Financial Modeling Practice & Applying for Jobs

I’m coming from a Financial Services background with no experience as an analyst. I’d like to gain experience with Financial Modeling and be able to show companies I’m applying with that I do have at least some basic Financial Modeling knowledge and skills. I’m thinking about just printing off all of the info for a company on EDGAR, along with anything else I can find. I would use that info in building and working with my model, then write a report on the company. After letting a few people review it, I’d send it along with my resume when applying. Has anyone done this, and does it sound worthwhile? Thanks!

IMO, it is a good start. Remember though, there are quite a few people who have perhaps more experience or are doing the same. My suggestion, is identify a few firms where you would like to work. (eg. funds, unless you would like to work in a brokerage research department) Study what their current strategy is. Approach the model and report based on that. It potentially adds value to their current situation as opposed to a one off which may or may not sync with their strategy. My 2 c.

Great advice C3Po. I’m actually looking at two institutional firms, one has a top down approach and the other has a bottom up approach. I think I’ll work on two different reports based on those approaches.

Here is a easy way, got FactSet?

Nope, but I see you can sign up for a free trial, so I’ll do that. How much is membership?

D&C I’m basically in the same boat as you, good idea to start this thread

i think this is a great idea! though, personally, i would feel somewhat timid going ahead with this plan only b/c having no financial modelling experience the downside (i.e. the report is crap and i loose all my chances) seems heavily weighted… best of luck with it, i definately think its bold!

FactSet membership is really expensive, I highly doubt you’ll want to pay for it. It’s over 4 figures a month

I would have quite a few people look over your report before you start mailing it out. Remember, the people you’re sending this to scrutinize reports and data for a living; if you’re going to send them a report that is representative of “what you can offer”, you need to make sure it’s PERFECT. Not discouraging you to pursue this avenue, I actually think it’s a good idea. I just wanted to reiterate how important it is to carefully review the report.

I agree with you guys. I definitely would have a few “experts” review it and give me their feedback before I actually sent it to a potential employer.

This is a good idea, as I said somewhere else it basically got me my current job. My suggestion would be to focus first and foremost on being able to write a report to accompany your model. Remember, for a lot of bottom-up shops, business EVALUATION must take place before VALUATION. If you can’t explain the company’s business model, customers, strengths, weaknesses, management, and competitors in 5-10 pages, you probably shouldn’t be attempting to model prices for 3-5 yrs out. With that said, as you go about attempting valuation, someone else suggested reading the reports of the place you’re applying to before you come up with anything. This is obviously a wise move. I’d also suggest just reading everything you can about valuation in general in order to hone your skill set - stuff like Graham and Dodd, yes, but also modern stuff like what you’ll find in the CFA curriculum. NYU has a prolific writer named Damodaran on their staff who has a few books out in addition to a ton of material on his website. I’d say read basically everything you can get your hands on of his - he’s mostly geared to people who are early on in the valuation learning curve, but you won’t look retarded if you follow his methodologies.

awesome, thanks supersadface! I’ll check out his stuff.