Why I Enjoy Reading Investment Banking Blogs

September 6, 2009 / Daily Life, Psychology / 16 Comments

Note: Excuse the typo-laden entry. It’s 4am and my eyes are about to close.

My latest favorite reads are a line-up of cynical, sadistic, pompous blogs written by investment bankers. I can go through half their archives in one sitting and re-read some of their entries.

Something about their bitterness is very captivating.

Reason #1: Envy

I know it’s probably very sick of me but I have to admit that I really enjoy reading about their misery. I think a small part of enjoyment comes from envy – envious for their ridiculously large paychecks. I don’t particularly desire having that much money – especially at the expense of so many important things in life – but it’s only human to be envious of what you don’t have.

Reason #2: Relief

Another part of my enjoyment comes from relief – relief that I do not have to work 100 hours every week to prove my worth to my boss. (Unfortunately, I do have to work 100-hour weeks once a while though, so I’m not exactly doing well on the work-life balance scale either. But at least I have some sort of a life outside of work.)

Reason #3: Respect

With that said, where I derive the bulk of enjoyment is from respect. It takes incredible amount of perseverance and dedication to put up with the amount of crap they do for the sake of one thing, which in their case is likely money, prestige or some derivative of both. This respect is the same admiration I have for my friend who I wrote about last month.

Why it stops at respect

Unlike all these i-bankers and jazz musicians, I really don’t think I can dedicate myself to one thing for the rest of my life. I was just not born to have particularly deep desires. I don’t need to swim in a pool of money. I don’t need presidential-level power or prestige. I don’t crave to be loved by everyone I meet. I don’t need to amount to legendary greatness, although I do think I am capable of it – if only I desired for it.

But alas, all I want is to have a job that I enjoy doing, afford a comfortable lifestyle and some time left over for some quality “me” time so I can seek more wisdom and knowledge.

Yes, my strongest desire is probably to gain wisdom and a breadth of knowledge. (There’s a not-so-subtle difference between the two, but let’s leave that for another entry). And even then I’m not dedicated enough to go back to school for it. I just want to know why the world works the way it does, why humans think, feel and act the way they do, why I am not as predictable as I would like to be, and what I can do to change that.

There’s enough satisfaction in my journey to seek wisdom and knowledge that I don’t really need to have an end-goal to justify my life.

In return for my relatively unpassionate, nonchalant life, I don’t have to suffer extreme pain or happiness – and this stability matters much more to me than a seven-figure paycheck (at least for now).

In some sick and twisted way, I guess reading about the bane of slaving for money and prestige validates my chosen lifestyle. Knowing that greatness comes slapped with a hefty price tag that involves slavery, deception, denial and insecurity has allowed me to be grateful for my life of mediocrity and moderation.

So here are some i-banking blogs I read religiously, in case you aspire to be as sick as I am or as sick as they are (whichever floats your boat better):

Dear Readers, do you have any genre of blogs you like to read? Are you as sick as I am when it comes to validating your pleasures with the misery of others? If you are working, do you enjoy your job? Why or why not? And what are your working hours like?

  • Let me clarify the fact that I dislike reading investment banking blogs or articles. Mainly because I’m an Accounting student and reading all those stuff for my homework, exams and research are already too much for me. I definitely won’t be spending even more of my time reading it again. 😛 I will try to avoid reading as much of those as possible outside of school.

    I like reading shopping, cosmetics and skincare blogs for reviews and updates on the latest products in the market. I have to admit I’m a skincare and makeup junkie so I enjoy reading all those blogs and trying out new products.

  • That’s kinda funny. 😛 I’ve never read an investment banking blog. It sounds terribly boring, lol.

    I like wedding blogs. Even before I was engaged. Weddings are so pretty. I’m getting a little sick of the whole thing though now that I’m actually deep into planning. I’m big on fitness blogs too.

    I do love my job most of the time. The work is pretty good, but I love my coworkers. My hours are 8-5 with an hour for lunch. Usually I work 8:30-4:35 with an hour for breakfast and several for lunch, lol. It’s pretty laid back there. Sometimes I’m really busy and I have to really work all day and through lunch, on rare occasions after 5. I get paid a pretty penny, and the benefits are pretty good. Get access to a free gym too 🙂 Yeah, I won’t be leaving anytime soon.

  • I have to admit that I don’t even know what an investment banker does.
    But I’m right with you when it comes to having a job that I like to do , that pays fairly and doesn’t kill me before I get to enjoy the money I earned .
    I was smart enough to take my dads advice : “study well so you can get a job you like doing, because you’ll be doing it every day for a very long time.”
    And as for the money, try to be happy with less. Sounds corny, but it works!
    So yeah , I like my job.
    and as for hours , I’ve kept going at 45 hours or more a week for more than 20 years now. BUT!
    I live in Belgium. I have taken advantage of a ‘ get more people a job’ scheme and have entered a 4 /5 th schedule. I work monday to thursday and have friday to sunday off. Ofcourse the trick is you need to be assertive enough so your boss doesn’t trick to get you to do a five day job in four days.
    Ofcourse my pay gets cut to 80% too, but I don’t care. I’ll manage (less is more) . Every week has a long weekend in it ( go on, start hating me already 😉 . I think I’ll be able to stick it out till my pension comes along.

