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AndyM


Total Posts: 2333
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 12:47

According to the Journal of Commerce:

average annual compensation for ILWU-affiliated dockworkers 2003 (USA):

class A longshoreman: $ 116 000

class A clerk: $136 000

Foreman: $195 000


Hell is other forums!

LondonPete


Total Posts: 1183
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 13:07
It would soften the blow if that were HKD not USD.

You might very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment.

AndyM


Total Posts: 2333
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 13:26
So much for the knowledge economy...

Hell is other forums!

LongTheta
The Snowman

Total Posts: 3150
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 13:32

 


Time is on my side.

LongTheta
The Snowman

Total Posts: 3150
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 13:36

 


Time is on my side.

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5100
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 14:15
How's that?

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

kr
Founding Member
NP Raider
Total Posts: 3561
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 16:21

LT -

Couldn't agree with you more... Actually this was the biggest reason why I got out of academia - you can't help but take it with you.  Gradually, it seemed that your research problems start to take over your entire life.  QF is not that good in comparison with the starchier white-collar jobs, but it's better than academic research.  There's just too many other things to do in life, and getting forced into a one-dimensional existence is not enjoyable - life shouldn't be about one thing only. 

signed,

ex-pianist
ex-RF elec engineer
ex-student of german, french, russian, mandarin
ex-avid reader
semi-retired number theorist
etc. 


my bank got pwnd

Patrik
Founding Member

Total Posts: 1359
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 16:52
damn, I'm only just starting out in the industry and this thread is already starting to get me a bit disillusioned.. perhaps I should opt for monkeyA's CD instead..

kr
Founding Member
NP Raider
Total Posts: 3561
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-26 18:08

Ok, probably I am a bit hypersensitive... let me explain.  Basically I am the quant to a team of I-bankers.  Personality-wise, these people couldn't be more different than traders.  The most obvious thing is face time.  This is a concept that I was wholly unfamiliar with until 2 years ago.  Most ibankers are not intelligent enough to do NPV and IRR on their own, so they can't compete on P/L terms like traders do.  So, they compete on clock hours.  This is what leads to the twisted lifestyles that these guys lead.  As an example, I recently interviewed for a very similar position, and their guys basically do 8am-12am, 6 days a week. 

Let me ask you something:  With a 100-hour workweek, how long does it take to read a 400pp book cover-to-cover?  It could take years.  A lot of these people really panic when they get older, because they don't know how to do a single thing besides deals.  Granted, this requires a lot of schmoozing which hardly qualifies as work, but it's not really for fun either - i.e. you can't go to the party and get totally wasted, gotta be on your guard. 

Lucky for me, I am doing 12x6 rather than 16x6, but it's really getting to me.  I don't see how people work so hard to be good at what they do, to the specific exclusion of everything else.  Ok, you can fill your face-time up with nucphynance.com etc., but that's not the same as a few hours of concerted concentration. 

So why subject myself?  Early retirement option, and the ability to do a partial rather than complete exercise of same.  So far, we are making progress, even given the graduate school delay, so I'll be patient.


my bank got pwnd

JabairuStork
Beat Box King

Total Posts: 970
Joined: May 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-28 04:25
kr, I don't how you do it. I definitely couldn't hack.

I don't get people who come from some type of science/math background and migrate to finance simply because "it pays better." Well, I get it, but I hate them. The next person who tells me that is going to get kicked in the dick.

I can barely summon up enough energy to care these days. Hopefully it is just a natural part of the cycle, and I'll swing back to caring, but it's entirely possible that I might just give up.

I used to really have passion for finance, but I'm starting to forget why I even liked it in the first place. I primarily blame wall street, and only secondarily the booze.

Being around people of second rate intelligence and first rate egos all day long eventually takes its toll.

It almost makes me want to just save up a little money and move to Brasil.


kr
Founding Member
NP Raider
Total Posts: 3561
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-28 15:59

well, see, I have my support group!  thanks guys!

One thing is that where you're coding or doing really serious modelling all day, it's not a good situation because you know full well the big picture is fucked up, but you don't have the freedom to stop and understand it.  If you trade into the deals-deals-deals world, the depth of your direct effort becomes more limited, but you have time to let your mind wander. 

The major conclusion of my demented drifting sessions is that even though people say finance is ultimately all about P/L, I think it's really all about dogma.  Feeble-minded statistics are used because it provides the most manipulable yardstick, and that's exactly what people then apply their effort to:  manipulating the yardstick.  Soros' reflexivity in action here. 

The mistake the sharper minds make is that they believe their own dogma can outcompete the existing ones.  Ain't gonna happen.  You are far better off being a double-agent, it's just the only way to remain in the game.  And what's so wrong with that?  I thought everybody wanted to work under cover.

