Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money

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evostevo85
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Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:59 am

I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job. Another 7200 tax free from renting the basement in my house, and another 5000 taxable from part-time jobs/hobbies. Granted, I am in probably the lowest cost of living city in the entire USA. I see the guys on this board making six figures from their main job alone, at ages like 23 or 25, and wonder how they got there.

I'll probably hit six figures eventually, but not any time in the next 5 years or so, and the impact of making more money now, at a younger age, which can then be invested, is far greater than pulling a high salary later in life.

I find my best balance/happiness while working 35-50 hours per week. I don't want to go above this, so suggestions like Investment Banking or Big 4 Accounting with their 80-100 hour weeks are not an option.

I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria. The increase in savings from a job like this would be unreal.

Any of you young guys pulling in the dough care to share how you got there? What you majored in, how much you had to rely on connections/networking/school prestige, lifestyle, etc.?

Thanks

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coachz
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by coachz » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:01 pm

i got more money 3% cola at a time and no vacations. Oh the Joy. What's a bonus, I've never had one. :beer

mlipps
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by mlipps » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:09 pm

My husband is 25 & makes just under 6 figures. He works in IT, specifically as a database developer, for a major investment firm. It's fair to say he works more than 50 hours/week though, and his job is extremely high stress. Oh, and we live in Chicago, so he probably gets paid a bit more for that, although I don't actually think it's a terribly expensive place to live.

Quickfoot
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Quickfoot » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:10 pm

I am 32 and have been in the top 3% of wage earners in my state for the last 8 years, I did not go to college but my last 3 positions normally require a Master's. I was hired into a field, worked hard, was promoted 5 times in 7 years, and have worked at 3 major companies. I am extremely self educated and love growing / learning. Earning money is not the most important thing in the world to me, I regularly refuse to work overtime and have flat out told my employer if they don't approve my vacation time I'll quit (when they threatened to not approve it). That said I'm VERY good at what I do, one of the best in the world and I work hard for my employer.

I've met a lot of people that make similar money that are miserable because the pursuit of money is their life's goal, they never enjoy it and generally aren't married or have unhappy marriages.

Figure out what your priorities are, balance it with life and constantly look for growth opportunities. Be loyal but not blindly so, no company is worth killing yourself for or staying with if they don't treat you right. Also realize that your skills are either increasing or decreasing, if you are not taking training or reading books, etc then you are becoming less valuable and less employable.

z06ray
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by z06ray » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:11 pm

I was going to post this exact question. I too am not sure how they are doing it. I am in a low cola area I believe as well. But I am no where near these guys and I am responsible for paying my own grad school. I don't have any idea how these relatively entry level 23 year olds are making that money unless they are in NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.

Sam I Am
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Sam I Am » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:17 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:20 pm

evostevo85 wrote:I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job. Another 7200 tax free from renting the basement in my house, and another 5000 taxable from part-time jobs/hobbies. Granted, I am in probably the lowest cost of living city in the entire USA. I see the guys on this board making six figures from their main job alone, at ages like 23 or 25, and wonder how they got there.

I'll probably hit six figures eventually, but not any time in the next 5 years or so, and the impact of making more money now, at a younger age, which can then be invested, is far greater than pulling a high salary later in life.

I find my best balance/happiness while working 35-50 hours per week. I don't want to go above this, so suggestions like Investment Banking or Big 4 Accounting with their 80-100 hour weeks are not an option.

I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria. The increase in savings from a job like this would be unreal.

Any of you young guys pulling in the dough care to share how you got there? What you majored in, how much you had to rely on connections/networking/school prestige, lifestyle, etc.?

Thanks
I certainly wasn't pulling in the dough in my 20s. I was 31 before making 6 figures and it took 6 years after that to get to "peak earnings."
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Bogle101
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Bogle101 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:23 pm

OP,

You post you wanna make 6 figures and then a sentence later claim you are unwillingly to work more than 50 hrs a week, so working at a mega corp is not for you. C'mon man.
25% S&P 500 | 25% Extended Market | 20% International | 10% REIT | 10% Sector Funds | 10% Cash

Investing is boring
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Investing is boring » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:26 pm

My journey:

- Age 21 - Graduated with engineering degree into the dot com bust - making $15 / hour - but still paying rent and staying out of debt
- Age 22 - Got C++ programming job - $35k
- Age 23-27 - Moved to sales because engineering doesnt pay well - Started $60k up to $90k
- Age 28-31 - Moved to SW sales - $120k - $180k
- Age 32-33 - Became successful at SW sales - $250k - $310k
- Age 34 (current) - Promoted to Sales Director - $290k+

Hope this helps. And by the way, I have rarely worked over 30-35 hours per week. Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
Last edited by Investing is boring on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:27 pm

A good friend of mine was earning $125K about 15 years ago at the age of 24. He worked in IT for an investment bank, was at the office for 60-80 hours a week, and in his spare time worked on a server that he kept at his house. Oh, and the job was located in NYC.
Good money, yes. Crazy hours, yes. Stress - High!

You've got a good gig going on, why would you want to give that up?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:29 pm

Bogle101 wrote:OP,

You post you wanna make 6 figures and then a sentence later claim you are unwillingly to work more than 50 hrs a week, so working at a mega corp is not for you. C'mon man.
Working for a small shop isn't for him either. You either produce, or you'll be out.
Sales is good if you are a good closer. If you don't identify with the prospect and you can not close, you'll be out of a job soon enough (most of the time).
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

driftingaway
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by driftingaway » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:36 pm

Of the high earners under 30 I know of:

1) We are generally very high COL areas. Run your income through one of these: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ you might be surprised how your income stacks up when you compare your low cost location to say, NYC or Silicon Valley.

2) We are generally engineers (software in particular is very hot right now), with some consulting and I-Banking thrown in for good measure.

3) Network/school prestige helped a lot, though was less necessary for the engineers.

4) I work a lot of hours. Everyone I know works a lot of hours at least sporadically. My income is probably not that fantastic if you sat down and computed out an hourly wage.

