Life After Wall Street: From Investment Banker to Entrepreneur with Alex Grodnik

April 25, 2018

[Ep. 156] Life After Wall Street: From Investment Banker to Entrepreneur with Alex Grodnik

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I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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I’ve always been curious about what it’s like to be an investment banker. I mean, is it really like Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short, or the classic Wall Street? Or is that all dramatized and it’s really just another office job? And what’s life after Wall Street look like?

After talking with Alex Grodnik, host of the Wall Street Oasis podcast, I feel like it might sort of look like those movies, but way more stressful and definitely not for me. Alex worked in investment banking for just under a decade and left to pursue an MBA and start his own business, a fintech startup in LA called Payclub. But before he transitioned into entrepreneurship, he was an analyst at JPMorgan, then moved on to an advising role at Houlihan Lokey. He pursued a career in investing because he was always interested in investing and finance from an early age. But after working in the industry for several years, he realized it wasn’t something that got him excited anymore.

Luckily, he was one of the smart investment bankers and just saved everything he earned (instead of falling victim to lifestyle inflation). Because he lived fairly frugally and saved the majority of his income, he was able to quit, go back to school, and have the financial freedom to become an entrepreneur.
In this episode, we talk about what life is like for an investment banker and what some of his tips for investing are for regular people like us. Here are some of my favourite tips he shared.

Buy & Never Sell

This isn’t exactly his, tip, it’s one from Warren Buffet, but he shared it and I liked it. Basically, for anyone who is too afraid to invest because they are really risk averse, this is the secret sauce to not losing all your money in the stock market. Buy and hold. As Alex mentioned, you can’t time the market and you’ll probably never buy at the bottom or sell at the top of the market. But, if you buy and hold onto your investments for the long term, you really can’t go wrong. It’s only when you sell in a panic because you see the markets dipping that you’ll lose money.

Don’t Borrow Money to Invest

I can’t stand articles out there that encourage people to borrow money to invest because debt is cheap and it’s a bull market. Hey, if you want to take that chance, go ahead. I hope things work out for you. But for the average investor, the smartest thing to do is invest money you actually have, and invest any excess savings or money that comes your way. Did you get a tax refund? Awesome, invest it. Did you get an inheritance? Fabulous, invest it. You got a side hustle and don’t know what to do with that extra cash? Invest it!

Answer Truthfully “When Do You Feel Like You Are Your Most Authentic Self?”

I’m not sure if I got the wording on that exact, but this is something Alex asked himself when he felt like he wanted to make a change in his career. I loved how he put it because I did the same thing when I was considering leaving my job. I asked myself when I felt the proudest and most confident in myself, and the answer wasn’t sitting in a cubicle being told what to do by my boss. It was when I was doing my own thing with the podcast, blog, and speaking that I felt I was being me I always wanted to be. So, if you’re in a rut, ask yourself the same thing. When do you feel you are your most authentic self?

Learn More About Alex

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