On Frugal Travel Moves That Backfired On Me

My favorite sign will forever be: "Free breakfast included in room rate"

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm 1

On A Job I Want That No Longer Exists: Professional Letter Writer

Actually this does exist - for cover letters. There is a website for those looking to break into big consulting (Mckinsey, etc) that will write you a cover letter for ~$100. I'm sure all the resume assistance services have similar options.

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm 0

On The Culture of Overwork on Wall Street And in Silicon Valley

@Beaks I think the knowledge/accountability issues he touches on is a big part of it. Working as a team is fundamental in investment banking but perhaps not in the way you would think. I would compare it to building a house. The most senior person (who is responsible for the quality of the product at the end of the day) is going to monitor the work at a high level and talk to the customer. Meanwhile someone needs to oversee all of the details of actual construction (a VP). Someone is going to be working on plumbing, someone else on electrical etc. There are some facets that lend themselves to multiple parties dividing and conquering but an excel model does not. Only one person can make changes at any given time and only one person (the creator/laborer) is going to fully understand all the mechanisms and dependent variables that are at play. Working towards the same goal - but everyone has different responsibilities at various times.

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 2:26 am 0

On The Culture of Overwork on Wall Street And in Silicon Valley

@Beaks See here: http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/why-you-actually-work-so-much-as-an-investment-banker-yes-even-in-a-recession/

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 8:51 pm 0

On The Culture of Overwork on Wall Street And in Silicon Valley

@wrappedupinbooks A common refrain well addressed here http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/why-you-actually-work-so-much-as-an-investment-banker-yes-even-in-a-recession/

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 8:51 pm 0

On The Culture of Overwork on Wall Street And in Silicon Valley

While the hours of investment banking are a badge of honor to some (mostly new analysts who want to reinforce the stereotype to their friends), they are by sad necessity, not election. It is a service business and an extremely inefficient one (by its very nature) at that. Our clients work normal hours...and then when they are going home they call my boss' boss and say "hey i just thought of some asinine idea that might make me look important. i need to present it to the board by 9am Wednesday". At this point it is 7pm Monday. So then my boss' boss tells my boss what they want. Then my boss sketches out what he thinks the "book" (powerpoint deck) should look like. Then he tells me. Then a couple of us work on it until 2am and leave it on his desk. Now it is morning. He review it when he gets in. Then we change some things. Then he reviews it again. Then he gives it to his boss. Then his boss changes some things, deletes things, and adds 5 new pages that will take a couple hours to create. Now it is 9pm on Tuesday. We have made the changes. My boss spots a couple of errors. We correct them and resubmit. My boss' boss finally gives his ok at midnight (9 hours before the meeting). Now some sad person prints and binds the books. We check them. Now it is 2am. And repeat. The hours get the headlines but the unpredictability is the real pain. This is a story told far more eloquently by the aforementioned boss' boss here: http://epicureandealmaker.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-fine-disregard-for-rules.html

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 10:34 pm 1

On The Whelps of Wall Street: What It's Like to Work as a Junior Banker in the Post-Crisis Era

As a junior investment banker (above analyst, below VP) and long-time reader of Roose, he is definitely not a Wall St. apologist. I think this book is well done and apropos (would encourage you to check out his buzzfeed on life of a junior investment banker - spot on). Hopefully it will also clue both the media and public in on what investment bankers actually do - and why real investment bankers had little to nothing to do with the crisis. People who work at an investment bank and investment bankers are not the same thing. As a frequent Billfold reader, I would be happy to participate in one of those interview columns if that would be of any interest to the readership.

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 6:11 pm 3

On Rich Texas Teenager Who Killed Four People While Driving Drunk a Victim of 'Affluenza'

I actually think Elie Mystal at the widely-read legal blog Above the Law is on to something in this case. You can read his piece at the link below but essentially he argues that he doesn't disagree with the verdict - he disagrees with the narrow application. He thinks the justification made by the judge should be more broadly applied to juveniles. I.E. Affluenza is not the cause, but rather it is terrible parenting that afflicts persons of all classes and creeds. Interesting and valid perspective, I think. http://abovethelaw.com/2013/12/in-defense-of-the-rich-white-boy-who-killed-four-people-and-got-away-with-it/

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm 0

On Farewell, Terrible Health Insurance

We needed insurance that covers collision and damage to the major parts (and does something to the rising prices of all components). But we demanded a warranty that covered all the above + oil changes, windshield wipers, brakes, and tires (and does nothing to bend the cost curve downward). But hey, "free" stuff! Yay.

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 1:44 am 3

On Dave Ramsey Would Like to Help Get You Out of Debt (But Does Not Believe in Income Inequality)

I am a Dave fan though I do wish he would stay apolitical. I wish that of everyone in the media, actually. Regardless, his plan works, but it's not really "his plan". He has just popularized a very safe version of common sense. My parents raised me to believe in the "dave ramsey plan" long before there was a Dave Ramsey. Monthly budget, envelope system, don't spend more than you make, going out to eat was a rare treat, not a nightly occurrence...and on it goes. They lived that way when they were broke and when they were comfortable and ended up with far more money saved than their income bracket peers (I would guess). You can fire back at him in plenty of ways - I pay my credit card off every month, I have student loans bc going to x school got me where I want to be, etc - his plan is about eliminating risk - not maximizing returns. He likes the "giving a drunk a drink" analogy and I think it is apt for most americans. It is extremely conservative - singles and doubles, no home runs. But you won't strike out either. It is a sacrifice but I think his catchphrase, "live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else" sums it up pretty nicely. In our society it is just very difficult to live like no one else, now. Look no further than yesterday's post on the study re: getting 50k when everyone else has 25, versus 100k when everyone else has 200k.

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm 1