##%%income sacrifice to avoid stagnation

I have this habit of giving up higher income, in order to keep learning something of strategic value,

  • before it’s “too late” — i.e. before the opportunity disappears
  • The prospect of blood-letting (wasted cycles) is too painful.
  • I felt my peers were moving ahead of me, while I stood still.
%loss higher income forgone lower income to gain … tangible ROI intangible ROI
2002 50% Zed ->SCS presales none
2003 40% SCS ->self-employ entre none
2004 70% Sperion ->self-employ entre none
2007 7% Barks FX offer OC 100% c#, quant dev learned enough to crack some c#IV
2017 10%+ Pimco C++/FI offer ICE 100% c++
—-  —- —————
2013 not a job UChicago formal math training Master’s degree, branded uni confidence in math; self-confidence

For the UChicago motivation, there’s a separate blog post.

In 2017, I felt my c++ had not reached the critical mass despite my long self-study. A power drill was required to break the stone wall.

##real reasons I didn’t take a2011c++job]U.S.

Reason – the salary gap between my c++ offers and java offers. I think the highest c++ offer was PIMCO, around $100/hr paid to agency (Huxley?). Most of the time, the java offers paid me (significantly) more than c++.

Reason — I also felt I could fairly easily crack the typical c++ interviews from then on. Now (2017) I doubt it.

Reason — some of the c++ jobs were not so “glamorous” less trading, less mainstream. Now (2017) I don’t care so much

voluntary pay cut – often unnecessary

A few times in my career I considered to (or did) take a pay cut, mostly to break into some domain or learn something hard to acquire, things like

* quant
* C++ HFT
* dotnet
* oracle DBA
* technical pre-sales
* threading, MOM for trading engine

Each time, it’s crucial to question and be critical about the promised benefits. Most of the time, we would regret the sacrifice.

https://bintanvictor.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/c-learning-aids/ has some c++ learning aids that could possibly reduce the need for those pay-cuts

quant^HFT^WestCoast, again

After I felt fairly established on Wall St (around 2011), I looked for greener pastures:

  1. quant dev
  2. HFT
  3. high-end positions in the west coast. Not sure what positions exactly — mobile? machine learning? cloud?
  4. regular Wall St c++  job

In fact my java jobs on Wall St is not that inferior, and has the advantage of reachability. In contrast, those greener pastures still look rather distant. They look closer when I’m in a positive mood. But let’s put on the black hat and be critical and skeptical:

Quant dev is low-churn but demand is kinda shrinking.

HFT is rather niche skillset, possibly less relevant to west coast than java and regular c++.

1) 2) 3) are mostly FTE, not contracts. Regular c++ is contract-friendly and more reachable.

I used to feel the quant domain is hardest. Now I feel it’s shrinking. Now I feel I’m in much better shape. I made the decision to focus on quant early, assuming I could self-study and break into HFT later.

Data science? Math is much easier than quant finance, and I have some training in it.

C++? I now have more hands-on experience

(personal)advantages: trying west coast

See also https://1330152open.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/stickyusa-sgp-5-advantages-each-personal-view-610/

  1. Advantage: no kids with me. Easier to adjust
  2. Advantage: no house yet. Easier to move
  3. strength: algo interviews
  4. strength: I could be good at optimizing, research, scalability — natural not artificial complexities
  5. strength: attention to details — more valued in product companies than on Wall St
  6. Advantage: web technology is probably easier than c++
  7. strength: I’m a calculated risk taker

constant study (over last5Y)keeps brain young#like muscle

I believe our mind (esp. our memory) is like a muscle. If we don't

seriously use it, it tends to age, weaken and lose capacity.

Over the last 5 years, i spent 2009-2011 in the US on my own —

tremendous learning and improvement, perhaps the most active learning

period in my professional life. Then after I came back to SG, i

studied financial math program, c#/dotnet, and some c++.

I feel the serious study keeps my mind active. However, over the last

18 months, I notice various signs of my learning capacity reducing,

but it's not all due to aging —

* biggest factor is lack of concentration, due to kids and family commitment

* not enough time to periodically re-visit each topic,

After all, I feel it's vital and paramount to keep our mind in

constant learning mode. 活到老学到老.