), and people were certain that Hillary Clinton would be the next President.

And I was young, naïve, and eager to quit my job and live the dream running an online business from a beach in Thailand.

Since then, I’ve taken the red pill.

I’ve launched products and services, hired and fired people, survived crazy relationships in both New York and Korea, and traveled and lived around the world.

And I’ve I learned some uncomfortable truths in the process.

I came up with dozens, but here are my top 10:

1) If You’re an International Student, Watch Out! Universities Are Exploiting You

There has been a massive increase in the number of international students at universities in the U.S., U.K., and other Western countries over the past decade.

Universities might claim they’re doing this to “embrace diversity” or “go global,” but don’t be fooled: It’s mostly about the money.

International students in the U.S. are not eligible for most government aid, so students must pay close to the list price – which means they either come from wealthy families or borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Many universities, especially in the lower tiers, are in dire straits financially, so they need the money. It’s a match made in heaven.

Just one small problem: It is very difficult to get a work visa after graduation, especially if you majored in a non-STEM subject. And even if you do get a work visa, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get to stay in the country indefinitely.

So, you apply, accept admission, pay a small fortune… and then get sent back after graduation.

To get around this, you need to start early and major in a STEM subject, attend a Master’s program and do the same, or give up and return to your home country.

2) The Fundamentals of Recruiting Don’t Change, But the Details Do

The truth is, not that much about finance recruiting has changed, despite what random 18-year-olds say online.

I just glanced at my emails from 2007-2008, and there were a lot of questions about networking, winning interviews from an unknown state school, overcoming low grades, and moving into banking as a career changer.

And today… the questions and comments are virtually identical.

Even in the reader interviews I conduct, the accounts of networking and interviewing at banks have stayed consistent over the years.

The top three points that have changed are:

  1. Candidate Pool – Banks can no longer get “the best and the brightest” because finance jobs have become less appealing. Smart and accomplished people from top schools still go into the field, but the average quality is lower.
  2. Timing – Summer-internship recruiting and buy-side recruiting now start so early that it is almost comical; these early start dates partially explain why banks no longer get the best candidates. If this trend continues, banks will soon be recruiting summer interns from elementary school, 15 years in advance of internships.
  3. Required Technical Knowledge – You need to know significantly more about accounting, valuation, and financial modeling to win offers these days, particularly at the elite boutiques.

These points may seem significant, but think about how much has not changed:

I have been revising and updating articles on this site, but that’s mostly because I didn’t capture everything correctly the first time around – not because there have been massive changes.

3) Your University Friends & Network Are Incredibly Valuable… But Only Up to a Certain Age

I’ve lived and worked around the world in the past decade: South Korea, Australia, Argentina, Finland (kind of), Spain, and more.

But I’ve made almost no long-term friends in these places.

Almost everyone in my current social circle is from university or is connected to it in some way (friend of a friend, referral, etc.).

In school, you don’t need a specific reason to become friends with someone, which makes it easier to develop friendships “just because.”

Once you graduate, friendships tend to become more situational and transient.

You might become friends with someone at your new job, but once the person leaves, that’s it.

But the network you develop in school tends to withstand work and geographical changes more readily.

On the other hand, it also gets weaker over time as people settle down, have families, and drift into new fields.

So, you need to replace lost connections and develop a non-university network as you get older.

I’ve done a poor job of this, so I’m not sure I have any specific tactical advice.

But I have observed that “work friends” tend to disappear more quickly than others, so a starting point might be to depend more on activities/hobbies and less on co-workers.

4) Don’t Build a $5,000 Product for a $500 Market

One of my biggest mistakes, detailed in Part 5 of my Life Story, was taking the financial modeling courses and guides I created in 2009-2011 and revamping them to make them 10x more detailed.

Each new case study was based on a real company or deal, and there were SEC filings, press releases, industry research, channel checks, and more.

There were 32-page stock pitches, 50-slide pitch books, Excel models with thousands of rows, and 100+ hours of video.

And… no one cared.


I made the mistake of listening to a vocal minority who wanted “more advanced material” rather than the vast majority who simply wanted efficient training.

Also, I ignored the ugly truth that most people who buy educational products – even expensive ones – do not use them.

We get customers who pay $1,000 or $2,000 and then don’t even open the files or submit their resume/CV for editing.

And if someone does use the product extensively, he/she still tends to value brevity more than 543,123 hours of training.

