Wall Street Prep vs Breaking into Wallstreet?

beatallica's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 246

Wall Street Prep = WSP
Breaking into Wallstreet = BiW

Hello all, I've seen all the material in BiW through a friend, and while explained well, seems too basic to me. For WSP, I saw their demo videos and everything there looks very professional (formatting / instructors / presentation of material etc). I was wondering which one would you recommend from your experience?

A little background on me. I am from the UK and have done a long term internship (9 months) at a VC and a summer internship at a boutique M&A house. Although these places have been very good in-terms of developing interpersonal skills etc, but as I have been involved with small companies, I haven't been able to experience hardcore modelling / understanding balance sheets etc in any of these roles. I am taking up an offer in Audit with a Big4 this year but will keep applying alongside and I am afraid that given my background, the questions will be very technical. So which package would you guys recommend?

Cheers!

Region: 
United Kingdom

Comments (102)

Aug 25, 2009

Which VC firm was it? PM if necessary

Aug 25, 2009

WSP takes some pretty serious effort to get through, at least I think. It teaches more thorough formatting but that's the only advantage, and I don't think it's a huge deal unless you need to create professional-ready models.

Aug 29, 2009

I don't like any of them to be honest....

WSP: They do not explain users why they are doing this or that. They have a bunch of screenshots just telling you to put this formula in or link this cell to that cell, but don't explain the concepts behind it. However, they've got some decent models and with some advanced topics on it. But I would just recommend it to someone that already has the technical knowledge and just lacks some modeling practice.

BIW: Way too basic in my opinion. Despite Brian's comments on adding new content, it is still well under its competitors. And he has said that for months, by the way. Yes, it does have more interaction than WSP's program, but for that I would recommend Wall St. Training - they also teach using videos and with a strong focus on explaining the "Why's", which is great!

To sum up, I personally like Wall St. Training. It is a bit pricey, but it is worth it!

Jun 19, 2010
lui:

I don't like any of them to be honest....

WSP: They do not explain users why they are doing this or that. They have a bunch of screenshots just telling you to put this formula in or link this cell to that cell, but don't explain the concepts behind it. However, they've got some decent models and with some advanced topics on it. But I would just recommend it to someone that already has the technical knowledge and just lacks some modeling practice.

BIW: Way too basic in my opinion. Despite Brian's comments on adding new content, it is still well under its competitors. And he has said that for months, by the way. Yes, it does have more interaction than WSP's program, but for that I would recommend Wall St. Training - they also teach using videos and with a strong focus on explaining the "Why's", which is great!

To sum up, I personally like Wall St. Training. It is a bit pricey, but it is worth it!

I don't know if this was before the advanced module, but I'm curios anyways. What exactly do you find too basic about it? I've only done the Excel course there, but I found that to be pretty helpful already and even though it's not part of the actual financial modeling course, I learnt a lot about when to use different functions in Excel. As for the very advanced stuff, I don't think you really need a video course to demonstrate it, as it becomes more about theory and understanding the thought behind things and how they work. No need for a practical demonstration, compared to something like basic accounting.

I don't know what Wall St. Training is like, but I've been very happy with the Excel course and Brian seems to respond to all comments on the site. I guess it depends what you're looking for in a video course anyways, but if it's just a guy talking about advanced financial theory to a still screenshot of Excel, I'd much rather read a book. Although I do think it would be appropriate to recommend books and other learning materials on financial theory.

Jun 19, 2010
pistacie:
lui:

I don't like any of them to be honest....

WSP: They do not explain users why they are doing this or that. They have a bunch of screenshots just telling you to put this formula in or link this cell to that cell, but don't explain the concepts behind it. However, they've got some decent models and with some advanced topics on it. But I would just recommend it to someone that already has the technical knowledge and just lacks some modeling practice.

BIW: Way too basic in my opinion. Despite Brian's comments on adding new content, it is still well under its competitors. And he has said that for months, by the way. Yes, it does have more interaction than WSP's program, but for that I would recommend Wall St. Training - they also teach using videos and with a strong focus on explaining the "Why's", which is great!

To sum up, I personally like Wall St. Training. It is a bit pricey, but it is worth it!

