PhD, Developer, Manager, Professor and Algo Trader: The story of Dr. Luiz

8 min read

Would you believe us if we told you about a person who not only got educated in science, got into software, then into finance and now learnt algorithmic trading?

What if we also said that he also has learnt 3 forms of martial art?

Unbelievable? Well, that’s exactly the story of Dr. Luiz.

Dr. Luiz holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro – PUC/RIO, a Master in Computer Systems and a Computer Engineer degree, both from IME. Additionally, he has an MBA in business from the Fundação Getúlio Vargas – FGV.

He is always in a constant search to overcome himself and to become a better person - not only intellectually, but also as a person. He says that studying makes him better, helps him understand how the world works and gives him a chance to explore new opportunities.

We connected with Dr. Luiz, and this is the story of his life that he shared with us.

Hi Dr. Luiz, tell us about yourself

Dr Luiz Guedes EPAT alumnus

Hi! My name is Luiz Guedes. I am a computer engineer, I hold a degree in computer science, and I am a professor at the Instituto Militar de Engenharia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I worked as a software developer after I finished my PhD degree 26 years ago and later on, I got my MBA and worked for technology companies. I have worked as a software developer for 30 years and now I am working as an Asset Manager and Head of Quantitative Analysis at Occam Brasil Gestão de Recursos.

I love martial arts, have done Taekwondo, am a black belt in Hapkido and now I am practising Wing Chun Kung Fu. Years ago, my dad had a heart attack and around that time I realised that I needed to work on my health.

At that time, I loved Jean Claude Van Damme movies, so that got me interested in learning Martial Arts, beginning with learning Taekwondo back in 1996.

I have a passion for foreign languages, and I have learnt Chinese, Korean and Japanese. In total, I know more than 6 languages.

Going from Science to Finance and now Algo Trading - how did that come about?

My mother says,

There is always a place for those who are better.

So, I always try to get better. I can't do something that I don't know. So, when I did my MBA, though I found the knowledge to be interesting, I could not apply it.

In Brazil, there is a saying,

People always grow to the top level and then they stumble.

I feel that is true and thus, as much as I would enjoy the managerial position, I decided not to go ahead with it. I had no hard feelings.

My interest in finance came about three years ago through my brother who was quite curious about Bitcoin. Slowly, I started trading Bitcoin as well. After 6 months, I realised that it wasn't worth the hype. So, I moved to the stock markets and I started learning by myself.

I was always on a constant search for learning Algo trading through various quant websites and various online content. I still am always looking for references on the internet.

I started learning technical analysis and working on technical indicators. I did not know Python at that time but had I worked with C and C++. I also created an algo trading robot for my trading.

I noticed that:

  • though the technical analysis was interesting, sometimes it did not work
  • there were a lot of things that I could not understand
  • there were some that I did not know why they are happening

I realised that I required a lot of knowledge:

  • about the market
  • what goes on behind the markets
  • the understanding of the charts

I believe in formal studying because although I have studied by myself and researched by myself, having structured knowledge is very important to avoid information gaps.

This is critical for your knowledge and for your understanding. That’s the reason why I started taking up technical analysis courses in the first place, but it was all in vain.

So, I kept looking for useful resources to learn and that was when I found QuantInsti’s white papers and blogs. Soon after that, I went through the EPAT syllabus and realised that it was the content that I was looking for.

I could have the answers to all the questions that I was always asking. I finally had someone whom I could ask my questions and would not have to keep searching for answers anymore.

I thought to myself, this looks interesting and I could make money out of it myself.  It only took me only a day to sign up for the EPAT programme!

The software development company that I used to work for before was acquired by another company and the direction of the company changed. So, I had to move. I could move to another company in the same industry or move to a new industry altogether.

I love to trade and was writing software and doing analysis. So, I spoke to a friend about this. His friends work in banks and the markets, so maybe he could introduce me to them. This was just about the time that I was about to complete my EPAT course.

Right about then, I got introduced to 3 companies! I am sure that I would have been able to do this job had I not done the EPAT course. EPAT made this quick career change possible for me and opened up new opportunities. After EPAT, now I am working as a quantitative analyst for an asset management company that makes investment funds.

I always thought that trading was something that I would do when I will retire, but I am doing it now nevertheless.

How has EPAT added value to your expertise?

The EPAT course has three main pillars - computer programming, finance, and mathematics. This balance between these three domains and the way that this knowledge is blended makes it more meaningful and actionable. We can use this knowledge in our jobs or make trades or for investing.

