What is wrong with Quant Jobs?

From reading posts, I feel that there is a stigma attached with “Quant Jobs”. Why is that?

What do you mcmean?

I have noticed in some job postings and some threads on AF that there is a stigma with quant jobs. I could be interpreting it wrong.

CFA is not very quant intensive and there is an anti-academic anti-intellectual mood here on AF. Quants are almost quintessentially academic and need to be more intellectual in their work. So you may be picking up on that.

Quant strategies have had a hard time since the financial crisis. First, they got smacked because many of the strategies required leverage to make small arbitrage able differences profitable, but when credit got more costly quickly, they got slammed. Then, it has been hard for many quant strategies to adapt to the quantitative easing environment of the Fed. It’s a new regime, and so the back tests aren’t as informative. Meanwhile a simple buy and hold strategy in stocks has done amazingly well since 2009.

So there are a lot of unemployed quants and not so many positions for them. And here on AF we tend to find more fundamental analysis types who want to show that they can earn more than their nerdy high school friends.

Maybe that’s what you are picking up on here. There’s nothing innately bad about quant work, and some of us here on AF do a bit - Ohai, jmh, möbius, me, and a few of the derivitves people.

Bchad, that may have been the most rewarding reponse I have received on this forum from a boardmember. Thank you.

Compliment: meet left hand.



On the trading floor, I feel like quants are viewed as a type of support role that many people aren’t sure of how to value. They aren’t revenue generators like sales/trading, but they’re usually very smart guys with impressive backgrounds. They’re often lumped together with structuring, but aren’t as involved in the day-to-day, so hard for individuals to shine. A bit like risk management, when things are going right and their models hold up, nobody really cares and credit is given to traders. When things go wrong, they take as much blame as the worst trader.

Quant was all the rage when it came out, then several very high profile quant funds with arguably some of the smartest people crashed and burned and lost a ton of money, then it scaled back