Honestly, I don't think you are going to have much luck pulling that kind of salary without being willing to do quite a lot more than 50hrs a week. That kind of money tends to be big city, high stress, long hours.

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HomerJ
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:36 pm

Quickfoot wrote:I am 32 and have been in the top 3% of wage earners in my state for the last 8 years, I did not go to college but my last 3 positions normally require a Master's. I was hired into a field, worked hard, was promoted 5 times in 7 years, and have worked at 3 major companies. I am extremely self educated and love growing / learning. Earning money is not the most important thing in the world to me, I regularly refuse to work overtime and have flat out told my employer if they don't approve my vacation time I'll quit (when they threatened to not approve it). That said I'm VERY good at what I do, one of the best in the world and I work hard for my employer.

I've met a lot of people that make similar money that are miserable because the pursuit of money is their life's goal, they never enjoy it and generally aren't married or have unhappy marriages.

Figure out what your priorities are, balance it with life and constantly look for growth opportunities. Be loyal but not blindly so, no company is worth killing yourself for or staying with if they don't treat you right. Also realize that your skills are either increasing or decreasing, if you are not taking training or reading books, etc then you are becoming less valuable and less employable.
So what do you do?

Andyrunner
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:46 pm

- Change careers (IT, healthcare, etc)
- Accept working 50-80hrs a week
- High risk/high return job such as sales or a small start-up company

Those are your options. If there were plenty of six figure jobs with your requirements, the demand would be so high it would end up falling into the catogories above.

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HomerJ
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:51 pm

5-10 years in I.T. and you can make six figures, but you have to spend as much time as possible learning those first five years. You won't have to work more than 40 hours/week normally, but expect to get calls at 2:00 AM now and then to fix something that broke.

You'll also need to change jobs a few times, because Mega-Corp doesn't give out good raises to existing employees, but they will pay big for someone with the right experience and skills.

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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Wagnerjb » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:56 pm

evostevo85 wrote:I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job.
Something is missing from your post, but I cannot figure out what you are not telling us. I manage a group of accountants at a major energy company in a low-cost city (Houston). We hire undergraduates from big state Universities such as Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and we pay them $60,000 as their starting salary. In addition to that, they get a 10% (target) bonus each year and very competitive benefits.

We also have a separate track for top-tier MBA students, but their salaries are on a much higher scale. While I don't know what today's MBA track salaries are, I have a top-tier MBA and came through this track 30 years ago. My starting salary back then was considerably higher than the salary paid to state University undergrads.

Are you in a very tiny rural town where the wages (and cost of living) are extremely low? Are you geographically mobile to a city where the job prospects may be different from your current location?
I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria.
You have a Masters in Finance from a top-20 school and you want to take night classes to help you advance?? Isn't your education strong enough?

Please tell us more about the job you have, your employer, your city (you don't have to give exact specifics) because something isn't fitting in the picture you have painted. With more information, hopefully you will get some more helpful and targeted suggestions.

Best wishes.
Andy

Quickfoot
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Quickfoot » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:57 pm

I am a quality assurance manager in technology and also a senior quality assurance engineer (SDET). I had the privilege of being hired and then trained by three of the most respected minds in QA for 3 months (usually they only 3 three day conferences) and that started my QA career. Most software engineers are bad at QA and most QA engineers can't write acceptable code, if you can do both you are very employable. Couple that with a personality that is extremely goal driven, and enjoys managing teams and you become highly employable with a really good earning potential.

I am fortunate enough to make really good money and also live in a low cost of living metropolitan area. Adjusted for cost of living I'd have to make $204,203 a year in NY to have the same buying power.
Last edited by Quickfoot on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

marbat
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by marbat » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:59 pm

I am 25, and I make about $125K gross (salary, bonus, and 401K match - all from my "main" job).

Here's a rough timeline:

22: Graduated from a good-but-not-top-tier state school (attended on scholarship, so no debt). Majored in engineering. What I ended up doing professionally has nothing to do with engineering, but having an engineering degree gave me immediate "smart guy" cred. This is why I recommend engineering degrees to people even if they don't necessarily want to be engineers.

22-23: Worked as a management consultant with a good-but-not-top-tier firm (noticing a pattern? :P). About $85K gross (salary, bonus, ESPP, 401K match, and value of miles earned from travel). My home base was a top-3 cost-of-living city. I probably averaged 55 hour weeks + travel time to client sites, where I typically stayed Monday-Thursday.

24-25: Switched from consulting to corporate at the gross income I listed at the top of my reply. Also living in a top-3 cost-of-living city. Averaging around 50 hour weeks with no travel. The corporate job that I took is typical for the career path of former-consultants (along the lines of Corporate Strategy/M&A, etc.). You don't really see anyone in these positions that doesn't have a highly pedigreed education and work experience. I'm the least pedigreed person here because of my "decent" state school background and my second-tier consulting experience.

I think the number one thing that helps with getting highly-paid jobs as a young person is going to "elite" schools. A high-powered network and on-campus recruiting are the most important considerations for starting out a career, and they are absolutely worth the price tag of a brand name school. Even though I went to school for free at a state school, if I had gotten into an Ivy, I would not have thought twice about paying. It was a real struggle to get to where I am without the elite network and without that first elite job out of college. I will be going back to school for a top MBA in order to erase that bit of my past, now that I've "made it" far enough to be able to gain acceptance at those institutions.

It is worth noting though, that once you're out of the Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Wharton, etc. bracket, the rank of your school doesn't matter as much. At that point, I'd suggest going to a state school for free and making sure you are near the top of the class rather than paying full sticker for a school that is good but doesn't have the name recognition of a "top" school. Unfortunately, branding is very important.

With all that said about signaling and brand value, I doubt "taking weekend/night/online courses" will help much with getting into the high income trajectory career paths. The energy is probably better spent networking and job-hopping, or in getting an elite MBA.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by marbat on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomd37
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by tomd37 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:01 pm

"Another 7200 tax free from renting the basement in my house"

That $7,200 is not tax free ---- it is income and should be reported to the IRS as income. :oops:
Tom D.

