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The Complete Guide to Capital Markets for Quantitative Professionals (McGraw-Hill Library of Investment and Finance) Hardcover – November 1, 2006


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The Complete Guide to Capital Markets for Quantitative Professionals (McGraw-Hill Library of Investment and Finance) + A Primer For The Mathematics Of Financial Engineering, Second Edition (Financial Engineering Advanced Background Series) + 150 Most Frequently Asked Questions on Quant Interviews (Pocket Book Guides for Quant Interviews)
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Product Details

  • Series: McGraw-Hill Library of Investment and Finance
  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071468293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071468299
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alex Kuznetsov, Ph.D., is a theoretical physicist by training who has worked in financial technology since 1997 at several leading Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital. He is currently a director in the proprietary trading technology at Credit Suisse.


More About the Author

I was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1963, and wanted to be a scientist since my early teens. In 1986 I graduated from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology with an MS degree in Physics, returned to Kiev and went to a graduate school at the Semiconductors Research Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where I earned my PhD in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics in 1991.

The same year our family moved to the US, and I started pursuing an academic career in physics. I spent six years doing that as a research associate, first at the University of Florida and then at the Ohio State University. My scientific interests were in the area of ultrafast phenomena in semiconductors. I had an interesting time doing research and was lucky to have so many great colleagues with whom I published over 25 research papers and one monograph, but as years went by it became progressively clear that pure academic research was not for me ' I wanted something more rewarding and more relevant. As so many of my physicist colleagues at the time, I turned to the financial industry for a new career.

In 1997 I joined CastleNet LLC ' a software subsidiary of Tullett and Tokyo, a major derivatives interdealer broker ' where I went through a rigorous schooling in professional software development and created much of the derivatives analytics library behind CastleNet's products. In 1999 I moved on to Goldman Sachs, where I first worked in the Fixed Income Electronic Market Making group, developing models and software for electronic trading in Treasuries and Agencies. From there I went on to what is now called algorithmic trading ' in 2001, my colleagues and I have built one of the first completely automated statistical arbitrage systems that traded real-time mispricings in Treasury and Treasury futures markets. After that, I joined Fixed Income Research where I developed econometric models for interest rate markets and worked on research publications and trading strategies for Goldman's clients. In 2003 I joined Barclays Capital as an Associate Director in the Fixed Income Project ' a large-scale effort to bring the latest in financial technology to their Rates business, where my responsibilities included real-time pricing models and model-driven proprietary trading algorithms for interest rate products. In 2005 I became a Director in the Proprietary Trading group at Credit Suisse, where I work on refining our proprietary trading models and algorithms.

I have a long-standing interest in training and education. At CastleNet I taught a 'Finance 101' course for non-financial developers. At Goldman, I organized and ran a 'How things work' seminar where people from different technology areas presented their work. At Barclays Capital I ran a series of 'Business Knowledge' lectures for my colleagues in technology, covering various financial industry and market issues at an intermediate to advanced level. These efforts ultimately led to my book "The Complete Guide to Capital Markets for Quantitative Professionals". I wanted to write a book that I wish I could read when I first started out on Wall Street. It took me two years to get there but now this book is a reality. I hope it will make life easier for those who are following or will follow the path from science to finance. My latest effort in the financial training area is a course "Introduction to the Financial Industry" that I taught in the fall of 2006 for financial engineering students at Columbia. I have great fun doing these things and consider them an important part of my professional life.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I have to say, I wish I had read this book before I started this job.
H. Luo
After this book, I will probably move on to Hull, John C., "Options, Futures, and other Derivatives."
Cliff Bryant
The book is well written, and despite covering so much ground, explains concepts very well.
Jean Barmash

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is crucial to the success of a technologist on Wall Street to have a fluent understanding of the traders they support: More focused feature sets are developed, faster communication with traders (they have about a 2-second attention span) and correct assumptions are made.

Unfortunately, working in technology tends to isolate oneself from the trading floor. This is not necessary. Although, there are plenty of classics out there (read Fabozzi), they don't target the technologist who hasn't grown up on the trading floor. They still don't answer the questions, "Why would you do that", "What's the purpose", "What's driving everything"

This book turns the whole model upside down. The author goes into a very detailed and interesting history of the markets first. Then goes into the main areas any financial group handles: Treasuries, Futures, Interest Rate, Agencies, Options, Corporates (We won't mention mortgage).

After reading just the Treasuries and Futures section, I IMMEDIATELY saw a difference in my ability to communicate with the desk. I was able to suggest alternative approaches concerning enhancements and features, understand when problems arose, plus I actually understood EVERYTHING the trader said.

If you work in technology, be it QA, Software Development or even technology management, this is a must read.

Best of all, it's a great read. I found myself looking forward to reading the book every single day.

Enjoy
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TomC on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you are involved with the capital markets and investment banking world on the technology side, you really need to read this book. Don't let the title scare you. The author does a very good job of pointing out how the capital markets business works and how technology is a major influence to to the sucess of this capital markets business. This title should be a must read for all MBAs.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Aleksey Popelyukhin on November 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rarely a book with a title as ambitious as "Complete Guide" fulfills its promise. This book does. Big time.

It is written for quantitative professionals (current and prospective) and gives a bird-view account of all types of activities available to them in a typical Wall Street firm.

The author cleverly avoids pitfalls of the books of this genre. The book is general enough to cover various settings, but not too general to become useless. It is detailed enough to provide relevant information, but not too detailed to become a software manual or a textbook.

The text educates without being annoying and entertains without being lightweight.

Hopefully, readers will appreciate consistency and appropriateness of the book's style. The author avoids over-fragmentation and "bulletization": the book consists of 20 chapters without any further subdivisions. It makes for much smoother reading undistracted by unnecessary subheadings.

After finishing the book one can only marvel at the author's efficiency, wondering how he could cram so much useful and interesting information in just 600 pages.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. Luo on April 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I got a job as quantitative risk analyst in a hedge fund 6 month ago. what has frustrated me is that I don't know how the market works. I have both John Hull and Paul Wilmot's books. They are good books but don't show you how to savvy the market. I bought this book 2 weeks ago and is half way from the end. I have to say, I wish I had read this book before I started this job. Evennow, it's not late. It helps so much that I have convinced my boss that I can read it over the work time so my productivity will be greatly improved. I absolutely love reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The biggest flaw with this book is the title, which should read "The Complete Guide to Capital Markets for EVERYBODY."

As a liberal arts guy who ended up in structured finance I've gone through my time in capital markets with huge gaps in my understanding of how everything ties together. This book has, in one fell swoop, cleared up every single question or doubt.

The author has written this book very objectively and with enormous respect for the readers time. It's written with a birds eye view of finance but is still dense with information and replaces 5 other finance books I have sitting on my shelf.

If you're making a career switch into finance you're expected to be self-taught. Save yourself the trouble of going to investopedia every minute and get this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. Kalaga on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book offers a detailed overview of capital markets by each product category starting with history and moving towards market and technology changes. The final chapters concentrate more on market data, problems and role of technology division within the companies.
As a technology professional with fixed income experience, I found this book making a decent attempt to explain various products, trading jargon and how technology is changing the nature of markets. However, I did not find this book helpful in explaining the roles and responbilities of quantitative professionals.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jean Barmash on December 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book if you are a technical person who is trying to understand how Wall Street works. It gives you an overview of who the players are, what the different products mean (i.e. Equities, Bonds, Options, etc), as well as the computer systems that make it all work. The book is well written, and despite covering so much ground, explains concepts very well.

It is written with a smart person in mind, so it goes through concepts fairly quickly, yet gives you a good flavor of the topics, which is great for an overview such as this.

The book really gives you an idea of where your technical skills can be applied on Wall Street, and what kind of work you would be doing.

As an IT consultant who worked at a few Wall Street firms, this gave me a much better understanding of what I was working on and why it was useful to the business.
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