Self-Study Learning Tracks

Our financial modeling course modules will help those who want to propel to the top of their field and industry by sharpening and honing specific technical skills. Our courses are thorough and comprehensive to help you achieve your goals, regardless of your specialty within fundamental analysis.

In all cases, you must always master the Basic & Fundamental Concepts and Basic Financial Modeling Topics before progressing. Of course, the farther up you go, the more specialized your expertise will become. Select a track below for curriculum and ordering information.

Industry Tracks

Investment Banking

Investment bankers need to learn financial modeling so they can properly project the profitability of the clients they work on as well as valuation. Ultimately, they help companies raise equity capital and debt financing as well as advisory services such as mergers & acquisitions. In all cases, they need to predict the future earnings and cash flow for valuation purposes. Our courses teach both the modeling and valuation aspects.

Boutique investment banks focus on a specific niche, usually an industry. These firms most likely have only M&A capabilities since they don't have the reach and distribution / sales force aspect of the larger banks. Professionals working at boutique investment banks are perfect for our self-study courses since boutiques usually have fewer people to train and need formalized training but don't have the headcount to justify corporate, in-house training.

At a minimum, bankers need the suite of financial and valuation modeling courses, as well as merger and LBO modeling courses. Boutique firms may not need the complex LBO and advanced merger courses but probably would be nice to have. Obviously in all cases, the bankers need to master the basic and fundamental concepts.

  • Package 1: Basic & Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 2: Core Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 3: Advanced Financial Modeling
  • Package 4: Valuation Modeling Topics
  • Package 5: Merger Modeling Topics
  • Package 6: Leveraged Buyout Modeling
  • Package: Super-Complex M&A/LBO Modeling
  • Package: Private Company Modeling & Valuation*

*Only included in the Investment Banking (Middle Market) Track.

Order Investment Banking Track

Equity & Securities Research / Hedge Funds

Research professionals analyze and value stocks and fixed income securities in the industries that they follow. Sell-side equity analysts recommend buy, sell or hold and their responsibility is to generate independent investment ideas to sell to their clients (individuals and institutions). Buy-side research analysts make their investment recommendation and pitch them internally to their portfolio manager.

Sell-side research professionals are either part of a larger bank or are "independent research firms" that sell their research to other larger firms. Nowadays, the research staff is thinly staffed, with no more than a handful of professionals per team. Fewer and increasingly, younger, junior research staff supporting a head analyst or portfolio manager further increases the need to master financial modeling.

Asset managers are the buy-side, typically large institutional investors with sums of money to invest. These can be mutual funds, independent asset managers, pensions, foundations, endowments or insurance companies. These can fall into a multitude of possibilities but either way, they need to evaluate if they should buy a stock or security and therefore, need financial modeling and valuation courses.

Oftentimes, the focus of the job is diverted away from proper learning, training and understanding towards simply "updating the quarterly model." Mastering our financial and valuation courses will give you the leg up to spend more time on qualitative instead of quantitative analysis. A key course is our Segment Build-up Modeling course to better quantify drivers of growth.

Research professionals are supposed to generate investment ideas by identifying the catalyst - what will make this stock move? The rigor of analysis actually is a little bit less focused on financial modeling. Financial modeling is merely step one, and serves as a tool to quantify the research analyst's qualitative assessment; as such, financial modeling is a critical skill, though not the "end-all, is-all." A research analyst's coverage might include 30-50 companies and so when a deal is inevitably announced in their industry they need to be able to analyze the deal and ascertain quickly if this is good or bad for the parties involved.

Thus, research analysts also need to know enough about M&A and LBOs, but not necessarily the super complex deal structuring aspects. Analysts need to know the basics to carry one a good conversation and make the quick determination of good or bad. Get the basic terminology, understand the implications and how to evaluate the results and screen for companies that are ideal LBO candidates for private equity firms to swoop in and snatch up. At a minimum, research professionals need our suite of financial modeling and valuation courses with just the basic merger and LBO courses.

  • Package 1: Basic & Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 2: Core Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 3: Advanced Financial Modeling
  • Package 4: Valuation Modeling Topics
  • Course: M&A Deal Structuring and Merger Modeling Basics
  • Course: LBO Overview and Quick & Dirty LBO Modeling
  • Course: Buy-Side Series: Mechanics & Applications of L/S HF

Order Research Track

Private Equity / LBO

Private equity and venture capital firms invest large sums of money to buy an entire company as opposed to just shares or stock of a company. This falls right into the leveraged buyout courses. Basically, leverage means use of debt, using massive amount of debt to buy a company, take it private (off the public markets). Private equity and LBO professionals basically need to master all of our courses, from modeling to valuation and including (and especially), the super advanced modeling packages.

The rigor of financial analysis & modeling that PE professionals undertake is considered to be more rigorous than investment banking. Investment banking tends to be transaction oriented (close the deal, get the fee), whereas with private equity, you have to live with the company - you own the company and therefore you actually care about what happens after you buy the company. Private equity is considered a very natural next step career-wise after investment banking.

Many private equity firms hire experienced bankers from M&A, leveraged finance or financial sponsors groups and as such, mastery of LBO modeling is a required skill. Merger courses are also required since the PE fund first needs to buy the company, perhaps integrate it with an existing portfolio company and then in the future, exit the company. Understanding and articulating capital structure is critical as well.

