Where to Learn Financial Modeling

  • Peter Lynch

While I hope that ASimpleModel.com becomes an integral part of anyone’s learning process, I believe that learning this skill set requires exposure to multiple sources. For that reason I am posting a list of resources. These resources have been picked using the collective findings of many internet searches, and commentary on sites like Reddit and Quora. For the time being I am including three categories: Free Resources, Books and Paid Programs. 

Sources have been organized in alphabetical order by topic. It is entirely a coincidence that ASimpleModel is listed at the top…

FREE RESOURCES:

ASimpleModel.com – In my highly biased opinion this is an incredible resource that should be used by every human all the time. More realistically… ASimpleModel was built for the novice modeler. It is a starting point from which many great options exist for continued learning. The comment that I was most pleased to find while searching online is that it is “on par with the summer intern training at a bulge bracket investment bank.” 

Macabacus.com – Macabacus is an incredible resource. The site provides excel templates with a lot of detail. Many are so granular that you are not likely to encounter them in a professional environment. Regardless, the material provides an excellent example. You will also find explanations for topics such as Asset and Stock Deals and Purchase Price Allocation. Compared against ASimpleModel I would say that the material is more advanced.

NYU Stern Prof. Aswath Damodaran – Professor Aswath Damodaran is legend when it comes to valuation. You will not get far searching the internet for information on valuation or financial models without coming across his name. Compared against ASimpleModel I would say that the material is more academic in nature (as well as more advanced). He is a professor at heart, and a great one. As an example please see his gracious response to Bill Gurley (partner at Benchmark, a VC firm) detailing two contradictory valuations of Uber

BOOKS:

Financial Modeling – I would highly recommend this text to those interested in financial modeling that desire, or require, a deeper understanding of financial topics. The text also covers portfolio analysis and therefore statistical analysis, as well as options pricing models.

Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions – As the title suggests, this book is oriented towards those interested in an entry-level position in investment banking. In addition to covering the various aspects of valuation and modeling, the text also covers the process of moving through a transaction and describes the documents required. If you want to work in IB, this book is for you.

PAID PROGRAMS:

The entities listed below are the most commonly referenced paid programs. Unfortunately I cannot offer much insight here. From what I read it appears that all three are well liked, and that most recommend the program they attended. The biggest advantage of these programs (in my opinion) is live instruction. 

Breaking Into Wall Street

Training the Street

Wall Street Prep

This is a curated list (not comprehensive). Certainly more than eight resources exist, but I believe this combination of resources provides all material required in enough formats to match most learning styles.

Please email me (peter@ASimpleModel.com) if you believe anything has been omitted.