The road to becoming a quant

wolverine19x89's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,862

Is there a typical road to becoming one? Or are they usually people with Phds that decide to jump into this kind of stuff? Or are there any that start working in s&t or a hf and then go back to school to become more of a quant? Are most quants from the tip top of the best schools?

Comments (116)

Aug 16, 2011

Most quants aren't "quants". They are "desk analysts", "desk developers", "risk managers" "traders", "strategists", "portfolio analysts", "pricing analysts", etc, etc. My manager and I are kinda on the borderline coming up with a number of pricing and historical analysis strategies and we are both "desk developers".

Most firms have an "Analytics & Pricing" division. They'll hire you in out of an EE, Math, or CS degree and have you work on pricing systems for a while, and then you can start thinking about moving more towards modelling or developing pricing strategies. An MFE is really helpful with that.

Andy Nguyen on QuantNet[/embed] is the defacto expert on more junior quants and is going to be able to give you a lot better advice on how to become a "quant" than anybody can give you here. There is also Wilmott.com for discussing pricing and industry stuff.

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Aug 16, 2011

When you want to hire for a traditional entry-level quant position in the US you invite a couple hundred quantitative MSc and PhD graduates to come take a test. Typically the material on the test is similar to basic MFE material along with random bits of real analysis to make sure you're strong in basic maths and some programming algorithms. So you might want to rethink traditional quant career unless you think you can academically complete on a quantitative level with other graduates.

Aug 16, 2011

I remember getting thrown into a series of nine interviews and having traders, risk managers, and a few HFT guys throw a lot of algorithms questions, calculus problems, and stats problems at me and grill me for several hours. By the time I was done I was walking into walls trying to aim for the door (that was kinda embarassing, but the risk manager laughed with me, and I knew I had it.)

A quant has a really fuzzy definition. The real question is how much of your responsibilities are for pricing, hedging, and risking stuff that you've got to use some sort of statistical or mathematical model to price. Most people in S&T who trade a product with any level of complexity probably spend 10% of their time on that. Depending on your definition, a quant spends at least 50-90% of his time designing or working with those models in a way that requires a strong understanding of the stats, calculus, and algorithms that lie behind them.

If this is what you want to do, it really starts with a strong undergrad foundation. You need at least an engineering math sequence (linear algebra, numerical methods, Calc I-III, DiffyQs, and most importantly, probability-based calculus). Real analysis is something that you can cover in grad school, but an MFE program is most likely going to require the list of courses I just mentioned.

The good news is that if you don't have those courses, any halfway decent state school with a part-time program is perfectly acceptable to even Princeton and MIT if you otherwise have a strong background. They are looking for an 800Q on the GREs, strong recs, and some indication of accomplishment either in school or in work. (Three years at a BB with recs from quants, getting a paper published, etc.)

Aug 16, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

I remember getting thrown into a series of nine interviews and having traders, risk managers, and a few HFT guys throw a lot of algorithms questions, calculus problems, and stats problems at me and grill me for several hours. By the time I was done I was walking into walls trying to aim for the door (that was kinda embarassing, but the risk manager laughed with me, and I knew I had it.)

A quant has a really fuzzy definition. The real question is how much of your responsibilities are for pricing, hedging, and risking stuff that you've got to use some sort of statistical or mathematical model to price. Most people in S&T who trade a product with any level of complexity probably spend 10% of their time on that. Depending on your definition, a quant spends at least 50-90% of his time designing or working with those models in a way that requires a strong understanding of the stats, calculus, and algorithms that lie behind them.

If this is what you want to do, it really starts with a strong undergrad foundation. You need at least an engineering math sequence (linear algebra, numerical methods, Calc I-III, DiffyQs, and most importantly, probability-based calculus). Real analysis is something that you can cover in grad school, but an MFE program is most likely going to require the list of courses I just mentioned.

The good news is that if you don't have those courses, any halfway decent state school with a part-time program is perfectly acceptable to even Princeton and MIT if you otherwise have a strong background. They are looking for an 800Q on the GREs, strong recs, and some indication of accomplishment either in school or in work. (Three years at a BB with recs from quants, getting a paper published, etc.)

what was your grades in those classes

Aug 16, 2011

I'm not exactly sure if I want a quant job (though I'll leave the option open haha), I was just wondering how one usually gets there besides for just getting a Phd or Masters. So is it possible to get a u-grad degree in CS/Math/EE, get a quant-like job, then go for a masters or phd and get more in depth in the quantness? I know quantness isn't a word.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Aug 16, 2011

Sure. The traditional path 15 years ago was Physics major->Physics PhD -> oh **** I didn't know postdocs paid $15K/year-> Quant.

These days, it looks a bit more like this:

EE/CS Undergrad -> Financial Programmer/Financial Engineer -> MFE -> More work -> Quant OR
Math Undergrad-> Finance work -> Finance PhD-> Quant

Again, "Quant" is a very, very loose term here and the reality is that these days, there are large groups of people performing all sorts of different functions working around the edges of pricing regimes, risk analytics, and statistical analysis. You have PhDs consulting on clients' portfolios running interest rate and market disturbance scenarios working over in research. You have guys sitting on the trading floor building corporate bond pricing models. You have guys sitting next to the traders with their TI-89s suggesting hedges and coming up with strategies for arbitraging two different things. You have folks backtesting strategies. You have folks inventing new forms of historical analysis and new ways of looking at the markets.

This all sounds really fun on the surface, but it is really about as dry as tax accounting 90% of the time. Invention is 10% creativity/inspiration, 90% perspiration, and the perspiration is very dry, boring, and sometimes frustrating- sitting for hours in front of a computer- often after everyone else has left- figuring out why Matlab or Java isn't doing what you told it to do, why the model doesn't converge, etc, etc. But if you're a math, physics, or CS major, this is largely what you signed up for in your first 10-15 years of work.

Dec 21, 2018

What do the salaries look like at the "Financial Programmer/Financial Engineer" stage?

Aug 16, 2011

Hmmm, in Math I had about a 3.4-3.5 average when they curved to about a 2.8-2.9 in a relatively strong engineering program. But I was two years out of school and the MFE programs cared much less about that and were much more interested in my work as a developer in fixed income analytics and the recs that came with them. I probably could have just had average math grades from a strong program or above-average grades from a decent program and still gotten accepted on the basis of industry experience.

I was accepted at a few top-five MFE programs, but I got the job I was hoping to land after graduation the same time I applied there, so I took that job instead and managed to snag an indefinite deferral at one of them after letting them know what happened.

An MFE is best done a few years out of school after spending some time on the street. (1) because it costs $50K and it's best not to go further into debt right away if you've got a good job in hand (2) because it's good to have some industry contacts (3) because industry recs look great to grad schools.

But the real question is whether or not you want to be a quant. Quants hardly spend 90% of their time playing intellectual games and making intellectual discoveries like some folks pretend. We're not rocket scientists; at least for the first ten years, we're grinds who sit in front of computers until 1 AM going over code line-by-line trying to figure out what broke and then realizing it was a missing comma. Sometimes we get to do cool stuff like invent new analytics, but that is 10% of our job. 90% of our job is fleshing out the analytics, figuring out why they're not working, figuring out how to make it run faster, etc.

Dec 21, 2018

Do the type of quant roles you're describing here pay the stereotypical mid six-figures? If most of the work is just debugging, could the firms hire one or two less-qualified people to do it for less?

Aug 16, 2011

If you're saying that 90% of the job is boring as shit... I don't think I'd want to be one haha.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Aug 17, 2011
scottj19x89:

If you're saying that 90% of the job is boring as shit... I don't think I'd want to be one haha.

right - because ibd and s&t analyst jobs are not 90% shit...oh, wait. at the analyst level, almost all finance jobs are 90% shit.

Aug 17, 2011
LTV:
scottj19x89:

If you're saying that 90% of the job is boring as shit... I don't think I'd want to be one haha.

right - because ibd and s&t analyst jobs are not 90% shit...oh, wait. at the analyst level, almost all finance jobs are 90% shit.