  • Package 1: Basic & Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 2: Core Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 3: Advanced Financial Modeling
  • Package 4: Valuation Modeling Topics
  • Package 5: Merger Modeling Topics
  • Package 6: Leveraged Modeling
  • Package: Super-Complex M&A/LBO Modeling
  • Package: Private Company Modeling & Valuation

Order Private Equity Track

Credit/Debt Ratings

Credit analysts evaluate whether or not to make loans to companies. They focus on modeling out future cash flows to forecast ability to pay down debt, as opposed to a focus on earnings & valuation. Credit and leverage statistics (i.e. ratios) are covered in detail in our Accounting and Advanced Financial & Valuation Modeling - Enhancements courses. Investment grade debt (bonds) and bank loans are usually safer securities whereas high yield (junk bonds) are more risky. Many of these banks lend debt in transactions and as such, credit analysts would need to be familiar with LBOs and M&A to understand how bankers priced and structured the deal.

The lending side of the world can be broken down into Corporate Banking (bank debt such as revolvers and term loans) and Commercial Banking (public or private bonds and fixed income securities). In either case, banks lend debt in LBO and M&A transactions and as such, need to understand how to evaluate such transactions - does it make sense for the company to borrow that amount of debt or should they borrow more or less, what is the ideal structure. Historically, banks more focused on what was earned in previous years and not on what will be earned next yr to pay the loan. This is why our courses on the credit side are important!

  • Package 1: Basic & Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 2: Core Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 3: Advanced Financial Modeling
  • Package 4: Valuation Modeling Topics
  • Package 5: Merger Modeling Topics
  • Package 6: Leveraged Modeling
  • Package: Distressed Modeling

Order Credit Track

Internal Corporate Business Development / M&A

Corporate development and business development professionals are the internal buy-side division of companies that make acquisitions. As such, they need to understand the full financial modeling, valuation and merger modeling topics. Emphasis should be placed on the Advanced Financial Modeling and Valuation - Enhancements courses, M&A Deal Structuring, Merger Modeling Basics and our Complex, Super-Advanced Merger Modeling for complete thoroughness. Beyond understanding capital structure impacts, the LBO courses are not required other than personal learning.

  • Package 1: Basic & Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 2: Core Fundamental Concepts
  • Package 3: Advanced Financial Modeling
  • Package 4: Valuation Modeling Topics
  • Package 5: Merger Modeling Topics
  • Course: Super-Complex Merger Modeling

Order Business Development Track

Current Students

At a minimum, current students (undergraduate business/liberal arts, graduate students, etc.) looking to get a leg up for interviews, summer internships or obtain learning and training prior to starting their full time position should master the two basic courses listed above and ideally go through our Core Financial & Valuation Modeling Topics. This will demonstrate your seriousness and commitment to the finance profession, fully prepare you to hit the ground running, provide you with a proper foundation for advanced learning and impress your colleagues and higher-ups with your ability to learn new concepts quickly.

Contact us today for special student discounts.

Who Can Benefit

Current Finance Professionals

"I completed the basic modeling - it totally demystified the whole process for me. Looking fwd to doing more modules! Excellent program in every respect. Also, I'm not 100% 'mouse free' yet, but well on my way! Thanks!

Virginia A. Donner
Plainfield Asset Management

Professionals Transitioning Into Finance

Two things have helped me move out of a senior sales position into an investment analyst job: my CFA Charter studies and the slew of financial modeling classes I've taken at Wall St Training. Both lent great credibility to my move, but the real benefit of WST's classes were immediately evident on the job as I was able to develop complex proprietary models from scratch whilst referring to their models and notes. The payoff was instantaneous and WST has made me look very good in front of my boss!

James Vanreusel
Grassroots Capital


Learn more about the benefits of online corporate training.

Hamilton Lin came in from Wall St. Training and conducted an intense session over the course of several days for our Analysts. Some in the group were brand new, and others had been with the firm for a few months. Feedback from all trainees was very positive. The initial review of accounting theory was an excellent primer for the hands-on, intensive Excel analytical work that ensued. I had the sense from the Trainees that Hamilton kept the small group on its collective toes, firing questions and looking for the Trainees to validate their learning in real-time.

The Trainees took away very practical skills in the use of Excel and in proper financial modeling techniques, which is useful training that even the most "book-smart" new hire needs. The foundation laid for the Trainees in the Wall St. Training session is one of fundamental concepts complemented with practical application, and we are confident that this will help our Analysts acclimate themselves to the fast-paced environment in the firm. The fact that Hamilton has been receptive and responsive to follow-up questions from Analysts ("How do you do this in Excel...?") is a plus. I would definitely recommend Wall St. Training to others.

Jack Rabun
Vice President and Training Coordinator
Grail Partners, LLC

Current Students

My summer internship is done and I'm still alive! It was a great experience and I am now in a position to say thank you once again for the training program you provided. Wall St. Training was the single most important educational experience of my life. Your hands-on teaching style taught me the importance of efficiency through keyboard shortcuts and macros, which has increased my productivity fivefold and will forever remain a part of my work habits. You are without a doubt the best teacher of any subject I have ever had and I will be recommending you to everyone I meet interested in a career in investment banking.

Steve DeWald
Summer Analyst, Investment Banking
Banc of America Securities

Order Self-Study Tracks

Order our pre-packaged industry tracks and save 20% off buying the packages individually.
Investment Banking Track $2,000
Investment Banking (Middle Market) Track $2,400
Equities & Securities Research Track $1,460
Private Equity/LBO Track $2,400
Credit/Debt Ratings Track $2,000
Internal M&A/Business Development Track $1,600

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