I believe that’s what really got me! I feel that this is the best benefit and advantage of the EPAT course!

My previous knowledge was only related to computer science, and I had very good basics from my engineering course. But I had knowledge gaps in finance and I wasn’t applying the knowledge that I had. This is something that I did during EPAT.

There were some things that I did not know existed in trading before joining the EPAT course. It requires a lot of knowledge for trading, especially when you are investing in stocks.

One needs to be aware of:

  • how things should go
  • how things should not go
  • risk management
  • understanding the mathematics that goes behind the statistics
  • how to get probability in your favour, etc.

Live lectures: All of the courses that I have done before had pre-recorded courses, whereas EPAT lectures provide a human touch something that I appreciate. I found the Live classroom lectures very interesting.

Solving my queries: Any questions that I asked were explained quickly I learnt a lot of things that I did not even know existed. Connecting with my EPAT batchmates I noticed that EPAT had participants from, science, mathematics, computer science, and many other fields too!

Hands-on coding: At EPAT I learned many things that are now helping me, specifically, how to create better trading algorithms. I learned how to write better Algo trading software. I would learn Python in the lectures, practise it, and then I would try that out on my system. This helped me figure out ways how to use it in my trading and I realised that it was much simpler for me. This hands-on learning was the first immediate benefit.

Assignments: Oh, I loved the assignments! They were invaluable to me. They were pretty much everything that I was looking for to expand my boundaries.

Project work: When I was being assigned a mentor for my EPAT project work, initially I was a bit worried if the mentor would be aware of the things that I wanted to work with, and the topics related to them. But, to my surprise, all of them knew much more than what I did! So, my fears vanished really fast.

Share one feature of EPAT that you liked the most!

The faculty, content, platform - ALL OF THEM are really good.

Having classes with incredible professors like Dr. Ernest Chan, Dr. Thomas Stark, Dr. Euan Sinclair, and the complete faculty base is incredible. The knowledge they possess is outstanding, it is as if they are born for this.

The faculty was always available to answer your questions and doubts even after their lectures. I would connect with them and send them questions and they were always prompt in their responses replying to my questions and giving helpful suggestions for my project. So, for me, the faculty would be the best feature of EPAT.

The curriculum is really good, and the platform is flawless and works like a new machine!

Your advice to Algo Trading aspirants.

Keep growing!

While doing my MBA, I found the study of management to be more interesting than applying the concepts. Today, that knowledge is helpful to me when I am working on group projects or when I have to handle people or help them out.

When I was developing technology for the payment industry, I did not know data science. So, I did some certifications in data science, and I found it to be really interesting. Today, it helps me a lot with my background. There is no waste in learning anything.

Keep trying!

Even while doing EPAT, every week I kept trying to practise what I had learnt. If I can or if I cannot suppose practise my coding today, I’ll try again next week. And I keep trying. I found that doing things even a little bit is infinitely more than doing nothing. So, keep trying.

People applaud me for speaking 7 languages and are shocked at how I managed to do it. But it has been a progressive growth for me over the years. You can do it too!

Keep studying!

If you know something or even if you know nothing about Algorithmic Trading, EPAT is a great place to start. You can study for your life as you become a part of the global EPAT alumni community.

You can keep checking the latest progress on the course and get access to the latest content in the markets via the latest EPAT lectures accessible at any point in time.

I am just a beginner in Finance because I have a background in computer science. But, my finance and trading knowledge, as well as skills, came from the EPAT course and they’re still growing.

People start working in the financial markets when they are young. At 50+ years, it is difficult for me to get a job as compared to someone who is just beginning in this domain today. The market fears hiring older people.

You may have a lot of experience, a lot of skills and a lot of knowledge, but you could miss out on a good job opportunity just because you did not keep studying. So, keep studying. EPAT is the place, to begin with.

We’re thankful to you for taking the time to talk to us, Dr. Luiz. We’re astonished to know of your achievements and success over the years, and we wish that you achieve all that you desire in bounds. Best wishes!

If you too desire to equip yourself with lifelong skills which will always help you in upgrading your trading strategies. With topics such as Statistics & Econometrics, Financial Computing & Technology, Machine Learning, this algo trading course ensures that you are proficient in every skill required to excel in the field of trading. Check out EPAT now!

Disclaimer: In order to assist individuals who are considering pursuing a career in algorithmic and quantitative trading, this success story has been collated based on the personal experiences of a student or alumni from QuantInsti’s EPAT programme. Success stories are for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to be used for investment purposes. The results achieved post completion of the EPAT programme may not be uniform for all individuals.

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