What is the job satisfaction for most financial engineers?
1) ad-hoc development/data work
2) Wildly varies depending on workload. 40 sometimes, 70 if I feel like it (get scolded if I go past 50-60ish) Any reason they scold you for working over 50-60? Seems like they should want you to work as hard as possible.
3) Pay isn't wildly spectacular...yet. It lines up with a first-year probationary salary in a small firm, and my former internship boss pays his first-time programmers $50k. However, potential growth in compensation is through the roof. According to some numbers I've heard, if you're really productive, it's easy to get well into the 6 figs five years out.
4) It's never a meritocracy. As the CEO of FIXFlyer told me on my way out: "The workplace is not a meritocracy. It is not a democracy. It is an autocracy. Your job is to make the guy above you look good." That said, at smaller companies, your contributions will be noted. As for communication skills, very much so. My closest coworker makes a huge sticking point about how I didn't develop these in favor of just putting everything into my left-side-of-the-brain engineering skills. Excellent points, thanks. I guess everywhere you go it's about making the guy above you look good. Good to hear that communication skills are valuable.
5) Hello from Chicago. Likewise, love the nonstop rain lately.
6) Considering this is a shop that heavily depends on R, I'd guess that exit opportunities depend on A) if I can learn to be a profitable algo trader B) how much coding experience I get with R C) how often I wind up dealing with massive data sets. Edit: I don't plan on leaving this firm in the foreseeable future, so IMO that's not a good question to ask. You shouldn't be going to a firm thinking about exit opportunities. If the long time salary potential is there, then I agree you shouldn't be too worried about exit ops. But in general I think it's a very important thing to consider.
7) Yes. They're generally very nice people.
8) Currently, ad-hoc work using my R skills to write scripts that help out with managing data.
9) The necessity of a programming background, and not so much an econ/finance background. If I knew this ahead of time, I would have involved myself far more in my programming coursework rather than think I'd never need it as an actuary >_<. That's awesome that you used to be an actuary. Could you tell me more about your transition to working quant finance? I'd like to hear more about your background (ie. did you attend an MFE program?) I am currently working as an actuary in consulting, but I am looking to get out.
10) Most: really flexible working hours. Since I might get ad-hoc assignments in the day and my most vital role is at night, I get to come in later and take a break between my day stuff and the night stuff for a nap/gym (live 5 minutes away by walk).
Sounds that quant job is really challenging!
... anyone moved into quant with actuarial background?
No. Most quants lack training in accounting, which prevents them from working in corporate finance, private equity, etc. It happens, to be sure, but more as the exception than the rule.Could a quant work in ANY financial department in any kind of company?
Aha. I see, thanks for the insight. So would that mean that, for example, the knowledge of quants in a field like risk management specializes in IBs and doesn't necessarily correlate with that which is essential for private corporations?No. Most quants lack training in accounting, which prevents them from working in corporate finance, private equity, etc. It happens, to be sure, but more as the exception than the rule.
Also, many quants are lacking in communication skills, which keeps them out of many areas.
The term "Risk Management" varies considerably from firm to firm and industry to industry. In Finance, it means market, credit, ops risk. Elswhere it usually means insurance.Aha. I see, thanks for the insight. So would that mean that, for example, the knowledge of quants in a field like risk management specializes in IBs and doesn't necessarily correlate with that which is essential for private corporations?
Moreover, could some quants with sufficient skills in Matlab or C++ end up in more programming-oriented jobs that have little to do with the financial sector? I'm just curious as to whether these could also serve as exit strategies.