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Starting Your Career as a Wall Street Quant: A Practical, No-BS Guide to Getting a Job in Quantitative Finance and Launching a Lucrative Career Paperback – June 18, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1432706814 ISBN-10: 1432706810 Edition: 1st (2007)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press; 1st (2007) edition (June 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432706810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432706814
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

As a working quant, I've been to both sides of the job search process: I've been to many job interviews where I found my palms sweating wet all day long, and I've also been on the other side of the desk interviewing candidates whose palms were probably sweating wet. In writing this book, my goal is to offer you practical information and advice that can prove valuable in your quest to get a quant job on Wall Street.

I call this book a "practical, no-BS guide" because that's what it is: lots of practical information you can use right away. I don't BS. I won't be selling you anything, and I don't have a hidden agenda like someone who is a professional headhunter might. I simply want to help you and others who are looking to start a quant career. It's that simple. (BTW, BS here does not stand for Black-Scholes!)

About the Author

Brett Jiu, Ph.D., currently works as a senior financial engineer at a leading technology-driven agency brokerage firm. Previously he worked as a buy-side quant at Deutsche Bank. He started his finance career at RGNCM, a hedge fund. Brett has a BA in applied mathematics from Harvard and a Ph.D. in economics from NYU. He has published papers in economics and finance and has been featured in the New York Times and the Boston Herald.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 17 customer reviews
A nice chap and I recommend this book highly.
Yi Lu
Excellent advice is also being given on how to tailor one's resume and cover letters for that type of jobs.
Clarisse Tur
Overall: excellent book practical and easy to follow.
Linli Wang

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 87 people found the following review helpful By R. Keyvani on November 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been in front office development for 10 years. The author should be more realistic about his assumptions about getting a quant job. 1) your chances of getting a role as a proper quant are slim to none without having a phd. 2) Add Ivy League school to that Phd. Trust me I have read all the books the author mentioned, I have a MSc in Fin Eng, worked with many traders and PM's. If your smart enough to understand stochastic calc and heavy stats, but don't have Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, NYU etc.. go learn C++ and go into business for yourself don't waste time. There's alot of nepotism on Wall Street which is why there are very few funds that have serial correlation in returns. Its not how smart you are rather its where you went to school and who you know.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By RaCh on October 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
For a starter like me, who were mystified and terrified by the prospect of competing and working in the financial sector when I first started looking for a job, this book told me everything I really needed to know. Unlike other self-help books of similar content, I never got a sense from the author that I was not being told the honest truth about Wall Street.

I strongly disagree with the previous reviewer who criticized the book as being "fluff" and "breezy". It's precisely the all-too-serious approach one sees so often in similar books that mystify a field which image is already being distorted in other media. The other books I have read seem to be "war stories" that're designed to glamourize the industry or the authors, or both. They left me dazzled with the prospect of becoming one of them, but confused with the question: now what? No one's path can be replicated exactly. It's one thing to hear about other's war story, it's another to prepare for your own. This book tells me how to stock up my own ammunition.

Now that I am working on Wall Street, the pointers given in this book helped me enormously, especially in the comprehensiveness of topics this book covers. The previous reviewer complained that not enough was written on what a quant do. I think he missed the point entirely. The books tells you exactly what a junior quant is expected to do, on a daily basis. Books with detailed history of financial engineering merely tell me what financial engineering is, but not what financial engineer actually does. The latter is what we readers really need to know.

One should keep in mind this book is about "how to launch a wall street career", in other word, getting your feet in, not "how to make millions as a wall street quant". Perhaps the author can save that for his second book. I'll be looking forward to it.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A. Ali on October 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who wrote all these five-star reviews? Friends of the author? The bulk of the book -- 140 pages -- is devoted to writing a resume and preparing for interviews: the kind of material one can find in umpteen other books. There is some light coverage of what a quant does and what a quant needs to know: proper coverage of these topics would have made the book worth its price.

Besides the fluff content, there are a distressing number of typographical mistakes. Was there no proofreader available? The English itself is often faulty, and the breezy style open to criticism.

I grudgingly give this book two stars because -- as far as I'm aware -- there is not yet any other book in the market that addresses would-be-quants.

Postscript: I recommend "Heard on the Street."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clarisse Tur on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book does deliver on the promise of the author; there is a quite detailed description of what a job in quantitative finance entails and what the day-to-day life on the job is like. There are very good references for where to find jobs and reading material in preparation for the interview/the job itself. Excellent advice is also being given on how to tailor one's resume and cover letters for that type of jobs. I enjoyed reading it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. Xie on August 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a fresh graduate with a science major, I got the book when I was half way in my job search. I found the book very useful 'cause it answered the practical questions from my own job search, such as "how to work with headhunters", "what questions to ask in quant interviews", "how to evaluate and negotiate offers" etc...I think it's particularly valuable to someone who has no job search experience and doesn't know the tricks in the whole process. I personally think this book is a good investment for one's quant career. Oh, did I mention the cost is really low?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Yi Lu on February 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
The title says it all: this book helped me find a desk quant job at a New York hedge fund. I'm getting my PHD in biostats and didn't know where to start to look for a finance job, when I bought the book. I found the resume chapter and the interview chapter particularly helpful. The author has a blog on Windows Live, where he shares lots of sample interview problems which also helped me prepare. He's also active on the mitbbs quant forum. A nice chap and I recommend this book highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Financial Analyst on July 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I received the book Friday and finished reading it over the weekend. It's quite good for what it covers. The materials in the resume writing and interviewing chapters are very substantial, and I found a lot of interesting advice "gems", like what kinds of hobbies you should not mention and where to put your feet. Real funny. I plan to re-read the chapters on interviews and switching careers from non-quant to quant. I think the author did a nice job covering most aspects of how to look for a quant job. He also has a quant career website although there isn't much on the site right now.
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