Finance

Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits by Kevin Roose

Kevin Roose on his motivation behind writing "Young Money"

Background

Happy #WellTailoredWednesday! After reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I've been going through a bit of a finance phase, where I've been trying to read up on that industry as a whole. I'm not sure what attracts me so much to it, but over the past couple of months I've had a one-track mind to read a lot about banking, hedge funds, trading, and the works.

Perhaps it's because ever since the Great Recession, there's been so much buzz around investment banking, for better or for worse. Or maybe it's because I'm jealous that these kids have the ability to make more money than they, and their family, have ever dreamed of. Either way, I was really curious to see what drove (and continues to drive) these intelligent college graduates into the brazen world of Finance. And with a few friends actually working on Wall Street, I was even more intrigued. Thus, I was attracted to Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits by Kevin Roose.

A Life in Finance

Young Money tells the story of 8 entry-level employees who work at some of the largest financial investment firms in the world, which include Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and more. The book was written as Roose shadowed these 8 individuals for over 3 years. 

At first, these graduates have high hopes and dreams about working on The Street. But over time, their opinions and outlooks on the industry, and on life in general, change. Take Arjun Khan, who started off as a bright-eyed 22-year old from Fordham who hustled to get a job on The Street, despite having gone to a non-target school, and who at the end of the 3 years matures into a sophisticated investor looking at the big picture. Or Derrick Brown, who's desperate to make it on The Street coming from out-of-state, but who eventually realizes that there's more to life than working 100+ hours a week.

Kevin Roose infiltrated the ultra-secretive Kappa Beta Phi dinner that featured some of finance's most successful people.
Kevin Roose infiltrated the ultra-secretive Kappa Beta Phi dinner that featured some of finance's most successful people.

One part of the book I especially enjoyed reading was Roose's retelling of his experience at the Kappa Beta Phi induction dinner. Kappa Beta Phi is Wall Street's most secretive fraternity and Roose was somehow brilliant enough to sneak in and witness the event live and with all it's salaciousness and crudeness. He wrote a recap of the full event in an article for New York Magazine, which I highly encourage readers to look into.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this book and would give it a 4.8/5

Read If You:

  • Are thinking about a future in Finance and are willing to take what you hear about the industry with a grain of salt
  • Work in Finance and have an open mind about learning about the industry's culture
  • Looking for a first-hand look at the industry from those people who've actually worked in it

Don't Read If You:

  • Think working in Finance is prestigious and flawless
  • Work in Finance and do not have an open mind about learning about the culture in your industry
  • Want a veteran's or a neutral POV of the industry (Roose sprinkles his opinion a few times throughout the book)

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

4.8Overall Score

Background Happy #WellTailoredWednesday! After reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I’ve been going through a bit of a finance phase, where I’ve been trying to read up on that industry as a ...

  • Applicability
    4.0
  • Theoretical
    5.0
  • Ease of Reading
    5.0
  • Book Length
    5.0

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