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Creating investment models

Here are some resources for an IT programmer and consultant who’d like to get into financial modeling. Creating investment models Here are some resources for an IT programmer and consultant who’d like to get into financial modeling.

Dear Molly: Recently I saw your answer to a question regarding using a finance background with computers to create investment models. I have a bachelor’s degree in commerce and a master’s degree in business administration, with finance as my emphasis. I have spent the last four years working in IT as a programmer/consultant. For the past year, I have also thought about creating investment models, but I don’t know how to go about implementing this idea.

Molly says: I’m glad that the answer to another person’s question piqued your interest. With your level of education and experience, you have the chance to take your skills in several directions. For instance, you can decide to hone your modeling skills on your own in your spare time, or try to find a job spending most of your time creating and maintaining such models.

To learn more about creating investment models using computer software, attend some short training seminars, and/or read some books. The American Management Association offers a three-day course on financial modeling, as well as several other seminars on the topic. The organization has also published several books on the subject.

You can also get some information on this topic by visiting the MIT Enterprise Forum Web site. As you can surmise from the name, the Forum is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Visit this site and the links that are posted there and search for information about financial modeling.

After you get some information about the components of building financial models, you can start tinkering on your own to build some simple models. Once you are confident of your abilities and interest in this area, go back to the Web sites I’ve mentioned and do some research on the kinds of companies that need people with the ability to create these models. At the top of the list will be any kind of investment firm, but government organizations and financial organizations are good bets, as well.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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