But I won't deny that

a) my liquor consumption has increased, so I keep an eye on it
b) I am saving cash like crazy

Yesterday I was comparing my savings rate to the U.S. average, and if I turned things around and backed out my effective salary based on the average rate, I had to laugh a little bit. 

Truly, it's better not to think of yourself as a quant, saving the world from derivatives disasters 8 days a week.  Channelsurfing the other day, I saw these guys who raised a big IPO so that they could raise shipwrecks in the Atlantic and take the gold.  All the spirit of Klondike, but without the blue-collar feel to it - looked like fun.  I also see a lot of CEOs here, and I will say that just playing entrepreneur is pretty lame.  You are not really going for that.  The succesful guys don't do interesting things, and they are all about generating confidence.  It would be more fun to overthrow an African government and steal all the diamonds.  Some parts of IB are actually like that, that's what makes it worthwhile to grab your machete and start hacking through the bush. 

apocalypse now, buddy


my bank got pwnd

FDAXHunter
Founding Member

Total Posts: 8372
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-28 20:41

Apocalypse Now.... lovin' it Smiley

I whole-heartedly agree with kr. If you are working on the street, you gotta be double agent. Fuck trying "to change the system" from within. Ain't gonna happen. You can't really be Mike Tyson and knock 'em all flat, sooner or later, your ending up with a knife in the back.

A friend of mine actually try to do the African Destabilization & Overthrow scheme once. Got a bunch of soldiers and support from some shareholders and charged up the hill at the directors. Almost worked... though in the end they all got slaughtered.
If you plan a coup d'etat (notice: there is a fun pun here: Etat also means something like available funds in German), you best have enough people and ammunition you might as well invade a third world country (or Belgium or something).

I don't like raiding in the traditional sense, i.e. invade, suppress steal and abandon.
I'd much rather do the sort of thing Danaher does. Invade, fortify, mine, repeat.

*end rant*


The Figs Protocol.

opmtrader
Founding Member

Total Posts: 1333
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-08-25 15:35
I remembered FDAX's post on "African Destabilization & Overthrow". It seems that Thatcher's son is wrapped up in a similar scheme for real. Trying to overthrow an oil rich African nation allegedly. Check it out:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=3&u=/nm/20040825/ts_nm/safrica_thatcher_dc

energy_quant


Total Posts: 35
Joined: Jan 2006
 
Posted: 2007-06-16 08:03
Friend of mine runs an import/export business (foodstuffs). He has almost gone under a few times because he was leveraged to the hilt, but now business is great. He just told me how much he will take out of the business this year - holly crap!

It's not the money (we're both now, by normal standard, quite well off). It is the journey to get there. My job has no meaning, and it basically never has. I sold out on day one. He has built something that he will pass on to his children - I envy him because he took the hard road.

Nothing very profound I'm afraid.....


quantnoob


Total Posts: 85
Joined: Oct 2006
 
Posted: 2007-06-16 19:58
I don't get people who come from some type of science/math background and migrate to finance simply because "it pays better." Well, I get it, but I hate them. The next person who tells me that is going to get kicked in the dick.

Career-related message boards are dominated by selection bias. People who are happy in their careers spend less time on them than those who are not. This message board in particular makes finance out to be really shitty-- long hours, poor working conditions, rampant political dangers, macho culture-- and that seems to be an exception rather than the rule, at least in what I've observed. Most quants and traders I know enjoy their jobs and very few have to put up with the 60+ work weeks and the macho/idiot culture associated with 1980s banking movies.

I don't understand why the people posting here, like the OP, about their horrible jobs don't start interviewing as soon as things go wrong. Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, there was a significant stigma against leaving a job before putting in 2-3 years. However, that stigma has relaxed due to increased workplace turnover on both sides, and the cost of 2+ years' career stagnation is immense compared to the stigma associated with "job-hopping".

This probably has no relevance to the OP; his post was 2004, so hopefully he's moved on.

balrog


Total Posts: 259
Joined: Jun 2004
 
Posted: 2007-06-16 20:11

I know plenty of buyside guys, QN, and everyone....EVERYONE, moans about their jobs. It's part and parcel of the culture. Usually revolves around i) not getting paid enough for the money they're making / others slicing into their cut, ii) not having enough leeway to put on the trades they want and iii) having to deal with other shit apart from what they perceive as making money for them - usually a mix of all 3. Show me someone happy on the buyside and either i) they're too new / naive to know they're getting shafted somewhere or much more likely ii) they appear to have reached a point of satiation only because they've got external work interests they plan to spin off to in the foreseeable future.

Its when they stop moaning that the employer better start worrying....

