Wall Street Prep vs Breaking into Wallstreet?

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!

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Comments (100)

Aug 25, 2009 - 9:42pm

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 - 4:30am

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 - 7:32pm
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 - 7:45pm
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?

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Sep 12, 2014 - 11:05pm

BUMP

It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation. -Gordon Gekko
Dec 6, 2015 - 6:05am

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 - 12:53pm

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 - 12:55pm

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 - 12:57pm

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 - 1:10pm

BIWS vs WSP (Originally Posted: 06/28/2011)

I've got an IBD (M&A) internship coming up and I have never done any financial modeling or work before, nor anything complex in Excel. I know some of the accountancy basics (very basics mind you) and am comfortable with the basics of Excel. I've been looking around at some of the courses you can buy, and I'm somewhat skeptical of their value. The two which seem most attractive are the 'Basic Package' from WallStreetPrep and the 'Excel + Financial Modeling Fundamentals' from Breaking Into Wall Street, both costing $200.

Are either of these worth buying? How helpful are they? Are there any better packages out there?

Thanks!

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:11pm

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

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Jun 5, 2016 - 1:15pm

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 - 1:19pm

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 - 1:29pm
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-training

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:27pm

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 - 1:28pm

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 - 1:30pm

BIWS/Wall Street Prep with no finance/accounting knowledge? (Originally Posted: 12/10/2012)

Would I be wasting my time and money if I've only taken one introductory accounting course and no finance courses? I know both courses cover some basic accounting, but do they cover the basics of corporate finance as well?

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:34pm

Breaking into Wall Street vs Wall Street Prep (Originally Posted: 05/12/2013)

There have been changes to both programs in the past few years. Where do these programs lack depth and are there any benefits to these programs?

Array
Jun 5, 2016 - 1:41pm

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.

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:45pm

BIWS vs. Wall Street Prep - What to buy? (Originally Posted: 11/18/2013)

I already work in IB but need to sharpen up my modeling skills in my spare time to add value. (Specifically FIG modeling)

Wall Street Prep is $500 which is 100% more expensive than BWIS at $250. Is it worth it? Training the Street or IBI doesn't have FIG-specific courses from what I've seen. http://www.WallStreetPrep.com/programs/

What are your experiences from BWIS or Wall Street Prep. I get reimbursed from my bank so money is not a huge issue but what is better and comprehensive?

Best Response
Jun 5, 2016 - 1:50pm

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 PrepLearn Financial Modeling
  • 6
Jun 5, 2016 - 1:48pm

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.

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."
  • 3
Jun 5, 2016 - 1:51pm

BIWS vs Wall Street Prep - disregarding cost (Originally Posted: 01/19/2014)

Hey guys. So I've gone through many threads about BIWS vs WSP and many people recommend BIWS.. But I feel like the cheaper cost is one of the reasons. I realize BIWS is pretty great given the reviews. That being said, is it as recognized if you mention it in an interview?

i.e. do interviewers know what BIWS is? WSP seems to be more adopted by more organizations.

Also, people say that BIWS is very conceptual and great if you want to get a very good technical understanding. Is WSP NOT good in this regard and is it very mechanical?

Thx.

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:57pm

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 - 1:53pm

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!

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:54pm

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.

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:55pm

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.

Jun 5, 2016 - 1:56pm

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 - 2:01pm

BIWS vs WSP modeling packages? (Originally Posted: 01/22/2014)

Hey everyone,

I'm looking to spend some money on some self study materials regarding technicals (modeling/excel). I'm looking at primarily two packages as of now. The BIWS Premium package and the WSP package. They are both $500 so I'm curious if one has to offer something that the other doesn't.

Jun 5, 2016 - 2:04pm

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!

Jun 5, 2016 - 2:05pm

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 - 2:24pm

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
  • 1
Jun 5, 2016 - 2:27pm

(Freshman at Wharton) Best resources/courses to learn finance/modeling... BIWS? WSP? (Originally Posted: 01/22/2016)

Hello.

I'm a freshman at Wharton undergrad. I already want to start learning finance & modeling for this summer. What resources would you recommend? I'm sure others who want to break into this area would also appreciate answers. I'm only a freshman with little knowledge, but am extremely eager to learn.

-Breaking into Wall Street?
-Wall Street Prep?

All advice is appreciated!

Jun 5, 2016 - 2:33pm

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

Array
Jun 5, 2016 - 2:34pm

WallStreetPrep and BreakingIntoWallStreet (Originally Posted: 10/23/2013)

A little background at first is I am a college student looking to prep for ib interviews this upcoming winter/spring. I have been looking at these online courses for the prep. I have also looked at getting "Investment Banking: Valuation, LBO, and M&A" by Rosenbaum and Pearl.

Do any of you guys have any insight on the resources I have listed above?
Any other advice is also appreciated

  • 2
Jun 5, 2016 - 2:37pm

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