There are currently nine Bloomberg terminals located in the SAP Lab in Lindner Hall. As described by Bloomberg, the “terminal brings together real-time data on every market, unparalleled news and research, powerful analytics, communications tools, and world-class execution capabilities – in one fully integrated solution.” All LCB students have access to the terminals. You simply need to open the software and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Bloomberg account.
The investment management industry places great value on Bloomberg skills and your Bloomberg expertise could make a difference in the job market as you can hit the ground running in your new job rather than going through extensive training.
At first the functionality of the terminal will be overwhelming as the options and resources are incredibly vast. Only through frequent use can you develop a comfort level and then eventually some expertise. The Finance faculty are committed to integrating some Bloomberg functionality into many of our courses. And once we move into the new building in the Fall of 2019 and have an Investments Lab and a Lab Manager, we can even more extensively incorporate Bloomberg throughout the curriculum.
Below are some basic guidelines to get you started with the terminal, and some key functionality as suggested by members of our Finance Advisory Board.
Bloomberg provides extensive on-screen help, customer support and cheat sheets.
1. You can easily access “Key Functionality” pages for core areas such as credit, equity analysis, investment banking, … Type BPS <GO> to get access to many such Cheat Sheets.
2. “ECO” function: Nifty economic schedule that shows you upcoming data releases, the Bloomberg consensus estimate, and the previously-reported figure. You can change the country easily and your time-horizon to quickly see what economic data has been released and what data is set to be released. From here, and like with many Bloomberg functions, you can right-click on each number/figure and pull-up a description of each data point.
3. “PORT” function: One of the most powerful and fascinating tools on the Bloomberg. Here, you can load your own portfolio (of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, etc.) into the system, run analytics, track perform, tracking error, alpha, key factor risk exposures, scenario and stress testing, among many other functions. Many professionals use the PORT tool on a daily basis and it is an extremely valuable function.
4. “FA” function: If you type a company’s ticker symbol into the terminal and then hit FA <GO>, it pulls up the Financial Analysis tool for that company. Here, you can track how fundamentals and valuations have evolved over time for that company, as well as gain insights into expectations for future earnings, CAPEX, etc. The Financial Analysis tool is a go-to for any equity analyst.
5. “WEI” function: Neat World Equity Index monitor that allows the user to quickly assess how global equity indices are moving around. You can also quickly gain insights on performance here as well.
6. “TOP” function: Retrieves top news stories on the day. You can customize this to your liking.
7. “WIRP” function: Allows the user to track Fed rate-hike probabilities for future FOMC meeting dates through prices on fed funds futures.
8. “FED” function: Allows the user to find every data point/chart you could ever want for anything and everything central-bank related (current key rates, Dot Plot, FOMC Members, FOMC forecasts, etc.). From here, you can also select from a dropdown box other central bank pages by simply searching by acronym (e.g., “BOJ”, “ECB”, “BOE”, etc.). At 2:00pm on each FOMC meeting day, you can go to the FED function to retrieve side-by-side FOMC statements to see what language tweaks, if any, were made meeting-over-meeting.
9. “FLDS” function: Allows the user to quickly assess what fields are supported for each security. In other words, if you typed in “PG EQUITY” <GO> and then typed in “FLDS” <GO>, it will tell you the thousands of different stats for that particular security (P/B, P/E, EPS, yield, etc.). This is also a critical function in determining what all is supported in the Bloomberg-Excel API (more on that below).
10. MS Office integration (API) is a powerful resource and a student with some expertise can be a valuable addition to a company. Probably the coolest Bloomberg tool. With Bloomberg API, you can write unique formulas in your Excel spreadsheet for the Excel program that is housed on the actual terminal computer itself to retrieve real-time data for just about anything. For example, you can create countless real-time dashboards and interactive charts that are all automated using these formulas. For example, if you sat down on the terminal and pulled-up Excel, you could write a Bloomberg-specific formula that retrieves real-time data or even historical data. Example: =BDP(“PG EQUITY”,”PX_LAST”) retrieves the most recent tick for P&G common equity. =BDP tells Excel to retrieve a Bloomberg Data Point, PG Equity tells the formula to reference P&G’s common stock, and PX_LAST is the field that tells the cell to retrieve the last price for the stock. You can also retrieve historical data using the Bloomberg Data Wizard, such as daily, monthly, quarterly, annual stats on indices, companies, bonds, etc. The Bloomberg Excel API function because I believe it is a true differentiator having experience with this tool upon entering the workforce.
a. “XLTP” function provides many pre-built Excel templates that use API in areas such as portfolio management, fixed income, … Type XLTP <GO> to access a list. This is a good way to get familiar with Bloomberg API.
b. “BBXL” function: Not enough time to learn the API tool and build your own spreadsheets/dashboards, no worries at all. BBXL is the location of all of the already-built Bloomberg dashboards. Here, you can quickly download a dashboard that Bloomberg analysts have already built, which, will show you how all of the formulas work as well.