Bigger on Wall Street

There is no doubt that the United States is fascinated by the big shots on Wall Street.

Many of them live a life more suitable for rock stars than an MBA. Earning millions is just one benefit of the profession, including passing by the rich and famous. Success on Wall Street is the goal of many ambitious professionals, especially when they have just graduated from college.

How to be big on Wall Street

But don’t expect to find your dream Wall Street job in the Sunday classified section of your local newspaper.

The most fascinating positions are usually not made public, and need to be busier than a resume, and more passionate than a diploma. These positions are not always assigned to the boss’s nephew, but to those who are willing to die in one blow.

If you are ready to meet the challenge, here are the four most fascinating jobs on Wall Street and the conditions needed to get them.

Key points

  • Success in the financial world means large sums of money, a fascinating lifestyle, and the ability to pass the elite.
  • Becoming a hot investment banker is the desire of many people pursuing the glory of Wall Street, but there are other ways.
  • Advising celebrities, managing multi-billion dollar investment portfolios, selling financial savvy knowledge, and publishing market forecasts are other ways to reach the top.
  • Generally, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in business or mathematics to work on Wall Street.
  • Generally speaking, the most sought-after skills on Wall Street today focus on data science, technology, and risk management.

Investment Banking: Classic Wall Street Charm

Investment banking is still one of the most reliable ways to get rich on Wall Street. In IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, corporate loans, institutional transactions, and other major Wall Street transactions, those who succeed are expected to be intermediaries in action.

Entry-level investment banking assistants do a good job themselves, and their first-year salary is usually $100,000 or more. Within four to five years, experienced investment bankers can easily earn between $150,000 and $250,000 during promotion.

If you have the ability to persevere and play a key role in large transactions, you can easily earn millions of dollars in salary.

Does it sound suitable for your profession? If so, then be prepared to pay your dues. After obtaining a required MBA degree from a top business school, you can plan to move to New York and work 80 to 100 hours a week as an analyst for the first few years. Make sure to also improve your accounting and networking skills, as both are essential to differentiate yourself from the competition and climb in the rankings.

Star stockbroker: passing by with the richest man in the United States

Only in the United States does the NBA All-Star entourage include his stockbroker. Although this may seem extreme, for budding celebrities, there may be no more important people than investment consultants and accountants. Since these celebrities receive large but intermittent salaries and cannot guarantee future employment, managing windfalls wisely is their key.

Is the salary worth bearing the paparazzi? You bet it is. On average, investment advisers for high-net-worth individuals earn about 1% of their income from the assets they manage. Therefore, an agent who manages $5 million for 10 budding talents can easily earn $500,000 a year. As your customer list grows, these numbers will only continue to increase.

Before you set your sights on becoming the next Jerry Maguire in the celebrity investment world, you need to accept the fact that you may be scolded—a lot. Athletes, actors and nobles are often outstanding people, they are used to do whatever they want. If you don’t live up to expectations, especially when comparing them with wealthy peers, you can bet you will hear it.

Although a four-year college degree is enough to get you into many local branches of large Wall Street companies, be prepared to compete for your reputation with other ambitious brokers. If you intend to become a big client, you must learn how to establish connections through a system of talent managers, lawyers, and accountants. Because most celebrities are not interested in participating in the investment seminar held at your local brokerage house on Saturday morning, they rely heavily on recommendations from their trusted advisory circle.

Mutual fund managers: masters in trading

For some people, glory does not come from completing big deals or colluding with the elite, but from being the best and beyond. For those who are obsessed with charm, there is no higher mountain than managing billions of dollars in mutual fund assets. This is the Olympic Games in the investment world, and the winners’ funds receive high ratings, not gold medals.

Although the days for a single investment master to manage funds seem to be dwindling, entry-level positions in the mutual fund management team can easily earn between 200,000 and 400,000 US dollars per year before receiving bonuses. Climb up the ladder to become a senior team member or join one of the most prestigious mutual fund families, and the annual salary can easily exceed $1 million. But be sure to keep this money away-a major mistake or bad investment decision, you will most likely never manage another fund again.

If you feel you are ready to accept billions of dollars in investments from others, you may want to start with the mailroom of your favorite mutual fund. Of course, it’s not uncommon to see a new Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) buying coffee for a big boss while studying hundreds of potential companies every week. Mutual funds promote vigorously from within their own teams, usually preferring those who have proven that they can work as part of a tight team.

Certified Financial Analyst

If you want to work on Wall Street, you can consider obtaining a CFA license, which is the gold standard in the investment industry. According to the CFA Institute, the average annual salary of a CFA franchise holder is approximately $180,000.

Media figures: Become a household name

If there is a brass ring for those seeking the charm of Wall Street, it is the family recognition of being a media celebrity. These people will eventually post market comments on the financial channel. They are the ones who own lucrative TV, radio, and book deals. They are the first choice for millions of investors, and they can get astronomical rewards simply by sharing their opinions.

Considering that people like Suze Orman and Jim Cramer can make between $10 million and $20 million in a bad year, it is not difficult to see why Wall Street has become the new Hollywood that people long for family audience attention. But like all real celebrities, fame comes at a price. The more prominent this person is, the more interested the public will be in your personal life and the less tolerant of your mistakes.

If you think you are ready to take close-up shots, you have two main options that will allow you to step into this door: First, you can get a degree in journalism and work hard to find entry-level positions behind the scenes and major media networks. Like many other jobs on Wall Street, the best positions are paid insiders. You can plan to spend three to five years carrying the wires and verifying the source before you can take the first shot at a certain talk time.

Another option is to become a local expert and apply your Wall Street wisdom to guest shows that often appear on local TV or radio channels. Many celebrities used to be favorites in their hometowns and eventually attracted the attention of a national morning show.

Deal with common Wall Street problems

What should I study to work on Wall Street?

When working on Wall Street, it is useful to learn things related to finance, business, economics, mathematics, data science, and computer programming.

What degree will allow you to find a job on Wall Street?

Generally, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in business or mathematics to work on Wall Street. Such majors include finance, business management, economics, accounting, statistics, mathematics, and even computer science.

What are the most sought-after job skills on Wall Street?

It depends on the specific role. But in general, the most sought-after skills on Wall Street today are focused on data science and technology. Things such as predictive analytics, cloud computing, and machine learning are becoming more and more important.

Of course, skills such as risk management, process improvement, and customer relationship building have always been Wall Street needs.

How stressful is working on Wall Street?

Wall Street is notorious for its high-stress work environment.

For example, according to an internal survey conducted by Goldman Sachs in 2021, its first year investment bank analysts reported that work stress is harmful to their physical and mental health.

What are the alternatives to working on Wall Street?

You can choose many careers related to finance and investment without having to work on Wall Street. In fact, most financial careers have “high street” options. They include:

  • Accountant or auditor
  • Personal financial planner or consultant
  • Credit analyst
  • Corporate Financial Analyst
  • Risk Management Expert
  • Actuary
  • Financial writer

Bottom line

Wall Street is still the greatest bastion of personal capitalism in the world, where determined individuals can go from answering the phone to giving orders in just a few years. But rewards are hard-won, free or fair.

Just working on Wall Street, you will not find the charm of Wall Street. It also cannot be achieved by pure luck unless you choose to make it yourself.

As the famous Roman philosopher Seneca said: “Luck is what happens when you are ready to encounter opportunities.”

If the charm of Wall Street is what you are after, never stop preparing for the opportunity at that moment, when you can step in and prove that you have what it needs.


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