Best Self-Study Financial Modeling Course

Hey guys,

I'm starting FT at a boutique PE shop at the end of July. The firm is really new so I'll be the only analyst in the office. Needless to say, there is no formal training program so the partners have asked me to find a self-study financial modeling course. I have listed the three courses I've come across below. I would greatly appreciate any feedback from those of you who have used these programs. Also, if there's other recommended courses, feel free to post them. Thanks guys!

Wall St Prep Self Study - $499
$424 through WSO by Clicking Here

Training the Street - $300

Breaking into Wall Street - $497

Financial Modeling Class Comparison

Disclaimer: WSO is an affiliate of Wall Street Prep, so we do earn money from promoting them. Our users offer insight on all the listed programs below:

Our users shared their thoughts about the different programs below.

Wall Street Prep Reviews

swanky - Sales and Trading Analyst:

I did WSP and liked it. It takes you step by step on how to build models, though it could have explained more on the theory side. It was still good and I would buy it again. If you have a solid foundation on valuation it should be pretty intuitive anyway. There's also videos that go along with some of manuals that I found helpful.

RX - Private Equity Associate:

I've never posted a promotion for a particular product on these forums before, but personal experience compels me to reinforce FairValue's point that the wall st. prep program is a fantastic choice for someone who wants to learn on their own from home and having the option to learn some more detailed structures that you may not necessarily need for day-to-day modeling on the job.

Training the Street Reviews

Gerry_Garner:

TTS has the most recognizable brand if this is something you just want to list on your resume.

RX - Private Equity Associate:

I know TTS also has a merger model template that lets you switch who you want as an acquirer and target where proper linking also gives you a pro forma balance sheet - but it doesn't come close to this. Is it over the top? Yes. Is his voice beyond annoying making you want to smash your screen? Yes. If you're looking for something that goes far beyond the modeling essentials so you have a more extensive skillset, this is a great option. Going through all his modeling lessons made my ramp up as analyst occur very quickly and at no point was I really worried that I was getting thrown real financial analysis tasks too quickly.

Breaking Into Wall Street Reviews

RX - Private Equity Associate:

I personally used the BIWS program (all Excel, PPT, Fundamentals, Adv Modeling) and can personally attest that it helped me tremendously in terms of both interview prep (understanding the models) and case competitions & internship (actually building the model). Brian really goes step by step in building the model so you understand every step, and why every step is done in such a way.

TheBigBambino - Private Equity Vice President:

I've done Wall Street Prep and BIWS. I absolutely love BIWS and think it blows Prep out of the water.

VCWL - Hedge Fund Analyst:

BIWS was great for me! I was able to ace my HF internship modeling interview. The upside is that I can always go back and refresh my memory if needed.

Wall Street Training Reviews

FairValue:

Wall Street Training (http://www.wallst-training.com/self-study/courses....) Self-Study video courses beat others by huge margin. Much more professional (both material and Excel templates) and deep.

I would recommend advanced financial modeling package as a start (I assume you know corporate finance, accounting and financial market basics since you have PE offer).

RX - Private Equity Associate:

In terms of financial modeling, Wall St. Training gives you everything you need to know for building three-statement operating models, merger models, and LBO models. I can't say I found some of the other content particularly useful (like his overview of spreading comps and scrubbing them), but the modeling stuff is great. While his templates for the models are a bit over-the-top, the more challenging lessons (he has silly names for them, like "Super Complex LBO" versus "Complex LBO") do a great job of at least TEACHING you some of the nuances of financial modeling. There is quite a bit of things he builds in that we never even touch on the job in IBD, but I personally found them to be gratifying exercises that make you more confident in your general modeling abilities

Other Program Reviews

WSO005 - Private Equity Vice President:

For a great free introductory resource try ASimpleModel - the site provides instruction and templates for operating, DCF and lbo models. Macabacus is another great free resource, but more advanced.

Baboon07:

I used Wall Street Prep and it didn't actually help with the modeling much. It was rushed and just too much info to take in at once. I ended up using to free sites after that. valuationuniversity (basic) and then macabacus (advanced). Good luck...this was just over the last month or so.

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Financial Modeling Training Course

Comments (26)

Jun 26, 2013

I am sure you can get some kind of a discount as well.
You can get discount for Wall Street Prep through WSO which you can read about right here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-...

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Jun 26, 2013

They all good - though the most professional modeling format is TTS

Jun 28, 2013

I did WSP and liked it. It takes you step by step on how to build models, though it could have explained more on the theory side. It was still good and I would buy it again. If you have a solid foundation on valuation it should be pretty intuitive anyway. There's also videos that go along with some of manuals that I found helpful.
I've heard BIWS is good too. Either way use the search button, there's a bunch of stuff on this

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Jul 1, 2013

I had good experiences with BIWS. Back when I signed up it was still under $100, so it was the best bang for the buck I guess. If it's worth 500$, I don't know. Maybe you can share the cost with a friend or something.

In terms of level of detail, I think that they probably all offer the right level of depth, as, at least from my experience, you won't concentrate too much on Modeling when evaluating an investment opportunity in PE, but rather go heavy on it once you go further in the process. And even then, most of the modeling is pretty easy if you actually understand the underlying logic behind it. I think the only part that you will have to get creative on are the revenue and expense builds.

May 21, 2014

I checked BIWS, WallStreetPrep and Wall Street Training (WST).

WST (http://www.wallst-training.com/self-study/courses....) Self-Study video courses beat others by huge margin. Much more professional (both material and Excel templates) and deep.

I would recommend advanced financial modeling package as a start (I assume you know corporate finance, accounting and financial market basics since you have PE offer).

P.S. I'm not associated with WST in any way, but it's just great, helped me a lot in PE.

Learn More

9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

Jul 9, 2015
FairValue:

I checked BIWS, WallStreetPrep and Wall Street Training (WST).

WST (http://www.wallst-training.com/self-study/courses....) Self-Study video courses beat others by huge margin. Much more professional (both material and Excel templates) and deep.

I would recommend advanced financial modeling package as a start (I assume you know corporate finance, accounting and financial market basics since you have PE offer).

P.S. I'm not associated with WST in any way, but it's just great, helped me a lot in PE.

I full-heartedly second this opinion. I finished my undergraduate studies about 6 months early before starting my full-time analyst position. Spent a fair amount of time spending some of my summer internship money travelling, but before that thought a productive use of time would be brushing up on my modeling skills. In terms of financial modeling, Wall St. Training gives you everything you need to know for building three-statement operating models, merger models, and lbo models. I can't say I found some of the other content particularly useful (like his overview of spreading comps and scrubbing them), but the modeling stuff is great. While his templates for the models are a bit over-the-top, the more challenging lessons (he has silly names for them, like "Super Complex LBO" versus "Complex LBO") do a great job of at least TEACHING you some of the nuances of financial modeling. There is quite a bit of things he builds in that we never even touch on the job in IBD, but I personally found them to be gratifying exercises that make you more confident in your general modeling abilities. For instance, I think his last lesson is some full 3-statement merger model where you a framework so you can switch between running a standalone LBO transaction, leverage recap structure, or full-blown acquisition layering in an acquirer's financials (all three financial statements, transaction adjustments, etc.). I know TTS also has a merger model template that lets you switch who you want as an acquirer and target where proper linking also gives you a pro forma balance sheet - but it doesn't come close to this. Is it over the top? Yes. Is his voice beyond annoying making you want to smash your screen? Yes. But if you're looking for something that goes far beyond the modeling essentials (e.g., TTS and BIWS - can't speak to WSO's offerings) so you have a more extensive skillset, this is a great option. Going through all his modeling lessons made my ramp up as analyst occur very quickly and at no point was I really worried that I was getting thrown real financial analysis tasks too quickly.

I've never posted a promotion for a particular product on these forums before, but personal experience compels me to reinforce FairValue's point that the wall st. prep program is a fantastic choice for someone who wants to learn on their own from home and having the option to learn some more detailed structures that you may not necessarily need for day-to-day modeling on the job.

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Mar 4, 2017

WST is my life. And the fuck you mean his voice is annoying? Hamilton Lin has the voice of an angel, and every time I hear it, it is like a peach singing to me on a warm Bahama day.