Ha. So true. There are very few "dream" jobs in finance. I mean this isn't professional sports or being a fucking movie star. At the end of the day, 90% of what we do are boring and mundane. Being a portfolio manager at a top macro hedge fund would be quite fascinating, however.

Illini, do you know of anyone who graduated Illinois engineering with a 3.9+ gpa? My guess is anyone who can accomplish that would be a shoe-in at an elite prop firm like getco/drw/jump and a very good shot at citadel.

Aug 17, 2011
LTV:
scottj19x89:

If you're saying that 90% of the job is boring as shit... I don't think I'd want to be one haha.

right - because ibd and s&t analyst jobs are not 90% shit...oh, wait. at the analyst level, almost all finance jobs are 90% shit.

Well the way I read it made it come off as it's still 90% shit after the analyst level, so...

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Aug 16, 2011

Try trading, banking, research, risk management, being the manager at the local Piggly Wiggly. All of them are boring for the first ~5 years.

Aug 19, 2011

Well, does the boringness of being a quant diminish at the same rate as the boringness of a trader or other jobs in the like? Obviously entry level jobs are going to blow most of the time.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Aug 19, 2011

You don't become; you just are

Aug 19, 2011

Typically you should have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or Financial Mathematics--maybe a dual degree in Economics or Finance. You should then pursue a PhD in the aforementioned subjects or try to get into a Masters of Financial Engineering program. Economics is typically much softer than Math or Physics and quants really need to have top-notch programming (C++) and mathematical skills.

You should read more literature on the subject and try visiting forums like nuclearphynance--keep in mind that you'll need to spend 3-5 years completing a PhD and if it isn't in a topic that genuinely interests you, your life is going to be hell.

Aug 19, 2011

I'm going to be a quant FT next year, so I guess I can throw in my 2c's worth based on my observations:

1.) You do not need a phd to be a quant. However, in general, PhDs interviewed for different positions from undergrads-masters. There's also a significant difference in the quality of work that phds are hired to do, and what undergrads-masters are hired to do. Undergrad-master hires start off doing a lot of optimization and some mathematical modeling/algorithms (lets call it role A), while phds jump right in as hardcore modelers with a fair amount of freedom (role B). How easy it is to make the jump from A to B depends on the firm.

2.) Regarding major, I met a few econ phds, but no undergrads. The econ phds had also done something quantitative (engineering, math, CS) for their undergrad. Good Fin-math/comp-math/fin-eng programs are pretty competitive. They don't require you to have majored in engineering or something like that, but they do expect you to be very good at math and decent at programming. As long as you've complemented your Econ BSc with a fair few math/physics/programming courses, you should be ok. Also, if you're directly applying to these programs without any work-exp, you need to have very good grades.

Aug 19, 2011

econ PhD from a good school is very highly regarded
econ ugrad is only discounted because you can take bull* classes throughout your education (even though the best ugrad students take difficult and highly quantitative courses like game theory, macro modeling, econometrics, and so on)

Aug 19, 2011

from what I understand, a econ phd at a school like UChicago is extermely quantitative... so that will do

Aug 19, 2011

It depends on how well you can perform differential calculus and make market estimates correctly in your head.
You need to understand rates of change in the yield curve, convexity and concavity to be able to do structured products and exotics, just for a start.

Aug 19, 2011

Buy a copy of Knuth's algorithms and see if you enjoy that as light reading.

Aug 19, 2011

Quant, CS, U of Illinois? Sounds like you should be talking to @"IlliniProgrammer"

"Money doesn't talk, it swears." -Bob Dylan

Aug 19, 2011

The required undergrad math courses at UIUC are generally sufficient for undergrad. A machine learning course would be helpful. You may want to take a few more advanced stats classes.

In the meantime, you should be applying for jobs at Chicago prop shops or perhaps pursuing an MFE.

Aug 19, 2011

computer science, data structures, algorithms, etc ;)

alpha currency trader wanna-be

Aug 19, 2011

but if i know nothing about fundamental or technical analysis, I'm just good with math, should I learn quantitative finance first?