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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:03 pm

Wagnerjb wrote:
evostevo85 wrote:I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job.
Something is missing from your post, but I cannot figure out what you are not telling us. I manage a group of accountants at a major energy company in a low-cost city (Houston). We hire undergraduates from big state Universities such as Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and we pay them $60,000 as their starting salary. In addition to that, they get a 10% (target) bonus each year and very competitive benefits.

We also have a separate track for top-tier MBA students, but their salaries are on a much higher scale. While I don't know what today's MBA track salaries are, I have a top-tier MBA and came through this track 30 years ago. My starting salary back then was considerably higher than the salary paid to state University undergrads.

Are you in a very tiny rural town where the wages (and cost of living) are extremely low? Are you geographically mobile to a city where the job prospects may be different from your current location?
I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria.
You have a Masters in Finance from a top-20 school and you want to take night classes to help you advance?? Isn't your education strong enough?

Please tell us more about the job you have, your employer, your city (you don't have to give exact specifics) because something isn't fitting in the picture you have painted. With more information, hopefully you will get some more helpful and targeted suggestions.

Best wishes.

You bring up an interesting point - the difference between a state university graduate and a top tier MBA graduate in the early stages of career.
How many of your mid to senior level executives come from a state university background as opposed to the top tier MBA track graduates? In my experience, the top tier MBA graduates will command a higher salary but in the end, those who perform will be the ones to advance to the corner office. After a while, it doesn't matter if you went to Oklahoma State if you deliver the goods, you'll be promoted over the fellow who graduated from Yale or Harvard. And if you're not, there are plenty of your competitors, just waiting to snatch you up.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

evostevo85
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:05 pm

Investing is boring wrote:My journey:

- Age 21 - Graduated with engineering degree into the dot com bust - making $15 / hour - but still paying rent and staying out of debt
- Age 22 - Got C++ programming job - $35k
- Age 23-27 - Moved to sales because engineering doesnt pay well - Started $60k up to $90k
- Age 28-31 - Moved to SW sales - $120k - $180k
- Age 32-33 - Became successful at SW sales - $250k - $310k
- Age 34 (current) - Promoted to Sales Director - $290k+

Hope this helps. And by the way, I have rarely worked over 30-35 hours per week. Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
Thank you, that was very detailed. It is good to know that it is not necessary to kill yourself working inhuman hours to make that kind of money. It HAS to be possible, with the right skillset or the right in-demand field, to make near- or low- six figures without exceeding 50 hours per week. It's simply not worth it to me to give up my hobbies/health/happiness/relationships for the megacorp.

Most of the sales related roles in finance are "financial advisor" type positions that I find shady, require no formal education (so my investment would be a waste), and have no base salary. I'm extremely good at sales but I need a base of, say, 40K or so to guarantee living expenses and moderate saving.

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HomerJ
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:08 pm

Wagnerjb wrote:You have a Masters in Finance from a top-20 school and you want to take night classes to help you advance?? Isn't your education strong enough?
Yeah, I'm a little confused about that too.
Please tell us more about the job you have, your employer, your city (you don't have to give exact specifics) because something isn't fitting in the picture you have painted. With more information, hopefully you will get some more helpful and targeted suggestions.
Good suggestion.

Investing is boring
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Investing is boring » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:09 pm

Andyrunner wrote: - High risk/high return job such as sales or a small start-up company

Those are your options. If there were plenty of six figure jobs with your requirements, the demand would be so high it would end up falling into the catogories above.
I think it is disingenuous to call sales high risk/high return. I think sales is LOWER risk then SW engineering. I make $170k in base pay - guarunteed. There is no need to "sell to eat." Plus I get paid for performance on top of that. I also would suggest that engineer's have much more risk of being unemployed then I do. After all, when a company starts cutting sales people - the short sellers move in. When a company starts cutting engineers - they are applauded for being cost-conscience.

What you are getting in non-performance related positions is the illusion of security, coupled with the expendability of a civil war foot soldier. If I lost my job tomorrow, within a month I would have one that pays nearly the same or more. Can you say that about engineer's in the dot com era? What about today? Not likely, unless you are in a super hot field like Hadoop. And of course, when the Hadoop hype fades in a year or two, the firings begin anew.

Seems to me a job as a SW Engineer is a lot more risky then a job as a SW Sale's Guy...

Investing is boring
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Investing is boring » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:12 pm

evostevo85 wrote:
Investing is boring wrote:My journey:

- Age 21 - Graduated with engineering degree into the dot com bust - making $15 / hour - but still paying rent and staying out of debt
- Age 22 - Got C++ programming job - $35k
- Age 23-27 - Moved to sales because engineering doesnt pay well - Started $60k up to $90k
- Age 28-31 - Moved to SW sales - $120k - $180k
- Age 32-33 - Became successful at SW sales - $250k - $310k
- Age 34 (current) - Promoted to Sales Director - $290k+

Hope this helps. And by the way, I have rarely worked over 30-35 hours per week. Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
Thank you, that was very detailed. It is good to know that it is not necessary to kill yourself working inhuman hours to make that kind of money. It HAS to be possible, with the right skillset or the right in-demand field, to make near- or low- six figures without exceeding 50 hours per week. It's simply not worth it to me to give up my hobbies/health/happiness/relationships for the megacorp.

Most of the sales related roles in finance are "financial advisor" type positions that I find shady, require no formal education (so my investment would be a waste), and have no base salary. I'm extremely good at sales but I need a base of, say, 40K or so to guarantee living expenses and moderate saving.
In my world there is a role called "Sales Engineer." These are the master's degree folks who work with the Sales people to sell software. They generally have higher base pay, some performance pay, and in aggregate make a bit less then the sales guys - but with lower stress. Is there something akin to this in finance? Can you be the "Economist" tag along to a sales guys presentation? If this type of position exists, it may be worth while looking into.

evostevo85
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:13 pm

Andyrunner wrote:- Change careers (IT, healthcare, etc)
- Accept working 50-80hrs a week
- High risk/high return job such as sales or a small start-up company

Those are your options. If there were plenty of six figure jobs with your requirements, the demand would be so high it would end up falling into the catogories above.
Changing careers is what I am thinking of doing, so I was trying to get some ideas from others as to what fields offer these high salaries. I have a better idea now.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:13 pm

evostevo85 wrote:
Investing is boring wrote:My journey:

- Age 21 - Graduated with engineering degree into the dot com bust - making $15 / hour - but still paying rent and staying out of debt
- Age 22 - Got C++ programming job - $35k
- Age 23-27 - Moved to sales because engineering doesnt pay well - Started $60k up to $90k
- Age 28-31 - Moved to SW sales - $120k - $180k
- Age 32-33 - Became successful at SW sales - $250k - $310k
- Age 34 (current) - Promoted to Sales Director - $290k+

Hope this helps. And by the way, I have rarely worked over 30-35 hours per week. Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
Thank you, that was very detailed. It is good to know that it is not necessary to kill yourself working inhuman hours to make that kind of money. It HAS to be possible, with the right skillset or the right in-demand field, to make near- or low- six figures without exceeding 50 hours per week. It's simply not worth it to me to give up my hobbies/health/happiness/relationships for the megacorp.

Most of the sales related roles in finance are "financial advisor" type positions that I find shady, require no formal education (so my investment would be a waste), and have no base salary. I'm extremely good at sales but I need a base of, say, 40K or so to guarantee living expenses and moderate saving.
Finance is a broad field. Sales type employment in finance runs the gamut. Here are some sales jobs within finance: investment banking, financial software sales, mutual fund wholesaler, institutional sales, corporate banker, lender, credit underwriter, retail banker, leasing, etc.
In each instance, you have to close the sale in order to be successful. You may be paid a base, but the real upside is from selling volume, large ticket transactions or cross-selling. Financial advisor can be the equivalent of a used-car dealer located on a corner lot, but it doesn't have to be if you associate yourself with a reputable company. Set your sights higher.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

fareastwarriors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by fareastwarriors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:14 pm

I work in San Francisco in the operations department of a financial services company. I make 63k/year. I work about 45 hours a week. My age is 25.

guitarguy
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by guitarguy » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:16 pm

I'm also 28. I make $66.5k from my main job and another $10k/yr as a musician on the side. Employer is paying for 100% of my masters right now. I don't work more than 40 hrs a week. EVER. And...I like where I work and (most of) the people I work with. Totally stress free and basically zero travel (might be a perk for some people but nothing more than a pain in the neck for me).

I would not trade that for 6-figures if it came with more hours, stress, or a job that I loathed getting up every morning for.

My goal: Go to work and not hate what I'm doing. Work hard for my 8 hrs and do a good job getting things done. Go home, totally forget about work, and enjoy life. If that leaves me a notch below earning in the top percentages or whatever stats you want to compare it to, I'm OK with that.

3Wood85
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by 3Wood85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:18 pm

Wagnerjb wrote:
evostevo85 wrote:I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job.
Something is missing from your post, but I cannot figure out what you are not telling us. I manage a group of accountants at a major energy company in a low-cost city (Houston). We hire undergraduates from big state Universities such as Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and we pay them $60,000 as their starting salary. In addition to that, they get a 10% (target) bonus each year and very competitive benefits.

We also have a separate track for top-tier MBA students, but their salaries are on a much higher scale. While I don't know what today's MBA track salaries are, I have a top-tier MBA and came through this track 30 years ago. My starting salary back then was considerably higher than the salary paid to state University undergrads.

Are you in a very tiny rural town where the wages (and cost of living) are extremely low? Are you geographically mobile to a city where the job prospects may be different from your current location?
I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria.
You have a Masters in Finance from a top-20 school and you want to take night classes to help you advance?? Isn't your education strong enough?

Please tell us more about the job you have, your employer, your city (you don't have to give exact specifics) because something isn't fitting in the picture you have painted. With more information, hopefully you will get some more helpful and targeted suggestions.

Best wishes.


Just curious, where do you work? That sounds like a great place to work.

I work for a IT company in the DC area, working in Finance base salary of about 67k with quarterly bonuses based on performance. I thought I was doing well for myself but most on this board have me beat :|.
Last edited by 3Wood85 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

driftingaway
Posts: 28
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by driftingaway » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:20 pm

evostevo85 wrote:
Investing is boring wrote:My journey:

- Age 21 - Graduated with engineering degree into the dot com bust - making $15 / hour - but still paying rent and staying out of debt
- Age 22 - Got C++ programming job - $35k
- Age 23-27 - Moved to sales because engineering doesnt pay well - Started $60k up to $90k
- Age 28-31 - Moved to SW sales - $120k - $180k
- Age 32-33 - Became successful at SW sales - $250k - $310k
- Age 34 (current) - Promoted to Sales Director - $290k+

Hope this helps. And by the way, I have rarely worked over 30-35 hours per week. Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
Thank you, that was very detailed. It is good to know that it is not necessary to kill yourself working inhuman hours to make that kind of money. It HAS to be possible, with the right skillset or the right in-demand field, to make near- or low- six figures without exceeding 50 hours per week. It's simply not worth it to me to give up my hobbies/health/happiness/relationships for the megacorp.

Most of the sales related roles in finance are "financial advisor" type positions that I find shady, require no formal education (so my investment would be a waste), and have no base salary. I'm extremely good at sales but I need a base of, say, 40K or so to guarantee living expenses and moderate saving.
Not to be rude, but you have to be willing to do ONE of the many things that allow you to get the top salary. If you don't want to do the hours for MegaCorp you have to be willing to accept some risk in terms of salary variance or live in an area with a higher cost of living. There aren't a lot of 100K+ entry level jobs in low cost of living areas that promise low entry requirements, regular hours and no risk.
Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
This is simply not true in the lower levels of a lot of the non-sales/non-startup world. A lot of these jobs are in industries that are extremely cutthroat. There are definitely ways to avoid it and I don't mean to make it sound like everyone I know works 80+ hours every week but a firm limit on 50hrs a week is going to get you tossed out in a lot of professions at the non-management level.

