Financial Modeling Self Study Plan

Financial Modeling Self Study Plan

A New Guy Joins our Team

Next Monday we at will welcome a new analyst to join our team. The person has a solid 15-year track record in the field of corporate finance. However, we will still need to teach him some specifics and advanced tricks of financial modeling. We will also have to expand his knowledge beyond the industry he worked. It will keep his models nice and simple and will decrease turnover time for client projects. At the end of the day, spending many years in finance won’t make you a great financial modeler unless you do a lot of practice.Financial Modeling Self Study Plan


After trying many different ways to train my people, I have reached several conclusions. I still believe that the best way to teach someone financial modeling is one-on-one or small group personal training, making models for real-life clients. However, this relies too much on spending a lot of my own time or time of our most experienced colleagues. So, instead of this, I’ve come up with a better solution – a financial modeling self study plan!


ModelOff – Financial Modeling World Championships

I have compiled a self study plan that uses past questions from the ModelOff Financial Modeling World Championships from the last years. ModelOff is the main annual competition in the field of financial modeling. It has been supported by Microsoft, and every year it brings together thousands of financial analysts to compete online for one of the 16 spots in the New York live finals. By the way, I’ve managed to qualify for the finals twice, getting as high as 5th place in 2017.

Financial Modeling Self Study Plan

The great thing about ModelOff is that every year they think of several new tasks in different aspects of financial modeling. Cases from the previous years are available for the general public (including the correct answers). Actually, ModelOff team encourages finance specialists around the world to use their materials for educational purposes. There are as much as 52 case studies published (all with answers!) and more are expected to come. Some of them are very similar to real-life problems, while others are not (I call them ‘free-style’ modeling – e.g. making a model to score Poker combinations).



Financial Modeling Self Study Plan

So, I have compiled a list of questions that are most relevant to the real-life financial modeling that we do at I have assigned the difficulty level to each of the cases based on my subjective feeling. So, I give this list to new colleagues and encourage them to work through the cases. Then we review the results together and I give them the feedback. However, even without the guidance of the experienced financial modeling professional, going through the cases will boost the understanding of financial modeling big time! Basically, this could work very well as a financial modeling self study plan!

Financial Modeling Self Study Plan

Source: ModelOff


There is no recommended sequence to solve the cases. The only guideline – it is probably wise to solve the easier cases first. For the purpose of this training it is important not to go for the speed, but rather for the quality of the model! Don’t forget to format the model as if you present it to a client.


P.S. Please, feel free to share this financial modeling self study plan to your friends!

P.P.S. You are welcome to connect or follow me on LinkedIn to get new ideas about financial modeling. I will be posting useful tips and tricks, as well as tutorials in the field of financial modeling.

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