Trending March 2024 # 7 Ideas To Secure Your Financial Investments From Theft # Suggested April 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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Cybersecurity has become a major concern in all walks of life. When the hack of SolarWinds occurred in 2023, businesses and political entities were on alert. In recent years, individuals have also been affected by countless data breaches.

Many scams have been created by the rise in cryptocurrency, including the Squid Game currency dump and pump from 2023. The world is feeling more unstable and threatening than ever thanks to identity theft and fraudulent UI benefits claims.

There are many ways people can defend themselves against the increasing threat of digital theft, especially when it comes down to their finances. These are the top ways to protect your financial investments against theft.

1. Do your Homework with Providers

These recommendations are mainly about cleaning up financial investments. It’s important to remember that choosing the right provider is the first step to protecting your finances.

This is an intricate activity that cannot be simplified. Businesses are required to adapt and change their business processes to stay safe from thieves who constantly modify their methods. It is important to look for companies that take proactive steps in order to protect their clients when making financial investments.

This is evident in the example of Nasdaq’s investing leaders. Although the financial company has a lot of experience in security management, they were faced with a very complex identity management system. It was difficult to make sure that everyone could log in safely and access the correct areas of the internal software systems.

Instead of ignoring the problem, Okta was trusted by the company to streamline the company’s traditional system. To restore safety and ease to the company’s systems, the IdP (identity provider), used tools such as its Single Sign-On (SSO), and Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA).

Always check for these types of activities before you open a financial investment account. What steps is the provider taking to protect its system? To protect your financial investments, you should always choose safe systems.

Also read:

Top 10 Successful SaaS Companies Of All Times

2. Identify your Risks

Before you make any changes to your accounts, it is important to understand your risks. This is a valid question. The number of fraud threats that exist and are becoming more prevalent is endless.

It’s worthwhile to take the time to assess your financial accounts for any potential risks. Kiplinger identifies six main risks currently, which are:

Data breaches

Takeovers of accounts

Card-not-present fraud

Theft of synthetic identity

Peer-to-peer payments

Scams and government benefits

Each of these issues threatens different areas within the financial industry. To identify which risks you should be concerned about, it is a good idea to organize your financial accounts.

3. Protect Your Identity from Theft

Your primary gateway to financial investment is your identity account can be seized by a criminal in many different ways. They can also disguise themselves to allow you to enter multiple locations.

Protecting your identity is one way to protect your indirect investments. Consumer Affairs reports that there was a 31% increase in identity theft victims between 2023 and 2023. What caused this sudden rise in identity theft victims’? The pandemic.

According to the site, many people are now unable to work from home and remain safe in corporate networks. Many people are exposed to cybersecurity risks, including identity theft.

As a way to protect one’s identity from being stolen, many financial experts recommend that you sign up for identity theft prevention. It is usually free, and while it does require some effort, it is worth it as an additional layer of protection for your finances as well.

Also read:

9 Best Cybersecurity Companies in the World

4. Cover the Basics

We’ve covered high-level protection of financial investments so far. You will need to do the dirty work at times.

These are the most basic, yet crucial security measures. They can be as simple but not as complex as the internet. Finra begins protecting financial information with the triple recommendation of passwords, usernames, and pins.

You can do this in many ways. Strong PINs usually contain at least eight numbers and sometimes symbols. Strong passwords must also be long and strong.

5. Protect Your Network and Devices

You should also protect your physical hardware, in addition to your digital passwords. Your network (i.e. This includes your network (i.e., router) as well as the devices you use to access the internet via that network.

There are many options to protect your local network. For instance, you can:

To protect yourself and your network from malicious viruses and other cyber threats, set up firewalls.

To hide your activities and make it more difficult for criminals to track you, use a VPN.

To provide the best cybersecurity protection, install robust security software.

To keep your software protected and up-to-date, enable automatic updates.

6. Avoid Direct Bank Connections and Public Networks

Criminals love to exploit public connections to attack innocent victims. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission strongly recommends that no public computers be used to access financial accounts.

The department suggests a few steps to ensure you are safe when using a public computer network. They recommend that you never give out personal information to gain access to public computers. They recommend that you never leave a computer while logged in, log out after you are done, and disable password-saving features.

In addition to the SEC recommendations for public computers, it is wise to not connect your bank account with anything that you do not need to. Instead of using a debit or credit card, use it whenever possible.

