Would love some guidance.

Hello, I currently study quantitative finance and math (separate studies). My math background is as follows (graduate topics):

General topology, stochastic analysis, mathematical finance primarily stuff about Levy processes, lots of PDE including advanced stuff like sobolev spaces and somewhat beyond, lots of measure theory, lots of functional analysis including advanced stuff like C*-algebras.

I have taken all this math including undergraduate stuff in just two years, and also in parallell with what was business studies before I transitioned into Quantitative finance one year ago.

I took the math stuff because I thought it was sort of interesting and possibly helpful. I also have an aptitude for it so I saw it as a potential niche to set me aside from the other business students. Business students and pure finance students are still the ones that dominate the finance industry in my country, but techncial competence is in increasingly higher demand. Recuriting people with various stem backgrounds is more common than before.

I will soon begin my final year of studies. What I want is some guidance with respect to what to do this last year (will have a lot of freedom) given that my sole purpose is to get into the finance industry and make money. As a main rule, I follow my talents and not my interests (they are unfortunately not coinciding everywhere).

That said, I suspect I have a bias towards positioning myself so that I can capitalize on the math stuff. I also think machine learning, Programming and stochastic analysis/ mathematical finance is kind of fun.

My programming skills are approximately as follows: good in python alright in R beginner level in C++ (taken a programming course that partially was about C++)

I like working with people.

I would say my best personal abilities that is more valuable than what I can or know at the moment, is critical thinking (not taking stuff for granted) and pragmatism (I take stuff for granted if I think that this is the more wise thing to do, given cirumstances).
I am willing to work very hard to make money.

Notable weaknesses: being overly optimistic and sometimes overestimating the precision of my analysis.

Some of my own suggestions: Learning some algo stuff, become better at C++, learn more about machine learning and stochastic analysis. I dont know what I want to do exactly and I dont care as long as I do stuff that people pay for. I have had so much to do the last couple of years and maybe too little time to reflect upon it.

Please answer as if I were in the US (I am open to move) and to narrow it down a bit, I dont need suggestions on other industries than the finance industry. I would very much like it if you consider my academic background and my brief self-evaluation in your answer.

Sorry for coming across as obnoxious and "macho", my objective is simply to be clear about what I want.
In case someone think I am fooling myself, prioritzing money above everything else; I have thought a lot about this stuff, and I dont think I am (I will spare you the details).

I will also consult people at my school, but I would really like some of your perspectives.

Thanks so much in advance.
 
Pragmatically, I would move C++ to the top of the queue. People work in the field without it, but those who have it, math knowledge, and personality are indispensable. Even without personality, you could still be a programmer. If you have no math, but C++ and personality, you can be a project manager. Math and personality but no programming, maybe analyst for a while then hop to a sales kind of role. I think I just drew a verbal Venn diagram.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
General topology, stochastic analysis, mathematical finance primarily stuff about Levy processes, lots of PDE including advanced stuff like sobolev spaces and somewhat beyond, lots of measure theory, lots of functional analysis including advanced stuff like C*-algebras.

All this in Two years?? really? It took me 4 years of undergrad and beyond to learn all that stuff.. My guess is that you are in Russia?

Anyways, what about numerical analysis and applied maths?

I would take QN C++.
 
Last edited:
Pragmatically, I would move C++ to the top of the queue. People work in the field without it, but those who have it, math knowledge, and personality are indispensable. Even without personality, you could still be a programmer. If you have no math, but C++ and personality, you can be a project manager. Math and personality but no programming, maybe analyst for a while then hop to a sales kind of role. I think I just drew a verbal Venn diagram.
Thank you for the answer!

All this in Two years?? really? It took me 4 years of undergrad and beyond to learn all that stuff..

Anyways, what about numerical analysis and applied maths?

I would take QN C++.

Two years is correct, but I dont have a life and I would not consider me an expert on these topics, and I will likely quit my pursuit of becoming one (depending on answers in this thread, and from other people). The closest I have come to numerical analysis is designing simple numerical schemes for PDEs. I could take a course in numerical analysis this fall, would you recommended that? I have the usual package of data science, machine learning and statistics from the quant finance programme, but these are to a very little extent about math and not highly advanced either.
Anyways, thank you for your answer, I will probably take the C++ course.
 
Last edited:
Top