The topic of which financial software(s) to learn has been discussed many times here and I am reading those threads now.But I would be curious to know, from a purchasing standpoint, if anyone has an opinion of which package to buy.Yes, I know they are not cheap. But which will give the greater utility across many projects; in effect which is the bigger bang for the greater or lesser buck?Thanks in advance for any advice!

- Cuchulainn
**Posts:**62626**Joined:****Location:**Amsterdam-
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What about VBA? And this 750 page book by Nick Webber does it step-by-step and is very clear.The price differential in packages can be steep. And VBA works with Excel.

Last edited by Cuchulainn on May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.

http://www.datasimfinancial.com

http://www.datasim.nl

http://www.datasimfinancial.com

http://www.datasim.nl

It depends on what you're looking for.I purchased Mathematica's Premium license in 2003, and the maintenance costs are not cheap, but I like what I get from it.Unrisk is a good package to add financial functions to Mathematica.Matlab seems to have a lot of packages for time series applied to finance, but there are others here who can tell you their firsthand experience.But if you are not looking to code much, or manipulate large amounts of data, there are books with good enough spreadsheets / VBA functions so you can start doing some stuff quickly, which I think is what Cuch suggested.

I give here my opinion as a physicist. When I have to process datas, I use Matlab, it's very performant for that (especially the 64 bits core version). When I have to do numerics, it's the same matlab again, you have good libraries for scientific numeric computation. But here in my world (and probably in yours also ) a cherry on the top of the cake is to find a closed form solution, the so famous analytic result and for that Matlab is useless. In my case I used Mapple (which is not bad but I have heard that Mathematica is better). But to focus back on Matlab do you know Scilab? or Python ? because they are FREE and not so bad.

- Cuchulainn
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Quotea cherry on the top of the cake is to find a closed form solutionBut then you have to compute _that_ elegant formula and that's where it becomes diffiicult (e.g. closed solution for early exercise).

Last edited by Cuchulainn on May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.

http://www.datasimfinancial.com

http://www.datasim.nl

http://www.datasimfinancial.com

http://www.datasim.nl

This is all very good feedback; thanks to everyone and I am reading through some helpful threads here as well.Cuch and MC - I do have the free version of Visual Studio, with all of the packages that MSFT offers. This is an exercise in looking for one more immediately useful option. Of course, it is clear that many of the Big Boys here use C/C++. So, lest you be completely dismayed - I do have the Kernighan and Ritchie on C, the Stroustrup on C++, and several tomes by one D Duffy concerning the use of C++ and Monte Carlo Frameworks in Financial Engineering.

Last edited by trackstar on May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuotea cherry on the top of the cake is to find a closed form solutionBut then you have to compute _that_ elegant formula and that's where it becomes diffiicult (e.g. closed solution for early exercise).Well said it reminds me a quote of my chinese colleague :"Yes I found a closed form solution !!! No one will manage to compute that (it was a kind of product of Bessel functions) but I got it. IT'S A CLOSED FORM SOLUTION !!" me "euh.... yes ok"

Last edited by frenchX on May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

- Cuchulainn
**Posts:**62626**Joined:****Location:**Amsterdam-
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Help! Can someone solve this problem for me in closed form. I have an exam Monday. Matlab code as well.Thanks a bunch.

Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.

http://www.datasimfinancial.com

http://www.datasim.nl

http://www.datasimfinancial.com

http://www.datasim.nl

C/C++ etc is not a replacement to Matlab. you need something interactive

Like most mature markets there are 3 vendors: matlab, mathematica and maple. I have used Mathematica since its first version and I like it the best, but they also have the most onerous and expensive license fees. All three have interface to compiled code. None of them will be as fast as an optimized routine using blas. They all have copious examples. I would buy based on price and if you are prototyping it will not make much difference. I would not buy a license for a multi-processor box, who cares if a prototype is fast? Try your local college bookstore I have gotten muiltiple copies of maple at $30 or less. You can also try e-bay but the license may be questionable.

Thank you gs, also good info. And don't worry about jawabean, he and I go way back and my Stochastic Discount Factor Model in that case is fully operational.

Last edited by trackstar on May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

- Traden4Alpha
**Posts:**23951**Joined:**

The mindsets for these two are very different. Matlab is very numerical and is heavily influenced by linear algebra. Mathematica is mathematical and is heavily influenced by math as symbol manipulation. If you like LISP, you might like Mathematica.Before you buy either, you might try some of the free open source alternatives such as Octave (Matlab-like) and Maxima (Mathematica-like).

do you remember CERN's Cint? it was an interactive version of C which could call all CERN libraries.

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