by Brian DeChesare Comments (17)

What to Do Before Friday, April 26th at 5 PM NY Time

BIWS April 2013 Special OffersLet’s take a break from my usual (long) posts and keep this one short and sweet: we’ve just added a brand new modeling course to the BIWS Premium package we offer, as well as a bunch of other upgrades.

The prices are going up on Friday, April 26th, 2013 (tomorrow) at 5 PM NY time.

If you want to save $150+ on the courses and/or sign up for bonuses and special package deals that are normally not available, you need to act quickly and sign up within the next 24 hours.

UPDATE: This promotion is now over. Thanks for your interest.

What’s Here?

You can check out the video describing everything and take a full site tour right here:

[pro-player width=’500′ height=’375′ type=’video’ image=’’][/pro-player]

Click here to sign up and see the package deals available.

The Premium package now contains 80+ hours of video on all topics, from Excel through accounting, valuation, merger models, and LBO models… and bonus case studies on deals over the past few years.

And then there are recent additions, such as quizzes and certifications for the Excel, Fundamentals, and Advanced courses (over 300 quiz questions total), word-for-word transcripts for each lesson, and more.

Oh yeah, and we just released (literally less than 24 hours ago) a brand new Excel course that is a massive upgrade over the previous version.

You can get a full course outline here.

Please note that this does NOT mention the quizzes, certifications, transcripts, or the new Excel course since they are very new additions. But they’re all there on the site – just check out the video above to see.

UPDATE: This promotion is now over. Thanks for your interest.

The New Excel Course

So what’s in this new Excel course? You can get the detailed outline and descriptions of all 63 lessons right here.

The old course consisted of around 7 hours of video; this new version has 23 hours.

There is coverage of brand new topics such as charts and graphs, VBA and user-defined functions, and more advanced functions and formulas, like how to use the INDIRECT, INDEX, and MATCH functions in conjunction with each other to sort through and summarize “messy” data.

Each (large) video now has a Table of Contents and in-video, interactive quiz questions so that you have to pay attention instead of watching cat videos on YouTube at the same time.

Oh, and Mac Excel shortcuts are included and covered in a separate quick reference guide and in each video on the site. Finally.

You can check out 2 new sample videos right here:


Sample 2 – Creating Multi-Year Waterfall Charts

NOTE: If those data labels don’t show up properly in your version of Excel, you’ll have to link them manually instead of using the trick I used here (covered in the follow-up lesson to this one in the full course).

I’ve spent the past 4 years of my life creating these courses, and I can tell you this: this is the single best Excel-based / modeling course I have created.

That’s a direct result of having years of additional experience teaching, being able to review thousands of previous emails and questions on the course, and having more resources to create this type of material now.

UPDATE: This promotion is now over. Thanks for your interest.

How Will This Help You?

The Excel course will help you because even a 5% increase in your Excel productivity can save you hours and hours of time each week. Yes, you really do use Excel that much.

But more broadly, the rest of these new additions – transcripts, quizzes, and certifications – help you because:

  1. You can more easily skip around through lessons and look up exactly what you need to know, and nothing else. No more reviewing 6 hours of video to find one point – just use the magical Ctrl + F shortcut.
  2. You can test yourself on what you know, and then prove to employers that you know your stuff. Yes, taking a course is great… but being able to point to your results from it and say, “I passed their extremely difficult quiz with a 90% – here are the exact questions I had to answer correctly to pass” is much more powerful.

So everything here helps you win offers more effectively in the first place, and perform and get promoted more effectively when you’re on the job – in less time than ever before.

And even if you’ve read textbooks, taken classes, or been through other training before, ask yourself this: do you remember everything?

What happens when you need to refer back to something or look up a certain point in the future? How much would that ability be worth to you?

What’s the Downside? There Must Be a Catch…

There’s always a tendency to act like a new product is perfect or that there are no flaws.

Which, of course, is never true.