7. Keep Your Financial Activity in Check and be Smart

Finally, ensure that you are implementing smart cybersecurity best practices in every aspect of your life. These are just a few of the obvious ones:

Don’t respond to any request from anyone you don’t know.

To protect your finances during times of concern, you can use credit freezes.

You should check your credit reports frequently. Every year, download your free report from each credit bureau.

To ensure you are alerted of a suspicious activity or any other financial-related site or apps, turn notifications on.

These are only a few suggestions. It is important that you are aware of your financial investments.

Our list is complete with the second recommendation. Start by reviewing your financial institutions and assessing the risks. After that, you can take the steps recommended above to protect your investments.

Don’t be too confident about your security, even after that’s been done. New threats and cybersecurity trends are constantly emerging in the world of cybersecurity. As you work to protect your financial investments against theft, it is important to maintain a sense of awareness.

Once this is done, you can rest assured that your financial future will be secure.

You're reading 7 Ideas To Secure Your Financial Investments From Theft

How To Secure Your Apartment

This story has been updated. It was originally published on October 15, 2023.

Sharing a WiFi network with a bunch of strangers isn’t a great way to keep your data private. Taking the necessary precautions is easy when you’re using a single laptop on free coffee shop WiFi. But if you’re living in a place where you share a network with your neighbors, things start to get complicated. That girl from down the hall seems nice, but you don’t know her. She might be a hacker, right? Or that man from two floors down who always lets you say “Hi” to his chocolate Labrador. Doesn’t he seem like the kind of person who has no idea his laptop is filled with malware?

Many apartment buildings bundle internet service with rent, putting everyone in the building on a single, easily accessible network. Sometimes they’re open networks anyone can join, with a portal you have to sign in through to get internet access. Other times they use a standard WPA2 password, like a typical home network. Some apartments may go as far as to create separate WiFi networks for each apartment—definitely the preferred route—but since you don’t get to set them up, they could have easy-to-guess passwords or other security holes. In other words, if you don’t have control over the WiFi network you use at home, you could be at risk.

“Sharing a WiFi network with unknown people is, as a rule, unsafe,” says April C. Wright, a security consultant at chúng tôi “It exposes your device and network traffic to eavesdropping and attack.” There are proper ways an apartment complex can set up a network like this, Wright says, but you never know what your landlord has done—and good luck getting them to explain it to you. There’s a good chance they don’t even know, since this is the kind of job that typically gets outsourced.

If your landlord didn’t install the building’s systems, they might think this is a bunch of spaghetti. Michal Jarmoluk via Pixabay

To make matters worse, you might not have the option to get your own separate internet plan: The cable company may have a deal with the entire building, or other internet providers are so terrible that it isn’t worth doing so. And if the rent is affordable and the building is nice, it’s hard to turn down a great place to live just because of the WiFi.

Thankfully, even if you don’t have control over the building’s network, there are a few things you can do to make your devices more secure.

“Separating the building’s WiFi network from the home’s network is the ideal configuration to protect the home devices,” explains Wright. “This requires a wireless bridge to act as a firewall between the external and internal networks.” There are a few ways to do this, but the best options require you to have your own, personal WiFi router.

If you have physical access to the building’s router (or an Ethernet port in your apartment that connects to the building router), you can just connect the WAN port of your personal router to one of the LAN ports on the building router using an Ethernet cable. Then you can set up your own WiFi network from your personal router as you would with any other internet subscription.

If you can’t plug in directly, you can buy a WiFi bridge like the TP-Link TL-WA901ND Wireless Access Point. Connect it to your building WiFi in “Client Mode” using the TP-Link web interface, then connect your personal router’s WAN port to the WiFi bridge’s Ethernet port. It doesn’t have to be this particular TP-Link bridge, of course—you can do this with any network extender that can provide wireless internet to wired devices. Just note that the process and terminology may vary slightly from device to device.

Installing a router between your devices and the rest of your building’s Wi-Fi can protect you from any malware your neighbor unknowingly downloaded. Jacky Chiu via Unsplash

In both of these scenarios, your personal router basically sees the building’s network as the internet, allowing you to create your own WiFi network as you would in any other home or apartment. You control the network in your apartment, and while you’ll be able to see other building tenants’ devices, they won’t be able to see yours—just your router.

