DEFINITION of 'Quant Fund'
An investment fund that selects securities based on quantitative analysis. In a quant fund, the managers build computer-based models to determine whether an investment is attractive. In a pure "quant shop" the final decision to buy or sell is made by the model; however, there is a middle ground where the fund manager will use human judgment in addition to a quantitative model.
BREAKING DOWN 'Quant Fund'
If computers can beat world champion chess players, shouldn't they be able to beat the traders on Wall Street? That's the thinking behind quant funds, whose name comes from the term "quantitative analysis". The advantage is that computers aren't swayed by emotion, and they obviously react much faster than a person ever could. The problem is that humans have to program those computers, and even computers can make mistakes when they are programmed incorrectly. Remember the saying "garbage in, garbage out". To take advantage of the power of computers, you still have to figure out a superior investment strategy.
The term "quantitative fund" also doesn't tell you anything about the actual investment strategy being used. Any study of a company or an industry based on quantitative data can be considered a quant strategy.