More comprehensive products don’t necessarily sell better; people are willing to pay a certain amount for certain products/services, and “quality” is tough to define and use as a selling point.

I’m now reversing this mistake by replacing the courses with shorter, simpler versions, but I should never have gone down this path in the first place.

5) Don’t Hire Friends, Family, or Acquaintances

Almost all my hiring mistakes have happened because I hired a friend, a friend-of-a-friend, or an acquaintance rather than a professional.

If you run a business, you may be tempted to hire someone you know because “He/she would be great, and you already know him/her!”

But as Admiral Ackbar might say, it’s a trap!

People you already know personally tend not to respect you as an authority figure, and they often drag personal issues into the job.

One time, I hired a friend to do some design work in the early days of M&I, and he was 6 months late finishing the project because he was busy with his new band.

Another time, a friend I had hired in a customer support role couldn’t answer questions because his roommate locked him out, and he had to use an ax to force open the door.

No joke – he sent me the photos of the broken door.

You get the idea.

You could make a case for co-founding a company with a friend, family member, or acquaintance, but stay away from hiring them as subordinates.

6) If Customer Service is Killing You, You’re Doing Something Wrong

You read a lot of stories about “customer-centric” companies like Zappos killing it because they are responsive and willing to chat with you on the phone 24/7 to resolve problems.

I followed a similar philosophy a long time ago.

I used to kill myself staying up until 3 AM fixing customers’ Excel files, answering every incoming pre-sales question, and even offering phone consultations.

If someone wasn’t happy with even one small part of the product, I went out of my way to please them with free bonuses, services, and my own time.

But eventually, I realized it was all pointless:

  • 80%+ of Customers Don’t Even Ask Questions: There are about 34,000 active BIWS accounts and ~13,000 submitted questions right now. Even if you assume that each question is from one unique customer, 62% of our users have never even asked a question. And the real percentage is much higher – probably 80-85% – because the same 5-10 users tend to ask questions repeatedly.
  • Fewer Than 5% Ask Questions Before Buying: Yes, even with products priced at $197, $497, $997, and $1,497, we get relatively few questions. Be skeptical of people who claim you “need” to do phone or in-person sales above a certain price point.

The problem with the “Zappos approach” is that someone with complex or demanding requests is unlikely to be satisfied by any response.

You can go out of your way and spend hours attending to the problem, and the person will still not be satisfied because he/she is inherently a difficult person.

So, why bother?

“Customer service” might be a differentiating factor in a commoditized business (online shoe sales), but if you’re selling highly specialized or luxury products/services, don’t kill yourself.

Get the offer, the pricing, and the marketing right, and provide competent-but-not-Zappos-like service afterward.

7) The Facts Don’t Matter – Only the Story Does

When I started this site, I had a serious problem: I knew the industry, and I was confident I could coach clients and teach the technical side, but I had zero credibility.

I was very young, and in real life, I didn’t come across like the stereotypical banker at all.

I seemed more like a tech/startup person, and people sometimes didn’t believe I was in finance.

So, I did what any good storyteller would do: I invented a new identity (“The Inquisitor”) that was better aligned with the market.

If I could demonstrate my competence with content and client results, my actual credentials and qualifications – or lack thereof – wouldn’t matter.

Early articles made it sound like I was Patrick Bateman crossed with Jordan Belfort from The Wolf of Wall Street.

I never gave detailed information about myself because I wanted you to come up with your own story about me.

Any story that you create and tell yourself is far more powerful than any story that I could tell you.

It worked!

Back in 2008-2009, many visitors assumed that I was an anonymous Director or Managing Director at a large investment bank.

Anyone who read between the lines and beyond the lines was skeptical, but this is the Internet: Critical thinking is an endangered species.

The usual reaction was: “He has a ton of helpful, in-depth content. Judging by this content and my interactions, he must be an experienced banker who knows this stuff really well.”

To get around my lack of formal credentials and qualifications, I relied on the story.

And if you want to get ahead, so should you.

8) Raise Prices

When Tim Ferriss interviewed Marc Andreessen on his podcast, he asked him the famous “billboard” question:

Tim Ferriss: “If you could have one billboard, anywhere with anything on it, what would you put on it? If you wanted to convey a short message to as many people as possible.”

