Wall Street Prep

A Complete Guide to the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

Beginning October 1, 2018, FINRA will overhaul the format of its regulatory exams: A new general knowledge exam called the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) will become a corequisite for the Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 79 (Investment Banking Representative) and other Series Exams. The individual Series ... Read More

Sell-Side vs Buy-Side Equity Research

Sell-side equity research analysts are typically part of an investment bank and focus on a universe of stocks within one or two industries in order to provide insightful investment ideas and recommendations: Directly to institutional investors; Directly to the investment bank’s ... Read More

Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM): Example and PDF Download

A confidential information memorandum (CIM) is a document prepared by a company in an effort to solicit indications of interest from potential buyers. The CIM is prepared early on in the sell-side process in conjunction with the seller’s investment banker ... Read More

Should We Really Trust a DCF Model Made by an Investment Banker?

Virtually every new investment banking analyst has experienced some version of this: You’re staffed on a pitch or a live deal; You spend several sleepless nights trying to determine a company’s value so your analysis can be included in the pitch; ... Read More

Football Field Valuation: Video Instruction with Excel Template Download

One of the most common slides in an investment banking pitchbook is the football field. The football field is a floating bar chart in Excel that puts several valuation analyses side-by-side to provide clients with the full context of a company's ... Read More

Goodwill: Differences Between GAAP and Tax Accounting

Goodwill represents the excess of purchase price over the fair market value of a company’s net assets: If a business is simply a collection of assets, why would an acquirer pay more than the fair market value of that collection of assets? There ... Read More

Letter of Intent: Typical Components and Real Examples

When an M&A buyer has done enough due diligence to satisfy a decision to proceed, it provides the seller with a formal Letter of Intent (LOI). An LOI is a letter from the buyer that states the broad terms of what ... Read More

Exchange Ratios in M&A: Fixed vs Floating Exchange Ratios, Collars and Caps

For a deal structured as a stock sale (as opposed to when the acquirer pays with cash — read about the difference here), the exchange ratio represents the number of acquirer shares that will be issued in exchange for one target share. Since acquirer ... Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is an umbrella term that refers to the combination of two businesses. It gives buyers looking to achieve strategic goals an alternative to organic growth; It gives sellers an opportunity to cash out or to share ... Read More

Demystifying the Due Diligence Process in Mergers and Acquisitions

There is massive information asymmetry between the buyer and seller when acquiring a company: The seller knows everything about its own business and the buyer knows far less. Making matters worse, the seller is incentivized to hide or downplay negative aspects of ... Read More


The Wall Street Prep Quicklesson Series

7 Free Financial Modeling Lessons

Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts.