Learning Project Finance Modeling vs CFA L1

Subscribe

I've been trying to break into project finance and would like your guys' input. A lot of positions I've seen online (both in project finance and infra PE) say the CFA is a nice to have, so I signed up to take L1 this December (whether that actually happens is another story). However, as we all know, though the CFA is well-regarded, it's not aimed at every industry, and other than being a "nice to have" to check a box, I don't see how it would be all that useful in infra overall.

So I'm considering pushing L1 to February and learning project finance modeling. I don't necessarily feel confident enough that I would pass L1 in December, but by February would have plenty of time to review. For modeling, I have experience with real estate acquisitions modeling across a couple asset classes, but project finance/infra is a completely different beast with its own set of nuances, so I'm probably looking for a class that can teach some of the technical skills that I can then practice ahead of interviews. I don't know if I would necessarily put these on my resume (could look a bit tacky or make people think I don't have experience) like I could for the signaling effects of CFA L1, but it's definitely something I'd talk about when networking/interviewing.

Here are a couple I came across and wondered if any of you could recommend them, or have others that you'd recommend:

Would be nice for this to be a comprehensive thread for lurkers/other members' benefit so that we can all learn modeling the right way. Here's some other threads that I've found to be useful:

Comments (11)

 
  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Sep 29, 2020 - 6:37pm

CFA is useless for infra in general if you have a decent corp finance background (aka, can do CF modeling/a DCF, which it sounds like you can from RE). I would try one of the PF modeling courses (depending on cost tolerance) - there are a couple cheaper ones such as Pivotal180 and Gridlines that are more doable than Corality.

 
Oct 9, 2020 - 7:58pm

Ed Bodmer is godsend. I'm pretty sure all of the resources on that site are free and I used it extensively when I was looking for more information on discrete nuances of a project finance model. If you were looking to learn about something specific in a project finance model or just valuation in general, I'd be pretty surprised if you couldn't find it on that site. The material on there is a bit disorganized in its presentation, but for a free resource you cannot beat it IMO.

In terms of something that's more structured, I've sat in on F1F9 courses before as they came to my shop to run a training program and I thought it was helpful. Corality is also good and they offer discounts if you go in groups of 3 or 5 (they run training programs at a few of the infra buyside shops I know that run analyst programs). I think for a 3 day in-person course that was open to the public, it was something like $1.5-$2.0k, but I would imagine their online courses are at a pretty steep discount to that.

To your original point on breaking in, while these courses are nice to haves, I don't actually think they'll help you stand out. Anyone can pay a few hundred $$ and throw a training course on their resume. The modelling tests you will do as part of the interview process will be nothing like the modelling you do once you're in the seat, which is what these courses are meant to help with. 

 
  • Associate 1 in S&T - Other
Oct 9, 2020 - 8:05pm

losing interest

Ed Bodmer is godsend. I'm pretty sure all of the resources on that site are free and I used it extensively when I was looking for more information on discrete nuances of a project finance model. If you were looking to learn about something specific in a project finance model or just valuation in general, I'd be pretty surprised if you couldn't find it on that site. The material on there is a bit disorganized in its presentation, but for a free resource you cannot beat it IMO.

In terms of something that's more structured, I've sat in on F1F9 courses before as they came to my shop to run a training program and I thought it was helpful. Corality is also good and they offer discounts if you go in groups of 3 or 5 (they run training programs at a few of the infra buyside shops I know that run analyst programs). I think for a 3 day in-person course that was open to the public, it was something like $1.5-$2.0k, but I would imagine their online courses are at a pretty steep discount to that.

To your original point on breaking in, while these courses are nice to haves, I don't actually think they'll help you stand out. Anyone can pay a few hundred $$ and throw a training course on their resume. The modelling tests you will do as part of the interview process will be nothing like the modelling you do once you're in the seat, which is what these courses are meant to help with. 

Sorry, but would you mind clarifying your last line? As in, do these courses teach you interview test level modeling or actual job level modeling?

 
Oct 10, 2020 - 1:35pm

I looked at Ed Bodmer's site and it looks great. However, I've seen some conflicting things about the "FAST" modeling method that he seems to encourage. Do you know anything about that, or have a view on it? It seems like a modeling standard of some kind that helps in more modeling heavy industries like PF/infra.

Site for reference: https://www.fast-standard.org/

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

 
Oct 10, 2020 - 8:51pm
Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Received my PWP rejection email!
+91IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
Is Evercore the next Bulge Bracket bank?
+24IBby Intern in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Intern in IB-M&A
I got a top IB SA offer thanks to WSO
+17IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
Is Liontree the next bulge bracket bank?
+17IBby 1st Year Analyst in Sales & Trading - Equities">Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Biggest Regret in Undergrad
+16IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
Virtual Summer Interns - which banks sent you WFH gear?
+15IBby Intern in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Intern in IB - Ind

Total Avg Compensation

October 2020 Private Equity

  • Principal (6) $693
  • Director/MD (14) $640
  • Vice President (53) $361
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (60) $272
  • 2nd Year Associate (112) $246
  • 1st Year Associate (242) $222
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (23) $162
  • 2nd Year Analyst (52) $141
  • 1st Year Analyst (150) $118
  • Intern/Summer Associate (17) $66
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (167) $60

Leaderboard See all

1
LonLonMilk's picture
LonLonMilk
98.4
2
Jamoldo's picture
Jamoldo
98.3
3
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
98.2
4
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
97.8
5
redever's picture
redever
97.7
6
Addinator's picture
Addinator
97.6
7
Edifice's picture
Edifice
97.6
8
NuckFuts's picture
NuckFuts
97.5
9
frgna's picture
frgna
97.5
10
bolo up's picture
bolo up
97.5