looking for advise in MFE

Hi guys my name is Sunny

Im not a spammer but I dont know if I had posted in the right place so Ill post this somewhere else as well.


Ive spent months researching and i am still quite lost, i duno what direction to head to. i just graduated from bachelor of business degree with finance major with a B average n had completed an internship but other wise with no work exp. Im 22 already and turning 23 this year. sigh.

Well, my ultimate goal is to do MFE then work in Wall st. but i dunno whether im good enough to get into a good MFE school. Im from New Zealand, Auckland, and it is at the bottom of the world map. I dont see how i can compete with other people.

i read the forums and it says people after bachelors would build up their maths or C++ but is that doing a postgraduate diploma to prove it? or is simply buying book n self study good enough?

I spoke to some professors the other day and they were unsure if i should do a postgrad diploma/ honors in applied maths/ financial maths would be a good idea or not before applying for MFE in top schools of USA.

Im preparing my GMAT now, I paid 1700USD for this 7 week course and i had invested all my money in it only to find out GRE is what i should have done...

If doing a postgrad in financial maths is not need before MFE then should i just self study the maths from now until start of 2011( thats when the MFEs usually start right) or if i did a honors/postgrad in financial maths, it would take me one year to complete that means ill complete it in 2011 june or july that means I can only do MFE in the start of 2012 if im lucky.

At the end, after I finish with my MFE one day, I want to be trading with stocks n options so basically I want to become a trader.


What should i do? or What can i do? please help me out.


Thanks
 
I don't know much about undergrad finance degrees in New Zealand but from my experience with them in the US they generally lack the required math and programming that MFEs (and quant careers) require.

Self-study is useful to a point and is probably easiest with programming because at the end of the day you can show an example. But self-studying math and computer science and just saying on your application that you have isn't going to be as strong as actual evidence such as a degree or GRE/GRE subject scores.

I think doing a postgrad degree then a MFE would be a viable option assuming you can afford it. But how similar is a postgrad in financial math compared to a MFE? You may also want to consider doing math/applied math or cs.
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
I know of a guy who was from New Zealand and went to the Berkeley MFE program. I think he went to Harvard or Stanford for PhD afterwards. So don't sell yourself short just because you're from new Zealand.

Connor gives good advice here.

I would suggest getting the required mathematics courses atleast with good grades and then applying. Some schools may have rolling admissions throughout the year so you might want to look into that also. Many schools take GRE or GMAT so that is not a problem. You can always write to them that you took GMAT and to consider that instead of GRE.
 

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
Connor is absolutely correct in stating that undergraduate finance degrees in the U.S are, more often than not, lacking in quantitative rigor. In fact, I don't think the word 'quantitative' can ever truly be used to describe any portion of an undergraduate finance degree. Unless, of course, you're blown away by time value of money and plugging variables into the Black-Scholes equation.

While those same finance degrees at an institution outside the United States may be more rigorous, I would be surprised if any are truly quantitative in nature. First off, you'll need to decide what exactly it is that you want to do. Despite the fact that you want to be a trader, I think an MFE would serve you well. In order to be admitted into any reputable program, however, you'll need to first build-up/fortify your mathematical background and computer science background. Unless, you have have a minor (or the European equivalent of one), being admitted a good MFE program with only a finance degree will be difficult.
 
Thanks for the comments guys.

Im not sure what exactly i must do. U guys mentioned to do an applied maths postgrad right? could i do masters in quantitave finance from sydney uni? could u guys check out the course for me and see if those are good subjects? I went to look, but it doesnt seem very quantitative to me.

Sydney Uni offer Honor/post in financial maths, the professor said if i took that, the stuff learned will be repeat in MFE. So wouldnt this be an advantage?

U guys also mentioned to build up CS skills, does taking courses mean doing postgrad/honors in a uni? or just doing short courses that are advertised on the new papers?

does it matter?


