Is Investment Banking Stressful? How to Cope With Stress in Investment Banking

Yes, investment banking is usually stressful. While it’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, careers in finance and investment banking can be stressful. Professionals often over-commit and put in long hours to prove their worth to a company, which can lead to a work-life balance that is unsustainable. Fortunately, there are many ways to cope with the stress in a job like investment banking, including recognizing the symptoms of stress and prioritizing your health over your career.

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Work-life balance

For those looking for a career with a high work-life balance in investment banking, there are several options available. Although the industry’s reports are usually based on year-to-date data and two prior years, the recent work-from-home craze may have shifted average hours worked. According to the WSO report, top firms have better work-life balance than average firms.

Despite its high-level compensation, investment banking can be a demanding career. It requires long work hours and heavy workloads, which can be draining. The topic of work-life balance in investment banking is an important one, as too much stress can impact work performance, health and happiness.

If work-life balance is important to you, consider an internship at a top investment banking firm. Centerview Investment Bank, which is not a bulge bracket investment bank, offers excellent work-life balance, with an emphasis on new recruits and strong interaction between all levels of the company. The firm also offers full-time jobs for its junior bankers, which gives them the opportunity to work on live deals and interact with senior bankers. Another top investment banking firm that offers an exceptional work-life balance is Moelis & Company. The firm was founded by superstar banker Ken Moeils and has a strong, inclusive culture. It also has a CSR program that supports more than 40 nonprofit organizations.

Work-life balance in investment banking means setting personal limits. You may feel like you are spending too much time at work, but taking time out for hobbies and other personal pursuits will keep you mentally and physically fresh. You will also be more likely to be creative and innovative if you take time off from work to relax.

Although investment banking is a lucrative career choice, it is also very challenging. The pace of the industry is intense, and working at a high level takes up most of your time. You may barely have time to shower and get ready for the day. Consequently, you won’t be the best spouse, parent, or social philanthropist.

The most important tip is to create a work-life balance. Investment banking can be a stressful career, but keep a positive attitude and appreciate your accomplishments.

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Is Investment Banking Stressful


Most investment banking jobs are located in cities, which means long commutes. The morning hours are often slower, with work that involves analyzing companies and making adjustments to financial statements as requested by senior staff. This gives junior bankers some time to watch sports and read news. However, many investment banks block social media.

In investment banking, analysts are responsible for most of the work. They spend most of their day preparing presentations for clients, and they may be asked to arrange travel and conference calls. To succeed, analysts must have excellent analytical skills. They are also expected to work long hours, as their workload can compound quickly.

Hours in investment banking can be difficult, but they don’t have to be stressful. Most investment banks don’t require 100-page pitch books, and most clients barely read their entire presentations. Plus, most of the changes that are requested at three in the morning to prepare for a 9-am meeting aren’t very important. In addition, the rise of work from home has upended the general rule of hours improvement. While many associates work fewer hours than VPs and MDs, Investment Banking Associates are still required to work more than 40 hours per week.

Many investment bankers report that they are under constant pressure to achieve high profits. They work long hours with little time to recharge and rest. This high-stress level can contribute to many physical and mental health problems. Many investment bankers find it difficult to deal with the stress and lack of sleep. The pressure can lead to insomnia, eating disorders, alcoholism, and even a host of other ailments.

The hours of investment banking are long, and it is hard to make time for yourself. Fortunately, the rewards are great. Although the hours of investment banking are often stressful, the pay is higher than the average, and the hours are relatively flexible compared to other jobs. In addition to earning a large salary, investment bankers have the opportunity to learn many different skills in real-world situations.

As you progress up the ladder, the hours of investment banking will get easier. However, the first two years will be the hardest. If you manage your time wisely, you should be able to maintain a balance between work and personal life.


Sexism is an ongoing issue in investment banking. Despite a push by financial institutions to make the industry more diverse, women still face numerous challenges. The culture of investment banking is highly male-dominated, and women are often viewed as second-class citizens. A client once asked a woman coverage banker, “Where is your boss?” Despite a recent shift toward gender parity, this type of behavior remains a problem.

One former investment banker, Sam Polk, has written a widely-read op-ed about his experience. He writes that women on Wall Street face sexism on a daily basis. Her friends report experiencing overt and subtle sexism. She tells her story of a male colleague who wanted to rank new female employees by leg length and fuckability. Similarly, when a new mother returned to work after giving birth, a male co-worker mooed at her.

The me-too movement is not only highlighting gender inequality in the investment banking industry, but also raising awareness of the sexism that persists in the industry. The recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein have fueled the debate on gender equality in investment banking. But despite the growing attention being given to gender parity in the workplace, there are still many instances where men are given more opportunities than women in senior positions.

While the study of 24 investment bankers was helpful, it did not represent the entire industry. For example, if you were to ask 100 people in France if they drink coffee, it wouldn’t represent the whole population. Even worse, the study is limited to a small number of female investment bankers, and the results aren’t statistically significant.

Higgins’ experience demonstrates the lack of representation of women in investment banking. Her experience shows that she was swept up in the culture and was unable to distinguish herself from male colleagues. Her subsequent career path is unclear, but she finds solace in her beloved family. While a few women are still underrepresented in the C-suite, this progress is a welcome step.

Women in investment banking have also faced obstacles, particularly in Asia. But the barriers have been slowly removed. As a result, many women have left the industry, often seeking jobs that offer a better balance.


There’s no denying that the life of an investment banker can be incredibly stressful. It requires high levels of pressure to meet deadlines, and the hours are unpredictable. Often, you are at work until the wee hours of the morning, unable to sleep. This can lead to a lot of stress, which can lead to health issues.

The constant competition within the investment banking industry can be detrimental to a person’s health. In the beginning, you’ll have to do the basics and work your way up to more senior positions. The good news is that the work gets better with experience and position. The bad news is that you have to keep up with the constant changes in the industry, and this can cause stress.

It’s important to realize that working hours in investment banking tend to increase as you rise the ladder. However, the first two years are notoriously difficult, with associates putting in 60 to 80 hours a week. Once you’re used to managing your time, you’ll find that these hours don’t seem as extreme.

As an investment banker, you’ll be dealing with extremely competitive individuals, many of whom are very demanding and have strong personalities. As a result, you’re likely to make few friends in the industry. The competition is fierce, and many bankers are driven by bonuses and profits. Moreover, you may find yourself assigned a lot of work as early as your first job, even if that means working on tasks that you hate.

The pay for investment bankers is very high. But this high pay absolves the banks of the responsibility to treat their employees well. You’ll find that your superiors don’t care about your tiredness or weekend issues. They’ll treat you like a commodity. They won’t give you the respect you deserve.

As a result, many investment bankers are highly compensated, and yet they don’t enjoy their job. If you’re not enjoying your work, you may want to consider quitting. Perhaps you can work at another firm that doesn’t require such high levels of stress. If your pay is too high, consider looking for a job with lower demands.

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