SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

jomni
Posts: 999
Joined: January 26th, 2005, 11:36 pm

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

Tier 2 banks (in Asia) are now trying to hire the ex-Lehman bankers to build their own investment banking buisness and quant shops. These ex-Lehman bankers might be desperate enought to get a pay cut as well. Who knows? Maybe it's just a shift in geography.

mirage007
Posts: 15
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 3:45 pm

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

Responding to twofish, notice how i specifically did not say education, but get "the degree" out of the way, i do agree with most of the things that you are saying. The reason I am not doing a PhD is largely temperament, I don't really have the patience to do 4-5, if not 6 years of academics again, not that i don't want to learn more things.As for the job prospects, there are always special cases, I was just trying to cover the situation in general. Personally, i know exactly what i want to do, and even if the times are tougher, I do not particularly mind.And in terms of the experience, PhD is unique, and there's really nothing else in life like it... so i wouldn't discount it for those that went through it. It is just a personal preference to tackle more problems with imprecision and practical constraints than to delve more deeply in a particular problem, and resolve it from the bottom up.Lastly, i do realize I am buying into what they are selling, I've largely tried to avoid this, and if i could have gotten to where i wanted to be without it, i would have skipped this. I could even cite examples of how it gave me a helpful nudge at times, but this would just be my own experience. But given the opportunity, i just thought, why not? The knowledge value add is not tremendous given most people already have an advanced degree or something very quantitative, but given the short investment in time, it's just a signaling tool in my opinion, fairly expensive yes, but not unreasonably so, and sometimes necessary to get your foot in the door.As for the market, I would agree that markets may not recover for a fairly long while, but i can see myself applying my skills in different ways. And i think a degree like this would, if nothing else but for the signaling, give you a bit more room to maneuver, to convince others that you may be good at something that may not directly relate to what you did.

QFsurvival
Posts: 40
Joined: September 11th, 2008, 8:57 am

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

Less likely. In the short-run, next 2-3 years there will be very strict regulation on derivative trading. Banks will tend to hire more people doing commodity and risk instead of developing highly "advanced" model. In the long-run... we will see another crisis in 5-7 years. I dont know if we have derivative market anymore. QuoteOriginally posted by: KennyMingBut do you think the market will be recovered within 2-3 years?There may be a demand of quants to develop new models and new derivatives. What do you think?

twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

QuoteOriginally posted by: KennyMingBut do you think the market will be recovered within 2-3 years?1) Which market? 2) Ultimately it's an unanswerable question, since what happens depends on human decisions and random events that are unknown.

twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

QuoteOriginally posted by: mirage007As for the job prospects, there are always special cases, I was just trying to cover the situation in general. Personally, i know exactly what i want to do, and even if the times are tougher, I do not particularly mind.People who go into investment banking usually do so for the money, the glamor, and the excitement. The question that you'll have to answer is suppose that there is less money and glamor than there was before. How does that affect the attractiveness of the job?

Paul
Posts: 10791
Joined: July 20th, 2001, 3:28 pm

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

There's still job security, short working hours, and a relaxed environment, isn't there! Not to mention the polite colleagues, with no egos, and the warm feeling you get from a worthwhile and socially beneficial job well done.P

ZmeiGorynych
Posts: 876
Joined: July 10th, 2005, 11:46 am

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

There's still working as part of a team of really capable and professional people, on a really cool complicated system that is tested to its limits daily by the markets. It's like playing civilization for a living only a lot better, because the possibilities are not constrained by what somebody else determined. Little politeness maybe, but a lot of mutual respect - and the egos are by no means worse than in academe, except here the idiots get shown up (by the markets) much, much faster. If you're any good and experienced, job security is just not an issue, and nobody cares about my working hours, just the results.As for socially beneficial, the average banker's taxes are about 3x those of the average non-banker I believe, so I'm already paying for all those public clinics and public schools that I'm not using, that's quite charity enough for me. And if I want a relaxed environment I go to the pub.
Last edited by ZmeiGorynych on September 22nd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul
Posts: 10791
Joined: July 20th, 2001, 3:28 pm

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

Hmmm...some of that maybe. However, a team is not a team, other than in a football sense, if it gets broken up every few months with people quitting. Teams in 'industry,' of equally bright people, stay together for 10-20 years! Egos, agree about acadeima, but there are other jobs out there besides banking and academia! Taxes? Depends on whether the money is put to a good use! Haven't seen much of that for the last decade. If you think faith schools and homeopathy are good uses of tax-payers money, ok, but otherwise you'd be better off giving the paper money to old people to burn for heat during the winter!!!P

