Advice needed to start a career as a quant

Vvt

New Member
I have a PhD in mathematics in differential/algebraic geometry and I am currently employed in education. I am thinking of a career change and would like to transition into finance as a quant. I am trying to formulate a road map to make that transition. I have found a lot of useful information in this forum and on the net in general; however, it feels like trying to drink from a fire hose at the moment. Here's some information (what I think to be relevant) about me:
*Solid background in measure theory and probability
*I recently got Shreve's Stochastic Calculus for Finance 2 and I am halfway through. I hope to finish the book by the end of February.
* Intermediate Python

What do you think is the next set of skills I need to acquire to be considered a strong candidate in the market this summer? What are some areas of self-study do you recommend? What would be the most fruitful way to spend next six months toward realization of this goal?

Thanks,
 

Ken Abbott

Managing Director
I think a big challenge may be convincing people that your interest is genuine. I think a decent knowledge of markets and products is key. You need some institutional background.

What kind of quant work interests you? Buy side? Sell side? Model development? Model validation?
 
Reactions: Vvt

Vvt

New Member
I think a big challenge may be convincing people that your interest is genuine. I think a decent knowledge of markets and products is key. You need some institutional background.

What kind of quant work interests you? Buy side? Sell side? Model development? Model validation?
Thanks for the response.

I have no idea at the moment what kind of quant work interests me, for I don't simply know what is out there. I am still in the initial phases of learning about the finance and discovering this uncharted (for me, of course) terrain. Learning math part is easy, putting the ideas together to understand about the world is a challenge (and what keeps me excited).

Uncannily, Einstein had a profound influence on my interests twice. First with general relativity, one of the main reasons why I studied differential geometry. Second with Brownian motion, why I am now excited about finance. I believe that I now found an area in which I can apply my expertise in a tangible way.

What do you mean by "institutional background" ?
 

Ken Abbott

Managing Director
Thanks for the response.

I have no idea at the moment what kind of quant work interests me, for I don't simply know what is out there. I am still in the initial phases of learning about the finance and discovering this uncharted (for me, of course) terrain. Learning math part is easy, putting the ideas together to understand about the world is a challenge (and what keeps me excited).

Uncannily, Einstein had a profound influence on my interests twice. First with general relativity, one of the main reasons why I studied differential geometry. Second with Brownian motion, why I am now excited about finance. I believe that I now found an area in which I can apply my expertise in a tangible way.

What do you mean by "institutional background" ?
I've interviewed hundreds of people, including dozens of career-switchers. The first thing I want to see from them is a sincere interest. If they tell me they are interested in portfolio management or private equity or algorithmic trading but they have no idea what those things rally are, they go no further in the interview process. Being great in math is not enough. I will always take enthusiasm over horsepower.

Figure out what about finance interests you, then ask about it here.
 

Vvt

New Member
I've interviewed hundreds of people, including dozens of career-switchers. The first thing I want to see from them is a sincere interest. If they tell me they are interested in portfolio management or private equity or algorithmic trading but they have no idea what those things rally are, they go no further in the interview process. Being great in math is not enough. I will always take enthusiasm over horsepower.

Figure out what about finance interests you, then ask about it here.
Maybe therein lies the rub. Is there a general survey of finance that isn't shy about establishing mathematical backdrop do you recommend?
 
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Andy Nguyen

Member

Rekhit

New Member
Hi,
It's strange but I come from an engineering background and while my earlier belief was that trading more luck than skill, I am now intrigued at the thought that if you can program a really good machine learning algorithm, you can create a decent profit in this world.
That's something which interested me and cursory googling led me to a machine learning course on Quantra.

But I can totally understand the dilemma of how to start off. What I thought would be a simple yes or no turns out to be which approach do you take. IT's overwhelming but it's also potentially rewarding. For now I am thinking of Machine learning and hopefully, it works.
I will keep an eye out on this thread though, in case someone shares more advise over here. :-D
 

Vvt

New Member
The technical skills (as opposed to personal skills) for buy-side quants must be same as sell-side quants, because the former group will be evaluating the products prepared by the latter.
I guess a similar claim can be made for model development and model valuation quants as well.

Am I off base here?
 

Ken Abbott

Managing Director
The technical skills (as opposed to personal skills) for buy-side quants must be same as sell-side quants, because the former group will be evaluating the products prepared by the latter.
I guess a similar claim can be made for model development and model valuation quants as well.

Am I off base here?
That has not been my experience. Buy-side quants tend to be more involved in portfolio techniques (eg QP, factor analysis) than those on the sell side.
 

Shagufta

New Member
I have a PhD in mathematics in differential/algebraic geometry and I am currently employed in education. I am thinking of a career change and would like to transition into finance as a quant. I am trying to formulate a road map to make that transition. I have found a lot of useful information in this forum and on the net in general; however, it feels like trying to drink from a fire hose at the moment. Here's some information (what I think to be relevant) about me:
*Solid background in measure theory and probability
*I recently got Shreve's Stochastic Calculus for Finance 2 and I am halfway through. I hope to finish the book by the end of February.
* Intermediate Python

What do you think is the next set of skills I need to acquire to be considered a strong candidate in the market this summer? What are some areas of self-study do you recommend? What would be the most fruitful way to spend next six months toward realization of this goal?

Thanks,
You can start upgrading your trading and finance knowledge. And since you are already good at Maths, you can go ahead and apply some of the mathematical concepts to trading and finance and develop some mathematical models. Further, you start to learn any coding language like Python to automate your trading strategies.
 

Chen Qingbo

Member
C++ Student
Hi everyone, I may carry one question. Since modelling takes up major work as a quant, Is Finance knowledge very important in working? It may be an old question, but I want to hear a voice from Math PhD. Thanks!
 
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