The Bloomberg Terminal is one of the most iconic financial data platforms in the world. Recognized by the unique blue and orange color scheme on the keyboard and terminal windows, Bloomberg is a common fixture at just about every major bank and hedge fund.
How Much Does the Bloomberg Terminal Cost?
Bloomberg offers white-glove, quality financial data and service. This comes at a pretty hefty price.
The current price of Bloomberg Terminal is $1,900 per terminal subscriber. A large hedge fund or other financial institution can easily have 50 traders and analysts all with subscriptions. This would be over $1.1 million dollars a year in software fees alone!
Like most professional market data providers, Bloomberg passes through all exchange fees to their clients. This means if you want real-time data from the NYSE, CME, OPRA, or any other exchange, you’ll be billed the full cost in addition to the $1,900 per month. If you have an international portfolio, and you want quotes on stocks, options, and futures in London an China, market data fees rapidly add up.
Is the Bloomberg Terminal Worth It?
If you’re serious about dealing in the financial markets, yes. In fact, if you’re a professional buy-side or sell-side trader, it’s often necessary solely to communicate with other broker-dealers and Terminal users through the chat function.
Is the Bloomberg Terminal worth it for the average individual trader? Probably not, but if you can justify the cost, then it’s unequivocally an invaluable tool.
Checking Out Some Bloomberg Functionality
Although there are thousands of commands to enter into the Bloomberg Terminal, the screenshots below show some of the most useful and interesting functions.
SPLC – Supply Chain Analysis
This feature is awesome. With the Supply Chain Analysis, you can easily see both the suppliers and customers of virtually any company in the world.
For Apple Computers, we can see the suppliers, customers, and relevant competitors. SPLC is even available for some popular private companies, like Uber and Lift.
DRSK – Bloomberg Company Default Risk
This is an awesome Bloomberg tool that looks at the default risk of a particular company. Factors like long-term debt, share price, interest expenses, and market capitalization are adjustable to create various if/then scenarios. For example, if TSLA drops to $150 a share, then the Bloomberg proprietary default risk will be approximately x%. It’s a super quick and useful tool.
QUIC – Complex Topics Explained Quickly and Simply
This is one of my absolute favorite Terminal functions. Bloomberg breaks down complex topics ranging from the US heroin epidemic to China’s World Bank in easy, straightforward guides. Charts, FAQs, examples, it’s all there. It’s like an encyclopedia on steroids for the topics you want/need to know about.
GMM – Global Market Moves Monitor
With the GMM command, you can easily monitor the most significant moves in the global financial markets, all in one place.
NEWS – Relevant News Articles
This one is fairly straightforward. NEWS lists and categorizes relevant news articles written by Bloomberg staff for Terminal subscribers to read before they are published on the Bloomberg website.
JOBS – Job Hunting with 385,000 Financial Professionals
Granted, most Terminal users already have a job or trade on their own for a living, but the JOBS function is pretty sweet. You can post jobs or look for jobs in the country and city of your choice. These are the high-paying finance jobs that you won’t find on LinkedIn or Indeed.
POSH – The Craigslist of Bloomberg
One of the most interesting non-trading features on Bloomberg is POSH. Terminal subscribers can post items they have for sale and other terminal users can directly contact the seller.
Since everyone who posts on POSH spends around $2,000/month in software fees (or works at a company who spends that amount) there are some pretty interesting items for sale. $4,000,000 planes and $35,000/month penthouses in NYC are typical.
One of the only things I dislike about Bloomberg Terminal is having to use a fingerprint to login – every time. Whether I’m logging in with Bloomberg Anywhere on my Macbook or using my PC at my desk, a fingerprint is required to open the terminal. The fingerprint scanner on the keyboard usually works on the first try, but the scanner on the B-Unit (used to login to Bloomberg Anywhere) often takes several tries.
If you’re serious about trading and want to have your finger on the pulse of every market in the world, having access to Bloomberg Terminal certainly doesn’t hurt.
Although you cannot connect most retail brokerages to Bloomberg Terminal to execute your trades, you can link a JP Morgan Active Assets account with their API. This will let you buy/sell stocks, options, futures, loans, and bonds directly from the terminal windows.
So is it worth it? Simply put, yes, yes it is.