Financial Modeling Self Study – How To Learn On Your Own

Financial modeling is a powerful tool used by financial analysts and investors to evaluate the performance of a company or an industry. It helps them understand the financial health of an organization, predict future performance, and make informed decisions. It involves creating models that represent a company’s operations and financial statements. This process helps analysts and investors better understand the impact of business decisions on the overall performance of an organization. Financial modeling also allows for more accurate forecasting of future cash flows, which is essential for making sound investment decisions.

Financial Modeling Self Study

By understanding the fundamentals of financial modeling, one can gain valuable insight into how to interpret financial data and make informed decisions about investments or business strategies. With self-study, one can learn how to build models from scratch and use them to analyze different scenarios in order to determine the best course of action for any given situation.

Learning financial modeling is essential for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of how financial markets and investments work. Financial modeling is used to create a detailed map of a company’s finances, including its balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and other important metrics.

By understanding the relationships between these financial statements, financial models can provide valuable insights into a company’s performance and potential. Financial modeling is a crucial tool for investors, analysts, and finance professionals, as it helps them make better-informed decisions. It allows investors to assess a company’s financial health, understand its risk profile, and make better investment decisions. 

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Financial models are also used by analysts to determine a company’s valuation and make more accurate predictions. Financial modeling also helps companies better understand their own financial performance. Companies can use financial modeling to create detailed projections of their financial position, helping them plan for the future and make better decisions. 

By understanding their financial position, companies can identify opportunities for growth, allocate resources more effectively, and develop strategies for success. In short, learning financial modeling is essential for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of how financial markets and investments work. It can help investors and analysts make better-informed decisions, and help companies plan for the future and make better decisions.

There are many resources available online for self-study of financial modeling. Studying that way can improve efficiency and help you work at your own pace rather than falling into a pit of unnecessary stress and workload. Self-paced learning has always been relevant and learning that way you can learn things faster and more impactful it is going to be.

Here Are Some of the Free and Paid Resources Available for Self-study:

1. Investopedia:

Investopedia offers a wide range of tutorials and courses related to financial modeling. It also provides access to financial modeling templates and calculators.

2. Coursera: 

Coursera offers several courses related to financial modeling self-study, some of which are free.

Consider taking this course from The Wharton School on Coursera if you want a financial modeling curriculum from a reputable university. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School enjoys a strong reputation and is widely regarded as the top business school in the nation.

The Business and Financial Modeling Specialization program has been completed by more than 50,000 students and has received a 4.5 overall rating from more than 6,800 evaluations. The curriculum consists of five distinct courses:

  • Quantitative Modeling Principles
  • Getting Started with Spreadsheets and Models
  • Risk and reality modeling
  • Making Decisions and Scenarios
  • Wharton Capstone in Business and Financial Modeling

You will learn in the training how to create scenarios and forecast performance using your own data.

You can register for the Business and Financial Modeling Specialization program through Coursera and receive a seven-day free trial. You are free to end the trial at any time without incurring any costs. You can continue taking the courses at $79 per month after the trial period has ended. This program typically takes six months to finish, so your overall cost will probably be around $474.

Although it is not a requirement for the program, it is advised that you have high school-level math skills up to pre-calculus.

Although the courses are self-paced, they start at specific times, so you must wait until the following enrollment session. But there is at least one monthly offering for each course. There is no method to communicate with teachers if you need individualized help because all of the curricula is prerecorded.

Although you can obtain a certificate after completing the course, it is not from The Wharton School, thus it might not be as impressive to potential employers.

Despite its shortcomings, we selected this course as the best overall financial modeling class due to the university’s reputation for supporting it and the depth of its materials. Additionally, since the course has a monthly subscription rather than a one-time payment, finishing it will save you money.

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3. Udemy:

Udemy has several courses related to financial modeling self-study, some of which are free.

For startup entrepreneurs and small business owners, financial modeling can be very helpful. Financial modeling can help you compare pricing strategies, determine how much funding you’ll need, and get ready for investor meetings.

Two startup founders are teaching the Financial Modeling for Startups and Small Businesses course on Udemy, and the curriculum is tailored precisely to the requirements of business owners. The course, which we examined, has one of the lowest pricing at just $129.99, and its material is made up of videos, downloadable materials, and articles. All of the materials are yours to keep once you join.

By enrolling in the course, you’ll learn how to create financial models for your company, use financial modeling to inform your business decisions, and put those skills into effect.

Through Udemy, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee on the course. You are entitled to a refund of your enrollment fee if you are unhappy with the course.

You must be familiar with Excel before taking the course, especially when writing formulae. The course is not as robust as more expensive ones and has fewer videos than some other courses.

You could obtain a certificate from Udemy. The value of your Udemy course completion certificate may not be as high as it would be if you had received it from a college or NGO.