I don't know if this was before the advanced module, but I'm curios anyways. What exactly do you find too basic about it? I've only done the Excel course there, but I found that to be pretty helpful already and even though it's not part of the actual financial modeling course, I learnt a lot about when to use different functions in Excel. As for the very advanced stuff, I don't think you really need a video course to demonstrate it, as it becomes more about theory and understanding the thought behind things and how they work. No need for a practical demonstration, compared to something like basic accounting.

I don't know what Wall St. Training is like, but I've been very happy with the Excel course and Brian seems to respond to all comments on the site. I guess it depends what you're looking for in a video course anyways, but if it's just a guy talking about advanced financial theory to a still screenshot of Excel, I'd much rather read a book. Although I do think it would be appropriate to recommend books and other learning materials on financial theory.

So, there is a basic Excel course that comes along with it?

Jun 19, 2010

Could anyone enlighten me on the basics required to do the BiW course? Also, how long did it take you guys to complete it?

Jun 19, 2010

Anyone?

Jun 19, 2010

Anyone?

Jun 19, 2010

^Yes.

May 2, 2014

Surprised to see no response on this one. BUMP!!

Sep 12, 2014

BUMP

It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation. -Gordon Gekko

Nov 15, 2014

BUMP

Dec 5, 2015

I just want to give my opinion after having tried both BIWS and WSP.

Modelling courses: BIWS = WSP. They are of equal quality.

Interview guides: BIWS > everything else. Most in-depth. A must have for 2015 SA interviews.

How did you afford this as a college student?
-Alumni's who pass down the login information

You speak in in varying levels of verbosity.You often adopt the typing quirks of others as you find it boring to settle on styles.

Dec 6, 2015

I:

  • made IMs for my PE firm so I learned by myself whenever I didn't know something
  • only did really...1.5 days of intense prep (read ALL the BIWS guides)

I'm actually trash at modelling. Super slow with Excel and PP (even though I use the latter a lot for work...).
I had all the BIWS videos (I bought the course) but didn't end up using that LOL. You just have to be good enough interview-wise. Save the advanced modelling stuff for next semester, so you won't be a complete liability for the summer heh.

Array

Dec 6, 2015

Also, I personally think audit is analytical, but I know a LOT of people that think it's mindless and robotic.

For them, not "any experience is good experience". These people will look down on assurance, and TBH from what I've seen the audit -> IB path is quite rare.

I would say to revisit if you can get more applicable experience for IB during that time instead.

Array

Jun 5, 2016

Hi Guys, I am looking for a good financial modeling course and have zeroed in on Breaking Into Wall Street and Wall Street Prep. I have good knowledge about financial statements, but basic understanding about valuations. I am looking for a course, which offers me knowledge about financial modeling from scratch (assuming I have no prior experience) as well as teach me exactly how this is applicable in the real world. Given this, can anyone suggest which course is better and more recognized in the market?

Jun 5, 2016

I took a couple of wall st. prep course's and my teachers said when it comes down to it there about the same. Just the price is what matters for what your being taught. Because some are money than others and your learning the same material. Hope this helps.

Jun 5, 2016
fderango:

I took a couple of wall st. prep course's and my teachers said when it comes down to it there about the same. Just the price is what matters for what your being taught. Because some are money than others and your learning the same material. Hope this helps.

so M&I BIWS and WSP cover the same material? does that mean that it will be redundant to study WSP if I finish BIWS?

Jun 5, 2016

From what i was told what your being taught from all these different courses the material how it's presented might be different and as well as the price but like I said before I was told the hard material itself is the same. I was able to take a few such lbo/pe and val/dc for cheap because my school work somthing out with wall st. prep. The teachers both work on wall st.. So I'm going by what they told me and what they did in there everyday job routine. Let me know what you think.

Jun 5, 2016

Wall Street Training is the way forward. I was looking into this a while back and found that although BIWS was really good, it didn't cover the basics all too well.

Jun 5, 2016

BIWS in my case

Jun 5, 2016

WSP is more comprehensive. You can get a discount through WSO right here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-...

    • 2
Jun 5, 2016

Bump. Which would be better for someone already in IB looking to get ready for PE recruiting (Our group does not do much modeling - especially LBOs)? Thanks

Jun 5, 2016

I offer a side by side comparison right here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-...

