I'm interviewing for a rates modeling quant role in a sell side bank. The role is centered around pricing and risk management of rates trading carried out by the front office.

I've been told to prepare for the technical aspect of the interview, with emphasis on topics like risk-free pricing, risk-neutral pricing, swaptions, etc. I've also been told to refer to books like Andersen and Piterbarg, Brigo Mercurio to learn these topics from.

I don't have any background in finance, and I have an undergrad degree in engineering (think Chem/Mech/Civil). The problem I'm facing is, texts like Andersen, Brigo are coming across as advanced or high level, and I can easily feel some knowledge gap between my own level and whatever these texts contain. I started refering to some lecture notes by Damir Filipovic who takes a coursera course on Interest Rates Modeling, but even his notes are on some intermediate/advanced level.

I'm searching for some reference book that starts from fundamentals that explains basic concepts and only then becomes advanced, helps me build an intuition, and gets into interest rates modeling from thereon. Basically, start building concepts from anchor points that an engineering undergrad would be aware of, and only then touch areas like interest rate derivatives pricing and rates modeling. Would be very helpful if you could name a few books/references that I could use. Thank you.


1 Answer 1


To understand the fundamentals of rates trading, I would begin by understanding the fundamentals of derivatives markets. Usually, it is easiest to understand the concepts through simple equity derivatives before moving on to the more complex interest rate derivatives. All of this is explained well in the classic Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives by John C. Hull, which requires no prior knowledge of finance. Alternatively, you can have a look at Derivatives Markets by McDonald, Robert L., which is similar in level.

Then, once you have a grasp of the intuition, it is time to get into the mathematics behind the models (stochastic calculus, measure theory etc.). For this, it seems like you have plenty of resources. I would definitely recommend Brigo & Mercurio: Interest Rate Models as you suggest.


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