Thursday, 27 March 2014

Financial Modeling: Free Resources

A question that I frequently get is, “Which financial modeling course should I use?”, or “Should I go for a classroom based coaching or will online courses be good enough?” In my experience, coaching is not required as long as you have a basic commerce background (CA or B.Com students) and are comfortable with MS Excel.

So in this post, I’ll provide you some free resources which you can use to learn everything you need to know about financial modeling.

During my own efforts of breaking into finance, I came across some invaluable resources by the simple strategy of Googling “free sample financial models”. So luckily for you, I can cut through the chaff and lead you directly to the best resources available online - the most suitable and relevant ones.

The first is a database of every type of financial model that you can imagine, which you can access here. This website provides fully built excel files which you can use as templates and glean ideas for refining your own models. Some of them are really good, while others not so much. I’ll leave it to you to explore.

The second is – it’s a website that teaches the finer technical points of investment banking and private equity for free. It’s easily the most valuable website out there if you want to learn all you can about finance without spending a buck. It provides step by step instructions for building every major type of model, the technical aspects of deal making, coaching on macros… basically everything that you need to crack technical interviews and then some. It goes up to advance levels so feel free to go as far down the rabbit hole as you can.

If you’re still not satisfied and are absolutely adamant to get something in an instructional format, I suggest signing up for M&I’s Breaking Into Wall Street (BIWS) free sample tutorials. They’re only demo tutorials and don’t get into the meaty parts of modeling, but you’ll still get to pick up a thing or two and they give a great idea of what to expect from the full course. Also sign up for Brian’s newsletters – he’s been sharing free technical material since forever and it’s incredibly useful.

(If this reaches you, sorry, Brian! But you should continue reading before you accuse me of discouraging potential customers.)

However, if push comes to shove and you decide to take the plunge with paid coaching, I wholeheartedly suggest M&I’s BIWS course. If online coaching is not your thing, there are a number of classroom coaching providers in India who have courses on financial modeling. However, having never used them or met anyone who used them, I’m afraid any suggestion regarding the same would be injustice to you.

In summary, see this database of excel files and this website for detailed tutorials on financial modeling and everything else you need to know about technical aspects of investment banking. It’s been over a year since I used these resources, so if you Google for free stuff today, I’m sure you’ll come across even more resources than I did. Happy learning!

Disclaimer: Bateman Begins is not associated with any of the websites listed above. The suggestions in the above post are the unbiased view of the author and not paid endorsements.


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