So in the spirit of doing the unexpected and being upfront with you, here are a few issues with this Premium package:

  1. Excel Course – It’s not 100% done yet. Several of the quick reference guides are still pending and won’t be finished for a few days. Also, this new course really is… brand new, and so there are not yet thousands of questions and comments that you can learn from as there are in the older version.
  2. Other Courses – The main downside is that these other courses are older, and so they don’t include the interactive quizzes, tables of contents, or the new methodologies I’m using in these revamped Excel videos. But it’s coming. Everything will eventually be updated, and you’ll receive free access when it happens (no, I don’t have an ETA – this is a 5,000 man-hour project so it will take slightly longer than a weekend to complete).

And Coming Soon…

One of the advantages of online courses is that it’s much easier to improve and add to them over time.

So here’s what’s coming up in the near-term and the long(er)-term for these 3 core modeling courses that are part of the BIWS Premium package:

  • Bonus Case Studies: The Dell Case Study (Part 1 and Part 2 here) will be finished and added as a bonus to both these courses; the Mylan / Actavis case, United / Goodrich, and Best Buy will also be added. All different industries! These will arrive by the end of May.
  • More Quizzes and Quiz Functionality: Quizzes and certifications are very much “version 1.0” right now… we’re expanding them to automatically save your progress, let you run analytics on your performance, track your results over time, and more. It’s becoming an actual software product. And outside of the quizzes required for certifications, more practice quizzes will be added.
  • Complete Revamp of Courses: This is going to take a very, very long time so please don’t hold your breath – but eventually, the Fundamentals and Advanced courses will both be updated to be in-line with the new Excel course. There will be different deals and companies used, more of a structured approach, more interactivity, and more extensive written references.

You receive free access to all of the above once you sign up for the courses.

What to Do by Friday, April 26th, 2013 at 5 PM New York time

Click here to read the 3 different sign-up options and sign up for the Premium, Platinum, or Elite package.

UPDATE: This promotion is now over. Thanks for your interest.

There will be no exceptions on the deadline.

No, I don’t care if your dog ate your credit card, you just returned from a meditation retreat in the mountains and only saw this now, or if you were preoccupied giving birth to dragons so you could prepare for your invasion of Westeros.

(OK, maybe I will accept the last excuse on birthing dragons – I may, however, enforce size requirements on the dragons’ wingspans.)

In all seriousness, there has been an announcement on the BIWS site about these pricing changes and new features for weeks now, and I sent out email announcements several weeks ago as well – so, really, unless you have dragons there will be no exceptions.


Your turn. How can I help?

UPDATE: This promotion is now over. Thanks for your interest.

M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. Hi Brian,

    Are there any extra promotions/savings/discounts on the “whole enchilada” package coming soon? I understand that it is already at 1197$ but it is still a bit prohibitive cost wise. I definitely see the benefits of buying the ‘whole enchilada’ program that includes everything that BIWS has to offer.

    Looking forward to your reply.


    1. Thanks for your interest in the courses. We do not have any upcoming promotions, but you could always sign up via installment payments, or sign up for a smaller part of the course first and then upgrade to the full package later on. Chances are, you won’t need all 300+ hours of training immediately.

  2. looking forward to your promotion soon :)

  3. It’s been over a year – do you think there will be a discount window for the Advanced courses? Loved the Fundamentals and Advanced.

    1. Hey Alex, we’re probably not going to do a promotion for the industry-specific courses in the near future but may do something toward the end of the year. However, it will probably be more of a deal for all those courses or everything on the site.

  4. Are the files and videos downloadable? In other words, I need to be able to watch the vids when flying or don’t have Internet access.

    Also, can you elaborate on the certification? In my brief pursuit of an IB internship, I would say that interviewers wouldnt really care about an online program. Im in a masters program focusing on finance and international business and bankers dont appear to care a whole lot about a masters. The sentiment is if its not a MBA then its not worthy of an associate position. I know theyre two completely different things, but as you said in the past that this is an old industry with conservative attitudes. So, would you offer your thoughts on how to pitch the certification in the interview to be something meaningful or substantive to my ability to contribute to the company?