"Hold on a sec...you mean they made all this money without doing IB --> PE --> HBS --> PE --> God?
How is this possible?!?!?!!??" - TheKing

Aug 19, 2011
dickenscharles741:

but if i know nothing about fundamental or technical analysis, I'm just good with math, should I learn quantitative finance first?

Technical Analysis is something you can learn on your own be it by books or YouTube....the thing with charting techniques is there is no right or wrong answer as everyones style is different. I trade currencys solely off price action and use Support/Resistance levels while others use combinations of indicators or have computers do the work for them (quants)

T/A in investing is used to pick entry points most of the time, the fundamental stuff is a bit more in-depth and alot of due dillgence is involved.

alpha currency trader wanna-be

Aug 19, 2011

*quantitative analysis

"Hold on a sec...you mean they made all this money without doing IB --> PE --> HBS --> PE --> God?
How is this possible?!?!?!!??" - TheKing

Aug 19, 2011

Quantitative finance is simply the intersection of math and computer science as applied to finance. You will need to learn about finance, but just an FYI: at one point there were >2,000 physicists working on wallstreet. Now that financial engineering/quantitative finance/computational finance programs have started gaining steam the number is starting to die down as they leave the street and are replaced by... ya know... people who aren't physicists.

In answer to your first question, play around with the following:

stochastic calculus, adv. statistics (brownian motion, markov chains), monte carlo analysis, and... algebra ;)
oh, PDEs;PDC, randomwalks, eigenvalues/vectors, learn about the metallurgical heat diffusion equation (black-scholes is based on this),

Any questions? hehe

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Aug 19, 2011

but its possible for me to become a quant on my own without knowing any fundamental or technical analysis?

"Hold on a sec...you mean they made all this money without doing IB --> PE --> HBS --> PE --> God?
How is this possible?!?!?!!??" - TheKing

Aug 19, 2011
dickenscharles741:

but its possible for me to become a quant on my own without knowing any fundamental or technical analysis?

Sure you can become a "quant", but you won't be anywhere near decent.
If you're amazing at programming but you don't know much at all about how to apply it, then you're not going to get very far in trading by yourself if that's what you wish to do.

If/once you decide to read up on technical and fundamental analyses related to finance, and how you would program these to trade, try visiting quantopian.com. Also search WSO for some of the threads about Quantopian.

Aug 19, 2011

okay, thanks!

"Hold on a sec...you mean they made all this money without doing IB --> PE --> HBS --> PE --> God?
How is this possible?!?!?!!??" - TheKing

Aug 19, 2011

I forgot to mention fourier transforms.

Also, responding to your question, I've sent you a pdf with 'quant interview tips' that give a good idea of what you should know. It covers math, computer engineering, and finance. Kind of tough to arbitrage risk in a synthetic portfolio if: 1. you don't know what arbitrage is, 2. you don't know what a synthetic portfolio is, and 3. you don't know how to measure risk ;)

Aug 19, 2011

just got it, thank you! :o

"Hold on a sec...you mean they made all this money without doing IB --> PE --> HBS --> PE --> God?
How is this possible?!?!?!!??" - TheKing

Aug 19, 2011

Stats, Stats, Stats!

Aug 19, 2011

no

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Aug 19, 2011

get a phd in applied math or physics. that should do it

Aug 19, 2011

If I flip a coin nine times, what are the odds it will land in my butthole then shoot out my penis and land on tails?

Only when you can answer this will you be a true quant.

Aug 19, 2011

I don't feel like looking up the curriculum for your program, but ideally you want to have exposure to PDEs, stochastic processes, linear algebra, numerical analysis, probability/statistics, and real analysis.

Aug 19, 2011

Become an astrophysicist and then maybe you'll have a chance at even thinking about being a quant.

Aug 19, 2011

GUYS IF I MAJOR IN ENGLISH AT THE PRESTIGIOUS HAVARD WIL I HAVE A CHANGE ???

PRESTIGUE RIGHT
/!!!1
?!?!?!1

fuk thaaat

maaaath

Aug 19, 2011

i honestly answered the question and received monkey shit. this world is going wild

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Aug 19, 2011

How in the world would that not be enough math?

