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Home  > Article

Your Finance Toolkit

By Lucas Laursen

Looking to keep up with the finance industry? Trade periodicals seem to be the way to go.

Read the trade periodicals to learn the values and concerns of the industry -- it will show in any serious interview. Look to the career guides for in-depth advice. And share a laugh with those jokers from DLJ for a glimpse at the dark side of investment banking.

The Wall Street Journal

Price: $99/year (print or web only; add $49 for both; student discount available)

Publisher: Dow Jones & Company

What it is: The pre-eminent American financial daily.

Where it's at: Every newsstand in the world, your mailbox, and www.wsj.com

Benefits: Remember how everyone read the front page of the college paper? This is that page for the whole financial industry.

Drawbacks: Some pesky competition from that funny-colored British paper, the Financial Times (www.FT.com). Also, not primarily a job-seeking guide.

The Economist

Price: $79/year

What it is: The pre-eminent worldwide financial weekly.

Where it's at: Newsstands, by subscription, and www.economist.com

Benefits: Witty British writing and hard-nosed independent analysis of business around the world.

Drawbacks: Again, this is more like required reading than a "how to get in" guide.

Vault Career Guides

Price: $29.95

What it is: A series of career guides to investment banking, venture capital, and more.

Where it's at: www.vault.com and selected bookstores

Benefits: Recommended by insiders for spelling out the law of the land with grim practicality.

Drawbacks: There is no general finance title, so you must already know which sector of the industry interests you before buying.

Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle

Price: $14.95 (but often discounted online)

Authors: John Rolfe and Peter Troob

Publisher: Warner Business Books

What it is: A first-person account of investment bank burnout from top business school graduates.

Where it's at: Online and used bookstores (often at a discount).

Benefits: Offers a humorous, if dark, take on investment banking at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) from the middle of the late nineties tech boom. You wouldn't want to go into the field with your eyes shut!

Drawbacks: A little dated, but the downsides of the industry don't change that much: long hours, sometimes-tyrannical managers, and nonstop pressure to succeed. Since it's a first-person account, the book is necessarily subjective, and it has been criticized for its honest portrayal of the often coarse language and attitudes of bankers.

Minority Rules: Turn Your Ethnicity Into a Competitive Edge

Price: $22.95

Authors: Kenneth Arroyo Roldan and Gary Stern

Publisher: HarperCollins

What it is: A look at how minorities can succeed in corporate America.

Where it's at: Major bookstores and online.

Benefits: Unapologetically analyzes why minorities have had limited career success in corporate America and suggests how to win the office politics game. Roldan was a top headhunter of minority talent, so the advice comes from the inside. The realpolitik should be useful to anyone on the corporate ladder.

Drawbacks: Not finance-specific.







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