KackToodles
Posts: 4100
Joined: August 28th, 2005, 10:46 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishIn the case of Harvard or Stanford, a lot of what they are trying to sell you is the feeling of being in an exclusive club and the notion that if you get accepted, that well you are better than everyone else and you will be rewarded with lots of wealth and power. Exactly. Right. And people are lining up to pay $200,000 to join this club because membership is really valuable. QuoteThat's not necessarily a bad thing, but you just need to realize that this is what you are buying and what they are selling. Believe me, everyone at harvard and stanford fully understands this and revels in it! Quote The problem with this system is that it creates a notion of an education as something that merely provides technical skills for getting a job Now you contradict yourself. As you said above, the value of an MBA is being a member of an exclusive club, like a frat. It is definitely NOT to learn a technical skill. Heck, MBAs look down on technical skills -- unless the technicalities involve the golf swing or yachting. Last edited by KackToodles on September 22nd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total. KackToodles Posts: 4100 Joined: August 28th, 2005, 10:46 pm ### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishPeople who go into investment banking usually do so for the money, the glamor, and the excitement. Yawn. This is true of EVERY highly sought after job. Sports, medicine, acting, journalism, writing novels, fighting forest fires, catching bank robbers, defending OJ, winning a seat in government, being Einstein, winning nobel prize, being a celebrity chef -- EVERYBODY with talent is in it for the glory and adjulation as well as perks and money. Show me a job with no glory and adjulaiton -- I'll show you a job nobody is that excited about. Why does a grad student suffer 5 years for his phd? Because he wants to be a glamorous expert in his field. A man's 3 biggest needs are water, food, and adjulation. Last edited by KackToodles on September 22nd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total. alexcheng Posts: 12 Joined: August 28th, 2008, 8:03 am ### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin QuoteOriginally posted by: ZmeiGorynychAs for socially beneficial, the average banker's taxes are about 3x those of the average non-banker I believe, so I'm already paying for all those public clinics and public schools that I'm not using, that's quite charity enough for me. ... or buying up toxic waste ... twofish Posts: 4944 Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm ### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin QuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodles Exactly. Right. And people are lining up to pay$200,000 to join this club because membership is really valuable. :winePeople were also willing to buy houses for \$200,000 thinking that those were very valuable. Just because someone thinks something is valuable, doesn't make it valuable over the long term. In any case, people forget about the value to Harvard and Stanford. Harvard at the undergraduate level has eliminated tuition for a large fraction of students, because their business money is to give tuition at cheap values, and then pester the student for the rest of their live to give back money. This actually creates some interesting incentives for Harvard. The problem with just writing a check is that the school has no incentive to do anything for you after you write the check, but in the case of undergraduates, schools are making equity investments in students.QuoteBelieve me, everyone at harvard and stanford fully understands this and revels in it!The trouble with this system is that if the only point in getting an MBA is social climbing then after a while the people that end up in the club are social climbers, and this does not create long term value or sustain the existence of the club. QuoteQuote The problem with this system is that it creates a notion of an education as something that merely provides technical skills for getting a job Now you contradict yourself. As you said above, the value of an MBA is being a member of an exclusive club, like a frat. It is definitely NOT to learn a technical skill.And the problem with that is that it's not long term sustainable. If the people in the club are all frat people, then after a while the club is unable to keep its power. So if the club really wants to keep power, they have to allow a large amount of new ambition people in (i.e. people who would fight the club if they were kept out). Also I don't know about Stanford, but people I know with Harvard Law and MBA degrees actually do learn quite a bit of useful things while they are there, and part of what they try to do is to keep the social climbers out of the club, and also make club membership ability to people who could challenge the club. This is why you have Harvard publishing lots of howto business books which you can buy in airports and why they have executive MBA programs.QuoteHeck, MBAs look down on technical skills -- unless the technicalities involve the golf swing or yachting. Bad MBA's do this. Good MBA's respect technical skills.

twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

QuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodlesQuoteEVERYBODY with talent is in it for the glory and adjulation as well as perks and money.That's not true. Glory is a part of my motivation, but it's not the main motivation. My main motivation quite frankly is fear and terror. I have this deep fear of being on the wrong end of a lynch mob, and having money is useful when people are trying to do very nasty things to you. It's actually quite a common motivation in finance, and it's basically the reason that Goldman, Sachs, and the Lehman Brothers started their firms. As far as glory and adulation, that matters to me, but a lot depends on whose glory and whose adulation you want. You can't please everyone, and you have to decide who it is that you really want to please. That's actually why it is *VERY* important who you work with, since if you spend time next to people you will tend to want their social approval.QuoteWhy does a grad student suffer 5 years for his phd? Because he wants to be a glamorous expert in his field.Not necessarily. Some people want to learn things for their intrinsic value, because knowing something makes them feel good, even if no one else knows that they know it. Also people often acquire knowledge for reasons other than to show off. I read something last night. I'm not going to tell you want I read since I didn't read it to show off. I read it to figure out what happens next so that I can keep my job and profit from the mess that is going on.
Last edited by twofish on September 22nd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AbhiJ
Posts: 748
Joined: August 5th, 2008, 11:29 am

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

Just having 200k in your bank balance doesn't guarrantee a place at HBS.Guys with perfect GMAT score(800, every year<=5 people on this earth get this) stellar academic and work profile can get rejected.Being at HBS shows you are already smarter than a good majority of the mass in a business sense.The top firms know this fact.
Last edited by AbhiJ on September 22nd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

StatGuy
Posts: 607
Joined: November 20th, 2007, 9:03 am

### Don't do MFE/MSc Math fin

If you had 200k in your bank account you could day trade that for a few years and make a million or so if you good. You also have more freedom this way SG
Last edited by StatGuy on September 22nd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.