Aug 19, 2011

i don't see an IMO gold medal or a Ph.D. in string theory.

DINGED.

Aug 19, 2011

If you want to do quant trading, you need to start thinking about grad school. Start investigating MSF, MFE, and if your parents have a lot of money, maybe a Finance PhD program or two.

Aug 19, 2011

For compensation (at starting level), check out Renaissance's site
https://www.rentec.com/vm/jobs.vm

Aug 19, 2011

feel free to shoot me a message, happy to chat

Aug 19, 2011

I am interested in this as well.

Progress is impossible without change...

Aug 19, 2011

Hey thunderfan, I'll send you a message as soon I get more banana points lol.
45c345, those are very nice looking first-year salaries, especially the upper end (250k!), and they don't even list the Quantitative Finance one, but I'm assuming it's higher at least with the bonus. Is this typical among top quant shops?

Aug 19, 2011

.

Aug 19, 2011

Are you in NYC? Bridgewater is hiring developers.

Aug 19, 2011

Hey Daniel,

I am in a similar situation: I am a Software Engineer (2 years experience in enterprise application development), BSc in Computer Science, MSc in Computer Science, strong mathematical background, but no financial experience but I really want to become a quant.

Do you have any advice for me?

What were the steps you followed?

Thanx!

Aug 19, 2011

Become Asian.

Aug 19, 2011
CEEBanker:

Become Asian.

Judging by the content of the original post, I'm pretty sure he already has that one covered.

Aug 19, 2011

The second internship

Aug 19, 2011

I'd go with the quant trading firm.
Although, first I would make sure that the founders/full timers have decent backgrounds.

Aug 19, 2011

Another vote for the second....it may be hard to move into a quant role despite the BB name with the first option. However, it depends on the firm. Some firms are restrictive with employees wanting to go into different areas. Other not so much.

Success is my only option and failure is not

Aug 19, 2011

Easily 2nd. I wouldn't even consider working for the BB unless you knew for a fact that you'd be doing something quant related, but the chances of that are extremely slim (and you probably have no control over it). Last thing you want is to end up doing bullshit business analyst type IT work in the investment banking technology division.

Aug 19, 2011

Not all 'quant research' positions are created equal. I dunno if others have seen or experienced this, but I know someone close who is a 'quant research analyst' at a small hedge fund, and all he does is bs work. He blames the managers who seem to have some weak credentials. Also the fact that it's a small start up doesnt help either. Just be careful and conduct some due diligence on the managers and full timers. Make sure they have solid experience in quant trading like BB backgrounds or strong academics, etc..
I still think that you should go for the 2nd choice, but look into it first.

Aug 19, 2011

Thank you for your comments. The founder seems legit. He has a doctorate from a premiere institution and worked at a reputable firm for several years.

Aug 19, 2011

yhp2009 has it down. Considering you have already done some due diligence on this shop, I would recommend the 2nd option. The BB name is nice, but it's ultimately more about what you actually do and what you can bring to the table in the future.

Aug 19, 2011

with that attitude you are not going anywhere..chill out.

Aug 19, 2011

You sound like a sick sad little person

Aug 19, 2011
ikiq:

I'm planning to double major in Finance and Mathematics/Statistics which is going to kill my entire college life. What do you guys think about it? Of course I'll still be involved with school organizations and leadership programs, and seeking out for internships during the summer.

That's BS bro.

I did a double degree in Finance and Statistics and it was tough from time to time, definitely challenging, but I had a very active social life. I got wasted and went to bars, played sports, was involved in clubs and even ran a couple start-ups. There are 168 hours in a week. Make your goal to use 120-140 of them productively EVERY WEEK. You don't need to be stressed or have a negative attitude to succeed. You only need to prioritize and compartmentalize your time.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars."

Aug 19, 2011
Independent Gestion:
ikiq:

I'm planning to double major in Finance and Mathematics/Statistics which is going to kill my entire college life. What do you guys think about it? Of course I'll still be involved with school organizations and leadership programs, and seeking out for internships during the summer.