That’s the biggest piece of the puzzle, since the router will perform network address translation (NAT), acting as a sort of firewall between you and the rest of the building. But beyond that, you need to be extra careful about your normal security practices, too. “Using a VPN whenever you are connected to a WiFi network (even at work) is a must, on phones and computers,” Wright says. “The VPN software should block your internet access while it is not connected to the VPN.” You can check out some of our favorite VPNs, and learn how to set one up on your phone using this guide. Alternatively, if it supports the feature, you could set up a VPN directly on your router—that way all of your outgoing traffic is encrypted, including devices like your smart TV that might not have their own VPN apps.

Finally, use multi-factor authentication on all your online accounts, set up a guest network for anyone that visits your home (don’t give out the password to your home network), and make sure the firewalls built in to Windows and macOS are active at all times. The more of these tips you can implement, the better off you’ll be—creating your own WiFi network with the aforementioned bridge can help, but you need good everyday security practices too. As Wright puts it: “Endpoint devices should not rely solely on network protections, and networks should not rely solely on endpoint device protection. You need both.”

10 Ideas To Make Your Website More Persuasive

Review your persuasion approaches to increase conversion

Websites that are effective in conversion often share common approaches to persuasion.

I’m often on the look out for simple, practical persuasive ideas so I can include them in workshop or conference talks. This post summarises 10 tried and tested approaches I’ve seen grouped under key areas of persuasion for websites. I hope you find them useful!

Page headlines

1. Ask a question

Are you writing statement-based headlines? If so, try turning some of them into questions. Question-based headlines are more attention grabbing.

Questions entice us to find out more. In a world where text scanning, rather than reading, is the norm, questions force us to sit up and pay attention:

“Do you want to engage your audience?” rather than “Engage your audience”.

2. Create a problem

Once you’ve identified your audience, give them a familiar problem to solve. Problem-based headlines that the audience can relate to focus the brain on action more than solution-based ones. But the problem needs to be one your target audience can identify with: “Are you failing to engage your best customers?” rather than “Do you want to engage your audience?”

Social proof

3. Can you use testimonials en mass?

Are you using testimonials? If not, you probably should. Quotes and statements from satisfied customers can be great for conveying how good a website, product or service is. But these are cynical times. Everyone has at least one satisfied customer they can quote, so persuade your users with a ‘Wall of Satisfaction’; use at least three testimonials together.

While we know our customers aren’t sheep, prepared to blindly follow, we also know that no one has the time to do in-depth research before every decision they make, so naturally we tend to assume that if others are doing something there must be some value in it. The more people you can quote, the more social proof you have, and the more likely you are to persuade your audience to take a desired action.

4. Make them feel proud

My wife often tells the story of how she went to the last ever Stone Roses gig. If you press her on the matter she confesses that it was OK, but probably not the best concert she’s been to. What makes her share this story more than any other is that it was the final time the Stone Roses played, which she learnt after the event. Only once the dust had settled and the ringing in her ears had subsided did she understand that she had seen something special.

Do you make your customers feel they are taking part in something special by choosing your products or services? A simple way is giving your customers information that confirms they made the right choice.

If your current customers are potentially your best sales force, why not give them the tools to spread the word? Was your event the best attended, the first or the last? Do other well-respected companies, individuals, academic institutions or governments use your product? Select facts that confirm your customer’s wise decision in choosing you and help to ensure that others will get to hear about that choice, too.

Persuasion windows

5. Exploit a thank you?

The website Marketing Sherpa  studied their thank you and confirmation pages. It turned out that 39% of those who had done something, bought something or signed up for a newsletter on the site accepted an offer on the last page of the previous transaction. Where else on your website can you get a 39% conversion rate? Find out more about the Marketing Sherpa study.

6. Thank you alerts and emails

What works for web pages work equally well for thank yous sent via email – don’t waste them.

7. Alarm Clocking?

Most websites don’t have truly compelling reasons for visitors to return regularly. So can you create a reason, and make the user sense that they will regret missing out? Alarm Clocking is when you build something into your site that is so enticing that users will even set their alarm clock to avoid missing out. Check out this Alarm Clocking video to find out more.

Credibility and trust

8. Don’t be shy to use your authority

If you’re an expert or have status, make sure you tell your visitors. This might mean highlighting your organisation’s or individual employees’ qualifications or reputations. Or it could even simply mean stressing how many satisfied customers you’ve had to date.

This might seem like a banal point, but few websites properly communicate their expertise to their visitors. The authority of expertise is one of Cialdini‘s six most important motivating elements of persuasion.

9. The right pictures say more than a 1000 words

Credibility is central to the ability to persuade, and first impressions have a lasting impact when it comes to credibility. As recent studies have indicated, web pages have roughly half a second to convey relevance and authority.

