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Simple Spreadsheets for Hard Decisions Paperback – March 7, 2008
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From the Publisher
All the Excel you need to know to make decisions
Even if you've never used Excel before, you'll learn all you need to know to build powerful spreadsheets to help you make decisions. You don't need to know anything about programming, statistics, or financial analysis.
Most people think of Excel for "number crunching." But usually you don't have a lot of data to crunch. Quite the opposite! For example, you might ask, "I am 30 years old now, and I want to retire at 55. How much money should I save each year?" What makes this decision hard is the lack of data. Simple Spreadsheets for Hard Decisions focuses on the features and techniques that are useful for real-world decisions like this.
Easy techniques for quickly building useful spreadsheets
You'll be building useful spreadsheets right away. In addition to essential Excel techniques, you'll learn how to:
- Grow a powerful spreadsheet from a few simple formulas
- Use built-in functions, for example, to calculate house payments
- Use "bucket brigade" formulas to build complex answers from simple formulas
- Do sensitivity analysis to find out what's important
- Balance multiple, conflicting goals
- Play "what-if" to visualize possible outcomes
- Look at possible outcomes by randomizing what you can't know (such as future inflation)
- Use Monte Carlo techniques to estimate risk
- ...and much, much more
How to use spreadsheets to make a decision
Examples of the decisions we all must make are the foundation for presenting these powerful techniques. You will use the techniques to develop spreadsheets that lead you to decisions on increasingly complex sample life challenges. The book is based on example spreadsheets that you may use or modify.
Here are some of the decisions included in the book:
- Should I buy a house or rent?
- How much money can I spend?
- Which apartment should I choose?
- Which car should I buy?
- How much do I need to save to send my child to college?
- Which health insurance should I buy?
- Can I afford to retire?
- Should I change jobs?
- Can I handle the risks of aggressive investments?
Top Customer Reviews
The title states "Simple Spreadsheets for Hard Decisions"
On that basis, I cannot complain about the standard of the spreadheets covered. Even though... I was somewhat dissapointed.
Where I do feel let down by this book, is in the complexity of the problems addressed. They do not live up to the title in my opinion.
But hey...... you can't have everything!
I've owned the book for 7 months and continue to refer back to it. My wife and I have 2 little kids and just purchased a house using many of the ideas in this book. This not only helped us plan our financial goals, but helped us sort through our priorities in what we wanted in a house.
In addition, I've been able to use some of the theory and Excel training (menus, formulas, etc.) at work to model a 5 year growth plan.
I highly recommend this book! Very easy, practical and interesting to read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provides an excellent introduction to personal decision making. It has an impressive range, including lots of useful information for both beginners and experienced Excel... Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by mptortoise
As a business owner, and not knowing a thing about Excel I thought this book would help. Well it did not. There was not one business related spreadsheet in the book. Read morePublished on December 15, 2009 by Paul L.