Visual Quantitative Finance: A New Look at Option Pricing, Risk Management, and Structured Securities

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9780132929196: Visual Quantitative Finance: A New Look at Option Pricing, Risk Management, and Structured Securities

This book makes quantitative finance (almost) easy! Its new visual approach makes quantitative finance accessible to a broad audience, including those without strong backgrounds in math or finance. Michael Lovelady introduces a simplified but powerful technique for calculating profit probabilities and graphically representing the outcomes. Lovelady's "pictures" highlight key characteristics of structured securities such as the increased likelihood of profits, the level of virtual dividends being generated, and market risk exposures. After explaining his visual approach, he applies it to one of today's hottest investing trends: lower-volatility, higher-income strategies. Because of today's intense interest in alternative investments and structured securities, this book reviews their unique advantages to investors, managers and advisors of retail and institutional portfolios. Visual Quantitative Finance focuses on key topics directly related to the design, pricing and communication of structured securities, including stochastic price projections and the framework underlying options pricing formulas. The key is Lovelady's explicit use of probabilities in a spreadsheet format. By working directly with the underlying assumptions, he transforms the Black-Scholes framework into five columns of a simple Excel spreadsheet, with no complicated formulas -- making structured securities far more intuitive to design, evaluate and manage. For all investors, students, and financial professionals who are interested in quantitative finance, risk measurement, options pricing, structured securities, or financial model building - and for everyone who needs to explain these topics to someone else. For those with quantitative backgrounds, this guide offers powerful new tools for design and risk management, simplifying the design and evaluation of innovative instruments. For everyone else, Lovelady makes the subject comprehensible for the first time.

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From the Back Cover:

“Michael Lovelady takes a very complex topic and explains it in basic, clear terms. Anyone interested in gaining insight about how the logic behind options pricing works needs to learn the visual quantitative finance skills in this book. This is the key to managing risk and to designing options strategies. The author has combined mathematical formulation with clarity of thought and expression.”
--Michael C. Thomsett, author of Options Trading for the Conservative Investor, and co-founder of ThomsettOptions.com

Visual Quantitative Finance demystifies the complex mathematics of quantitative finance by moving from the abstract to the intuitive. Lovelady lays bare the mechanics of the Black-Scholes formula and then uses the framework to explain, both intuitively and visually, risk management and options-based structured securities. A crowning achievement in simplicity that will benefit investors and students alike!”
--Don DePamphilis, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Finance, Loyola Marymount University, and author of Mergers, Acquisitions, and Other Restructuring Activities, 7th Edition

Modern Quantitative Finance Demystified!  A simpler, visual approach for every investor, financial professional, and student.

Most investors today recognize the inadequacy of traditional strategies and instruments. However, they sensibly refuse to invest in securities they don’t understand. Unfortunately, alternative investments based on quantitative finance have been shrouded in confusion and advanced mathematics--placing them off limits to many investors who could profit from them. Now, Michael Lovelady cuts through the complexity, introducing a powerful visual approach to understanding options and related alternative investments.

Blending practice and theory, Lovelady illuminates and simplifies the core principles of modern quantitative finance. Lovelady introduces an intuitive, visual framework for understanding option pricing: foundational knowledge for managing risk and designing alternative strategies. Then, building on this framework, Lovelady presents a complete option-based model for tailoring risk/reward profiles, adjusting market exposure, generating income, and building creative portfolio structures.

Visual Quantitative Finance will be invaluable to retail and institutional investors contemplating alternative investments, to advisors who guide them, and to all students of finance.

Coverage includes:
· Random variables and option pricing
· Option pricing methods
· VaR and CVaR
· Black-Scholes models
· Investment profiles and model building
· Stock-only and option-based profiles
· Covered calls, condors, and SynAs
· Understanding price changes
· Greeks
· Position management
· Synthetic annuities, and more

Michael Lovelady makes quantitative finance more intuitive, visual, and accessible than ever before--giving investors the knowledge they need to confidently consider alternative strategies for controlling risk and increasing profit.

Lovelady introduces powerful visual techniques for analyzing options pricing, profit probabilities, virtual dividends, market risk exposure, and more. After introducing his visual approach, he applies it to one of today’s most important investing trends: lower-volatility, higher-income strategies.

Visual Quantitative Finance will be invaluable for everyone interested in quantitative finance, options, risk, structured securities, or financial model building--and for everyone who must explain these topics to nonspecialists.

About the Author:

Michael Lovelady, CFA, ASA, EA, works as an investment strategist and portfolio manager, where he specializes in blending traditional and quantitative styles, including reduced-volatility and yield-enhanced option strategies. Michael developed the synthetic annuity and is the author of Profiting with Synthetic Annuities: Options Strategies to Increase Yield and Control Portfolio Risk.

Prior to hedge fund management, Michael was a consulting actuary for Towers Watson and PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked with employers on the design and funding requirements of plans ranging from defined benefit and defined contribution to hybrid db/dc plans. His experience with retirement income strategies—both as an actuary from the liability side and as a fund manager from the asset side—gives him a unique perspective.

Michael has also been involved in teaching and creating new methods for making quantitative investing more accessible to students, trustees, and others interested in investment and risk management. He developed the investment profile—a graphical representation of risk and the basis of a simplified option pricing model, and visually intuitive presentations of structured securities.

During his career, Michael has served various organizations, including Hughes Aircraft, Boeing, Global Santa Fe, Dresser Industries, the Screen Actors Guild, The Walt Disney Company, Hilton Hotels, CSC, and the Depository Trust Company. He is a CFA charterholder, an Associate of the Society of Actuaries, and an ERISA Enrolled Actuary. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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