# Can I still become a quant?

For starters I dont go to a college like Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, etc. Im interested in becoming a quant, but the issue is that I was arrested a few years ago. Long story short I didn't get convicted of the crime and it was later expunged. Even though I was not convicted is it still possible for me to become a quant or is that not possible now?

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rkr
Gold Member
It is still possible even if you don't go to a feeder school. There's plenty of mid-tier firms that don't hire directly from feeder schools. To get to a top tier firm though, you will likely have to take a hop (e.g. first job, internships) at reputed firms in related fields (e.g. tech).

As for your background records, I guess from a legal standpoint you have no reason to disclose and from an administrative standpoint there is good likelihood the firm will never know. So again, yes it is still possible.

Zap
You could still most likely join the FBI, if you wanted to, unless it was a drug charge.

Staff Emeritus
2019 Award

Stop wasting your time. Stop wasting ours. Talk to a damn lawyer.

I think you need to take a serious look at yourself before going down this path. First it will take you 5-10 years from where you are now to complete this, and over the last two years you have changed your mind about what you want to do several times. Given that, I'd plan for shorter goals - I'll do X in two years, and my next step after that will be A or B or maybe C. Perhaps one of these leads to being a quant.

Also, your history is that you did poorly in math in HS, and then in CC your grades zoomed up. Maybe it's because you are learning better now. Maybe it's grad inflation, which many CC's are notorious for. I'd want to know before setting my sights on being a quant.

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bhobba and Locrian

Stop wasting your time. Stop wasting ours. Talk to a damn lawyer.

I think you need to take a serious look at yourself before going down this path. First it will take you 5-10 years from where you are now to complete this, and over the last two years you have changed your mind about what you want to do several times. Given that, I'd plan for shorter goals - I'll do X in two years, and my next step after that will be A or B or maybe C. Perhaps one of these leads to being a quant.

Also, your history is that you did poorly in math in HS, and then in CC your grades zoomed up. Maybe it's because you are learning better now. Maybe it's grad inflation, which many CC's are notorious for. I'd want to know before setting my sights on being a quant.
It's not grade inflation at all. I am doing better in math at my CC than I did back in HS. I just wanted to know whether I can be a quant developer despite not going to MIT, Carnegie, CalTech, etc. and the fact that I have an arrest record.

Staff Emeritus
2019 Award
It's not grade inflation at all.
Good to hear.

I have an arrest record.
Talk to a lawyer.

Locrian
so in other words its not gonna happen?

haushofer
So in other words: talk to a lawyer :P

I cant afford to talk to a lawyer. Besides what does a lawyer have anything do do about being a quant anyway?

Staff Emeritus
2019 Award
I cant afford to talk to a lawyer
So instead you are going to ask people who don't know the answer? Does this sound smart? Further, if you type those exact words into Google, you get 48 million hits. But instead you come to a forum of people who are not lawyers for legal advice. Does this sound smart?

First off I came here to ask whether or not I can be a quant or not because I have an arrest record that got expunged. No way shape or form I came here for legal advice. I came here for CAREER ADVICE hence why I posted in this thread. I mean what am I going to tell him/her "oh hey I want to be a quant, but I have an expunged arrest record. Can I still be a quant someday"? I highly doubt they'll know what a quant is and would know that answer. Also when you say lawyer what lawyer do you want me to talk to? Criminal Lawyer? Employment Lawyer? Tax Lawyer? Thats why I came here to ask whether or not if I can become a quant still.

Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
My rough understanding is if you are an employee for a stock broker, you cannot have committed a felony in the last ten years, or certain kinds of misdemeanors. I don't think an arrest is disqualifying. You usually don't have to disclose being arrested during the interview process I think, don't they only ask about felonies (and some states don't even allow that). So I guess the answer is, probably? Not all quants even work for a broker dealer, at which point it's just like getting any other job.

I don't have any felonies or convictions. Just that one arrest and thats it.

If you're trying to become a quant, you're not going about it the right way, and I think you need to explore other methods of getting the info you need. Any time you spend here is time you could have been doing something useful towards your goal.

If you're just trolling Vanadium 50 then you're doing fine and you have my full support.

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CrysPhys
First off I came here to ask whether or not I can be a quant or not because I have an arrest record that got expunged. No way shape or form I came here for legal advice. I came here for CAREER ADVICE hence why I posted in this thread. I mean what am I going to tell him/her "oh hey I want to be a quant, but I have an expunged arrest record. Can I still be a quant someday"? I highly doubt they'll know what a quant is and would know that answer. Also when you say lawyer what lawyer do you want me to talk to? Criminal Lawyer? Employment Lawyer? Tax Lawyer? Thats why I came here to ask whether or not if I can become a quant still.
You did not ask for typical career advice such as desired educational background, job opportunities, salary, or working conditions as a quant. You specifically asked whether a prior arrest (no conviction, record expunged) would bar you from employment as a quant. That indeed falls into the category of seeking legal advice, rather than career advice. I would first consult an employment attorney. If he decides that he's not the appropriate attorney, he will then refer you to an appropriate attorney. Typically, an attorney does not charge for an initial brief call in which you explain your situation and the type of help you need (confirm this with any particular attorney). He will then decide whether your case is within his scope of practice, or whether you would be better served by someone else. If it's within his scope, he will provide you with a cost estimate.

