Why do you want to become a MFE?
And why has the MFE-programs attracted so many asians (indians and chinese), do the american (white) students got a lack of mathematical skills or are they just not interested of MFE as much as asians?
1. The programming work is more interesting and challenging when you add in the finance and math elements. I could not see myself doing Windows systems programming for another 20 years without some added degree of difficulty/interest.
Steve, what areas of computer knowledge would you recommend prospective MFEs to focus on to be prepared? I mean programming languages, databases, developer tools, statistical tools etcetra.
You can make a lot of money without doing a MFE. It depends on your passion.
I consider MFE is a very challenging program. Also, I love maths and computing stuff. Money is secondary.
I agree 99 perc.
But,if even after working for 2-3 years 'passion' remains evasive. What will you do? Jump into something which everyone is trying to take a bite of. So I believe many including myself try for an FE caz of being direction less. These are good people in search of what they really want to do?
I think most people jump into the FE bandwagon now is because of the remuneration package or hoping to become a trader one day...sounds very sexy isn't it? Please forgive my ignorance. Some people do love maths and found this type of job suites them.
I came from IT consulting. I got to know FE or financial maths or quantitative finance from my best friend who works as a quant in a bank. He told me that I could crossover to finance without abandoning my IT skills.
I started my stats course and I immediately fell in love with it. Frankly speaking, we can always make money from the stock markets with prudence trading strategies. Option pricing is a big boy game. Each trading strategy derived from option pricing plus other financial instruments required millions to execute the orders. Unless, you are Bill Gates or your dad has a bank for your loan the sum otherwise you can't afford to play this game.
Quant is a pro-job. However, you may develop your own hedge fund later with some good connections, or help from angels..private equity and so on.
Nevertheless, passion is something we develop over the time. It can't fade away unless this is not a real passion. Again, if you are good at something in a particular field...and you possess great entrepreneurship. I think you can make money in this chosen field.
I have a millionaire friend who is a high school dropout. So, what is he made of? No FE, No IT, No MBA but MBAs work for him...CPA and CFA works for him!
I may be wrong. Perhaps Pro like Gus, Steve or Alain in this forum can help.
There is definitely a "gold rush" mentality into the field. You can see this in the number of students asking "can I become a quant?" on these boards as well the number of new MFE and related programs that spring up each school year.
It's a bit ironic that this trend has reached a crescendo just as many of the newer structures and models are being found severely lacking under even moderately adverse market conditions.
I console myself with two thoughts:
Now I just have to become a "top-quality candidate" ;-)
- I can always stay in IT if there is a serious backlash and/or oversupply of candidates. I don't hate what I'm doing now (which is never a good reason to move, anyway).
- It's possible if not likely imo that the resulting trend will be towards refinement and improvement of models, rather than junking them. Complex derivative and structured instruments have to be valued somehow, after all - liquid market or not. Top-quality candidates will therefore command a similar or higher premium to now, even if overall supply expands.
Thanks guys for some very valuable points.
I am not too sure if my point is in sync with the Thread heading. But I will make it.
I believe education is just a 'risk averse' way of money making. As some one down below told story of a millionaire w/o any education. Such cases exist in every market. Caz these are the guys who don't do 'risk-valuations' but they take risks themselves.
That said. A very important point from the Indian/Chinese perspective - [as a brief - i am an IIT grad and an Analyst with Fidelity Invsts] - People want to participate in gold rush - You know WHY? because in our nations we still are fighting for the very basic needs in life. The last bloack in Maslow's pyramid drives most of us in the gold rush.
Some said market corrections. Very true. But smart are the guys who pick it up before valuations peak and smart are the guys who sell them before the fall. I think for myself I am late by 2 years. Gold rush now is out in the open. Most of the people know it. I am just better off in knowing that 'I will get it'. Smart are the people who got into it and will move just when demand < supply.