Financial Modeling Self Study Program

Self Study FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Basic Financial Modeling Self Study Program

What differentiates this program from other financial modeling self study programs?

Having taught many classes covering financial modeling, I wanted to create a Self Study Program that would replicate as close as possible the way in which you would learn how to build an integrated cash flow model if you were enrolled in a live class or were being tutored one-on-one.  I believe that this Self Study Program succeeds in that regard, and it is this that differentiates and distinguishes it most from other financial modeling self study programs.

Other financial modeling programs on the market give instructions in one of two ways.  Either they provide you with a lengthy written presentation containing dozens or hundreds of Excel screenshots or they give you a video showing an instructor working in Excel (or the instructor moving his or her mouse in Excel). They also provide you with an Excel template file and expect you to learn modeling and fill-in the template by following along with the screenshots or by continuously pausing the video.  Then they give you a solution file so you can check your model when you are done.

While there is probably something to be gained from these types of self study programs, I created this Program because I believed that there had to be a better way than to jump back and forth between a paused video or printed screenshot.

This is the first program of its kind that gives you cell-by-cell instructions (audio and textual) built directly into the Excel file.  Similarly, it is also unique in that it checks your work as you go, indicating correct and incorrect formulas in each cell.  All of the learning features, including a detailed audio and visual presentation are built directly into a single Excel file.   Other differentiating features include a line-by-line explanation (again, audio and textual) of how we go about selecting model drivers and assumptions as well as a set of exercises and questions that help you to analyze and understand the model outputs.

For a more detailed list and explanation of the features of this Basic Modeling Self Study Program, click here.

How much does the Basic Modeling Self Study Program cost?

We are currently offering a special price of only $49.

Do you offer a free trial or demo version?

Yes, we offer a demo version that will introduce you to the features and functionality of the full version of the Self Study Program. This demo version is free and can be downloaded upon registration at the Institute for Finance website here.

What is the difference between the demo version and the full version of the Self Study Program?

The demo version contains the first several slides of the financial modeling presentation (with full audio) while the full version contains the full 7 section presentation. The demo version allows you to create the first few lines of the model’s Income Statement while the full version allows you to create the complete model (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement and Debt and Interest Schedule). Also, the full version also contains some exercises and multiple choice questions that are unlocked when you complete the model, which the demo version does not have.

Why is the Basic Modeling Self Study Program so inexpensive?

Very simply, while a lot (A LOT!) of work went into creating the Program, I wanted to make the Program affordable to anyone interested in pursuing an investment banking or finance career, especially considering today’s difficult economy and job market.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept payment by all major credit cards as well as PayPal.

With what versions of Excel will the Self Study Program work?

This Self Study Program is designed for Excel 2007 or Excel 2003. There are two versions of the Self Study Program and when you purchase the Program, you will be able to choose which version you want to purchase.

Will the Self Study Program work on a Mac?

Unfortunately, the Self Study Program has not been tested on Macs.

Are there any prerequisites for the Program?

While there are no explicit prerequisites, in order to get the most out of the program we do recommend that you have a basic understanding of accounting (i.e. you can read and comprehend the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement) and that you have a general familiarity with using Microsoft Excel. For those of you without those skills or knowledge, future self study modules are planned that will cover both basic accounting and Excel.

What is financial modeling?

Financial modeling means different things to different people.  For some, the term can mean essentially any analysis done in a spreadsheet.  However, for most investment bankers and other practitioners of corporate finance, financial modeling means projecting one or more of a company’s financial statements in order to use those projections for some kind of analysis.

The type of model that this Self Study Program teaches is, in my opinion, the most important type of financial modeling.  This model is known as an integrated cash flow model, which is a forecast or projection of a company’s three financial statements:  the Income Statement, the Balance Sheet and the Cash Flow Statement.

Why is an Integrated Cash Flow Model useful?

An Integrated Cash Flow Model is useful (imperative, actually) for projecting how much cash or liquidity a company will have in the future.  It is also the basis for an LBO or full-blown M&A model and is crucial in applied corporate finance careers including investment banking, private equity, equity research, asset management and corporate development.

A more detailed explanation is contained in the Basic Model Presentation that is part of the Self Study Program.

Who should be interested in this Basic Financial Modeling Self Study Program?

This basic financial modeling self study program is meant for anyone that wants to learn the basics of how to create a financial model from scratch. It is useful for anyone interested in becoming a finance professional, or is already working in the fields of investment banking, equity research, asset management, private equity, hedge funds or corporate development, since it is a skill that is crucial in all of those fields of finance.  It is also extremely useful for undergraduate and MBA students as well as recent graduates who are in the recruiting process for investment banking and private equity careers since basic modeling skills are often tested in the interview process (either through technical interview questions testing the relationship of the three financial statements or through direct modeling tests).

Who should NOT be interested in this Basic Financial Modeling Self Study Program?

Since this Self Study Program only covers basic financial modeling, it is not for individuals who are already comfortable creating an integrated cash flow model from a blank Excel worksheet.  Those individuals will find this program too basic.  However, future self study programs will cover advanced modeling topics, including LBO and M&A modeling.  This Basic Self Study Program is not for those interested in learning how to model derivatives, structured products or other financial products as this Program does not cover those topics.

What topics does this Program cover?

This Self Study Program teaches you how to build a basic integrated cash flow model, or in other words, to forecast a company’s Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement.  It also teaches you modeling best practices, how to properly format a model, how to go about selecting model assumptions and drivers, how to fix common modeling errors as well as how to create a Debt and Interest Schedule and how to model a revolving credit facility (“revolver”).

Do you offer other self study training courses or programs?

At this time, the Basic Financial Modeling Self Study Program is the only self study program offered.  We are, however, planning to add the following self study modules: Advanced Modeling, LBO modeling, M&A modeling, Excel Basics, Valuation, Accounting Basics and Corporate Finance Basics. Please check back with us for more details on these future programs.  In addition, we teach live classes covering all of the aforementioned topics.  For more information about our live class offerings, please visit The Institute for Finance.

Please click the Demo/Purchase button below to open the Institute For Finance website (IBankingFAQ’s sister site) where you can register to download the free demo version or purchase the full version of the Basic Financial Modeling Self Study Program.

Demo or Purchase Self Study Program

For more information about the Basic Modeling Self Study Program, please email me at andrew [at] or use the contact form below.

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