I can tell you many things about financial modeling and financial modeling courses, and I will, for that matter, if you keep on reading.
However, one thing I don’t have to tell you is just how important financial modeling is to a company. Extrapolating from this idea, you can easily see how important you, the financial modeling specialist are.
Not wanting to be negative, but you know that, in this game, there is no room for mistakes.
It’s one thing to make a financial model that says ‘your company will have a profit of $5 million in the first two years of its existence.’
It is a whole different thing to say ‘your expected profit is $5 million, but there’s also a 40% chance of serious losses in that allotted amount of time.’ Your model will lead to some very different decisions.
There’s an article which I love that comments on these very same things and which I suggest you read in your leisurely time.
It’s very easy to be optimistic when it comes to creating financial models and wanting to round things up to a positive end. However, in the same way, a spreadsheet is not a financial model, you know that’s not how it works.
By the way, here’s another article to treat yourself to on spreadsheets and financials models. Click here to read it.
Therefore, if you know all this is true or have already realized it for yourself, you also know that to avoid any such blunders, you need all the training you can get when it comes to financial modeling. And, in this case, help arrives in the shape of financial modeling courses/training.
You might be thinking about the courses you have taken or plan to take in college on this subject. I am not. Do you want to know why? Because, as good as they may be, they are not enough.
The world of banking doesn’t hire the second best or the guy who relied on his college semester courses to get ahead. The world of banking hires the ones who have dedicated time and effort to learn all there is about financial modeling and more.
Therefore, college studies aside, what can you do to improve your knowledge base and skills?
Engage into financial modeling self-study, of course. This is exactly what I’m planning to detail for you in this article. What are the best financial modeling courses? How does one get started? Can you get a certification? Can you download free financial modeling courses and are they any good? Let’s see.
How to Get Started with Financial Modeling Courses
The first thing you need to take into consideration before actually choosing a financial modeling course or another is your needs.
Ask yourself this question: why do you want to go for a financial modeling training?
Financial modeling courses are typically sought out by a few categories of people. There are students, who are aiming to learn more than what their college curricula can offer.
Secondly, there are those who want to pursue a career in investment banking and who know just how much financial modeling knowledge will help them.
And thirdly, there are the individuals who are already working in the field. For the latter, these courses will prove a treasure trove as far as continuing education goes.
Next step is choosing the actual financial modeling courses you would like to follow.
This is where it gets easy. What you want is the absolute best training course available on the market. After some thorough research as well as assessing multiple criteria, I have come to a conclusion that, no matter what your goals are, the BIWS is the best one around.
That being said, let’s see what BIWS have to offer.
The BIWS Financial Modeling Courses
Breaking into Wall Street or, more commonly known as BIWS, offers specific courses for Financial Modeling.
To learn more, click on this link, which will take you straight to their website.
Here are some details as well. BIWS has several levels when it comes to banking courses. Out of all of those, Level 2 is the one you want if you’re interested in Financial Modeling.
The course is divided into three sections, as follows.
- Excel and Fundamentals
This is the course you need if you want to ‘learn valuation and financial modeling and dominate your investment banking interviews,’ as they word it themselves. Here is a summary of what you will be getting with this course.
- Modeling tests as well as case studies, because BIWS wants to train you for real life financial modeling work, not just from a theoretical point of view.
- Explanations of the concepts, seeing as there is no way you can ace your interview if they ask you conceptual questions and you cannot answer them.
- Learn how to build LBO models. Watch a sample video.
- Create merger models
- Learn how to value a company correctly, objectively, and fast and much, much more.
Apart from that, the actual Excel lessons that are to be found in this course have their basis in two cases from real life. One of them will ask you to manipulate, format, and analyze the customer’s data, while the other one is centered around WalMart.
Go to the BIWS page to see all of this and add this course to your cart.
- Advanced Modeling
Here is where the real deal is at. The main reason for that is the fact that, in this regard, BIWS is unlike any other course on the market. The modules and lectures themselves are centered around a very real and very important case – Microsoft attempting to buy Yahoo! for $44 billion.
Apart from that, the course has been deemed as the most time-economic and user-friendly, seeing as it allows you to complete it in your own time, instead of giving you deadlines and such.
Click here for a detailed account of the course and what it has to offer, such as the following.
- 100 training videos, which work as a visual aid to your studies. Watch a sample video.
- You will learn how to develop a three-statement model
- How to spread comps, value NOLs, liquidation valuation, future share price analysis, and sum-of-the-parts valuation.
- You will get advanced LBO Model lessons.
