I have an interview next week w/ a firm as “research analyst 1” and they just told me to bring an excel spreadsheet that “showcases my skills”. Wouldn’t give me anything further…The position would mainly be for tracking newly issued ETF’s and closed end mutual funds…I have used excel in the past, but not as much currently as i’m in financial sales. i’m wondering what they are looking for??? I am considering bringing a pretty basic spreadsheet that shows TVM, IRR, rent vs. buy decisions, etc… This postion is for someone w/ 2-4 years financial industry experience (which i have four, but all in sales). I’m sure their not expecting some really sophisticated Valuation spreadsheet…Do you all think something showing some basic skills and formulas be enough? also, any help on where to find some models to look at would be helpful…
I don’t have any recommendations- just make sure there is nothing confidential in the spreadsheet- not that I have done anything like that before…
When I googled “financial excel modellling swaps” I landed on http://metink.homestead.com/models.html which seemed pretty interesting. When googling =Adinterp I found http://findb.hkkk.fi/finance/reuters_pppro_users_guide.pdf likewise interesting. You would naturally not build anything from scratch and without the relevant toolpaks. Here is another site http://www.exinfm.com/free_spreadsheets.html. I will have to check them out myself later on. Choate, if you find some really good sites, couldn’t you please make a note here?
wow, tough call. I would buy Benningas book, overnight ship it, and bang out something quick. the fact that they didnt give you more color sucks… normally, you just model out a companys 3 stmts, but since this is an ETF position, I have no idea what they would want either http://www.amazon.com/Financial-Modeling-3rd-Simon-Benninga/dp/0262026287/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220726942&sr=8-1
I work in a different area to you so these thoughts may not be useful. However, I pretty much specialise in Excel and financial modelling. If you’ll forgive the generalisations I have found most people sit in two camps. The first camp like financial models and they typically asses your skills in the following order: i) Does it look pretty? e.g. is it set up to print, does it have nice formatting etc. ii) Is it usable? This is often linked to the point above and may be dependent somewhat on models that the interviewer has previously seen. iii) Does it work technically? In my opinion this is the most important aspect, but many people don’t agree. This is one you can’t really bluff, but one thing that is hugely important for me is the presence of some audit tests. Whatever you’re doing throw in some tests that it works - no one will look at them, but they will admire your diligence. The other camp tends to live “in the real world” and would consider themselves to be “commercial”. They tend to dislike large models and any excessive attention to detail in the model. They want to know that you’re not just a geek, but that you appreciate the final results and what they mean. There is often a great focus on instinct and they look for the model to back your instinct. It is obviously extremely difficult to know in advance which of these camps you will be pitching to, but I would have thought your best hedged position would be to appeal to as many parties as possible and would include: - make it look pretty. It is easy to do, and looks sloppy if you don’t - make sure you get it right, check it loads and add some audit tests - keep it small. No one can digest a completed bit of Excel over a cup of tea in an interview. There is a danger they may keep it and analyse it later, but ultimately how many marks can you lose for not knowing to make it complicated vs how many would you lose for doing too much from the “real world” camp, or getting it wrong from the technical people like me. - know why you have done what you have and what the results mean. Don’t assume something like a discount rate without a good reason, and know why you’re doing it i.e I’m sure you could create an all singing all dancing flash bit of Excel to predict the population of Amazon frogs, but no one from the “real world” people will appreciate that. There are some models floating around the internet, but you’d be better off looking for something on best-practice and not ignoring it like the majority. That includes: - Left to right consistency - can’t do it, will not impress. - inputs / calculations / outputs separated. No exceptions. - same column same time period, everywhere. There are more but I forget. Good luck
Thanks! That all helps. I don’t think they’re looking to see if I can design a model once I start to use in practice, but I do think they want to make sure I have a basic knowledge of Excel. The position description wants someone with 1-3 years of experience in finance, and I’m pretty sure most of the models I’ve looked at weren’t designed by someone w/ 1-3 years of experience. Anybody else have any advice? It would be much appreciated…
I was asked to do this before and I made sure my examples included 1) nifty financial math, but also 2) cool charts which show management clearly what is happening so they don’t have to stare at all the data. Agree with BigBean on everything, make it pretty and make it work.
Purealpha, Do you happen to have a draft of that I could take a look at??
Bearing in mind that committing plagiarism means you go will go to hell after dying from infinite paper cuts, you can find some good excel example spreadsheets on the website below: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/
The stuff I did was really specific to my industry at the time. Check out these downloads for some cool ideas. http://www.andreassteiner.net/performanceanalysis/?Downloads:XLS