Test drive the Quantitative Finance BETA site from Stack Exchange

Quantitative Finance Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for finance professionals and academics. This website http://quant.stackexchange.com/ covers questions on real-life problems you face such as:

  • securities valuation
  • risk modeling
  • market microstructure
  • portfolio management
  • financial engineering
  • econometrics

And this is not a discussion forum...Quantitative Finance Stack Exchange is all about answers. Pretty straight forward- Ask a question, get an answer! Great resource to check out while it is in BETA.

Other resources for Quantitative Finance:

1. Wilmott.com

Wilmott.com is a quantitative financial portal created by Paul Wilmott. One can find job postings, technical articles, up-to-date news, and other useful resources.

http://www.wilmott.com/

2. QuantStart

QuantStart is a personal website discussing Algorithmic Trading strategy research, development, backtesting and implementation. The author behind this website once worked in a hedge fund as a quantitative trading developer in London. Therefore, his articles are very practical. There are several articles on career development, which are very useful for those unfamiliar with the industry.

http://www.quantstart.com/

3. QuantLib

The QuantLib project is aimed at providing a comprehensive software framework for quantitative finance. QuantLib is a free/open-source library for modeling, trading, and risk management in real-life. It is written in C++ with a clean object model, and is then exported to different languages such as C#, Objective Caml, Java, Perl, Python, GNU R, Ruby, and Scheme.

http://quantlib.org/

4. Yahoo Finance

You can get free stock quotes, option prices, up to date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, message boards, and mortgage rates from here.

http://finance.yahoo.com/

5. Data and Charts of U.S. Department of the Treasury

Great resource to find all kinds of interest rates related with the U.S. treasury.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/Pages/index.aspx

6. QuantNet

It is a leading resource on Financial Engineering education and news, but the main focus is education. Quantnet provides detail information about Financial Engineering programs in North America.

https://www.quantnet.com/

*****
By- Xiaohong Chen, Financial Math Intern, May 2015 Graduate

A student’s interview experience- the benefits of planning and preparing for the big day!

Internship Interview Experience at a Financial Security Company

(Disclosure- this is a true interview story. This student received an offer and is currently working at this company. Her interview experience and interview format is typical but may not reflect all interview experiences. For privacy reason, the interviewee and company are made anonymous.)

I had an interview with the risk management model group of a financial security company. The main financial products of the company are mortgage loans insurance and long term care insurance.

The interview lasted two rounds, and each round covered two parts with two interviewers from the risk management model group. In the first round interview, the interviewer mainly asked about some questions ranging from mortgage loans, basic statistical knowledge of data mining to regression techniques and models. (Tip- Researching the employer was an important part of this round.)

Questions about mortgages loans referred to concept of premium, prepayment and interest rate. The interviewer introduced their mortgage product to me and I expressed some of my points of view about the product combined with financial terms that I learned in some related classes. (Tip- show employers your educational knowledge through related courses.)

In the basic statistical question part, I was asked about questions of distribution of certain scatter plots that were prepared by the interviewer. Besides, the interviewer asked me to come up with some fast data mining methods that can help a modeler quickly deal with data in an efficient way. (Tip- be prepared to show examples of your quantitative skills)

Most technical questions were focus on regression. The interviewer discussed with me two econometrics models that I had implemented before. Based on the discussion of certain regression models, the interviewer thoroughly asked questions about data cleaning, explanatory variables choosing and model modification. It was a nice progression since the interviewer guided me to take more practical problems into consideration in the process of model construction. (Tip- actively listen to the interviewer and be aware of the direction their conversation is heading, including tips they may give you.)

The second round of interview was an on-site visit to the company. During the second part of first round interview, the interviewer was interested in my interpretation of Logistic model application. I was also asked about basic SAS programming skills. Three interviewers interviewed me and gave me have a tour of the office. The SVP (Senior Vice President) of Risk Management introduced the team corporation of different groups in the division.

During the first part of the second round of interview, I had the opportunity to gather more details about the company’s business and culture, and had a nice communication with the interviewer about team contribution. All the questions were focused on the type of role that I could participate in the risk modeling team, and why I chose this company.

The Director and Modeler from the Risk Modeling team asked me to talk about some opinions on default probability model construction. Furthermore, they gave me concrete examples to show what kind of data that is usually dealt with and gave me chances to discuss practical techniques of data processing implemented by SAS programming. (Tip- be prepared to give  examples of your programming skills.)

The whole interview process was nice. The interviewers were willing to guide candidates to answer questions through practical problems solving techniques, come up with different solutions and opportunities for further discussion. The interview was a great way to communicate with professional people in the finance industry.

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Have you had an interview yet? If so, was your experience similar or different? Share your thoughts and comments.

Meet Xun Ma- Career Ambassador of the Week

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"My name is  Xun Ma (May 2015 Graduate), and come from a small city in the southeast of China, Guiyang. As a first year student in Financial Mathematics program at North Carolina State University, I got an awesome opportunity to be an Ambassador of the program.

Before I came to the Financial Mathematics program, I was majored in Econometrics. As a Chinese student, I found that I learned a lot through the work experience as an Ambassador. The Ambassador is a role not only about leadership, but also a role about professionalism. This is a good way to experience professional environment in the United States. Within few months in the role, I had the opportunity to have close communication with professionals in financial industry and help advisors to prepare board meetings and career fairs. All of these professional events fulfill the rest of my time out of academic study.

My personal interest is to apply mathematical skills in model construction in order to solve practical problems. In the short run, I plan to be a risk modeler. So far, I enjoy learning related numerical skills and programming skills based on solid theoretical knowledge in quantitative finance. I have implemented my quantitative skills in several projects that are mainly focus on explaining the relationship between interest rate spread and sovereign debt crisis.

More importantly, my Ambassador role provides extra resources to help me improve my communication skills and opportunities to introduce myself to a large range of working professionals from different companies. All of these experiences give me passion and confidence to pursue my career goal."- Xun Ma