The Quants Book Review 2017
I have to say - this was a surprisingly engaging and enjoyable read. The book follows a handful of quantitative hedge fund managers from the 60's up to the Great Recession of 2008-09. These people created mathematical formulas to predict and play the stock market, making trillions in the process.
The book details the rise of quantitative finance, as well as many of the falls along the way. It's a great read that mixes history, narrative, and excitement. I found myself learning along the way in a fun and engaging manner. Kudos to Patterson for crafting an insightful and entertaining read.
If you're thinking about picking up a copy of "The Quants" I encourage you to use my link. It costs you nothing and helps me keep the site running for you!
What's The Book About
Patterson wrote this book to tell readers the story of quantitative investment and finance. It's the story of math geniuses who use their skills to craft complex systems that invest money and play the market.
He starts with Ed Thorp, one of the first people to use the mathematics of gambling to beat Wall Street. Many would call Ed Thorp the father of card counting and the father of quantitative investments.
The book then evolves with new people, new math, bigger computers, faster algorithms, and greedy investment banks. It concludes, finally, with the events of The Great Recession and the roles of quantitative hedge funds in that disaster. It also gives a small look at the world of mathematical hedge funds in today's world.
There's a little crossover with Michael Lewis's "Flash Boys" which is also a great read if you ever get to it. Lewis's "Flash Boys" details the story of high-frequency computer-driven trading which Patterson also brushes on in "The Quants". The two are rather supplemental reads.
If you're interested in picking up "Flash Boys" you can use my link here - it helps me keep the site running and costs you nothing!
Who Should Read "The Quants"?
Because it's more of a narrative read and remains engaging throughout the length of the book, it makes an easy read. You should read "The Quants" if you're interested in learning more about the world of hedge funds and quantitative investments. It's a fun way to increase your breadth of knowledge about what's actually happening with major stock market players without being bored to death.
It also gives a rather comprehensive and detailed view of the role of hedge funds on some of the great market crashes in recent history. Black Monday, the Tech Bubble, and The Great Recession can all be seen from the viewpoint of the quantitative hedge fund world.
I encourage all of you to read these books. They're fun ways to learn different perspectives of what has caused some of the major meltdowns in the economy in recent years. In my view, we are only good as investors to the extent of our knowledge. Expand your horizons with a fun read!
Ultimately I thought that the book was worth my time. It is a bit long, and if it had dragged any longer I would have lost interest. However, the narrative is fun and exciting enough that it keeps things moving and kept me reading.
I like "The Quants" because of its alternative perspective on the shaping and events of modern finance. it. For me it shed light on a new area of investing that I have been aware of but uneducated about.
I recommend The Quants for your reading!