SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

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AbhiJ
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September 23rd, 2008, 3:10 pm

Or you can squander your hard earned money in a credit crisis like the present one.One point to be noted that in all this credit crisis the investors are the ones that are hit hard. The employees of the big banks have got their bonuses and are in a great position even though they may be jobless provided they worked there for a few years.Its not only about money if you calculate the break even at HBS it can turn out to be 7 years.Its more about satisfaction and flexibility in work that one gets from a HBS MBA.
Last edited by AbhiJ on September 22nd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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KackToodles
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September 23rd, 2008, 4:28 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishMy main motivation quite frankly is fear and terror. then you should stay far, far away from the markets. Be a bookkeeper or librarian, or civil servant. QuoteSome 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. Those people must be very selfish if all they can think about is getting high on their own brain trips instead of producing something useful for society.
 
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KackToodles
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September 23rd, 2008, 4:29 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: AbhiJIts not only about money if you calculate the break even at HBS it can turn out to be 7 years.Its more about satisfaction and flexibility in work that one gets from a HBS MBA. do you think hank poulson or president bush broke even?
 
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AbhiJ
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September 23rd, 2008, 6:59 pm

Can't see why they couldn't have. If they are that smart to achieve such status then they must be smart enough to take care of their personal finances.Anyway even if you are true you are reinforcing what I was saying its not all about money.
 
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mirage007
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September 24th, 2008, 4:01 am

Well, remaining on topic, i think the result of this whole discussion is that this credit crunch hasn't changed anything at all. In the end, it is still driven by personal incentives and amongst the stepping stones to get to what you want, MBA/MFE are still viable solutions even after such fundamental changes in the market.Given that we are here, i think suggestions for the future is really what people would be interested to know. I actually joined Wilmott as a result of trying to make this decision not so long ago.My personal bias for MFE is that do it if you can. The world is getting more technical by the minute, and if it seems the methods taught now are "advanced", it's only becoming more commonplace. This may appear like it is becoming undervalued, but i think the reality is that both demand and supply will need to increase by orders of magnitude to manage the complexity of society in the future, and let's hope at which point, having already gone through this step, that we're all onto bigger and greener pastures, whether it be PhD, trading, or joining other arbitrarily selective organizations.
 
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KackToodles
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September 24th, 2008, 4:20 am

One should also not forget that there are other masters degree options. In particular, one can go for a masters in statistics, economics, or op research. If one takes a few financial courses during the course of their studies, I bet they learn a lot more useful things than in a cookie cutter MFE or MBA program. Why? Because MFE programs have become too comercialized. People are going there to interview for jobs, not to do real learning. To distinguish yourself from the masses, I bet a serious student who takes a econ or stats masters and does well could land himself a better job than an MFE student. In fact, banks might regard a stats or econ masters applicant as a phd applicant and put you on the phd file in terms of opportunties and pay.
 
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legacy
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September 24th, 2008, 3:40 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodlesOne should also not forget that there are other masters degree options. In particular, one can go for a masters in statistics, economics, or op research. If one takes a few financial courses during the course of their studies, I bet they learn a lot more useful things than in a cookie cutter MFE or MBA program. Why? Because MFE programs have become too comercialized. People are going there to interview for jobs, not to do real learning. To distinguish yourself from the masses, I bet a serious student who takes a econ or stats masters and does well could land himself a better job than an MFE student. In fact, banks might regard a stats or econ masters applicant as a phd applicant and put you on the phd file in terms of opportunties and pay. I don't exactly agree with this. While people are going to MFE program to secure interviews, the competition among these MFE students are brutal and this forces students to do 'real learning' to win an interview. Think about 60-70 students are targeting a few positions in front office I-bank at the same time, you'll see a small 'wall street' behavior there. Comparing MFE program with statistics/econ master's program, IMHO, is like comparing quant jobs at wall st firms and those at tech firms (Microsoft, Google, Intel, etc). Which one endorse 'real learning' ?
 
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twofish
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September 24th, 2008, 7:32 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: legacyI don't exactly agree with this. While people are going to MFE program to secure interviews, the competition among these MFE students are brutal and this forces students to do 'real learning' to win an interview. Think about 60-70 students are targeting a few positions in front office I-bank at the same time, you'll see a small 'wall street' behavior there.The problem with MFE programs is that you have the same group of students studying the same things going after the same small pool of jobs which have the same requirements. If you go for an econ or stat masters degree then instead of being one of 60-70 students targeting five front office I-bank jobs, you are one of 15-20 students targeting eight middle office / back office jobs in addition to all of the other stat or econ jobs that have nothing to do with finance.QuoteIMHO, is like comparing quant jobs at wall st firms and those at tech firms (Microsoft, Google, Intel, etc). Which one endorse 'real learning' ?Investment banks are high technology companies, and people do move from Google to an IB and back again.
 
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AbhiJ
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September 24th, 2008, 8:21 pm

Under the present conditions it's better to go for a masters that's broader in scope. Its not safe to put all your eggs in a single basket(that too with a hole in the bottom).Who knows all the univs start new degrees- PhDs & Masters in Commercial Banking.
 
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jarismendi
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September 24th, 2008, 11:48 pm

I will talk about the topic from a different approach, maybe seeing and living in a different "world" or "universe" (maybe bizarre universe to the people on this forum). I'm from Venezuela, South America. I'm also imagine that there are no other, maybe only one, that come or had lived in this side of the world. I assume this extrapolating the statistics from CQF (2 from SOuthamerica, from +800 total alumni).In this side of the world, the word Quant Finance, Derivatives, Exotic Options has not even touch the arena. A lady last week was worried and concern about the things happening on Peru. Why? Because she has heard that Lima was broke. (bad traduction of Lehman). There are no Quants, maybe 2 or 3 making research. In the banks, the field more close to quant finance is risk management, and all banks buys the risk software and get trained by outside people. Off course, after the training the people goes back to their countries.So, how the people from here would think about this topic? Well, the people from finance industry don't want to study too much if they are going to work here. A bachelors degree and a year of MBA in the most extreme academic trained cases. WHy? Because the people that want to get rich, sees a better opportunity working in the goverment, or getting business with PDVSA, getting drunk every day with politicians and politicians friends, and getting out with a 2 million $ briefcase of corrupt money (See Venezuela Antonini's briefcase case for who don't understand). Don't worry about Venezuela Legal system, only 8% of homicide are comdened. And don't worry by the US legal system, you cooperate with FBI to fuck Chavez and they will let you go also. Moral: The people fired from quant finance field, that have a Phd in FInance and doesn't know how to get rich in this days, come to Venezuela and work with Venezuelan politicians! ()That's simple. If somebody studied a Phd is for the reason of living 4-5 years trying to understand a little part of the universe. Or to model it. Love as Paul called it. That's all. I think most of the problem with the guys with the Phd working in finance and worried about their time invested on education is that they want to get paid one million dollars per year only for the reason of having a Phd in Finance. I have teachers from hard sciences (math), really smarter than finance businessmen solving hard problems, that simply don't get satisified with a simpler job that pays more. They do what they want to do and that satisifies them. If somebody have a Phd and don't like research, well maybe it's time to think how its taking its decisions.
 
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KackToodles
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September 25th, 2008, 6:47 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: legacyWhile people are going to MFE program to secure interviews, the competition among these MFE students are brutal and this forces students to do 'real learning' to win an interview. The problem is that all of these students are studying and learning exactly the same things from an MFE factory. The graduates from these factors suffer from group think. They all have the same perspective, they all think alike. If the school or bank teaches them to price subprime loans in an idiotic way, they will do it without thinking twice -- because that's what everyone else does and because it will help them secure a job. What you have are a bunch of MFE robots. QuoteThink about 60-70 students are targeting a few positions in front office I-bank at the same time, you'll see a small 'wall street' behavior there. Exactly... herding. Sort of like cows all falling the herd to the slaughter house.QuoteComparing MFE program with statistics/econ master's program, IMHO, is like comparing quant jobs at wall st firms and those at tech firms (Microsoft, Google, Intel, etc). Which one endorse 'real learning' ? Clearly, it is the firms that want to innovate. To innovate, you have to think and understand. MFE programs don't encourage individual thinking. They encourage group think. That culture is as bad as that of any religious cult except that they worship high paying jobs as their god.
Last edited by KackToodles on September 24th, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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AbhiJ
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September 25th, 2008, 7:44 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodles What you have are a bunch of MFE robots. QuoteThink about 60-70 students are targeting a few positions in front office I-bank at the same time, you'll see a small 'wall street' behavior there. Exactly... herding. Sort of like cows all falling the herd to the slaughter house.To innovate, you have to think and understand. MFE programs don't encourage individual thinking. They encourage group think. That culture is as bad as that of any religious cult except that they worship high paying jobs as their god. Agree that's what is happening in some of the proffessional programs.To really understand the theory in great depth the mind has to be relaxed and not stressed.You need to finish your assignment quickly because you have another stuff that needs quick attention.
 
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HyperGeometric
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September 25th, 2008, 7:59 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: jarismendiMoral: The people fired from quant finance field, that have a Phd in FInance and doesn't know how to get rich in this days, come to Venezuela and work with Venezuelan politicians!.... ()I'm not sure if you're expressing faith in your government or not, I can bet you Chavez has more ba*ls than any trader on the street (ever). Working for a government might not be a bad thing, particularly for yours that is trying to set its own path. Having said that, I would still refrain from M- programs as an avenue to the industry for at least a couple of years. Save your money if possible.
 
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legacy
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September 25th, 2008, 8:08 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodlesQuoteOriginally posted by: legacyWhile people are going to MFE program to secure interviews, the competition among these MFE students are brutal and this forces students to do 'real learning' to win an interview. The problem is that all of these students are studying and learning exactly the same things from an MFE factory. The graduates from these factors suffer from group think. They all have the same perspective, they all think alike. If the school or bank teaches them to price subprime loans in an idiotic way, they will do it without thinking twice -- because that's what everyone else does and because it will help them secure a job. What you have are a bunch of MFE robots. But this also happened to those quants with PhD, or else we don't have this financial mess, do we? Let's just hope it will change in the future.QuoteQuoteThink about 60-70 students are targeting a few positions in front office I-bank at the same time, you'll see a small 'wall street' behavior there. Exactly... herding. Sort of like cows all falling the herd to the slaughter house.The point is survival instinct help sharpen one's brain.QuoteQuoteComparing MFE program with statistics/econ master's program, IMHO, is like comparing quant jobs at wall st firms and those at tech firms (Microsoft, Google, Intel, etc). Which one endorse 'real learning' ? Clearly, it is the firms that want to innovate. To innovate, you have to think and understand. MFE programs don't encourage individual thinking. They encourage group think. That culture is as bad as that of any religious cult except that they worship high paying jobs as their god. IMHO, individual/independent thinking depends on the person, not on the 1-2 year training. My guess is that even PhD grad will no longer think individually after 5-10 years in the industry. Or else, they will be in academics
 
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Paul
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September 25th, 2008, 8:17 am

Brilliant, KT, "GroupThink" is exactly right! I hope you've noticed in my answers to technical questions that I always want to get people to ask fundamental questions before they resort to conventional answers. But it is absolutely impossible! Why is it? Why can't 95% of people think for themselves??? The members of this forum are supposed to be intelligent and educated, but they drive me absolutely crazy with frustration sometimes!P
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