Thanks in advance, I learnt so much everytime i log this forum, great stuff
 
Being your 'neighbour', I think I can contribute to this a bit:

The general tenor here is correct - the level of maths coming out of a commerce program is usually not sufficient in order to be successful in an MFE program. Your application will very likely be rejected also. I'd go with the advice your profs gave you - do a postgrad diploma or Master's in maths.

As you have an undergrads degree already, try to look for a NZ based job in finance for the time being and do a distance based maths postgrad diploma. This will allow you to
a) have some work experience in the area to show when applying to MFE programs,
b) at least meet the minimum maths requirements the MFE programs ask for,
c) juggle work and studies in your own time. Hence, you can determine how soon you graduate.

I wouldn't recommend you doing BCom Honours in Quant Finance as your financial maths skills will very likely not be up to standard yet. If that's where you want to be headed, I think honours would be a waste of time. That is, of course, judging from what I know about pure BCom degrees. Maybe give us a link of the curriculum to gauge the degree of 'quantitativeness'.

That being said, the MQF at UTS Sydney requires you to have these core areas covered in prior studies:
- Probability and Statistics
- Linear Algebra
- Calculus 1 and 2 (we don't have Calculus 3 in OZ as in the US)

Faculty at UTS are excellent both in research and teaching (eg Platen, Schlogl, Novikov, Chiarella). I quite like the program - it is very challenging, but obviously I cannot judge as to how it compares to US based ones. Hope this helped.
 
Im also not sure if my finance degree's math is rigorous enough compared to the USA bachelor.

I did a paper called Financial Risk Management and it was just maths the entire time. Was taught by a Phd in maths from France and I thought the paper was very maths oriented. we used Black-Scholes a lot, had to plug stuff in with excel. Is that less or more than US finance degree? That paper was all about arbitrage, risk management, dynamic hedging trees.

I did International Corporate Finance which was heavily based on forex and options and interest swaps, was all calculations too.

Although I think my degree was more on the maths side, im not sure whether thats more maths oriented than US

---------- Post added at 03:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:14 PM ----------

Here is a link to Sydney Uni's Master of quantitative finance
Quantitative Finance Major - Faculty of Economics and Business - The University of Sydney

Can u you evaluate it for me compared to top MFE in US. Also are the maths required here same as US MFE require?

Here is another link to Sydney Uni's honors/postgrad in maths, a professor recommended me to do applied/financial maths and he said i can choose n mix the papers:

Honours in the School of Mathematics and Statistics scroll down the page n you will find the papers.

Ill try to find my course work descriptions from my degree, its not up on the website anymore, i need to contact my professors

Thanks guys

---------- Post added at 03:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:23 PM ----------

Thanks for the comment Tobias

Im in Sydney right now visiting my cousin. R u in Sydney by any chance?

Perhaps we should meet up and discuss, if you dont mind.

I looked at UTS MQF, it says its only available as a 3 year part time degree :S :S
 
Thanks for the comment Tobias

Im in Sydney right now visiting my cousin. R u in Sydney by any chance?

Perhaps we should meet up and discuss, if you dont mind.

I looked at UTS MQF, it says its only available as a 3 year part time degree :S :S

It can be done faster than that. It's just classified as a part-time degree as a lot of students work. Lectures start at 6pm.

The UoS degree is a MCom with a Quant Finance major. I don't think it provides enough scope and depth for you to be attractive for quant roles, but could be wrong. It may be enough to work as a trader, though I wouldn't take my chances there.

Send me a PM re meeting up.
 
Did u guys see the UoS maths as well? are those papers good for me in regards to entering MFE later on.

yes, that what I thought about the UoS MQF.

I remembered, in my financial risk management paper, I used Hull's book. Is that book like a fundamental of MFE. Im also looking in to Necftei's principals of FE

I know now I need to take a postgrad/honors in applied maths. could you guys give me specifically the subjects/papers that would aid me for MFE.

Everything Im doing and will be doing is aimed at getting in to MFE in US and doing well in it

Thanks in advance for the advice guys
 
Showing the MFE admission office that u have the sufficient math skills, does that mean i need to complete a post grad applied maths degree? or can i just do a few papers which are relevant ?

