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My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance | [Emanuel Derman]

My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance

In My Life as a Quant, Emanuel Derman relives his exciting journey as one of the first high-energy particle physicists to migrate to Wall Street. Derman details his adventures in this fieldanalyzing the incompatible personas of traders and quants, and discussing the dissimilar nature of knowledge in physics and finance. Throughout this tale, he also reflects on the appropriate way to apply the refined methods of physics to the hurly-burly world of markets.
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Publisher's Summary

In My Life as a Quant, Emanuel Derman relives his exciting journey as one of the first high-energy particle physicists to migrate to Wall Street. Derman details his adventures in this field, analyzing the incompatible personas of traders and quants, and discussing the dissimilar nature of knowledge in physics and finance. Throughout this tale, he also reflects on the appropriate way to apply the refined methods of physics to the hurly-burly world of markets.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2004 Emanuel Derman (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"That sense of being an intruder in outlaw territory lends an intriguing mood to Derman's My Life As a Quant, a literate and entertaining memoir." (BusinessWeek)

"Who should read this book? Anyone with a serious interest in finance and everyone who simply wants to enjoy a good read." (Stephen Ross, Franco Modigliani Professor of Finance and Economics, Sloan School, MIT)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (68 )
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3.6 (47 )
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3.9 (46 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Justin Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-16-11
    Justin Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-16-11

    the giver

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thoroughly Enjoyed It"

    This was one of those books that I could not wait to listen to. I was intrigued by the title but skeptical on the information and entertainment value; however I found myself pleasantly surprised. Derman's book had a way about it that drew me in and broadened my view of Quantitative Research. It is always nice to get a different view on finance and this provides just that, a view where money is not the first priority and there are people who actually work for the love of their field

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson Alexander New York, NY, United States 05-21-11
    Nelson Alexander New York, NY, United States 05-21-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weltanschauung of a Quant"

    Be alert to the first two words in the title. This is very much a memoir, with an air of alienated questing that verges at times on The Sorrows of Young Werther. Yet it isn???t is bad as it might be. The author is a good writer and the historical vector he follows from physics to Wall Street is interesting and pertinent. Unfortunately, it was written before 2008, so ironies are rife. In the opening chapter, the author mentions the abhorrence many people felt in the 1970s for physicists as a result of their weapons research. After 2008, the same abhorrence can be reasonably directed toward physicists in finance, eagerly elaborating the Black-Scholes model to develop what Buffet famously dubbed their ???financial weapons of mass destruction.??? Describing his fitful career moves the author often uses the phrase ???I was na??ve,??? and the reader can heartily agree. I had hoped that a physicist with wide ranging interests might be able to offer an intelligent outsider critique of finance. But the author is far too grateful to Wall Street, it seems, to nip the hand that fed him. (This could be one of the last books in the nation dotted with accolades for Goldman Sachs.) The books offers very little in the way of investigative reporting, confession, inside dope, or the deeper social implications of quantitative finance. In other words, be alert the last two words in the title as well. This is indeed the Weltanschauung of a Quant. Few Michael Lewis-type cynical insights. As later chapters descend into hot and heavy volatility modeling, things get opaque and nerdy fast. This is not the outsider critique I???d hoped for. Hence three stars. But it is well written and tracks an interesting path through recent social history. In the end, I actually found the rather dark narrative of graduate school physics in the 1970s to be the most appealing part.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anandasubramanian Amstelveen, Netherlands 08-11-11
    Anandasubramanian Amstelveen, Netherlands 08-11-11 Member Since 2009

    Harry Turtledove fan

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    "Too winded and too long"

    Well, the title should be: My life as a Student of Physics, Quantum Physics, Lecturer, and then a Quant.
    Its that long and winded.
    For the first 2 1/2 hours, the book is all about how the author grew up, what subjects he studied in Cape Town high school, how Oxford and Philadelphia are different.. i mean am not surprised he didn't mention how he celebrated each christmas, what was the color of each gift wrapping, etc.
    A suggestion to the author: Please read the book: "The Quants" or "Conspiracy of Fools". Your book title should not be misleading.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Inon redbank NJ USA 11-17-13
    Inon redbank NJ USA 11-17-13 Member Since 2013

    I love sci-fi and fantasy books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a life that covers two fields of intrest"
    Where does My Life as a Quant rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    i loved this book. as a kid who loved physics and wanted to be an astronomer, but ended as a cpa with a MBA in finance, this book covers both aspects of intrest for me. The author met the stars of both fields and worked with them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bassam COLUMBIA, MD, United States 10-05-12
    Bassam COLUMBIA, MD, United States 10-05-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Great story, what a life?"

    Fantastic narrative that takes you from the world of physics in the 1970s and ends in the world of finance and risk management in the 1990s. I enjoyed the audio so much that I went ahead and bought a paper copy to capture all the details (physics and finance).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marink RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil 06-19-11
    Marink RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil 06-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book!!!!"

    This is a great book as long as you are a big fan of physics and the market.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • Vauxhall Hoosier
    London, UK
    4/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Un-listenable robotic voice"
    What would have made My Life as a Quant better?

    A human reader.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Emanuel Derman again?

    Possibly


    Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Ganim’s performances?

    No. Perhaps it's fitting that a book about quantitative finance is read by a computer, but the irritating intonation and lack of comprehension in the reading make for a completely un-listenable audio book.


    What character would you cut from My Life as a Quant?

    Peter Gamin.


    Any additional comments?

    Asked for my money back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lal-Akash
    London, United Kingdom
    5/7/11
    Overall
    "Excellent reading"

    Not just any quant he was an important player. I later realised I had been reading his papers and have seen references to his work in mainstream books. I was also a physicist and now work in a bank so perhaps it is more relevant for me than most.

    The book is very well written and well read. The content was interesting to me. E.g. Interesting how such a successful and bright individual was made redundant when in the wrong environment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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