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Principles of Finance with Excel: Includes CD Hardcover – Dec 19 2005

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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78 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Develop Sophisticated Financial Modeling Skills March 5 2006
By M. Yvonne Reinertson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a university teacher of strategic corporate finance and optimal investment, I have watched the financial industry analytics transcend hand calculation with financial calculators to financial modeling with spreadsheet software. Depending on whether the financial specialty is in corporate or banking/brokerage, the job skills requirement can range from corporate cost control to optimal portfolio design. In watching the analytics development within the financial industry, I have repeatedly witnessed students with financial modeling skills obtain jobs that are typically reserved for specialists holding advanced degrees or having multiple years of experience.

My course design typically takes the form of a strategic analysis class in either corporate financial planning or investment issues. Optimal corporate financing affects optimal investments. Additionally, since my research interests are in international corporate finance, global finance themes surface in most lectures. In corporate finance, raising funds on favorable terms and then allocating those funds efficiently among various projects are decisions made by every company financial officer-in every country; in investment, fund managers face global choices. Thus, business is no longer exclusively domestic ventures. It is because of this that I would like to see a global analysis chapter added in the next revision of both of Dr. Benninga's textbooks. Business, and the financing of business, is global-even at the principles level.

Statement: There is not an employer on the planet who will care that you can solve a time-value-of-money problem using a hand-held calculator. Real world financial applications require spreadsheet analysis.


Companies are increasingly requiring sophisticated modeling skills from financial specialists. Logic in today's business environment calls for constant surveillance of possible global funding sources in an optimal growth strategy. There is no better way to do this than through financial modeling using the business spreadsheet standard-Excel.

With the skills developed in studying advanced business analytics in Dr. Benninga's textbooks, a businessperson can develop "what-if" scenarios analyzing the effects to a business in a change in any economic or financial element. The gain from being able to complete a model forecasting company strategy and financials is being able to increase efficiency in business operations. This efficiency comes from being able to analyze the events that affect business, either favorably or unfavorably, and then adjust operations and project financing appropriately. Company growth is directly affected by this ability to adjust operations. Growth at any level requires capital: Either capital in the form of machinery or capital in the form of money in order to purchase machinery. Being able to forecast company strategy and financials allows company flexibility in growth planning and budget. Optimal strategy realizes that the only growth that matters is growth that adds value to the company. It is the ability to strategically design growth that is driving the demand for Excel modeling skills by companies. Begin developing your financial modeling skills by purchasing this book; extend your beginning level skills by studying Dr. Benninga's textbook, Financial Modeling (2e), (see my review). It has advanced financial modeling.

Table of Contents: Principles of Finance with Excel

Chapter 1: Introduction to Finance

Chapter 2: Business Organization and Taxes

Chapter 3: An Accounting Primer

Chapter 4: Cash Management With Excel

Chapter 5: The Time Value of Money

Chapter 6: What Does It Cost? Applications of the Time Value of Money

Chapter 7: Introduction to Capital Budgeting

Chapter 8: Issues in Capital Budgeting

Chapter 9: Choosing a Discount Rate

Chapter 10: Using Financial Planning Models for Valuation

Chapter 11: What Is Risk?

Chapter 12: Statistics for Portfolios

Chapter 13: Portfolio Returns and the Efficient Frontier

Chapter 14: The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Security Market Line (SML)

Chapter 15: Using the Security Market Line (SML) to Measure Investment Performance

Chapter 16: The Security Market Line (SML) and the Cost of Capital

Chapter 17: Efficient Markets-Some General Principles of Security Valuation

Chapter 18: Bond Valuation

Chapter 19: Valuing Stocks

Chapter 20: Capital Structure and the Value of a Firm

Chapter 21: The Evidence on Capital Structure

Chapter 22: Dividend Policy

Chapter 23: Introduction to Options

Chapter 24: Option Pricing Facts

Chapter 25: Option Pricing-The Black-Scholes Formula

Chapter 26: The Binominal Option Pricing Model

Finally, the last section, Part 7, has eight chapters on Excel features that are especially useful in business applications.
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Great book, many errors Nov. 24 2007
By PDJ - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is really a great book. It's written in a way that's easy to understand, it does a good job of relating Excel to the financial topics, and the cd that comes with it is nice; seeing as it has all of the spreadsheets discussed in the book and answers / templates to the problem sets.

One big problem with it though, (and let me stress the BIG) is that there are way too many errors in it. While the errors in the actual book are few; there are many errors in the answers to the problems at the end of the chapters. This has become very frustrating to me since I'm basically learning from the book on my own and don't really have anyone to help when an error in a problem's answer stops me from fully understanding it.

Bottom line this is a great book and if you have a good teacher to help you along then there shouldn't be too many problems. I would definitely give it a 5 if it wasn't for all the errors on the CD.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Simply the best Intro to Finance book out there June 9 2006
By Practitioner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
With an undergraduate degree in economics and two years of working experience in Wall St, you can say that I had the chance to read quite a few finance books. I find Principles of Finance with Excel to be hands-down the best Intro-Finance book of them all. Not only does it explains the finance topics very clearly, it teaches you how to apply this knowledge in Excel. This is by far, in my opinion, the best way to learn finance. Furthermore, since solutions to the exercises are included on the CD, this book is perfect to the self-motivated reader. Lost or stolen, I would purchase this book again.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good Book. Great if not so many errors. Oct. 16 2007
By Gig Harborite - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Overall a good book but the exercises and CD solutions are full of errors. For example: A question will state a 7% interest rate and a 4 year repayment but the solution CD will be solved at 8% for six years. Excel formulas used incorrectly (using blank spaces rather than zeros in NPV/IRR data ranges). Fudged numbers in the chapter on financial statements--multiple errors were used to offset each other to give the right answer. Should have found a better grad student proof-reader.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Are you in a top MBA program and want to crush quizzes/exams? Jan. 3 2007
By DJ - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is the 2nd best thing after the heavy Finance book you'll have to go through during your 1st year as an MBA. I regret not having the time to REALLY discover this book: I would have smoked finanace rather than simply survived it.

This book lucidly explains all the major concepts of finance (NPV, WACC, beta, DCF, etc) through the lens of excel. Being that you will be using excel to crunch numbers at your workplace, this book makes a ton of sense.

Well done -- I look forward to the author's next book.