Q&A: What exactly does a Quant do in real life?

A quant designs and implements financial models and systems for pricing, hedging and trading of instruments, such as stocks, bonds and options. Some common roles within I-Banks that require Quant skillsets are

  • Desk Quant: interact with traders (Front Office) directly, and give (trading) books an edge through different methods such as time-series analysis, and discovery of predictors/indicators. Stressful but rewarding. It's not uncommon to work 12 hours. It's also not uncommon to get a big fat 6-figure bonus. Some might even call it "Golden Handcuff".
  • Model Validating Quant: The equivalent of Quality Assurance (QA) in the software industry. Re-implements models to assure Front Office ones are correct. Works in the Middle Office - further away from the desks ( =smaller bonus).
  • Research Quant: the objective is to break new grounds. ie. research new approaches. Can be hard to justify their existence.
  • Quant Developer: a programmer who understands Quants' vocabulary / speaks their language. Usually works with a Quant to turn a model into working code. The pay (6+ figures) is incredible compared to what a programmer makes in other industries.

The biggest question is whether you want to join a group of other hard-core PhDs doing the tougher math problems, or join a more financial group where you will be talking business and providing them with your math edge. The latter involves far more selling, keeping up to date on financial trends, and describing quant results in the traders' vacabulary. ie. 'chained' to the trading desks.

Category: C++ Quant


  1. GoogleMail3:53 AM

    Great piece! Now I got the differences.

  2. However mean your gold in wow life is,buy wow gold meet it and live it ;wow gold cheap do not shun it and call it hard names.It is not so bad as you are.It looks poorest when you are richest.The fault-finder will find faults in paradise.wow gold kaufen love your life,poor as it is.maple meso You may perhaps have some pleasant,thrilling,maplestory power leveling glorious hourss,even in a poor-house.The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode;the snow melts before its door as early in the spring.sell wow gold I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there,cheap mesos and have as cheering thoughts,as in a palace.The town's poor seem to me often to live the most independent lives of any.May be they are simply great enough to billig wow gold receive without misgiving.Most think that they are above being supported by the town;powerlevel but it often happens that buy maplestory mesos they are not above supporting themselves by dishonest means.which should be more disreputable.Cultivate poverty like a garden herb,like sage.Do not trouble wow powerleveln yourself much to get new things,maple mesos whether clothes or friends