Does it bug anyone else that they aren't a Quant?

I find it truly fascinating. Quants found ways to implement basic calculus concepts (integrals, differentials, stochastics), that I thought were extremely boring in my classroom, created mathematical models, and it has turned into a billion dollar industry. I remember spending weeks learning the Black-Scholes model, and basic Standard deviation to become a profitable options trader to make weekly income -- began to wish I majored in something math heavy as opposed to finance. (although I am happy where I'm at).

I still can't wrap my head around why quants even work for firms. If I had that brain-power I would develop my own algorithm via applied statistics and back test it. Maybe even sell that for a firm, and let them take it off you for millions. It's very funny, and sad at the same time. The average Joe thinks he has the edge by using trading-methods but meanwhile, quants are making hundreds of thousands of dollars for their firm by basic arbitrage, and scalping the bid-ask spread.

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Comments (12)

Dec 6, 2017
ForexOptions:

Does it bug anyone else that they aren't a Quant?

Nope.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Dec 7, 2017

I guess you're happy where you're at, can't hate on that!

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Dec 7, 2017
Isaiah_53_5:
ForexOptions:

Does it bug anyone else that they aren't a Quant?

Nope.

Second this motion. I interviewed with many smaller Quant Trading Funds and interned for one over the summer before taking a job in REPE. The culture amongst quant-dominated firms fucking SUCKS. It's a bunch of school-shooter types who figured out a way to make money in the markets without ever interacting with anyone in person. Glad as hell I ended up where I did.

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Dec 7, 2017

You act like anyone can become a Quant. Does the average person have perfect math SAT scores or can learn computational probability and stochastic processes? No. So not anyone can become a quant. If you're a math genius, maybe.

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Dec 8, 2017

i have a friend (math major - Caltech) who is happened to working for a quant fund, hell he's already on the buy-side and made a lot of money. If i had the chance to choose again, probably i'm gonna follow his path (since i'm on his par's quantitative skill during high school years - and he got a medal in the national math olympiad), instead of trying to break into IB then hope to transfer to buy side one day.

"If you're afraid - don't do it, if you're doing it - don't be afraid!"
-- Genghis Khan

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Best Response
Dec 7, 2017

I think you're associating quants with the end all be all to business acumen, which besides a few select couldn't be further from reality. Quants are good with numbers (hence the latin root: quant), but firms are much more than dealing with numbers. In fact, firms are more about people and relationships than they are about anything else. For a firm to grow you need clients, investors, employees, and strategic partnerships. Inside those relationships exist squabbles, complications, jealousy, politics, negotiations, sometimes lying and deceit. When I run into a quant in the break room, more often than not the interaction involves the quant nearly pissing himself having come in contact with another human being and ends with him muttering something unintelligible before scampering to his computer terminal.

Given the select few who are socially intelligible, there is no magic math behind their algorithms. Yes they can develop very impressive algorithms, but they all attempt to predict the market to a certain extent. The problem is that the market is so fluid that even if you spent your lifetime developing an algorithm that predicted the market perfectly, it would only last for a brief moment. Either 1.) The irrationality of other unintelligent investors blows up your system (which is most often the case), or 2.) You blow your own system up by investing in it. By executing on a minute pattern in the market, you have thus subjected that pattern to immense change affecting its predictability.

Not to mention the judgement errors associated with investing... almost equally as important as the data you have, is the person making decisions. Long story short, there are no perfect solutions, just knowledgable guesses.

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Dec 7, 2017

I am jealous of all these quant people. They are so good with math, and can get a job this days fairly easily due to their intellect. All my friends who are engineers are getting such good internships, and will make a lot after college. I don't want to be failure. I should've taken a stab at these math-heavy majors.

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Dec 8, 2017

The point is that even had you majored in math, you still wouldn't be able to get a job as a quant. Quants are only taken from the select few of the math majors, so it would remain up to your natural talent as to how realistic that career path would be.

Tldr: Just be yourself.

Dec 8, 2017

I wake up every morning and my first thought is "WTF WHY AM I NOT A QUANT! IT'S SUCH BULLSHIT!!!!!"

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Dec 8, 2017

I definitely admire their ability in mathematics. Yet, the few "quants" I've met have the social skills and awkwardness of preteens. Not someone you'd want to grab a beer with. They're even worse with attractive women... Talk about analysis paralysis. I'm sure there are exceptions though and they'll probably get the last laugh if they figure out the panty dropping algorithm. In a word, NAH

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

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Dec 8, 2017

IMO it just sounds like your just a money crazed kid. There are so many lucrative positions out there that will pay you a very similar salary or even the same. Quit complaining, put in your time and get to that same level without having to be a little rat that scurries to his hole every time he talks to someone.

Dec 8, 2017
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