However, given its cost and target demographic, entrepreneurs are likely to find the training valuable. This course is exclusively created for startup founders and entrepreneurs by addressing their specific needs, in contrast to other courses that could be overly broad or concentrate on giant organizations.

4. The Investment Banker from Financial Edge:

The Investment Banker from Financial Edge is regarded as one of the best online courses for financial modeling topics. Top investment banks are aware of its extensive modules and micro-degree program, which can help you advance your profession.

Leading investment banks employ Financial Edge as a training provider to prepare their new financial analysts. Alastair Matchett, a financial expert with experience in mergers and acquisitions and private equity at J.P. Morgan and nearly 20 years as an educator prior to founding Financial Edge, created it in 2016.

The four sub-courses that make up the Investment Banker course bundle, cover fundamental accounting concepts, financial modeling, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and LBO. There are 25 video modules totaling more than 43 hours of content in the course. Along with the video courses, you can do hundreds of Excel exercises to hone your skills.

In contrast to other online courses, this one allows you to interact with other financial experts and ask the course teacher questions.

You can download content to use with the Financial Edge app, Go by FE, which is accessible through the Apple Store or Google Play. Additionally, you may finish work on the app and have your modifications appear on all of your devices.

You must pass four distinct tests in order to be eligible for a micro-degree, a certificate that is recognized by several large banks.

Although Financial Edge doesn’t guarantee its courses, lifetime access to the course materials provides you plenty of time to finish the program. Only under exceptional circumstances and when course materials haven’t been downloaded or seen are refunds granted.

With hundreds of videos and downloadable materials, Financial Edge’s The Investment Banker course bundle offers outstanding value for the money. The fact that it has a strong app you can use to access content while you’re on the move makes it one of the few options that let you communicate with the instructor and other students.

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5. Wall Street Prep: 

Wall Street Prep offers a comprehensive financial modeling self-study. 

Investment bankers founded Wall Street Prep in 2004, which provides both online and instructor-led courses. Investment banks, private equity companies, and business schools are some of its clients.

Its self-paced Real Estate Financial Modeling course comes with reusable real estate Excel modeling templates and more than 20 hours of video content that is delivered in nine parts. You will gain knowledge of real estate and development theory as well as how to create a real estate development model during the course.

You can obtain continuing professional education (CPE) credits by taking the course, which is necessary for certified professional accountants (CPAs).

The $499 course from Wall Street Prep comes with unrestricted access to its online support centre, where you can request updates, download additional materials, and ask questions. Online coaching is available if you need more assistance, but each session will cost extra.

After finishing the course, you can obtain a certificate, but you first need to pass a test. After enrolling, you have 24 months to take the exam.

Be aware that this is a rather advanced program before enrolling in the course. You should already be familiar with Excel and accounting fundamentals. Before enrolling in the Real Estate Financial Modeling course, it is advised that you attend one of Wall Street Prep’s crash courses if you lack that experience.

The course stands out from others that teach students more generic financial modeling techniques since it is so thorough and designed for real estate professionals. Its in-depth sections will be particularly useful to those pursuing careers in real estate for helping them compare and contrast investment selections.

6. YouTube: 

YouTube has many channels dedicated to financial modeling, with some of them having free content. YouTube has become an invaluable resource for financial modeling self-study. It allows users to access a plethora of educational content on virtually any topic imaginable, often for free. Through videos, lectures, and tutorials, learners of all ages can find the guidance and expertise needed to develop their skills and knowledge. Users can access both short and long-form content depending on their needs and learning styles, allowing them to tailor their education to their own specific goals. YouTube also provides an accessible platform for users to find and connect with like-minded peers and experts, providing them with support and feedback to further their learning. With its vast library of resources and interactive features, YouTube is an essential tool for anyone looking to pursue self-study.

Regardless of the company, financial modeling is a necessary ability, but different industries have different needs in specific areas. Be sure to decide if you want a more general course or one that is industry-specific before you start browsing for financial modeling courses. For those interested in real estate, Wall Street Prep, for instance, is excellent, but not everyone will fit this description.

We suggest Business and Financial Modeling from Wharton Online for broad financial modeling courses. It’s an affordable course that lets you learn at your own pace while receiving top-notch instruction from some of the field’s greatest minds.

Course Curriculum for Financial Modeling self-study

First topic: valuation

Overview of valuation

How important valuation is.

Understanding Equity and Enterprise Value

Valuation Technique 1: Analysis of Comparable Companies

  • choosing comparable businesses
  • distributing similar businesses
  • Evaluation multiples analysis
  • Conclusion and value understanding

Method 2 of Valuation: Analysis of Prior Transactions

  • choosing similar transactions
  • distributing similar transactions
  • Resulting value

Method 3 of Valuation: Using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) approach.

