November 22, 2010

Money Makers: DAVID SNIDER

David Snider, 25, has successfully co-authored the book he wished was written when he was entering the workforce after graduating from Duke University in 2007: a guide to the most selective fields in business and finance from the experience of seasoned industry leaders themselves. David started his career after college in management consulting at Bain & Company, and is now working at Bain Capital, one of the largest private equity and alternative asset managers in the world. Money Makers has been enormously successful since its release this year, so much so that it was sold out of Barnes & Nobles in the entire Manhattan area when we first went to purchase it in the fall (the Columbia book store clerk even asked us if it was on some reading list because it was “flying off the shelves!”). Robert McDonald, the CEO of Procter & Gamble, agrees: "Money Makers does a super job of explaining how the elements of finance integrate to fuel our economy," especially given the altered economic landscape following the global financial crisis.  David and co-author, Dr. Chris Howard, have succinctly laid out the differences in career paths, lifestyles, and work environments of jobs in an investment bank, venture capital and entrepreneurship, private equity,  hedge funds, management consulting, and in Fortune 500 companies through interviews with success stories like Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, David Rubenstein, founder of the Carlyle Group, and Shona Brown, Vice President of Business Operations at Google.

David exemplifies many of the qualities which he himself has identified in business legends, so will we not be surprised if he ends up on the other side of a similar project in years to come.

Greatest challenge in writing the book:
Balancing writing the book with a full-time consulting gig at Bain & Company.

How did you find your writing partner?
I met my co-author, Chris Howard, at a conference when I was in high school and he was working at GE. Chris became a mentor to me and I helped him with a not-for-profit he founded. When I had the idea for the book he was one of the first people I called to see if the project had any merit. He was excited about it and offered to collaborate, so we teamed up.

Your career path:
I got a taste for a few different careers through internships—politics, film-making, and working in a small business—but my full-time career path has been two years of management consulting at Bain & Company in Boston and roughly a year and a half in private equity at Bain Capital in New York.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In a job where I continue to be excited coming to work and am constantly learning.

Most influential interviewee (to you):
Seth Klarman, who runs a hedge fund called Baupost. He was incredibly articulate in describing the difference between value investing and speculation. In value investing the underlying ‘value’ of an asset or company is based upon its ability to generate cash while with a speculative investment, your entire investment upside comes from the likelihood that someone else will come along and pay you more for it (e.g. owning a building with tenants vs. a rare bottle of wine). Both types of investing can be very lucrative, but understanding the difference is important.

The secret behind Money-Making:
The ability and appetite to take risk. The people I interviewed who had achieved the most monetary success had taken the risk of starting a new business or investment firm.

Three most common traits of Money-Makers:
Skill within ones field, excitement about the work, and luck.

Your current state of mind:

Achievement of which you are most proud:
Being invited back to my alma mater to discuss Money Makers.

Talent you’d most like to have:
Ability to speak more foreign languages.

Your guilty pleasure?
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Your motto:
“The world belongs to the energetic.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson or, as, Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock puts it: “Life is about minimizing regrets. You're young and you still haven't blown it completely, so don't start now.”

Favorite restaurant to splurge in New York:

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