- PowerPoint tips
- You will be getting a sample pitch book
- Bonus case studies, so that you can finish the course reassured that you know all there is to know.
Read the detailed presentation of the course in a PDF here.
- BIWS Premium
This is a package that allows you to download and use both Excel and Fundamentals and Advanced Modeling. Evidently, if you opt for this package, you will receive a discount which means that you will be saving $197.
You can pay it at the purchase or you can go for the installments. Because yes, BIWS has the option of allowing you to pay for this wealth of knowledge in installments that will come up to $99 per month.
Use this link to find out more.
Also, click here to download the PDF description of the course package.
It really doesn’t get any easier than this. This is, if you will, financial modeling for dummies. BIWS seems to be the best financial modeling course around.
What About the Financial Modeling Certification?
This is yet another thing you don’t have to worry about if you plan on going for the BIWS financial modeling courses I advised. All of them, no matter which one you choose will offer you a certification upon completion.
Once you have completed the course or courses which you’ve selected, you will immediately become eligible to take the Certification Quiz. If your score is equal to or higher than 90%, and something tells me it will, then BIWS will send you a certificate.
In fact, it is a Certificate of Achievement that has your name on it, as well as the quiz’s name and the date you graduated on it. You can then use this certificate as a reference or attach it to your personal resume when you’re trying to land a job in financial modeling or investment banking.
Here is a word of warning, though.
Take the course and exam as seriously as possible. Most people tend to have outdated opinions even in 2017 and believe that, just because it’s done online, it’s not a serious thing. However, I must warn you that your certificate has a link which employers can use to see what was on your exams and what you have learned. In this way, they can tell for sure if you’re qualified or not to get the job.
Should You Turn to the Financial Modeling Course Free Option?
That is a possibility as well. In case you don’t want to pay the fee or simply don’t have enough money, you can find research material online, as well as whole financial modeling courses and training programs. However, there are a few downsides to that.
For instance, you might not get a certification after you finish. Moreover, even if you do get one, it might not be recognized by prospective employers or by your college. As a consequence, this means that your efforts of going through the course might be in vain.
Secondly, free courses are typically not very well structured or organized, which means you will have to struggle with working your way through the material. This idea adds up to studying in disarray and wasting a lot of time trying to comb through it all.
Thirdly, and most important of all, there is no knowing who wrote or even published the free content online. To better understand this, think of Wikipedia. It’s true that Wikipedia is a great source of information. However, it is a known fact that universities, for example, do not accept Wiki references as a source in classes or in student papers.
The reason is that Wiki pages can be written by just about anyone, professional or laymen. Therefore, the information might be corrupted or simply incorrect.
It’s the same thing with free financial modeling courses. If you don’t know the author or there is no trustworthy source for the material, then the content might not be realistic and, therefore, valuable.
My advice to you here is not to waste your time with such trivia.
Do not waste your time, energy, and efforts with classes that might contain false info or that will not be recognized by your employer or college. Go straight to the source, even if it will cost you a few hundred dollars.
In the end, you cannot put a price on what can possibly be the job that will change your life forever.
Think of financial modeling classes as a small investment for a bright career and future.
Typing up financial modeling course free download into Google seems simple enough. However, during the interview or hiring process, when it’s between you and another person who went through the BIWS courses, for example, and has the verifiable certificate to prove it, who do you think they will choose?
Moreover, since we are at the advice section of this piece, here’s another one.
Don’t skip the lesser levels of the BIWS financial modeling courses.
Like I’ve pointed out above, there are two modules – Excel and Fundamentals and Advanced Modeling. You can, of course, skip straight to the advanced Modeling one. However, not going through the financial modeling excel training will leave a gap in your education that will prove difficult to fill later on.
Therefore, here is what I advise you to do.
- Decide why you need the courses in the first place.
- Go to the BIWS website, as pointed out above, and choose the two financial modeling courses that will rock your life.
- Go through them at your own pace. Do not hurry because no one is pressuring you. Disregard people who tell you that they finished in two days. Remember – excellence cannot be achieved overnight.
- Finish the courses.
- Take the certificate exam. Study as hard as you can and make sure to get at least 90%.
- Download a copy of your certificate.
- Attach it to your resume.
- Mention the BIWS financial modeling courses as well as your exam, your grade, and certificate to your prospective employers during your interviews.
- Talk about everything that you have learned. There is no room for modesty when it comes to scoring such a coveted and well-payed job.
- Get the job!
- Come back and leave me a comment about your experience with financial modeling courses, telling me how great you did!
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