Quantitative Research vs. Quantitative Trader Prestige

notreallymyname's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

Just curious as to what is viewed as more prestigious and difficult to get into than the other. I know that at some shops they don't differentiate between the two, but for those that do, what is viewed as more lucrative?

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Aug 31, 2019

Whichever role that will get you to manage your own pnl book

    • 3
Sep 15, 2019

At firms that have both, usually the quantitative researcher is the more prestigious/lucrative role. These firms tend to have three key roles: quant trader, software developer, and quant researcher.

The researcher will come up with signal ideas (often has a phd), the dev will write the execution code, and the trader will monitor execution of the strategy/often comes up with ideas/improvements based on what they are seeing in the market.

This is not the case with all firms, but is the case for many HFT firms and quant hedge funds.

    • 1
Sep 15, 2019

At HF/AM, traders do execution and researchers work on strategies, and the latter is a better role. At prop/HFT shops, a trader is like a PM and is a better role than a researcher. The titles are often arbitrary and not really comparable across firms. The good jobs get an explicit portion of either their own returns or the overall fund returns, regardless of the title. Also, the difficulty of getting a job has surprisingly little to do with how much a job pays.

Sep 15, 2019
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