Financial Modeling

Financial modeling is the task of building an abstract representation (a model) of a real world financial situation. [1] This is a mathematical model designed to represent (a simplified version of) the performance of a financial asset or portfolio of a business, project, or any other investment. Financial modeling is a general term that means different things to different users; the reference usually relates either to accounting and corporate finance applications, or to quantitative finance applications. While there has been some debate in the industry as to the nature of financial modeling—whether it is a tradecraft, such as welding, or a science—the task of financial modeling has been gaining acceptance and rigor over the years. [2] Typically, financial modeling is understood to mean an exercise in either asset pricing or corporate finance, of a quantitative nature. In other words, financial modelling is about translating a set of hypotheses about the behavior of markets or agents into numerical predictions; for example, a firm’s decisions about investments (the firm will invest 20% of assets), or investment returns (returns on “stock A” will, on average, be 10% higher than the market’s returns). 9

What is ‘Financial Modeling’
Financial modelling is the process by which a firm constructs a financial representation of some, or all, aspects of the firm or given security. The model is usually characterized by performing calculations and makes recommendations based on that information. The model may also summarize particular events for the end user such as investment management returns or the Sortino ratio, or it may help estimate market direction, such as the Fed model. 10

BREAKING DOWN ‘Financial Modeling’
It is the goal of the analyst to accurately forecast the price or future earnings performance of a company. Numerous valuation and forecast theories exist, and financial analysts are able to test these theories by recreating business events in an interactive calculator referred to as a financial model. A financial model tries to capture all the variables in a particular event. It then quantifies the variables and creates formulas around these variables. In the end, the model provides the analyst with a mathematical depiction of particular business event. The primary software tool used to do this is the spreadsheet. Spreadsheet language allows the financial modeler to reconstruct almost any cash flow or revenue stream. 11

 

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