Personal account

What do investment bankers live on

Text: Alexey Kalinin

Life around continues to figure out how the personal budget of different people works.
This time we decided to talk with a girl who works as a manager in an investment bank. It is believed that you can earn a lot of money there, but you will have to forget about your personal life, since the work schedule forces you to practically live in the office. Is this really so and how much does the work of an investment banker look like films about the stock market?


Investment banker


200 000 rubles


45 000 rubles

rent apartment

6 000 rubles


1,500 rubles

machine maintenance

15 000 rubles

clothes and shoes

2 000 rubles


3,500 rubles

personal care

5 000 rubles

the products

20 000 rubles

savings on vacation

45 000 rubles

fitness and entertainment

7 000 rubles


50 000 rubles

bank deposit

How to become an investment banker

I grew up in the near Moscow region. In childhood, she was fond of sports ballroom dancing. It took all my free time, if not to take my studies into account. I always wanted to be a lawyer, to protect people. I went to olympiads in history and law. But in the tenth grade, parents said that we had to give it all up and take up the mind. We thought and decided that the best option is economic education, as it provides comprehensive knowledge that can be applied anywhere. Like school, I graduated with honors from a leading economic university in Russia.

In general, my faculty, although it is one of the most prestigious in economic education, does not provide extensive knowledge about financial markets. Moreover, many graduates work in consulting, investment banks, private equity funds.

In my fourth year, I got an internship at the investment bank's financial markets division - I found it on an ad on a career site. This division deals with stocks, bonds and other products.

Hand on heart, when we had the subject "securities market", I thought it was some kind of nonsense and absolutely uninteresting. But when I got to the securities trading desk, I realized that my institute view was completely wrong and this was a fascinating, exciting industry. I have been working here for five years. My position is called manager.

At the interview I was asked standard questions. No one expects special knowledge from a student. They asked what I was interested in, what my hobby is, what I expect from this profession. I especially remember when I was asked to list my shortcomings. There were questions on the theory of securities. It was easy for me to answer them. There were also several cases on the financial market. For example, a company has free cash, there is some kind of loan, monthly incomes, a currency rate such and such, a forward rate such and such, rates such and such. I need to give an answer whether it is profitable for the company to buy dollars now and fulfill its obligations or put on a deposit and then repay the existing loan. The trainees were also required to know a foreign language. I own two freely.

We also had to take two-week courses, pass exams and get a certificate of a professional participant in financial markets - this is a requirement of the Central Bank for people of our profession. The bank paid for the studies. By the way, they never sent me for coffee.

Features of work

The first difficulty I encountered at the beginning of my career was self-affirmation. When you come from the institute, you think that you have gained knowledge, you can do everything, but your colleagues do not take you seriously. They think that if you are a student, and especially a girl, or just a graduate, it is better to go to a more experienced colleague for advice in order, for example, to calculate the cost of a share option. I can do it, but they still ask for another person, more experienced. Once I just went to the task manager and offered help. I did it. The decisive factor then was open space, since everyone heard that conversation. But when you do this, you must understand what risks you bear, roughly speaking, you will not have a second chance for a very long time.

Working in an investment bank offers many opportunities: you will always find a field for development. The management will always support and, if it suddenly realizes that I lack any knowledge, it will send internships for several months to a specific department abroad.

There is a lot of routine in our work. Even if you are discussing and preparing a major deal, no one will take your daily responsibilities. From the first day I immediately tried to help my senior mentors in everything: I started talking with clients, making presentations, making deals. After the internship, when I became a full-time employee, I got access to the trading terminal, my clients.

Now people after college have too many ambitions. And it’s difficult for them to understand that there are rules at work and you must strictly follow them. You can want anything (create structured products, as shown in the films, or securitize a mortgage), but at the moment you have to do what you are asked. Even if this is just a boring presentation, it is important for our work.

Our work requires constant initiative and full dedication. I am still in love with my work. Of course, this feeling dulls a little over time. In the first year I did not want to go on any holidays. Going on vacation was a tragedy for me. I ran to work. I was really worried about what was going on there. Then my mood subsided a little, and there were even times when I sat and thought about dismissal. But I think every person goes through this at any job.

I rarely stay at work. My average work day is nine to ten hours. There are client meetings and business trips when you meet with company representatives. These meetings help you get beyond the boundaries of numbers and understand what you are doing and why. For example, at a meeting with the financial director of a dairy, they will tell you about milk yield and development projects, for which you need to calculate a profitable financing model and evaluate various options.

Since I work in an international company, my own particularities are connected with this: you can do some work longer. For example, when you call Europe in August, you may not find a single employee in the workplace.

There are some features of work in a team where men predominate. They discuss any topic using profanity. Investment banking is not a place for a completely airborne young lady flying in the clouds. If she still wants to work here, then she will have to get used to it. By the way, you quickly adapt to this. Of course, I am against the use of special terms, but you enter into courage and can further support any topic for communication. And I was surprised that men gossip more than women.

