what is a quantitative analyst?

As a quantitative analyst you have expertise in developing methodologies and algorithms for managing portfolios and accurately valuing the market. Your skills are in high demand in today's unpredictable market conditions. Financial institutions and businesses require your assistance to identify lucrative investment opportunities and manage risks. Your work involves helping different organisations, such as manufacturing or mining companies, to break even and find new investment opportunities. Investment banks, private equity companies, and fund managers typically employ you.

As a quantitative analyst, your role involves creating and implementing statistical methods, mathematical models, and complex algorithms to analyse data for risk assessment and portfolio management. Your job is to provide valuable insights by simplifying complex data, which banks or financial institutions can utilise to make informed decisions. Investment firms rely on your knowledge to maximise favourable market conditions while minimising risks. Additionally, you evaluate securities trading systems and market trends, and assess investment performance.

To succeed as a quantitative analyst, you must have technical skills in using statistical and mathematical models. Your programming abilities should enable you to develop algorithms for data analysis. Good presentation and communication skills are also essential since you will need to present your findings to various stakeholders.

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average quantitative analyst salary

If you work as a quantitative analyst in New Zealand, the average annual salary for this position is $105,000. However, your overall compensation may vary depending on your level of qualifications and expertise, as well as external factors like location and company size. Typically, new quantitative analysts can expect to start with a yearly salary of $92,642, but with experience and additional qualifications, earnings can increase. The highest-earning quantitative analysts can make over $143,000 per year.

how to increase your salary as a quantitative analyst

The salary of quantitative analysts is determined by their level of experience and expertise. As a junior analyst, you will be responsible for less complex tasks and will require more expertise to use mathematical models or algorithms. With more experience and additional certifications, your salary will gradually increase.

In addition to your skills, your salary may also be influenced by your employer. Large companies are able to offer higher salaries due to the complexity of tasks and the size of investment portfolios they manage. Working for a small company may result in a lower salary, but it can provide valuable experience in financial analysis. The demand for quantitative analysts is higher in metropolitan areas, which offer more job opportunities.

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types of quantitative analysts

The types of quantitative analysts depend on their area of expertise and the industry they work in. These include:

  • risk management quantitative analysts: as a risk management quantitative analyst, you analyse different assets and product markets to help the sales representatives and investment officers. You analyse the risks of investing in various markets and measure the risk of loss on assets portfolios.
  • algorithmic trading quantitative analysts: as a quantitative analyst, you focus on algorithmic trading, which relies on complex mathematical models to assist in pre-programmed trading. You create algorithms that guide automatic trading platforms that automatically buy and sell stock or shares at a predetermined price or time.
  • asset management quantitative analysts: you assist risk management teams in mitigating investment losses. You develop statistical models and tools to evaluate the potential of an investment.
  • front-office quantitative analysts: as a quantitative analyst, you work with traders on the trading floor of an investment bank. You develop models that predict the prices of assets and guide on the shares or stocks to buy or sell. You also develop statistical methods for risk management.
male working from home looking at the screen.
male working from home looking at the screen.

working as a quantitative analyst

If you are interested in working as a quantitative analyst, check out the duties, daily responsibilities and work environments in the role.


education and skills

You need the following academic qualifications to become a quantitative analyst:

  • bachelor’s degree: to become a quantitative analyst, pursue a degree in data analysis, finance, computer science or mathematics. The degree course should equip you with knowledge in computer modelling, statistical applications, financial data and algorithmic functions. A master’s degree in a relevant field improves your employment prospects.
  • work experience: consider finding internships and entry-level jobs to gain experience. You can work entry-level jobs in financial institutions and data analysis to improve your skills. When you know the field you want to pursue, specialise in one aspect of quantitative analysis and improve your knowledge. While certification is voluntary, some employers may require quantitative analysts to receive a Chartered Financial Analyst certificate.

quantitative analyst skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a quantitative analyst include the following:

  • technical expertise: as a quantitative analyst, you require technical skills in modelling, computer software applications and data analysis. You also rely on computer programming knowledge to develop statistical models or program algorithmic trading models. Your technical expertise is valuable in performing your duties, and you can improve them through academic qualifications.
  • communication skills: after performing analysis, you relay the findings to the relevant stakeholders. You also interpret the results of your analysis to senior managers and shareholders. Communication skills help you explain complex analytical data in simple terms.
  • problem-solving skills: as a quantitative analyst, you determine the best stocks to trade and determine risk factors affecting the investment. When problems arise in algorithmic trading models, you rely on your problem-solving skills to resolve the issues.
  • organisation skills: as a quantitative analyst, you work on multiple projects and perform analysis for different departments. You rely on organisation skills to prioritise tasks and remain calm under pressure.

FAQs about working as a quantitative analyst

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a quantitative analyst.

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