An author photograph on a web page can make a serious difference to how credible the content is perceived to be. A good formal photo can double trustworthiness, but beware because casual photos can actually have a negative effect on credibility. (See the full results of this credibility test [28kb, PDF])

10. Loss is more powerful than gain

Bonus tip: What not to do?

11. Avoid trade-offs

But don’t blow it – a common way of closing these Persuasion Windows is to offer what’s called a trade-off. A trade-off is when we ask the potential customer to choose between two versions of the same product, for example between two cars – one with an MP3 player and one without. The potential customer is faced with a dilemma: are the extra features worth the money?

Here, a trade-off can be made – pay less money, get less features. Researchers have concluded that being forced to confront trade-offs in making decisions makes people unhappy and indecisive. As a result of this indecision our Persuasion Window closes.

At a Persuasion Window: choice = good, trade-offs = bad.

How To Keep Your Virtual Desktop Environment Secure

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) makes it possible for employees to remotely access virtual desktops using any device of their choice. This has made working from home easy for companies. 

That notwithstanding, having employees work from home opens more opportunities for hackers to try and access a company’s systems. Even though virtual desktop environments are more secure than standalone desktops, companies need to be very careful with security and make sure that they have implemented efficient security measures to protect themselves. They can do so by;

Using Encryption

Different companies deal with different kinds of sensitive information such as medical and financial data. It is therefore important for them to make sure that they have encrypted the data to prevent unauthorized access. 

In addition, when transferring the data, they need to ensure that their services have employed an end to end encryption that helps in preventing interception by third parties.

Securing all Platforms

A

virtual desktop infrastructure

can run multiple operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux at the same time. To ensure that the infrastructure is secure, companies need to implement a security strategy that works with all the platforms installed on the VDI. When choosing a security strategy, they should also ensure that they are choosing one that aligns with their business model. 

Employing Coherent Security Approaches

It is important to note that virtual desktop environments present many points of exploitation by attackers. Some companies think that they have adequate security after securing file servers, disks, and desktops. However, this is not the case.

Companies need to also secure the different endpoint devices used by their partners and employees to access the virtual desktop environment. With this, they will have eliminated any potential loopholes that might be exploited by attackers.

Installing an Antivirus Software

Companies should, therefore, install anti-virus software that has been developed to work with virtual desktop environments to ensure that they are secure. There have been increased reports of

ransomware groups attacking virtual machines

and companies need to be careful.

Implementing the Use of Thin Clients

Not all the users accessing the virtual desktop environment in a company understand the different security strategies that they should observe. Sometimes, they can create loopholes used by attackers to gain access to the VDI without even knowing, or even install applications that might be insecure.

However, you can control the privileges that every user has, the access they have, and the settings they can change. Using thin clients ensures that devices connected to the VDI cannot make changes to any settings permanently and cannot install any insecure applications.

Training Employees

Migrating to virtual desktop environments might mean that some if not all of the employees in a company are working with such an infrastructure for the first time in their lives. Instead of having them learn on their own about what to do or how to start working, it is good practice to ensure that they get adequate

cyber range training

.

During the training, ensure that a whole section on security is set aside, and enough time is taken to train them on different security measures that they need to observe when accessing the VDI.

Security Consultants

Some companies might lack enough resources to employ experienced security staff. In addition, there are many regulations that companies need to understand and align their virtual desktop environments with. To make sure that they have implemented the right security measures and that they are following the required regulations, they need to consult security experts who can help them when there is any problem.

How To Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers: 7 Takeaways From 30+ Marketers

Not too long ago, I asked more than 30 online marketers how they got their first 1,000 subscribers and what they would do if they had to start all over again and grow their email list as efficiently as possible.

Although there were a lot of unique responses, some people used similar tactics to scale their growth.

Here are some insights on how bloggers and influencers grow their audience from scratch.

1. Use an Opt-In Page to Give Away Something of Value

Using an opt-in page to give away something of value was one of the most popular ways that people used to grow their list. The key to making this work is to really understand what your target audience considers valuable and being able to provide it to them.

Tariehk Geter from OSI Affiliate gave away free website and email templates to grow a list of over 10,000 subscribers. He used SEO to rank those landing pages in the search engines to drive targeted traffic to those pages.

John Nemo, the author of the best selling book LinkedIn Riches, gave away copies of his book for free.

In these examples, people gave away something that had real monetary value for free. While it’s not necessary to do that, the item that you give away should provide enough value to your target audience that they are willing to give you their email to get it.

2. Create Content Consistently

One thing I’ve noticed is that many successful blogs don’t have opt-in forms all over the page. While more opt-in forms can help email opt-in rates, you can still be successful without having too many of them.

Jason Acidre didn’t have a squeeze page of freemium PDF download when he started blogging. He just focused on creating high-quality articles and guides consistently to get his first 1,000 subscribers.

Bill Gassett from Maximum Real Estate Exposure is one of the top 10 RE/MAX real estate agents in New England. He used blogging and social media to grow his blog and has just one opt-in box at the bottom of each blog post.

What Bill has focused on is creating content for his target audience, which is people looking to get tips for buying and selling homes. Consistent content creation has allowed him to grow his audience and become a top real estate agent.

3. Consider Optimizing for Conversion as You Grow

As your blog traffic grows, consider optimizing for conversion if you want to increase the growth rate of your email list.

Andy Crestodina, founder of Orbit Media, increased his email opt-in rate by 1,400 percent by optimizing for conversion. Making the opt-in form more prominent and adding social proof are a couple of steps he took to achieve these results.

Janice Wald from Mostly Blogging created several different landing pages to target various audience segments and interests.

Jeff Bullas said that Sumo’s Welcome Mat really exploded his list growth.

4. Use Guest Posting & Direct Readers to a Landing Page

Guest blogging works really well and many successful influencers and bloggers have used it to grow their business. A guest post on a popular site can give you instant access to thousands of targeted prospects.

Aaron Agius, co-founder of Louder Online, says guest posting on popular sites in his industry really accelerated the growth of his business.

Ross Simmonds also focused heavily on guest posting as well as promoting his content on social media and communities.

Sending that traffic to a targeted landing page improves results even further. I actually got most of my first 1,000 subscribers from guest posting and directing visitors to a landing page to download a related PDF.

5. Paid Ads Can Be a Good Way to Accelerate Growth

6. Social Media Can Be a Powerful Traffic Driver

Being consistently active on social media should also help grow your subscribers.

Marc Guberti used Twitter to drive traffic to his landing page and get his first 1,000 subscribers. He scheduled several tweets to go out each day and did so consistently.

Mike Kawula, founder of Social Quant, also used a similar strategy to grow his email list. Staying active on Twitter and driving traffic to a landing page providing a valuable PDF is how he grew his list.

Joshua Earl got his first 5,000 subscribers from Twitter by following other targeted accounts and tweeting other people’s content. He grew his account to over 50,000 followers and would occasionally tweet out his landing page, which resulted in dozens of sign ups.

7. Use SEO to Drive Traffic to a Landing Page

Another way to gain subscribers is by using SEO to drive traffic to a landing page.

Anna Bennett is a Pinterest marketing expert and consultant and she used SEO to drive traffic to her home page, which contains an opt-in box offering massive value to her target audience. She also includes an opt-in form at the bottom of each blog post.

Adam White, founder of Guest Post Tracker, focused on creating a few high-quality blog posts and using SEO to drive traffic to those articles. He also added content upgrades to those posts to drive up the conversion rates.

Other Tactics & Takeaways to Get 1,000 Subscribers

Create a landing page and offer something valuable: The more valuable your offer, the higher your email opt-in rate will be.

Drive targeted traffic to that landing page: Social media, SEO, guest blogging, and PPC are popular tactics for driving traffic to your landing page.

Optimize for conversions once you have traffic: Once you have traffic, optimize for conversion to accelerate list growth.

Be consistent: Perhaps the most important step is to be consistent. Create quality content consistently and promote them regularly and your list will keep growing.

How To Create Financial Models Flawlessly?

Recently, I met one of my friend working in strategy team of a bank over lunch. I felt bad for something which he mentioned casually. Here is what he said:

Every time there is a Financial model required by our leadership, we end up doing multiple iterations and thus creating numerous versions of the model. While this not only ends up taking more resources than required, it also delays the important business decisions.

This situation is not unique to his company, It happens in most of the Organizations across the globe. In the remaining article, I’ll explain what is a financial model, the process involved in creating one and some of the best practices to make them flawlessly.

[stextbox id=”section”]What is Financial modeling and how is it used?[/stextbox]

Financial modeling is a process by which we calculate or estimate financial numbers in various situations or scenarios. Financial models can vary from simple calculations to complex simulations which can take hours to run. A simple excel file in which you project your monthly income and expenses is a basic financial model.