Marc Andreessen: “I’ve got one, I’ve actually thought about hiring a skywriter to do this one. Right in the heart of San Francisco would be a billboard with just two words on it: Raise Prices.”

Pricing is the #1 mistake that startups make.

It’s certainly one of the top 2-3 mistakes I’ve made.

And it’s almost always the same mistake: Entrepreneurs price their products and services too low, which sets the perception that their products and services can’t be any good.

Then, they can’t afford the sales & marketing required to sell them… and when nothing sells, they cut prices again, making their products look even worse and even harder to sell.

Here are my top pricing mistakes:

  • Industry-Specific Courses: Initially priced at $97, even though competitors’ courses were in the $497 – $997 range. I should have started at $247 or $347 at the very least; when I finally increased prices to $247, units sold increased!
  • Interview Guide: Started at $47, went to $97 after a year, and stayed at $97 for almost a decade, even as the content and services multiplied. When we raised the price to $197 in June this year, the dollar volume of sales increased by 2.5x.
  • Releasing New Versions for Free: When Microsoft releases a new version of Office, do you get it for free? No! You pay for an upgrade, or you get it as part of an annual or monthly subscription.

If I could go back in time, I would fix everything above and gradually increase prices over the years.

9) Make Your Money Early – But Not Too Early

As I’ve written about before, money affects you in unexpected ways.

Coming from a lower-middle-class family and graduating from university with over $100K in student loans, I’ve become more isolated as I’ve gained wealth.

It’s difficult to relate to friends and family members who are struggling to earn more when I have the opposite problem (money, but almost no free time).

But… I’m much happier to be in this position than the “I’m in my mid-to-late 30s, don’t have a stable career, and don’t have enough money” position.

Once you reach that age, it becomes difficult to amass significant wealth with conventional methods.

Careers like investment banking, consulting, and private equity are shut off, so your main options are to start your own business, join a VC-backed startup and win the lottery, or start a side hustle such as real estate.

Those sound nice in theory, but your free time and motivation drop as you get older.

Having kids will annihilate your free time, but even without them, you’ll get sucked into more family/legal/other issues, you may develop health problems, and your day job will get busier with age.

So, if your goal is wealth, act on it when you’re young.

But there is one corollary: Don’t make too much money when you’re too young.

Most of my friends and acquaintances who hit the jackpot by working at companies like Facebook or Google in their early 20s haven’t done much since then.

Making millions or tens of millions at that age is like entering a cheat code in a video game: You win the game, but the boss battles are boring.

It’s good to struggle, fail, pivot, and change because it makes the journey more interesting and the final boss battle more rewarding.

As a rough guideline, I’d say that 20 years after university graduation is a good time frame to target for “financial security.”

I won’t define that term precisely because it means different things to different people.

At that point, you could downshift and focus on family or double down and feel secure enough to start another venture.

10) Don’t Stay in the Finance Industry for the Long Term

You could still make a strong case for starting out in investment banking and spending a few years there.

You gain a well-defined skill set, a solid network, and client/transaction experience that will be valuable everywhere.

But the long-term industry prospects have become much worse – everything from compensation to automation to the increasingly-under-pressure hedge fund/asset management/private equity industries.

Plus, you do nothing useful for the world.

Most of your work involves making rich people even richer, so you arguably make the world worse.

There are occasional exceptions, but they are few and far between.

The only good reasons to stay in finance for the long term are:

  • You Care About Money and Nothing Else – For example, $1 million is not enough; you need at least $10-20 million, or you’ll be a failure.
  • You Find the Work Legitimately Interesting – If you enjoy the process of digging into financial statements, wining/dining clients, or advising on deals, then sure, knock yourself out.

Another 10 Years?

As you can tell from the tone of this article, my enthusiasm has declined quite a bit.

I could explain that in many ways: Worsening market conditions, sillier and sillier questions, less rewarding interactions, and increased time spent on minutiae.

But the simplest explanation is often the best one: Ten years is a really long time to spend on one job, especially when that job barely changes.

I don’t necessarily want to quit, but I do expect to change the format of this site in the future.

For example, I may delete the less-popular articles, focus on keeping the top 100-200 updated, and occasionally write something new.

The good news is that I’m more interested in expanding/improving the BIWS courses, so you’ll see updates there far into the future.

I could see that lasting for another decade – even if M&I, in its current form, does not.

But who knows?

