The Goldman Sachs Magnet

 “I’ll be working at Goldman Sachs,” gushed Sophia.

She was one of my former high school students. I had never imagined her peddling products for an investment banking firm. Sophia, I figured, was different.

While growing up in Singapore, she often traveled to Cambodia, to build houses for the impoverished. She went to Soweto, South Africa after raising money for an after-school youth centre. She helped paint and decorate the modest African building while encouraging the centre’s young girls to stay in school, and not fall into the frighteningly common prostitution trade.

Was she laying altruistic roots….or was there another purpose?

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Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I’m happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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2 Responses

  1. DIY Investor says:

    Good article. Sadly your student will be tested. Even more sadly if she doesn't go along she will probably not move up the ladder.

    I was at a conference giving a presentation one time when I was on the institutional side of the business when a former marketing guy at the company I was working for invited me to a dinner. He said the dinner would have the 5 biggest pension fund trustees in the state of Texas, it wouldn't cost me anything, and I would walk away with all kinds of business. He said they were prepared to spend $1,500/trustee and the wine would be excellent and the entertainment wild.

    I begged off but often wondered if I would have been able early in my career to turn it down. Early in my career I was focused on paying for a house, building college funds for the kids and all the rest.

    At Goldman (as well as many other places) she will be tested. Much of the institutional investment world is about buying business it's not about competing on the basis of performance. If you think about the dinner you come to realize that the trustees are living large on every day workers money – including teachers and firefighters etc. It can be a nasty business.

    • You're right Robert. This girl will be tested. And she is already used to a fairly extravagant lifestyle, so she'd have to be the exception, rather than a rule, to turn down the kinds of lucrative opportunities that will come her way…even if they are at the expense of others..

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