Picked up "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham back when I was serving my national service when I was 18 years of age - that chapter on Mr Market was mind-blowing and opened up a whole new paradigm of investing that that shaped my investment thought process since.
Kind of knew that I wanted to work in the finance industry since then, but did not really know whether fund management or equity research, fields that are most associated with managing investments, were the most suitable options. Somehow managed to wrangle out top tier grades in college and a seemingly holistic "extra-curricular activities" record, which kept most career options open. Subsequently lucked out on an investment banking internship back in the days of the '07 sub-prime mortgage crisis. I have to admit I got extremely lucky and managed to get an offer to kickstart a career as an investment banking analyst (think corporate finance, not sales and trading) then. Have been in the same industry for about half a decade or so now.
Before I started out as a green-shoed twinkle toed analyst, happened to chance across the concepts of F.I.R.E (Financial Independence, Retire Early) and that provided the additional motivation across the earlier and much tougher years as a junior banker. To be honest, it does not get any easier as you progress up the ranks, just that you have the ability to influence your lifestyle more, but that's another topic to delve into for another day.
The earliest inspiration I had on the F.I.R.E front was from Jakob Lund Fisker, and I have attempted to put through a holistic (but not entirely the same) approach of his concepts to my life. For the uninitiated, I would strongly urge you to read the blog and think through his principles if you believe F.I.R.E would be a suitable lifestyle for you. There are other links in his blog (such as BNL and MMM) that might be of more help to you. I hope you are able to takeaway the same amounts of his knowledge and experience as I have managed to glean over the past few years.
Decided recently that I should kick-start a blog in order to elucidate some of my thoughts, which would perhaps help in providing myself with some clarity as I attempt to articulate these thoughts. Someone once told me writing is a good form of simplifying your thought process further, so I thought I'll give it a shot. And who knows, if it serves as an inspiration to fellow folks in the community, I would have done the public good and gathered some good karma, or maybe not, but I don't give two fucks in either case. This is meant as a personal discourse in extreme early retirement in Singapore, through the option of working as an investment banker for a (lengthy?) period of time,
For full disclosure, I am based in Singapore, am working a full time job in the investment banking industry and have chosen to remain anonymous for reasons of maintaining a certain measure of protection over my "rice bowl". Which sounds somewhat ironic given the nature of the industry, but I try to do what I can to succeed in my overarching goals of F.I.R.E without compromising my basic values.
Enjoy and may you find freedom in life.