No one here can provide you with a definitive answer (which may depend on a number of factors) unless he's an attorney. And no attorney will provide legal advice (specific to an individual case) in a public forum. The most you can expect is, "In general, here are various factors and regulations to consider: ..... For an answer to your specific case, consult an attorney."

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Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I still maintain the answer is probably. Are you still going to school? Just apply for an internship where you want to work, if a previous arrest is disqualifying they will say something during the application process. That will probably be more informative than anything you will get from this thread.

Look, if the job application asks "have you been convicted of a felony" you can say "no." If it asks, "have you ever been arrested, even if not convicted?" nobody here can say if being "expunged" allows you to answer honestly, "no." That's a legal question (what does "expunged" really mean?)

If your question is, "if I answer yes, will I still be hired?" then again, nobody here can answer, since it depends on the job, the interviewer, the crime, the circumstances, why it was expunged, and so on...

bhobba
Mentor
Regarding are you up to the technical challenge a good guide would be doing some actuarial exams. They are well known to sort the men from the boys as far as financial math is concerned. If you pass them that also opens up another avenue to consider instead of a quant - being an Actuary - these days they are closely related anyway - one of the possible ways of meeting one of the requirements to be a Fellow of the Actuarial Society here in Aus is to be a Certified Financial Analyst. But just to indicate the rigour they require another possible way is to have a PhD. One of my professors said, overall, it is about halfway between a Masters and a Phd - but to compensate the pay and job prospects are excellent. I doubt your previous legal history will be an issue - but as has been emphasised do consult a lawyer.

Thanks
Bill

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CrysPhys
To: OP. A key piece of missing info is how far along are you in the route preparing to becoming a quant?

At one extreme, if you've already committed X years and are near the end of the route, and are only now asking whether some incident in your past will bar you from employment as a quant, well, the question is rather moot, isn't it? You might as well just apply, and see if you qualify or not.

On the other extreme, if you are just starting out on a program that will take X years to complete, and you have this nagging worry at the back of your mind that some incident in your past will cause that X years to have been in vain, then it's certainly worthwhile to consult an attorney in advance, isn't it? Do you really want to depend on random people posting, "You're probably OK, I guess." [even, if they assert with forceful conviction, "Yes, I'm certain that you're probably OK, I guess." ]? And suppose, hypothetically, someone does post, "Oh, I too was arrested for a crime, was not convicted, and got my record expunged. And, yipee, I was hired as a quant. [Or, alternatively, crap, I was barred from being hired as a quant.]"? Can you generalize that poster's scenario to your own, given all the variables that could come into play?

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Zap
I was arrested when I was 21 and was convicted of a DWI. It has not held me back at all. The typical job application, and even some applications for security clearances, will ask about felony charges and drug related charges in the past 7 years. That happened ten years ago for me, so it has absolutely no affect on my life. Your arrest may not even show up on a background check. I would just pretend that it never happened, because unless you're joining the military or joining the FBI, no one is going to ask you if you have ever been arrested for anything in your lifetime. That doesn't mean you can't still join the military or join the FBI. You'd just have to tell them that at one point you were arrested. Typical jobs are looking for felony convictions in the past 7 years. You weren't even convicted of anything. I wouldn't give it a second thought.

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CrysPhys
I was arrested when I was 21 and was convicted of a DWI. It has not held me back at all. The typical job application, and even some applications for security clearances, will ask about felony charges and drug related charges in the past 7 years. That happened ten years ago for me, so it has absolutely no affect on my life. Your arrest may not even show up on a background check. I would just pretend that it never happened, because unless you're joining the military or joining the FBI, no one is going to ask you if you have ever been arrested for anything in your lifetime. That doesn't mean you can't still join the military or join the FBI. You'd just have to tell them that at one point you were arrested. Typical jobs are looking for felony convictions in the past 7 years. You weren't even convicted of anything. I wouldn't give it a second thought.
On the flip side, people applying to take the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) Patent Bar Exam need to answer a series of questions to assess their "moral character and reputation" . [General Requirements Bulletin, Application for Registration to Practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, lines 14 -- 21. Can be downloaded from: https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-...ers/becoming-patent-practitioner/registration]

One of the questions is the following:

