Bloomberg terminal?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by heech, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. heech


    Just curious if anyone has any insights on if, or when, a Bloomberg terminal might make sense as a tool.

    From a research point of view, I'm currently using very generic *retail* tools like OptionVue... and just using whatever trading front-end to keep a view on markets (IB, Rithmic's R|API, etc...). I have no experience with Bloomberg or other "professional" tools, so don't know what I'm missing out on by not having one around.

    What's the bare minimum startup cost? What capabilities, other than research, might a Bloomberg terminal offer me?
  2. It depends on what and how you trade.
  3. heech


    My strategy is engaged in volatility arbitrage across any number of asset classes/commodity types... so being able to look at realized/implied volatility (historical + forward curves) for random futures would be helpful. Actual positions are traded on an automated basis, so I wouldn't need Bloomberg for actual trade placing... just to determine whether I should turn on my code or not.

    I'm currently just using online charts to look at CME VIX-type indices, and OptionVue to get a longer-term view of historical IV for various futures. None of these tools are really very "sophisticated", and I'm wondering if Bloomberg will be much better.
  4. its over $25,000 a year, a big expense for an individual trader regardless of size.
  5. Bloomberg isn't necessarily better... It just aggregates everything in one place, as well as serves as a communication platform (so useful if you trade OTC). It's costly.
  6. heech


    Can you fill me in on how it functions for OTC communications?

    Say, for example, I'm looking for a quote on (example) variance swap for crude oil. How would I proceed?

    And how costly? $25k/yr is a correct quote? That's not really out of the question. I'm not sure I'm an individual trader... I'm running a $4.5mm (and hopefully quickly growing) commodity pool.
  7. its over $25,000 a year, a big expense for an individual trader regardless of size.
  8. heech


    Let me ask a slightly different question... if I'm looking for good research solutions without necessarily the execution capabilities... what other platforms might I be interested in, other than Bloomberg?
  9. Every licensee has messaging capability and a unique ID. I would think it's worth the expense if you're trading through a PB and/or dealing OTC, but not necessarily if running a vanilla CTA/CPO. Add data and Platt's and you're going to be in the $2,500 monthly neighborhood on a 2 year subscription.
  10. Well, in terms of communications, it's a channel by which you receive all sorts of information from dealers (runs, axes, research, flows, you name it). It aids price discovery, since most dealers offer electronic pricing screens on common derivatives/securities; those are useful, if not for execution, then definitely for indication. For actual execution, it's also a way to place/work orders (either by message or through IB, i.e. the BBG chat). So if I wanna do smth I will ask one or more dealers on the chat for a price and, if the price is right, will print the trade on the chat as well. It has a lot of other useful features, but it would take too long to describe them.

    Note that my background is primarily rates/fixed income, where BBG is the de facto standard. I am not 100% sure whether this is the case for equities, but I think it is. I don't know at all whether BBG is the standard for commodities peeps, since I understand they use IM (Yahoo, etc) a lot. All I know is that I see them all on BBG anyways.

    Yes, the cost figure I was about to give was arnd $2k/month, so quite close to OTCKrak's number.
    #10     Jan 13, 2011