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How To Learn Financial Modeling from YouTube Effectively

The process of calculating and showing the financial performance of a business or a company is known as financial modeling. This involves using all statements, details of growth and risk assumptions, valuations of the company, valuation of assets, mergers and acquisitions, etc. YouTube offers videos that are free of cost, enabling students and teachers both alike to cram for an exam and take notes for the next class, which is extremely helpful. 

Learning Financial Modeling from YouTube

Brief Introduction to Financial Modeling 

The process of creating a spreadsheet, most likely an Excel sheet, helps describe the financial results of a company in quantitative terms. The model uses mathematical equations to calculate and arrive at the results showing the performance of a business, financial asset, investment, or the company’s financial health as a whole. 

Brief Introduction to YouTube

YouTube is one of the most popular video-sharing websites or social media, where registered users can upload and share videos with the people on the website. Launched by Jawed Karim, Chad Hurley, and Steve Chen on 14 February 2005 with its headquarters in San Bruno, California, United States, it has since become a common household platform for practically everything including entertainment, world news, gaming, music, and education. We see many businesses and companies that use YouTube to promote their products or conduct surveys about services and feedback, we can see people from every age group – from school kids to working adults to elderly people, posting content that can range from music covers to cooking shows or live stream gaming, even to their daily lives and their pet’s lives. There is so much content on this website that can be purely entertaining or informational and educational or all of these together. 

Things to Keep in Mind While Using YouTube for Educational Purposes

Sometimes more than simply reading from books, the human brain can comprehend and retain information if the same is shown as images or diagrams. Because from a human perspective, we respond and process visual information better than textual data the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text. It’s also almost always the visual data that is transmitted to the brain. But since the website is commonplace for all sorts of videos, from cat videos to your favourite idol’s videos, food, etc. it is that much easier to get distracted and lose sight of your original goal of using YouTube – eLearning.

Learn Financial Modelling Exhaustively From the best ed-tech institute in India 

Hence, Here Are a Few Things to Keep in Mind While Using YouTube for learning Financial Modeling from YouTube:

  • Short and Sweet – When you want to learn something from YouTube, you will find so many videos relating to the topic you want to learn. But the effectiveness and actual content quality of the videos will vary. The short videos that we may deem unimportant might contain the crispest and clear information than the lengthy ones that may end up wasting our time. So try to look for videos that are short and segmented that focus on particular topics in each video. You can also check the comment section to know the popular opinion about the video lecture or animation, and also the number of subscribers to know the overall popularity of the channel.
  • Make use of a video looper app – No matter how short and crisp or how detailed an explanation of a topic is, sometimes it’s hard to understand everything in one go, and you’ll have to go back to a certain time stamp to repeat the lesson or rewind the entire video to get a good grasp of it. That’s okay though, but instead of wasting your time manually rewinding the video, you can always download a video looper app for YouTube videos. This especially comes in handy in cases where your hands are otherwise occupied like when you’re learning how to paint or a new instrument like violin or guitar or even a dance choreography routine.
  • Create a playlist – YouTube has a feature that allows you to create personalized lists or playlists of videos that you like. You can create different playlists for different topics and subjects. This is helpful when you want to go through the topic and don’t need to look for the next topic while in the middle of studying, and you can access them again and again without searching for them.
  • Online Community – YouTube can be considered an online collective learning platform where you can ask questions and share your thoughts via comments, post videos, or shorts of the topic that you’ve understood so far, etc. Some YouTubers also have a separate online community where they can share more about the topic, and you can sign up for this community if you want more details or connect with the instructor for any doubts and questions.
  • Take notes – Approach the video lessons like you would during normal in-class learning. Keep a notebook with you and jot down all the information you deem necessary from the video in the book. Taking notes will help you revise later without having to watch the video again. You can use the video looper app to rewind the video while you take notes. You can just use a notebook and pen to take notes or use a plethora of tools to make it easier to distinguish which point is more important. These tools can be sticky notes, highlighters, coloured pens, or note-taking apps.

What Are the Best Strategies or Ways to Take Notes From a Video while learning financial modeling from YouTube?

Yup, there are effective ways to take notes from the video that ensures you have more important information without missing anything. Sometimes, it’s more than just writing down everything you see on screen.

