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Jun 15

How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street's Elite

Posted by Bill at 12:12 | Paper Review | Comments(0) | Reads(8916)
The following article is a book review for “How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street's Elite”, which was edited by Richard R. Lindsey and Barry Schachter, and is a paperback.

The book is a compilation of 25 essays written by very distinguished individuals that have had successful careers in the quantitative finance industry. They work in various areas including; market microstructure, derivatives pricing, risk management, and equity portfolio management.

How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street's EliteFor the most part, you will need more than a basic knowledge of finance to truly be able to grasp the book. However, if you are a mathematician looking to make a career change, it could provide you some motivation.

The essays let the readers inside of the lives of the authors, who go into great detail explaining how they became involved in the quantitative finance industry. Most people will find it quite surprising that many of the people who contributed to this book, previously worked in physics or math.

But, due to the end of the cold war, and a subsequent reduction in funding in those areas, they were forced to find employment elsewhere. This is just fantastic for anybody that has ever lost a job, and thinks their world is coming to an end. It just goes to show you, that losing a job might be the best thing that can ever happen to you.

The writers lead you down many different and interesting paths, while letting you know how they got their start in the industry. Believe it or not, most of the time it was because of luck, knowing somebody, or being in the right place at the right time. Each writer also discusses their individual area of expertise, and their main achievements within those areas.

Many of the writers have PhD’s, and write like they have PhD’s. In other words, they are trying to impress the readers by letting them know how smart they are, by writing over their heads and constantly name dropping.

Look, the readers already know how smart you are, or you would not be in the book. If they were really as smart as they attempted to appear, they would have known to write in a style that most people could understand, instead of writing like an intellectual, for other intellectuals.

The editors of the book Richard R. Lindsey and Barry Schachter could have, and should have done a much better job reviewing and fixing the problems with the book. First, there are numerous typos, grammar errors, and misspelling in the book.

Second, it would have not been that hard to rewrite the original author’s material so that it would have had a much wider appeal. More than likely, they did not understand what most the writers of the essays were talking about either, which made adjusting it almost impossible.

For the reasons mentioned above, we can only rate “How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street's Elite”, three stars out of five. You should consider acquiring the book only if you are presently a mathematician looking to make a career change, a university student studying in this area, or a person who is already employed within the quantitative finance industry looking for some inspiration, or a means to advance within your profession.


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