How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street’s Elite
By Richard R. Lindsey & Barry Schachter
Richard R. Lindsey and Barry Schachter offer an engaging and genuinely endearing look at the mathematical world of quantitative finance in this volume. The authors, experienced quants themselves, meet with some of the greatest minds of the financial world to give readers a look at how to get started in quantitative finance.
The book is presented as a series of interviews which cover an array of topics, guiding the reader through quantitative finance in its infancy, acquiring a job in the field, and the future of quantitative finance.
- Chapters 1-4 contain interviews from David Leinweber, Ronald N. Kahn, Gregg E. Berman, and Evan Schulman. The reader can expect to glean from this the beginning use of quants in finance, the first NASA scientists recruited to Wall street, the development of the quantitative financial model, and how the men were integral players in putting it to the test.
- Chapters 5-11 show a development of the quantitative finance field. Interviewees open up about the development of the risk assessment model, market crises in the 90’s, and the mathematics of portfolio trading. Neil Chris and Leslie Rahl divulge their educations and the experiences that led them to quantitative finance. Peter Carr reveals his first eureka moments as a beginning quant, Mark Anson offers counsel on managing outcomes in times of uncertainty and Peter Jackel illustrates to readers what its like to cut your teeth in the highly-competitive field.
- In Chapter 12, Andrew Davidson serves up an informative and quite comedic look at developing your own theories as a quant, the almost inevitable failure of early theories, and the process necessary to get them up and on their feet as practical, useful models.
- Chapters 13-17 present the ever-growing quant community as a type of brotherhood which has become utterly crucial in the current financial market. The interview subjects give readers a look at lessons they’ve learned, tools of the trade, various capital management methods among professionals, and why the quantitative model continues to work when held up to scrutiny.
- In Chapter 18, Mark Kritzman gives aspiring quants a look at how he further developed his quant skills, offering readers strategies to develop their own. Kritzman goes into further detail about the application of quant trading, and illustrates the future for quants in the marketplace.
- Chapters 19-22 offer new concepts and ideas in the world of quantitative finance. The interviewees talk about integrating the investment process, relaxing portfolio constraints, and flexibility necessary to work in the market place.
- Chapters 23 and 24 conclude the book, and feature interviews with Andrew J. Sterge, and John F. Marshall. The luminaries open up frustration with academia, quantitative theories applied in the real world, some of the problems inherent within, and the birth of a profession.
Community user reviews found the edition to be a valuable primer on the world of quantitative finance, brimming with information for quants of all experience levels. Professional sources cited the book as a “must read.”
Don’t miss your opportunity to revel in the discoveries of the brightest minds on Wall Street, give How I Became a Quant a gander.
Reviewed by: William Oscar Updyke