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I bought this book as a reference for my teaching in college. The content is not comprehensive enough for a whole semester, but it is very helpful and serves well for a 4-6 weeks module. The readers are asked to built a financial model from scratch using information from Walmart's annual reports. After the connected models is built, the readers are asked to conduct basic valuation (perhaps too basic) with the model. The author assumes that the readers have no background at all, so he spent lots of time to explain very basic accounting. Thus I believe that this book is great for beginners. Even for business school college graduates, one can follow the book and get a connected model in a short period of time. I found this feature being extremely helpful and unique comparing to other books, I can simply train my teaching assistants from different backgrounds by as them to read and follow the book. If you have no financial background, this book provides most value. For those business school students who is new to financial modeling, this book could be a very good case study. The main complaint I have is that the readers may find it difficult to generalize what they have learned. Despite the author provides some guidelines throughout the process, most of them are about the modeling techniques. After all, this is a book about techniques. If you want more explanations on how the deal is done and the principles, Rosenbaum and Pearl is way to go. In fact, I end up using this book to complement Rosenbaum and Pearl in my course. The students walked away with a fully connected model which they can modify and apply on other cases easily.
Financial Modeling & Valuation is easy to follow, even for Excel novices, as it clearly describes step-by-step how to build the model and you can follow along with the Excel template available at the publisher's website.
At times, the book may take a long time to get through as it will go through every step and every formula used in the model, including which cells to link thru, and indeed if you have alot of experience with Excel or financial modelling, you may find Joshua Rosenbaum's book more appropriate, as that includes M&A and LBO modelling as well as basic information on other Investment Banking and Private Equity.
However if you are new to financial modeling, this book is alot better at holding your hand.
I would suggest getting both, but if you can only afford one, then the chose would depend on your level going in.
The book is well structured and very easy to read. If you complete the spreadsheet template while reading the book, you will feel a lot more confident about your financial modeling skills.
I have also read the other very popular book by Rosenbaum and Pearl. I would recommend this one for those who look to improve their modeling skills and the other one for people who are looking for a more comprehensive picture about what investment bank analysts are doing.
The reason I didn't give five stars is that when it comes to the spreadsheet, the descriptions tend to be lengthy sometimes. So the book appears thicker than necessary.
Excellent book that almost anyone can benefit from. As a young student with minimal accounting and financial experience, I was able to put in the hours and fully understand the material to help me with my IB summer internship. The book explains all concepts in very simplified terms and makes it easy to learn the basics, but then continues to go in-depth and teach the technical skills used on a day-to-day basis by analysts.
The content of the book is classical valuation approaches, while the approach to the content is useful. Recommended for fresh starters in valuation and might be useful to professionals as well. Learning by doing is well accomplished in the book.
Good book for modeling and especially if you are starter. The book start from basic using finance, accounting, Ms Excel, strategy, research. He has put practical approaches in the book for easy learning. Don't miss the online templates.