"15. Have you ever been arrested, charged, or held by Federal, State, or other law enforcement authorities for any violation of any Federal or State law, or any country or municipal law, regulation, or ordinance? (Do not include any misdemeanor before your 16th birthday or traffic violations for which the fine was $100.00 or less.)" If you answer "YES" to any one of these questions, you must provide a detailed explanation and documentation: "BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Candor and truthfulness are significant elements of fitness relevant to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You should, therefore, provide the Office of Enrollment and Discipline with all available information, however unfavorable, even if its relevance is in doubt, with regard to the questions asked below. For each question answered “YES,” provide a detailed statement setting forth all relevant facts and dates along with verified copies of relevant documents. Your responses must be updated, as necessary, prior to your registration. Any documents, evidence or proofs previously filed in a prior application need not be resubmitted unless your response to a question must be changed. Failure to disclose the requested information may result in denial of registration or in disciplinary proceedings, should you become registered. See 37 CFR §§ 11.7(a)(2)(ii), 11.19, and 11.801." Answering "YES" does not automatically disqualify you. But not answering truthfully can create problems (even further down the line in your career, should you take the exam, pass, and become a registered patent practitioner; and someone digs into your past). What questions a prospective quant would face, I don't know; and I won't guess. Last edited: MathematicalPhysicist Gold Member You asked about your legal status here two years ago. You got some good advice - talk to a lawyer. Instead you asked on Reddit, Now you're back asking us. Stop wasting your time. Stop wasting ours. Talk to a damn lawyer. I think you need to take a serious look at yourself before going down this path. First it will take you 5-10 years from where you are now to complete this, and over the last two years you have changed your mind about what you want to do several times. Given that, I'd plan for shorter goals - I'll do X in two years, and my next step after that will be A or B or maybe C. Perhaps one of these leads to being a quant. Also, your history is that you did poorly in math in HS, and then in CC your grades zoomed up. Maybe it's because you are learning better now. Maybe it's grad inflation, which many CC's are notorious for. I'd want to know before setting my sights on being a quant. No one is wasting your time. It's your decision how to waste it. Zap On the flip side, people applying to take the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) Patent Bar Exam need to answer a series of questions to assess their "moral character and reputation" . [General Requirements Bulletin, Application for Registration to Practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, lines 14 -- 21. Can be downloaded from: https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-...ers/becoming-patent-practitioner/registration] One of the questions is the following: "15. Have you ever been arrested, charged, or held by Federal, State, or other law enforcement authorities for any violation of any Federal or State law, or any country or municipal law, regulation, or ordinance? (Do not include any misdemeanor before your 16th birthday or traffic violations for which the fine was$100.00 or less.)"

If you answer "YES" to any one of these questions, you must provide a detailed explanation and documentation:

"BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Candor and truthfulness are significant elements of fitness relevant to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You should, therefore, provide the Office of Enrollment and Discipline with all available information, however unfavorable, even if its relevance is in doubt, with regard to the questions asked below. For each question answered “YES,” provide a detailed statement setting forth all relevant facts and dates along with verified copies of relevant documents. Your responses must be updated, as necessary, prior to your registration. Any documents, evidence or proofs previously filed in a prior application need not be resubmitted unless your response to a question must be changed. Failure to disclose the requested information may result in denial of registration or in disciplinary proceedings, should you become registered. See 37 CFR §§ 11.7(a)(2)(ii), 11.19, and 11.801."

Answering "YES" does not automatically disqualify you. But not answering truthfully can create problems (even further down the line in your career, should you take the exam, pass, and become a registered patent practitioner; and someone digs into your past).

What questions a prospective quant would face, I don't know; and I won't guess.
Doubt those kinds of questions will be asked of a quant. I've never seen a question asking if I've ever been arrested for anything in my life except when trying to join the military and the FBI. Not that having been arrested would disqualify me. Those were just the only times I've ever been asked whether I've ever been arrested for any reason before. I told an FBI recruiter about my arrest (I wouldn't tell any recruiter, this was for the FBI), and she didn't seem to care about it at all.

My recommendation to OP is to forget about it. It's not even worth stressing over. No one is going to care, and majority of people aren't going to ask. It's not going to hold you back at all.

I was even interviewed for a job that required a top secret security clearance and involved manufacturing nuclear bombs. I had told them about my single arrest and charge before getting the interview.

So, dude, you want to be a quant, not a CIA specialist. No one is going to care about nor are they likely going to try and look for a single arrest on your record. And even if you wanted to be a CIA specialist, I highly doubt they are going to care about a single arrest that didn't lead to a charge. You're making a mountain out of a mole hill.

You're not a criminal if you make a mistake one time in your friggin life. Criminals are repeat offenders and have a trail of arrests leading up to the present day. No one is going to worry about someone who was arrested one time years ago and has not done anything since.

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CrysPhys
You're not a criminal if you make a mistake one time in your friggin life. Criminals are repeat offenders and have a trail of arrests leading up to the present day. No one is going to worry about someone who was arrested one time years ago and has not done anything since.
<<Emphasis added.>> So you get into a fight with another dude, pull out your gun, blow his brains out, run away, live a clean life for the next X years, and you're not a criminal? Really?

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