It not matter how much you make that matter, it's how much you keep.
After graduating from Harvard Business School in the Summer of 1996 with $125,000 in student debt, I decided to take my talents to Wall Street with a highly sought-after position at one of the premier companies in the World — Salomon Smith Barney (later renamed Citigroup Capital Markets). After all, my main reason for attending HBS was to become what I considered the ultimate career – a lucrative Investment Banking job with a top-tier Wall Street firm.
Working 80 hour work weeks and multiple all-nighters under three venerable leaders — Jamie Dimon (now CEO of JP Morgan), Bruce Wasserstein (former CEO of Lazard & Co), and Benjamin Lorello (now CEO of Jefferies & Co) — I worked on billions of dollars of mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance transactions for some of the World’s largest corporations. I was also able to pay off my student debt within a few short years due to the large bonuses Wall Street companies are known for.
Midway into my career, I realized that Wall Street was not for me. While I enjoyed the thrills and challenges of chasing and executing multi-billion dollar deals, I wanted more meaning from my life, besides making money.
So, in 2003, I teamed up with AXA, the French conglomerate, and set up my own financial advisory firm, The Pacific Group to help both rich and poor families build good financial habits by advising them on the best ways to build a secure retirement nest egg, minimize taxes, educate their kids, protect their families from unseen events and protect their assets from creditors.