Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Basic Navigation
AAA
  1. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Introduction
  2. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Installation And Access
  3. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Basic Navigation
  4. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: News And Market Monitors
  5. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Economics
  6. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Analyzing Securities
  7. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Tips And Tricks
  8. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Conclusion

Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Basic Navigation

Navigating a Bloomberg terminal is somewhat different than navigating a "normal" computer program. The primary reason for this is the special Bloomberg keyboard that the system uses. While the keyboard is similar in many respects to a normal keyboard, in addition to the keys that would be found on a standard keyboard, a Bloomberg keyboard has additional keys. These keys are found near the top of the keyboard, where the F1, F2, F3 etc. keys would usually be found. These special function keys allow the user to navigate the terminal by asset class. For instance, if a user is interested in examining a stock, they will generally access it through the <EQUITY> key. If they want to look at trading the US$ versus the Euro, most functions would be accessed with the <CURRENCY> key. There are also special keys for government, corporate, municipal and mortgage-backed bonds, as well as commodities, preferred stocks and funds. The Bloomberg keyboard also has a special <MESSAGE> key for communicating with other users via email or instant message as well as a <HELP> key that can be used when you require assistance (see the sections below for more details on messaging and help functions.) (For related reading, see The Risks Of Mortgage-Backed Securities.)

Bloomberg Tickers
Bloomberg uses abbreviations and tickers for most of its functions. For example, someone looking for a quote on Microsoft stock would type in the symbol for Microsoft (MSFT) followed by the <EQUITY> key and then hit enter. This would bring up a menu of options relating to Microsoft stock. Since very few users know more than a small fraction of the almost limitless number of available Bloomberg options, these menus present an excellent way to see what sort of analytics are available for a given security or market.

Once you are familiar with Bloomberg, you might begin to memorize some of the shortcuts, thereby saving a step for familiar functions (as opposed to going through the menu.) For instance, if you want to see the basic description page for Microsoft's stock, instead of accessing it through the menu, you could instead type <MSFT> <EQUITY> <DES> and then hit enter. The "des" is the abbreviation for description pages on Bloomberg, and this common function will provide a good general overview of most securities.

Note: Because there are an almost unlimited number of functions in Bloomberg, the best way to begin navigating the system is probably to use menus and then select your favorite functions from there. Over time, you can begin to memorize the shortcuts for your most commonly used functions, while continuing to use the menus for less frequent choices. (For more, see Guide to Stock-Picking Strategies.)

Help
You will notice that there is a green <HELP> key on the Bloomberg keyboard. This key can be your best friend, especially when you are new to the system. By hitting the help key once, you can get information about the screen that you are currently viewing. Hitting help twice - <HELP> <HELP> - will send an instant message to the Bloomberg help desk. You can then ask your question via live chat with a Bloomberg specialist who can guide you on using the terminal as well as on whatever particular function you are trying to access.

Messaging
One of the nice features of Bloomberg is that it has a fairly robust messaging system. This system allows users to stay in contact with other users and is one of the reasons that Bloomberg is so ubiquitous in the financial industry. You can look up other users of the system in order to send them a message, and if you contact someone regularly, you can set them up on speed-dial as well. When messaging, you have two choices. The first is to send a traditional message, which is basically like an email. The second is to open up an instant message window with the other user, which, as the name implies, is similar to traditional instant messaging. Both methods work great, so which one you chose is largely a matter of personal preference.

Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: News And Market Monitors

  1. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Introduction
  2. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Installation And Access
  3. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Basic Navigation
  4. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: News And Market Monitors
  5. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Economics
  6. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Analyzing Securities
  7. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Tips And Tricks
  8. Beginner's Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Conclusion
RELATED TERMS
  1. Profit Margin

    A category of ratios measuring profitability calculated as net ...
  2. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis ...
  3. Debt Ratio

    A financial ratio that measures the extent of a company’s or ...
  4. Price-Earnings Ratio - P/E Ratio

    The Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E ratio is a ratio for valuing ...
  5. Net Present Value - NPV

    The difference between the present values of cash inflows and ...
  6. Long-Term Debt

    Long-term debt consists of loans and financial obligations lasting ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is a stock split? Why do stocks split?

    All publicly-traded companies have a set number of shares that are outstanding on the stock market. A stock split is a decision ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I place an order to buy or sell shares?

    It is easy to get started buying and selling stocks, especially with the advancements in online trading since the turn of ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!