  • Belinda

    Hi! I left a comment on your archive on the LG Viewty KU990R. Then subsequently read a couple of your entries including this one. Your attitudes and views are quite akin to mine, so I thought to myself “I wonder is her birthday in December? This person sounds like a Saggi”. Indeed you are!!! Mine is 13 December, but I am > decade older (*sob*). I have a similar history to yours, 6 years of education in Australia, world-village mindset and interests. Came back to Spore for 9 years and found it too stuffy and suffocating for me. 2.5 years ago I threw in my stable but unhappy government job and went off to live, dance and dab in art in Argentina. Best thing I ever did for myself!!! Came back 5 weeks ago due to aging parents. Being their sole progeny, what to do… Anyway, just to say hi and do continue writing, its refreshing!!! 😀

  • I never knew ibanking blogs even existed! The Stuff ibankers like blog is making me laugh 🙂
    For me, after studying the liberal arts or laws for hours, I like to veg out by reading gossip blogs. Have you heard of julia allison? It’s so fun to laugh at and hate her, yet ridiculously difficult to stop reading her “lifecasts”.

  • I have never been a “banking/finance/anyone good with numbers” person which perhaps explains why investment banking blogs do not appeal to me. Although from your entry, I seem to get the impression that investment banking blogs are not necessary all theory and work-related. Rather, there seems to be a personal touch to the writing too. I may check out one to see whether I’m right. Hahaha.

    Like you, I seek out a job where I can seek personal satisfaction and enjoyment from, rather than the money. We can’t take money to the grave but at least the experiences and positive memories and lessons stay with us forever. 😉

  • Ivy

    Sorry for the late reply all! Been mighty busy the past few weeks!

    @Lissy: Wow! That definitely sounds like an enviable job!!! I work 9 – 6.30 usually. But past 7pm is not uncommon either.

    @Walter: Whoa, a long weekend every week!! Singapore seriously could learn a thing or two from Belgium! (Yes, I’m seething in jealousy because I have to work next weekend. Argh!)

    @Belinda: Hello fellow Sagi!! Thanks for stopping by! Leaving a stable job for adventure in Argentina is a very Sagi thing to do too. I’ve been contemplating about do the same somewhere in the future but for now I’m still quite happy with my job. It’s a shame you have to come back but I guess you can still try to find some adventure in Singapore. 🙂 (As you can see, I try to keep obstinately optimistic about my predicaments. Another Sagi thing to do :D)

  • Ivy

    @Victoria: I used to read PerezHilton and TheSuperficial all the time when I was still in university. I needed something to detox my brain from all the politics and the philosophy! Now that I’m working, lolcats and cuteoverload usually do the trick. And when I’m feeling miserable the ibankers blogs never fail to bring me sadistic happiness! 😀 Thanks for the recommendation on Julia Allison. I’ve heard of her but never really bothered to go through her blog. Very interesting characte! 🙂

    @Brenda: Haha a lot of the iBanking blogs poke fun at themselves and that’s why it’s funny. I’m not particularly interested in the theories and stuff either since I don’t quite have an affinity for numbers. 😀

    @Dayna: I read about skincare and makeup from forums usually, since I like to see diverse reactions to one product. My usual haunts are MakeUpAlley.com and CozyCot. 😀

    Investment blogs aren’t actually about how to invest but rather the pathetically extravagant lifestyles of the investment bankers. Should give it a shot. 😀 I recommend Stuff Investment Bankers Like. It’s so funny! Although, he seemed to have stop writing after the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit. I wonder if he got laid off or something… coz that would be a shame.

  • I realize it….
    My thought is “An investment bank is a financial institution that assists individuals, corporations and governments in raising capital by underwriting and/or acting as the client’s agent in the issuance of securities. An investment bank may also assist companies involved in mergers and acquisitions, and provides ancillary services such as market making, trading of derivatives, fixed income instruments, foreign exchange, commodities, and equity securities”

  • bred


    I agree with lissy that investment Banking can become boring sometimes. I am related to this field (although not exactly related to investment banking). But surely when the numbers and the old jumbo talks about the figures comes up …I start getting bored. But there are some people who always talk about this thing in a very excited way….may be just because they have interest in this field or they just know this field.

  • Ratta

    Bred you are right some people are still out there who actually like talking about banking,investment banking,document imaging and like.

  • bred

    Hi Ratta,

    You have mentioned document imaging.

    What is document imaging ?

  • ratta

    Bred …Document Imaging is the task of scanning the bank documents to make them computer readable form.There are various document imaging systems out there.
    for more info visit:

    href=”http://www.genesisbanking.com/community-bank-software/document-imaging.html” >http://www.genesisbanking.com/community-bank-software/document-imaging.html

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  • Unfortunately most of these blogs are either so generic to be useless or so specific to be limited to a very targeted audience. InsideBanking.net is focused strictly on commercial lenders, but I think it is a great blog. Of course I write it. <a href="http://www.insidebanking.net/blog.html&quot; InsideBanking.net

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