  • Outlining – If the video lecture follows a clear structure or pattern, outlining is the best note-taking strategy. This method divides notes into the main topic, subtopics, and extra details by using bullet points, numerical lists, headers, etc. This method is quite common among students as its precise organization and structure allow them to go back and review specific topics from the notes of a certain day. The drawback is that outlining is not ideal for subjects that have formulas and charts like chemistry or math. A rough outline of this method is as follows:
  • Main Topic
  • Subtopic 1
  • Its details
  • Its details
  • Its details
  • Extra information or reference notes

The Same is Repeated for Subtopic 2 to However Many Subtopics There Are:

Charting Method:

This method works best when the data to be noted is something to be memorized, information that includes facts or statistical data. The charting method is a note-taking method that involves using columns, several columns that can be used to organize information. It is similar to spreadsheets and tables where each column will have different categories and makes it easy to compare the data in the respective rows, hence making it easier to memorize the information. But this can be a time-consuming process to create and doesn’t work on information that cannot be differentiated into categories. A rough example can be:

Genetic materialDescriptionDifferences

Mapping Method:

If the topic is completely new to you mapping can be the best note-taking method, as it works well for heavy videos with lots of detailed and descriptive information. This method allows you to organize your notes by dividing them into various branches called tree-map, or webs called mind-map. This helps you to connect topics related to each other. This makes notes with detailed information but is easy to review or edit. Although if the information is placed wrongly while taking notes, it can be quite confusing.

Boxing Method:

This method is similar to charting but not quite as well known. This is useful if you’re taking notes digitally using note-taking apps, for video lectures that are split into various sections. Boxing involves combining notes which are related to each other or a topic in a box. One box for each section of the notes. But it is rather time-consuming and does not work if the data on the overall topic cannot be divided into groups. A rough model of the boxing method is shown below: 

Heading/ Main Topic
Subtopic/ key topic 1

  • Its details
  • Details
  • Details 
Subtopic 2

  • Its main details
  • Details
  • Details 
Subtopic 3

  • Its main details
  • Details
  • Details
Subtopic 4

  • Its main details
  • Details
  • Details

Cornell Method:

This is the note-taking method that revolves around the layout of the page. It is also known as the split-page method. The page is divided as:

  • Title
  • Notes
  • Questions and comments 
  • Summary or discussion 

This is a quick way of taking notes that summarizes new information in a very systematic way. Cornell method helps to extract important points and helps you to grasp new information much faster. Its organized way also saves time that is spent reviewing the notes. But it may need additional time to review and summarize the key points.

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Let’s Also Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Learning Financial Modeling From YouTube

Advantages of Learning Financial Modeling From YouTube

  • Free-of-cost – Most videos are free of cost and can be accessed whenever needed. For students who want to clear any doubts, they have on the topic or to get a better understanding without paying extra fees. It is accessible from anywhere in the world with the internet, you don’t even need to create a Google account for this.
  • The fact that it can be accessed from anywhere also makes it easier for teachers and trainers to upload videos without actually going anywhere, or to a specific school. In other words, both students and teachers can learn and teach from the comfort of their homes.
  • These videos can be used as supplementary resources or shown in classrooms directly for better understanding. This is especially helpful in the case of case study videos.
  • Different mentors have different ways of teaching and also different ways of solving real-world problems. Hence, this provides students with multiple methods to solve the same scenario.
  • If one topic is not covered by one trainer, it may be explained by another trainer. This not only enables students to find the information they want, but the teachers can also connect and collaborate if they wish to give a combined webinar on the topic.
  • These videos can be rewatched any number of times. 

Disadvantages of Learning Financial Modeling From YouTube

  • Authenticity – Just like how social media can be filled with false news and information, the same can be said about videos being posted online on YouTube. Not all videos will have the right information or information whose sources are rather questionable. Hence, it can take some time to filter out actual content videos from unreliable videos. This can be time-consuming, as one way to make sure is to check the comments and subscriber count and check the trainer’s profile on more reliable social platforms if such details are given. 
  • While the videos are free to access, a good level of internet connectivity is required to connect to the application and run the videos smoothly. If the network is not available, YouTube cannot be used to learn financial modeling or any videos in general.
  • YouTube videos will often have advertisements. Sometimes the option “Skip Ad” will be there so you can skip the ad after 5 seconds, but sometimes the advertisements can appear without the skip option, and these can be lengthy advertisements too. In this case, all you can do is wait for it to run its course, but this can result in students getting distracted or losing the flow of studying they had going on. The Ads may not also be about what you’re learning and can be distracting. 