Following is a sample excel model to project yearly savings with annual interest rate of 12%:

These models are used across the globe for business planning and taking important decisions for the business. Following are some questions which business owners typically answer with help of financial modeling:

Will it be profitable to offer new Credit cards to existing customers?

At what price point can a start up break even in 3 years? 5 years?

How many tele-callers do we need to call all the customers once every day? How much will be the cost?

How would the business model look when we acquire a competitor?

[stextbox id=”section”]Challenges in Financial modeling[/stextbox]

While building financial models is inherently not difficult, there are some common mistakes which people make and then think that financial modeling is difficult. Some of the common one are mentioned below:

A single Financial model is looked as panacea to all business problems. While this might be good intent, it becomes difficult to implement practically. Financial models are used best to answer specific questions. If you want to check whether a particular tranche of customer is profitable or not, don’t try and evolve the model to answer whether the business overall is profitable or not.

Inconsistency in outcomes: Another common reason for errors is that the analyst looks at the financial model as just a mathematical exercise. He doesn’t tie up numbers or models impact of changing numbers in one department over another. If you want to buy more raw material or keep more inventory, not only you would need more space, you would also need more human resources and maintenance.

[stextbox id=”section”]Process of building a financial model[/stextbox]

Below is a structured approach to financial modeling. Following these in disciplined manner would ensure that the common errors mentioned above are avoided and you achieve the desired result in a single attempt. At the start, these steps might seem time consuming and extra effort, but, if followed diligently they would end up saving multiple days and iterations.

We will cover best practices involved in each step below

[stextbox id=”section”]Step 1: Understand business requirements[/stextbox]

It is very important that you understand all the business requirement at the outset. If you don’t, your financial model is doomed for failure. Some important questions to ask business users are:

What are the answers business is looking from the model?

What are the levers in control of business owners? What is out of their control?

What is the period for which they want to take the decisions?

What are the constraints (resources / budgets / capacity)?

What are the dependencies across various departments?

Once you have a fair understanding of what business wants, agree on set of inputs, output and assumptions. It is a good practice to keep all your inputs, output and assumptions together. If you are using excel, keep them in a sheet each. If you are using a coding environment, define inputs and assumptions at the outset. By doing so, you make sure that creating scenarios later on is easy and can be done without creating any confusion.

[stextbox id=”section”]Step 2: Finalize dimensions and granularity[/stextbox]

This should come directly from business need. Granularity of a financial model is usually determined by level at which business wants to take decision. Is it at country level? Product line level? Product level? If time permits, I recommend creating model at one level more granular than the customer needs initially. So if customer is looking at country level financial model, try creating something at Regional level.

This ensures that not only the decision can be made at the required level, but you also get a texture of how to implement that decision. It answers the next level of questions for the business owners.

[stextbox id=”section”]Step 3: Apply business logic and formulas[/stextbox]

Once all the requirements are clear and granularity is decided, just apply business logic to build the model. By business logics, I mean the the mathematical translation of business understanding. What parameters and values will be impacted by various inputs? What is the profit margin? Are there any over head expenses which you have not included?

One of the good practices here is to keep the entire worksheet / code logically linked with out any hard coded values. If there is constant which is being used, it should go in either inputs or assumptions. In order to simulate any scenario, you should not be required to change inputs in multiple sheets or places.

Another benefit of keeping all calculations formula driven is that you need to only make sure that your inputs are consistent and the business logic are correct. If you ensure these two things are done diligently, your model will always remain consistent.

[stextbox id=”section”]Step 4: Test scenarios[/stextbox]

Once the framework of the model and base scenario is ready, you need to test whether the model holds under various scenarios. What are the boundary conditions when business logic would no longer hold true? You need to define the minimum and maximum values for various inputs and set of inputs.

Once this is ready, you should train your business users on the limitations of the model.

[stextbox id=”section”]Step 5: Document[/stextbox]

Finally, document all the needs, granularity, calculation and limitations in a document. Again the recommendation is to do need based documentation. The purpose of this documentation is to make sure that any one can pick this document and understand the model. A typical document has following sections:

Background

Business need

Problem statement

Scope of the model

Areas out of scope of modeling

Business logic and calculations

Limitations

References (if any)

Once this documentation is ready, your model is ready to roll out.

As mentioned before, if you follow these steps diligently, it will avoid a lot of re-work. Further, the more you practice them, the better you will become at financial modeling. Keep practicing these and become flawless financial modeler!

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