The use of sophisticated mathematics in finance is a complex subject, but luckily there are some great books available to make this subject more approachable. What follows are the top 5 best quantitative finance books available; these will be of use to people of all levels of interest to the topic.
Frequently Asked Questions in Quantitative Finance — 2nd Edition- by Paul Wilmott (2009)
This manual is going to be appropriate as an introduction to quantitative finance or as a refresher for those who have been away from the topic. All the main issues are dealt with in this book and the author goes to great lengths to make the chapters readable. This book is going to appeal to the derivatives professional as well as the student who is studying the subject at university.
Mathematics for Finance: An Introduction to Financial Engineering — 2nd Edition – by Marek Capiski and Tomasz Zastawniak (2010)
This book aims to provide the reader with all the mathematical knowledge they need to be able to handle quantitative finance. It comes packed with exercises to reinforce learning and will provide a great understanding of how mathematics is used when dealing with derivatives. This book is mostly aimed at undergraduate students but it should be of value to anyone who is interested in learning more or brushing up on their knowledge about this type of mathematics.
A Practical Guide To Quantitative Finance Interviews by Xinfeng Zhou (2008)
This paperback aims to provide the knowledge you need to understand the basic concepts of quantitative finance. It uses real world examples to more clearly allow the reader to grasp the subject matter. The author does a good job of discussing some complex issues and breaking them down into easy to understand concepts. This book is going to suit those with little previous knowledge of quantitative finance, but even those who have a lot of knowledge already may find some real gems inside this book.
Paul Wilmott Introduces Quantitative Finance — 2nd Edition – by Paul Wilmott (2007)
Paul Wilmott is one of the most respected writers on the subject of quantitative finance and this book is one of his best. Some people may be put off by the fact that it claims to be just an introduction, but the author actually delves quite deep into the different topics. The author avoids going too heavy into mathematical concepts but he still manages to explain everything well. This book is not only useful as an introduction but will also be something that you may want to keep on your bookshelf as a reference source.
Quantitative Methods for Finance by Terry Watsham and Keith Parramore (1996)
The authors of this book set out to make the seemingly complex mathematics used in quantitative finance easier to understand. Those who have struggled with this topic may find that those mathematical formulas that seemed impenetrable are a lot more approachable after reading this text. The book starts off at a very basic level and then builds upon this so that the reader is able to handle advanced mathematics by the end of the book.