My Life as a Quant

  • by Emanuel Derman
  • Narrated by Peter Ganim
  • 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Kindle Customer "Harry Turtledove fan"

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.
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- Nelson Alexander

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-23-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios