What started as a simple project to refine and clean up the site a few months ago is finally done today, and you can see the results by clicking here (if you’re reading this via email).
The last time we did a major redesign was more than 3 years ago, so it seemed like it was time to make another big change.
Yes, the site looks a lot better and there’s a giant video and set of buttons below it on the homepage now, but there are plenty of other benefits for you as well.
Let me break it down by category:
While the old design “worked,” this new one is more professional and better highlights everything that’s actually available on the site – articles, interviews, web series, free videos, tutorial series, online courses, coaching, and more.
I won’t say that we “copied” the design of a similar, popular website in another market, but, um, let’s just say there was some influence.
While you may know what this site is all about if you’ve been a regular visitor for years, millions of new readers visit each year and don’t necessarily “get it” right away.
With the new homepage and the video with the obligatory shout-out to Per Se, it is impossible not to understand the site at first glance.
It’s also much easier to access everything here just by scrolling down a bit from the top of the homepage.
Better Categories for All Articles and Content
Over time, this site has moved away from pure investment banking coverage, and the original article categories stopped making sense a long time ago.
So I spent several days reorganizing everything (those were a fun few days), and you can see the result on the new Articles page.
And then within each of those, there are more granular sub-categories (e.g., Investment Banking Groups & Regions –> Regions –> Europe).
Of course, there’s still a ton of content on investment banking since I spent a few years writing almost exclusively about that.
Going forward, though, at least 50% of the content here will be about other industries and the new category structure reflects that.
Free Tutorials, Courses, and More
Yes, I sometimes still get emails from readers wondering which company’s financial modeling course they should sign up for. Seriously?
Over the past 1-2 years, we also released free tutorial series for the modeling courses and industry-specific modeling courses and you can also access all those tutorials via the links above.
Free YouTube Videos
I haven’t written too much about this one, but I’ve been gradually publishing free modeling-related YouTube videos over the past few months.
There’s one on Equity Value vs. Enterprise Value here (this one has generated the biggest reaction so far), one on how to calculate EBITDA, one on Depreciation on the 3 financial statements, and more coming soon.
These are not full courses or case studies or anything like that – they’re just short samples that answer specific questions we’ve received over and over again.
Since I am crazy and obsessive-compulsive, my long-term goal is to publish 5,000 free videos on YouTube, even if takes 25 years to get there.
NOTE: As stated above, these videos are NOT full courses and they’re not structured in an organized way – unlike the BIWS courses.
So no, I didn’t go on a weekend retreat into the magical forest of weed-smoking leprechauns and suddenly decide to give away all the modeling content for free.
These videos will help you a lot, but they’re not case studies that you can speak to in interviews or list on your resume/CV.
And if you already have access to the Premium/Advanced/Fundamentals course, I’m going to start adding these free videos soon – plus, you’ll also receive access to the Excel files, PDFs, and my written notes on each one of them.
Right now, the focus is on the “core technical topics” but eventually there will be industry-specific videos, videos on deal structuring and more advanced topics, and more.
Coming up next will be a series on equity investments (AKA associate companies) that explains what to do, simply, and clarifies the massive amount of confusion I’ve seen on this topic.
There will also be a set on Noncontrolling Interests under IFRS and GAAP, based on an accounting textbook I’ve been reading for fun.
(NOTE: Yes, I read accounting textbooks for fun. As you can tell, I have a very active social life and get invited to a lot of parties.)
…And It Really Works on Mobile Devices
Technically, the old design “worked” on smartphones and other mobile devices – it was readable, at least, and a different layout showed up if you were reading on one of those…
But this version is much better, i.e. it actually works.
It uses responsive design to automatically size the content appropriately depending on your screen size, so there are no shenanigans even if you’re using a much bigger/smaller screen at some point.
I still don’t have a solution for how to view massive Excel files on your smartphone, but at least you can now read everything and watch the videos more easily.
The entire BIWS site now works on mobile devices as well - which is more useful than it seems, since you can now take quizzes on your phone and read and watch on your phone, even if you cannot manipulate a 1,000-row Excel model on a 5-inch screen.
If you see any issues or bugs on this new design, please leave a comment with your findings or reply to one of my emails and let us know about it.
NOTE: If you’re using an ancient browser such as IE6 (released in 2001) or IE7 (released in 2006), you should really upgrade your web browser.
Even Google – a $300+ billion company – has now dropped support for some of those browsers, so we cannot possibly support them.
Dates on Articles!
On that note, I finally decided to give into the pressure and add dates to everything here, even going back to the first article published in 2007.
That will never happen because I enjoy leaving dates off everything and saying “no” to this common request.
(I actually have reasons for doing this, based on data collected for email sign-ups and site engagement rates.)
But hey, keep trying and maybe one of these days I’ll give into the demands for dates.
That’s about it for now.
If you are using our modeling courses, you’re about to get a massive update soon – more quizzes, certifications, and transcripts, and a brand new massive bonus case study for the Oil & Gas course that goes beyond any other model covered on the site.
Comments, questions, feedback – you know what to do.
But please, try not to go crazy with those requests to add dates…