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Top 10 ‘Golden Rules’ of Financial Modelling in Excel

In our financial modelling courses, we discuss what makes a great financial model in Excel and here are the top 10 ‘Golden Rules’ that I find will help you to achieve that.

  1. Don’t hard code values, instead use input tables
  2. Don’t use CTRL + Shift + Enter command
  3. Use intermediate calculations to help simplify your formulas
  4. Don’t use more than 4 (four) “IF” functions per formula
  5. Use data validation
  6. Build error checks
  7. Create one formula per row (or column)
  8. Protect your workbook
  9. Avoid circular references
  10. Keep it simple and elegant

Continue reading Top 10 ‘Golden Rules’ of Financial Modelling in Excel

What is covenant strength and why does it matter?

By Cleo Folkes

As House of Fraser announced the closure of 31 stores earlier this month and Debenhams issued their third profit warnings in the year today, we hear that landlords worry about covenant strength. What is it exactly that they worry about?

In property you often hear the word covenant strength when people talk about a tenant or the quality of an investment property or real estate loan. When you Google the definition for covenant it will tell you it is “an agreement” or something you “agree by lease, deed, or other legal contract”. Thus, when people talk about covenant strength, they are talking about about how secure the income is coming from a lease with a tenant. Continue reading What is covenant strength and why does it matter?

What is the relationship between yields, risk, rents and price/value in property?

Yields have many different meanings in finance – yield to maturity, running yield, dividend yield, interest yield – and in property finance, the case is very similar. We can talk about initial yield, equivalent yield, reversionary yield etc. It is, therefore, really easy to get lost in a “yield” conversation, unless you stop the other person and ask: “which yield?!”

If you are emotionally intelligent enough (and I bet you are if you are reading this!), you won’t do this so blatantly. So, let’s break down this “yield” conversation first to ascertain the relationship between yields, risk etc. Continue reading What is the relationship between yields, risk, rents and price/value in property?

RICS and Cambridge Finance collaborate to bridge the skills gap between real estate and finance

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is delighted to announce a collaboration with Cambridge Finance to develop a comprehensive training course that will help bridging the gap between real estate and finance education.

The growing sophistication of the property and financial markets has meant that investment surveyors have not only been requested to advise on property location, covenants and physical structure of buildings, but also on debt, Continue reading RICS and Cambridge Finance collaborate to bridge the skills gap between real estate and finance

Demystifying real estate financial models

Real Estate financial models are mainly spreadsheets used extensively as an aid in decision support in the areas of property investment and lending. These spreadsheets will ascertain the present value of a stream of cash flows and generate risk / return ratios.

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How to prepare for a real estate financial modelling test

First, we need to understand what a financial modelling is so we can keep this in mind throughout the test and better accept why companies are asking us more and more to go through Excel tests in order to proceed to the next round of interviews.

Financial Modelling in real estate is used as a decision making tool for investment purposes. Companies use financial models to forecast the future of a real estate asset or portfolio with several assets, including partially owned assets such as the case of joint-ventures. Continue reading How to prepare for a real estate financial modelling test

How to convince your boss to pay for your financial modelling training

More often than not employees find themselves trapped in a situation where they know they could do a better job, but just don’t have the right skills to implement more efficient routines. Training seems to be the key to solve their problem. However, there is always that question: “Should I pay for my training or should I ask the company to pay for it?”

In our experience, companies are more willing to pay for their staff’s training as long as they can see the short-term results of their investment, mainly improved process or product development.
Continue reading How to convince your boss to pay for your financial modelling training

5 Things Highly Productive Financial Analysts Do Differently

Being a highly productive financial analyst is not an innate talent; it’s simply a matter of organising your spreadsheets so that you can efficiently get the right calculations and analysis done. Real estate financial analysts in particular…

So, what behaviors define highly productive financial analysts?  What habits and strategies make them consistently more productive than others?  And what can you do to increase your own analytical productivity?

Here are some ideas to get you started: Continue reading 5 Things Highly Productive Financial Analysts Do Differently

Are REITs real estate?

Cambridge Finance Property Training Courses

Firstly, REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts, are companies that own and manage real estate. Therefore, owning shares in REITs is a way for investors to access the risks and rewards of holding property assets without having to buy and manage property directly. REITs typically pay out all of their taxable income (90% in the UK) as dividends to shareholders and in turn, shareholders pay income tax on those dividends. Continue reading Are REITs real estate?

What is the value a REIT?

What’s the value of a listed real estate asset? Our belief is that as markets trade on disagreements about the value of assets, the valuation process should be a crucial point in any investment course.

However, before we start, we want to highlight that a valuation exercise is an exercise of consistency and coherence. We call these the two pillars of the valuation exercise. On the course, you will understand better what this means but we want to draw your attention to this now. Thus, if the variables used on the different

Continue reading What is the value a REIT?