That's BS bro.

I did a double degree in Finance and Statistics and it was tough from time to time, definitely challenging, but I had a very active social life. I got wasted and went to bars, played sports, was involved in clubs and even ran a couple start-ups. There are 168 hours in a week. Make your goal to use 120-140 of them productively EVERY WEEK. You don't need to be stressed or have a negative attitude to succeed. You only need to prioritize and compartmentalize your time.

140 of productivity while in college????? i hope that includes sleeping, because if not that leaves 4 hours a night for sleep....

this seems a bit ridiculous. i dont know how you could not be stressed if you only had 28 hours of sleep time per week...

Aug 19, 2011

I just read this and vommed.

Aug 19, 2011

Hey guys,

I didn't even realize how negative I was being. I want to apologize. Things just haven't been going so well for me recently and I've been feeling a bit down with all the while trying to plan out my future path.

@Independent Gestion, very true, I could be using my time much more efficiently with a balance to have a social life. I'm just scared of the fact that such more education is needed to land a quant job later down the road (I was never planning to goto grad school if I was able to land an investment banking job after undergrad, but seems like grad school is the only way out to keep moving forward no matter what job you get).

Aug 19, 2011

You have some really interesting comments, thank you for posting this. One question, though: is some self-taught programming worthwhile? I am by no means a software developer, but fall into the group of having a PhD but only really knowing Matlab. I have some time as I finish my time in school and I'm trying to understand whether it would be better to take the CFA or study more programming.

Aug 19, 2011

silicon valley > quant - developers at tech firms have absurdly awesome perks/awesome lifestyle/awesome pay. Why don't people on WSO realize this?

Aug 19, 2011

Frankly, degrees in computer programming are worth shit. They always tend to teach the garbage languages like Java too. I self-taught myself VBA, C#, and C++, a lot of people do this, and a lot of people are actually competent in the languages they claim to know. I think employers should give pre-interview coding assessments or assignments to evaluate a candidate, instead of just looking for a Computer Science degree.

Can they get help? Sure, but that's part of what being a programmer is - no programmer just memorizes everything. They always consult references. If they are focused on productivity, make it a timed assignment.

Now, I don't use the languages I know in my current role (except VBA), but I might, one day.

Some of the brightest young programmers I've met didn't learn what they know from university courses, they learned it by themselves outside of class.

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Aug 19, 2011

I think the best way to get into any type of quantitative finance role is to do it early, that is, directly out of college. I know at first glance that sounds even harder, but firms that recruit directly from college have much higher tolerance for ignorance in skills/knowledge, especially when it's substituted by raw talent and ambition because they can teach you all of the former on the job.

On the other hand, when you apply to finance firms out of grad school or as a lateral hire, it is much more important for you to have had relevant coursework or work experience because that's expected of you from all the time you've had. When I was talking to recruiters to get out of my last job, many of them sounded just like OP, saying things like "You should consider getting a better degree if you want to compete with all those PhD's who have their acts together" and "You're not a computer science major? It'll be tough to beat out the ones who can code well consistently." In the end, I bypassed the negative-Nancy recruiters and went directly to the firms and marketed myself as "entry level", despite my experience, and this helped me land several interviews at quant shops.

I agree with you on the whole software developer thing though. It's a great job that's definitely underrated by college students at top schools today.

Aug 19, 2011
kingoftheotherroad:

silicon valley > quant - developers at tech firms have absurdly awesome perks/awesome lifestyle/awesome pay. Why don't people on WSO realize this?

Truth

Aug 19, 2011

If I was going to hire a quant I would absolutely hire the ivy league math olympiad guy over some software developer that's used Java for a while. That stuff can be learned in like a week. You can't learn to be smart.

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Aug 19, 2011

Hit up a programming bootcamp. I'm going to give RefactorU (in Boulder) a try in September. I'm coming out of the banking / PE world, looking to do some software development. The way things are going, I don't think it can hurt.

http://www.quora.com/Programming-Bootcamps/What-ar...

