Keep yourself updated with the latest technologies in Stock Market and become a pro using Quantra
In recent years, the usage of python for diverse reasons has gone a long way ahead and still moving forward with a healthy trend. Let it be healthcare or automotive sectors, python is everywhere, and not to mention, the stock market is no exception. Tons and tons of innovative ideas and applications are enhanced using python to help traders or investors take advantage of the market.
While discussing the conjugation of programming and the stock market, we definitely have to speak about Quantitative Finance. It is an emerging field in the Finance domain that combines programming and finance to make a hefty amount of money out of the market. People in this field claim themselves as Quants who primarily use python for their research work and build quantitative models to apply it in the real-world market.
This is the next big thing in the stock market industry but, there exists a problem with Quantitative Finance which is the lack of educational resources available in both universities and the internet. Only a handful amount colleges offer Quantitative Finance courses and the same case with the internet and online educational platforms. So, what’s the solution? The answer would be, Quantra.
What is Quantra?
Let’s first discuss what this platform is all about and what type of content do they offer. Quantra is an online education platform dedicated to teaching students how Python is used in the field of Quantitative Finance. As of now, Quantra offers 37 online courses in diverse topics that are suitable for beginners as well as experienced people.
Apart from these standalone courses, they offer something called bundles which are nothing but dedicated learning tracks comprising a bunch of courses and these bundles help you learn whatever you need to know about a specific topic in Quantitative Finance (just like a specialization).
Why choose Quantra?
Now, there are several reasons why to choose Quantra to start building your career as a Quant.
Flexibility in learning
When I took courses about Quantitative Finance on other platforms, the deadlines for each assignment pressurizes and hurries me to complete the portion. This is really tough because fields like Quantitative Finance are specialized and costs a lot of time to master.
But in Quantra, you don’t have the necessary to worry about this issue because you will be provided with lifetime access once you’ve enrolled in any one of their courses and no deadlines for any of the course assignments. Since all of the courses have lifetime access, you can jump on to the course whenever you want, download the resources to your needs, and can take quizzes as many times as you want.
Versatile learning experience
In order to eradicate the monotonous feeling of learners by just watching videos, Quantra takes the learning process a step further and offers a different number of ways to make the content and insights be easily understandable.
Quantra’s primary focus is on using Python to build quantitative models so there is definitely a lot of coding exercises but what’s interesting is it’s not just any Q&A but they have a dedicated interactive platform where you have to code the questions. This helps learners in a lot more ways and builds a certain level of confidence in writing their own code.
The next innovative initiative they took in making the learners understand the code is they attached several Jupyter Notebooks in each section of a course. Using these notebooks, we can try and experiment with whatever we want to without any prior packages being installed.
Next comes the classic trivia questions and this can be found on every other platform too but what’s unique about this is the type of questions they ask. In my experience with previous MOOCs, the trivia questions being asked will be most related to definitions or any theoretical concepts, whereas, Quantra emphasizes a lot of practical questions than theoretical questions. This really encourages learners to dive deep into the topic and understand the underlying ideology instead of just skimming through the concepts.
An intuitive way of teaching
I have experience with taking a lot of online courses and most of them will be a professor talking and explaining the concepts. This is not bad in any aspect but sometimes might be hard to catch up with more advanced ideas.
So to tackle this problem, Quntra offers a fresh learning experience where they teach the courses with easy-to-understand presentations comprising of tons and tons of animated graphical representations and diagrams. The presentations break down complex ideologies into tiny pieces and help learners hold a tight grasp of the concept. This unique way of teaching helps newbies build confidence in learning new and more complex ideas.
Quantitative Finance is quite a massive field and growing its branches ever since, and so is Quantra. Starting from python basics for finance, Quantra offers a huge variety of specializations that extends to deep learning and reinforcement learning for finance. Each one of the specializations is crafted in such a way that even beginners could cope with concepts that are new and much advanced.
One thing I truly admire about Quantra when it comes to accommodating diverse topics is how they classified and made it easy for learners to choose the right learning track or course for them. The first thing they do when you land on their course-listing page is to ask what exactly are you aiming to do and considering your input, the platform will handpick and chooses you the best suitable ones (with a lot of options) which is great because other MOOC platforms also do have an extensive amount of online courses but it will be tough for amateurs to pick the right one since they have no prior background. So it is with mentioning that Quantra invested a lot of time to organize their courses and did an exceptional job with them.
Hands-on learning with various libraries
As I said before, Python plays a crucial role in every course or learning track offered by Quantra, and not to mention, you will come across a lot of python libraries for both general purposes and specific financial tasks.
Packages like NumPy, Matplotlib, Pandas will be used quite exhaustively for general tasks like exploring the data, visualizing it, so on and so forth. When it comes to finance-centric libraries, you will be taught with TA-Lib which is a module that calculates a ton of technical indicators, YFinance that helps to extract historical time-series stock data for the given ticker, Zipline for conducting backtesting processes along with many more specialized libraries.
Turning Hypothesis into a Live trading strategy
This is the most interesting feature of Quantra that distinguishes itself from other MOOCs. While pursuing courses on Quantra, you will be taught a lot of quantitative trading strategies, and at one stage, enables you to create your own. But now, where and how to implement it? This is where Quantra’s Blueshift comes into play.
It is an interactive cloud application that runs on any laptop or PC which can be used to run backtests and take your trading strategies into the real-world market. All you have to do is to come up with a quantitative trading strategy, backtest it on the Blueshift platform to analyze its performance (make sure it’s profitable), and take your strategy to the live market by connecting to a broker of your choice (currently supported brokers by Blueshift: FXCM, Alpaca, and MasterTrust).
The best part about this application is it’s free to anyone who has enrolled in any of the courses on Quantra which is amazing because it is not so common to come across applications with such capabilities and costs zero money. Another interesting thing about Blueshift is the access to pre-existing trading templates that can be the holy grail to many beginners because they might find it difficult to construct a trading strategy from scratch.
Also, there is nothing to worry about where to learn about this platform and how can it be used because it will be explained in a crystal-clear manner in all of Quantra’s courses.
I’m a Quantitative Finance enthusiast but the resources available to learn it are so limited that it is only available in universities and then when I came across Quantra for the first time, it looked like a lifesaver to me. In just a short span of time, I fell in love with Quantra given its high-quality education tracks that teach in-and-out of the concepts.
In my experience, the meaning of having prior background doesn't include in Quantra’s dictionary because every other program offered is structured in such a way that it can be understood by a five-year-old. Let it be beginner or intermediate level courses, every one of’em never fails to have a ‘Python basics’ section that goes through the preliminary python concepts. Is Quantra advisable for experienced people? As I said before, Quantra offers various levels of courses, including advanced ones, and enrolling in such courses is worthwhile (even for people having strong backgrounds).
In summary, Quantra is the best place to start carving your path into the field of Quantitative Finance with the right educational resources and infrastructure. Without giving a second thought, enroll yourself into the courses offered by Quantra, and become a Quant!