Now Let’s See Some of the Channels That Are Reliable for Learn Financial Modeling From YouTube.  

1. The WallStreet School

Co-founded by C.A. Manoj Goel and C.A. Himanshu Jain, this institute was launched in 2009, in Delhi, India, the WallStreet School is one of the top educational institutes that offers training with a focus on financial modeling, investment banking, business valuations, stock markets, CFA, ACCA, CMA, CPA, CIMA, FRM, and Microsoft Excel. They are also the official prep provider of CIMA, FRM, CFA, and ACCA. On an industry level, the WallStreet School is the preferred training partner of corporate companies and consulting firms like EY (Ernest & Young), Deloitte, McKinsey, etc. Hence why the WallStreet School is one of the top channels recommended for learning financial modeling from YouTube. The videos discuss the introduction and definition of financial modeling, types of financial models, and their uses, how to build a financial, and jobs available after doing a financial modeling course. The video is divided into chapters, which makes it easier to rewind and learn and understand what the video offers. There is also a tutorial video for beginners which explains in detail how to build a financial model in Microsoft Excel. Another video explains valuation, its scope and methods including discounted cash flow (DCF) method, followed by an excel tutorial video of discounted cash flow method of valuation for beginners. A similar type of video for the Merger Model, with an excel case study and merger and acquisitions. There are also short videos on general topics like the role of a financial modeler, and others like how to calculate the free cash flows of a company in excel, doing financial analysis of a company in excel, etc.     

2. Corporate Finance Institute

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the Corporate Finance Institute is one of the top online educational institutions for finance, as their main focus is on training on financial modeling, valuations, and other developmental skills required by banking and finance professionals. This institute was launched in 2016 although it had its YouTube debut in November 2015. The YouTube videos in this channel include brief introductions to financial modeling, discounted cash flow analysis, building a financial model using Excel, sensitivity analysis of financial modeling, E-commerce startup valuation – a financial modeling tutorial, mining financial modeling and valuation course – a tutorial, calculating net present value, annuity, and perpetuity, a 10-step acquisition checklist for merger and acquisition, etc.

3. The Valuation School

The next one we would recommend is the Valuation School. This channel has an ongoing Financial Modeling Series that has new and updated information on the topic. They have step-by-step videos for financial modeling with Excel setup and key functions, plotting 3-statement financial modeling, ratio analysis, forecasting, discounted cash flow excel modeling, investment banking, the intrinsic growth rate for DCF modeling, etc. They also have various other finance and investment banking videos in general along with some live sessions in finance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1. Can videos from channels be used for learning financial modeling from YouTube?

Yes, if a student has difficulty understanding a particular concept, he/ she can look up videos on YouTube that explains the same with charts and images. This can help grasp the concept much easier. Also, most videos on YouTube are free, so they don’t need to worry about paying extra fees to understand a concept.

Q2. Are these videos easily accessible?

Yes, YouTube videos can be easily accessed through most electronic communication devices be it smartphones, laptops, or tablets. It is easily accessible no matter the screen size, whether small or large, so long as there is network connectivity, YouTube videos can be watched. The screen size does not any ill effect on the quality of the video.

Q3. Is financial modeling important in business?

Yes, as financial modeling is important for business accounting and management. It calculates the financial health of the company depending on which various financially well-informed decisions can be made for the betterment of the company. 

Concluding thoughts on learning Financial Modeling from youtube

There are many things to be considered while choosing YouTube as a medium of learning, mainly due to the number of distractions included in the application with the ads and recommended videos. Some videos may also not be worth your time and filtering this can much time. But all things considered, YouTube is a good medium to be used for learning. There are enough ways to check your priority playlist and focus on your studies. You also don’t need to follow one instructor if you don’t understand what they explain on a certain topic compared to their other videos. You can easily look up another instructor for the same topic and don’t lose any money. Hence why, learning financial modeling from YouTube is rather helpful.

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