A guide to using Bloomberg terminals

Matthew Grubin

Baruch College students have access to  Bloomberg Professional services, one of the most highly regarded financial service software in the world, through the Subotnick Financial Services Center.

Also known as the “Bloomberg Terminal,” the computer system is widely used by financial firms for market analysis, projections and for tracking various asset classes.

The software was developed by businessman Michael Bloomberg in 1981 after he was fired from Salomon Brothers Inc., a bulge bracket investment bank where he worked as a trader. With about $10 million in equity, Bloomberg created this financial system, which has since become an essential tool in the finance industry.

Priced at a premium amount, the terminal costs approximately $24,000 per year for a single user, but it varies in price according to the number of users and monitors. But students can access the terminal for free through one of the 55 workstations at the Subotnick Center in the William and Anita Newman Library Building on weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. as of May 9.

Since March 28, 2000, the terminals at the Subotnick Center have provided real-time market information, including updates from Bloomberg News, to students.

Aspiring financial professionals can stay updated on recent market changes and sector developments. The “market monitor” function is one of the most commonly used features of the terminal, providing real-time updates on financial instruments such as bonds, equities, fixed income and index funds.

The “bonds market monitor” function displays key rates such as mortgage rates, interest rates, discount rates for cash flow, swap value, bond yields and financial data. Baruch students can visit the Subotnick Center’s website to find out more about the market monitors that the terminal offers.

Trading patterns for financial instruments can be analyzed on the terminal, enabling traders to monitor market interest and financial professionals to diversify portfolios. Economic forecasts and real-time foreign releases on macroeconomic changes can also be viewed through the software, providing students with access to projected gross domestic product or consumer price index from other countries such as Japan, India and France.

At the Subotnick Center, students watch lectures on the Bloomberg Terminal Guide. Each lesson goes through specific terminal functions and applications, as well as how firms and traders use the terminal every day.

Students get firsthand access to real-time equity data with the terminal, preparing them for their futures in finance. Many of the lectures contain guided notes, which makes understanding some complex terminal functions easier.

Along with equity data and functions, students are also able to analyze and compare securities and view projections on the terminal. A lecture in the Subotnick Center’s catalog gives students an insight into how firms predict economic data and securities performance.

The Subotnick Center’s workstations also offer other software, such as S&P Capital IQ, which allows for students to get company data, financials and daily updates on company news for free.