---------- Post added at 08:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:10 PM ----------

Connor, I asked the professor that teaches postgrad/honors in financial maths in Sydney uni and he said to me the Financial Maths stuff will be covered in MFE so its a waste of time doing financial maths then MFE he says.

If what he is saying is true then that means the required applied maths skills in MFE are taught while in MFE???
 
MFE aren't going to teach you the basics but assume a certain level of knowledge and then apply it to finance.

Looking at the link for honours in math, I would personally go for the Mathematical Statistics option.

Showing the MFE admission office that u have the sufficient math skills, does that mean i need to complete a post grad applied maths degree? or can i just do a few papers which are relevant ?

Either way it's up to you. Most MFE programs have a list of prereq math courses they require, so you could just take those. If you are willing and able to get a postgrad in math, I think this would be a better option but you need to weigh the costs in time and money.
 
money is not much of a problem. as time is concerned, of course i wouldnt want to do a postgrad, of course i would love to do MFE right this moment.

But judging from my situation, i should do a postgrad in maths? u said most MFE programs have a list of prerequisites, if i just look into those myself how will that even convince the admissions office to believe that, without doing courses of a postgrad or entire postgrad?


and looking at the mathematical statistics of UoS, the professor said I can choose n mix any papers in applied maths, pure maths and math statistics. What are the ones I need for MFE?


Thanks
 
Whether you can get away with self-studying and the admissions believing you is outside my knowledge, so I'll leave that for someone else to comment on.

Looking at a few of the top 10 MFEs according to QuantNet namely CMU, Baruch, Stanford, and Berkeley, here is a sample of their prereq math courses:

PDE
Probability
Calculus (DE, multivariate, etc)
Linear algebra
Numerical analysis

Some programs also ask for familiarity to fluency in a programming language such as C++ and a statistics package (Matlab, R, Eviews, etc)

Here is a nice quote for you from the Stanford Financial Mathematics FAQ:
The single most common reason applicants are rejected is their math background is not strong enough.
 
Are those 5 areas of maths all I need to meet the standard for entry MFE?

I am going to find a uni from New Zealand or Australia that offer a post grad diploma that have those subjects.
 
Are those 5 areas of maths all I need to meet the standard for entry MFE?

I am going to find a uni from New Zealand or Australia that offer a post grad diploma that have those subjects.

Those are the minimum that you need in order for them to even consider your application. It doesn't mean that you will be accepted if you take those courses. They will also look at a ton of other aspects of your application.
 
The link of Sydney Uni's maths subjects?

Is Real analysis very important or is it just for Baruch MFE

---------- Post added at 09:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:59 PM ----------

Seems like im so much lower than everyone in terms of admission strength.

most unis' postgraduate maths degrees will give me what I need to be an above average applicant right? (not to compare with Phd of maths of course, no comparison lol)
 
A postgrad in math will strengthen your application, but can't say it will put you above average because I don't know what the average applicant is.

For example here is some profile info for 2010 Berkeley MFE:

87% of the students who took the GRE earned a perfect score.
68% were in the 94-96th percentile for quantitative scores

48% held bachelors
38% held masters
13% held PhDs

Majors:
40% Engineering
17% Mathematics

Job Experience:
Average years: 4.22
48% in Finance

Based on these stats, I would say you wouldn't be above an average applicant at a top school but that a postgrad in maths gives you a much better chance.
 
Woa, after looking at this, I am a long way off. I will do a post grad in applied maths I think. Atleast to be even considered for admissions.

It seems alot of ppl get 800 on GRE quant but there isnt many people who get 750+ for GMAT. I am doing GMAT, dunno what happened in my mind wen I paid for this GMAT course. Should have done GRE instead. sigh



Thanks
 
87% of the students who took the GRE earned a perfect score.
68% were in the 94-96th percentile for quantitative scores
A perfect 800 GRE Math usually earns a 94% percentile maximum. I haven't seen anything higher than 94% lately.
The verbal part varies widely depending on the test. Some with 650V got on the high 90% while another test with 750V earns only 85%.
 
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