OP it does seem really weird that aren't doing better with a top-school MBA. Do you live in a very rural area?

evostevo85
Posts: 26
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:21 pm

driftingaway wrote:Of the high earners under 30 I know of:

1) We are generally very high COL areas. Run your income through one of these: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ you might be surprised how your income stacks up when you compare your low cost location to say, NYC or Silicon Valley.

2) We are generally engineers (software in particular is very hot right now), with some consulting and I-Banking thrown in for good measure.

3) Network/school prestige helped a lot, though was less necessary for the engineers.

4) I work a lot of hours. Everyone I know works a lot of hours at least sporadically. My income is probably not that fantastic if you sat down and computed out an hourly wage.

Honestly, I don't think you are going to have much luck pulling that kind of salary without being willing to do quite a lot more than 50hrs a week. That kind of money tends to be big city, high stress, long hours.
COL calculator says I'd need to be pulling in 65k in Chicago and 120k in New York to have an equivalent standard of living. I do find that many young guys who boast about high salaries tend to live in NYC or other high COL areas and work a ton of hours, so maybe I really have it pretty good comparatively.

Also whoever said a small shop was not for me because I'm lazy, I wouldn't say that's the case. Last time I had a pay-for-performance role, I was in the top 5% of the company (Fortune 50). I take my work seriously and am good at what I do...I just have better things to do with my life than pretend to "work" in an office job 80 hours per week.

Wagnerjb
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Wagnerjb » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:22 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: You bring up an interesting point - the difference between a state university graduate and a top tier MBA graduate in the early stages of career.
How many of your mid to senior level executives come from a state university background as opposed to the top tier MBA track graduates? In my experience, the top tier MBA graduates will command a higher salary but in the end, those who perform will be the ones to advance to the corner office. After a while, it doesn't matter if you went to Oklahoma State if you deliver the goods, you'll be promoted over the fellow who graduated from Yale or Harvard. And if you're not, there are plenty of your competitors, just waiting to snatch you up.
You are exactly right. The corner offices are filled by the very best people. They are bright, personable, and work a ton of hours. And they have a wide variety of education pedigrees. As you surmised, most are from the big state schools (simply because we hire more of them than we do from the elite MBA programs). I would say that my top-tier MBA colleagues virtually all made it to upper management. Most state school folks didn't make it as far (on average); however the very top ranks are populated primarily by state school folks.

Bottom line is that you are exactly right. Once you get your foot in the door and get some recognition for good work, your degree ceases to matter as much. Being a CPA or an MBA might give you an advantage when competing for a more technical position in middle management, but in general the degree isn't important for a generalist or leadership role. Once you get into upper management, the degree doesn't matter at all.

Best wishes.
Andy

Leesbro63
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:25 pm

My daughter is also in finance, making more than any of her 23 year old friends, and is on the track to make even bigger money down the road (we think). The issue of "why pursue money?" is something she thinks about, although it's not a crisis and she likes what she is doing. Someone sent me this video and she really appreciated it. Basically Peter Singer makes the case that an investment banker making big bucks, who donates a chunk (or perhaps even just 10%...that's my own my own version), can do more to save the world than quitting and going directly into some sort of charitable work.

http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_singer_t ... ruism.html

evostevo85
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:28 pm

driftingaway wrote:
evostevo85 wrote:
Investing is boring wrote:My journey:

- Age 21 - Graduated with engineering degree into the dot com bust - making $15 / hour - but still paying rent and staying out of debt
- Age 22 - Got C++ programming job - $35k
- Age 23-27 - Moved to sales because engineering doesnt pay well - Started $60k up to $90k
- Age 28-31 - Moved to SW sales - $120k - $180k
- Age 32-33 - Became successful at SW sales - $250k - $310k
- Age 34 (current) - Promoted to Sales Director - $290k+

Hope this helps. And by the way, I have rarely worked over 30-35 hours per week. Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
Thank you, that was very detailed. It is good to know that it is not necessary to kill yourself working inhuman hours to make that kind of money. It HAS to be possible, with the right skillset or the right in-demand field, to make near- or low- six figures without exceeding 50 hours per week. It's simply not worth it to me to give up my hobbies/health/happiness/relationships for the megacorp.

Most of the sales related roles in finance are "financial advisor" type positions that I find shady, require no formal education (so my investment would be a waste), and have no base salary. I'm extremely good at sales but I need a base of, say, 40K or so to guarantee living expenses and moderate saving.
Not to be rude, but you have to be willing to do ONE of the many things that allow you to get the top salary. If you don't want to do the hours for MegaCorp you have to be willing to accept some risk in terms of salary variance or live in an area with a higher cost of living. There aren't a lot of 100K+ entry level jobs in low cost of living areas that promise low entry requirements, regular hours and no risk.
Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
This is simply not true in the lower levels of a lot of the non-sales/non-startup world. A lot of these jobs are in industries that are extremely cutthroat. There are definitely ways to avoid it and I don't mean to make it sound like everyone I know works 80+ hours every week but a firm limit on 50hrs a week is going to get you tossed out in a lot of professions at the non-management level.

OP it does seem really weird that aren't doing better with a top-school MBA. Do you live in a very rural area?

Well it's not an MBA, technically, but a MS Finance, which is the same as an MBA in Finance with all the soft communication, HR, strategy, marketing etc. classes thrown out. I graduated undergrad debt-free but it was in 2008 during the peak of the recession and I had no internships because they were all unpaid, I had no connections, and I had a lucrative (for a kid) summer job. So I self-financed my master's, which cost about 45k. I find myself in a tough position because no one seems to know what to do with an MS Finance...employers generally don't treat it as an MBA, and put me in with the guys with Bachelor's degrees only. I also cannot take additional fluff classes to acquire an MBA...I would have to go back full-time for 2 years and spend a small house worth of money.

I'm located in Indianapolis...not exactly a booming finance hub but not a rural area either. Cost of living is ridiculously low compared to most "finance" cities and I enjoy it here, but relocation is certainly an option if anyone was hiring for my skillset.

