“The Quants”, a great book that everybody can read.

Good morning again,

I decided to create a new section in the blog dedicated to a selection of books. Indeed, I personally find it hard to find the right book to buy on a specific topic, and sometimes their are so many choices that I do not necessarily know how to pick the right one.

I start this section by talking about “The Quants” from Scott Patterson.

The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It

First of all, this book is not looking to give any quantitative approach whatsoever. The idea is to tell the stories of the most famous quants having conquered Wall Street and the world of finance in general.

You will, for example, learn the story of Ed Thorp who can be considered as the first quant and who took part at Black & Scholes famous research. You will also find a long description of the creation process of Renaissance Technologies, probably the most impressive financial group ever. Who created it ? When? What was their background? How come nobody knows how they manage to do that well?

Patterson will give you sometimes a few quantitative concepts to explain what kind of strategies a fund was focused on, but you will not find any formula. You would, for example, get a qualitative definition of a stat-arb.

Anyway, the book is very easy to read and has a certain sense of humor. The author has the ability to put you in a situation so that you can really feel the atmosphere and hence fully appreciates the information he provides you with.

You can use the image above to get a link to the amazon page. I would recommend a hard-cover version because this book is that great that you wouldn’t want to damage it.

Let me know what you think of it!

Jérémie

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