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barb28 at (barb28) wrote in message news:<cbu3fd$5nc$1 at>...
> Hello, 
> I am under the impression that mathematica is the
> standard for all types of engineering and other
> scienetific calculations. 
> My question is, is mathematica also the standard
> for financial calculations, for instance for 
> real estate? or is it primarily for the scientific
> world.
> I am asking, because I am trying to find the high
> quality standard for financial calucations, and of course,
> mathematica would do these types of calculations, but
> was wondering if for plain old run of the mill
> financial calculations, if a spreadsheet like excel
> was the way to go.
> Please forgive my grammar and syntax if it is not
> coming through ok. Any responses would be most
> appreciated, and please post here in the public
> forum. Thankyou.

For plain financial calculations, a spreadsheet like Excel
is ok, but for financial modelling, many experts disagree,
and so does for instance William T.Shaw in the first chapter of 
his book "Modelling Financial Derivatives with Mathematica" : 

"Spreadsheet Woes

There are many problems with spreadsheet environments. 
An extensive discussion of the issues is given by R. Miller
 (1990) in Chapter 1 of his text, Computer-Aided Financial 
Analysis, where he outlines several principles to which 
financial modelling environments should conform, and 
explains why spreadsheets fail to meet them. 
My own simplistic interpretation of Miller's views 
(i.e., the author's own prejudice) is that spreadsheets 
are the best way yet invented of muddling up input data,
 models, and output data. More seriously, their fabled 
capability for doing "what-if" calculations is at once
 both erroneous and misleading.
 In the particular context of derivatives modelling, 
the modelling of Greeks within spreadsheets by revaluing
for neighbouring values of the parameters is an abomination.
 This is not to say that computing differences in addition 
to partial derivatives is not a valuable exercise - 
this separate information can reveal interesting pathology. 
The point is that you should use exact calculus wherever
 possible to extract partial derivatives. As Miller points
 out, the "what-if" concept is also limited to numerical
 variations. We want a system where we can also vary 
structural properties ("what if American rather than 
European"). This leads rather naturally to the desire for
 an object-oriented approach.

There is one virtue of the spreadsheet environment,
 and that is the tabular user interface. There is no doubt,
 that for instruments requiring a small number of input 
and output parameters, such a table of data for several 
such instruments is extremely useful. However, even the
 interface virtues of spreadsheets are strained by the 
complexities of instruments such as Convertible Bonds.
The information relevant to one such bond can 
easily require several interlinked sheets."

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