Financial modeling -- what to learn first | TigerDroppings.com
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reb13
Ole Miss Fan
Oxford, MS
Member since May 2010
10185 posts

Financial modeling -- what to learn first

So I am looking to pickup some sort of programming skill and am trying to figure out what to learn first. My options seem to be java, c++ or become a master of excel. What do y'all think the best language would be to make me as marketable as possible in the financial and accounting world?


Lsut81
USA Fan
Member since Jun 2005
65731 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

What do y'all think the best language would be to make me as marketable as possible in the financial and accounting world?



If you plan on going into the O&G industry and doing modeling, learn the two you mentioned, Java and C++, but become an excel guru, especially with VBA.


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Athanatos
Vanderbilt Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2010
6676 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
You really don't need to learn a programming language to become good w/ excel. I know enough VBA to write some macros but rarely use it.


reb13
Ole Miss Fan
Oxford, MS
Member since May 2010
10185 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
I think my goal is to learn a language so that I can be familiar with it probably not even use it. I have just seen a lot of financial jobs that want someone who can at least understand what they are looking at. But they are vague about what exactly they want you to know.


lynxcat
Rutgers Fan
Member since Jan 2008
14724 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
Being a master in excel is first and foremost.

My list would be:
1) Excel
2) Access
3) SQL

I think an argument can be made to put SQL above Access...if you know SQL you probably don't need to use Access very often.



HurricaneDunc
Bowling Green Fan
Houston
Member since Nov 2008
9757 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

Being a master in excel is first and foremost.

My list would be:
1) Excel
2) Access
3) SQL


I would agree with this. And to be honest, I'd be willing to say you could along entirely with Excel in nearly all cases.


Powerman
LSU Fan
Corpus Christi, TX
Member since Jan 2004
121047 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

You really don't need to learn a programming language to become good w/ excel. I know enough VBA to write some macros but rarely use it.


Most of the people I know that use VBA in excel just create exceedingly complicated spreadsheets that serve no function and could have easily been created with some clever ingenuity within the basic framework of excel.



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lynxcat
Rutgers Fan
Member since Jan 2008
14724 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

I would agree with this. And to be honest, I'd be willing to say you could along entirely with Excel in nearly all cases.



Excel works for 95% of cases for someone doing financial analysis. Things like SQL are for database management which should be a precursor to actually doing financial analysis.

One thing that comes to mind that could be too much for excel is if you are doing transactional analyses for a major company. If you have 100 million transactions in a year...well, I don't think Excel is what you want to use to start that analysis.


reb13
Ole Miss Fan
Oxford, MS
Member since May 2010
10185 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
Thanks for all of the input guys, looks like I will be looking harder in to excel. What piqued my interest was this it is a puzzle of sorts where you have to create a program to identify arbitrage opportunities. I thought it was very interesting and thought about giving it a shot.


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HurricaneDunc
Bowling Green Fan
Houston
Member since Nov 2008
9757 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

One thing that comes to mind that could be too much for excel is if you are doing transactional analyses for a major company. If you have 100 million transactions in a year...well, I don't think Excel is what you want to use to start that analysis.


Well sure, but that's where SAP and business warehouse come in to play. For the analysis I do every day, I use Excel and Tableau (and Access only to union data sets occasionally). PowerPivot is starting to gain some traction, but I'm not a fan. I'd much rather Tableau.


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Rockyn
LSU Fan
Tampa Bay
Member since Sep 2008
6951 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

database management
FileMaker Pro whoop whoop


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rickgrimes
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2011
2999 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
ExcelIsFun

Subscribe to this guy's youtube channel. Hands down the best Excel resource I've found on youtube. He has tons of finance related excel videos too.


lynxcat
Rutgers Fan
Member since Jan 2008
14724 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
I am very interested in learning Tableau...it is the king for data visualization.

Ill be honest...I love getting back into Excel. I spend so much time in PPT that it is a breath of fresh air.


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Rockyn
LSU Fan
Tampa Bay
Member since Sep 2008
6951 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
I will ditto the sentiment that the solid base Excel foundation is the prerequisite for models and bottles moreso than a language.

The macros and advanced stuff we write/use are usually time-saver oriented or pure bells and whistles as opposed to critical model components.

A language is lagniappe, and parsimony can be a beautiful thing. It can be very frustrating to create a monstrosity and it not work or have to spend hours correcting a screwup in your build design because you wanted to overcomplicate things.
This post was edited on 6/17 at 10:53 am


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reb13
Ole Miss Fan
Oxford, MS
Member since May 2010
10185 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
Has anyone taken a wall street prep course?


tokenBoiler
Purdue Fan
Lafayette, Indiana
Member since Aug 2012
576 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

What do y'all think the best language would be to make me as marketable as possible in the financial and accounting world?


K, and its close relative Q, seem to be what the big boys in the back rooms use.

LINK


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nelatf
Louisiana Tech Fan
NELA
Member since Jan 2011
1528 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
quote:

Has anyone taken a wall street prep course?


Tell me more about this....

...also, I learned as much as possible about excel. That has helped propel my work career.

I am the excel go to guy for the company I work for......that knowledge has paid significant dividends.

I have dipped my toes in SQL and gotten knee deep in access - excel is what I have needed.


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AthensTiger
LSU Fan
Athens, GA
Member since Jul 2008
1777 posts

re: Financial modeling -- what to learn first
I do financial modeling and agree with excel , access and SQL. Vba is very useful sometimes. Learn how to use excel PowerPivot and you can work with large data sets in Excel, but there are times when Access or t-SQL are a must.


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