If you currently work in the finance industry, or have aspirations of doing so, chances are you have heard of a Bloomberg terminal. This Beginner’s Guide to Bloomberg tutorial will introduce you to one of the industry’s most widely used sources for real-time financial information. This guide is aimed at new Bloomberg users, and will provide an overview of how to use a Bloomberg terminal. If you are a more experienced user, or if after reading this guide you want to go into more detail on Bloomberg’s capabilities, please be on the lookout for the Advanced Guide to Bloomberg.
In this basic guide, we will examine how to sign up for, install, and access Bloomberg. We will then go on to covering basic navigation on the Bloomberg system. Navigating Bloomberg is somewhat unique in that the system uses a special keyboard with some keys that are different from those found on a “normal” keyboard. Therefore, the navigation section of this guide will be important to newcomers. After gaining a working knowledge of these basics, we will then move on to discuss some of the market and news monitor functions that are available on Bloomberg. The remainder of the tutorial will include information on analyzing securities as well as some tips and tricks for getting the maximum possible benefit from this remarkable machine.
- The Bloomberg Terminal has been an indispensable data and information system for financial professionals for decades.
- Once standalone terminals, today subscribers can download and run the Bloomberg software on PC or Mac.
- Today’s terminal offers a wealth of news & headlines, real-time quotes in numerous markets, tools for fundamental and technical analysis, economic research, and more.
Installation and Access
There are two ways to begin using Bloomberg. The first is to subscribe to the Bloomberg service. You can do so by contacting them (general contact number is (212) 318-2000).1 The representative you speak with can then take down details of what you are looking for and have someone from the sales team contact you. Pricing and terms of the contract are unique to each user and would be discussed when the sales team contacts you.
However, be aware that Bloomberg is an expensive system and that having your own terminal may not be practical for all users. Should you decide to subscribe to your own service, Bloomberg can help you install the software over the phone, or can come out to visit you and assist in installation.2 Note: the software can be installed on most PCs or Macs, but the company will give you a special keyboard for navigating the system.
The second method of accessing Bloomberg is to find a public facility that has a Bloomberg terminal. Many larger libraries and universities have one, so that is a good place to start looking.3
The downside of this approach is that you won’t be able to customize the system and will have to share it with other users. However, for many users these drawbacks may be outweighed by the cost savings over subscribing to the system as an individual.
Once you have accessed the system, the next trick is to figure out how to navigate. A good starting place would be either to schedule a visit from a Bloomberg customer service representative or to call customer service for some help. Bloomberg is usually quite good at providing technical support and assistance, and a representative should be able to give you a good start on using the terminal.