Quantitative analysts, or "quants," are masters of statistics who work in the financial world. They analyze statistics and market trends to make determinations based on the study and analysis of current financial trends and past economic patterns. Using this information, they create models for trading equities and futures. These financial engineers use educated speculation and logical analysis to make the best possible investment decisions for their employers. They work with a team of mathematicians, engineers and physicists to develop optimal systematic strategies for trading stock. They also write programs, research and perform daily statistical analysis, and solve problems to optimize trading strategies. This requires working with high-end mathematics to determine the appropriate levels of risk management and derivative pricing. They must also maintain and modify these analytical models while in use and define and recommend model specifications or data collection methods. Quantitative analysts produce written summaries interpreting results of their analytical procedures to present to their employers and clients. Using all this information, they write requirement documentation that will be used by software developers. Their duties also include researching new products or analytics to determine their usefulness in the marketplace. Quantitative analysts generally work in financial institutions or high-end offices. This position may also have the privilege of working from home. In order to perform well in this position, the analyst must have an advanced knowledge of calculus, engineering, and game theory and superb programming skills, especially in C++. This highly competitive field requires a well-rounded analytical education with emphasis on mathematics and computer skills. Most employers require a master's degree or PhD in a specialized finance field. Continued education is also required to stay abreast of changing technology.
Quantitative Analyst Tasks
- Perform risk analytics, loan pricing, and default risk modeling,
- Design tests and experiments to collect data and test new models and programs
- Assist in the construction and execution of portfolio management.
- Research and analyze market statistics to develop, test, validate, execute, and maintain analytical software programs and quantitative models.
- Query, consolidate, and present data to senior management.