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Billionaire James Simons: Quantitative Investment Strategy, Career and Trading (2019)

An interview and Q&A with billionaire and founder of the quantitative hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, James Simons. In this interview, James discusses his quantitative approach to investing and how this has evolved over his career. James also talks about fundamental trading and how his management style has helped make Renaissance Technologies so successful.

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Video Segments:
0:00 Introduction
5:20 Were you precocious about business as a child?
7:06 When did you start thinking about business?
12:15 Your first investment was leveraged contracts on futures?
13:05 What got you interested in business?
15:13 Did any code breaking have applicability to finance?
17:40 Investing in foreign currency after Stoneybrook?
29:19 Interesting history?
31:34 Joining Stoney Brook mathematics department?
37:03 Leaving Stoney Brook to trade?
37:57 Fundamental trading technique?
39:54 Track record of Medallion fund?
44:28 How many employees do you have?
47:25 Employees are top of their field?
49:53 How do you manage lots of talented people?
52:42 A theory as to why Renaissance is so successful?
56:26 How did you know about the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme?
1:03:01 The 2008 financial crisis?
1:08:47 Start of Q&A
1:09:14 Has the rise of computes in markets changed your perspective on fundamental investing?
1:11:11 Are quants destined to slowly drive themselves out of business?
1:12:47 What is your favourite algorithm?
1:13:59 How did you protect your intellectual capital?
1:16:52 The balance between improving your model and keeping it simple enough to understand?
1:18:12 Is Medalion the same as it was 10 years ago?
1:19:38 At any point in time did you doubt yourself?
1:21:48 Is your internal compass better than others?
1:23:53 Inductive or deductive driven investment strategy?
1:25:15 Have you encountered any unsolved finance problems?
1:26:20 Advice to future quants?

Interview Date: 6th March, 2019
Event: S. Donald Sussman Fellowship Award Fireside Chat
Original Image Source:

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