 


meeneah


Total Posts: 36
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2007-06-16 20:56
Funny, from my limited experience, I tend to agree with quantnoob. So what does the rest of you think? Is the average finance worker more or less happy with his job than the average executive (say lawyer, engineer, etc...)?

nsande


Total Posts: 624
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2007-06-16 21:51

"Is the average finance worker more or less happy with his job than the average executive (say lawyer, engineer, etc...)? "

Proposition: The average quant is more happy than the average engineer

Proof:

I was an average engineer and I am probably an average quant. I am now more happy than I was as an engineer

Q.E.D.

 

Wink


"For all intents and purposes, politics is to keep the populace alarmed, so they demand safety measures. They are bombarded by an endless array of imaginary hobgoblins..." H.L. Mencken, publicist and author 1880-1956.

quantnoob


Total Posts: 85
Joined: Oct 2006
 
Posted: 2007-06-16 21:59
For what it's worth, I didn't say "the average finance worker" is better-off/more happy than the average professional. I said that most quants and traders (both of which are significantly above-average finance jobs) I know enjoy their work. There's a lot of unpleasant work that needs to be done in finance that usually isn't done by quants and traders, but by back-office clerks who are much farther from the gold and glory.

IAmEric
Phorgy Phynance
Banned
Total Posts: 2961
Joined: Oct 2004
 
Posted: 2007-06-17 01:38
It is difficult to imagine an occupation full of less happy people than engineering. In fact, in grad school we created the "coefficient of happiness" and engineers clearly had the lowest.

Even if the horror stories were all true in finance, it would still be better than being an engineer. I do not know one happy engineer, whereas I know lots of happy finance people.

tabris


Total Posts: 1262
Joined: Feb 2005
 
Posted: 2007-06-17 03:44
IAE: "It is difficult to imagine an occupation full of less happy people than engineering..."

I can think of dentistry and maybe a few more.

QN: "Career-related message boards are dominated by selection bias..."

The same goes for opinions about subjective ideas such as happiness. The number of quants/traders/engineers/physicists I know do not represent the "average" population that work in their respected environments.

The idea really is to maximize your own utility. Some people work to live, others live to work...

Dilbert: Why does it seem as though I am the only honest guy on earth? Dogbert: Your type tends not to reproduce.

DrTarr


Total Posts: 270
Joined: Jan 2006
 
Posted: 2007-06-17 05:07

IAE: "It is difficult to imagine an occupation full of less happy people than engineering..."

Regulators!


The Delux Electric Monk

ClopeMan


Total Posts: 328
Joined: Jan 2007
 
Posted: 2007-06-17 17:58

Just discovered this thread...; i think it's cool that people can chat of these "ugly issues", frankly. I read from the start and got a nice, new and quite a bit more realistic/human view over quite a few NPs...

A natural question for me is to know what are the typical future possibilities for, say, front office / vetting type of quants. I mean, i still do like quantitative work and will probably "enjoy it" (as a good job, not as a vocation...) in a couple years time, but i hardly see myself freaking out on a rush to build/repair a pricer in, say, 20 years time... I'm no quantitative puritain, i discovered a while ago that i would not become any close to any Tian/Yau/Chern/whoeverelse in math-world and now am well over these negative taughts and ready to work hard for a good career, here, on earth:-) Nevertheless, where can that lead on the long run, i have no clue. When salaries potentially become high, with experience, the probability of getting fired also increase as i can see around.

Any comments on these issues are super-duper-welcome, as i am still thinking on "should i" or "should i not" getting out of teaching avenues for good. It's not clear to me where quant fin is going as a career choice (main door entrance), and not only as a potentially rewarding ($) exit door...

EDIT: furthermore, it seems to me (as a quant-rookie) that the need for new models for pricing/hedging derivatives products is bound to decay...so fewer quant will be needed on the long run, is it not??


twisted objective mind

newsdee


Total Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2005
 
Posted: 2007-06-17 18:53
To quote Stephen Baxter: "90% of every job is crap".

kr
Founding Member
NP Raider
Total Posts: 3561
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2007-06-17 19:35
sort of enjoyed seeing this post float to the surface after all this time

I think the 'selection bias' concept is crap and misses the main point. 'Live to work' vs. 'Work to live' doesn't really go far enough. Most of the originals on this board are of the 'live to work' variety and hope in some shape or form that this is the spirit which drags the whole community along. 'Work hard / Play hard' would be closer, as this whole business was also supposed to be an avenue for exercising one's brain a little bit, and getting to enjoy something better than wine out of a box like we used to have with graduate colloquia. But beyond both of those things is the idea that one could build a kind of perpetuum mobile, or at least something with low enough friction to make a dozen MM using one's own brain, ideas, and a limited number of other encumbrances. We could debate the last bit, but I think you get the idea. If you don't, or you're just beginning and you only got into the biz b/c it seemed to be pretty good money and not too bad a life, then I'd just say you haven't jumped high enough and you are wasting your life.

Hardcore or bust, dudes.

my bank got pwnd
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