Everyone thought that Star Wars was over in 2005 when Episode III came out, but then Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, and now we’re getting a new franchise movie each year.

So, maybe this site will continue indefinitely.

Hopefully, George Lucas won’t be involved.

Coming Up Next Month: What I would have done differently over the past decade, from business to personal decisions.

M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. amen sir. done that for 22 years. My billboard: “do what you love. love what you do”

  2. Thank you for taking the time to write this. It’s rare to find a perspective like yours online in a well organized fashion. BIWS is one of the best investments I’ve made and I’m happy to hear you plan to continue it.

    1. Thanks for reading! Yup, I wish more entrepreneurs and owners would share their stories, especially in a detailed way. A lot of “advice” in online articles is quite generic.

  3. Thank you for this article. I’ve been navigating your website for the last few days.
    Do you have some articles related to how to explain some detail in your resume that looks like failure? When you are young, not everything is in your own control, and things are more situational. I would just like to know how you would explain this situation.

  4. Really nice read. I’m relatively new to your site (jumped from Securitization to IB only ~7 months ago), but always found your content to add a lot of value to my career progression. One of the reasons I made the switch was to gain more general and valuable experience to eventually launch my own business. Hope to keep learning from someone who has already walked that path.


    1. Thanks! Glad to hear it.

  5. Excellent write up Brian! I’m a former banker / PE professional who is now an entrepreneur. Your site and guides helped get me into the finance industry ~10 years ago. Nowadays your articles on entrepreneurship and your personal journey are what I read voraciously!

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear it.

  6. GIven that your degree is in a subject unrelated to your career choice – and from one of the most expensive schools in the world – I find it interesting you ignored the fact that most people don’t use educational products (even expensive ones)… :)

    1. Actually, I have used the degree a fair amount (I still jump into code and fix problems sometimes, and a technical background is helpful when assigning tasks to developers). Also, I don’t think I would have made it into IB if I had attended a lesser-known school since I started recruiting at the very last minute. Back in the early-to-mid 2000’s, you could do that and still get in if you had a good GPA, top university, and decent internship experience (even if they were non-finance internships).

      But you’re right that very little I do today *directly* relates to it. The problem was that I paid more attention to comments and emails from a small, but vocal group of users who wanted specific features rather than looking at the numbers for the entire user base (partially because reporting was non-existent back then). Qualitative feedback is useful mostly when it’s blatant (e.g., dozens of people requesting the same exact thing every day).

  7. Brian, you did a great job and we do know that. Don’t give up yet, it’s just the beginning. P.S. We are struggling with this as well – it is an interesting journey. Best regards and a Huge Thank You.

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear it, and will do.

  8. Thought on what happens to megafunds on buyside? If I’m on the private Credit arm of a megafund as an associate, do you think this role exists in 20-30 years? Obviously compensation, etc is fine now but how does the long term viability of this role compare to that of IB long term – in your opinion

    1. Yes, I think the role will still exist in 20-30 years, but more of it will be automated, and there will probably be fewer humans doing it. I think IB is probably the most protected from automation, followed by PE, with many public-markets roles faring a lot worse (we already see it happening with hedge funds). So, it might fare slightly worse than IB, but I don’t think you have much to worry about. If you wanted to start a non-quant hedge fund in the current environment, on the other hand, well.. good luck.

      1. How do you think PE and capital markets gets automated in the future? Which functions in the front office? Deal sourcing / modeling / pitchbooks / idea generation/ pricing of risk?

        1. Modeling, pitch books, risk pricing, potentially others. Some humans will need to be involved as long as executives at companies are still humans and not robots, but you probably don’t need dozens of bankers from different firms all working on a single equity deal (for example).

          1. Thoughts on Infrastructure PE specifically? Would that be automated or not given investments in long-term real assets and the complex regulatory and development/construction dynamics? Or does that not matter?

          2. I don’t think anything will be completely automated. Infrastructure PE is probably safer than other fields because it is more specialized and it arguably contributes more to the economy than other parts of the industry. Nothing will disappear overnight, so if you like the work and are earning good compensation, go ahead. My point here was just that finance is less attractive now for the “I don’t know what I want to do and I’m not really interested in anything, but I want to make a lot of money” crowd.

  9. Thanks for this! Always great reading your stuff, congrats on the ten years! Keep writing as I feel you have a ton of wisdom to share.

