About FinanceTrainingCourse.com – our story
Sometimes when you have been working on an idea for a decade and a half it is easy to assume that everyone loves it as much as you do. Or is aware of the back story behind the business.
This morning two prospective customers asked me about who we really are and why we do what we do? It’s about time we answer that question (again). We wrote a great deal about our motivation and our rationale for starting this business over the years and I will go ahead and pull some of that material on to this page.
FinanceTrainingCourse.com is a resource that we built for ourselves. Till recently we ran a business where we wrote, sold and implemented treasury and risk management software and one of our biggest challenges was getting new talent up to speed on a difficult domain.
About FinanceTrainingCourse.com – Our motivation
Risk & treasury portfolio management is generally not taught very well in academic programs and even when you hire decent quality MBA or actuaries there is a fair bit of unlearning that needs to happen.
We always dreamt of a resource where we would plunk a new hire in front of a laptop, hook him up to our training site and at the end of two weeks we would finally be able to have an intelligent conversation about risk and model building. Auto tutoring at its best. Sort of like the Matrix direct download packages, only slower…
The actual inspiration for building this treasury learning and training site is 15 years old and can be traced back to my first startup in Southern California and New York. An adventure that started at Columbia Business School and wrote its last chapter at Dana Point in April 2001. Fast forward 2010 and version 3.0 of the same business is born when two students request us to put our teaching notes online.
A thousand polite reminders, a few pivots and three years of reinventing later we are sitting pretty with 700+ orders and half a million page views. (March 2016 updated figures – 2,600+ orders, 850,000 visitors, 2.3 Million page views and counting. Adding 25,000 visitors and 60,000 page views a month.)
When you consider that all we do is boring, complicated, model building work, related to treasury and investment management, it becomes difficult to believe that there are two million people across the world who are interested in reading this stuff.
Since we still work with treasury and risk management customers the content is driven by what we see at work. A client asks us about advice on picking a role between treasury and risk management and out comes a post on The choice between Treasury and Risk Careers. We do a pro bono training session on Excel Data Analysis for a local civic Hackathon and the session is documented in Data Analysis – 5 Tools in twenty minutes. I run a course in Singapore on Risk Management and the Advance Risk Management – Excel Models page is born.
We have come a long way and are actually ashamed of what version 1.0 actually looked like. We wouldn’t be here without our devoted customers who as per Quantcast and Google analytics profiles are even more educated and accomplished than we are. They come from all over the world and their feedback and comments is what keeps us going.
If you like statistics, we now (March 2016 in italics and brackets) do about 50 (100) orders a month, 45,000 – 50,000 (75,000) page views a month, our YouTube channel clocks another 5,000 downloads a month, our two Facebook Fan pages have just under 10,000 fans (6,800 on FinanceTrainingVideos, 3,100 on Jawwad Farid).
So that is the PG-13 edition of how you ended up on this page. If you wanted the rated edition, here is the darker side (slightly) of the story.
About FinanceTrainingCourse.com – Our businesses.
We run three business. The business that pays our bills is the risk & actuarial consulting practice which is now 13 years old. We do traditional as well non-traditional actuarial work. Our work is centered around risk management, valuation opinions and capacity building engagements in treasury and risk teams. As part of this practice we work with both banks and central banks in the EAC, MENA and Far East region.
FinanceTrainingCourse.com and FourQuants are the two brands that take the risk education field to the internet and smart phones. iPadRiskBooks.com is a venture that bring the same content to the iPad interface. We work with partners in the Middle East, Far East and North America on training and consulting engagements.
Our YouTube channel started as a pun on Fashion TV (we shared the same initials). With 186,000 views and counting, our samplers, teasers and promo videos quickly grew beyond the original design. Check out our Asset Liability Management (ALM) and Monte Carlo Simulation 60 second promo’s to get a short preview. Give them a spin and tell us what you think. We would love to hear from you.
About FinanceTrainingCourse.com – Who writes the content.
While the total team is five individuals, the content and model building work get done by a design architect & the two actuaries we steal from our risk and consulting practice every alternate week. If you call or email us you are likely run into one of these three.
The first is Jawwad Farid is a Fellow Society of Actuaries and a MBA from Columbia Business School. He write, teaches, travels and treks. Jawwad worked as a consultant and start up founder for two decades.
He is an author of three books and is working on a two book package on risk and delta hedging with Palgrave Macmillan, an imprint of Macmillan publishers.
The second is Agnes Paul, a Fellow Society of Actuaries who enjoys solving complex problems and building Excel sheets around them. Agnes has co-authored two books with Jawwad and is the drive behind our iPad series on risk and treasury products.
None of the above would be possible without Uzma who ensures that we don’t get into trouble on the design, technology and publishing side. While Agnes and Jawwad focus on the content, Uzma ensures that you get to see it in readable form. When the actuaries get carried away with their models, Uzma translates them into English and brings them back to Earth.
There you go. That in brief is our story. There was no grand design for world domination, no business plan or venture capital round. We just enjoy teaching, writing and playing with Excel models. About a year ago an Angel dropped by and wrote us a check which is how all the exciting stuff we did last year was paid for.
If you have any more questions, drop us a note and we will add to it.
Ps. Uzma and Agnes hate all their pictures and refuse to put any up for the purpose of this post.