Lesson 4.1 - Understanding the Analysis Intro

Welcome back to the inStream Academy! Glad you came back for more.

In the last lesson we covered the basics of building and working with clients and plans. In this lesson we’re going to look at what it was we’ve been doing with those plans. Last lesson was the most important from a usage standpoint, but this is the most important lesson from an understanding standpoint.

We feel strongly that planning tools should not be a black box. You don’t necessarily need to be able to build your own Monte Carlo engine, but you should understand what’s going on behind the scenes, and what the results mean. You need to be comfortable with how we do the analysis, and you also need to be able to explain it to clients (just remember - if you ever mention covariance or normal curves, you’ve probably lost them).

We’re breaking the lesson up into two sections:

  • What is a Monte Carlo analysis - Don’t break out the HP-12Cs yet! This is a high level overview of the ideas behind Monte Carlo analysis, and why we use it.
  • What Do the Results Mean? - So you have these numbers... What are they actually telling you, and how should you react to them?

We want to make sure that you understand just what it is that we’re doing, and what it means for your clients, so let us know at if you have any questions.

We’ll be covering the alerts in the next lesson. We’ve touched on them in bits and pieces, but we’ll go through them to make sure you’re getting the most out of them.

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