Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (2024)

  • Financial Modeling

Wall Street Prep vs CFI vs WSO | Course Comparison

Last Updated December 6, 2023

WSP Self-Study Courses

Many students and professionals considering a career in investment banking, equity research, or private equity think about enrolling in a financial and valuation modeling training program.

Prior to 2003, when Wall Street Prep pioneered the Financial Modeling Self Study Program, this type of training was not available outside of a formal investment banking training program. The program became a hit, and since 2003 several other companies have emerged to offer similar programs.

In 2015 and 2020, Corporate Finance Institute and Wall Street Oasis developed comparable programs, respectively.

Selecting a program that is right for you

While all three companies offer multiple products, all three have a version of a “complete” flagship product which includes what typically represents the “core” investment banking financial modeling skill set.

When considering in which financial modeling program to enroll, factors such as price, support, content format, and access to a macro toolkit are all important. But perhaps the most critical factor of all is quality of the content – a financial modeling program is useless if it does not teach material effectively.

In this article, I will try to lay out some of the differences and similarities between the programs and explain why Wall Street Prep remains the best choice.

Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (1)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (2)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (3)
ProductPremium PackageFMVAElite Package
Price$499 (See deals)$497$497
What you getVideos + PDF + Excel Templates + Live Virtual Kickoff ClassVideos + PDF + Excel TemplatesVideos + PDF + Excel Templates
Primary Content AuthorMatan Feldman:
  • Founder @ Wall Street Prep (est 2003).
  • One of Wall Street’s most sought-after trainers (clients below).
Tim Vipond:
  • Founder @ Corporate Finance Institute (ext. 2017).
  • Does not train in person to our knowledge.
Various:
  • Bios not disclosed by WSO and appear to be freelancers
  • Do not train firms in person to our knowledge
Program Structure
  • 35+ Courses
    (6 core + 30+ bonus courses)
  • Live Virtual Kickoff Class
  • Last Major Update:
    2021
  • 24 Courses
    (9 core + 14 bonus courses)
  • Last Major Update: 2019
  • 5 Courses
    (no bonus courses)
  • Last Major Update: 2020
Can You Download Lessons?YesNoYes
Other Benefits6-Months Access to Macabacus Excel Add-In6-Months Access to Pitchbook12-Months Access to WSO Company Database & Video Library
SupportE-mail & PhoneEmail & PhoneEmail
Used at investment banks to train analysts and associates?YesNoNo
Does company run live training at investment banks?YesNoNo
Years in business as online trainerSince 2003Since 2015Since 2020
Certification available? DetailsYesYesNo
Does program qualify for CPE Credit?YesYesNo

Course Quality

Given the considerations stated above, Wall Street Prep’s program provides the highest quality training out there. Wall Street Prep invests heavily in ensuring that materials reflect current best practices and are taught in a way that is intuitive. Training follows a very clear, step-by-step approach where trainees build models essentially from scratch, starting from a blank excel spreadsheet and working sequentially through a model.

You’ll be learning directly from Matan Feldman, one of Wall Street’s most sought-after trainers of new analyst and associates.

Course Samples

There is no better way to determine which approach works best for you than to actually sample the programs.

WSO provides a few video previews for free to put their best foot forward. (CFI samples require registration). Below we’ve provided comparable WSP videos that allow you to compare teaching approach, the level of complexity of the model (is this a real-life model?) and how concepts are covered.

Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (4)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (5)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (6)
  • A 30,000ft View of Our Model
  • Forecasting the Income Statement
  • Modeling Basic Shares Outstanding and RSUs
View WSO Samples here (scroll downpage).CFI does not offer samples without email registration.

Which program(s) do investment banks use to train their analysts and associates?

