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Paul Wilmott Introduces Quantitative Finance

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471498629
ISBN-10: 0471498629
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a very comprehensive and well researched book...all the methods are clearly explained..." (Lloyd's List, 9 November 2001)

From the Back Cover

Paul Wilmott Introduces Quantitative Finance is an accessible introduction to the classical side of quantitative finance specifically for university students. Adapted from the comprehensive, even epic, work Paul Wilmott on Quantitative Finance, it includes carefully selected chapters to give the student a thorough understanding of futures, options and numerical methods. New software has been added and sidebars included which explain the mathematics for those less confident in this area.

In praise of Paul Wilmott and his previous works
'It is a serious work that takes the reader all the way from the simplest of notions to the most complicated of recent models. In short it is the most comprehensive and up to date textbook on options that I have seen . . . The style is jocular, but the content heavyweight. ... Who ever heard of a mathematician who could convey the intuition of a result to those with a less complete training in the subject? Wilmott is an exception: he knows when a result is hard to understand and treats the reader in a sympathetic manner. This book is a splendid achievement' The Times Higher Educational Supplement
'..a text which will probably come to rank alongside Fabozzi's collected works of Leibowitz as a comprehensive practical reference source for financial theory. Dr Wilmott is an academic who clearly prides himself on his knowledge of the practical side of finance' Futures and OTC World
'Paul Wilmott has produced one of the most exciting and classic reference volumes on derivatives which is a must for . . . students, practitioners, risk managers' Global Trading
'The style is pedagogical and yet very lively and easygoing. As only great teachers can, Wilmott makes even the most obtuse mathematics seem easy and intuitive' Marco Avellaneda, Professor of Mathematics and Director. Division of Quantitative Finance, Courant Institute of Mathematical Science, New York University
'Paul Wilmott changed my life' David Newton, Manchester Business School
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471498629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471498629
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #984,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An "Introduction" to anything is going to alienate half the readers. Why? Well, of necessity it is going to compress large topics, simply summarize complex topics, and leave whole swaths of material untouched. Most complaint reviews here fall roughly in to one or more of those buckets.

Let' face some facts: finance is a huge field of inquiry; mathematics is a huge field of inquiry; practical execution is a huge topic in itself (see the offerings of excellent books on Excel (Walkenbach, Benninga) and C++ (Joshi) and VBA (pick one)). An introduction of the intersections of these topics is no small area of inquiry. I stress using AMAZON's "look inside" feature for a table of contents rather than repeat the litany of topics, but major issues like risk, random, returns, and standard methods are all covered in a fine first approximation.

So how well does Paul Wilmott do? The answer is not bad. This is a great first book to use with folks crossing over to quantitative finance from other areas (Theology in my case), or for folks who will work and talk with quants but not be one themselves. It will probably appear frustratingly simple to math or engineering majors, but this is an *introduction* and believe me, the heavy lifting comes latter.

As a teaching text, the lack of exercises is a frustrating, but the CDROM has lots of fun spreadsheets with simple built in macros that make practical lecturing a breeze.

Wilmott's style is light, and he does make some logical leaps that can look sloppy but are transparently obvious to folks like him (trained in math), but it is often difficult to know what others don't know and explain without over explaining.
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Format: Paperback
I have been reading this book to try to get a better understanding of Hull's book on Options. Wilmott says he is going to keep the math simple but he often leaves out steps in his reasoning. It may be obvious to him but frequently it has not been obvious to me. In fact, I find Hull's book actually more explanatory and easy to follow on topics like stochastic processes and the creation of Ito's lemma than Wilmott's. This is disappointing as Hull gets pretty detailed in his explanations and could use more examples ( not uncommon for academics). I am not an Einstein so I will and do take out pencil and paper to derive results to make sure I understand. I have not been successful in several instances with this book.
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Format: Paperback
Wilmott's sequence to "Derivatives" is 200 pages and 26 chapters shorter. Does that make it less valuable? Not at all! In fact, rather the opposite. Wilmott managed to improve Introduction to Quantitative Finance nicely. He cut out the exercises, added more graphs and more insightful and funny "Wilmott" explanations. Above all, the supplied CD is a real pleasure for Excel friends who will find loads of examples from the book.
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By A Customer on November 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is not close to the best in class. It's collecting dust on my bookshelf. There isn't enough practical information to make it a reason to take it off the bookshelf after purchase and a read through. "Derivatives Markets" by Robert McDonald is a much better written and more satisfying book. Even the paper quality, cover, and layout are better. The chapters have practical and excellent problem sets. McDonald is also a clearer writer with a better command of the subject.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent starting point for those with no training in the technical aspect of the equities market, although the prime focus is on Derivatives.
Although Derivatives are, as of late, a maligned form of investment, this book delineates a common-sensical approach to evaluating them.
There is a gentle and concise introduction to the mathematics of investments which will please many, but no doubt upset the few purists, especially those who love mathematical rigour and others who would like to retain the mystery and mastery of their universe.
This is an introduction. For those who feel the need to delve deeper, Paul Wilmott has written other books which go into greater depth.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently adopted Paul Wilmott textbook for a course on financial engineering I regularly give. I have always thought that stochastic calculus and derivatives are subjects very difficult to teach in a friendly manner. Wilmott textbook is very helpful in that regard.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book for laying foundations. Both theory and practice are covered. Read this first and then follow with the same author's more advanced volumes. Beats Hull for sophistication and ease of understanding. This book is coherent, unlike Hull which is just a random collection of disjoint chapters. Very modern.
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Format: Paperback
For someone who wants to learn more about quantitative finance, this is a good entry book. It contains most of the main theories behind the basic pricing models used for different products, and manages to do this whilst keeping the mathematical side fairly simple, unlike many books where the reader gets totally lost in equations.

Wilmott seems to clearly explain all the symbols used in any equations, which I can say is not always the case in other books I have read.

For those who want to progress further, there is the "Wilmott On Quantitative Finance" 3-book volume.

The only downside is that it appears impossible to find solutions to the exercises, so anyone who is using the book for self-teaching will not be able to simply look up whether they have answered correctly.
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