Mr. Lin is my fucking man y'all

Learn More

9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

Best Response
Jan 16, 2015

Disclaimer: WSO is an affiliate of Wall Street Prep, so we do earn $ from promoting them, but I thought I'd drop in this side by side comparison so that you get an idea of why we back WSP vs. the others (just click on it to get 15% off any WSP package):

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Mar 2, 2017

Brain from BWIS was a former GS banker, not UBS

May 24, 2015

i used Wall Street Prep and it didn't actually help with the modeling much. It was rushed and just too much info to take in at once. I ended up using to free sites after that. valuationuniversity (basic) and then macabacus (advanced). Good luck...this was just over the last month or so

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Jul 9, 2015

As of the right now, what is the best financial modelling course out there? A friend of mine is looking for courses that contains trading multiples, scenario analysis, dcf etc.

Thanks in advance.

Jul 9, 2015

Thanks for input GreekRX. Anymore thoughs on this?

Aug 8, 2015

Yes, are there anymore opinions on which one is the best? I am looking for the best quality course as well. I have no investment banking experience.

Remembering always that money allocated to the right places makes the world a better place.

Oct 7, 2015

I would also like to know which one appears to be the best. Wall Street Training or Wall Street Prep?

Oct 7, 2015

Neither

I assume you plan to join wall st. Then you will fall into one of two categories of applicants: "target" or "non-target".

Target
Your advantage - you have a coherent story to tell the interviewer. You have access to more opportunities.
Your disadvantage - all your peers have the same. You don't stand out.
To do - network. If you want to waste hours to make yourself stand apart and increase your chances of landing a job - learn to speak. Dale's How to Win Friends and Influence People is your bible.

Non-Target
Your advantage - you are different! IF (and that's a big IF) you manage to get interviews, the interviewer will be at least curious to hear your story. This is a big advantage, believe it or not.
Your disadvantage - you are nobody and come from nowhere. Prepare to have people ignore you, not take you seriously and doubt everything you do.
To do - network. In fact much more aggressively than the person above.

For financial modelling, there is an amazing book by Rosenbaum - Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions

Read the reviews on Amazon. It will cost you 30 bucks and will provide you with everything you need to know to nail the tech part of the interview. ONLY BOTHER if you have no clue what valuation is. If you know the basics this is a waste of time. As my mentor at JP puts it "analysts assume only those who have had the "analyst" title know modelling anyway. Trying to prove them wrong is Nr1 method to never land a job."

I live in central Europe and work for a biotech company. Over 3 months I learned valuation from scratch (using just this book and a couple articles online) and cold called myself into M&A in London. Now that I look back I only see one thing I'd do differently - start cold calling from day1 and not waste time doing any reading or anything.

Hope this helps
Good luck

Oct 7, 2015

Bump.

I just wanted to bump this thread to ask a simple question that everybody can actually answer. Do both programs provide subtitles for the videos, or transcriptions?

Thanks!

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Oct 7, 2015

I know BIWS has transcription

Jan 16, 2015

fyi, Here is a side by side comparison of the top self study financial modeling training programs: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-...

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Oct 7, 2015

valuation is mainly used in investment banking and equity research where the exact value and how you arrive at it is important. If you want to generate return, all you need to know is whether a stock would go up or down and when. Looking for an exact value is pointless because you can never be right. If I were you I would look into multiples.

Just my $.02

Oct 7, 2015

good point. Even Buffet said he can't get quantify the exact intrinsic value.
But for me, in addition to valuation, I am also looking to get into equity research. For resume building purposes, would these financial modelling courses help and count as a plus for the candidate? I would like to make sure these models are relevant for ER jobs because even the BIWS and WSO ad materials only seems to mention how these models helped the IB guys. not much mentioned for ER.

Oct 7, 2015

@halfstep To put it into perspective, the BIWS/WSP courses walk you through how to build a model and how to utilize financial accounting to populate your model and create appropriate projections. However, while it does provide you insight into this, this is by no means a guarantee in for you into ER. It's great to know, but I wouldn't focus on all the knitty gritty details. I would just focus on how the financial statements interact and how would you derive a valuation and PT based upon spreading comps. Most of the industry uses comp spreads and compares multiples to derive PTs rather than using a DCF.

In short, the modeling course is good to use to build a model if you want to show an interviewer youre serious about what you want to do and that you can jump right in per se, but I don't think it's a silver bullet that's going to be an automatic in for you into ER. That part comes with perseverance and networking.

Mar 4, 2017
Comment
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Mar 4, 2017