  • Unlevered free cash flow: An explanation
  • Free cash flow projection
  • prediction of the terminal value
  • Currently valued items and discounts
  • Knowing about stub periods
  • making use of sensitivity analysis
  • Average Weighted Cost of Capital (WACC)
  • Analyzing and comprehending WACC Concluding valuation
  • combining the three approaches
  • Resulting value

Topic 2 

  • Building an Integrated Cash Flow Model is the second topic.
  • Basics of financial modeling
  • Knowing how the financial accounts are related.
  • Recognizing circularity
  • Establishing and preparing the model
  • Choosing model assumptions and drivers

Modeling and Financial Statement Projection

  • Making income statement projections
  • Making a balance sheet projection
  • The cash flow statement projected
  • Putting together the debt and interest schedule
  • Rotating modeling

Model Evaluation and Conclusion

  • Examining the results
  • Model stress testing
  • Correcting modeling flaws
  • Modern modeling methods
  • Making a Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis with the model

Topic 3: Recruitment, Interviewing, and Course Conclusion

Interviewing and Recruiting

  • What are banks and other financial organizations looking for?
  • Overview of general interviews
  • Fit/qualitative inquiries.
  • technical issues

Following the Interview

  • choosing a company
  • choosing a group

Any information on investment banking you’ve ever wanted to know?

The end of the course.

Download the detailed course curriculum of our FMMC Course with practical projects!

Advantages of Financial Modeling:

  • Improved Decision-Making: Financial modeling helps to assess the potential impact of decisions on the overall financial performance of an organization. Financial models can be used to evaluate potential investments and make informed decisions on how to allocate capital.
  • Enhanced Forecasting: Financial models allow organizations to take into account historical performance and current market trends to create more accurate future forecasts. This can help organizations plan for the future and adjust their strategies accordingly.
  • Risk Management: Financial models can help to identify potential risks and quantify their impact. This can be used to assess the potential outcomes of different scenarios and develop strategies for risk management.
  • Valuation: Financial models can be used to calculate the intrinsic value of an asset. This can be used to assess the potential return on investment and make informed decisions on whether or not to invest.
  • Improved Efficiency: Financial models can help to streamline the financial decision-making process by reducing the amount of manual work required. This can help organizations to save time and resources and improve efficiency.

Disadvantages of Financial Modeling:

  • Cost: Financial modeling can be a costly process. Companies may need to invest in software and training in order to create and maintain financial models.
  • Complexity: Financial models can be complex and require a significant amount of time and expertise to create and maintain. Companies may need to hire specialized personnel in order to create and maintain financial models.
  • Data Quality: Financial models rely on data to be accurate and up-to-date. If the data is not accurate, the results of the financial model may not be reliable.
  • Assumptions: Financial models rely on assumptions to be accurate. If the assumptions are inaccurate, the results of the financial model may not be reliable.
  • Errors: Financial models can be prone to errors due to the complexity of the model and the data used. Companies must ensure that the models are accurate and up to date in order to ensure reliable results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is financial modeling self-study?

Financial modeling self-study is the process of learning how to create financial models on your own, either through online courses, textbooks, or other educational resources.

Q2. What skills will I gain from financial modeling self-study?

Financial modeling self-study will equip you with the necessary skills to create accurate and reliable financial models. These skills include data collection and analysis, spreadsheet modeling, financial statement analysis, valuation techniques, and more.

Q3. What type of resources should I use for financial modeling self-study? 

There are various resources available for learning financial modeling. These include online courses, textbooks, blogs, tutorials, and more.

Q4. How long will it take to complete financial modeling self-study?

The amount of time it takes to complete financial modeling self-study depends on your individual goals and the type of resources you use. In most cases, it can take a few weeks to many months.

Q5. Is financial modeling self-study worth my time and money?

Yes, learning how to create financial models can be very beneficial for a variety of reasons. Financial modeling self-study can help you better understand financial data, improve your decision-making skills, and even increase your job prospects. 

Q6. What is the best way to learn financial modeling? 

The best way to learn financial modeling is to find a combination of resources that best suit your learning style. This could include online courses, textbooks, blogs, tutorials, and more.

Q7. Are there any prerequisites for financial modeling self-study?

Generally, some knowledge of finance and accounting is recommended. Additionally, some familiarity with spreadsheet software like Excel will be helpful.


In conclusion, a financial modeling self-study approach is invaluable if done properly with dedication for gaining an understanding of the financial markets. It can be a great way to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to become a successful investor or financial analyst. By taking the time to learn the basics of financial modeling, one can gain a better understanding of how the markets work and how to make sound investment decisions. With a thorough understanding of financial modeling, one can make informed decisions that will lead to greater profits and success in the financial markets.

The key to success in financial modeling is practice, practice, and more practice. With the right resources, dedication, and effort, you can become a financial modeling expert. With self-study, you can learn the fundamentals and develop the necessary skills to be successful in this field. Set yourself up for success by having the right tools and resources, setting achievable goals, and learning from your mistakes. With consistent effort, you will be able to build a strong foundation and become a successful financial modeler.

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