A day in the life of a trader or equity sales can certainly be glamorous in terms of the level of pay, but it is NO walk in the park. I would argue that those on Wall Street who rely heaviest on commissions and general performance have the heaviest burdens to bear in the broader scheme of things, and not just in terms of making a living for themselves or their families.

It is often said that money can’t buy happiness, and I certainly do not doubt the validity of this statement when you take a look at what the stress of high-paying Wall Street jobs does to otherwise ordinary and happy people.

By no means am I telling you that you should feel sorry or bad for Wall Street workers more so than any other group – my goal is merely to point out that the picturesque lifestyle of a Wall Street banker comes at a very high cost, that not even they know how to pay. This has a lot to do with why I made the choice to abandon that culture with a purpose of finding my own voice and purpose in life, even if it means going broke.

Last May, shortly after I arrived at my desk at 7:15AM, a read a news headline that stated just a few blocks away a 29-year-old financial analyst jumped 24 stories to their death. This guy was the same age as me at the time, and his father has said that he was under so much stress at work he began using illegal drugs to keep alert. In the end, they did nothing to ease his suffering and so he decided to end it all. 

According to the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance, financial services workers are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than the national average, and also pointed out that there is evidence to suggest that the finance industry tends to attract more people with depression or anxious tendencies and the work environment ultimately overwhelms people. Most of these workers have been high achievers their whole life and the eat-or-be-eaten attitude just cannot be won by everyone. Additionally, Millennials seek out a more collaborative work culture rather than the decades-old cutthroat work environment of corporations.   

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