Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Beauty of Finance

Here's a quote by Prof Emanuel Derman (2004, p. 270) that every financial analyst can take to heart:
I like to think in Goethean terms of what we do in quantitative finance. We try to make as beautiful and truthful a description as we can of what we observe. We’re involved in intuiting [i.e., sensing], inventing, or concocting approximate laws and patterns. We combine both art and science in creating understanding. We use our intuition, our scientific knowledge and our pedagogical skills to paint a picture of how to think qualitatively, and then within limits, quantitatively, about the world of human affairs, and in so doing, we influence and are influenced by other people’s thoughts.
Reference: Derman, E (2004). My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.

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