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

WSO is partners with WallStreetPrep, as a WSO member you get a 15% discount. That's all I've got, sorry

Jun 5, 2016

one of the guys at my firm took Wall Street Prep and recommended it...

Jun 5, 2016

WSP is great. one of my favorite jam bands. till the medicine takes is a terrific album

Jun 5, 2016

WSP is great to get started - but I think some of their models (i.e. lbo model) are too complex... not in the sense that it's super advance, but there's just easier/more clear ways to do the same thing... can't comment on BIWS, but I would still recommend WSP.

Jun 5, 2016

I agree with James. I did the WSP in-class thing at my school and, while it was good and clear, the models were clunky and prone to crashes.

The instructors are great, though. I am scheduling them again for this upcoming year for our school.

The $200 I paid for the in-class program was worth it just for the friggin' Excel tutorial every class. I'm about 30x faster in Excel now.

Jun 5, 2016

Im a big fan of Wall Street Prep. Personally went through it 3 yrs ago. We put all our lateral hires through that program.

Jun 5, 2016

dude, your in IB. Just look at your firm's past deal models and teach yourself. It ain't rocket science (unless you do zero modeling whatsoever).

Jun 5, 2016

BIWS is really good - gives you videos and a number of PE models, along with Brian explaining finer points for PE recruiting (re: what questions they like to ask and how to answer them, and what simplifying assumptions you can or should make if given a case exam)

migs: Even if you're already in IB, these courses save time by going through easy to follow and well laid out models or just refreshing oneself on concepts vs. going to a firm's past deal models and trying to figure it out. A lot of times models done for clients are overly or unnecessarily complex (because a lot of random bells and whistles are added per clients' requests), so it's a pain to go through those for interview purposes.

Jun 5, 2016

I've never used Wall Street Prep, but I have used BIWS. BIWS is awesome and I would highly recommend it. Definitely teaches the intuition behind the model.

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016
CallThatBond:

Which of these is the better financial modeling training program? I'm looking for a comprehensive program that will also teach me the intuition behind each step of the model.

I've looked at past threads, but they're quite outdated.

I've heard great things about both programs. We are partners with Wall Street Prep so you get 15% off any self-study program that you purchase when coming from WSO (you can just click on "WSP" and it will activate the discount once you check out).

You can check out a side by side comparison right here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-...

    • 2
Jun 5, 2016

Got WSP 15% discount from WSO (thank you) and am very satisfied with the program. I don't have experience with BIWS modeling exercises but I bought interview guide from Brian and man is that thing of a top quality so I would assume their modeling is good too.

Jun 5, 2016

If you're planning on using BIWS for interview prep I would advise against it. I used BIWS thinking it would help with interviewing but it's very overkill for what you need to know even for full-time interviews coming out of a good SA program. With the M&I guide it'll be more than what you need to know for the interviews.

Of course if you're getting BIWS as prep for an analyst stint, I highly recommend it. Brian goes through all the models step-by-step and you'll be able to understand it front to back. I went through the advanced DCF / Merger Model before my interviews and I was able to talk about the theory behind each step with no problems during my interviews if I was asked about it.

Jun 5, 2016

why not buy a used intro to corporate finance text book first? Could get through the thing in a week casually reading it and that would be a fairly firm foundation for moving forward.

Jun 5, 2016

I only knew the very basics of accounting when I went through BIWS. Just make sure you understand even the basics and understand every video (plus taking down notes) before moving onto the next video.

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

I don't think it would be a waste of time, as long as you move slowly and carefully (and research more when you dont understand a concept). a side by side comparison of the two programs is right here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-...

    • 2
Jun 5, 2016

BIWS is thorough to the point of where it gets a little too granular for internship and even full time recruiting. If you want to know how to do DCF, LBO, Merger Model from the ground up AND understand the intuition behind it I highly recommend BIWS.

For full time recruiting I only went through the DCF and Accounting portion of the program and during my interviews I was not once stumped by any of the basic / advanced questions I was asked. In fact, I answered one of my accounting interview questions so clearly my interviewer told me to thank my professor for doing a great job.

I would also like to add a little something in regards to customer service. I bought BIWS a week before they had a promotion for their interview guide and was a bit disappointed I missed out. So I e-mailed Brian to see if I could get the promotional benefit as well and he responded within a few hours and granted me the promotion.