    1. Thanks! I hope to do so.

  10. Thanks for the ultra red pill Brian.

    I have recently finished your Excellence with Excel course. What do you think about the other courses if I’m planning to go with entrepreneurship? I haven’t started a career in finance yet.

    1. Thanks! The courses aren’t really geared toward entrepreneurship, but you might find parts of the Fundamentals course relevant because there are some case studies on tech companies and different forms of financing. And it’s good to know accounting and financial statement analysis even outside of finance. The Real Estate course (especially the new, shorter case studies we just added) would also be relevant if you start something real estate-related.

  11. Hi Brian. Congratulations, what a milestone!

    99 times out of 100 an Online article with this title would be a filled baseless platitude for building brand awareness. Content marketing taken too far, if you will. I just wanted to say it’s so refreshing to see a piece with real mistakes, advice, and reflections, instead of what is found all over the rest of the web — a poorly veiled attempt to you make the writer look good.

    It is testament to the quality of your writing and the quality of content on the site. Like some of the other commenters, I don’t even work in banking anymore but regularly follow the BIWS videos and articles out of interest and have been a regular reader for 4 years now. Thank you for sticking with it for so long and very best of luck with whatever direction you decide to go in the future.

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear it. I always aim for controversy or detail, and when I can get both, all the better.

  12. When I was in college, I used to read your posts everyday – rinse and repeat, over and over.
    I did buy some of your products, and indeed – the courses were so comprehensive, and so so long… I didn’t read everything. Then I landed my first internship, everything somehow kinda worked out (so far…) thanks to your advice. Thank you.

    It’s been 6+ years in banking so far, and… all the prestige that I thought the job had eventually faded.
    It’s just a way to pay my bills and save for retirement.

    If you come to Brazil/Sao Paulo, please let us know! I’ll buy you dinner/coffee. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, glad to hear it! Hopefully you can escape from banking soon. There’s light on the other side!

      I actually passed through SP very briefly a few weeks ago and hope to visit again soon (a friend from university is also living there).

      1. Hahaha, sometimes all I wanna do is to kill my boss and quit, but then I think about my total comp and give up giving up.
        And my boss is definitely not the worst boss in the world, so… could be far worse.

        Most of my college friends are in non-finance jobs, and they are struggling to save money, so I can’t really complain. They also hate their bosses, hate their colleagues… at least I’m getting paid, right?! It’s not so bad, haha.

        You should definitely write a book, maybe a GS Elevator style book:

        1. Yup, that is one way to think about it. No one really likes their job, but at least you make and save money in finance. Yeah, maybe I’ll write a book about the super-secret world of online marketing… and hype it up to make it sound more interesting than a bunch of nerds sitting around on laptops.

  13. Brian:

    Congrats on the ten years. I always admire how candid you are with certain topics. You mention that the future is bleak for the finance industry. However, I was wondering what your outlook is for the commercial real estate industry. I have noticed that a lot of the recent content has been involving commercial real estate careers. All of those articles have been extremely interesting.

    1. Thanks! I think CRE has a better future than many roles within finance, especially on the hedge fund/asset management side. I don’t think IB/PE will “die,” as they’re less subject to automation than other fields, but they’ll be less lucrative (though still a good career starting point). And yes, quite a few articles recently have been about real estate. I’m also working on more real estate case studies because a very broad audience is interested in the subject, and I find it more fun than other industries.

  14. Btw, you said you worked in Spain…I am Spanish and I am seriously considering to work in Madrid at a BB and not in London, since life quality is much higher and cost of living much lower (in fact, I think salaries are higher on a PPP base than in London, even if I am not 100% sure about this – I believe bonuses should be lower).

    Do you think working in Madrid would hurt my exit ops for breaking into PE? I know I would have good chances to break into a Spanish PE firm, but they are mostly mid market, so my question refers more to big PE firms, even if some of them do not have offices in Spain. I think the Spanish M&A market is having a good time now and there are more deals, so that you can get enough deal experience. But maybe the fact that Madrid has not the same reputation as London would make things difficult. What do you think?

    1. I don’t know enough about IB in Spain to give a definitive answer (I “worked” as in I worked online/remotely while there), but total compensation is almost certainly lower than in London just because the cost of living is lower and deals are smaller. For PE in Europe, you should still go to London, even post-Brexit, because most teams are still based there. Some large PE firms do have offices in Spain, but it’s almost always better to start in a major financial center. You could make the IB to PE move in Spain, but it would be tougher to move to one of the mega-funds.