Investing is boring
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Investing is boring » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:28 pm

driftingaway wrote: Not to be rude, but you have to be willing to do ONE of the many things that allow you to get the top salary. If you don't want to do the hours for MegaCorp you have to be willing to accept some risk in terms of salary variance or live in an area with a higher cost of living. There aren't a lot of 100K+ entry level jobs in low cost of living areas that promise low entry requirements, regular hours and no risk.
Again, not true. Tell me, which of these is more risky:

Profession A:
Base Pay: $150k
Bonus: $0-20k

Profession B:
Base Pay: $170k
Performance Pay: $0 - $200k
Bonus: $0 - $50k

B has a lot more variability then A. But in all scenarios, B will make more then A. Its just a matter of how much more.

Those who claim you have to work 50+ hours are either not in a performance based profession, or are smokin what the MegaCorp is growin.
driftingaway wrote: This is simply not true in the lower levels of a lot of the non-sales/non-startup world. A lot of these jobs are in industries that are extremely cutthroat. There are definitely ways to avoid it and I don't mean to make it sound like everyone I know works 80+ hours every week but a firm limit on 50hrs a week is going to get you tossed out in a lot of professions at the non-management level.
You will never convince me that working 50+ hours per week is required to meet professional compensation goals. Personal experience suggests to me otherwise.

Wagnerjb
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Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Wagnerjb » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:29 pm

3Wood85 wrote: Just curious, where do you work? That sounds like a great place to work.
The specific company isn't important...it is a large energy company, of which there are many in Houston. If you start rattling off names like Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Marathon, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Anadarko, Baker Hughes and Apache.....you would be very warm. :D

We all benchmark our compensation against each other, so I am awful confident that these companies all pay reasonably comparable compensation (otherwise, people would flood from the lowest to the highest payers).

Best wishes.
Andy

Investing is boring
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Investing is boring » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:33 pm

evostevo85 wrote: Well it's not an MBA, technically, but a MS Finance, which is the same as an MBA in Finance with all the soft communication, HR, strategy, marketing etc. classes thrown out. I graduated undergrad debt-free but it was in 2008 during the peak of the recession and I had no internships because they were all unpaid, I had no connections, and I had a lucrative (for a kid) summer job. So I self-financed my master's, which cost about 45k. I find myself in a tough position because no one seems to know what to do with an MS Finance...employers generally don't treat it as an MBA, and put me in with the guys with Bachelor's degrees only. I also cannot take additional fluff classes to acquire an MBA...I would have to go back full-time for 2 years and spend a small house worth of money.

I'm located in Indianapolis...not exactly a booming finance hub but not a rural area either. Cost of living is ridiculously low compared to most "finance" cities and I enjoy it here, but relocation is certainly an option if anyone was hiring for my skillset.
People dont treat it like an MBA because it is not an MBA. Those "soft" course with "fluff" that were "thrown out" are HOW BUSINESS ACTUALLY GETS DONE. Then the bean counters can count the beans.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:37 pm

Wagnerjb wrote:
3Wood85 wrote: Just curious, where do you work? That sounds like a great place to work.
The specific company isn't important...it is a large energy company, of which there are many in Houston. If you start rattling off names like Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Marathon, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Anadarko, Baker Hughes and Apache.....you would be very warm. :D

We all benchmark our compensation against each other, so I am awful confident that these companies all pay reasonably comparable compensation (otherwise, people would flood from the lowest to the highest payers).

Best wishes.
Ahh, but Exxon hasn't moved to Houston yet, they are in Irving, Tx.
Anadarko is in The Woodlands, Tx.
Chevron is in El Ramon, California.
BP is headquartered in London, UK, but undoubtably has a large presence in Tx.

That narrows the field a bit. :wink:
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

z3r0c00l
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by z3r0c00l » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:39 pm

driftingaway wrote: 1) We are generally very high COL areas. Run your income through one of these: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ you might be surprised how your income stacks up when you compare your low cost location to say, NYC or Silicon Valley.
Yes a person who earns zero dollars a year in NYC would be making $2,800 a year in New Orleans!

evostevo85
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:42 pm

Wagnerjb wrote:
evostevo85 wrote:I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job.
Something is missing from your post, but I cannot figure out what you are not telling us. I manage a group of accountants at a major energy company in a low-cost city (Houston). We hire undergraduates from big state Universities such as Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and we pay them $60,000 as their starting salary. In addition to that, they get a 10% (target) bonus each year and very competitive benefits.

We also have a separate track for top-tier MBA students, but their salaries are on a much higher scale. While I don't know what today's MBA track salaries are, I have a top-tier MBA and came through this track 30 years ago. My starting salary back then was considerably higher than the salary paid to state University undergrads.

Are you in a very tiny rural town where the wages (and cost of living) are extremely low? Are you geographically mobile to a city where the job prospects may be different from your current location?
I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria.
You have a Masters in Finance from a top-20 school and you want to take night classes to help you advance?? Isn't your education strong enough?

Please tell us more about the job you have, your employer, your city (you don't have to give exact specifics) because something isn't fitting in the picture you have painted. With more information, hopefully you will get some more helpful and targeted suggestions.

Best wishes.
I am an analyst for a buy-side investment firm with many billions under management, that is performing incredibly well. I do not get extra performance pay since my role is considered "back office" - financial reporting. There is a very real possibility I'll go to a "front office" role soon, but even then the pay boost is 20% and does not really increase for another 5+ years when you can be a portfolio manager/senior research analyst. I am located in Indianapolis.

You are probably right that more education is not the answer. I am taking classes right now that will allow me to get my CPA within about 6 months, but mainly what I meant by "classes" was a career change. I feel like maybe the reason I'm not doing as well as others is because finance is in poor condition post-global financial crisis, and maybe others are making this $$$ in better fields.

I am geographically mobile and a hard worker but am not interested in these crazy ibanking type jobs that demand your life/soul.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:42 pm

evostevo85 wrote:
driftingaway wrote:Of the high earners under 30 I know of:

1) We are generally very high COL areas. Run your income through one of these: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ you might be surprised how your income stacks up when you compare your low cost location to say, NYC or Silicon Valley.

2) We are generally engineers (software in particular is very hot right now), with some consulting and I-Banking thrown in for good measure.

3) Network/school prestige helped a lot, though was less necessary for the engineers.