Aug 19, 2011

So should I get MFE after being a software engineer

Aug 19, 2011

I've been thinking of leaving PE, becoming a developer for 1-2 yrs than doing a QuantFin program.

Aug 19, 2011

Depends on the following:
-Where is the BSc from?
-What are your programming skills like? Which languages?
-How large is your network?

That said, 'Quant' positions are typically split between two remits, with the research and strategy development undertaken by Engineering/Math/Comp Sci/ Quant Fin PhDs, and the more mundane roles undertaken by those with a masters/bachelors. This is very generalized , so others may be able to provide more company specific remit splits

Just my $0.02

Aug 19, 2011

I go to the University of Texas; it has a good math program but it's only a semi-target for the New York offices for many banks since it is so far away. However I think my network is quite good. And I am minoring in computer science so my programming is decent, mainly Python, Javascript and C++ for now.

Aug 19, 2011

I'm less sure about banks but DE Shaw/Two Sigma/Citadel all hire undergrads as quants. Same for HFT firms. Some firms may list a requirement but will waive it for strong candidates. I don't think there is a much a math PhD knows that is useful for finance that a very good undergrad wouldn't.

Unfortunately, I think this hiring is very focused on the best students from the best universities and I'm not sure that many firms hire undergrads from second tier universities as quants. You can try networking although I don't think most quants at prop firms/hedge funds do much networking although it may be different at banks.

Aug 19, 2011

read the title

"ugh not again"

Aug 19, 2011

First step is to quantify everything you see. You must be able to orally convey every object in the universe's value on the spot at any given time. If you cant do that then you have no chance at becoming a quant

Aug 19, 2011

Your account is very very impressive. Kudos for that.

Especially considering the time frame and how a lot of quantitative strategies stumbled in Aug 2007.

Did you not deposit more money other than your initial deposit - hence you compounded the original sum into $1M plus?

Looking for a Finance Job - currently unemployed.

Aug 19, 2011

To hedgefund13: Thanks. I did deposit some additional funds (borrowed at 0%, thanks Citi, Chase, and BoA) to get up to 2x leverage for the first 6-12 months, but after that I paid off the 0% loans, reinvested most of the profits, and withdrew a good chunk for living expenses, taxes, paying off my mortgage, rainy day fund, etc. In hindsight I should've been more aggressive, but no regrets about being conservative with my gains. So yeah, I really made up to 80% CAGR (had several trading accounts going) over 6+ years. I didn't make $1.5mil by depositing $2mil and losing $0.5.

To OMS and YWE: thanks for the advice ;) I read the FAQs; I understand the importance of networking. My question is for my specific situation: is my trading record enough by itself for some hedge fund to take me on as a quant? I am not interested in clawing my way to a junior position. I am interested in being properly compensated for what I bring to the table. If people like me are a dime a dozen, that's fine, then finance is not for me. Or if you think I'm full of it, that's fine too -- let me know what proof you want to see and I'll post it.

Thanks again for any advice.

Aug 19, 2011

Take a look at Mark Joshi's What do Quants do guide on Quantnet.com
http://www.quantnet.com/forum/threads/master-readi...

Aug 19, 2011

You could consider tacking on a one year MFE in addition to the PhD

Aug 19, 2011

Also my cousin runs a quant oriented HF, he's an engineer by training, PM me.

Aug 19, 2011

Ask the folks overhere http://www.quantnet.com/forum/. They're all quants or aspiring quants.

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman

Aug 19, 2011

It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge and training in a very specific subject matter that is very marketable within the healthcare/engineering/product development world. To me, it seems as if you are bailing on a passion to fulfill a short term profit making opportunity. If your dream is to seek out the fluid dynamics of the global financial markets and you wake up every day drooling at the mouth to hear about what's happened in Tokyo, what the FTSE close is shaping to be and how to position for the UST 10 yr. auction at 3:30 EST, then I suppose Wall Street is for you. Just realize that to add value in this world you must be borderline insane, willing to sacrifice loving relationships for empty ones and be driven by more than a fat paycheck. BTW Quants don't get glamorized from the inside, so if your looking for attention I suggest you stick to Academia. If your serious then I wish you the best of luck and pray that your in this to solve problems, not to create more of them or sweep them under the rug. IMHO there are a glut of PHD quants that are trying to break in and be the next David Shaw, when they end up being stuffed into a market risk department and overleverage their way in w/ student loans....Craft your own path.