      1. Thank you for your advice, Brian, very useful as always. As a suggestion, an article (maybe interview-based) about IB in Spain would be great and surely very much appreciated by readers in Spain and Southern Europe, as well as by curious people.

        1. I would like to, but unfortunately no one has volunteered yet. :( We did publish an article on IB in Italy (, but it’s from a long time ago, and one this year on PE in Portugal ( There is also an upcoming article on Restructuring in Italy.

          1. Thank you for the articles, Brian. Do you think that it is feasible to transfer from a Spanish / Italian BB office to the London office without much difficulty?

          2. It’s possible, but it’s not the easiest transition because it’s always harder to move from a regional office to the headquarters. I don’t have the success probability or a formula you can use to predict your chances of moving.

  15. Thank you for writing this wonderful thing…I’ve never bought a product…I’ve never really read many of your emails but admitting you priced your shit too low is a fucking gold mine to me. It’s too common and too easy to think oh this isn’t worth much. But we (creators) don’t determine what something is worth, the market does.

    1. Yup, exactly. You don’t always know what the price should be, but pricing it at an 80% discount to competitive products is a big mistake. If there are no competitors, it’s admittedly much tougher to tell.

  16. Hey Brian,

    congratulations for your 10 years. Whenever you feel short of motivation, think about people like me. You have inspired my career path and I enjoyed reading your articles like in any other website.

  17. Hey Brian, thanks for sharing this. I was an international student from South Korea (Nontarget school, No stem major, H1B visa issued 2015). I was lucky to have a good experience in M&A transaction(especially operation focused PMI). I am now working on getting into management consulting. I really agree your thoughts on this article. I am not sure I can give you any help at my current stage but if you think I can, please let me know. Thanks!

    1. Thanks. Congrats on your visa and getting a good experience! I’ve heard a lot stories that didn’t end so well, so it’s good to hear the other side as well.

  18. I love these articles. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear it.

  19. “…but this is the internet: Critical thinking is an endangered species.” LOL! It’s good you still have your sense of humour. :D

    1. That line came to me in editing, and I knew I had to keep it…

  20. Thank you for the fantastic post, Brian! I’m a graduating senior at an Ivy and signed an offer with a well-know MM PE shop for full time. I personally want to be involved with cutting-edge technology in the future, though lack a technical background. Long term goal is just have more time to travel/read/learn. I don’t need that much money, but financial independence is important to me.

    I’m from a lower income family, so being independent drew me to finance, though I find investing very interesting. Currently I’m thinking about saving more of my salary to invest in rental real estate properties (obviously not in really expensive cities like NYC) –
    1) Do you think that’s a good side hustle to do for independent income?
    2) Is a MBA required in my future? I would like to have the option to be involved with tech firms, but not really sure if PM is what I want to do.

    3) I’ve also been thinking about maybe going to a distressed PE/HF later. What do you think might be the best path for me to do now?

    Thank you so much again!
    Confused senior

    1. Thanks!

      1) If you can find the right area, yes. I think home ownership will keep decreasing and more and more people will rent.

      2) No.

      3) You need to get distressed experience, which most people get in restructuring IB or in turnaround/restructuring consulting or related fields. But if you’re already working at a generalist PE firm, it’s tougher. Maybe see if you can work on more complex debt-related deals there so that you gain experience that has similarities to distressed deals. Another option might be to join a credit fund. I don’t think it would make much sense to leave PE and go to banking or consulting and then back to PE just to move to a distressed fund.

  21. Congratulations for this successful project !

    I hope Disney will buy this website such as Lucasfilm. This website definitely needs an article about Investment Banking in the Galactic Empire.

    1. Thanks! Yes, I hope to contribute to the Empire’s content marketing strategy…

  22. Amazing to hear your takeaways :)

  23. Amazing article! I used to use M&I and BIWS extensively when I was hustling for finance jobs, but now I just follow it because I love to read your content, especially about non-IB-recruiting topics. If you wrote a book about your life, started writing articles for Bloomberg or anything like that, I would avidly follow! I am genuinely interested in reading your opinions about the world and life insights (I have read your life story like 3 or 4 times).

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear it. Who knows, maybe Bloomberg is coming up in the future…

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