4) I work a lot of hours. Everyone I know works a lot of hours at least sporadically. My income is probably not that fantastic if you sat down and computed out an hourly wage.

Honestly, I don't think you are going to have much luck pulling that kind of salary without being willing to do quite a lot more than 50hrs a week. That kind of money tends to be big city, high stress, long hours.
COL calculator says I'd need to be pulling in 65k in Chicago and 120k in New York to have an equivalent standard of living. I do find that many young guys who boast about high salaries tend to live in NYC or other high COL areas and work a ton of hours, so maybe I really have it pretty good comparatively.

Also whoever said a small shop was not for me because I'm lazy, I wouldn't say that's the case. Last time I had a pay-for-performance role, I was in the top 5% of the company (Fortune 50). I take my work seriously and am good at what I do...I just have better things to do with my life than pretend to "work" in an office job 80 hours per week.
I wasn't implying laziness, however since you missed some of the FLUFF courses, let me give you a short primer on networking. Those who are seen in the office will be known to management. Those who run off to the bar or gym at 5pm will not. Guess who has a better chance of interacting with management?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

evostevo85
Posts: 26
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:46 pm

Investing is boring wrote:
evostevo85 wrote: Well it's not an MBA, technically, but a MS Finance, which is the same as an MBA in Finance with all the soft communication, HR, strategy, marketing etc. classes thrown out. I graduated undergrad debt-free but it was in 2008 during the peak of the recession and I had no internships because they were all unpaid, I had no connections, and I had a lucrative (for a kid) summer job. So I self-financed my master's, which cost about 45k. I find myself in a tough position because no one seems to know what to do with an MS Finance...employers generally don't treat it as an MBA, and put me in with the guys with Bachelor's degrees only. I also cannot take additional fluff classes to acquire an MBA...I would have to go back full-time for 2 years and spend a small house worth of money.

I'm located in Indianapolis...not exactly a booming finance hub but not a rural area either. Cost of living is ridiculously low compared to most "finance" cities and I enjoy it here, but relocation is certainly an option if anyone was hiring for my skillset.
People dont treat it like an MBA because it is not an MBA. Those "soft" course with "fluff" that were "thrown out" are HOW BUSINESS ACTUALLY GETS DONE. Then the bean counters can count the beans.

You may be on to something here...

This is why I started the thread.

Something just didn't feel right.

I'm from a working class family background, so I've had to rely solely on myself and have pretty much just been taking shots in the dark career and education wise for my entire life. This will help me develop a more targeted approach. I may not have made the best decisions but certainly there are worse things than being employed, with a graduate degree.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:47 pm

evostevo85 wrote:
Wagnerjb wrote:
evostevo85 wrote:I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job.
Something is missing from your post, but I cannot figure out what you are not telling us. I manage a group of accountants at a major energy company in a low-cost city (Houston). We hire undergraduates from big state Universities such as Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and we pay them $60,000 as their starting salary. In addition to that, they get a 10% (target) bonus each year and very competitive benefits.

We also have a separate track for top-tier MBA students, but their salaries are on a much higher scale. While I don't know what today's MBA track salaries are, I have a top-tier MBA and came through this track 30 years ago. My starting salary back then was considerably higher than the salary paid to state University undergrads.

Are you in a very tiny rural town where the wages (and cost of living) are extremely low? Are you geographically mobile to a city where the job prospects may be different from your current location?
I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria.
You have a Masters in Finance from a top-20 school and you want to take night classes to help you advance?? Isn't your education strong enough?

Please tell us more about the job you have, your employer, your city (you don't have to give exact specifics) because something isn't fitting in the picture you have painted. With more information, hopefully you will get some more helpful and targeted suggestions.

Best wishes.
I am an analyst for a buy-side investment firm with many billions under management, that is performing incredibly well. I do not get extra performance pay since my role is considered "back office" - financial reporting. There is a very real possibility I'll go to a "front office" role soon, but even then the pay boost is 20% and does not really increase for another 5+ years when you can be a portfolio manager/senior research analyst. I am located in Indianapolis.

You are probably right that more education is not the answer. I am taking classes right now that will allow me to get my CPA within about 6 months, but mainly what I meant by "classes" was a career change. I feel like maybe the reason I'm not doing as well as others is because finance is in poor condition post-global financial crisis, and maybe others are making this $$$ in better fields.

I am geographically mobile and a hard worker but am not interested in these crazy ibanking type jobs that demand your life/soul.
If that opportunity really exists, you'd be crazy to give it up for a short term income boost now.
IMO, you are too short-term focused to see the long term opportunity. If being a portfolio manager is a role you want to be in down the road, then you be best served waiting to see how "the hand plays out". Don't fold before the game is over.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

ollieburger
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by ollieburger » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:51 pm

I am 32 work in IT as a fed gov employee in DC makng 120K including 401k match. I rarely have more than 20 hrs work per week but must be at the office 40 hrs. Contractors here in their late 20s, early 30s, avg 150K and also rarely work more than 20 hrs. Look into Federal IT positions as a possible solution.

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HomerJ
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by HomerJ » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:53 pm

Investing is boring wrote:I think it is disingenuous to call sales high risk/high return. I think sales is LOWER risk then SW engineering. I make $170k in base pay - guarunteed. There is no need to "sell to eat."
If you don't sell you're going to lose that $170k job.
If I lost my job tomorrow, within a month I would have one that pays nearly the same or more. Can you say that about engineer's in the dot com era? What about today? Not likely, unless you are in a super hot field like Hadoop. And of course, when the Hadoop hype fades in a year or two, the firings begin anew.
In my experience, good SW engineers can find another job pretty fast too...

How do you guys sell stuff you barely understand? (Since you're obviously not tied to knowledge in a super hot field like an engineer is). My brother-in-law is a natural sales guy... He's always the life of the party, and has made millions in sales. He could sell ice to an Eskimo... You and he have a very valuable skill. I always find it amazing that sales guys who know very little about technology can make so much money when the guys who actually BUILD the product, and have to know and learn so much more get paid less.