The biggest plus in the work is the team. We have a very positive, young, driving team. Once we skipped almost all of our budget for a year. Every two weeks we celebrated something: replenishment of the budget, the arrival of spring, the birthday of a colleague, the onset of autumn.

At first, the crisis in our country hit hard the real sector of the economy, which also affected the banking sector. There was a widespread decline in activity, as foreign clients did not know how to relate to business in Russia in the new reality, and Russian clients temporarily froze development projects. For us, it was a time of new opportunities, products and solutions. But everyone is already used to living in a crisis mode, sanctions. The summer of this year and the past is no different from ordinary days. A lot of work.


We have a fixed income and there is a bonus part. Bonuses are paid once a year and depend on the results of the work of the group, division, the company itself. We are not an American investment bank, so our salary is slightly less.

The spread of wages in the market can reach 20-30%. There is information on the Internet how much analysts, managers, and vice presidents of Western investment banks earn.

About some crazy bonuses I also have not heard. If you focus on Western research, the bonus can reach 30% of annual earnings.

In investment banks, everything is very regulated: from the career ladder to how much you earn. You cannot become a manager without going through the analyst stage. You have been working as an analyst for three years. Your salary will not be much different from the salary of your colleague. I think within the salary position there may be a difference of 10%. I get about 200 thousand rubles a month.


I rent a one-room apartment near the center of Moscow for 45 thousand rubles so that it is convenient to get to work both by car and by metro. I pay utility bills, which include electricity and water, every three months, and they are negligible, since I spend very little time at home.

I drive a car to work, so I spend about 6-7 thousand rubles a month on gasoline. Although in the warm season I try to go to work by metro to spend more time on the street. My parents gave me a car, I myself will save on it only for old age. To the costs of the car, you also need to add maintenance, which I do on average three times a year, retraining of rubber, as well as fines. If you translate from an annual value to a monthly value, then the average expense is 1.5 thousand, while fines are half the cost.

I have a little makeup since I don’t use it much. If you calculate how much I spend on shampoos, creams, etc., it turns out 2 thousand rubles a month. I usually go to manicure once every two weeks, less often to the salon for a haircut. In general, these procedures take me an average of 3,500 rubles a month.

I am not a big fan of spending time in shopping centers, measuring a few dozen things. Recently, I began to enjoy visiting fabric stores. When I see a beautiful fabric, I imagine what can be made of it. I have a good master who sews things based on my wishes and characteristics. In my wardrobe, random purchases are increasingly rare. My only weakness is beautiful, but not always comfortable shoes. If shoes are included in the cost of clothing, then it turns out about 15 thousand rubles a month.

On average, I spend 5 thousand rubles on products per month. If I need to buy cereals, tea and household chemicals, then I’m going to Auchan. I buy dairy products, eggs and chicken at VkusVilla. For fruits and vegetables I go to weekend fairs.

I love to travel, so I always spend my vacations abroad. Unfortunately, so far there have been few in Russia. Since our salary is fixed in rubles and subject to exchange rate fluctuations, we have to more carefully choose the route and calculate costs. For various trips, I try to save up to 20 thousand a month. By the way, if you are leaving somewhere for two weeks (and in our company you are obligated to go on vacation for at least two weeks once a year), then no one bothers you, does not call, does not wait for replies to letters by mail.

I spend about 45 thousand rubles a month on hobbies, sports and healthy entertainment. This includes classes with a trainer in the fitness room, Pilates. I can go play squash, tennis, take extreme driving courses, go to art lectures or cooking classes, and go to the theater. A week accumulates a lot of energy that you want to throw out.

My free time is enough to meet friends several times a week. We try to spend time actively. In summer, we roller-skate, go out of town on horseback rides, go out for joint runs, several times even participated in races. For meetings with friends, I spend an average of 3 thousand a month. A new theater season begins in September, and we plan to go to the Moscow Virtuoso concert at the planetarium.

A special place in my life is occupied by children's charity, for which I spend about 5-7 thousand a month. Now there are a lot of charitable organizations, and everyone can help. I help children with cancer.

Of course, I try to save money. In the best or, conversely, in the worst months of work, it turns out to save up to 50 thousand rubles. I keep the savings in the bank on deposit in the hope that someday I can buy my apartment somewhere closer to Solnechnogorsk.

Unfortunately, my savings are not so significant, so I can not give them to the management company because of the high entry threshold. Of course, I can invest them in some startup, but I understand that it’s better not to get involved in such scams. If a person nevertheless wants to invest in something, then he must understand the degree of risk that he can bear, determine for himself the industry in whose growth he believes.

Of course, I have a dream that I hope to someday realize. My dream is to take a month off and go to Mauritius or Australia to do kite surfing. I also have a big dream to buy a BMW six, but with my saving skills I can only buy it in my old age, as I am a real girl: I can see dream shoes on the window, break down and buy them.

Watch the video: A Day in the Life of a Goldman Sachs Analyst The HONEST Truth (November 2019).

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