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# Math for Quantitative Finance

Take a guided tour through the powerful mathematics and statistics used to model the chaos of the financial markets.

A trading firm has the utility function \(U(w) = \sqrt{w}\) where \(w\) is the the wealth of the firm, in dollars. Currently, the firm is worth $100,000,000, so their happiness is 10,000, and they always want to maximize their expected happiness.

They are offered a risky bet which will succeed with probability \(p,\) doubling the wealth of the firm. However, if it fails, the firm will go bankrupt. What is the approximate value (rounded down to the nearest percent) of the smallest \(p\) for which they would take this bet?

As the last few questions have illustrated, there is an aspect of *diminishing returns* for wealth; e.g., the happiness gained from each additional $1 tends to decrease as a person becomes wealthier.

Similarly, there is also an effect of **time** on the value of money. The last two questions begin to explore this effect.

The previous question illustrated the idea that “money now is worth more than money later”. A fundamental reason behind this is that money can be invested - in financial assets or elsewhere - so that it grows over time. This is why lenders are paid **interest**.

If money is lent with an interest rate annual interest rate of 1% compounded continuously, about how long would it take for the money to double?

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