Equity Derivatives Trader $200k base + bonus

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by hedgeplay, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. hedgeplay


    I thought for my first post I should make a contribution.

    Prop traders get a load of this. I might be giving away some of my personal edge here but it will be a while before I can interview for these slots.

    Seems like a trader who wants to go corporate and get rich should be working on a Quant Ph.D. in their off hours. Ya, getting a Ph.D. is a lot of work but the thing is that this was about the lowest paid Quant Ph.D. position listed. Most were $300-400K US. Risk Manager jobs at $700k ...

    YA BABY, Ca-Ching!

    Equity Derivatives Trader - US West Coast - $200k base + bonus

    - Investment management firm is expanding its equity derivatives area. We are looking for a Ph.D. in a quantitative field with proving experience in pricing derivatives. Experience with swaps/options/ future contracts is essential. A candidate who has worked on a prop trading desk is highly desirable.

    Go to http://www.wilmott.com/categories.cfm?catid=5 and then search on a dollar sign "$" to pull the US jobs.

    I am not affiliated in any way with any of these jobs or that site. This is just truly a contribution from an independent trader.
  2. You probably should read some of the posts before suggesting this. I doubt that there are more than a couple of ET members with the chops or the education to make use of this. Risk Managers??? You can't even interest folks in simple corellation or dependency testing!!! Now if you want to get a response, just ask whether the latest chat room or advisory service is working out. Boom!!! you will get posts right and left from folks who either swear by it or say it is a complete scam!!!
  3. traders in these firms will be paid more than that, a lot more!

    Having said that, a quant or quant-developer role is pretty cool if you're into the rocket science. Unless the terms "Ito's Lemma", "Martingale Measures" and "Stochastic Partial Differential Equations" mean anything to you then dream on about landing a quant job.

    In addition, you have to have 'esoteric' knowledge of C++, because you will not be asked the standard questions in an interview.

    And last but not least, experience. They want you to know about the intruments you will be pricing/developing models for, and for many roles they want you to have written C++ code specifically for this task before.

    This means that there a lot of recent Engineering/Maths/Physics PhDs who find it very difficult to get into this area, because they have no experience. Having a PhD is not enough, and in most cases it simply acts as a filter at application time, to filter out all the wannabes.

    Depending on your area + workplace, it can also be rather dull, as there are quant-modelling, quant-developer and quant-validation roles and lets not forget financial engineering roles. It depends what you like and what you end up doing.

    The fun will increase if you get land a quant-trader job or go into stat-arb.
  4. omcate


    Although most ads state that C++ is a requirement, it will be likely that they'll ask you a lot of tricky C questions in the interview. There is little advantage to use C++ instead of C in number crunching.:p

    IMHO, a quantitative analysis or quantitative trader seldom needs to write or maintain any huge C++ programs with complicated business logic, GUI's as the front end and Sybase/Oracle as the backend. For equity derivatives traders, they can simply buy the whole package, eg. Imagine. The investment banks and hedge funds probably prefer them to spend more time on trading, and make more money.:D
  5. be asked questions regarding 'mutant' looking code, which someone with a good understanding of C should be able to answer.

    However, I can also guarantee you some non standard questions on templates and STL, even some low level algorithmic questions. And for this you will need C++. For some jobs/tasks, Java and C# are starting to make inroads. of course, because there still is a lot of Excel work in the quant arena, VBA is also used.

    You are right however, unless as a quant your background is in computing and have written code before in telecoms or s/w house, then most quants are crap coders. They are bright, but it doesn't seem to help, as most of the code produced is throwaway spaghetti crap. But, its usually fast and does the job. Just don't try to maintain some other Quant's code :)
  6. hedgeplay


    When I first started poking around into what the quant job looked like I expected to find big implementations of some of the world's leading statistics tools like SAS. I was surprised that SAS's inroad into quant finance looks like less than 2% of their revenue.

    A few mid-tier stat vendors show up but it seems like most quants working through issues in forums are mostly using Matlab, Matlab extension products and occasional subroutines in C, C++,.. as tier daily tool of choice.

    Is this matlab centric perception accurate for professional class of jobs we are talking about here (250-600k+/yr)?
  7. Okay, guys. Goodness knows the last thing I want is yet another post-grad degree on top of the two I already have. But I've considered the derivatives trading route myself from time to time and, after having casually talked to a few folks myself at derivatives-focused shops, I can confirm that the Phd is a basic prereq.

    So my question is this: in your guys' personal experience, or from some Phd's you may know, how long does the typical program from entry to thesis dissertation to degree typically take, how much time per year in in-class and outside class work is involved, and how much does it cost on average? Also, to the extent deep programming knowledge is also required, how difficult is that to obtain independently?

    I'll do some independent poking around on my own to see what answers I come up with (and will share them here). But I'd be interested to hear views from others here on this as well.
  8. Not to discourage you or anything, but good luck!! These types of jobs I see posted all the time. They are notoriously difficult if not impossible to get. I have a friend who has a Phd in physics, decent programming skills, but little to no finance knowledge. After about 6months of interviewing, he didn't get any job as a quant. That's very somber.

    I know others who did get jobs though as quants. They are basically the best of the best. Ivy league or top 20 schools MS/Phd. Extremely good at programming. There are tests after programming tests that's part of the interview. In addition to that, good GPA and high standardized test scores will win you favor. My physics phd friend who didn't get the quant jobs worked in IT for like 10yrs. He was a solid programmer yet he found the tests to be nontrivial.

    But if you are among the best of best already, then you wouldn't need to go in ET to find out about this. Recruiters would have come to you already.

    If you are totally brand new and still in school, then perhaps it's still a valid career option. But if you had done something else for a while, it's hard to compete with people who are 1) already doing it 2) who is on the "right track". It sucks that society is becoming like this especially in finance. I'm sure there are lots of talented people who could do the same work, but lacking in "sterling credentials" required by these places. I'm sure some places are less anal about it. But rest assured, if you are interviewing for a 250K-600K job, they only want the "best of breed" type.

    Just giving you a reality check.

  9. Osman


    Many of the first quant traders had no knowledge of finance; they were really smart people (as evidenced by their PhDs) and the houses scooped them up and directed them well. (to this day I know atleast 2 quant traders in high level positions who have yet to buy or sell a single share of stock) The situation now is that the bar is raised, they want the intelligence, the quant background AND finance knowledge from their PhDs. Not to mention experience.

    Many in the computer science field are getting oppurtunities in the other direction of quant. Going from the research to the application bit. Here, they want to see high intelligence and excellant computer skills, but not as much research or financial experience. Only downside to going through computer science is that you're easily replaceable, houses loathe to replace the PhD quant trader's research and human capital, especially if they're doing their job. Another disadvantage is the CompSci quant trader's purpose has limited shelf life. Once the application/program is done, tested and debugged; he has to move on to another project which may or may not be there. Or go to India. PhDs will never have to worry about their projects ending, no one has found the holy grail...

    My best advice to people going into PhD programs with Quant trading in mind is to direct your PhD research. Move into relevant areas of Quant Trading or statistical methodology applicable and try to attach financial models as best as possible.
  10. Dude, with all due respect, a Phd in physics is about as applicable to the quant/derivatives world as one in Old English poetry. In other words, your friend's experience has absolutely no relevance to this discussion. Perhaps he should send a resume to NASA instead.
    #10     Jun 5, 2004