I would eventually like to start a family, is trading a job where there is a good work/life balance?
Of all the jobs in an investment bank/financial services, I actually think trading is one of the best roles for work/life balance. Sure, traders are often in their seats by 6/6:30am, but babies and kids wake up early. And after the first few years as a junior trader, you are often done work by 5:30/6pm. Additionally, this is for the most part, a Monday-Friday job, with weekend time as needed if you want to get in some extra reading, or market commentary, etc. There is some travel, but that’s generally capped at one night trips to cities such as Boston, Philly, Baltimore with slightly longer trips (but less frequent) to Chicago, San Fran, LA & London. And of course, there is client entertainment BUT as a trader you can usually pick and choose which dinners you choose to attend (at least once you are a bit more senior) and you can also generally leave when you want to – salespeople are the ones who feel obligated to stay out as long as clients would like to.
As far as working from home, this is difficult given the current regulatory environment on Wall Street. Trades need to be executed from the trading desk using specific systems, etc. Of course there are always going to be times you will need to be out of the office at Dr appts, family obligations, etc and in those instances you will rely on junior desk members to make decisions and keep you up to speed on inquiries in your absence. However, one role where you are able to work from home is as a buy-side trader. Those who operate as a hedge fund trader or portfolio manager who make their own investment decisions can typically do this from wherever they are. Perhaps not as well as at their headquarters with research analysts, colleagues, etc within hearing distance, but I know many buy side traders who have full set-ups in their vacation homes and spend many weeks/months a year out of the office without taking a day off.