{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Are Creative Directors rich?", "post_id": "61708f4f8cb413003a532a4e", "reply_count": 116, "vote_count": 17, "bowl_id": "594f0b7a1753b200102d1a8f", "bowl_name": "Creatives" }

Are Creative Directors rich?

likefunny
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CDs tend to be older than juniors. And older people tend to have more money than younger people, assuming their lives have not been a series of bad choices. I bought my first house 10 years ago, so now I have accrued over a million dollars in equity, just by ageing. I have comic books I bought for a few dollars, which are now worth thousands of dollars. I have managed to squirrel away hundreds of thousands in savings, due in part to compound interest, and ageing. So give it time... and you'll have a nicer house than the younger people on your Zoom calls. But they'll have their youth and better knees than you.

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Always the moms for sure. Mama obliberated my Yu-Gi-Oh cards in front of my eyes just cuz I failed a couple tests. Talk bout overreacting

Advertising is like a MLM scheme. The only people who are rich are CCOs, founders and very in-demand and confident freelancers. After a few years as a CD, you don’t feel constantly financially insecure, which is it’s own kind of wealth. But you have to weigh everything against the reality that you might be aged out by 45. And if you have a family, the money goes there and the stress is tripled. But there is a sense if “richness in spirit” of having other people to enrich your life and having something to focus on besides your job, so I’d 100% recommend having a family. “Wealth” in advertising means “you’re not working 24/7 and might be okay if you’re unceremoniously fired or put out to pasture at 45” which is “nice” but also kind of a bummer when you realize WLB and a long career is or used to be, a baseline expectation of most jobs.

likesmartfunny

You mean triple-dip..

funny
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Their zoom backgrounds always look nicer 🤷

likefunny

To obscure your piles of cash behind you CD11

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Becoming a CD generally happens in that point in life when you start having kids—so it’s more like you become poorer.

likesmartupliftinghelpful

I have kids and I’m a sr ad. I’m probably miserable.

Not really.

likehelpful

Vp, creative director, most at big agencies in big cities (or reputable agencies in small cities) do

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After 20 years and never making more than $200k I’m worth $1.3M mostly thanks to maximizing 401k contributions, buying a home and Bitcoin whenever I had extra cash, and not getting divorced.

likeupliftinghelpful

Rich? No. Have everything I need? Yes.

likehelpful

I’m def not “associate” rich

funnylike

rich? no. rich…er than a mid level copywriter? sure.

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Why you have to do us like that?

funny

Some consider those with active lives with friends and family as being rich. So, 🤷🏻‍♂️ But much like most of life, it all depends on where you live, how you live and what you consider rich.

likesmart

Compared to, like, societal average I think they’re often a lot more well off than they necessarily realize or acknowledge. But if you ask the average CD they’d say no.

likehelpful

Here’s why this is such a lousy, loaded, and relative question: rich isn’t just in the mind of the beholder, it’s also in the context of where you live, the way your career unfolds, what your life includes, and what cards you draw in terms of family, health, and happenstance. Because I was intrigued (no math guy, me) I looked up what a $250k annual nets to (you get to mid-market and below and that’s a rare salary), factored over a prototypical 12 years at that rate (you make CD at 38 and are fired at 50) and what that leaves you for say, the next 30 years of your life (assuming 80ish). Financial planners’ rule of thumb is you can draw 3% out if your principle (nest egg) every year while keeping up with inflation and not running out-so if you saved $2mm, you get an effective income if $60k/year. But wait a sec—you only made $1.9mmish in the 12 years at that high salary—and had to live on a big chunk of it. So you do the math on what’s really the result of your success and you gonna be mighty glad for social security, assuming the folks in DC can figure how to save it and you can hold out until 65 or beyond to claim it. This, of course, way better that most people ever do. But it’s why you want to think about this stuff at cocktail hour. Rich for the year ain’t rich for a lifetime, sad to say. No matter how richly deserved based on your hard work.

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Yes, exactly. The salary certainly sounds great but when you factor in the short time frame, the lack of a pension, as school debt, the lack of job security and the high cost, both in money and health, of having to pull those hours, you almost can’t retire unless you become a commercial director, CCO, or are independently rich. And that’s not even considering that, to get one of these plum positions, you need to “invest in your book” for 5-8 years and make peanuts while living in a probably pretty expensive city. And if you can, you can live a comfortable life relative to a lot of people, but “rich” is not the word you’d use to describe it. Unless you made some really wise investments or are that rare ECD pulling down 500-800k, you will not be “rich.”

likesmarthelpfulfunny

$1.8 million saved, $280k salary, not planning on having kids and I feel far from being rich. If I reach a point where I can afford to fly first class all the time and buy a nice 1.5M home in NYC all cash and still have a couple million left over, then I’ll think I’m rich. Yes, I know I have it financially better than like 98% of the population, but I feel like I still have to grind it out at my job everyday for at least another 10-15 years and save/invest wisely before I’ll be able to chill TFO. And that’s not a given considering how ageist and fickle our industry is. I’ll probably get booted in the next couple years. As Tom in Succession says, “5 million is a nightmare”.

likeupliftingfunny

Yeah, as it’s been said a million times in this thread, if you have a 200k salary in a HCL city, you are far from rich. Especially if it’s in advertising and comes with the caveats that you will age out young, get no pension, have been underpaid in the ten years leading up to that HCL salary and have no job stability. As the CD above so helpfully stated, “I could maybe afford a mortgage on a 1 bedroom apt and can eat at some restaurants” is not “rich.”

like

No. I have a kid and a wife who makes much less than I do.

likefunny

I live in LA so no.

likehelpful

Comfortable with some nice things, yes. Rich or even well-off? Hell no. Not even sure what “rich” is anymore but I love my family and we’re all healthy. Everything else is secondary.

likeupliftinghelpful

I don’t know if I’m rich, so I’m probably not. BUT I saved A LOT of cash from freelancing and days before kids and a house. Invested it and I have F you money. I don’t need any agency. And that my friends, is the goal. Invest your dollars so you don’t have to be beholden to BS.

likehelpful

Ty for sharing

I think so. I make 400k a year, wife makes 340k (including bonus). We have a net worth of 3 million. Saved like hell to get here. My salary is honestly more money than I thought I’d ever make, and I’m very very appreciative. This business is a grind but if you want to live comfortably and send your kids to college without student debt, it’s 100% possible. That said, the real money in this business comes from owning your own agency. Spoken to a few independent agency owners who make over 1 million a year. Guess that’s not exactly surprising, but it was nice to hear nonetheless.

likeuplifting

That’s fair. It’s a pretty broad question though. Even if I’m an edge case, I still fall within the definition of CD, I think. So the answer to the original question would be, ‘yes, some CDs are rich, depending on how you define rich’. I also didn’t make this salary for 90% of my career which is worth mentioning. I would’ve answered similarly when I was a CD.

like

For $800K in Dallas you can buy a 5bd mansion with a pool and acres of land. For that money you’re rich in nearly every SE Asian/South Asian country (except SG). Retire in Bali or Maldives and have like your own chef, butler, maids. The real question is: do you want to live well or do you want to be perceived as rich (ego).

likefunny

No. I have two kids and live in an expensive city. I rent. I do not have disposable income

likehelpful

In my personal experience- when I graduated and was living in Austin making $50k a year in 2012, I felt like a king. My Rent was $550 (had roommates), never had to worry about how much guacamole cost, went to as many shows as I wanted. Then moved to NY and was making $100k and found myself taking toilet paper home from my office some weeks.

funnylikehelpful

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