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

I remember getting hold of BIWS quite a few years back for IB recruiting. It definitely helped.

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

Whatever you do, avoid the "do it on your own" version of Training the Street. It is not very good.

    • 1
Best Response
Jun 5, 2016

i put together a side by side comparison of the best financial modeling programs right here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-... hope that helps!

    • 4
Jun 5, 2016

I figured I would share our thoughts on the differences between our programs.

On price: Through WSO, you get 15% off, putting the WSP package at $425 (vs $497 for BIWS).

On substance, one major difference is that while both BIWS and Wall Street Prep have good reputations with the students that take the self-study, Wall Street Prep is retained by investment banks to train their analysts and associates, while BIWS is not. The program you would be received is self study version of the program investment banks use to train their analysts and associates.

In addition, we are hired by the top universities globally including Columbia Business School, Cornell, Wharton, London Business School, Kellogg, MIT to prepare their MBAs and undergrads.

Ultimately, both programs strive to teach the same modeling methodologies. Wall Street Prep's program is an integrated training platform where we try to mimic the experience of being in a classroom. You gain access to a collection of videos that guide you through the model building exercises, while physical manuals allow you to press the pause button on the videos and think through steps - similar to the process of being in lecture, followed by working through a guidebook to complete exercises.

Lastly, you can take a look at a thorough comparison chart done by WSO's founder right here: //www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-training (and get 15% off)

Matan Feldman
Founder, Wall Street Prep
Learn Financial Modeling

    • 3
Jun 5, 2016

I've done two 3-day Wall Street Prep courses in the last 3 years. Once was in college and once was after 6 months into my Analyst stint.

I bought BIWS last year to help me as I transitioned to a new firm working on different types of deals.

I really like the BIWS website interface and training much more and would really recommend it. WSP is fine and the books are solid, but personally I liked the BIWS videos, presentation and teaching format much more.

However, I've never worked on FIG specific models so discount the above how you want.

Jun 5, 2016

Thanks for the great advice. Although I didn't begin this thread, I came here searching and found valuable advice.

Jun 5, 2016

is this for ib analyst interviews? give us some context

Jun 5, 2016

Hey zeroblued. Actually, I am going to hit both private equity and consulting - NOT IB analyst positions. My background is in Engineering and patent law. I don't have much of a finance background, but I do have a strong stats background (b/c of engineering degrees).

Jun 5, 2016

Currently doing the WSP premium package, but no real experience with BIWS. There is a pretty good amount of theory covered for all topics (although basic accounting knowledge is assumed). As for it being mechanical, it is a self study program that takes you step-by-step through all the models and applying all the concepts. So really you can do the various models at your own pace and if you make a mistake and can't identify it, you can take a look at how the program did it and really just use the WSP models as guides.

You should also consider the factor of BIWS being primarily video-based (as far as I know), whilst WSP will send you all the materials in print and all the excel materials on a CD (online videos are also available but are not too useful). So it also depends on your preference as to how you learn best.

You should keep in mind though that overly emphasizing any training programs or certifications in an interview or on a resume is basically asking to get grilled on technicals. Best of luck, I hope whichever option you choose works out for you!

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

I always speak very, very highly of the BIWS program when asked. I'm about finished with my BB analyst gig now and have done AMT and TTS training as well as a part of that. I took BIWS while in college while it was still exclusively video-based, as CorpFinHopeful mentioned, and that was the best for me. However, they just sent an email saying they also added transcripts for all the courses too if that's your thing. Can't speak to Wall Street Prep as that's just about the only one I haven't done, but I'm sure it's excellent as well.

Hope that's helpful.

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

Not entirely sure why you think this warrants a new thread as it has been covered pretty in depth. Over the course of 6+ years I have done WSP, BIWS, and TTS. I would give a slight edge to BIWS primarily because I enjoyed watching the videos more than I enjoyed reading through the WSP book. With that said, the WSP book is very thorough and each page helps walk you through step by step. I think all 3 programs have solid name recognition and offer comparable quality. Remember, this stuff isn't rocket science. You can check all 3 websites to see exactly which banks and universities use which program.

Bottom line: if you spend the time to complete any one of the programs you will have an edge during recruiting/interviews and it will give you a head start come training. These training programs are all very helpful but don't stress as you will learn what you need to know during training and on the job. No one expects you to be a ninja coming out of undergrad. Best of luck to you.

