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Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives Hardcover – 26 Jan 2011

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Hardcover, 26 Jan 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Unparalleled resource for those entering quantitative finance 19 Feb. 2012
By Max Falcon - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This review is written for many of those switching to quantitative finance from other fields. Hull's book will become an essential foundation-builder for such people.

Let's assume you want to become a quantitative analyst or a risk manager switching from another, preferably quantitative, field. Then in order to get a job you need to have the following:

1. Knowledge of derivatives and markets;
2. Knowledge of statistical methods and data analysis with applications in finance;
3. Computational methods supported by software such as C++ and R to be able to apply theoretical knowledge obtained in 1 and 2;
4. Proof that you have decent understanding of finance through obtaining a designation such as PRM (Since, under our assumption, you enter finance from a different field, you don't have work experience. That is why PRM will be the most suitable for you as you will just need to be well prepared academically to pass the exams and get the designation).

The book under review will be absolutely essential for you for clearing steps 1 and 4. It has been written with the care for the reader in mind.

Hull, in contrast to many other authors, does not try to show off his intellectual superiority by using complicated and abstract language which would normally be designed to make the reader feel miserable. In contrast, he wants the reader to become knowledgeable by carefully guiding him through complicated topics with numerous examples and explanations. The friendliness of exposition does not mean that the rigor is lost though; the book is written with the perfect rigor, but it is achieved without making it too dry and abstract. The scope of coverage is amazing: all major aspects of derivatives and markets connected with them have been covered. Particular importance is that Hull gives lots of practical exercises which should be completed to obtain fluency in the theory and its applications. Only after you work carefully through the book, you can strengthen your skills of (1) by working through other texts, such as Joshi's The Concepts and Practice of Mathematical Finance (Mathematics, Finance and Risk) and More mathematical finance.

To get the grasp of (2) and (3), you can work through Ruppert's Statistics and Data Analysis for Financial Engineering (Springer Texts in Statistics) and Joshi's C++ Design Patterns and Derivatives Pricing (Mathematics, Finance and Risk).

This book, together with the official handbook, will definitely prepare you for PRM, thus fulfilling (4). Without it, preparation for the PRM will be difficult, if you don't have prior financial experience.

I don't know about another high-quality, reader-friendly resource which could compete with Hull's book in providing a strong foundation in becoming a serious financial engineer. When one is entering new field, a good starting book is essential as it will either make the transition easy or frustrating. The book under review will make such transition painless.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The Best Quant Finance Book 16 Jun. 2012
By Yue Zhao - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books before this book, including Shreve, Cont and Tankov, etc. All those books are supposed to be "standard" textbooks for MFE students or students in other fields who want to become Quants. However, Hull's Book is the only one that taught me "why" besides "how". After reading this book, all mathematical formulas finally become clear to me. The pain in studying quantitative finance is that you understand various pricing models but don't know why they are useful. Hull did an excellent work in bridging the two.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Still The Gold Standard of Derivatives Textbooks 2 Feb. 2012
By Gregory Sautov - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One of the most thorough and clearly written texts on the complex subject of Derivatives Finance, this book is very well suited for academic purposes as well as for practicioners of finance. An impressive feature of the style in which the material is presented is that the author does not try to impress the reader with sophisticated mathematics, but instead adopts a more intuitive approach to communicating the way in which financial instruments are priced. This is a rare feature of high-level finance books, and makes the reading experience more fluid and instructive.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Use as a refresher? 22 Jan. 2014
By Optimist - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is overrated as a bible and a must-have textbook. There is absolutely no attempt in explaining any concepts, the style of the book is like an encyclopedia of facts covering the various asset classes and basics. I can only think this would be a good refresher to check one's knowledge for interviews. I also attended a multi-day seminar by John Hull which was based on this book, sadly it did not help advance my understanding as such. In turn my recommendation would be Salih Neftci's books, where both theory and practice are laid out with no ambiguity. Perhaps because it is prescribed as a textbook, Hull's book has been steadily getting pricier over the years.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
An amazing book, but so expensive in the US! 5 Dec. 2012
By M. Bennett - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing in terms of it accessibility and ease of use when I am using to study up on options and derivatives for my new career. It explains at both a high level getting you upto speed with the fundamentals and then delving deeper into the mathematics behind most of the systems.

I am also glad I live in a third world country like the UK (thats irony folks) where I bought this book for 30 pounds, not the 200 odd dollars you get charged in the US. I understand this is an elite area of study but really the book isn't worth that amount of money.

In terms of content and use 5 stars, price in the US 1 star, elsewhere 4 stars. Pays to shop around.
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