    1. Yes, everything is downloadable.

      As I’ve been mentioning throughout, no certification from any course will ever take the role of an actual degree.

      The point is to be able to say, “Here’s what I learned. Here are the specific questions I had to get right to earn this – as you can see, they demonstrate that I had to know about XX topics very well. By the way, you can see the full list of questions for yourself right here.”

      The questions are so difficult that most bankers will not even be able to get them all correct… so they will assume that you at least know your stuff if you can show evidence of this.

      You’re not going to instantly go from no interviews to offers at all the top banks with this – it’s designed as something to help you overcome objections to what you know and how much technical knowledge you have.

  5. Rahul Dravid

    I’m interested not in learning how to develop a financial model (which I believe I know to a good extent), but to learn how to interpret the same & generate “insight” from it.

    eg. If you do a model for a company, and the model shows that the company has high Free Cash Flow, I want to be able to understand what the high FCF means & make comments about what the company can do with that extra cash, and whether or not the company has been using that cash in the best way possible.

    Is this something your $347 course will help with ?


    1. The advanced course goes into more detail on that and has commentary on the companies and deals, so yes, from what you said I think it would help.

      I know you’ve been asking a lot of questions here about hedge fund case studies (BTW, there is no need to use a different name each time). The course is not focused specifically on hedge funds, but we are adding more material next month on case studies which you will find applicable as well.

      1. Rahul Dravid

        Thanks Brian !!

        1. Do you have a course specifically for Hedge Fund interviews ??

        2. Is the “premium” package any different from the combination of BIWS’s [“excellence with excel(new version)” + “Financial modeling fundamentals” + “advanced modeling”] courses ???

        3. I’ve already signed up for one of your courses in the past, and when I login, I see the charges for the above-mentioned courses as:-

        Excellence with excel – $47
        Financial Modeling Fundamentals – $97
        Advanced Modeling – $197

        which totals to $341.3

        So if I dont sign up for the premium course before 5pm EST today, do I still get these courses for a total of 341?? (and does the “premium” package cover ANYTHING other than these 3 packages) ??


        1. 1. No, the closest thing would be the bonus case studies we’re adding.

          2. It’s the same.

          3. No, the prices on the Excel and Advanced courses are going up at 5 PM. So if you’re at all interested in those, I would sign up now.

          1. Hi Brian,

            I have signed up the BIWS Premium for $345 by 5pm. Just curious, if the Premium package is the combination of “excellence with excel(new version)” + “Financial modeling fundamentals” + “advanced modeling”, why is the price of the Premium package a little higher than the total cost of the these three courses ($341)?

            Thanks so much.

          2. Thanks and welcome to the site!

            It’s a long story on the slight price discrepancy – basically, $341 looks like a strange price to list so we thought $347 or $349 looked easier to understand. But all this was based on findings from a few years ago.

  6. I think I already have the premium package, do I get these updates for free? Is there an upgrade fee at a discount at least?

    1. Yes, these updates are all free to you if you have already signed up.

  7. Hey Brian,

    One quick question: what new features will the updated Advanced Modeling course have?


    1. The features that have just been added there are transcripts and the quiz and certifications.

      When I revamp it, basically I want to give more of a structured approach where it’s something like: “Here are the 10 steps you go through to find non-recurring charges – let’s see how to apply them to these 5 companies.” It will also be based around more of a true case study, i.e. do a bunch of analysis and make an investment recommendation, and then assume the role of a banker and make a deal recommendation to advise this company on its options.

      Topic-wise, I want to cover more on Calendarization, private companies, NCI and Equity Investments, and more exotic types of acquisitions.

      And then I think a lot of the lessons could be improved i.e. by focusing less on the data gathering part and more on what it means and the interpretation.

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