PoorFairfieldCounty

Aug 19, 2011
PoorFairfieldCounty:

It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge and training in a very specific subject matter that is very marketable within the healthcare/engineering/product development world. To me, it seems as if you are bailing on a passion to fulfill a short term profit making opportunity. If your dream is to seek out the fluid dynamics of the global financial markets and you wake up every day drooling at the mouth to hear about what's happened in Tokyo, what the FTSE close is shaping to be and how to position for the UST 10 yr. auction at 3:30 EST, then I suppose Wall Street is for you. Just realize that to add value in this world you must be borderline insane, willing to sacrifice loving relationships for empty ones and be driven by more than a fat paycheck. BTW Quants don't get glamorized from the inside, so if your looking for attention I suggest you stick to Academia. If your serious then I wish you the best of luck and pray that your in this to solve problems, not to create more of them or sweep them under the rug. IMHO there are a glut of PHD quants that are trying to break in and be the next David Shaw, when they end up being stuffed into a market risk department and overleverage their way in w/ student loans....Craft your own path.

Did your opinion also lead you to the realization that the financial sector as a whole is overpopulated? Most significantly by useless social studies majors who couldn't do anything of value if their lives depended on it?

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Aug 19, 2011
PoorFairfieldCounty:

It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge and training in a very specific subject matter that is very marketable within the healthcare/engineering/product development world. To me, it seems as if you are bailing on a passion to fulfill a short term profit making opportunity. If your dream is to seek out the fluid dynamics of the global financial markets and you wake up every day drooling at the mouth to hear about what's happened in Tokyo, what the FTSE close is shaping to be and how to position for the UST 10 yr. auction at 3:30 EST, then I suppose Wall Street is for you. Just realize that to add value in this world you must be borderline insane, willing to sacrifice loving relationships for empty ones and be driven by more than a fat paycheck. BTW Quants don't get glamorized from the inside, so if your looking for attention I suggest you stick to Academia. If your serious then I wish you the best of luck and pray that your in this to solve problems, not to create more of them or sweep them under the rug. IMHO there are a glut of PHD quants that are trying to break in and be the next David Shaw, when they end up being stuffed into a market risk department and overleverage their way in w/ student loans....Craft your own path.

Wow. I really don't know what to say. Honestly, my passion is not specifically fluid dynamics. It's fun, and I enjoy the project on which I'm working with my advisor, but what I like most about what I'm doing is modeling and solving problems. It's more the process that I enjoy. I've always had an interest in finance, but math was always my primary love. Now that I'm close to a point where I can actually combine both of them I'm going to try and do what I can to attain that goal.

Aug 19, 2011

to the op: just read the appropriate material and find the right resources for the area you are targeting. Since you have a Ph.D. it is much more important that you know how you can add value even before you begin. It's about convincing someone you are worth the paper that degree is printed on, classes may help but by now it's become clear that you are an academic.

Time for you to show that you can handle the real world by going out and talking to people in the know. If you can impress them now, then you are ready for the job. If not, then it should make you aware of the necessary preparation you will need.

Aug 19, 2011

JKTECON: I've had this realization for quite some time. I'm a finance major and have been fascinated by the markets for as long as I remember, but realize that it is not the major that really matters. Depending on your job within the sector a Philosophy major can add more value than a Computer Science type...etc. Most of the jobs require you to take a huge amount of information and make it a story, then depending on your role you have to sell the story, buy the story or stop the story from happening. Social science is utilized everyday in finance. I try very hard to see the fire in people's eyes when they explain what it is they want to do for a living. It's easy to see those in it for the $ vs. those in it for the truth.

PoorFairfieldCounty

Aug 19, 2011
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Aug 19, 2011
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PoorFairfieldCounty