Investment banks, private equity firms, and top business school programs hire Wall Street Prep to conduct analyst and associate training in-house. This enables our instructors (all former investment bankers who are also involved in the development and refinement of the self-study program) to receive continuous feedback about materials and integrate the latest best practices into the training material. Below we lay out how all three firms compare to one another:

Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (7)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (8)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (9)
Partial list of live classroom training:

Investment Banking: Goldman Sachs, RBC, JP Morgan, Lazard, Guggenheim, Centerview Partners, Evercore, Perella Weinberg, William Blair, Harris Williams, Piper Jaffrey

Private Equity: KKR, Carlyle Group, Bain Capital, Summit Partners, Advent, Thoma Bravo, CVC, GTCR, Roark, AEA, CDW, Ares Management

Investment Management and Other Firms: Point72, Blackrock, PIMCO, Eaton Vance, Bloomberg, American Express, the World Bank, KPMG, Deloitte, PWC, T Rowe Price

Academic Institutions: Harvard Business School, Wharton, Stanford, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell

Partner Organizations: Girls Who Invest, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), CFA Society of NY

Firms do not hire Corporate Finance Institute for live classroom training to our knowledge.Firms do not hire Wall Street Oasis for live classroom training to our knowledge.

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Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (10)

Learn Financial Modeling Online

Everything you need to master financial and valuation modeling: 3-Statement Modeling, DCF, Comps, M&A and LBO.

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Flagship Program Comparison

Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (11)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (12)Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (13)
Core Courses

70-90 hours

  1. Financial Statement Modeling (includes Scenario & Sensitivity Analysis and Advanced Financial Modeling Techniques)
  2. DCF Modeling
  3. Trading Comps Modeling
  4. Transaction Comps Modeling
  5. LBO Modeling
  6. M&A Modeling
30+ Bonus Courses

50+ Hours of Video Content

Live-Virtual “Meet the Instructor” Kickoff Class

A bi-weekly live virtual class to give users an overview of the program, how it relates to a career in investment banking + Q&A session.

30+ Bonus Courses

50 Hours of Video Content

Basics
  1. Excel Basics (Mac)
  2. Excel Basics (PC)
  3. PowerPoint Shortcuts for Investment Banking
  4. Investment Banking Soft Skills
Advanced & Industry
  1. Impact of Tax Reform on LBO, M&A, Valuation and Financial Statement Models
  2. Excel VBA
  3. Advanced M&A Accounting: Purchase Price Allocation
  4. Advanced Accounting: Intercompany Investments
  5. Covenants and Credit Agreements
  6. PE Real Estate Waterfalls
  7. Commercial Real Estate Modeling
  8. Understanding Corporate Financial Restructuring
  9. Restructuring Investment Banking
  10. Project Finance Primer
  11. Healthcare IB: Sector-by-sector breakdown, financial metrics and drivers
  12. Deconstructing a Bank’s Financial Statements
  13. Deconstructing a Maritime Company’s Financial Statements
  14. Deconstructing an Oil & Gas Company’s Financial Statements
  15. Understanding E&P Hedging Techniques and How to Model Them
  16. Understanding MLPs
  17. A Practitioner’s Guide to Private Company Analysis
  18. Debt Capital Markets Primer
  19. FX Options
  20. Buy Side Investing: Long / Short Investing
Core Courses

65-90 hours

  1. Financial Analysis Fundamentals
  2. Building a 3 Statement Financial Model
  3. Business Valuation Modeling
  4. Budgeting and Forecasting
  5. FP&A Monthly Cash Flow Forecasting
  6. Scenario and Sensitivity Analysis
  7. Dashboards and Data Visualization
  8. PowerPoint and Pitchbooks
  9. Advanced Financial Modeling & Valuation
14 Bonus Courses

40-60 Hours

Basics
  1. Accounting Fundamentals
  2. Reading Financial Statements
  3. Excel Crash Course
  4. Intro to Corporate Finance
  5. Math for Corporate Finance
Advanced & Industry
  1. Advanced Excel Formulas
  2. Real Estate Financial Modeling
  3. Startup / e-Commerce Financial Model
  4. Mining Financial Model & Valuation
  5. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Modeling
  6. Leveraged Buyout (LBO) Modeling
  7. Corporate & Business Strategy
  8. Renewable Energy – Solar Financial Modeling
  9. Excel VBA for Finance
Core Courses
  1. Excel Basics
  2. Financial Statement Modeling
  3. LBO Modeling
  4. Valuation (Available 07/20)
  5. DCF Modeling (Available 07/20)
  6. M&A Modeling (Available 07/20)
0 Bonus Courses
Wall Street Prep vs CFI and WSO (2024)

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