I guess it's because it's very easy to measure a sales guy impact on the organization and very hard to measure an engineer. You can easily see that THIS sales guy sold 3x as much as THAT sales guy, and made this exact amount of money for the company, but it's hard to see which engineer is contributing 3x as much as the other engineers (not just work, but ideas too). How much was that engineer's idea worth to the company? Very hard to quantify.

Still pretty unfair... But, like my old man likes to say, life is not fair. I guess sales guys getting paid more than engineers is a better sort of unfairness, than the old kind of unfairness where you were planting your fields not bothering anyone, and then the Huns rode into town. :)

evostevo85
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by evostevo85 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:56 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:[

If that opportunity really exists, you'd be crazy to give it up for a short term income boost now.
IMO, you are too short-term focused to see the long term opportunity. If being a portfolio manager is a role you want to be in down the road, then you be best served waiting to see how "the hand plays out". Don't fold before the game is over.
Sometimes I think you are right, other times I think I am just being complacent/too patient. I am not experienced enough to judge.

fareastwarriors
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Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by fareastwarriors » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:57 pm

evostevo85 wrote:
Wagnerjb wrote:
evostevo85 wrote:I'm turning 28 next month, have a BS Economics and MS Finance from top 20 schools, and I make ~$55k USD per year from my "main" job.
Something is missing from your post, but I cannot figure out what you are not telling us. I manage a group of accountants at a major energy company in a low-cost city (Houston). We hire undergraduates from big state Universities such as Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and we pay them $60,000 as their starting salary. In addition to that, they get a 10% (target) bonus each year and very competitive benefits.

We also have a separate track for top-tier MBA students, but their salaries are on a much higher scale. While I don't know what today's MBA track salaries are, I have a top-tier MBA and came through this track 30 years ago. My starting salary back then was considerably higher than the salary paid to state University undergrads.

Are you in a very tiny rural town where the wages (and cost of living) are extremely low? Are you geographically mobile to a city where the job prospects may be different from your current location?
I am interested in taking weekend/night/online courses that will enable me to get one of these six figure jobs that fit within my time criteria.
You have a Masters in Finance from a top-20 school and you want to take night classes to help you advance?? Isn't your education strong enough?

Please tell us more about the job you have, your employer, your city (you don't have to give exact specifics) because something isn't fitting in the picture you have painted. With more information, hopefully you will get some more helpful and targeted suggestions.

Best wishes.
I am an analyst for a buy-side investment firm with many billions under management, that is performing incredibly well. I do not get extra performance pay since my role is considered "back office" - financial reporting. There is a very real possibility I'll go to a "front office" role soon, but even then the pay boost is 20% and does not really increase for another 5+ years when you can be a portfolio manager/senior research analyst. I am located in Indianapolis.

You are probably right that more education is not the answer. I am taking classes right now that will allow me to get my CPA within about 6 months, but mainly what I meant by "classes" was a career change. I feel like maybe the reason I'm not doing as well as others is because finance is in poor condition post-global financial crisis, and maybe others are making this $$$ in better fields.

I am geographically mobile and a hard worker but am not interested in these crazy ibanking type jobs that demand your life/soul.

You can consider studying for CFA exam and eventually transitioning to a research analyst and hopefully down the line become a portfolio manager...

Investing is boring
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:55 am

Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Investing is boring » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:01 pm

evostevo85 wrote:
You may be on to something here...

This is why I started the thread.

Something just didn't feel right.

I'm from a working class family background, so I've had to rely solely on myself and have pretty much just been taking shots in the dark career and education wise for my entire life. This will help me develop a more targeted approach. I may not have made the best decisions but certainly there are worse things than being employed, with a graduate degree.
Ok. here is the best short advise I can give.

To be successful a person or business needs:

- Vision
- Strategy
- Plan
- Execution

The first two are the domain of upper management, who's ranks you get to enter by demonstrating a competency and willingness to be mentored on how to produce a vision and strategy. The "plan" is the domain of middle management. To get there you need to demonstrate an ability to take a complex problem, break it into manageable pieces, and produce results through the use of your resources. The "Execution" is the domain of the individual contributor - the "smart guy with the spreadsheet" or the "specialist in this area."

You need to "be" the level you want to "become," before you become it. For example, when starting in Execution (entry level) - you need to be thinking of how to improve the plan and articulating your opinions appropriately. When you own the plan, you need to be thinking of the strategy and vision - alignment - improvements - potential changes in course.

All along the way use your Finance background to stand out.

This is what I would do in your shoes... You can make money in any industry.

Investing is boring
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:55 am

Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by Investing is boring » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:09 pm

HomerJ wrote: If you don't sell you're going to lose that $170k job.
... and get a new one within a month. I get 5-10 recruitment attempts per month. Mostly through Linked in. I also have plenty of relationships that would jump at the chance to bring me on.
If I lost my job tomorrow, within a month I would have one that pays nearly the same or more. Can you say that about engineer's in the dot com era? What about today? Not likely, unless you are in a super hot field like Hadoop. And of course, when the Hadoop hype fades in a year or two, the firings begin anew.
HomerJ wrote: In my experience, good SW engineers can find another job pretty fast too...

How do you guys sell stuff you barely understand? (Since you're obviously not tied to knowledge in a super hot field like an engineer is).
1: I was an engineer, so I do know how stuff works.
2: it is more important to understand the VALUE of the SW to the customer, then knowledge of how the widget actually works
3: stuff gets sold based on business case. build the business case with the customer, win the deal. Then the engineers can go make it work
4: sales is not a point A to point B affair. Your mind has to work differently. Not better or worse, just different.

I know a number of engineers who came over to sales. One of our best came over about 3 years ago. After 6-months he was heard frequently telling other engineers - "Sales is so much more challenging then engineering, it is unbelievably difficult." He has since become one of our best sales guys. Engineers never respect us. We get frustrated with how engineers think. Yet together, we make it all work :)

thebogledude
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Post by thebogledude » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:39 pm

just from paying attention to media and forum, I would say
business owners/entrepreneurs/self employed.
I tend to follow the do what you love and the money will follow mantra (I think that's Buffet's).
I think 60k is what most people say they are happy with earning in a 40 hr/week low stress job.

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