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

Thx guys. Appreciate the feedback!

Time wise, can you tell me how long each package (BIWS premium vs WSP) takes? I have guessing WSP is quicker b/c it has a hardcopy and it's easier to skip over stuff that makes sense to you?

Jun 5, 2016

I'm interested in this as well.

How long do each package take? Anyone?

I am edging towards BIWS, but does anyone know how long BIWS take to learn roughly?

Jun 5, 2016

I have a detailed side by side comparison of these financial modeling training courses you can check out right here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/financial-modeling-... (most of the comments in this thread are dated)

Good luck!

    • 2
Jun 5, 2016

I'm an incoming SA at an EB and we're required to do a few Wall Street Prep courses for pre-training. Haven't really around to it yet, but the fact that a bank would pay for that program for their SA's must speak to the effectiveness of the program.

Jun 5, 2016

I have experience with the WSP package, and in my opinion it is quality stuff. Also, you get 100 dollars off the listed price if you are a WSO member which you should factor into the equation. Apart from this, from what I have experienced and from what other users have said, it really depends on how you would prefer to learn. The content and quality levels of the two options are pretty much on par with each other, BIWS just has superior video content and WSP has better print/written content. So if you want basically a text book with some excel templates on a CD, take WSP, if you want to learn via videos, take BIWS. Best of luck, whichever package you end up choosing!

    • 1
Jun 5, 2016

another vote for WSP. More technical

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be"

Jun 5, 2016

I have the WSP package, it has far more material than you will ever have time for. You're fine either way with BIWS or WSP but I think WSP is cheaper. It's also very easy to follow.

Jun 5, 2016

Yeah, I just realized that there is a discount for the WSP package and WSP seems to have the edge. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Jun 5, 2016

the finance club in our business school teamed up with WSP and from the feedback i have gathered, it was pretty useful. They did an onsite crashcourse for 2 days on campus. Think i may give it a go next time round.

Jun 5, 2016

Using WSP, good stuff but learning curve is bit steep. Haven't try other materials yet but willing to give a shot

Jun 5, 2016

WSP is solid and will give you a good foundation. Supplement with Macabacus and Damadoran's stuff and you should be comfortable.

Jun 5, 2016

I've done TTS and WSP. Liked the booklets that TTS sent, but felt WSP has prepared me more. Especially like how they incorporate real-world scenarios and you get a lifetime sub (TTS videos are for only a year before you have to pay more $ to renew).

    • 2
Jun 5, 2016

Yea Damadoran is very smart. Was fortunate enough to meet him. Any other opinions?

Jun 5, 2016

What is he like?

Jun 5, 2016

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):

Jun 5, 2016

I'd start with a grammar text, to be honest with you.

Jun 5, 2016

Sorry for the mistakes, I was distracted.
But I think that the meaning of my question is clear:
Which of the two courses is better?

Jun 5, 2016

Tough to say as most people obviously only choose one and cant comment on the other. I bought WSP 4-5 months ago and think it is OK. Walks you step by step modeling DCF and has a ton of content, but the videos are more of a walkthrough step by step instruction as opposed to actually teaching you the information to retain it. Have not experience with or heard of anything about BIWS- however it seemed that WSP is a bit better known brand wise on the street which was a large part in my decision to go with WSP

Recent College Graduate

Jun 5, 2016

Thanks so much for your feedback.
but for WSP it is possible do a Payments in instalments?

Jun 5, 2016
Jun 5, 2016

So you recommend Wall Street Prep over Breaking into Wall Street for a complete beginner?

Thanks. Just want to confirm.

Jun 5, 2016

Read all the technical questions from mergers and inquisitions, WSO guide, Vault and cross reference against your course materials from your fnce and acct classes. Understanding the acct (ie acct 101) and corp finance (fnce 100) principles is so much more important at your level then knowing how to bang out a dcf.

Jun 5, 2016

I use BIWS and love it, can't comment on WSP.

Jun 5, 2016

If you want to go the budget route, go to Udemy and buy the $10 courses.

Jun 5, 2016

Rosenbaum's book is a really solid introduction

Jun 5, 2016
Comment
Jun 5, 2016
Jun 5, 2016