Comments (8)

Oct 13, 2009


Oct 13, 2009


Oct 13, 2009

M&I's program - Breaking Into Wall Street does a good job walking through the different valuation methods, but it seems more focused on preparing for interviews than learning how to model things out for real. So if you really want to pick up the hard skills, perhaps you would need a book or some other program where you can really do things step by step.

Oct 13, 2009

I am in the same kind of dilemma. I am currently trying to decide if I should get a self-study program, and if so, which one (I am primarily looking at WSP and TTS).

Oct 13, 2009

From an academic standpoint and from learning the fundamentals in valuation, I am sure these guides do a pretty good job teaching you valuation specifics and all the accounting/finance intrcacies - how to adjust for things, whats included and whats excluded .. yada yada.

What it won't teach you is the experience you get as an analyst modeling these things over and over, and having an associate over your shoulder correcting you and teaching you even more. As banker88 said, these guides are more for kids who want to break into banking who know little about it.

Oct 13, 2009 this seems to be recurring theme on this site, so here's my personal take on some of the financial modeling and valuation training programs out there. This is strictly my own personal opinion and assessment of these programs, so ultimately, you'll need to judge for yourself what works best for you.

Breaking into Wall Street: Dirt cheap, and great for those with no to limited financial background. I actually was one of the first to review it and suggest some tweaks to the program, and it looks like it's been getting better over time.

Wall Street Prep: Primarily self-study. VERY tedious. You must be 100% committed to get through it, that's all I can say. I have a couple of their textbooks from an on-campus live training seminar they did one weekend-- they covered Financial Statement Modeling and DCF Valuation. Very dry, but I feel it covers the financial concepts as thoroughly as an introductory corporate finance textbook (or could serve as a decent supplement). I think it's really more for those with an intermediate background or understanding of finance.

Training the Street: Although I have not taken any of their courses, upon viewing their model templates, I feel their target audience is much like Wall Street Prep-- it's probably best for those with intermediate to advanced finance backgrounds.

The Analyst Exchange: Did all of Phase I and Phase II modules (Financial Statement Modeling to Valuation and Presentation). I think it's one of the best because:
a. one-on-one interaction with a live instructor (online via Skype) helps you build a strong networking relationship with current Wall Street professionals
b. you go at your own pace...the instructor will review the concept until you fully understand it
c. you gain both a solid conceptual and technical understanding of key finance concepts (you know how to do it in Excel, and more importantly, WHY you're doing it)
However, it's not for beginners the way Breaking Into Wall Street is. You should be advised that it would probably be best to begin The Analyst Exchange after you've had a finance course or two under your belt. It just makes the learning process go by a good deal quicker.

Ultimately, the final choice will come down to one of two factors:
a. cost
b. learning preference/style

Hopefully, that helps some of you decide what would be the best investment.

Good luck!


Oct 14, 2009

The financial modeling content of BIWS before the Yahoo! case study is rather basic and ideal for interview prep.

The Yahoo! case study, though, is pretty dang intricate. There are tons of videos for the operating model and valuation alone, and Brian hasn't even gotten around to putting up the merger model and LBO model content up yet. I don't know how it stacks up against the other programs, but as far as I can tell, it's very robust.

Oct 14, 2009